Postal News from August 2001
August 31, 2001 -- Stamps.com has reduced its current headcount by approximately 25% in a continuing effort to streamline operations and achieve profitability. It also announced the appointment of Ken McBride as president and CEO.
August 31, 2001 -- The Financial Post (Canada) has reported that "Lebanon has reached a deal with a new investor to run its postal system after a Canadian group said it was pulling out."
August 31, 2001 -- According to the German newspaper, Die Welt, "Deutsche Post shares dropped 3.2 per cent to 16.40 euros, the lowest level since the company's IPO in November, amid reports of a new company forming competition to the post office operator and losses at the subsidiary DHL."
August 31, 2001 -- A sign of the times? The United States Patent and Trademark Office (Office) is proposing to amend its rules to make electronic filing of trademark documents mandatory. Subject to certain exceptions for individuals either without access to the Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS) or without the technical capability to use TEAS, and persons described in 15 U.S.C. 1126(b), all documents for which an electronic form is available in TEAS, will have to be filed through TEAS rather than through the mail or by hand delivery. In addition, the Office proposes to amend its rule concerning the use of U.S. Postal Service "Express Mail Post Office to Addressee" service, (Express Mail), to eliminate the filing of any document by Express Mail for which an electronic form is currently available in TEAS.
August 31, 2001 -- The Executive Council of the Asian Pacific Postal Union and the Asian Pacific Postal Training Center Governing Board will hold a six-day summit in Manila beginning on September 3. Delegates from 28 member countries including the Philippines, and observers from other countries and organizations are expected to discuss issues like postal reforms, the business environment, the market and the postal network system. The Asian Pacific Postal Union, established in Manila in 1961, is one of the longest existing organization in the Asia Pacific region, and has since kept a central office here.
August 31, 2001 -- According to the Associated Press, "many mail-order hatcheries may soon crack under new restrictions on shipping chicks and other baby birds. A new priority mail contractor for the U.S. Postal Service [Federal Express] and a major airline that hauls mail [Northwest] are refusing to handle the small animals, making it difficult to mail birds because of the limited shipping choices and much higher costs."
August 31, 2001 -- The latest issue of the PostCom Bulletin is available on this site.
August 31, 2001 -- The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has reported that "United Parcel Service's political action committee is the leading PAC contributor to Republican federal candidates this year, according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics. The Atlanta-based company's PAC has given more than $270,000 to Republicans through the first half of 2001. It has donated about $130,000 to Democratic candidates, the research shows."
August 31, 2001 -- The Wall Street Journal has reported that "three of Europe's largest national postal services are stepping up their venture capital activities as they jostle to retain a leading role in a once plodding old industry."
August 30, 2001 -- Dutch postal, express and logistics company TPG NV (TPG) has formed a mail delivery joint-venture, named Redmail, with unlisted Austrian publishing group Styria Medien AG. The joint venture between TPG's unit Gfw GmbH and Styria's subsidiary PMS GmbH & Co KG would offer mail delivery in Austria. In the meantime, Dow Jones has reported that "Dutch postal and logistics group TPG NV (TP) supervisory board chairman Arie Maas has decided to resign from his position but will remain a member of the board. He will be succeeded by the current vice chairman Morris Tabaksblat."
August 30, 2001 -- Financial Times Deutschland has reported that German "investors speculated yesterday that DHL Corp, the international logistics group, had closed the first half of 2001 with losses. Market experts believe that Deutsche Post AG, Germany's postal services operator which controls more than 50 per cent of DHL, will have also registered losses between January and June 2001. Deutsche Lufthansa AG, Germany's leading airline group which holds a 25 per cent stake in DHL, has also been affected by the latter's poor performance.
August 29, 2001 -- A group of German companies that publish seven newspapers are planning to set up a company which will compete with Deutsche Post World Net AG's mail delivery business, WirtschaftsWoche magazine reported. It said the companies are Madsack-Gruppe -- publisher of the Hannoversche Allgemeine newspaper -- and the publishers of the newspapers Volksstimme, Mannheimer Morgen, Darmstaedter Echo, as well as Holtzbrinck-Gruppe papers Suedkurier, Saarbruecker Zeitung and Main-Post. The report said the joint venture plans to start its own delivery network next year and will deliver all other forms of materials which are currently under the monopoly of Deutsche Post. It said the venture has already obtained a permit from the German Postal and Telecommunication Office. So what happened to the allegation that the German postal market is devoid of any real competition?
August 29, 2001 -- According to the Daily Yomiuri, "the number of irregularities committed by campaigners for Kenji Koso, a former Posts and Telecommunications Ministry official elected on the Liberal Democratic Party ticket in the recent House of Councillors election, apparently reflects an attempt by those with vested interests in postal affairs to prevent Prime Minister Junichiro Kiozumi from privatizing the three postal services."
August 29, 2001 -- And from the letters to The New York Times comes the following: "Now I know why you can never find a blue mailbox anymore: the United States Postal Service is placing them in soybean fields, rushing streams and on the Alaskan tundra, or so their new advertisements would suggest. Instead of squandering more than $100 million on an ad campaign (Advertising column, Aug. 27), why doesn't the Postal Service try putting out a few more collection boxes? They used to be on every other corner in America. Now you can spend an entire afternoon looking for one."
August 29, 2001 -- The French newspaper, Les Echos, has reported that "La Poste, the French post office, has just set up a new product called Esipost, which aims to help small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) get involved in electronic commerce."
August 29, 2001 -- The U.S. Postal Service has published in the Federal Register a proposed rule that "provides a new preparation option that will allow mailers to place flat-size automation rate First-Class Mail, Periodicals, or Standard Mail together in packages with corresponding flat-size Presorted rate First-Class Mail, Periodicals, or Standard Mail. This new option will be called 'co-packaging.'"
August 29, 2001 -- According to the Associated Press, "the first FedEx shipments of U.S. Postal Service packages went off without a hitch and without fanfare." See also the Postal Service's press release about the event.
August 29, 2001 -- According to Bill McAllister in the latest issue of Linn's News, "postal officials are expected to file later this year, perhaps in October, for yet another rate increase -- and insiders are saying it could be a huge one."
August 28, 2001 -- Tough job cuts and other cost-trimming measures mean Japan's troubled postal services should return to profit in 2002 for the first time in five years. Despite a reduction in budgetary funds, advocated by Tokyo as part of a drastic reform programme aimed at resuscitating Japan's moribund economy, the postal services would see one billion yen (8.3 million dollar) in profit, said an official from the Ministry of Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications.
August 28, 2001 -- "Fly like an eagle"....flew like a turkey. As The New York Times has noted, the Postal Service has decided to recast its advertising image.
August 27, 2001 -- Radio Australia has reported that "the Papua New Guinea government hopes PNG Post can be sold to the private sector but Prime Minister Mekere Morauta has admitted that in its current state, nobody would want it. After years of inefficiency, mismanagement and fraud the postal system is close to collapse and is probably insolvent. Cabinet has approved the appointment of an interim liquidator and has allocated revenue to keep the system going. Post PNG has not been audited since 1996 but appears to have been running at a loss for several years. Some of its creditors have already withdrawn services. Prime Minister Morauta says Post PNG's sorry state is proof that privatisation is essential but it's hard to imagine the private sector wanting to buy it."
August 27, 2001 -- The Wall Street Journal has reported that "Deutsche Post AG has said it would reduce its mail division's management staff and administrative branches in a cost-cutting move. Initiative would involve a cut in the number of branch managers to 49 from 83 on Jan. 1, 2002 with an additional reduction in the number of mail branches to 49 from 83 through a reorganization in early 2004." See also the report in Handlelsblatt.com.
August 27, 2001 -- The Philadelphia Inquirer has reported that "carriers across the nation have begun working under the electronic checkpoint system, designed to make postal delivery more consistent and timely."
August 27, 2001 -- As the Daily Yomiuri has noted, when it comes to exercising political power in Japan, special postmasters are particularly adept.
August 27, 2001 -- Check out "Getting the low-down on people who've got mail" in The Washington Post.
August 27, 2001 -- FedEx goes to work for Uncle Sam Monday night. The Memphis-based company launches the air transport portion of its $7.2 billion contract with the U.S. Postal Service to carry - and sometimes sort - Express, Priority and first-class mail. FedEx Corp., a $20 billion global transportation company, is trying not to make a big deal of it. Trish Harwood, a company spokeswoman, said Monday should be "business as usual." But the contract will mean up to 3.3 million pounds of mail transported on FedEx planes every day. Most of the mail will come through the company's superhub at the Memphis International Airport. As WRTV has noted: There are winners...and there are losers. Sunday was the last day of work for nearly 1,000 employees at Evergreen Aviation Ground Logistics because the Oregon-based company is laying off most of its employees in Indianapolis. Federal Express will soon take over postal operations at Evergreen. Some employees will keep their jobs at the airport hub, but hundreds of others are now looking for work.
August 26, 2001 -- As the Daily Yomiuri has noted, "in the same way as Japan, there are resistive forces in Britain that oppose reforming the postal business....Some people are concerned that it may be impossible under the liberalized market to maintain the universal service, or a nationwide fixed-postage charge service, which Consignia is obliged to provide." Still, the paper said, the Japanese should study the way of the Europeans on postal reform.
August 26, 2001 -- The Daily Yomiuri has reported that Japanese "postal service operations have been in the red since fiscal 1998, and one of the worst offenders is the parcel delivery service Yu-Pack, which faces stiff competition from the private parcel delivery companies that dominate the market."
August 24, 2001 -- Scuttlebutt has it that on September 6 the Postal Service will be announcing the slimming down of its staff sales units from the current four area and 20 district offices to 10 offices, each of which will report to one of the ten area vice presidents.
August 24, 2001 -- The United States Postal Service (USPS) is seeking to prequalify sources capable of providing an Automatic Container Tray Unloader (ACTU) for use in USPS Processing and Distribution (P&DC) Centers. The USPS intends to prequalify suppliers for this individual purchase and any possible follow-on production purchase. Only those prequalified suppliers that successfully complete the simulation demonstration and in-plant evaluation will be eligible to participate in the competitive field testing and receive a production solicitation (RFP).
August 24, 2001 -- LanLogistics , a subsidiary of LanChile S.A., and the United States Postal Service have announced a new partnership created to enhance trade in the Americas. Together the two organizations will provide fast, economical and reliable shipping service from countries throughout Latin America, Mexico and the Caribbean to final destinations in the United States.
August 24, 2001 -- According to the Japanese newspaper, Daily Yomiuri, "Government services can be improved for the public benefit only through open competition. Opponents of opening the entire state-run mail-delivery service to the private sector claim that the private sector's entry into the letter-delivery service would force unprofitable local post offices to shut down, damaging the currently universal system of mail-delivery and savings services. Presenting the viability of post offices, which cover the entire country, as a lost cause would certainly be an easy way to play on public sympathy. Questions inevitably arise about what would be the real impact if mail delivery is fully open to the private sector or privatized.
August 24, 2001 -- Nihon Keizai Shimbun has reported that the Japanese Posts and Telecommunications Ministry will abolish in 2003 a subsidy for the operating expenses of 18,000 regional post offices. Under the current subsidy system, heads of the 18,000 regional offices receive a total of about 90 billion yen annually to pay for utilities and maintenance, sales promotion and other expenses for their offices. In addition, some postmasters serving as regional supervisors are given additional money to cover the expenses of training sessions and meetings. But since postmasters have great discretion in using the money, critics charge that the subsidies are often used for personal expenses or political donations. Because postmasters do not disclose how they use the money, a government advisory panel recently proposed that the government review the system. The ministry will consider replacing the system with a new scheme for paying operating expenses.
August 24, 2001 -- GovExec.Com has reported that "U.S. Postal Service officials will unveil three new enhancements to the agency’s electronic bill payment service next week, in the process expanding its Internet presence and reopening a debate about the agency’s role in the e-commerce marketplace."
August 24, 2001 -- Online ad spending will rise by just seven percent this year but will jump 35 percent in 2002, according to an Emarketer report. Online ad spending will rise by just seven percent this yearbut will jump 35 percent in 2002, according to an Emarketer report. Wish the same could be said about advertising in the mail.
August 24, 2001 -- The latest issue of the PostCom Bulletin is available on this site.
August 24, 2001 -- According to the Washington Times, "some mail to Washington and the rest of the East Coast has been speeded by as much as a day by a U.S. Postal Service policy using trucks instead of airlines for many deliveries."
August 24, 2001 -- Post Danmark, the Danish postal services, has seen turnover fall from DKr5.51bn recorded in the first half of the year 2000 to DKr5.45bn in the same period this year. The fall is explained by the fact that fewer people send letters, visit post offices or pay bills through the postal services.
August 23, 2001 -- Royal Mail, part of Consignia Plc, has announced the launch of its new web site, www.royalmail.com/access, designed to cater for disabled people with a wide range of impairments. http://www.royalmail.com/access, an abridged version of Royal Mail's main web site www.royalmail.com, has been developed specifically to meet the needs of users with accessibility issues and the requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA).
August 23, 2001 -- The Daily Yomiuri has reported that "the head of a national association of [Japanese] postmasters is vehemently opposed to the proposed privatization of the three postal services of mail delivery, savings and life insurance. He noted that in Germany, where the postal services have been privatized, the number of post offices has been halved, predicting that unprofitable post offices in regional areas (of Japan) will simply be abolished."
August 23, 2001 -- Consignia has chosen the ATG Dynamo(R) e-Business Platform to deploy a new transactional portal. The portal will be the framework for a number of existing and new online services housed under the Consignia brand, including Royal Mail, ParcelForce Worldwide, and Post Office. Due to launch later this year, the portal will help Consignia build and integrate its online resources, providing a greater level of functionality and customer centricity to millions of users in the U.K.
August 23, 2001 -- According to the South China Morning News, "Postnet, a United States-based company that provides postal and business services, is continuing its careful tread to expand in the mainland despite the government's close watch. The company has seven outlets in China, including three in Shanghai and one each in the cities of Dalian and Guangzhou. It has plans to open 3,000 franchises in China over the next three years and is negotiating with Shanghai's Lianhua Supermarket chain, the mainland's top retailer, to put the franchises into supermarkets. But there is a risk in all of this, because it could be stepping on China Post's toes, and China Post is one of the last great state monopolies in China, one that has moved at a snail's pace in reacting to market changes."
August 22, 2001 -- The Financial Times has reported that "shares in Deutsche Post, Europe's largest postal services group, fell to a record low on Tuesday even though the company said it was confident of maintaining growth despite the global downturn." On the other hand, Klaus Zumwinkel, chairman of Deutsche Post, Germany's postal service, told Die Welt that he "is satisfied with his company's performance this year. In the first six months of 2001 turnover and profit grew significantly." Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported that "Deutsche Post AG is aiming for new records despite the economic slowdown and forecasts a rise in operating profits both this year and next."
August 22, 2001 -- The British newspaper, The Guardian, has reported that "the number of post office closures soared 43% last year and was more than double the number two years ago. Figures for closures over the last 20 years, net of any openings, show that 547 post offices shut last year compared to only 41 in 1989 and 233 in 1999. The figures, obtained by a Commons question from Colin Breed, Lib Dem MP for Cornwall South East, are said by Consignia, the Royal Mail group, to reflect the vulnerability of small post offices. But only four of last year's 547 closures are termed permanent."
August 22, 2001 -- According to the Irish Times, "An Post has told the Irish Postmasters' Union (IPU) it will not meet representatives unless the union can give a written guarantee that members will undertake no further unofficial industrial action."
August 22, 2001 -- The Daily Yomiuri has reported that "with work under way on reforming public corporations with the ultimate goal of abolishing or privatizing them, debate on reforming the three postal services has heated up. The three services--mail delivery, savings and life insurance--will be integrated into the planned 'postal public corporation' in 2003."
August 22, 2001 -- Hong Kong's national postal service Hongkong Post is planning to offer wireless digital certificates that mobile data phone subscribers can use to conduct secure wireless transactions.
August 22, 2001 -- The British newspaper, The Independent, has reported that "Consignia, the state-owned mail company formerly known as the Post Office, has been accused of deliberately stamping on its competition. The accusation comes from AICES, the trade body that represents companies which include the giants DHL, FedEx, TNT, UPS and Hays. The body is incensed because Consignia is suing potential rival Hays although the Government and the European Union is committed to deregulation."
August 22, 2001 -- According to The Independent, "inefficient, unreliable and ruled by the unions: you'd have thought Labour would be itching to break up one of the last bastions of unreformed nationalised industry. Not so, it seems, with mail delivery....[Instead] the Department for Trade and Industry has turned a blind eye to Consignia's shenanigans, which could potentially put off real competition from entering the market – at the taxpayers' expense, too."
August 22, 2001 -- FedEx Corp. is installing the industry's first worldwide-electronic system to capture critical paper-document information for even greater shipment visibility, faster airbill processing and speedier customs clearance.
August 22, 2001 -- The U.S. Postal Service and the National Association of Letter Carriers have opened contract negotiations in advance of the Nov. 20 expiration of their current, three-year contract.
August 22, 2001 -- Correos, the Spanish post office, will launch a plan to improve customer service, reduce waiting times and adapt its services to existing demand. The plan is aimed at enabling the company to compete with new private operators when the sector is liberalised in 2003. Last June, Viapolis became the first private operator in Spain's state-controlled sector.
August 22, 2001 -- According to Dow Jones, "Brazil's second-largest retail bank, Banco Bradesco SA, beat off rival bids by offering 201 million reals ($1=BRR2.54) for the rights to offer services at 5,500 post office branches nationwide."
August 22, 2001 -- Dow Jones has reported that "FedEx Express, a subsidiary of FedEx Corp. (FDX), said it expects U.S. package volumes to decline slightly in 2002 as a result of its economic outlook, the company reported in a Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission....[T]he company does, however, project its new services, including the U.S. Postal Service agreements, to increase revenue in 2002."
August 21, 2001 -- The Irish Times has reported that "the danger of further unofficial action to disrupt mail services has increased, following a meeting of the Irish Postmasters' Union (IPU) in Portlaoise yesterday to demand withdrawal of the Postpoint system. This allows retail outlets to sell stamps, top-up cards for mobile phones and other services provided by post offices."
August 21, 2001 -- According to Dow Jones, Deutsche Post AG has reported that its second-quarter earnings fell 4%, as expected, but was upbeat about growth prospects for the rest of the year.
August 21, 2001 -- According to Jared Polis of the Independence Institute in a commentary published in the Denver Post, "until we privatize the USPS and end its monopoly, we'll continue to suffer at the whim of a government-owned company with the power to manipulate the mail industry to its own advantage and to the detriment of 'We the People.'"
August 21, 2001 -- The Italian newspaper, La Stampa, has reported that the "Italian postal services company Poste Italiane has acquired transport companies Lacchi Trasporti Postali and Trasporti e Logistica Postale (TLP). The companies Lacchi SpA and Mazzoni SpA have transferred, respectively, the branch dedicated to long-distance postage transport for Poste Italiane to Lacchi Trasporti Postali and Trasporti e Logistica Postale."
August 21, 2001 -- Critical Path, Inc. , a provider of communication solutions to carriers, service providers and corporations, is providing Deutsche Post AG with the directory and meta-directory technology necessary to create a comprehensive meta directory solution for the German Postal Service's `User and Resource Management Solution' (URML) project. Deutsche Post is leveraging the extensive range of connectors in Critical Path's Meta-Directory to unify the dispersed directory information found in the group's distributed MS Exchange applications, HR-Systems, the telephone switchboards, and the Active Directory and Firewall/Proxy Servers.
August 20, 2001 -- Siemens Dematic Postal Automation L.P., a provider of mail sorting equipment and recognition technologies, has announced Heribert Stumpf as its new president and chief executive officer. Siemens ElectroCom L.P.also announced that it has changed its name to Siemens Dematic Postal Automation L.P.
August 20, 2001 -- CheckFree i-Solutions, the leading provider of interactive e-billing and e-statement applications and part of CheckFree Corporation, has announced that 70 million Federated credit card customers can now receive and pay their bills online at their choice of more than 300 CheckFree-powered sites including banks, brokerages, credit unions and Internet portals.
August 20, 2001 -- According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, "as UPS chairman-elect, Eskew is now the public face of the 360,000-employee transportation leader. In preparation for that role, he has increasingly been representing the world's largest transportation firm in high-profile talks with financial analysts in New York and computer industry leaders in Austin. And UPS insiders say the fact that the Sandy Springs-based giant has elevated its main technology advocate to the top executive position shows the company's commitment to technology in the future."
August 20, 2001 -- The Wall Street Journal has reported that "a scandal involving [Japanese] post-office employees has lent Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi a needed boost for his plans to privatize the $2 trillion postal-savings system by giving evidence of a level of corruption that was only rumored previously. Since early August, police in Kyoto and Osaka have arrested 12 current and former postal employees, accusing them of illegally campaigning on behalf of a former Posts and Telecommunications Ministry bureaucrat who was elected to Parliament's upper house on July 29. Japanese law prohibits public servants, who include post-office employees, from using their positions to solicit support for candidates."
August 20, 2001 -- The main highlights of the Postal Service's Accounting Period 11, PFY 2001 Financial and Operating Statements are posted on this site.
August 20, 2001 -- According to postal commentator Gene Del Polito, "it's time for the Postal Service to end the Mailing Online madness."
August 18, 2001 -- Air Cargo World has reported that "Federal Express for the second time has asked the U.S. Department of Transportation to deny rival DHL Airways the right to fly between the U.S. and Mexico. FedEx contends that DOT cannot rely on data filed three years ago by DHL when it obtained a renewal of its authority. FedEx says a public hearing is necessary because of changes in DHL's ownership structure earlier this year following the acquisition of a controlling interest in DHL by Deutsche Post World Net, the partially privatized German postal service. U.S. law restricts foreign ownership in a U.S. airline to 49% of the equity and 25% of the voting stock. DHL contends that it meets this requirement."
August 18, 2001 -- Read more about Emery Airlines' tale of woes in Traffic World.
August 18, 2001 -- The Irish Times has reported that [Irish] "postmasters held a peaceful protest in Portlaoise last night as a "taster" of the action they intend to take from next week if An Post carries out its plan to offer Post Point franchises to supermarkets and petrol stations throughout the State. The protest took the form of mail lorries being "backed up" outside the town's mail centre and being prevented from leaving."
August 18, 2001 -- United Parcel Service Inc. Chairman-Elect Michael Eskew has said he sees no signs yet in the company's package delivery business that the U.S. economy was braced for a recovery in the third quarter.
August 18, 2001 -- College students are headed back to class while parents brace themselves for the bills...unless, that is, the son or daughter is taking advantage of UPS's [United Parcel Service] Earn and Learn program to take some of the stress out of paying for college. UPS's Earn & Learn program offers students working part-time $3,000 in tuition assistance and $2,000 in forgivable loans per calendar year, no strings attached. Students do not have to pursue a specific degree in order to participate. Students are eligible for Earn and Learn the day they are hired, and the program is offered in addition to starting pay of $8.50-$9.50 per hour and benefits such as health insurance, paid vacation and a 401(k) plan.
August 17, 2001 -- According to the Wall Street Journal, "the U.S. Postal Service, trying to compete more aggressively with shipping companies, is offering its first-ever discounts on two- and three-day delivery service between U.S. cities and more than 200 other countries. The discounts, which began quietly last week, cut rates for its two-year-old Global Express Guaranteed delivery service by as much as 38 percent, the report said. Delivery companies frequently use price breaks to lure larger customers, but the Postal Service is banned by law from doing so on most deliveries, including first-class mail, according to the newspaper. Customers shipping as few as five pieces a week will qualify for discounts, possibly helping the post office get volume from companies that are too small to win price breaks from shipping companies."
August 17, 2001 -- The Nando Times has reported that "a plan by the U.S. Postal Service to remove Vietnam's flag from a brochure in thousands of American post offices is an insult, Vietnam said Thursday. Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Phan Thuy Thanh said the postal service, as a U.S. government agency, should have resisted pressure from a group of Vietnamese emigres who called the use of the communist symbol 'a disgrace.'"
August 17, 2001 -- Well....It's official. Gail Sonnenberg, the USPS' senior vice president for sales, and Allen Kane, the USPS' senior vice presiden for future business design will retire next month.
August 17, 2001 -- Bloomberg.com has reported that "United Parcel Service Inc. Chief Executive James P. Kelly will retire at the end of the year, ending a tenure in which he took the largest delivery company public and expanded its business beyond package shipments. Vice Chairman Michael L. Eskew, 52, will succeed Kelly as chairman and chief executive. Kelly, 58, has been chairman and CEO since January 1997 and began his United Parcel career in 1964 as a part-time driver. Analysts said the change was expected." Read also the report by CBS MarketWatch.
August 17, 2001 -- European sources have reported that "Siemens AG's Nuremberg-based unit Siemens Dematic AG has received a contract valued at 137 million euros from U.K.'s Post Consignia, formerly known as the British Post Office. The contract includes the delivery and installation of postal sorting equipment at the postal distribution center near London's Heathrow Airport. The center is slated to be operational by December 2002."
August 17, 2001 -- Pity the poor Chairman. The Memphis Commercial Appeal has reported that "the slowing economy didn't just corrode FedEx Corp.'s domestic average daily shipping volume in its fiscal 2001; it eroded the salary and bonus for Frederick W. Smith. For the 12 months ended May 31, Smith, chairman, president and chief executive officer of FedEx, saw his combined salary and bonus decline 2.7 percent. That's excluding other forms of compensation. Smith's base salary increased to $1.143 million in fiscal 2001, up from $1.093 million in fiscal 2000. His bonus fell from $1.048 million to $940,827." The Postmaster General of the United States, by comparison, makes a paltry $161,000 for operating a $65 billion enterprise.
August 17, 2001 -- Bloomberg.com also has reported that "United Parcel Service Inc. said it paid $59.6 million in stock for First International Bancorp Inc., less than the $78 million initially announced, because of changes in the book value of some of the bank's assets. The company bought First International to use the bank's expertise in handling government-backed loans to broaden the operations of its UPS Capital financial-services unit."
August 17, 2001 -- According to the Financial Times, "Despite the challenges of a slow global economy, the air-express package courier United Parcel Service has reported a 10% increase in revenue in Thailand in the first half of this year....Buoyed by the rising volume of exports in textiles and garments, electronics, furniture and jewellery, the company's market share had risen 26% in the past year, putting it behind only DHL and Federal Express."
August 16, 2001 -- The Postal Service's John Sadler has announced that the USPS is placing a moratorium on postage penalties on Merlin testing for barcode readability and ECR presort verification. The former is because of the difference in the specs between Merlin and ABE. The USPS is putting out modified software to the Merlin equipment during September-October and after it is in place will then allow an additional 60 days moratorium on postage penalty to allow feedback to be provided to customers. The ECR presort moratorium is due to the fact that the FR extending the 5% error tolerance to LOT is currently in comment period. Once a final rule is in place, the USPS will begin the postage assessment phase for ECR presort verification. More information on this important piece of news is available on this site for PostCom members.
August 16, 2001 -- The Associated Press has reported that "the Postal Service [has] said it will discard brochures showing the Vietnamese flag because a San Jose group protested the use of the communist national symbol."
August 16, 2001 -- According to Business Week, "the dot-com implosion signals anything but the end of e-business. The tech revolution may not have succeeded in overturning the Establishment, but a major evolution is taking place within Corporate America."
August 16, 2001 -- Business Times (Malaysia) has reported that "shareholders of Phileo Allied Bhd approved the company's proposal to buy Pos Malaysia Bhd from the Ministry of Finance Inc."
August 16, 2001 -- Asia Pulse has reported that "satellite messaging company Deltagram has announced plans to set up a network of 25,000 Delta Digital Post Offices connecting 150 cities by the end of the year 2001 and said it was scouting for franchisees to be part of its network. The cost of the new services reportedly are marginally higher than the current postal rates for ordinary letters but lower than the speed post or courier services."
August 16, 2001 -- The U.S. Postal Service has published in the Federal Register two proposed rules. The first proposal would "revise Domestic Mail Manual (DMM) P030 to include policies and regulations pertaining to more secure postage evidencing systems, such as those that use a Postal Security Device (PSD), those that generate information-based indicia (IBI), and PC Postage (TM)." The second proposal would "amend Domestic Mail Manual (DMM) P014, Refunds and Exchanges, to clarify the refund policy for metered postage. These changes are being made in conjunction with the proposed changes to P030 (Postage Meters and Meter Stamps)."
August 16, 2001 -- Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung has reported that "Deutsche Post AG, the German post office, is to launch its own internet portal in October for the purchasing of transport services. Deutsche Post aims to be able to arrange regular contracts with outside companies, ad hoc services between depots and complete cargo transport entirely over the internet. The portal, to be called www.portivas.de, is intended to cover all of Deutsche Post's European transport operations. Hauliers will be invited to give details of their entire capacity in order to help arrange suitable return shipments."
August 15, 2001 -- According to Dow Jones, "the Swiss post office's plan to create a postal bank has run into so much public hostility that it will probably die a quiet death, reports Finanz und Wirtschaft. The main sticking point is whether the bank would be privatized, something left-wing politicians oppose but which conservatives favor."
August 15, 2001 -- A copy of the Postal Service's revenue assurance policy statement is available to PostCom members on this site.
August 15, 2001 -- The Nikkei Business Daily has reported that "DHL Japan Inc. is expanding its parcel collection and distribution network. The company aims to collect parcels on its own in suburban areas, where it has contracted out much of the work to other transport firms, to make up for falling revenue from corporate customers and to offer faster delivery services. The company is now capable of delivering parcels by the morning of the day after they are collected in Japan to four cities overseas, including Hong Kong, Seoul and Singapore.A tie-up with Northwest Airlines Inc. in July has also made it possible to deliver parcels to New York the day after consignment."
August 15, 2001 -- According to Business Times (Malaysia), "the [Malaysian] Ministry of Finance looks to have ruled out a "cash top-up" in order for the Government to retain a controlling stake in Pos Malaysia Bhd following privatization via Phileo Allied Bhd. While it remains committed to retaining a 32.9 per cent stake in Pos after privatization, it is not prepared to do so at the expense of compromising on the company's fair value, the ministry said in a statement yesterday....The SC's ruling means that, with all other terms of the privatization agreement remaining unchanged, MOF would have to fork out an additional RM230 million for the same 32.9 per cent stake in Pos. In the meantime, Dow Jones has reported that "The Malaysian government's decision to review the terms of the sale of Pos Malaysia Bhd. to Phileo Allied Bhd. may scuttle the deal."
August 15, 2001 -- Le Soir has reported that "Express mail group TNT Express Belgium has signed an agreement with BIAC, the group responsible for operating Brussels-National airport."
August 15, 2001 -- Read more about the U.S. Postal Service's plan to turn over EEO probes to an employee-owned firm in The Washington Post.
August 15, 2001 -- DM News has reported that "the U.S. Postal Service is offering rate discounts to customers who buy the Global Express Guaranteed service online. Global Express Guaranteed, the USPS' premium international shipping service, is an expedited delivery service offered as a result of an alliance with DHL Worldwide Express. It provides date-certain delivery service from designated U.S. ZIP codes to locations in more than 200 countries and territories. It consists of two mail classifications: Global Express Guaranteed Document Service and Global Express Guaranteed Non-Document Service. The USPS is offering the rate discounts to customers who prepare and pay for their shipments online, offering a standard discount for all such transactions and volume-based discounts for customers who ship minimum volumes weekly."
August 15, 2001 -- DM News has reported that "online retailer Amazon.com has expanded its alliance with Deutsche Post Global Mail to provide faster, more affordable delivery options for international customers."
August 15, 2001 -- The Postal Service could save nearly $15 million over five years by becoming its own distributor of diesel fuel, according to a report by the agency's inspector general. Last year the post office spent $398 million on diesel fuel for trucks moving the mail, making it one of the nation's largest fuel users. In an effort to save money, the agency negotiates bulk fuel purchases from refiners, which deliver the fuel to storage facilities operated by contractors and the contractors then provide the fuel to trucks operated by the post office and its contractors. The inspector general's report urged the agency to move the fuel operation "in-house," becoming its own distributor instead of using the contractors for storage and delivery. The report of this audit can be found on the USPS Inspector General's web site.
August 14, 2001 -- According to The Guardian, Britain's postal union's makes a threat over call centre job cuts "Consignia, the rebranded Post Office, could be heading for a 'punch-up' if it proceeds with compulsory redundancies at its call centres, a senior union official warned yesterday. John Keggie, deputy leader of the postal workers' union, CWU, made his warning days after signing a month-long concordat with Consignia executives over suspending ballots for industrial action - the first for four years."
August 14, 2001 -- According to InternetWire, "comScore Networks, Inc., the leading provider of data-based Internet infrastructure services, today announced that William J. Henderson, the recently retired Postmaster General and Chief Executive Officer of the United States Postal Service (USPS), has joined the comScore Board of Directors."
August 14, 2001 -- According to the Dow Jones, "NeMalaysia's Finance Ministry late Tuesday said it is reviewing the terms of the Pos Malaysia Bhd. sale to Phileo Allied Bhd. as they don't reflect Pos' true value....The government is of the opinion that the agreement under these conditions will not reflect the true value of Pos," the ministry said in a statement. In May, the government said it plans to sell the state-owned postal service company to Phileo Allied for 800 million ringgit ($1=MYR3.80)."
August 14, 2001 -- According to Business Wire, "SBC Communications Inc., a global communications leader, has been awarded a ground-breaking managed services contract that guarantees the Postal Service $15 million in savings over two years. SBC will be paid a portion of savings it achieves beyond the guaranteed $15 million."
August 14, 2001 -- According to the Dow Jones, the FAA has stated that "Emery was both unwilling, unable to maintain safety."
August 14, 2001 -- The Associated Press has reported that "Emery Worldwide Airlines has agreed to ground its 37-plane fleet after the Federal Aviation Administration confronted the cargo carrier with more than 100 apparent violations of government safety regulations. The suspension runs the next 30 days, but Emery Worldwide's planes probably won't fly for two to four months, said FAA spokesman Les Dorr Jr."
August 14, 2001 -- According to the Dow Jones, "German postal service group Deutsche Post World Net AG will offer power contracts to consumers via partners in retail outlets throughout Germany, a spokeswoman told Monday. As a first step, its pilot project with Best Energy GmbH in 10 post offices in and near Cologne has been expanded to 250 in the wider Cologne area, she added."
August 14, 2001 -- According to InternetWeek, the United States Postal Service "leaders maintain that technology is one of the keys to making the Postal Service more competitive, and they're moving ahead with a series of Web technology projects."
August 14, 2001 -- According to Newsbytes, "New Zealand Post Buys Deeper Into E-Commerce. New Zealand Post, the nation's national postal service, is looking to take full control of the New Zealand operations of U.S.-based online messaging provider MessageMedia." New Zealand Post took a 20 percent stake in MessageMedia NZ Ltd last September. The company provides online messaging systems for customer communications with Internet businesses.
August 13, 2001 -- LOT Tolerance Proposal Published -- The USPS on August 8, 2001 published in the Federal Register a proposed rule clarifying that the five percent error limit for carrier route walk sequenced mail includes line-of-travel (LOT) sequenced mail and that for all sequenced mail, the five percent error tolerance applies to the entire mailing, not each individual carrier route. Comments to the USPS' proposed rule must be received on or before September 7, 2001. Comments should be mailed or delivered to the Manager, Business Mail Acceptance, USPS, 1735 North Lynn Street Room 3011, Arlington VA 22209-6030. Questions should be directed to Mary Bronson, USPS, at 703-292-3539. As a result of this proposal, the USPS has agreed to offer a 60-day grace period on Merlin testing of carrier route walk sequenced mail (see related article in PostCom Bulletin 31-01).
August 13, 2001 -- Upcoming Mail Preparation Changes-- The USPS published in the August 9, 2001, issue of the Postal Bulletin (22056), a chart showing upcoming mail preparation changes. The chart lists mail preparation changes that take effect from September 1, 2001 to January 10, 2004, that have been published in previous issues of the Postal Bulletin or are currently included in the Domestic Mail Manual (DMM). The USPS will update the list periodically in the Postal Bulletin.
August 13, 2001 -- South China Morning Post has reported that "a small private newspaper distributor has taken on China's giant post office after being fined for encroaching on business traditionally carried out by the monopoly. Yangguang Baoye accused the Zhangjiakou post office branch in Hebei province of unlawful conduct and asked a court this week to throw out a 20,000 yuan (HK$18,800) penalty the post office issued. It lost, with the court ruling in favour of the post office. But with an appeal coming up, it could mark the beginning of another long drawn-out fight against the state giant."
August 13, 2001 -- According to Business Wire, "to support its customers' needs to reach the Pacific Northwest faster, Viking Freight Inc., the leading LTL (less-than-truckload) carrier providing western regional transportation service and a subsidiary of FedEx Corp. (NYSE:FDX - news), has improved its direct service transit times from five of its California service centers to Spokane, Wash. Service from Bakersfield, Oxnard, Salinas, San Diego and San Luis Obispo to Spokane has been reduced from three days to two days."
August 13, 2001 -- Reuters has reported that the "Federal Aviation Administration plans to take the rare step of grounding Emery Worldwide Airlines because of numerous maintenance irregularities, the Washington Post reported on Monday, citing federal sources." Business Wire has reported that as a result, "Emery Worldwide Airlines unit has suspended its air carrier operations as part of an interim agreement with the FAA. EWA said it expects to resume operations when issues raised by the FAA are resolved."
August 13, 2001 -- The Independent has reported that Consignia, Britain's post pffice, "is axing 59 of its 70 call centres as part of a massive pounds 30m shake-up. Staff fear wholesale redundancies among the 4,500 employees concerned but management says most will be offered transfers to the new centres or jobs elsewhere in the business."
August 13, 2001 -- According to the New Zealand Infotech, "New Zealand Post has bought a 25 per cent stake in Sydney supply chain firm Dawson Group in a multimillion dollar move to create e-business opportunities in Australia and further afield."
August 13, 2001 -- According to The Guardian, "the Japanese post office has been allowing people to put pictures of themselves on postage stamps, in an experiment to coincide with an international stamp exhibition in Tokyo. The idea proved so popular that the post office is considering making the service permanent in the belief that this could help bring back the customers who have been seduced away by email. For the past week, people could turn up at a post office and get sheets of valid, personalized stamps printed in just a few minutes. But the special sheets prepared for the promotion ran out very quickly as people formed queues long before the office opened, even as early as 6am."
August 12, 2001 -- The Washington Post has reported on a Washington DC mail carrier who is still delivering mail after 44 years. "In the fall of 1957, DeLeavis C. Johnson got a job delivering the mail in the nation's capital. Stamps cost 3 cents each, and several years would pass before anyone heard of Zip codes. Johnson thought being a mailman was respectable work with respectable pay, and he figured he would stay on for a while, maybe a few years."
August 12, 2001 -- The Associated Press has reported that the United States Postal Service "says it will discard brochures showing the Vietnamese flag because a San Jose group protested the use of the communist national symbol."
August 12, 2001 -- The Associated Press has reported that "although the franc will cease to exist after the euro becomes legal tender in 2002, figures on French stamps can look forward to many more years of service. The franc will be pulled from circulation on February 17, but franc stamps "will conserve their face value for an indefinite period," indicated Antoine di Maggio, head of the postage stamp and collectors department at the French post office."
August 11, 2001 -- The Washington Post has reported that "Rep. Dan Burton (R-Ind.), chairman of the House Government Reform Committee, arranged for an unusual government-paid trip to Frankfurt and Bonn this week to investigate the German postal system." The visit to Frankfurt coincides with his wife's medical treatment there.
August 11, 2001 -- According to Direct Newsline, The Unites States Postal service is considering a 2004 mail reclassification program. "The financially ailing U.S. Postal Service is in the early stages of developing a mail reclassification proposal it hopes to implement by early summer 2004. With the USPS facing back-to-back deficits of between $1 and $3 billion over the next two years and planning to seek a rate hike of up to 20% for next summer, postal officials hope mail reclassification will lead to increased volumes and revenues."
August 11, 2001 -- The Business Times, Singapore has reported that "United Parcel Service chairman and CEO James Kelly yesterday said that the world's biggest express package delivery group is planning to increase volume by 10% and revenue by 15% in 2001."
August 11, 2001 -- USPS billboard campaign in the Big Apple. "East Side. West Side. We're making it big time in New York City with the launch of a billboard campaign from the Postal Ad Network team."
August 11, 2001 -- According to FedNet, the "Postal Service is offering discounted rates for online customers who purchase Global Express Guaranteed TM."
August 10, 2001 -- Der Standard has reported that "state politicians throughout Austria have protested against government plans to close 700 post offices in the country."
August 10, 2001 -- Traffic World has reported that Kitty Hawk Inc.'s struggle to emerge from bankruptcy protection has dragged on for more than 15 months without an end in sight. Kitty Hawk, which loses its lucrative U.S. Postal Service contract on Aug. 25, is in the midst of trying to find a way to stay afloat, relying on its scheduled cargo airline business out of Ft. Wayne, Ind. But as the economy continues to drag and domestic overnight capacity is readily available, the cards appear stacked against the Dallas-based company
August 10, 2001 -- De Financieel Ekonomische Tijd has reported that "De Post, the Belgian public postal services company, reports that redundancies will not be part of the reorganisation process of its banking division Financiele Post. Some employees will be transferred to other functions or divisions with a personnel shortage. De Post is reorganising its financial activities as these are incurring an annual loss of 70m euros."
August 10, 2001 -- The Nikkei English News Service, Tokyo has reported that a "debate is expected to intensify over the issue of whether audits of postal savings and postal insurance by the Finance Services Agency should be mandatory as the government launches full-scale discussions on the nature of a public corporation that will take over postal operations in 2003."
August 10, 2001 -- La Tribune- France has reported that the "French national postal service La Poste successfully converted all its 28 million savings accounts to the euro on August 1. All transactions carried out since then, including money transfers and withdrawals, have been written exclusively in euros on customers' paying-in books."
August 10, 2001 -- The Salt Lake Tribune has reported that "First-class mail service, often derided as "snail mail," has become at least a day slower in most of the West as a result of new standards adopted without public notice by the Postal Service. The new service standards, which went into effect earlier this year, mean that first-class mail that used to take two days to get from San Francisco and other Bay Area points to San Diego, Phoenix and the Pacific Northwest now takes three days. The Postal Service says the extra day is necessary because first-class mail that used to go by air is now shipped by truck."
August 9, 2001 -- The Economist Intelligence Unit has reported that "Belgium risks referral to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) unless it acts soon to amend its implementation of an EU directive governing postal services. Full implementation of the directive across the EU is crucial to the Commission's plans to open Europe's - 80bn postal sector to competition."
August 9, 2001 -- DM News has reported that a congressman wants a probe of fraud allegations at a bulk mail center. "Steve Chabot, R-OH, asked the General Accounting Office on Tuesday to investigate the U.S. Postal Service's Sharonville, OH, bulk mail center, according to news reports."
August 9, 2001 -- DM News has reported that the "U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors discussed the pay-for-performance program it offers postal executives and other financial issues in a closed meeting this week."
August 9, 2001 -- Financial Post-Canada has reported that Quebecor World has expanded in Mexico. "Quebecor World Inc. said yesterday it is buying the book and directory printing assets of Grupo Serla SA, one of Mexico's top commercial printers, as it builds a dominant position in Latin America."
August 9, 2001 -- The Dow Jones Newswires has reported a dispute between the Argentine government and the privatized post office over who owes whom and how much means the 12,800 employees of Correo Argentino SA haven't received their July paychecks."
August 9, 2001 -- PostalWatch has reported that since 1996, the United States Postal Service has paid out nearly $900 million in management pay for performance bonuses.
August 9, 2001 -- The Record of Stockton, CA has reported that citing chronic problems with delays of cargo-mail deliveries by commercial airlines, the U.S. Postal Service has reduced the scope of two-day mail service for first-class mail for much of the West.
August 9, 2001 -- The Washington Post has reported that one hundred subscribers to child pornography Web sites have been arrested after a two year investigation led by the United States Postal Service and federal investigators.
August 9, 2001 -- Reuters has reported that "Nordic parcel post chief sees alliances this year. The chief executive of Pan Nordic Logistics (PNL) was quoted on Thursday as saying that the private parcel post group would join an international alliance by the end of 2001."
August 9, 2001 -- Attached is an updated version of the USPS' Confirm Advanced Shipping Notice Specification document Version 1.3. This new version replaces the version that was posted last Friday, August 3. It provides additional information about the ASN specification and specific detail about printing the Shipment ID Barcode.
August 9, 2001 -- The latest issue of the PostCom Bulletin is available on this site.
August 8, 2001 -- The Nikkei English News Service has reported the following editorial: "Japan's Mammoth Post Office Must Be Privatized."
August 8, 2001 -- According to Business Wire, "Pfastship Worldwide Logistics Inc. and Airborne Express Announce Ground Delivery Service and airborne@home Accessibility."
August 8, 2001 -- According to the PR Newswire, "Concur Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ:CNQR), the market leader of Corporate Expense Management solutions, today announced that the United States Postal Service, the world's largest postal organization, selected Concur Expense(TM) to automate its travel expense management process
August 8, 2001 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that the United Parcel Service (UPS) has completed its purchase of First International Bancorp.
August 8, 2001 -- The Dow Jones Newswires has reported that the "Dutch postal and logistics company TPG NV (TP) is expected to report half-year net profit of EUR262 million, with non-cyclical mail operations offsetting effects of the slowing economy."
August 8, 2001 -- According to the Bangkok Post, "United Parcel Service (UPS) has reported a 10% increase in revenue in Thailand in the first half of this year."
August 8, 2001 -- According to the Nordic Business Report, the Finnish postal company Suomen Posti Oyj (Finland Post) has reported a six-month net turnover of EUR507.5m, a EUR15.4m improvement on the comparable turnover in the first half of last year.
August 8, 2001 -- "The Postal Service published in the Federal Register (66 FR 36224-36226) on July 11, 2001, a proposal to add section D042.2.8 to the Domestic Mail Manual to identify when an office business center (OBC) (sometimes called corporate executive center) or part of its operation is considered a commercial mail receiving agency for postal purposes. The Postal Service requested [[Page 40664]] comments by August 10, 2001. Due to a request for additional time, the Postal Service is extending the comment period to September 17, 2001."
August 8, 2001 -- The National Postal Forum's Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer, Michael J. Genick, has announced the election of Mary S. Elcano as a director to the NPF Board. Ms. Elcano is a partner of the law firm of Sidley Austin Brown & Wood LLP in Washington D.C.
August 7, 2001 -- According to the Irish Independent, there is a "new alliance to protest post office closures. A powerful rural alliance is to oppose the Government's controversial rescue plan for An Post amid fears it will close over 400 small offices nationwide."
August 7, 2001 -- The U. S. Postal Service is "amending its regulations implementing the Privacy Act of 1974, 5 U.S.C. 552a. This amendment modifies existing regulations (39 CFR 266.9) to exempt system of records, Office of Inspector General-Investigative File System, USPS 300.010, from certain provisions of the Act and corresponding agency regulations."
August 7, 2001 -- The Financial Times has reported that Martin Vial, chairman of French state postal services company La Poste, stated that "the signing of an express parcel delivery agreement with Spanish counterpart Correos could be followed by others in areas such as e-mail and hybrid mail (the preparation of paper correspondence - bills, for example - from documents in electronic format)."
August 7, 2001 -- Newsbytes has reported that "The U.S. Postal Service's planned $1 billion information technology services contract is attracting some of the largest providers of computer hardware and services. Companies known to be competing for the Postal Service's Acquisition for Desktop Extended Processing Equipment II contract include Hewlett-Packard Co. of Palo Alto, Calif., Getronics NV of Amsterdam, and Gateway Inc. of San Diego, and incumbent Compaq Computer Corp. of Houston. The agency intends to issue the solicitation in early August and select a contractor by October."
August 7, 2001 -- According to Asia Pulse, Taiwan's "opposition People First Party (PFP) is preparing to release four policies on cross-Taiwan Strait affairs including its stance on the opening of direct trade, postal and transportation links, a spokesman said."
August 7, 2001 --According to the Agence France Presse (AFP), "The Japanese postal ministry has drawn up a blueprint which will transfer many powers held by parliament to a public corporation which will take over postal operations in 2003, a news report said Tuesday. These powers include closing, merging and opening post offices and buying and selling property. These currently require the approval of the Diet (parliament), the Nihon Keizai Shimbun newspaper said."
August 7, 2001 -- The Washington Post has reported that "before adjourning for its August vacation, Congress moved along several bills aimed at enhancing pay and benefits for government workers. On the pay front, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved a 4.6 percent raise for civil service employees in 2002. The proposed raise, part of a spending bill for the Treasury Department, Postal Service and other agencies, should come up for a Senate vote in September. The House approved a 4.6 percent raise last month."
August 7, 2001 -- M2 Presswire has reported that Britain's "Trade and Industry Secretary Patricia Hewitt today saw for herself how a revolutionary new programme will transform the local Post Office into a hi-tech information centre, with advice available at the touch of a button. The programme is to be piloted across Leicestershire over the next six months."
August 6, 2001 -- According to The Mirror, "An Post workers are considering nationwide strike action in protest at government plans to deregulate the service."
August 6, 2001 -- According to Business Wire, "Southern Airlines Group, the parent organization of China Southern Airlines (NYSE:ZNH) (HKSE:1055) (www.cs-air.com/en), the largest airline in the People's Republic of China, has signed an extensive, multi-faceted business agreement with China Post Airlines -- the first of its kind between a Chinese airlines group and the national postal service. The announcement was made at a news conference here in Beijing."
August 6, 2001 -- According to the Financial Times, "the Royal Mail is hoping to restore its battered reputation by calling in a team of consultants who specialise in bringing "spirituality" to business. After losing thousands of working days to wildcat strikes and being criticised for its "frankly dire" management style in an independent review, the Royal Mail, part of Consignia, is to try a new approach. It is putting its faith in a company that promises to unite employees by helping them find spiritual satisfaction in their work."
August 6, 2001 -- The British newspaper, The Guardian, has reported that "Consignia is planning to cash in on the growing use of the internet in Britain by launching a virtual post office that will allow customers to pay utility and other bills electronically through a single, dedicated website. The service will be free to those paying bills, but billers, such as water and and electricity companies, will be required to pay a small fee on each transaction as well as initial start up costs."
August 6, 2001 -- In a letter to the Financial Times, Gianfranco De Marchi, Head of Communications Department, Poste Italiane wrote that "Poste Italiane has taken giant steps towards recovery since the beginning of its turnaround in 1999, in both economic and quality terms. Total loss has been reduced by 70 per cent; revenues have increased by 20 per cent and amount to Euros 7.1bn; earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation, which were Euros 507m in deficit in 1998, are now Euros 287m, positive for the first time."
August 6, 2001 -- According to Direct Newsline, "the future of the U.S. Postal Service's controversial incentive pay program for senior managers could be decided Monday by its Board of Governors. Consideration what to do with the program--modify it or possibly eliminate it altogether--is the first item on the agenda for the postal board's closed-door meeting in Washington."
August 6, 2001 -- Catalog Age has reported that "Lands’ End has added yet another online shopping feature to its Website, which already offers such functions as virtual models and personal shopping assistants. The apparel cataloger has introduced a search function that allows customer to search for items using specific terms such as 'brown sweater under $50.' The new feature, which is powered by Littleton, MA-based software company EasyAsk, will then show search results for only those items that fit that description."
August 6, 2001 -- Catalog Age also has noted that "concerned about the likelihood of yet another postal rate increase next year as well as about potential privacy roadblocks that could stifle catalog growth, L.L. Bean CEO Chris McCormick hopes to build up a retail chain....In addition to growing via retail, McCormick aims to expand Bean's Internet channel....As for mail order, this year, domestic catalog sales make up 60% of Bean's overall business with retail, Web, international, and corporate sales accounting for the rest. McCormick expects catalog sales to account for just 50% of overall revenue within five years as more customers opt for the Internet and stores. In fact, he feels that e-commerce has cannibalized a good deal of the catalog channel already." Hey, USPS! Get the message?
August 6, 2001 -- Catalog Age has reported that the "British postal service Royal Mail has aggressively sought U.S. catalog business for years with limited success. But since expanding its services during the past few years to include mail processing and freight consolidation, Royal Mail has signed on more U.S. catalogers. Royal Mail's services include taking catalogers' books from their U.S. printers' facilities, batch-processing and consolidating them, and handling other details such as customs clearance. Royal Mail also polybags the catalogs, as required by U.K. regulations. Catalogs arrive in U.K. customers' hands within a week." Munch, munch, munch....Sounds like someone's eating the Postal Service's lunch.
August 6, 2001 -- According to Direct magazine, "the Internet is coming in handy for catalogs summoned by the death knell. Companion Web sites are being kept alive, ringing up needed cash and generating buckets of inquirers and customers who can be spread among sister catalogs....The firm is keeping future marketing plans for the site (www.encorecatalog.com) simple, diverting the resources it would have used for Encore's direct mail into other projects with higher potential return. 'We are completely ruling out mailers' a company exec said. 'We are not willing to take a risk on this effort because we have other objectives that would be a better use of our assets.' The USPS shoul expect to see more cataloguers invest a greater proportion of their marketing dollars to their electronic channels, as postal rates continue their unabated, precipitous climb.
August 5, 2001 -- The U.S. Postal Service soon will publish a proposed rule that provides that "for all sequenced mail, no more than 5% of the total pieces in the entire carrier route mailing may be found out of sequence or sorted to the wrong carrier route." An advance copy of this proposal has been posted on this site.
August 5, 2001 -- A copy of the Postal Service's "Corporate Flats Strategy, July 2001" has been posted on this site. [1.1 MB .pdf file]
August 5, 2001 -- The Postal Service's Mailing Industry Task Force is soliciting customers' input.
August 4, 2001 -- The Hindustan Times has reported that "the Department of Posts [India] in partnership with Nettlinx has launched ePost service, its new Internet initiative, as a pilot project for six months. Nettlinx, an Andhra Pradesh-based Internet service provider, will provide maintenance support and internet connectivity for the service. The highlight of the service is that an e-mail can be sent to people not having a computer or Internet connection."
August 4, 2001 -- Business Times (Malaysia) has reported that "cash-rich Phileo Allied Bhd is proposing to buy national postal service Pos Malaysia Bhd at about 1.4 times net tangible assets (NTA) to turn itself into a transport and logistics entity"
August 4, 2001 -- The U.S. Postal Service has reported that "the Confirm Program has put in place a technical hotline for the MTAC Confirm Working Group. This hotline is your source for information on the proposed ASN specification presented on July 31, 2001; a resource to get your technical questions answered on the ASN specification; and a channel to provide USPS and the Confirm team feedback on the impact of these changes to your business and the technology that supports you. To speak with a member of the Confirm technical team, or to find out more about this service, please contact the hotline at (703) 947-3755, Monday through Friday between 8:00AM EST and 5:30PM EST starting this Friday August 3. The hotline will be operational until 5:30PM on August 10, 2001.
In addition, you can reach the Confirm technical team via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include in the Subject line the letters ASN. This will insure your message is routed to the appropriate technical contact. attached copies of the current Confirm Advance Shipping Notice (ASN) document and a copy of the ASN barcode specifications. On August 7th, the Confirm Team will send via e-mail an updated copy of these documents designated as Release Candidate 1 (RC1) for your review and comment. This release will address comments received from you and your colleagues to date where feasible. The final specification to be implemented for the October 1 launch of Confirm will be provided by e-mail on or before August 14, 2001.
August 3, 2001 -- The Jerusalem Post has reported that "after tackling the domestic telecommunications market and pushing through the Bezeq Law that will allow new operators to launch their services, Communications Minister Reuven Rivlin has sought out a new challenge: Postal Services. This week Rivlin announced that he would hold a public debate on the pros and cons of opening the domestic postal service market to competition, a move called for by a committee headed by David Brodet in Aug. 1999."
August 3, 2001 -- The USPS this week at MTAC announced that it plans to file an expedited case at the PRC this fall to establish a rate schedule for Confirm (Planet Codes) service. An explanatory memo on this matter has been posted on this site. The USPS also announced that it plans to implement an enhanced Confirm production system to go live on October 1st. PostCom members can find this information posted on this site. Also posted on this site is the USPS' Confirm® Advanced Shipping Notice Version 1.0
August 3, 2001 -- According to postal commentator Gene Del Polito, the fatigue and frustration over postal legislative reform is taking its toll. The fact remains, however, that those who business interests who are tied to the viability of a universal mail delivery system "have not yet begun to fight."
August 3, 2001 -- According to Inside.Com, "Postal reform — an issue vital to magazine and newspaper publishers while also something of a political minefield — appeared not too long ago to have a real chance of taking hold....But a combination of politics, internal conflicts and bad timing is beginning to dash those hopes. Considering the trouble the Bush Administration has encountered even with major, front-and-center bills like campaign finance and a patients’ bill of rights, an overhaul of the post office would appear to be a non-starter. And as Congress heads into its August recess with no bill even written, most reform advocates are scaling back their expectations and predicting, at most, the passage of a few interim measures."
August 3, 2001 -- FedEx Custom Critical, an operating subsidiary of FedEx, is offering clients new options when they use the shipping conglomerate's FedEx Custom Critical Web site. A new application will let customers view and print copies of a shipment's bill of lading, proof of delivery and invoice
August 3, 2001 -- According to Business Mailers Review, acting USPS COO David Solomon told the postal board to take the job and shove it and shuffled on back to New York City because pikers on the board refused to give him the slight increase he said he needed to commute between his home in New York and Washington. BMR said that "since the Henderson-era relocation-compensation embarrassment involving the top two financial officers in spring 2000, the board has been reluctant to grant any type of compensation increase or approve any creative packages." They just don't get it. THE POSTAL SERVICE'S COMPENSATION AND INCENTIVE STRUCTURE IS BROKEN!! IT NEEDS FIXING VIA LEGISLATIVE REFORM!!!
August 3, 2001 -- Handlesblatt has reported that "rival logistics companies have urged Germanys Economics Minister Werner Muller to review Deutsche Post AGs exclusive right to provide letter delivery services in Germany. Deutsche Posts exclusive right to deliver letters of under 200 grams has been extended until 2007. Rival companies can only deliver letters falling within this category if they are able to offer some value-added service such as collection of the item for delivery or guaranteeing next-day delivery even if dispatched after 17.00. Deutsche Post claims to be able to deliver 95% of all letters the day after posting. But its competitors argue that this claim is aimed at making value-added services redundant, and they also charge that its misleading." See also the report in the Financial Times Deutschland.
August 3, 2001 -- Postal and logistics company TNT Post Groep NV (TP) has said it will officially change its name to TPG NV.
August 3, 2001 -- The Financial Times has reported that "the Swiss post office has become active on the Dutch corporate mail market through a takeover. Swiss Post announced on Wednesday that the takeover of TNT International Mail Netherlands has been completed. TNT Groep, the Dutch mail, express and logistics group, was forced by the authorities in Brussels to sell TNT International when it formed a joint venture with British Post Office and Singapore Post."
August 3, 2001 -- According to Financial Times Deutschland, research presented by competitors of Deutsche Post, the German post office operator, staff at Deutsche Post are working more slowly than the company admits. The research claims that letters posted in late afternoon or in the evening have a low chance of being delivered the next day. Deutsche Post said the test covered such a small sample that it could not be taken seriously.
August 3, 2001 -- FedEx Custom Critical, Inc., North America's largest time-specific, critical-shipment carrier, has enhanced its Web site (www.fedexcustomcritical.com) with a new application that will enable customers to view and print out copies of a shipment's bill of lading, proof of delivery and invoice. The online shipping documents are part of the Web site's Shipping Toolkit. Customers who register to use the Shipping Toolkit can view and print out copies of a shipment's bill of lading, proof of delivery and invoice.
August 3, 2001 -- For those PostCom members who are interested in business undertaken at the most recent Mailers Technical Advisory Committee, on this site you will find posted reports of the MTAC Alternative Flats Preparation workgroup and the New Container Subgroup.
August 3, 2001 -- -- Alltrista Corporation has been awarded the contract to supply the United States Postal Service with its fiscal year 2002 postal pallet requirements. Based upon proposed quantities, the estimated value of the contract, which runs from September 2001 to August 2002, is approximately $11 million.
August 2, 2001 -- Les Echos has reported that "the European Commission has accused the Belgian government of failing to ensure that the nation's post and telecoms services regulator (IBTP) operates independently of the Belgian post office (La Poste). More specifically, the Commission claimed that the Belgian post and telecoms minister, Rik Daems, acts as both a postal services operator in the public sector and a regulator of this sector."
August 2, 2001 -- According to Les Echos, "French post office La Poste has confirmed that 'it is not planning any scenario to withdraw' from rural areas."
August 2, 2001 -- The Irish Government has rejected a request to intervene to bail out troubled An Post, the Irish post office.
August 1, 2001 -- Dow Jones has reported that "the European Union Commission has given its seal of approval to a global network that authenticates electronic signatures for financial and e-commerce transactions. Identrus, which is incorporated under U.S. law, was originally founded by ABN AMRO Holding NV, Bankers Trust, Bank of America Corp., Barclays PLC , Bayerische Hypo- und Vereinsbank AG , J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., Citibank, and Deutsche Bank AG. The number of participants has risen to 21 since the venture was notified to the Commission for clearance in April 1999. Identrus enables participating financial institutions to operate as individual and competing certification authorities for the purposes of secure e-commerce transactions. Identrus will face "competitive checks" from competing systems being developed by financial industry ventures, postal authorities and telecommunications companies."
August 1, 2001 -- According to Financial Times Deutschland, "Postbank and DHL, the two subsidiaries of German post office operator Deutsche Post, are to manage the finance and logistics division of the spare part unit of Fiat, the Italian carmaker.A new company has been set up to this end, of which Fiat will hold 19 per cent, DHL will hold 19.9 per cent and Postbank will own 29.1 per cent."
August 1, 2001 -- First Data Merchant Services, a subsidiary of First Data Corp., has announced an agreement to launch a joint venture with Deutsche Postbank, a subsidiary of Deutsche Post, Germany's postal service organization. Deutsche Postbank is one of the largest banks in Germany and a controlling shareholder of the third largest debit network in Germany. This alliance will offer merchant processing services for credit card and other electronic payments. The business is expected to start in the third quarter of this year following regulatory clearance from Germany and the European Union.