Postal News Reported During April 2002
April 30, 2002 -- The United States Postal Service (USPS) will be prequalifying suppliers for a forthcoming production of Express Mail labels (forms). The contemplated five-year contract is for the manufacturing of labels that meet or exceed USPS requirements. This contract will require a supplier fully capable of producing more than nine million of these labels per month. The majority of labels produced will be delivered to Postal Service fulfillment centers in IN and CA. Other labels will be imprinted for direct fulfillment to customers. Order imprinting and fulfillment for labels is also required. The supplier must have the ability to electronically receive orders, imprint labels for individual customers, have the barcode numbers tracked and traced for these labels, and provide reports showing customer fulfillment and label usage by customers.
April 30, 2002 -- Airborne Express has reported "productivity gains and cost controls led to improved earnings for the first quarter.shipment volume in its deferred product category of ground delivery showed substantial growth during the quarter, reaching over 115,000 shipments per day in March. Ground delivery (GDS), introduced in April of last year, generated average shipments per day of 92,000 for the quarter, well above the expected 60,000. The growth is primarily attributed to the addition of new customers. Shipments of airborne@home, the company's B2C solution, averaged 93,000 per day, beating the company's estimates of 90,000."
April 30, 2002 -- The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (Germany) has reported that "the EU competition commission has reacted to a rumour that Deutsche Post AG, the German postal service operator, is likely to face a substantial fine in May, or in June at the latest, by stating that it has not yet decided upon the sum to be paid. The possible fine relates to allegations of subsidies detrimental to competition in the sector. Furthermore, the commission reports that it has not yet decided whether to demand repayment of the alleged state subsidies."
April 30, 2002 -- The Irish Times has reported that Irish "Senator Joe Costello of the Labour Party has asked the High Court for an injunction restraining An Post from attaching any political slogan to postal packets sent by members of the public. He is objecting to a contract between An Post and Fianna Fáil under which post is stamped with the words: 'Fianna Fáil, the republican party - a lot done - more to do', over the three-month period, March to May 2002."
April 30, 2002 -- The Financial Times has reported that "Deutsche Post, the German postal and logistics group, reported a 22 per cent drop in net profit for the first quarter, but gathered global strength from last year's acquisition of express postal group, DHL International." See also the report in the Journal of Commerce.
April 30, 2002 -- The Financial Times has asked: "Talking of non-execs, what about Allan '11 jobs' Leighton? Perhaps things aren't so bad at Consignia, the outfit he chairs. Despite haemorrhaging Pounds 1.5m a day, the mail operator yesterday managed to maintain its tradition of sponsoring the annual London Press Club knees-up at Claridge's. But only a miracle is likely to transform the post office's parlous finances - and it seems that is just what the famously football-loving Leighton is hoping for."
April 30, 2002 -- South American Business Information has reported that "with the use of checks in Brazil having decreased by 60% since the mid-90s, the companies which produce them have been turning their attention to other areas, such as magnetic cards, meal and bus tickets and more specialized graphics services. The Canadian Moore company has left the business of making bank cheques altogether and is focusing on 'special products', such as financial papers and lunch vouchers.The ABNC (American Bank Note Company) has seen the share of its income from cheques fall from 40% to 12%."
April 30, 2002 -- The Washington Times has noted that "foreign companies that want to be players in Washington always feel pressure in the nation's capital to demonstrate their American credentials, and Deutsche Post World Net is no exception. The German logistics giant, which employs 16,000 people in the United States already, has good reasons to have an office in Washington, according to Wolfgang Pordzik, its top American official. But in opening its new lobbying shop this year, Mr. Pordzik opted for an extra touch: humanitarian aide in the service of the battle against terrorism. Deutsche Post is arranging for the shipment of 1,000 tons of wheat to Afghanistan from Grand Forks, N.D., to feed war widows and their children. North Dakota also happens to be the home turf of Democratic Sen. Kent Conrad, chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, who has taken a strong interest in rebuilding the war-torn nation."
April 30, 2002 -- Dow Jones has reported that:
April 30, 2002 -- The Financial Times has reported that "Consignia has added Post Office foreign exchange services to the list of busi-nesses it intends to out-source as part of a Pounds 1.2bn cost-saving plan. The group, which is losing Pounds 1.5m a day, has struck a deal with First Rate Enterprises, a subsid-iary of Bank of Ireland."
April 30, 2002 -- Hays DX, the UK's leading private sector mail company, has applied to the Postal Regulator, Postcomm, for an extension of its existing licence to expand its business mail delivery service in the event of an official Royal Mail strike. If Postcomm approves the application, Hays DX will be able to limit the damaging effects of such action on the business community by delivering business mail to all business addresses in 50 city centres throughout the UK.
April 29, 2002 -- Soooo. As the News-Gazette (Champaign, IL) wonders: This is the way you should do targeted direct marketing, right? NOT!
April 29, 2002 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that Purolator Courier, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Canada Post, is endeavorling to "migrate from a physical, asset-based group to an integrated service provider. That puts Purolator on the path followed by its larger U.S. rivals, United Parcel Service and FedEx. Purolator had sold its U.S. express business to Emery Worldwide in 1987 and has since handled trans-border traffic through an alliance with Airborne Express. Purolator has been working with DHL Worldwide Express for its express courier traffic outside North America."
April 29, 2002 -- CheckFree Corporation has announced revenues of $124.6 million for the third quarter ended March 31, 2002, compared to $113.1 million for the same quarter of fiscal 2001. Total revenues for the quarter increased 10 percent over the comparative quarter of last year. According to ace postal analyst Alan Robinson, "Checkfree is now generating more revenue than their out of pocket costs. They are not showing profits yet due to the huge amount of depreciation they are writing down. The growth figures are truly astounding. For the quarter, CheckFree processed about 82 million transactions, an increase of nine percent from the 75 million transactions processed in the second quarter of fiscal 2002 and a 32 percent increase over the 62 million transactions processed in the third quarter of fiscal 2001 This represents a reduction in First Class Single Piece Mail by 80 million pieces a year. This is a reduction in First Class Single Piece revenue by $27 million. Sequential quarterly subscriber growth rate for the third quarter was five percent. A total of 6.3 million subscribers are now enabled for these services, compared with 4.8 million at the end of the third quarter of fiscal 2001, which represents 31 percent annual growth. This means that that Checkfree alone serves nearly 2% of all households."
April 29, 2002 -- According to the Federal Times, "the U.S. Postal Service plans to launch a new mail tracking system this fall that will give customers and the agency real-time data about where mail is between drop-off and delivery. The technology-based system, which has been tested for several years by about 600 mailers, allows senders or receivers to track mail as it is shipped, mailed and delivered. Postal Service officials and mailers said the system, called Confirm, will give customers useful information on the status of mail they have shipped or are receiving."
April 29, 2002 -- Dow Jones has reported that "China's postal monopoly has extended its deadline for express delivery companies to comply with new restrictions on their businesses, in the first sign it may be softening its stance in a regulatory dispute with its competitors."
April 29, 2002 -- As Traffic World has noted, "their partnership has lasted longer than most marriages. They have weathered deregulation, price wars, unwavering competition, persistent takeover threats, roller coaster stock prices and labor unrest, but through it all Robert S. Cline and Robert G. Brazier steered Airborne Express through the storms. Chairman and vice chairman, CEO and president, the pair, both 64, have led Airborne for 37 years. Both are retiring after this week's board meeting, leaving Airborne in the hands of their handpicked heirs."
April 29, 2002 -- Frankfurter Allgemeine has reported that "Germany's publicly controlled postal system, Deutsche Post, is facing by next month or June at the latest a new multimillion-euro fine by the European Union over its continuing subsidies to its money-losing package delivery service. The officials, close to the EU's competition commissioner, Mario Monti, said Deutsche Post was continuing to violate EU competition policy by using revenues from its monopoly on most first-class letters to keep the package service afloat and undercut private-sector competitors."
April 29, 2002 -- The Washington Times has reported that "the European Union is demanding that foreign companies be allowed to compete with the U.S. Postal Service as part of World Trade Organization talks that began last year."
April 29, 2002 -- DM News has reported that "L.L. Bean plans to reduce the number of catalogs it sends from the current 95 titles." Its CEO, Chris McCormick, said 'we'll reduce that dramatically in 2002.' McCormick said he is looking forward to 20 percent growth in the Internet channel this year."
April 29, 2002 -- According to the Journal of Commerce, "time is running out for FedEx Corp., United Parcel Service and other companies to avoid a looming trade clash with China. The dispute is focused on regulations issued by the Chinese postal service, known as China Post, that would effectively give it jurisdiction over international express companies and freight forwarders doing business there. The agency set April 30 as the deadline for the foreign companies to apply for so-called 'entrustment certificates.' The express companies, which also include DHL Worldwide Express and TNT, are refusing to comply with that demand."
April 29, 2002 -- Need any of the following: USPS
Transformation Plan (Report 2002)]; [USPS
Transformation Plan (Potter Speech 2002)]; [U.S.
Mailing Industry Task Force (Report 2001)]; [U.S.
Mailing Industry Task Force (Press Kit 2001)];
[Canada Post Annual Report]; [Deutsche Post Annual Report]; [Finland Post (Posti) Annual Report]; [TPG (Netherlands) Annual Report]; [USPS Annual Report? If so, you can always find convenient navigational links on PostInsight.Com.
April 29, 2002 -- CNN.com has reported that "not only are more Americans trading pens and checkbooks for computer keystrokes, big telecoms and utilities are also saving bundles by offering consumers online payment alternatives. On June 30, the price of a first-class U.S. postage stamp jumps from 34 to 37 cents. That may not exercise the average consumer. But the increase will devour revenues at bill-mailing corporations like long distance carrier AT&T Corp., which mails 49 million paper bills per month at a cost of about 40 cents apiece. The extra postage will cost AT&T around $1 million a month."
April 29, 2002 -- The Mainichi Daily News (Japan) has reported that "the Cabinet of Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi endorsed two of the four bills that have been drafted to set up a public corporation to take over the three main services of the post office and to enable private companies to provide mail delivery. The remaining two will be approved on May 7." See also the report in Japan Times.
April 29, 2002 -- According to the Evening Standard (U.K.), "the [British] postal workers' union wants planned competition for the industry to be scrapped. The calls are backed by an opinion poll showing that most people do not believe Royal Mail should have to compete with private firms."
April 29, 2002 -- The Warsaw Business Journal has reported that "international express carriers will shift a large portion of their business from air to road delivery once Poland joins the European Union (EU), lifting customs clearance for goods destined for EU member countries and sharply reducing waiting times at the Polish-German border."
April 28, 2002 -- The Tampa Tribune says "Welcome to the new age of the U.S. Postal Service, which recently opened its ninth "contract unit'' in the Tampa area at Mobil On The Run at 8606 Citrus Park Drive. That's right: a miniature post office right at a gas station."
April 28, 2002 -- According to the Kyodo news service, Japanese "Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Shinzo Abe said Sunday he expects private firms to enter into the mail delivery service after a set of bills on postal services deregulation is passed through the Diet. 'We'll carry out what can be done with government ordinances, ministerial decrees and a manual. We hope the private sector will exercise ingenuity,' Abe said on a Fuji Television program."
April 28, 2002 -- According to the U.S. Postal Service, "precautionary testing for the presence of B. anthracis contamination at the Southern Connecticut Processing and Distribution Center April 21 resulted in three positive samples out of 101 taken in 71 locations in the facility's high-bay area. State health officials indicate that there is no immediate health risk to employees and do not recommend the distribution of antibiotics to employees."
April 28, 2002 -- Eyefortransport.com has noted that "TPG, formerly known as TNT Post Group, operates the Dutch postal system. It said mail in the Netherlands remains solid with good revenue growth and stable margins. Although express volumes were lower than last year, TPG said the express business performed strongly, especially in Europe. Organic growth in logistics improved but that market remains difficult, with low growth in volumes."
April 28, 2002 -- The Daily Yomiuri (Japan) has reported that Japanese "Cabinet approval of part of a package of bills on postal service deregulation has heightened concerns among post offices in underpopulated areas about the possibility that they might suffer in fierce competition with the private sector. Officials of such post offices have expressed worry that the management of the new postal corporation might respond to the pressures of a deregulated business environment by cutting some post offices."
April 28, 2002 -- According to veteran postal reported Bill McAllister, "stamps get relatively little attention in the 400-page transition plan submitted to Congress April 4 by the United States Postal Service. The document focused on the overhead costs of selling stamps -- not on how they look. The report says every dollar in stamp sales at post office counters cost the USPS 24¢. That compares to a cost of 10¢ per dollar for stamps sold through contract post offices and 14¢ through vending machines. The cheapest way to sell stamps is through consignment to grocery chains and other retail outlets, the report says. That method cost the Postal Service only 1.6¢ (about 2¢) for every dollar of revenue it raises through those sales. Because 80 percent of all stamps are sold over postal counters, the report urges the USPS to make efforts to sell more stamps through consignment."
April 28, 2002 -- "If you're going to compete like a private business, you shouldn't also have the advantages of a federal agency." That, according to Hoovers Online, is "the message United Parcel Service is sending to Congress. Earlier this month, the U.S. Postal Service submitted a financial transformation plan to Congress that would allow it to operate more in the manner of a for-profit business."
April 28, 2002 -- Bloomberg has reported that "Deutsche Post AG, Europe's largest postal service, plans to invest more than 1.5 billion euros ($1.4 billion) in China within the next three years to become the country's No. 1 logistics company. The German company plans to expand its logistics and express- courier divisions DHL and Danzas and form joint ventures with Chinese partners to enter the postal market."
April 27, 2002 -- According to Business Week, "the king of air-express shippers has launched an aggressive ground war against UPS. It's a package investors seem to like."
April 27, 2002 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that "time is running out for FedEx Corp., United Parcel Service and other companies to avoid a looming trade clash with China. The dispute is focused on regulations issued by the Chinese postal service, known as China Post, that would effectively give it jurisdiction over international express companies and freight forwarders doing business there."
April 27, 2002 -- The National Business Review (New Zealand) has reported that "Parliament's Finance and Expenditure Committee has unanimously recommended that the Auditor-General undertake a management review of New Zealand Post's international postal consultancy, Transend. The committee says that after reviewing Transend's activities in Europe and South Africa it has a number of concerns and has received wide-ranging evidence suggesting Transend's management systems need improvement. The Committee has recommended the Auditor-General undertake an audit of Transend to ensure its policies and procedures are adequate. It has also criticised New Zealand Post for its response to a request for information and has initiated a wider inquiry into the parliamentary scrutiny of State Owned Enterprises."
April 27, 2002 -- Dow Jones has reported that "[Japanese] Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi stressed Friday his determination to get a package of bills on reform of postal services through the Diet during the current session. The premier described the bills as the 'centerpiece of administrative reform,' saying, 'I won't budge an inch.'"
April 27, 2002 -- The Daily Yomiuri has reported that "Keiji Aritomi, president of Yamato Transport Co., said Friday his company would not enter the mail delivery business even if the bill setting conditions for private firms to begin offering mail services, submitted by the government to the Diet earlier in the same day, is passed into law. Yamato, the largest home delivery service firm in the country, is the only private company that has expressed strong interest in providing a mail delivery service."
April 27, 2002 -- According to the BBC Monitoring Service, "Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi has suggested he may reshuffle his cabinet before he steps down, reneging on his pledge to ignore the longtime practice in Japanese politics in order to carry out reforms such as divisive postal service deregulation."
April 27, 2002 -- Les Echos (France) has reported that "Daniel Caille, CEO of La Poste, the French national postal service, has resigned after barely a year in the post. It is not yet clear whether the departure is voluntary. Some observers say Mr. Caille, whose experience was in the private sector, may have found it difficult to effect change in such a weighty public company. Chairman Martin Vial is also prone to reshuffling the executive committee. It is unlikely that the group will find a replacement for Mr. Vial from outside. Internally, the name of Georges Lefebvre, assistant managing director for human resources, has been mentioned. Mr. Lefebvre is close to Mr. Vial and has spent all his 20-year career at La Poste."
April 27, 2002 -- The Kennebec Journal and Sentinel has reported that "budget cuts by the U.S. Postal Service might signal the end of a widely-known local tradition. The mailboat route on Great Pond featured in the Academy Award-winning movie 'On Golden Pond' may sink because of the service's budget crunch."
April 27, 2002 -- The Irish Times has reported that:
April 27, 2002 -- John Oliver, Vice President for Government Affairs of L.L. Bean, Inc. and President of the Mail Order Association of America, has announced that Richard A. Barton has been named consultant to MOAA effective May 1, 2002. Barton retired last year as senior vice-president for congressional relations at the Direct Market Association after representing the association in Washington for twenty-three years.
April 26, 2002 -- According to ePostalNews, "Singapore Post and its joint venture partner Cisco Computer Security have put their two-year-old ID.Safe Pte digital certificate operation to sleep. Apparently, the ambitious venture, whose goal was to certify, verify and authenticate electronic transactions, has proven to be a commercial failure."
April 26, 2002 -- In its 2001 Annual Report tabled today in Parliament, Canada Post Corporation reported a net income of $67 million on revenues of $4.4 billion for the fiscal period ended December 31, 2001. That's an increase of $30 million from the $37 million recorded in the comparative period a year ago. The Corporation changed its fiscal year end from the last Saturday in March to the last day in December, resulting in a nine-month fiscal period from April 1, 2001 to December 31, 2001.
April 26, 2002 -- The Canadian Union of Postal Workers have responded to Canada Post's corporate plan, which has dramatically reduced profit projections. "Canada Post is playing down its financial picture because we are heading into a bargaining year," said Deborah Bourque, National President of CUPW. "Last year they crowed about their profits and handed a huge sum over to the federal government in dividends and income tax. They also projected profits of $170 million over 2002 and 2003. But this year Canada Post is saying that it is only going to make $58 million during this two-year period. "The corporation is crying poor because they know they are going to have to face us across the negotiating table soon," said Bourque.
April 26, 2002 -- The Kyodo news service has reported that Japanese "Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's cabinet has endorsed part of a package of bills on postal service deregulation, dismissing fierce opposition from some heavyweights in his ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP)."
April 26, 2002 -- Xinhua has reported that "U.S. Republican Senator Bill Frist has warned that biological terrorism remains a serious threat to the country. "The risk is real. The risk is increasing. Our vulnerability remains high," Frist, a transplant surgeon from Tennessee, said at a briefing here. Describing last fall's anthrax attack on America as being "very successful," Frist said that the attacker is still at large. More than 20 people became ill and five died of the anthrax attack through mails. No arrests have been made though the Postal Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) offered a 2. 5 million U.S. dollars reward for information leading to the arrest of the attacker. Frist claimed that between 11 and 17 countries either have stockpiled biological weapons or have bioweapons programs, including such threats as anthrax, botulinum toxin, tularemia, smallpox, plague and ebola."
April 26, 2002 -- The latest issue of the PostCom Bulletin is available on this site.
April 26, 2002 -- CEP News (Courier- Express- and Postal-Market News) has reported that:
Check out the latest issue of CEP News for the details on this and other news items affecting the courier, express, and postal market around the world.
April 26, 2002 -- According to postal commentator Gene Del Polito, "if you haven't yet read the plan, you should, not only to get a better idea of how the Postal Service views its own long-term future, but also to get a heads-up on some of the strategies the USPS plans to employ to wring out additional operational savings over the next few years."
April 26, 2002 -- ThisIsLocalLondon (U.K.) has reported that "postal workers across London may strike in a dispute over the dismissal of two of their fellow employees. Consignia fired Mick and Tom Doherty for alleged involvement in football hooliganism following an Arsenal game during the UEFA 2000 tournament in Copenhagen. The charges against them were dropped but Consignia has refused to reinstate the brothers, despite support from an employment tribunal.
April 26, 2002 -- ZDNet News has reported that "amid booming international sales, evidence is mounting that Amazon.com plans to launch a Canadian site this summer. Amazon is in talks with Canada Post, the Canadian equivalent to the U.S. Postal Service, to handle much of the distribution and fulfillment of the planned site, according to a source familiar with the company."
April 25, 2002 -- Teamsters President James P. Hoffa said in a letter to President Bush that his union was "very concerned with the activities of the United States Postal Service (USPS). For years," he said, "this government agency has been leveraging its monopoly on First-Class Mail and other monopoly products against private delivery companies, like United Parcel Service (UPS), where more than 200,000 of our members are employed."
April 25, 2002 -- Dow Jones has reported that "Dutch postal and logistics company TPG NV (TP) has said it will shortly announce an acquisition in Scandinavia to strengthen its logistics unit. TPG reportedly is still looking for logistics acquisitions in Germany, but that 'process is slow.'" See also the report in the Journal of Commerce.
April 25, 2002 -- CNN has reported that "irradiated mail -- believed by some congressional staffers to be responsible for illnesses ranging from skin irritation to headaches and nausea -- does not contain substances at levels known to cause health problems, a federal study concludes."
April 25, 2002 -- According to the Kyodo news service, "Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi on Thursday called on his Liberal Democratic Party's (LDP) partners in the tripartite ruling bloc to cooperate on quickly enacting four postal services deregulation bills.
April 25, 2002 -- The Baltimore Business Journal has reported that "Northrop Grumman Corp.'s Baltimore-based Electronic Systems Sector is testing an after-hours mail pickup system for the U.S. Postal Service."
April 25, 2002 -- Hong Kong iMail has reported that a government Audit Report has suggested that the "Post Office's twice-a-day delivery should be reduced to one to help offset an operating loss of HK$103 million last fiscal year. Director of Audit Dominic Chan said yesterday the move would save HK$38.2 million by redeploying 133 postmen. The report also called on the office to review overtime allowances as it found overtime payouts would amount to HK$21.3 million at 2001-02 prices."
April 25, 2002 -- El Pais (Spain) has reported that "Correos y Telegrafos, the Spanish post office, registered a ten-fold increase in its net operating profit in 2001, to 25.9m euros, despite the slowdown in the growth of postal activity."
April 25, 2002 -- More from the Financial Times (U.K.) on the plan by British "postal workers to bring mail services to a halt on May 8 in the first national postal strike for six years."
April 25, 2002 -- The Associated Press has reported that "the Postal Service has reached a tentative five-year contract agreement with one of its largest unions, the National Association of Letter Carriers. The last few contracts between the post office and letter carriers were settled by arbitration when the two sides could not reach agreement. The new contract will be retroactive to last November, when the previous contract expired. The contract, which calls for raises totaling 7.1 percent over the term of the deal, plus cost-of-living increases, now goes to the 238,000 city letter carriers for ratification. Currently letter carriers earn between $32,156 and $43,660 annually depending on grade and length of service."
April 25, 2002 -- The Postal Service's inspector general says the agency could save millions of dollars by buying trailers instead of leasing them. Purchasing the trailers would save $85 million over 12 years.
April 25, 2002 -- A copy of the agenda for the May meeting of the U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors has been posted on the Postal Service's RIBBS web site.
April 25, 2002 -- The U.S. Postal Service is requesting comments from the mailing industry (especially the presort software industry) as to how Bound Printed Matter (BPM) mailings with individually addressed "firm pieces'' can be prepared under current eligibility and mail preparation standards. The term "firm piece'' is generally used to describe a mailpiece that consists of more than one component (all destined for the same delivery address, which is often a company or business firm) composited into a single mailpiece. The existence of firm packages in Periodicals mailings is due to separate per-copy and per-addressed piece rates that do not exist within other classes of mail. The Postal Service is not proposing to change Domestic Mail Manual (DMM) standards in this notice. Comments must be received on or before May 22, 2002.
April 25, 2002 -- Reuters has reported that "Dutch postal, express and logistics company TPG NV has appointed Jan Haars as its new chief financial officer. He will assume his post from August this year. Jan Haars who is currently group treasurer with Anglo-Dutch food and consumer products group Unilever , will succeed Peter Bakker who was appointed chairman and CEO of TPG in November last year."
April 24, 2002 -- The Sweetwater Reporter has noted that "the United States Postal Service recently announced a proposed Transformation Plan in a high-level meeting that it hopes will preserve universal mail delivery and strengthen the mail system. The new model, called a Commercial Government Enterprise (CGE), would create a government-owned entity, but one that enjoys some of the operational and financial flexibility found in the private sector....There are groups that want a presidential postal commission established that will provide creative leadership on major postal transformation issues. They also believe that an independent panel of distinguished Americans appointed by the president should be able to look at all the facts on the Postal Service, determine its appropriate direction."
April 24, 2002 -- According to the Columbus Business Journal, "For most companies, the quest for new customers is a never-ending one. Despite its negative rap, direct e-mail marketing presents a marketing opportunity worth exploring. Like traditional direct mail, direct e-mail involves the promotion of a product or service to a list of people. As with traditional postal-based direct mail, the list or lists that you use can greatly affect the success of your marketing campaign."
April 24, 2002 -- More than a dozen tractor-trailers are crossing the nation to rally Teamsters behind winning a strong contract at United Parcel Service (UPS). The UPS Contract Caravans are leading rallies at local unions and engaging members in the contract campaign on their way to Las Vegas, Nevada for the Teamsters Unity Conference and Special Convention.
April 24, 2002 -- Trouble within the ranks? In a communication to his members, National Association of Postmasters of the U.S. President Wally Olihovik said that he was “disappointed with National League of Postmasters President Joe Cinadr’s comments in the April 22 issue of the Federal Times concerning doubts he may have regarding NAPUS and the League forming one, new Postmaster organization....Although disappointed, I must confess I am not surprised by the recent direction the League is taking regarding one Postmaster organization. There are some who say the League has lost the will to form one Postmaster organization, while others believe the ‘powers that be’ within the League—not the League’s rank-and-file membership—never had the will in the first place.”
April 24, 2002 -- Reuters has reported that:
April 24, 2002 -- Kuensel Online has reported that "a three-year joint project between International Telecommunication Union and Universal Postal Union will bring e-mail and e-post through post offices in the developing world. Bhutan will be the first country to benefit. The project was agreed during the recent World Telecommunication Development Conference in Istanbul, Turkey."
April 24, 2002 -- For the second consecutive year, members of the National Small Shipments Traffic Conference (NASSTRAC) have selected three operating companies of FedEx Corporation to receive the organization's Carrier of the Year award in their respective categories. Honored were FedEx Ground and the FedEx Freight operating companies Viking Freight and American Freightways. FedEx Corp. is rebranding the latter two operating companies as FedEx Freight beginning in June. NASSTRAC's annual awards recognize a carrier's industry leadership and excellence in innovation, customer service, technology and service performance.
April 24, 2002 -- The National Review has asked: "What is a monopoly?" Why? Because it says that "the attorneys general of the nine states and the District of Columbia who are now launching their latest legal attack on Microsoft apparently have no idea. Because if they did, they would be focusing their ire not on Microsoft, but on the U.S. Postal Service, which has recently announced another $0.03 increase on the price of first class stamps (from $0.34 to $0.37 cents). The Postal Service, by every possible meaning of the word, is a monopoly — and these attorneys general are going after the wrong entity."
April 24, 2002 -- According to the Daily Yomiuri (Japan), Yamato Transport Co. has informed Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's close aides of its conclusion that it would be difficult for the company to enter the mail delivery service, expressing dissatisfaction with the four bills on postal service deregulation to be submitted to the current Diet session. Yamato, the largest home delivery service firm in the country, is considering entering the mail delivery market. If the firm gives up the plan, it is highly likely that no other private businesses will enter the market even after it is opened to the private sector. In that event, the meaning of the bills would be questioned."
April 23, 2002 -- At the National Postal Forum in San Diego, Postmaster General John E. Potter told mailing industry representatives that the universal mail service their companies and the American public rely on will be in jeopardy, unless there is a fundamental restructuring of the legislative and regulatory framework within which the Postal Service must operate. But a blueprint for change is on the table - a Transformation Plan for the U.S. Postal Service. Submitted to Congress earlier this month, the plan offers recommendations for fundamental long-term legislative reform, while addressing more immediate steps the Postal Service can take to reduce costs and foster growth. A complete copy of Potter's Forum speech is on the Postal Service's web site.
April 23, 2002 -- The Asahi Shimbun has reported that "the [Japanese] postal ministry has shelved key decisions in the bills to reform the state-run postal system, because it sees no immediate solution to conflicts of opinion between the prime minister, the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and related ministries. The key issues to be shelved include the level of mandatory contributions the postal corporation would make to state coffers in lieu of tax, and premiums for deposit insurance by the government. Also left undecided will be rules regarding installing mail collection boxes under which private-sector entities are licensed to operate mail delivery. The definition of what constitutes mail to be delivered by such services, will also be decided later."
April 23, 2002 -- Reuters has reported that "German Health Minister Ulla Schmidt has given strong support for legalizing postal delivery of prescription drugs, which has been a major roadblock for online drug sales in Germany."
April 23, 2002 -- Trucking Info.Com has reported that "Prophesy Transportation Solutions, Bloomfield, Conn., has introduced ShipperMail, a management system for bulk mail and small parcel shippers. ShipperMail is designed for shippers who truck mail directly to specific postal BMCs (Bulk Mail Centers) and SCFs (Sectional Center Facilities) to realize distribution savings through DDU (Destination Delivery Unit) rates. ShipperMail consolidates shipments into efficient truckloads and LTL pool shipments. According to Prophesy, ShipperMail will save users between 10 and 20 percent on total transportation costs."
April 23, 2002 -- Check Pitney Bowes' postal news web site at http://www.postinsight.pb.com/. Here you will find:
April 23, 2002 -- The new rate increase that goes into June 30 also includes additional rates and surcharges that will cost you up to $120 per 1,000 if the pieces can't be sorted by USPS' machines. It's called the Nonmachineable Surcharge, and it's one of the biggest impacts that will affect business mailers in this summer's new postal regs and rate hike. To help mailers cope with this pitfall and many others Postal World is hosting an urgent conference, Postage Rate Hikes: Steps to Take Now to Blunt the Impact, June 7, at the AMA Conference Center in Washington, D.C. Go to: http://www.zip.ucg.com.
April 22, 2002 -- Congratulations to the following on the honors they received at the National Postal Forum in San Diego:
April 22, 2002 -- The Mailing Industry Task Force, lead by a Steering Committee comprised of senior executives representing all segments of the mailing industry, today outlined its progress in making the mail more valuable and customer-friendly. The Task Force was formed in March 2001 to unite the industry and deliver new products and service improvements that better meet evolving customer needs.
April 22, 2002 -- The New Zealand Herald has reported that "the European Commission has drawn up a wide-ranging wish list of concessions it wants from New Zealand in services negotiations under the Doha trade round. The service sectors in which it wants overseas firms to be free to compete on the same terms as New Zealand ones include water and wastewater services, postal services and research and development."
April 22, 2002 -- The Daily Yomiuri (Japan) has reported that "the Liberal Democratic Party unofficially decided Monday to allow the Cabinet to adopt a set of bills Friday on the establishment of a postal corporation and the liberalization of mail services and to submit the bills to the Diet."
April 22, 2002 -- According to Dow Jones, "the U.S. will continue to press China to ensure that the express delivery market remains open to competition, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Donald Evans said Monday before meetings with senior officials in China. China Post, which is both a state-run postal monopoly and market regulator, sparked an international dispute in February by ordering express delivery companies to stop handling letters and packages under 500 grams by May 6. The U.S. and the European Union are intensively lobbying to persuade China's government to overturn the regulations and keep the postal market open."
April 22, 2002 -- Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (Germany) has reported that "Deutsche Post AG, the German postal service operator, is hoping for substantial improvement in its business in the US over the coming years."
April 22, 2002 -- The Financial Times (U.K.) has reported that British "postal workers are threatening a wave of 24-hour national strikes unless Consignia gives in to their demands on new delivery times. The Communication Workers Union has given Consignia, which runs the Royal Mail, until the end of today to respond to its request that the operator should test several new delivery structures."
April 22, 2002 -- Lloyd's List (U.K.) has reported that "the British post office Consignia has seen its expensively acquired European parcel network ranked bottom in a customer survey against its top six rivals. Independent market analysts Datamonitor, in a survey of 650 leading manufacturers and retailers, rated Consignia&'s General Logistics Systems seventh for overall performance. United Parcel Service came top, followed by French post office GeoPost. TNT, owned by the Dutch post office, was third, followed by DHL, Deutsche Post&'s Euroexpress and FedEx. The latest survey is bad news for loss-making Consignia, whose domestic package delivery business in Britain, Parcelforce, is at present shedding 6,700 jobs and closing 50 depots."
April 22, 2002 -- The Miami Herald has reported that "the corner mailboxes are disappearing. The big blue collection boxes, originally dispersed to save you a trip to the post office, have become, well, rather inconvenient. E-mail has reduced the number of personal letters sent with the U.S. Postal Service. And an increasing number of people now pay their bills on the Internet."
April 22, 2002 -- According to the Washington Business Journal, "the techies call it a killer app. Marketers see it as an irresistible communications tool. The consensus is it's definitely a juggernaut in the making. E-mail marketing is taking over because it just makes sense. Printed newsletters are dying for the obvious reasons (cost, development time, disinterested readers). Printed direct mail more often than not goes directly from postal carrier to wastebin unopened. In the meantime, the e-mail versions can be produced more quickly and distributed in a more timely fashion. This means frequency is easy to maintain. Putting out regular monthly newsletters no longer has to involve pain, suffering and delay. E-newsletters cost less to develop."
April 22, 2002 -- Well...it looks as if the Postal Service is using its area vice presidents as the vehicle by which it takes its case for postal reform to the American public. For instance, in the Milwaukee Business Journal, the USPS' Great Lakes Area Vice President wrote the following: "In response to this growing crisis, the Postal Service board of governors and the Postmaster General have delivered a comprehensive and forward-looking transformation plan to Congress. The plan offers a much-needed new business model and calls for legislation to change the 1970 Postal Reorganization Act. The Postal Service will be able to act like a 21st century business and will preserve universal mail delivery."
April 22, 2002 -- According to the San Antonio Express-News, "when it comes to mail delivery, the United States has come a long way since the days of the Pony Express. With rare exceptions, Americans don't have to wait weeks, or months, to receive letters or other correspondence. But the much faster mail delivery of the 21st century doesn't necessarily mean the U.S. Postal Service is a model of efficiency. Missing mail, late deliveries and other headaches are still common. In addition, the U.S. Postal Service is often in the red."
April 22, 2002 -- For a posting of all the major speeches presented at the San Diego National Postal Forum, be sure to check the PostInsight web site.
April 22, 2002 -- Government Computer News has noted that "the U.S. Postal Service, which has been criticized for its business practices by Congress and the General Accounting Office, is running a pilot that uses IT to better allocate resources, limit overtime for workers and provide businesses with important information about their bulk mail."
April 22, 2002 -- The Nihon Keizai Shimbun has reported that:
April 22, 2002 -- The Asahi Shimbun (Japan) has noted that "the [Japanese] Liberal Democratic Party political tribe zoku-giin --legislators working for the special interests--of the postal business stubbornly oppose a bill submitted to the Diet which seeks to open up the letter delivery arm of Japan's postal services to the private sector....We believe the true intentions of the LDP zoku-giin in opposing this legislation are to guard the profits of the nationwide post office network, on which these lawmakers rely upon so heavily for electoral support....Opening up the mail business to the private sector is the gateway to privatization of all three branches of the postal services field-a cause championed by Koizumi for years. It waits to be seen if the road can be paved for private company participation in a means profitable to the public, or, if Koizumi caves in and compromises with the tenacious zoku-giin. In that sense, the issue provides a true test of his worth as prime minister."
April 22, 2002 -- Neopost, a provider of mailing, addressing, document handling and logistics systems, has exhibited their latest self-service Neopostage kiosk at the National Postal Forum in San Diego, CA. The Neopostage self-service kiosk dispenses postage offering the same convenience of regular stamps. Ideal for high-traffic locations, such as malls, corporate office lobbies, and university campuses, the Neopostage kiosk prints postage on demand through the Internet. The kiosks use Neopost's proprietary secure self-adhesive labels, which have no monetary value, thus eliminating the need to tightly control and manage valuable preprinted stamp inventories. In addition to printing First Class postage, new features of the kiosk include the ability to print additional ounce postage, Priority and Express Mail postage, postcard and international postage. All of these denominations come in sheets of ten stamps that are convenient and easy to store.
April 22, 2002 -- The Universal Postal Union has approved a total of 27 projects in favour of developing countries to paid for through its Quality of Service Fund (QSF). The 27 projects approved cover fields as diverse as reorganizing offices of exchange, streamlining mail collection and distribution networks, putting in place track-and-trace systems for international mail and preparing mail quality development plans.
April 21, 2002 -- According to Aviation Week & Space Technology, "Delta Air Lines' president and chief operating officer, Frederick W. Reid, is pressing the White House and Congress to scrap the Railway Labor Act. Reid says the act creates an unequal distribution of power between labor and management because unions can bring an airline to a complete halt, 'depriving the public of a critical engine for economic well-being.' Reid's solution is mandatory arbitration similar to what is used by firefighters and police officers, not to mention professional baseball players. It puts the 'last best offer' from negotiators for both sides before an arbitrator to choose one or the other, 'thus incentivizing both parties to be reasonable.'" Wait! I thought the Postal Service said the Railway Act system was the greatest thing since sliced bread!
April 21, 2002 -- Computerworld has reported that "United Parcel Service Inc. has signed a major contract for the next-generation handheld computer and wireless communicator to be used by its drivers. It will run on Microsoft Corp.'s Windows CE operating system."
April 21, 2002 -- Traffic World has reported that "this month the benefits from driving a unionized tractor-trailer went up — way up. In the final installment on its five-year National Master Freight Agreement with the unionized freight industry, the Teamsters are enjoying a 35-cent-an-hour boost in base pay to $19.96 an hour. But the carriers' big hit in the contract came on the benefit side. In an unusually worded agreement, the Teamsters won a so-called 'blank check' for contributions to its health and benefit plan. Teamsters make no co-payment for their health and welfare benefits. "
April 21, 2002 -- The Philippine Daily Enquirer has reported that "the Philippine Postal Corp. has noted a seven percent drop in the volume of traditional posted mail since last year, which could be attributed to the increasing popularity of the Internet and cellular phones. With the advent of electronic mail (e-mail) on the Internet and cell phones as more modern and glitzy modes of communication, the mail that passes through the postal system is now comprised mostly of business letters, documents and parcels."
April 21, 2002 -- Financial Times Deutschland has reported that "HDI, the German insurance group, has announced a co-operation agreement with the postal service in Hungary, Magyar Posta, under which it has set up a non-life insurance company. The new company will begin operating from the start of 2003 and will sell policies via Magyar Posta/ HDI will invest 20m euros in the country."
April 20, 2002 -- The Ventura County Star has noted that "the U.S. Postal Service has been the butt of comedians' jokes for years. Some of those jokes are funny, some of them are true. Despite nine-digit codes and electronic sorting, all too often we find within our mailbox a letter for another city, even another state. It's easy enough to redeposit those mismails, but it's not so easy to wonder whether your missing electric bill will get back from Kansas before the lights go out."
April 20, 2002 -- Japan Today has reported that "glossy posters with his photo still hang proudly at the ruling party kiosk and a raft of items from mobile phone straps to coffee mugs bearing the image of Japan's once-wildly popular prime minister are still on sale. But one year after Junichiro Koizumi staged a stunning victory over old guard rivals in the Liberal Democratic Party, the lines of adoring fans jostling to snap up the posters, pre-paid telephone cards, CDs and videos are a distant dream." Such is the fate of "postal reformers."
April 20, 2002 -- The Kyodo news service has reported that "tension between [Japanese] Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and top officials within his Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) intensified Friday over a plan to submit four postal deregulation bills to the Diet."
April 20, 2002 -- The Asahi Shimbun has reported that "the [Japanese] government hopes to negotiate pay cuts for employees at four agencies that provide postal, forestry, printing and minting services, despite a union boycott of talks on Friday....Salaries of the four government-run organizations are matched against comparable private-sector pay scales. The four organizations and their respective unions, including the Japan Postal Workers' Union, have been negotiating a proposal for an across-the-board wage increase of 0.17 percent since early March."
April 20, 2002 -- Computerworld has reported that "customers and businesses have been unable to track their packages this week through the U.S. Postal Service due to a problem with the tracking system software. However, the problem did not affect deliveries. The problem, reportedly, was either with the IBM database system or with the direct-attached storage disk at its database in San Mateo, Calif., which affected the entire tracking database. The database feeds both the tracking tool on the Postal Service Web site, and the tracking tool workers use at post offices."
April 20, 2002 -- Japan Today has reported that "a top policy-maker of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) warned Friday the LDP may split if Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi goes ahead with his plan to have four bills related to postal deregulation approved by the cabinet on April 26 despite opposition from a LDP panel."
April 20, 2002 -- DM News has reported that "small business owners will begin receiving direct mail pieces from the U.S. Postal Service next month in a campaign that will reach 2 million small businesses. The mail effort is part of a USPS campaign that broke last week targeting small and midsize businesses. The postal service sees the market as a growing and untapped sector at a time when its mail volumes are declining."
April 20, 2002 -- The Richmond Times-Dispatch has reported that "postal facilities will be named in honor of three former Virginia congressmen as a result of bills signed yesterday by President Bush."
April 20, 2002 -- Neopost will exhibit their latest self-service Neopostage kiosk at the National Postal Forum in San Diego, CA, on April 21-24, 2002. The self-service kiosk dispenses postage offering the same convenience of regular stamps. Ideal for high-traffic locations, such as malls, corporate office lobbies, and university campuses, the Neopostage kiosk prints postage on demand through the Internet. The kiosks use Neopost's proprietary secure self-adhesive labels, which have no monetary value, thus eliminating the need to tightly control and manage valuable preprinted stamp inventories.
April 19, 2002 -- South China Post has reported that the "foreign express delivery giants plan to lodge a protest with China's trade ministry against proposed regulations they say would bolster the monopoly of state-run China Post."
April 19, 2002 -- As the U.S. Postal Service has noted in the Federal Register, "the Automated Flat Sorting Machine (AFSM) 100 represents the next step into the automated processing environment envisioned for flats mail. Mailpieces that currently qualify for automation flat rates under FSM 881 standards (Domestic Mail Manual C820.2.0) will be eligible for the automation flat rates provided the pieces meet the physical criteria for processing on the AFSM 100 and other preparation requirements. Comments must be received on or before May 6, 2002."
April 19, 2002 -- According to the Wall Street Journal, "United Parcel Service Inc. reported a 1.3% increase in first-quarter profit, a stronger showing than the decline it previously had forecast, but said it sees no clear-cut signs of an economic recovery."
April 19, 2002 -- CEP News (Courier- Express- and Postal-Market News) has reported that:
Check out the latest issue of CEP News for the details on this and other news items affecting the courier, express, and postal market around the world.
April 19, 2002 -- The St. Petersburg Times has reported that "anthrax, e-mail and competition from FedEx and UPS have made for troubling times for the U.S. Postal Service. In the Tampa Bay area, jobs are being slashed and routes are being changed. Post offices are being evaluated for possible closure, and scaling back delivery from six days a week is being discussed."
April 19, 2002 -- Suddeutsche Zeitung (Germany) has reported that "the postal monopoly of Deutsche Post AG within Germany is to be further reduced from the start of 2003. After this point, the former state-owned company will only have an exclusive right to deliver letters weighing less than 100g. However, as this limit contains the majority of business, DP is unlikely to feel the pinch that much." See also the report by AFX.
April 19, 2002 -- The Christchurch Press (New Zealand) has reported that "months of controversy surrounding New Zealand Post's overseas ventures have damaged its international reputation and cost it contracts. NZ Post executives were summoned for a fourth time to the finance select committee yesterday where further allegations of financial impropriety were aired."
April 19, 2002 -- The Hong Kong iMail has reported that "Shenzhen will build what it has touted to be the most advanced postal services and logistics support centre in Asia."
April 19, 2002 -- The BBC Monitoring Service (U.K.) has reported that "European Union and United States government officials are negotiating with their mainland counterparts to resolve a simmering dispute after courier China Post declared a near-monopoly over the shipment of express documents."
April 19, 2002 -- MSNBC has reported that "small rural post offices are a mainstay in communities all around our region. They're worried big changes are on the way. They've heard the postmaster general say closing rural offices is a possibility. If congress doesn't allow the postal service to change the way it does business."
April 19, 2002 -- According to the Wall Street Journal, "FedEx Corp. is nearly doubling its direct flights between China and Japan, prompted by rising trade between Asia's economic giants and confident that a brewing spat with China's postal monopoly will be resolved."
April 19, 2002 -- According to the BBC Monitoring Service (U.K.), "there are no plans for privatizing Russia's postal service in the near future."
April 19, 2002 -- The Daily News (Sri Lanka) has reported that "the [Sri Lanka] government has decided to raise postal rates from April 25. Ordinary postal rates will go up by around 25 per cent and commercial rates by around 60 per cent.This decision has been taken in view of huge losses suffered by the Postal Department during the past few years and with the aim of providing a more efficient and reliable service to the consumers."
April 18, 2002 -- According to the Journal of Commerce:
April 18, 2002 -- Traffic World has reported that "the U.S. Postal Service is pegging the ability to offer volume discounts to large customers as tantamount to its survival....While the Postal Service has attempted to push through legislation several times over the past decade to reform the 1970 Postal Reorganization Act that currently governs the entity, its efforts largely have been rejected or ignored by Congress."
April 18, 2002 -- The Federal Times has noted that "U.S. Postal Service observers are puzzled over how postal management can hold to its promise to go at least until 2004 without another rate increase. The Postal Service confronts mounting financial losses, rising fuel prices, a lackluster economy and uncertainty over whether the mail volume lost following last year’s terrorist attacks will return."
April 18, 2002 -- According to the Federal Times, "Congress is inexplicably unresponsive so far to the U.S. Postal Service's growing inability to sustain itself. Now that the Postal Service finally has presented its vision of the future, Congress representing the nation's postal customers must decide quickly what to do with an agency now confronting its own demise."
April 18, 2002 -- The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has reported that "in a major test of China's willingness to maintain free and open markets as a new member of the World Trade Organization, the state-run postal monopoly has issued an order that could virtually shut down the operations of United Parcel Service, Federal Express and other express mail companies in China."
April 18, 2002 -- The Asahi Shimbun has reported that "the [Japanese] postal ministry will retain third- and fourth-class mail services when the new Japan Postal Corp. takes charge of the postal system next April. The decision represents a reversal in ministry policy, following the recommendation in December by a special research committee that third- and fourth-class delivery services be reduced or scrapped. The committee reasoned such a move would allow a new corporation a play a part in the postal system's management. The ministry was ready to follow suit by discontinuing the discount rates, but faced strong opposition from organizations for the disabled."
April 18, 2002 -- Reuters has reported that "Dutch postal, express and logistics company TPG NV has said it would take over French group Transports Nicolas. TPG, which operates under brand names such as TNT and CTI Logistx, ranks among the world's largest logistics companies."
April 18, 2002 -- Catalog Age has reported that "general merchandise cataloger/retailer J.C. Penney told analysts at its headquarters that it expects catalog sales to fall 25% in the first quarter, with that decline leveling off to 10%-13% by the end of the year. Penney expects comparable store sales for the quarter to rise 5% to 6%."
April 18, 2002 -- Issues common to the Universal Postal Union (UPU) and the World Trade Organization (WTO) were discussed at a seminar held during the annual meeting of the UPU’s Postal Operations Council in Bern, Switzerland. The seminar hosted by the UPU’s Project Team on WTO Relations focussed on issues of interest to developing countries in the trade liberalization negotiations on the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) currently underway in the WTO. The seminar, entitled “Mind the GATS: Defining Developing Country Interests in the Services Negotiations” brought postal operators and regulators together with four experts on trade policy.
April 18, 2002 -- DM News has reported that "the Marketing Hands group of Swanson & Andrews LLC said yesterday that John Manzolillo, former general manager of overseas business development for the U.S. Postal Service, has joined the company as an associate. Marketing Hands provides outsourced marketing and strategic services to companies in the Washington-Baltimore-northern Virginia area. Manzolillo led the USPS overseas market entry at the London International Direct Marketing Fair, the Canadian Direct Marketing Association Annual Conference and the Direct Marketing Asia Conference in 1998."
April 18, 2002 -- Eyefortransport.com has reported that:
United Parcel Service Inc. has signed a major contract for the next-generation handheld computer and wireless communicator to be used by its drivers. Analysts valued the deal with Symbol Technologies Inc. at $50 million to $100 million.
Now, more than ever, you'd better have the systems in place to "know where your customers' shipments are."
Roadway Reverse Logistics, Inc. (RRLI), a wholly owned subsidiary of Roadway Express, is offering return solutions to manufacturers, retailers and distributors. High costs, environmental and liability concerns and better return service for customers create the need for a return process that provides convenience, control and efficiency.
April 18, 2002 -- According to Asia-Pacific, SingPost has introduced a voice-activated postal code helpline. "Remembering six-digit postal codes when it comes to mailing those New Year cards can be a real problem. SingPost has now introduced a new system, which it says might make things easier - a 24-hour voice-activated postal code helpline."
April 18, 2002 -- The Birmingham Post (U. K.) has reported that, "the perilous state of the Post Office was revealed yesterday when the chairman of mail group Consignia said the service needed 'major surgery' to survive. Allan Leighton (left) starkly told a committee of MPs that managers were totally focused on making sure the organisation was still in existence in a few years' time. Thousands of jobs are being cut, post offices will close and second deliveries look likely to be axed, MPs heard."
April 18, 2002 -- According to Hong Kong iMail, "Shenzhen will build what it has touted to be the most advanced postal services and logistics support centre in Asia. The State Post Office and Guangdong Post Office will invest millions of dollars in building the facility, which will cover 1.18 million square feet in the Shenzhen Aviation Logistics Park, according to the Shenzhen Commercial Daily."
April 18, 2002 -- According to the Associated Press, "the German government on Wednesday proposed trimming its profitable postal service's letter monopoly in response to a European Union ruling but Deutsche Post will still carry most of the mail. Deutsche Post, which also has express mail and financial-services businesses, enjoys a legal monopoly on delivering letters up to 200 grams for at least 50 U.S. cents. The proposal would narrow the monopoly to letters weighing 100 grams or less at the beginning of next year and to 50 grams or less in 2006, under an EU plan to permit more postal market competition."
April 17, 2002 -- Dow Jones has reported that "Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi instructed Posts Minister Toranosuke Katayama to submit to the Diet by month's end bills to enable private-sector firms to offer mail services."
April 17, 2002 -- The Guardian (U.K.) has reported that "the European Union is demanding full-scale privatisation of public monopolies across the world as its price for dismantling the common agricultural policy in the new round of global trade talks."
April 17, 2002 -- According to the Dow Jones Newswires, "Japan Koizumi pushes mail service liberalization. Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi instructed Posts Minister Toranosuke Katayama to submit to the Diet by month's end bills to enable private-sector firms to offer mail services, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun reports Wednesday. But ruling Liberal Democratic Party lawmakers with vested interests in the current postal service are set to oppose the bills because they fear the liberalization could lead to the privatization of the public postal corporation to be launched next April."
April 17, 2002 -- The Atlanta Journal has reported that, "in a major test of China's willingness to maintain free and open markets as a new member of the World Trade Organization, the state-run postal monopoly has issued an order that could virtually shut down the operations of United Parcel Service, Federal Express and other express mail companies in China. China Post announced it would limit express delivery by private companies to articles more than 500 grams --1.1 pounds -- require all prices to be higher than the postal authority's and forbid delivery to offices of the government, military or Communist Party or of any item addressed to an individual. In a circular published last month, it gave companies until May 6 to register or risk losing the right to do business in China."
April 17, 2002 -- The Associated Press has reported that "about 75 workers and customers were evacuated from a U.S. Postal Services building for three hours Tuesday after a worker became sick while handling a letter from India. The 35-year-old male worker became nauseous, dizzy and began sweating after the letter came open by accident. He was taken to a hospital; it was not immediately known what caused his symptoms. Field tests came back negative for any biological or chemical agents, but the letter was sealed in an airtight container and sent to a lab for further testing, Broward Fire Rescue spokesman Todd LeDuc said."
April 17, 2002 -- Handelsblatt has reported that "in an interview with Handelsblatt, the logistics chief of United Parcel Service (UPS) outlined the U.S. giant's plans to expand its logistics business in Europe."
April 17, 2002 -- The Prague Business Journal has reported that "Ceska Posta has signed a landmark deal under which international delivery company DHL International will soon be responsible for deliveries of all international mail from the Czech Republic. The service contract, which could take effect as early as June, is a significant break with past practice for Ceska Posta. Currently, it has a deal with its counterpart post offices worldwide that deliver international mail."
April 17, 2002 -- Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung has reported that "Deutsche Post AG, the German postal services operator, is to lose a further part of its monopoly on letter delivery with effect from 1 January 2003, as the exclusive licence for the company will be granted only for letters and catalogues with an upper weight limit of 100 grammes, and of which the postage is less than three times that for a standard letter. The German federal cabinet is to decide upon the relevant draft bill on April 17. The change is designed to bring Germany into line with altered EU guidelines, and is expected to increase competition on the letter delivery market."
April 17, 2002 -- CNBC has reported that "Singapore Post (SingPost) and SpeechWorks International, Inc. SPWX, the global leader in speech recognition and text-to-speech (TTS) technologies and services, have launched the speech-enabled 'Postal Code Helpline'" an automated system that offers the public easy and user-friendly access to over 122,000 postal codes island-wide. SingPost offers a means by which the general public can inquire about the 6-digit postal code for any building name or street address throughout Singapore."
April 17, 2002 -- Ananova (U.K.) has reported that "the chairman of Consignia says the Post Office needs 'major surgery to survive." See also the report by the BBC.
April 17, 2002 -- According to the Associated Press, "about 30 workers were evacuated from a U.S. Postal Services building Tuesday when a worker became sick after handling an open letter. The 35-year-old male worker became nauseous, dizzy and began sweating at the mail center in Davie. Field tests came back negative for any biological or chemical agents, but the letter was sealed in an airtight container and sent to a lab for further testing."
April 16, 2002 -- Moody's Investors Service confirmed its Aaa rating of United Parcel Service Inc (UPS) but changed its ratings outlook to negative. "The outlook change considers the company's weakening operating margins, and increased financial risk profile as core expansion programs and new business initiatives have added to the company's debt levels," Moody's said in a statement.
April 16, 2002 -- PostX Corporation has announced the launch of PostAll, a complete e-postal solution for national postal service providers worldwide. PostAll augments traditional postal providers’ existing infrastructure with a technology solution that provides mail recipients with confidentiality and control over direct marketing, as well as unprecedented choice in how their mail is to be delivered – via paper and postage, by email, or by browsing the web.
April 16, 2002 -- Wired magazine has reported that "Norman Lorentz, anointed first chief technology officer for the Office of Management and Budget, seemed right at home among the dozens of tech chiefs gathered here last week for the InfoWorld CTO Forum, the world's only conference that's designed by CTOs, for CTOs, as its promoters proudly proclaim."
April 16, 2002 -- According to Kyodo, "Posts minister Toranosuke Katayama said Sunday the government will overcome opposition from some ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) lawmakers and submit to the Diet by the end of April two bills aimed at opening up mail services to the private sector in 2003. "LDP members always hold heated debates but they will unite in the end," said Katayama, minister of public management, home affairs, posts and telecommunications."
April 16, 2002 -- The Christchurch Press has reported that, "New Zealand Post must feel quite at home before Parliament's finance and expenditure committee. The big State-owned enterprise is being accused of botching one of its overseas contracts -- and that is something it is well used to. For at least a year NZ Post has been kept busy defending its actions in South Africa. In response to a running series of charges that it messed up its operation there and tried to cover its tracks, the State-owned enterprise has had to duck and weave, barely maintaining its position. The allegations are damning. They amount to a charge that NZ Post gained the contract to run the South African postal service by lying, that it promised to make the service break even within three years even though it knew this was impossible, that NZ Post's management of the project was in disarray, based on unrealistic budgets, disjointed, and unco-ordinated."
April 16, 2002 -- Ananova has reported that "Consignia is set to switch occupational health services for its 220,000 workers to a private firm under moves to save millions of pounds a year. A five-year £70 million contract is expected to be signed within weeks with SchlumbergerSema, part of a global services company which has its headquarters in New York. Around 240 medical and administrative staff will transfer from Consignia on existing terms and conditions."
April 15, 2002 -- In the latest issue of DM News, long-time postal guru Richard Barton writes: "While a growing number of mail users (but by no means all) have become convinced that restructuring is necessary, legislation has languished in the House of Representatives for almost eight years. There is no indication that support for reform will reach a critical mass anytime soon. Why not?" He tells you.
April 15, 2002 -- DM News has reported that, "Royal Mail Service lets mailers pre-book mailings. Royal Mail has released details of a new booking center service that allows advertisers and their agencies or mailing houses to register upcoming activity and get a unit cost for their specific mailings. Royal Mail said this lets advertisers more accurately calculate the cost of mailing as part of the campaign. The agency said the cost of the package depends on three key considerations: The size and weight of the items; when they need to be delivered; and the number of items. Mailings can be booked with a range of delivery options from next day to seven days. "As an advertising medium, the mail has a proven track record in delivering business results," said Adam Novak, Royal Mail managing director for media markets. It is measurable, accountable and complements other media. This new product will strengthen the mail's role as part of the overall advertising campaign schedule."
April 15, 2002 -- According to The Intelligencer, "Since Sept. 11, the Postal Service has removed nearly 7,000 collection boxes around the country. Decreased usage is also a determining factor.
April 15, 2002 -- The Financial Times has reported that "Solystic, a subsidiary of Northrop Grumman, has been awarded by the Spanish post office operator, Correos y Telegrafos, a contract to supply, install and maintain equipment for the second phase of its plan to automate its postal services."
April 15, 2002 -- According to Internet Wire, "PostX Corporation, a leader in secure electronic delivery of sensitive information, today announced the launch of PostAll, a complete e-postal solution for national postal service providers worldwide. PostAll was developed by PostX in partnership with IBM (a leader in postal system hardware and software), e-BX, (an e-commerce and electronic bill payment service provider), and ErgoIDP (a worldwide post office technology provider). With PostAll, postal systems can leverage the combined experience of these leading technology partners to offer business customers and mail recipients a wealth of new services."
April 15, 2002 -- Internet Wire has reported that, "Return Path, Inc., the leading provider of e-mail change of address services, today announced it has established strategic alliances that will help Catalog Marketing Services (CMS) and e-Dialog clients maintain current, updated customer e-mail lists. By using Return Path ECOA, an e-mail change of address service, CMS and e-Dialog clients will receive the industry's emerging standard solution to the growing problem of e-mail address changes. "These strategic alliances each help Return Path expand its position in unique markets," said Matt Blumberg, Return Path chief executive officer. "e-Dialog and CMS strengthen our client reach among multi-channel direct and catalog marketers respectively."
April 15, 2002 -- Europemedia has reported that "Polish cabinet ministers have accepted competition policy outlines for 2002-2003 from the competition watchdog UOKiK (Office for Competition and Consumer Protection).A report drafted by UOKiK identifies the telecoms sector as one of the major monopolised sectors in Poland. The others include electric energy, primary copper, heat provision, gas, liquid fuels, rail and air transport, postal services, and forestry. The competition policy outline defines the most important measures the government plans to introduce to liberalise those sectors."
April 15, 2002 -- The Independent (U.K.) has reported that Britain's "postal regulator is set to back down in its dispute with Consignia over the opening up of the postal market by slowing down the introduction of competition to the Royal Mail. The move, due to be announced next month by Postcomm, follows a warning last week from Consignia that first and second-class stamp prices may have to rise by 3p a year if its monopoly is broken up too quickly. Postcomm is also expected to approve a 1p rise in the cost of first-class and second-class stamps which Consignia called for last week. However, Postcomm is now expected to back down in the face of nervousness among ministers about the pace of change and dire warnings from Consignia that it could spell the death of the universal service which guarantees deliveries to any address in the country for the same price."
April 15, 2002 -- The Evening Standard (U.K.) has reported that "Pos Office owner Consignia is threatening to take legal action unless the regulator, Postcomm, agrees to slow the introduction of competition and allow a 1p increase for first and second-class mail deliveries. And chairman Allan Leighton warned this weekend that he will demand yearly postal increases of 2p or even 3p if this growing competition hits Consignia profits. Opening up to competition at the speed required by Postcomm would cost Consignia £750m between now and 2006, he told Financial Mail."
April 15, 2002 -- Nation Roundup has reported that "last-minute taxpayers will find hundreds of post offices open late Monday to accommodate their filings. Tax returns must be postmarked by midnight April 15, and the Postal Service expects as many as 30 million tax forms to be mailed that day. Many larger post offices will remain open until midnight. Filers can check with local post offices to determine the nearest one staying open. They can call (800) ASK-USPS or (800) 275-9777, or go the post office Internet page at www.usps.com and click on post office locator to get the phone numbers of nearby offices."
April 14, 2002 -- According to Traffic World, "FedEx wants to shed its image as provider for corporate giants, and finds ways to cater to small business customers."
April 14, 2002 -- DM News has reported that "the U.S. Postal Service's transformation plan sent to Congress this month recommends turning the postal service into a commercial government operation with financial and labor flexibility more commonly found in the private sector. This is the best way for the USPS to compete in a changing economy while maintaining universal service, postmaster general John E. Potter said in announcing the plan April 5. "Instead of breaking even, our financial goal would be to generate reasonable returns," he said. "Earnings would finance capital projects instead of having to resort to increasing our debt load. Retained earnings would carry us through tough economic times, instead of always resorting to rate increases."
April 14, 2002 -- According to Gain, the Postal Service's Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President Richard J. Strasser Jr. "told the Postal Service Board of Governors the net loss in Quarter 2 was $303 million, $123 million greater than the planned loss. Expenses were reduced $499 million below plan. Strasser also reported that overall mail volumes dropped 1.6 billion pieces, or 3.4 percent below the same quarter last year. Standard Mail volume was 1.0 billion fewer pieces than last year. First-Class Mail dropped 445 million pieces below last year. Success in controlling expenses was due to aggressive work-hour cuts, including management and staff reductions. During the first two quarters of this fiscal year, the Postal Service trimmed 8,100 career employees from its rolls and cut more than 38 million work hours below last year's level. The Postal Service expects continuing loss in volume during Quarter 3 (which ends May 22, 2002), while reducing expenses a further $500 million."
April 14, 2002 -- The Independent - (U.K.) has reported that "the price of a first-class stamp will have to rise by up to 3p a year if the postal regulator presses ahead with "fast-track" plans to open the market to competition, Consignia warned yesterday. In its formal response to Postcomm's proposals, the state-owned postal service called for an immediate 1p rise in first and second class letter prices and a much more gradual introduction of competition.
April 14, 2002 -- According to the E-Commerce Times, "the postal rate hike will drive up E-billing. "This week, the U.S. Postal Service made it official: The cost of a first-class stamp will increase from 34 U.S. cents to 37 cents on June 30th. The rate hike undoubtedly will make e-mail an even more prevalent method of communication, but according to GartnerG2 analyst Kenneth Kerr, it also will boost the popularity of online billing. As a result of the increase, which will drive up the cost of sending paper bills and statements by mail, the move to electronic bills and statements will accelerate, Kerr said."
April 14, 2002 -- Crash.net has reported that "the Spanish Postal service and the Motorcycling Grand Prix Team West Honda Pons announce a collaboration for the 2002 MotoGP season which began last weekend in Japan. Correos and West Honda Pons will be collaborating for another year in the Motorcycling World Championship, having participated during the last two seasons with sponsorship and public relations activities at the three races held in Spain - Jerez, Barcelona and Valencia - coinciding with the three areas of Correos' influence in Spain: South, North and Centre. The acceptance of these activities by clients of the postal company has prompted Correos and West Honda Pons to seek a wider relationship for the 2002 season."
April 14, 2002 -- The National Mail Handlers Union (NPMHU) has reported that "negotiators for the NPMHU and the USPS have finally reached a tentative agreement over the terms of the 2000 National Agreement. The agreement again confirms the pattern of general wage increases, this time for a four-year period, and it includes the continuation of cost-of-living adjustments. The new agreement provides 6.0% in general wage increases over its four-year term, and with projected COLA payments between September 2002 and September 2004, could very well provide more than 10 percent in wage improvements for all mail handlers."
April 14, 2002 -- According to Sky News, "troubled postal group Consignia is in talks about a deal on its buildings which could save it around £60m a year. Construction company Balfour Beatty could take over the running of Consignia's 3,000 bases and offices if negotiations succeed. The £1bn planned agreement is part of Consignia's aim to cut costs - it has already announced 13,000 redundancies and proposals to close many post offices."
April 14, 2002 -- According to the Associated Press, "with the deadline for filing income tax forms just around the corner, last-minute taxpayers will find hundreds of post offices open late on Monday to accommodate last-minute mailings. Tax returns must be postmarked by midnight April 15, and the Postal Service expects as many as 30 million tax forms to be mailed that day. Many larger post offices will remain open until midnight. Filers can check with local post offices to determine the nearest one staying open. They can call 1-800-ASK-USPS or go the post office Internet page at http://www.usps.com and click on post office locator to get the phone numbers of nearby offices."
April 14, 2002 -- The Associated Press has reported that "hoping to reduce demand on California's energy system, officials have chosen this environmentally conscious city to place the nation's largest solar panel system atop a government building. The low-maintenance solar panels -- packing enough electricity to power 120 homes -- were unveiled Friday at the U.S. Postal Service processing plant 11 miles southwest of downtown Los Angeles."
April 13, 2002 -- The Guardian (U.K.) has reported that:
Consignia, the loss making postal services operator, risked renewed confrontation with unions yesterday by announcing plans to transfer 5,000 employees to a new joint venture company in a £1bn deal with Balfour Beatty.
April 13, 2002 -- The Scotsman (U.K.) has reported that "plans by Consignia, owners of the Post Office, to raise the cost of stamps by 1p were blasted by consumer groups yesterday, saying customers should not be asked to bail out a failed management."
April 13, 2002 -- As The Independent (U.K.) has noted, "two months ago [the British postal regulator] Postcomm caused heart failure at Consignia by announcing that it intended to open 30 per cent of its market to new entrants almost immediately, another 30 per cent in two years and the whole lot two years after that. Postcomm wants to abolish the Royal Mail's monopoly entirely by licensing rival operators to compete at any price level. Consignia, on the other hand, wants Postcomm to agree to salami slice its monopoly away in stages by lowering the threshold from letters costing less than £1 to letters costing less than 41p and, finally, letters costing less than 20p. But as Consignia and Postcomm both know, real competition will only arrive when new entrants can compete with the Royal Mail at or below the price of a first-class stamp, which is where most of the market is."
April 13, 2002 -- The Jersey Evening Post (U.K.) has reported that "Jersey Post may have an unfair advantage over competitors under the new Postal Law, according to the Island’s competition watchdog. In particular, says the Jersey Competition Regulatory Authority (JCRA), the draft law could require rival operators to subsidise Jersey Post for doorstep mail deliveries."
April 13, 2002 -- The Financial Times has reported that "sending a letter in Tirana, capital of Albania, is a challenge. Albanians habitually build houses without bothering to tell the authorities and so there are many streets with neither name nor official existence. Nor is the Albanian postal service the sort of lean, mean machine that might be able to deal with this. But now, the problem is being solved by orphans; they are pointing the way to a new, slightly more lawful Albania. Yellow-jacketed orphans on motorcycles can these days be seen bouncing down Tirana's bumpy streets delivering the mail. This is the Youth Albania Parcel Service, or Yaps, founded by Unicef and a few big companies struggling to do business in Albania."
April 13, 2002 -- Internet.com has a nice piece of former U.S. Postal Service chief information officer Norman Lorentz, who now is the chief technology guru for the Office of Management and Budget.
April 13, 2002 -- Zawya.com has reported that "Transactions totaling 50 billion Egyptian pounds ($10.7 billion) were carried out through Egypt's National Postal Authority (NPA) in the year 2001. The Egyptian post provides the usual letter-post services and, in the financial field, savings and giro services and the payment of pensions. The NPA also issues vehicle licenses and insurance certificates."
April 13, 2002 -- The United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently determined UPS's guaranteed international express services, UPS Worldwide Express(SM) and UPS Worldwide Express Plus(SM), as the only private services it recognizes as being ``timely mailed'' from an international location.
April 12, 2002 -- Dow Jones has reported that "a Staten Island postal worker was denied bail Friday after prosecutors promised a "mountain of proof" would show he assisted terrorists. Ahmed Abdel Sattar, 41, was ordered held by U.S. District Judge John G. Koeltl, who said no bail conditions could protect the community or guarantee he would not flee. The ruling came after Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Bianco said the government had a "mountain of proof," including tapes of hundreds of hours of conversations between Sattar and leaders of the terrorist organization Islamic Group. Bianco described Sattar as the 'point man of this worldwide terrorist organization in the United States.'"
April 12, 2002 -- News-Press (FL) has reported that "Fed up with mail, distributor drives the extra mile to keep bills paid on time."
April 12, 2002 -- The United States Postal Service has dedicated the nation's largest federal roof-integrated solar photovoltaic installation at its Marina Mail Processing and Distribution Center in Marina del Rey, California. The 127 kilowatt system was built and installed by PowerLight Corporation of Berkeley, California, using solar panels produced at Siemens & Shell Solar manufacturing facility in Chatsworth, California. The system, which is capable of generating enough electricity to power 120 homes, will reduce the demand on California's power grid and improve air quality by avoiding thousands of tons of polluting nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide and carbon dioxide emissions.
April 12, 2002 -- In a United States Postal Service press release issued today, it was announced that the joint USPS/Industry Mail Preparation Quality Work Group on April 4, 2002, agreed to move ahead with Merlin implementation, based on the Postal Service's aggressive actions in response to recommendations made by the work group in February. The USPS on June 1, 2002, will lift the moratorium it had placed on assessing additional postage for Merlin barcode readability errors for flats. Effective June 1, 2002, for those sites where Merlin has been fully activated, a 60-day grace period will commence (until August 1, 2002), during which time no postage assessments will be made for Merlin barcode readability errors. Upon completion of the 60-day grace period, mailers then will be assessed additional postage for barcode readability errors detected by Merlin. The USPS and industry also agreed that further correlation testing between Merlin and USPS processing equipment needs to be performed and evaluated and that, in the interim, the Merlin pass/fail threshold for barcode readability for flats will be set to 80 percent.
April 12, 2002 -- United Parcel Service (UPS) is repositioning some its recently acquired mail companies under a new corporate banner. Mail2000 (a hybrid mail service) and RMX (a flats dropshipping company) will be known collectively as UPS Mail Innovations.
April 12, 2002 -- The chairman and CEO of United Parcel Service (UPS) has urged free trade advocates to step up and make their voices heard in the growing debate over globalization. "I believe in the power of free markets to raise the tide of economic liberty for everyone from the poorest of the poor to the wealthy," said Mike Eskew, UPS CEO, at the prestigious Town Hall of Los Angeles. "Maybe I'm a bleeding-heart capitalist – call me what you want – but we have a duty to keep commerce moving forward." "No development in the history of mankind has brought greater opportunity… greater prosperity…greater understanding…and greater hope for peace in the world…than democratic market trade," remarked Eskew.
April 12, 2002 - The USPS has provided an advance copy of the AFSM 100 - Proposed rule, the Postal Service's Proposed Rule for the new automation specifications for the AFSM 100. The proposed rule will be published shortly in the Federal Register with ONLY a 15-day comment period. The USPS has provided an advance copy in order to give mailers as much additional time as possible to review it and submit comments. The USPS wants to publish the final rule by mid-May.
April 12, 2002 -- People are beginning to ask: "Will Postal Service changes hit home?"
April 12, 2002 -- Sky News (U.K.) has reported that:
April 12, 2002 -- The Evening Standard (U.K.) has reported that "there were fears for hundreds of Post Office jobs as parent company Consignia said its office maintenance division is to be hived off into a £1bn joint venture with Balfour Beatty. Consignia announced that Balfour Beatty, the construction group which is set to be a main beneficiary of Tube part-privatisation, had been selected as preferred bidder to run Romec, the business responsible for the upkeep of 3000 post office administration sites and Royal Mail sorting offices and including the maintenance of 500 main post offices."
April 11, 2002 -- As the New York Times has noted, "the public hates it, employees are boycotting it and the company's chairman wants to get rid of it. When the Post Office Group in Britain changed its name to Consignia last year, the company intended to usher in an era of efficiency and expansion. But postal services have continued to decline. The new name — a derivative of consign, meaning to deliver or entrust — has become a public relations nightmare, symbolizing the deficiencies that have made the postal system a close second to the railways as a source of national embarrassment."
April 11, 2002 -- CNET has reported that "Microsoft, IBM and VeriSign have teamed to create security standards for Web services, a move analysts say will help drive adoption of the hyped but still emerging technology."
April 11, 2002 -- The recently announced postal rate increase puts pressure on America's businesses to use email more effectively to reach their customers. According to Steve Lee, president and CEO of Arbitrel Inc., corporations will increasingly turn to email for their needs in a steady shift away from postal mail. "Businesses today are looking for the most cost-effective and responsive way to reach customers. Industry research confirms there is already an increasing reliance on email compared to postal mail. Direct mail will account for less than 50 percent of mail received by US households by 2005, a decline of 15 percent from 2001, according to recent findings by GartnerG2. According to GartnerG2, Direct mail campaigns have reached their peak. The research firm forecasts that email advertising revenue will reach $1.26 billion in 2002, up from $948 million in 2001."
April 11, 2002 -- The Financial Times (U.K.) has reported that "Tony Blair yesterday defended the government-backed restructuring of the post office network as he came under fire from his own MPs for plans that could lead to swathes of branch closures. Labour backbenchers, supported by trade unions, hit out at the cuts, warning of a public backlash. The attack came as more than 1,000 postal workers converged on the Commons to lobby MPs. In prime minister's questions, Mr Blair revealed that the cuts would be accompanied by a Pounds 270m rescue package. He denied that restructuring the post office network would lead to 3,000 closures, as has been suggested."
April 11, 2002 -- According toThe Independent (U.K.):
The following letter has just been e-mailed to 3,000 sub-postmasters by Consignia's Programme Director for Network Reinvention. It was felt safer than trusting it to the post....[A commentary]
April 11, 2002 -- The Guardian (U.K.) has reported that "Consignia, the loss-making postal services group, is to reactivate plans to raise the price of first and second-class stamps by a penny in an effort to offset an expected £750m hit on its operating profits from open competition. The state-owned group, which yesterday confirmed plans to close up to 3,000 urban post offices, will warn its new regulator tomorrow that its plans to effectively liberalise the postal market by 2004 will knock £250m off its annual operating profits. This would be on top of the £500m estimated impact of European Union plans to increase competition gradually over the next four years until full liberalisation from around 2009."
April 11, 2002 -- According to Stuff (New Zealand), "New Zealand Post spent more than $3 million on an abortive five-month attempt to establish a European base in a house in Madrid, a parliamentary select committee was told yesterday."
April 11, 2002 -- The Business Times (Singapore) has reported that "Singapore Post has fully implemented homegrown NewsPage's wireless Tracks solution in its island-wide courier package operations, making it one of the first postal agencies in the Asia-Pacific to deploy a wireless courier system. Tracks allows information on the latest job status, collection and delivery to be updated into the backend system, said SingPost. The real-time information enables SingPost's customers to trace their packages via the Internet, allowing SingPost to take prompt action to resolve problems."
April 11, 2002 -- Ireland Online has reported that "legal action was yesterday taken against An Post to stop them stamping post with the Fianna Fáil logo. Labour Senator Joe Costello served the postal company with a summons and threatened to seek a court injunction next week if it does not stop putting the FF logo and election slogan on his post. The postal company was criticised last month for allowing Fianna Fáil exclusive use of its mail-franking service. It means that all mail posted in the State which goes through automated post centres - about 70% of all letters and packages - carries the party name, logo and slogan. The novel approach to grabbing the voters' attention costs Fianna Fáil €9,500 a month and is booked for March, April and May."
April 11, 2002 -- Japan Times has reported that "Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi has given up on eliminating a legal clause banning the privatization of the new public corporation slated to take over the government-run postal services in 2003. Koizumi has long called for privatizing the three postal service operations of mail, postal savings and 'kampo' insurance, and wants private firms to enter postal services in concurrence with the 2003 launch of the new public entity. But some ruling party lawmakers, who have vested interests in postal services, are strongly against the move, and their opposition is preventing the government from submitting bills on the launch of the new entity to the Diet. It is believed that Koizumi conceded on the issue in order to facilitate the submission of the bills."
April 11, 2002 -- The Asahi Shimbun has reported that:
The [Japanese] Postal Services Agency destroyed documents regarding discretionary funds used by designated post offices in fiscal 1998 and 1999, a move that limited an internal investigation into the suspected widespread misuse of such money.
April 10, 2002 -- The Australian has reported that "Australian postal workers are delighted they are required to become makeshift banks and have offered to help out with other shortages in rural services, such as education, telecommunications and specialist medicine."
April 10, 2002 -- The Wall Street Journal has reported that "Postmaster General John E. Potter says he has an offer America can't refuse: Let the U.S. Postal Service compete like a private business, and he'll improve delivery and ensure its viability for decades to come. Where have we heard that one before? Mr. Potter's ambitious push to enlarge the Postal Service's mandate comes amid the latest price increase, to 37 cents for a first-class letter, which yesterday received the formal stamp of approval from his board of directors. If Congress does not approve his new 'transformation plan,' Beware of bureaucracies bearing such gifts. Mr. Potter is proposing something called a 'Commercial Government Enterprise,' an oxymoron if we've ever heard one. He wants the post office to combine the benefits of a private business with the special privileges of a government monopoly."
April 10, 2002 -- The U.S. Postal Service has published in the Federal Register a final rule that sets forth the Domestic Mail Manual (DMM) standards adopted by the Postal Service to implement the rate, fee, and classification changes for all classes of mail and special services included in the Decision of the Governors of the Postal Service in Postal Rate Commission Docket No. R2001-1.
April 10, 2002 -- Precision Marketing (U.K.) has reported that "Royal Mail is announcing further changes to its postage pricing system, following its decision - leaked to Precision Marketing two months ago (PM February 22) - to alter the scheme for direct mail advertisers. The new pricing system will take into account the size of an item, rather than price being solely based on weight. This brings the Consignia-owned company into line with other postal services, almost all of which use size-based pricing for post."
April 10, 2002 -- According to Sky News (U.K.), "more than 1,000 [British] postal workers from across the country are to stage a lobby of MPs later as part of a campaign to save jobs. The Communication Workers Union has organised the event at Westminster on Wednesday to highlight the threat to jobs and the future of the service."
April 10, 2002 -- Reuters U.K. has reported that "former postal monopoly Consignia will today unveil plans to close up to 3,000 urban post offices in a move to cut costs and ensure its survival amid rising competition." See also the report by the BBC.
April 10, 2002 -- The New Zealand Herald has reported that "a senior executive too sick to work full-time at New Zealand Post will continue flying to Malta every month to attend board meetings of that country's postal service. Drew Stein, the former managing director of NZ Post subsidiary Transend, took sick leave on March 31 after doctors advised him to cut back his workload, which involved significant travel. But NZ Post has hired him to work as an independent contractor until May 1 on a daily rate of $1333. After that, he will take medical retirement."
April 10, 2002 -- The Straits Times has reported that since so few people are using the post's telegram service, "SingTel ended the more than 100-year-old service on April 1. Recently, only about 400 telegrams were being sent out each month. Most of these were from banks and shipping companies. In its heyday, in the 1960s and 1970s, more than a million telegrams were sent out from Singapore each year. South Pacific kingdom Tonga and Suva, the capital of Fiji, New Zealand, Germany, Finland, Iceland and Switzerland have also done away with their telegram service."
April 10, 2002 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that "the Danzas Group, the logistics arm of Deutsche Post World Net, said its earnings before interest, taxes and amortization last year rose 40.7%, from 113 million euros ($99.5 million), to $140 million. Net sales were up 10.4% to $8.1 billion. The Swiss-based group attributed growth to new information technology, more intense customer orientation, optimization of products and processes, and quality improvements."
April 10, 2002 -- Financial Times Deutschland has reported that "Deutsche Post AG, the German postal service operator, aims to take advantage of deregulation of the EU mail sector in the years 2003 and 2006, and perceives the UK market as particularly promising. With effect from 2003, the EU plans to lower the upper weight limit for state monopolies on letter deliveries from 350 grams to 100 grams (the limit in Germany stands at 200 grams), and a further reduction to 50 grams is planned in 2006. With foreign expansion, Deutsche Post aims to compensate for the lack of scope for growth on the domestic letter delivery market, which currently contributes 70 per cent of the group's result."
April 10, 2002 -- According to the Athens Banner Herald, "we believe most Americans take the rate increases in stride because the post office provides pretty good service at relatively low cost. Now, despite this praise, it must be said that everyone has room for improvement and the U.S. Postal Service is no different. Like virtually every government-run agency, the post office has problems with efficiency and bureaucratic red tape. That's why we're pleased to see postal officials are looking for ways to operate more like a private business. It will take time to determine whether the post office's proposed improvements are sound or not. But having the U.S. Postal Service's leadership recognize the need for change and the dire consequences of inaction is a promising sign."
April 10, 2002 -- Finland Post Corporation has reported that it will outsource its collection and credit management activities to Intrum Justitia Finland. Finland Post Corporation and Intrum Justitia are also expanding their cooperation; in addition to the collection of receivables past due, Intrum Justitia will now prepare credit decisions on customers for the Post and assume responsibility for sending out reminders on payments in arrears.
April 10, 2002 -- As DM News has noted, the "latest direct marketing effort aims to convert direct mail marketers' current customers who have shopped primarily via its catalog into multichannel shoppers." Fewer catalogs, less postage....Less postage, deep trouble for the USPS.
April 9, 2002 -- The Washington Post has reported that "the House government reform committee appears ready to focus on legislation to overhaul the U.S. Postal Service, which is $11.3 billion in debt and faces billions more in pension and health care liabilities. A senior aide to House Government Reform Chairman Dan Burton (R-Ind.) said Republicans hope to negotiate a postal overhaul bill with Democrats and go to the House floor for a vote. 'Burton's number one priority this year is legislation to steady the ship, if you will. . . . From our viewpoint, without prompt enactment of postal reform, the Postal Service is on its deathbed,' the aide said."
April 9, 2002 -- According to CargoWeb News, "Deutsche Post depends much on its mail monopoly in Germany - still 70 per cent of its profit arrives from mail. The Group generated 67 per cent of its revenues in Germany."
April 9, 2002 -- More from American Postal Workers Union president William Burrus' communication on the postal transformation plan:
I am informed that no major new initiatives are underway from the headquarters level. In fact, I have received written assurance from the postmaster general that, “there are no national plans for implementing/consolidations of processing centers in the near future.”
April 9, 2002 -- According to Advertising Age, "marketers have good reason to take a fresh look at broadband -- even as they have every reason to be skeptical. Broadband refers to the technology that delivers interactive TV, video-on-demand and high-speed Internet service using a high-bandwidth service into the home. Technology evangelists and content providers have hailed the potential of broadband for the last decade. Now it appears that potential is beginning to be become a reality -- at least for the high-speed Internet."
April 9, 2002 -- Mail-Well, Inc. (one of the nation's major envelope manufacturers) has announced that, in spite of positive indications from its strategic initiatives, it expects first quarter 2002 earnings before restructuring charges to be below forecast results, largely as a result of lower-than-expected revenues and erosion of margins. Paul Reilly, Chairman, President and CEO said that "the downturns in our industries, especially the commercial printing industry, have been deeper and more prolonged than expected. As a result, our earnings and revenues for the first quarter will be below forecast.'' Neither this piece of news nor the news of spiking fuel prices bode well for the Postal Service.
April 9, 2002 -- As expected, at its regularly scheduled monthly meeting, the U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors has ordered the implementation of new, higher postal rates effective June 30, 2002. Postmaster General Jack Potter also reiterated his pledge of no more postal rate increases before calendar 2004. On the financial front, the USPS reported that the net loss for the second quarter of postal fiscal year 2002 was $303 million, or $123 million over plan. Mail volume was down 3.4%, with 1.6 billion fewer pieces of mail than projected. Most of the decline was in Standard Mail. Expenses were $15.9 billion, or $499 million below plan. The savings came primarily from eliminating 8,100 career jobs this fiscal year. The outlook for Quarter III calls for a loss of $400 million. Depending on the direction of the nation's economy, that estimate could double.
April 9, 2002 -- According to the Washington Post, "whoever concocted the wispy white powder used in last fall's anthrax attacks followed a recipe markedly different from the ones commonly used by scientists in the United States or any other country known to have biological weapons."
April 9, 2002 -- The Wall Street Journal has reported that "PayPal Inc. established itself as the clear leader in the online-payment industry, swiftly outpacing its rivals by becoming the preferred way to pay at Internet auctions. But with consumer fraud a nagging problem and its customer-service practices under attack, some industry watchers argue more regulation now may be in order."
April 9, 2002 -- PC World has reported that "United Parcel Service is discontinuing OnLine Courier, the electronic delivery service that had enabled customers to send critical, time-sensitive documents via the Internet. The U.S. Postal Service discontinued a similar service earlier this year."
April 9, 2002 -- According to a report by Dow Jones, "a new Japanese public postal corporation, to be created in 2003 to oversee postal savings and insurance, should be required to pay taxes if it is profitable, Finance Minister Masajuro Shiokawa said Tuesday. 'I don't think the public postal corporation, which is being set up to compete with private-sector banks, should be given special treatment,' Shiokawa said. 'It is wrong to think that they won't pay taxes,' Shiokawa said. Bills related to the creation of the public postal corporation are set for passage in the current Parliamentary session."
April 9, 2002 -- On Friday, the U.S. Postmaster General released a plan to transform the postal service into a more efficient, less costly entity. Is this the best way to fix the postal service? UPI National Political Analysts Peter Roff, a conservative, and Jim Chapin, a liberal, face off on opposite sides of this critical question.
April 9, 2002 -- The Financial Times has reported that "Deutsche Post, the German postal and logistics group, plans to buy back shares in an attempt to shore up its share price. Institutional investors have long called on Deutsche Post to take such a step, given that its mono-poly mail business generates healthy cashflow and it has comparatively little debt."
April 9, 2002 -- PostalVoice.com has reported that "Office of Management and Budget Director (OMB) Director Mitch Daniels said the Bush administration could consider appointing a presidential commission to develop long-term solutions for the Postal Service's problems. Since the reasons for last year's $1.68 billion in losses pertain to the situation that existed long before the anthrax contamination, the agency is facing fundamental restructuring issues, he told a U.S. Chamber of Commerce meeting last week. It can't continue as is, Daniels said, as the agency must reexamine its relationship with labor and ability to manage its cost structure and price its product. 'One doesn't welcome a problem like this' which calls for a basic reworking of how a business operates, he stated. But there could be long-term benefits if the Postal Service is able to accomplish that, Daniels added."
April 9, 2002 -- According to Aftenposten, "residents of Norway who receive packages from America had better 'smear themselves with patience,' as the locals might say. A major change in parcel delivery from the US is causing delays and frustration. Packages sent through the US Postal Service (USPS) for years have been handled by the Norwegian postal service (Posten Norge). Not any more. As of January 1, the USPS contracted with a private company, General Parcel, to handle its parcel post to Europe. A few packages are still coming through the local post, but more and more will now be handled through General Parcel and its local agent in Norway, Nor-Cargo Pakke-Trans. All packages from the US to Europe now are sent first to a General Parcel receiving station in Germany. From there, the packages are routed to their country of destination. The problem is that, although packages often arrive in Germany quickly, it can take weeks before they're sent on to, for example, Norway. That means the sender who paid so-called 'air mail' rates at his United State post office isn't getting what he or she paid for."
April 9, 2002 -- Handelsblatt has reported that "German postal and logistics group Deutsche Post AG plans to continue with its expansion course this year despite the difficult economic environment."
April 9, 2002 -- According to Dow Jones, "Yamato Transport (9064) may fall on Nikkei report government intends to forgo revision to law that bans privatizing postal operations; market has speculated door-to-door parcel delivery company will setup private postal service, perhaps centering on heavily populated areas."
April 8, 2002 -- The Memphis Commercial Appeal has reported that "postal officials hope sometime rival and current business partner FedEx Corp. will put its lobbying muscle behind a reform plan that would give the Postal Service more flexibility to change prices while retaining its monopoly over first-class mail."
April 8, 2002 -- The Financial Times has reported that "Deutsche Post, the German postal and logistics group, has said it planned to buy back up to ten per cent of its shares in a move supported by the German government, which owns 69 per cent of its stock and wants to boost the value of its holding. Institutional investors have long called on Deutsche Post to take such a step given that its monopoly mail business generated a lot of cashflow and it had comparatively little debt."
April 8, 2002 -- Le Figaro has reported that "La Poste, the French post office, has announced results for 2001 characterised by the amortisation of 170m euros. This is mainly the result of a poor performance from its logistics and parcels subsidiary GeoPost. La Poste's net profit would have reached 75m euros if Geopost's losses had not been included in the accounts. La Poste acquired German courier service DPD for 457m euros and a 67 per cent stake in its French subsidiary DPD France for 21m euros in 2001.It is the third largest operator in the EU after Deutsche Post and TPG of the Netherlands."
April 8, 2002 -- According to Le Monde "the French post office, La Poste, closed 2001 with net operating losses of 95m euros, mainly as a result of the acquisition of German network DPD. Chairman Martin Vial has explained that these disappointing results are due to a drop in the use of mail caused by the spread of the internet and by the introduction of the 35-hour working week. Mr Vial believes thinks that La Poste should be turned into a joint stock company controlled by the government and other partners, operating in some strategic sectors such as parcel delivery and financial services."
April 8, 2002 -- According to Il Sole 24 Ore, "Italians believe that supermarkets and pharmacies offer the highest standard of customer care while insurance companies, the post office and trains were ranked at the bottom of the services' sector table."
April 8, 2002 -- Air Canada and Canada Post Corporation have renewed their long standing cargo and passenger services contract.
April 8, 2002 -- Die Welt has reported that " Deutsche Post AG, the German postal service operator, reports turnover up by 2.1 per cent to 33.4bn euros for 2001. Ebita rose by 7.3 per cent to 2.6bn euros, post-tax profit by 4.3 per cent to roughly 1.6bn euros. Management has announced a dividend of 0.37 euros per share, an increase of more than 33 per cent, and expects business to remain successful for the current year. Over the coming years, the group aims to gain world leadership on the logistics market."
April 8, 2002 -- According to postal commentator Gene Del Polito, "the job of defining what the nature of this nation's postal system should be and is being left to Congress and the White House. That should come as no surprise. The U.S. Constitution clearly states that Congress holds the ultimate power over post roads, not the Postmaster General. After seven years of bush-league political games and the extortion of a transformation plan, the preliminaries are over. It's now time for Congress and the President to step up to the plate."
April 8, 2002 -- According to American Postal Workers Union president William Burrus, the Postal Service's transformation plan is "a one-inch thick document made public during a two-hour presentation, not one word was said about the loss of billions of dollars in unwarranted discounts to giant presort mailers."
April 8, 2002 -- According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "if the U.S. Postal Service were a completely independent private company, it would most likely be heading toward bankruptcy court....Until a plan is presented that addresses how to trim the Postal Service's 850,000 work force, remove antiquated labor rules and close facilities, the proposals and deliberations will be nothing more than rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic."
April 8, 2002 -- According to DM News, former House postal subcommittee chairman (and long-time proponent of postal legislative reform) has characterized the Postal Service's transformation plan as a "plea for help."
April 8, 2002 -- The Reno Gazette-Journal has reported that "as the U.S. Postal Service prepares to increase the price of a first-class stamp to 37 cents, Reno residents are getting less customer service from the Reno Post Office than four years ago. The probe uncovered several deficiencies, including slower delivery and many violations of national regulations governing street mail collection boxes."
April 8, 2002 -- The Western Mail (U.K.) has reported that "most people would be happy to pay an extra 2p to post a letter if it made the service more reliable and helped save postal workers' jobs, according to an opinion poll. A National Opinion Poll survey of 1,000 people revealed 89pc would be prepared to pay an extra 2p on a stamp to ensure a more reliable postal service and avoid job losses."
April 7, 2002 -- The Guardian (U.K.) has reported that "the price of [British postage] stamps is set to rise by a penny as postal industry regulator Postcomm bows to pressure from Consignia and the Government."
April 7, 2002 -- Government Computer News has reported that "among the changes under consideration are USPS e-commerce initiatives adapted to the new business model. 'All e-initiatives have gone slower than we would have liked,' said John Nolan, the deputy postmaster general. 'We must make sure we are focusing our resources on those products and services that will provide convenience and value to our customers.' Nolan said the Postal Service will take a hard look at the e-commerce initiatives this year and decide which ones it needs to keep and which ones to abandon."
April 7, 2002 -- According to the Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune, "A 7.7 percent postal rate hike scheduled for June will affect the nation's paper mills, particularly those specializing in printing papers. 'Advertising is the primary driver for coated papers,' said Tim Laatsch, senior vice president of communications for Stora Enso North America. 'As we see improvements in the economy, we'll likely see increases in advertising and the demand for coated paper. But an ... increase in postage is likely to increase demand for a lighter-weight products that have the same look and feel than heavier-weight coated papers.' 'A postage rate increase isn't good,' said Stu Carlson of Wausau-Mosinee Paper Co. 'It's definitely negative. But just how negative, we can't say."
April 7, 2002 -- e-Commerce Times has reported that "shoppers are hopping back and forth freely among catalogs, retail stores and Internet sites, and they expect a seamless transition."
April 6, 2002 -- Check the following links to see how the Postal Service's transformation plan has been reported by the press:
New York Times
Fox News Service
April 6, 2002 -- USA Today has reported that "private express shipping companies, including U.S.-based giants FedEx, UPS and DHL, are facing a May 6 deadline to turn over the bulk of their business in China to the government-run postal service. Under the order, private services may not deliver any letters or packages under 1.1 pounds, may not charge prices below those of China Post and may not deliver to private homes or major government offices. The restrictions would apply to shipments within China and those to or from other countries."
April 6, 2002 -- The Financial Times (U.K.) has reported that "the [British] postal market could be open fully in just half the time intended by regulators because of a loophole in plans gradually to end Consignia's protected monopoly, the company will claim next week. The warning is expected to escalate a row between the Royal Mail group and Postcomm, the government regulator, over its proposals for introducing competition. Postcomm has already had to delay the implementation of the scheme after political opposition from unions and Labour MPs forced an extension of an earlier consultation period. It has given its critics until next Friday to argue against the scheme."
April 5, 2002 -- Postmaster General John E. Potter unveiled the United States Postal Service's Transformation Plan before the National Press Club. The plan addressed short- and long-term strategies for keeping the Postal Service financially viable today and into the 21st century. The plan was submitted to Congress on April 4. A copy of Potter's address at the National Press Club is available on the Postal Service's web site.
April 5, 2002 -- The Associated Press has reported that "Postmaster General John Potter promised the nation Friday that, following this summer's planned rate increase, postage prices won't rise again for two years." See also the report by Dow Jones.
April 5, 2002 -- The Washington Post has reported that "the U.S. Postal Service, struggling to contain costs that are increasing faster than its revenue, will announce a 'transformation plan' today aimed at giving it greater freedom to raise postage prices, close post offices and negotiate with its unions. The plan will call for aggressive cost-cutting -- $5 billion in savings through 2006 -- in an effort to shore up postal finances and buy time for Congress and the White House to debate the first overhaul of the agency in 30 years." See also the story by the Associated Press and the Wall Street Journal.
April 5, 2002 -- The U.S. Postal Service's transformation plan that proposes, once again, to give the Postal Service authority to operate more like a private business and, among other things, set its own rates without oversight by the Postal Rate Commission, is a flawed vision for the future, according to the Newspaper Association of America. "The newspaper industry has long been sensitive to the fiscal difficulties faced by the Postal Service, particularly since last year's anthrax attacks in the mail, and we support its efforts to conduct business more efficiently," noted NAA President and CEO John F. Sturm. "The plan before us, however, is not the appropriate path."
April 5, 2002 -- The News-Press has reported that "speculation that the U.S. Postal Service cheated its rural carriers out of fair pay will come to the table Monday in a first meeting since union leaders filed three national grievances last month. Rural carriers have complained to their union that a two-week mail count that ended in March showed suspiciously low numbers of bulk rate mail, magazines and catalogs."
April 5, 2002 -- The Financial Times has reported that:
La Poste, the French post office, is seeking a partnership with a bank to help it expand its financial services arm, one of its fastest growing businesses.
April 5, 2002 -- According to The Guardian (U.K.), British postal "union chiefs are expected to hold further talks with Consignia next week to put the final touches to a package of measures that would allow restructuring of the postal services group to go ahead without triggering strike action."
April 5, 2002 -- According to the Wall Street Journal, "United Parcel Service Inc. (UPS) expects its new air hub in the Philippines to trigger a new growth spurt in deliveries to and from China, where its revenue more than doubled since launching direct flights there last year. UPS said the move should bolster its market share in Asia, where it has trailed the DHL Worldwide Express delivery network and FedEx Corp. (FDX). UPS says its express-delivery volume already has been growing at a faster pace than the economy in major parts in Asia, a sign that it is gaining on its rivals."
April 4, 2002 -- Royal Mail (U.K.) is advising customers that new prices for international postcards, letters, small packets and printed papers to destinations outside Europe come into effect on July 4th 2002. The overall increase in prices is 4.8%, which is within the Retail Price Index limits allowable under the terms of the operating licence issued to Consignia, Royal Mail's holding company, by Postcomm.
April 4, 2002 -- According to Le Figaro (France), "La Poste, the French post office, is to announce its results for 2001 today. Chairman Martin Vial has said that profits have been affected by the economic slowdown and the anthrax scare. The last quarter of 2001 was characterised by a fall in activity caused by the increasing use of e-mail and the Vitale card. The group may ask for government subsidies and for authorisation to offer new banking and insurance services."
April 4, 2002 -- Ananova (U.K.) has reported that "the postal workers' union is rejecting claims it has reached an agreement with Consignia over plans to cut 30,000 jobs over the next three years. The Communication Workers' Union says no deal has been reached, and strike action remains a possibility."
April 4, 2002 -- The Commission's Office of the Consumer Advocate will make a public presentation of its key findings from the recent rate case on quality of service issues. The presentation will be held on Tuesday, April 9, 2002, at 11 a.m. in the PRC's hearing room. Questions will follow. The notice is on the PRC website, http://www.prc.gov/.
April 4, 2002 -- Online travel site Orbitz is sponsoring a unique partnership with the U.S. Postal Service and the Travel Industry Association's "See America" campaign to promote summer travel and the new "Greetings from America" postage stamps with a sweepstakes that will give away trips for two to each of the 50 United States. The art deco postage stamps are styled after the 1930-40s "Greetings from" postcards that depicted famous sights and landmarks of popular tourist destinations. The release of the stamps, which go on sale Thursday, April 4, coincides with the online sweepstakes kick-off.
April 4, 2002 -- The Irish Times has reported that "An Post has failed to present plans to its regulator, Ms Etain Doyle, to increase next-day delivery rates. The State company, which was granted an interim three-cent rise in the cost of a stamp last week, has argued that the new targets are unattainable and unnecessary. It has been given a four-week extension by Ms Doyle, who set yesterday's deadline for proposals to improve efficiency last September. Ms Doyle, who also regulates the telecoms industry, has monitored the postal business since last year."
April 4, 2002 -- Direct magazine has reported that "the U.S. Postal Service began testing a new program that lets mailers enhance their mail pieces with specially designed Post-It notes. The service, being offered in conjunction with Post-It manufacturer 3M Co., allows mailers to attach a Post-In note on the left-side of the front of a standard size business envelope, or a large-size postcard being sent by first-class mail or Standard (advertising) mail. The piece must be machinable, and presorted by ZIP+4."
April 4, 2002 -- Window Book, Inc. announces its commercial software product designed to support the new USPS Confirm ASN program.
April 4, 2002 -- The Dallas Morning News has reported that "Despite popular public opinion, what ails the U.S. Postal Service isn't solely behind the counters and on delivery routes. Despite some hefty challenges, service has improved. Anthrax attacks notwithstanding, the U.S. postal system is the world's most reliable – and affordable. What afflicts the U.S. Postal Service is its increasingly shaky financial foundation, an observation that has been made in numerous private and government reports since the early 1970s, including the Postal Service's own "transformation plan" to be delivered to Congress on Thursday."
April 4, 2002 -- The Financial Times (U.K.) has reported that "Consignia and the postal workers' union have struck a deal over job losses at the former Post Office which avoids compulsory sackings and makes a damaging nationwide strike much less likely. Officials at the Communication Workers Union have claimed an agreement negotiated in the past few days provides guarantees that 30,000 redundancies over the next three years will be voluntary."
April 3, 2002 -- Savi Technology, the provider of real-time solutions for the management and security of supply chain assets, introduces a new electronic seal with a fiber-optic cable loop that instantly detects security problems and alerts personnel whenever a cargo container has been tampered with, violated or mis-routed. This fiber-optic cable version of Savi SmartSeal(TM), designed for non-standard freight transportation conveyances such as Intermediate Bulk Containers (IBCs), air freight Unit Load Devices (ULDs), roll cages, pallets and totes, complements and extends the company's existing electronic bolt seal solution announced last fall for inter-modal and ocean-going cargo containers (IMCs).
April 3, 2002 -- The Anniston Star has noted that "after a year that saw historic decline in mail volume, the United States Postal Service is raising the cost of first-class stamps to 37 cents. That marks the biggest increase since the price was raised from 29 to 32 cents in 1995. Is that too much to charge? The better question might be, is it going to be enough?"
April 3, 2002 -- According to the Sacramento Business Journal, strike by United Parcel Service's workers would force UPS's millions of customers, ranging from tech firms to bookstores, to scramble for other ways to send their shipments.
April 3, 2002 -- The Detroit News has reported that "creating more full-time jobs at UPS is one of Teamster President James P. Hoffa's top goals in current contract negotiations that began in January. Hoffa has set a target of converting 3,000 part-time jobs into full-time jobs for each year of the new agreement. The number of years of the contract is an item yet to be negotiated. The union prefers a three-year pact, management wants five years."
April 3, 2002 -- The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has reported that "contentious labor relations may lie ahead as FedEx pilots voted overwhelmingly to rejoin the Air Line Pilots Association. Pilots at the Memphis-based overnight delivery giant joined ALPA in the early 1990s but ditched the nation's largest pilot union three years later for an independent group they thought would be more acceptable to management of the company, which is otherwise nonunion.
April 3, 2002 -- According to the Cleveland Plain-Dealer, "Your unemployment check is late, and, yes, this time it really is in the mail." Embarrassed U.S. Postal Service officials admitted yesterday that they had "found" up to 10,000 unemployment checks sitting in trays at the main processing and distribution center at Port Columbus Airport.
April 2, 2002 -- AFX Europe has reported that "the [Danish] government plans to convert Post Danmark into a joint stock company and sell 25 pct of the stock. The Liberal-Conservative government has agreed on the model to be used for privatisation of postal operations."
April 2, 2002 -- As the U.S. Postal Service has noted on its own web site, "a recent survey found that 100% of all hand-addressed mail gets opened, compared to 14% of mail that is machine-addressed or labeled, reports PR Reporter. Further validating the results, a hand-addressed direct-mail piece from Fasprint to PR Reporter did exactly what it was supposed to do – it made the recipient open it and read its contents. Inside was a 3"x 8" folded note which read, 'Why did you open this direct mailer? Because it has the personal touch that you want!'" Hand addressing....Automation....Hand addressing....Automation....
April 2, 2002 -- Want to know more about CONFIRM? Check out the precis on the Postal Service's web site.
April 2, 2002 -- Get a glimpse of the future of messaging. Check out the story on CNET on how "with the coming of 3G networks and wireless data services, cell phones aren't going to just resemble PCs. They're going to be PCs." The result? A continuing decline in the volume of messages sent through the mail. See also CNET's report on "the nation's largest telephone company announced Monday it will let subscribers send wireless e-mails to anyone, even to customers of rival carriers."
April 2, 2002 -- The Financial Times has reported that "China's state-owned postal monopoly has re-ignited a dispute with its local and foreign competitors in the deregulated overseas express mail market by attempting to restrict their business and control prices. The dispute has prompted protests to Beijing from international express delivery companies, and is looming as a test of China's commitment to world trade rules. China Post published in recent days a notice limiting local and foreign express delivery companies to handling parcels over 500 grams, which constitutes the bulk of their business. If they wish to carry lighter parcels, they will have to charge prices higher than those set by China Post."
April 2, 2002 -- The Budapest Business Journal has reported that "Magyar Posta Rt, the [Hungarian] state-owned postal monopoly, is stepping up efforts to evolve into a financial services center, leading some executives and analysts to express concern that the government is trying to increase its role in the market."
April 2, 2002 -- The agenda for the April meeting of the U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors has been posted on the Postal Service's RIBBS web site.
April 2, 2002 -- BNAmericas.com has reported that "the Cuban government has launched a portal for its postal service (www.correodecuba.com), which in a later stage will include financial services designed to make the state-owned institution profitable. At present, the portal will offer letter, telegram, e-mail and postcard services. Financial services, such as money transfers, should enter its portfolio in the short-term. Correos de Cuba is a state-run firm under the umbrella of the information and communications ministry. The company is struggling to become self-financed, and has placed its hope on the success of the portal."
April 2, 2002 -- According to the Institute for Research on the Economics of Taxation, "if the federal government is sincere in calling for greater financial transparency in the wake of the Enron and Global Crossing debacles, it has the opportunity to start at home with government-owned enterprises like the U.S. Postal Service."
April 2, 2002 -- According to the Moscow Times, Russian "post offices have had to rent out space to food stores and barber shops to make ends meet as fewer and fewer people send letters. But that could all change under a Communications Ministry plan to jump-start the postal service by merging the country's 93 floundering regional postal departments into a company called Russian Post."
April 2, 2002 -- The Boston Globe has reported that the "Postal Service is collecting its toll as e-mail gains on snail mail."
April 2, 2002 -- As The Times has noted, "the threat of a national postal strike may have been one of the most feared industrial disputes in recent months, raising the prospect of sealed postboxes and backlogs of mail, but it has already happened — and no one noticed."
April 2, 2002 -- As InternetWeek has noted, "FedEx Corp. has said its FedEx Insight Web-based application for shipment tracking is now available for FedEx Ground. The application was previously offered for FedEx Express customers. FedEx Insight was introduced last year to give customers current status information on inbound, outbound, and third-party shipments." See also the report in the Journal of Commerce.
April 2, 2002 -- Traffic World has reported that "Ryder System's own service for dot-com companies, e-Channel Solutions, has shifted to a service for customers who want to stock limited inventory with just-in-time deliveries."
April 1, 2002 -- The Fort Wayne (IN) Journal Gazette has reported that "the Postal Service was bleeding money even before last year's anthrax scare, which forced officials to beef up security and safety. Overall mail volumes for the first quarter of fiscal 2002 dropped about 2.8 billion pieces (or 5.5 percent) below the same period in the previous year. The agency is expected to sink into deeper debt even with the added cash from the proposed rate increase. The postal rate increases will have a chilling effect on some businesses that use it as a distribution or advertising medium."
April 1, 2002 -- DM News has noted that "Canada Post Corp. increases domestic rates today by a weighted average of 3.4 percent for addressed admail, including catalogs and other categories used by direct marketers, and 2 percent for unaddressed admail. Canada Post increases rates for addressed and unaddressed admail every year at this time. Last year, rates for addressed admail increased 5.2 percent, and unaddressed admail increased 2 percent."
April 1, 2002 -- As DM News postal commentator Cary Baer has noted, "the financial trouble of the U.S. Postal Service has finally begun to significantly affect the Washington political environment. High-level meetings are taking place, press conferences will be held, new postal reform legislation is being floated, and presidential appointments are being announced. All this is being done presumably to strengthen the postal service and help it survive."
April 1, 2002 -- According to the Financial Times (U.K.), "ministers were on Sunday accused of trying to conceal talks to sell Consignia's core Royal Mail business to TPG, the privatised Dutch postal group. Insiders close to the discussions said TPG had proposed an all-share takeover of Royal Mail but talks had broken down two weeks ago and were 'completely dead'." See also the report by The Guardian.
April 1, 2002 -- The Evening Standard (U.K.) has reported that "Consignia, owner of the Post Office, is expected to announce a further 15,000 redundancies in May. The move is likely to coincide with the annual results of the Post Office, which will show record losses of about £700m. That means Consignia is losing £1.5m a day. The staff cuts will be in the Royal Mail division. They come on top of a similar number of redundancies at the Parcel Force operation announced last week. Those losing their jobs will include sorting staff and postmen."
April 1, 2002 -- The Los Angeles Times has noted that "the post office delivers 689 million pieces of mail per day, and letter carriers each haul 42 tons per year. Most Americans--98%--continue to pay their bills by mail. Yet those vital services are jeopardized by the Postal Service's shaky finances. The General Accounting Office has labeled the postal system 'at risk,' and Postmaster General John Potter projects a deficit of $2 billion to $3 billion for 2003. Internal reform as well as congressional legislation is urgently needed."
April 1, 2002 -- "Whether it's too much or too little, too slow or too expensive," the Christian Science Monitor reported, "people around the world love to gripe about the mail. Americans are no exception, and they have plenty of new fodder with the US Postal Service's announcement that it will raise postage rates this summer – with a first-class letter to cost 37 cents, 3 more cents than now."
April 1, 2002 -- The Buffalo News has reported that "Bill Toth's company is a little piece of Belgium in North Buffalo. Netex Services, his business mailing service, charges Belgium's postal rates and uses its international mail system to ship letters all over the world. It even uses the nation's 'indicia' or stamp. 'We are an arm of their postal administration,' Toth said. The 25-person company is poised for rapid growth as private companies increasingly take on tasks performed by national postal services in the U.S. and abroad, company officials said Tuesday."
April 1, 2002 -- The Wall Street Journal has noted that "air-cargo volume fell 9.6% in February, slightly exceeding the previous month's decline, in a sign that the economic recovery might be struggling to gain further momentum. The Air Transport Association, the main trade group for U.S. carriers, said scheduled air-freight traffic declined to 1.64 billion revenue ton miles in February from 1.81 billion a year earlier. A revenue ton mile is one ton of revenue-generating traffic carried one mile. The results reflect world-wide volume at 16 carriers, including FedEx Corp. and United Parcel Service Inc."
April 1, 2002 -- Traffic World has reported that "the Teamsters union, turning up the heat on United Parcel Service in its current contract talks, is seeking an immediate 25 percent dues increase from its 1.4 million members. Teamsters union President James P. 'Jimmy' Hoffa, who would be breaking a 'no dues increase' pledge he made in 1996, has since realized that the only sure way to rebuild IBT finances is through a dues increase. The portion of a Teamsters' dues that is earmarked for the international has gone unchanged since 1981. It is among the lowest of any large international in the country. Hoffa is trying to sell the dues increase with the catchy slogan: 'A Nickel an Hour for Teamster power.'"
April 1, 2002 -- The South African paper, Business Daily, has reported that "British postal operator Consignia ran into union opposition yesterday when it announced 15000 job cuts in an effort to trim fat from the unprofitable state utility that is losing hundreds of millions a year. Consignia said the measures were the first in a three-year restructuring programme aimed at slashing costs by more than £1,2bn a year. The 300-year-old group, renamed Consignia last year, warned in December that up to 30000 jobs from its 200000strong workforce may have to go."