Postal News from February 2006:
February 28, 2006 -- SocialistWorker Online has noted that "The CWU union's postal executive committee was meeting as Socialist Worker went to press on Tuesday to consider an "efficiency" deal recommended by national officials. The deal claims to have separated this year's pay negotiations from talks about efficiency – it has done nothing of the kind. It is premised on workers and management agreeing to "savings". Some 40 percent of these savings will go into a national pay pool for workers, the rest will go to Royal Mail."
February 28, 2006 -- As the PostalNewsBlog has noted, "The USPS had a 10.3% increase in January revenues compared with the prior year, thanks to the rate increase implemented on January 8. Unfortunately for the USPS, the money being brought in by the increase is still earmarked for the congressionally mandated escrow fund, not for paying expenses. And while January looked good, for the fiscal year to date, revenue is up by just $343 million or 1.4% over SPLY. Expenses, on the other hand, are up by $918 million or 4.0% above SPLY. Priority and Express continue to show healthy growth, with Priority volumes up 7.5% year to date, and Express up by 5.5%. The full report in is available at the USPS Financials web page, in either Excel or Adobe format."
February 28, 2006 -- According to Sharewatch, "UK postal operator Royal Mail said it beat its target for first and second class deliveries between October and December last year. The state-owned group said 94 pct of first class stamped letters arrived the day after posting during the period, ahead of the 93 pct national target. Second class mail also beat its 98.5 pct target with a 98.9 pct performance during the same three month period."
February 28, 2006 -- From Business Wire: "Research and Markets (http://www.researchandmarkets.com/reports/c27942) has announced the addition of RFID for Postal and Courier Services to their offering. In the major new report "RFID for the Postal and Courier Service", it is estimated that the global market for RFID systems, including tags, in this sector will be $3 billion in 2016."
February 28, 2006 -- Lanka Business Online has reported that "Sri Lanka's state run Postal Department is scouting for Rs. 25 million in private investment to launch a dedicated business mail service The planned business mail service will allow commercial establishments to purchase postage over the internet and use digital encoding or barcodes instead of stamps and even addresses on their mail. Postmaster General Sherwin Senadeera said under the new service up to 60 percent of the business mail could be delivered by the next working day. Over 80 percent of current estimated 500 million letters accounts for business letters."
February 28, 2006 -- UPS has unveiled UPS FreightSM, marking another key step in the continued integration of Overnite® Corporation into the UPS brand. See photos. Watch b-roll. Customers will begin seeing the new uniforms and newly branded trucks May 1.
February 28, 2006 -- The latest issue of COMMentary, Postcomm's newsletter which highlights current events in the postal services sector. Among other things this edition covers the newly competitive postal market, Postcomm's final price control proposal on Royal Mail, the new licensing regime and our enforcement activities.
February 28, 2006 -- According to Dow Jones, "Subsidies provided by India's postal department are likely to increase this financial year. They are expected to rise to INR14.50 billion this year from INR13.64 billion in 2002-03, says the Economic Survey. User charges cover only 76% of costs. Almost all services provided by the post office including letters, postcards , money orders and parcels are subsidized. It is important to study the rationale and the size of the subsidy says the report. India has 155,516 post offices."
February 28, 2006 -- The Wall Street Journal has reported that "Postal and logistics company TNT NV reported a sharp drop in fourth-quarter net profit and said an investigation into possible tax irregularities was concluded. The Netherlands-based company's net profit dropped 48% to €108 million ($128.2 million), or 24 European cents a share, compared with €209 million, or 44 cents a share, a year earlier. The latest results were hurt by a charge on the sale of its unprofitable French logistics division."
February 28, 2006 -- With tongue in cheek, one commentator for the Jewish World Review wrote: "The White House became embroiled in controversy once again as it announced today that it had made a deal with Osama bin Laden to run the U.S. Postal Service. Only days after it agreed to a review of its deal with a Dubai-based company to run several U.S. ports, the White House surprised Washington with its decision to put the U.S. mail in the hands of the world's most wanted man. But at a press briefing in Washington, Vice President Dick Cheney vigorously defended the deal, calling Mr. bin Laden "the right man for the job." "Osama bin Laden is eminently qualified to run the U.S. Postal Service," Mr. Cheney told reporters. "For one thing, he's already disgruntled."
February 28, 2006 -- The Daily News has reported that "BotswanaPost has introduced strategic initiatives as part of identifying and developing new products offering to both the growth of the business and improve customer satisfaction."
February 28, 2006 -- According to Gibbons Stamp Monthly, Australia Post are planning to create history during this year's Commonwealth Games in Melbourne by embarking upon the world's largest instant stamp program. The postal administration have announced that they intend to issue a new stamp for each Australian Gold medallist, in addition to stamps marking the opening and closing ceremonies and the Games' most memorable moment."
February 28, 2006 -- Transport Intelligence has reported that TNT N.V.'s Audit Committee and Supervisory Board have received the report of the Audit Committee's independent counsel with respect to its investigation into whether illegal acts occurred at TNT, and the responsibility for such acts, in connection with certain past tax matters. The investigation determined that some illegal acts had taken place. However it further concluded that the integrity of present and past members of the Board of Management and current senior staff, reporting to the Board of Management, was not in doubt. Several remedial recommendations, including strengthening of controls and procedures and financial and tax staffing have been discussed."
February 28, 2006 -- KTIV News has reported that "Changes in store for Sioux City's mail processing center are still undecided. But, the United States Postal Service will conduct a "service audit" to learn the impact of consolidating services. That's at the request of Iowa Senator Tom Harkin. Harkin asked for a follow up study to the postal service's strategy for realigning and consolidating services. Harkin met with Siouxland officials, last month, in Washington, D.C., because the current feasibility study is looking at whether to move mail processing operations from Sioux City to Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Harkin says the community has a stake in this decision and should be included in the process. If delivery service will deteriorate, Harkin says the closing shouldn't happen."
February 28, 2006 -- Heard it thru the grapevine.... Word has it that Blockbuster is now looking to get some of the same bennies that the Postal Service is providing Netflix.
February 28, 2006 -- According to the Daily Mail, "Despite mass closures over the past five years, the post office remains at the heart of most local communities. All over Britain, six days a week, some 14,500 post offices provide an invaluable service, allowing customers to pick up benefit payments and pay utility bills as well as buy stamps."
February 28, 2006 -- The Atlanta Business Journal has reported that "Three hundred The UPS Store owners plan to sue United Parcel Service Inc. and its subsidiary, Mail Boxes Etc., for undercutting their profits. Hundreds of other UPS Store owners could follow suit, the culmination of a long-festering feud between many store owners and their franchiser."
February 28, 2006 -- According to Hoovers, "United Parcel Service (UPS), one of the world top 500, plans to open three retailing outlets in China in Shanghai in the second quarter of this year."
February 28, 2006 -- Kiosk Marketplace has reported that "RFID is a powerful enabling technology with ever-widening application. However, potentially the largest applications of RFID such as consumer packaged goods, postal items, drugs and books can only be fully addressed if tag prices drop to under one cent including fitting them in place."
February 27, 2006 -- The G-8 and the World Bank have recognized Africa as the continent most in need of development assistance and are actively seeking ways to help African countries improve themselves. PAPU in partnership with Postal Services International Ltd. (PSI) and Analytical Business Services Inc. (AnaBus) has established PANGO-post. The stated purpose of PANGO-post is to work collectively to identify potential sources of development funding that may be available in North America and Europe, and match these to postal projects in member countries of PAPU. The partners in PANGO-post believe that once members of the Mail and Postal industry understand the potential their industry has to assist, at a fundamental level, the development of the African continent, they will be ready to: invest in business opportunities that PANGO-post publicizes; donate some of their charitable funds directly towards African mail and postal projects; assist in educating members of the funding community as to the importance of the mail and postal industry in any developed society; and to use their networks of business and political contacts to promote the activities of PANGO-post. You may find more information on the PANGO-post partners at the following web sites: www.upap-papu.org, www.postserveint.com, www.anabus.com.
February 27, 2006 -- Okay, you academic types....Here's an interesting MIT thesis on the Postal Service Response to Logistics Disruptions.
February 27, 2006 -- As the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis has noted, "Although it's a favorite whipping horse for anti-government types, no government entity embraces the concept of productivity like USPS."
February 27, 2006 -- The Association for Postal Commerce welcomes its newest members:
SkillPath Seminars represented by Eric Snider, Executive Vice President.
Teradata, a Division of NCR Corp., represented by Jamil Hermes Senior Director
February 27, 2006 -- The Jerusalem Post has reported that "Israel will have a new state postal company as of Wednesday. The company will replace the Postal Authority and will be required to face competition from the private sector. Called Doar Yisrael in Hebrew, the new company aims at making profits by adding advanced new services and becoming more efficient while continuing to provide mail services to the whole population."
February 27, 2006 -- The Associated Press has reported that "The U.S. Postal Service has agreed to pay roughly $6.5 million in back wages to nearly 900 pilots, co-pilots and flight engineers, ending a 10-year-old wage dispute, the Labor Department announced Monday. The affected employees worked under various contracts and subcontracts to transport mail by air between January 1996 and August 2001, the department said. The agreement emerged from a dispute over the calculation of wages for flight crew employees. The contractors and subcontractors affected by Monday's agreement with the Postal Service are: Ryan International Airlines; Express One International Inc.; and Evergreen International Airlines Inc., the department said."
February 27, 2006 -- The U.S. Postal Service has issued a notice of Suspension of International Economy Mail Service to several countries. Check it out.
February 27, 2006 -- And, for all you postal history buffs, here is a blast from the past from James C. Miller III, the current chairman of the U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors, i.e., a paper the Chairman once gave at the Cato Institute in Washington, DC, on the topic "End the Postal Monopoly."
February 27, 2006 -- From the Postal Rate Commission:
February 27, 2006 -- According to Deliver, "Here's some good news for auto industry execs and their marketing partners: Consumers respond aggressively to direct mail when they're in a car-buying mood. 52% of direct mail readers planning to buy a new car read automotive direct mail. But more important, 73 percent of those readers surveyed respond to those mailings by turning to other media and/or heading to dealership showrooms, according to research by Vertis, a Baltimore-based marketing services firm. 35% of adults who have responded to automotive direct mail by visiting a company's Web site are planning to purchase a new vehicle within the next 12 months; 26% of those who plan to make a purchase visited a dealership in person."
February 27, 2006 -- As Traffic World has noted, "The long-anticipated redesign of the U.S. Postal Service network is moving ahead with details emerging about potential transportation changes. The redesign, led by USPS Vice President of Network Operations Management Paul Vogel, will affect transportation, particularly on the ground. It will affect routes, facilities and many contractors that haul mail. FedEx may be among them. According to Vogel and others at the Postal Service, everything is on the table. So observers expect the lucrative contract FedEx signed with the Postal Service in 2001 to be reviewed as well."
February 27, 2006 -- The USPS has named a new vice president and one acting vice president: (1) Deborah Giannoni-Jackson was named vice president, Employee Resource Management. Giannoni-Jackson was formerly the vice president, human resources of Royal Ahold, the world's third-largest grocery retailer that owns and manages Giant Food stores and Bruno's Supermarkets. (2) Mark Berthold was named acting vice president, treasurer. Earlier, Berthold served as assistant treasurer, financing and cash management for the Postal Service.
February 27, 2006 -- Dow Jones has reported that "Dutch postal and logistics company TNT N.V. said Monday that many companies are interested in buying the logistics division that it put up for sale in December last year."
February 27, 2006 -- DMNews has reported that:
February 27, 2006 -- According to the Yale Daily News, "E-mail is not the efficient tool it was purported to be. It is yet another means of procrastination. It has institutionalized flakiness and engendered myriad excuses for not fulfilling obligations ("Oh, I never received that e-mail"; "My computer has a virus"). E-mail has made it impossible to pin people down, whereas it was supposed to ease communication. But the problem with e-mail is not intrinsic; it is the way we abuse it that has rendered it a failure. Before e-mail, our society treasured communication. The United States Postal Service's motto is, "Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds." It prides itself on its dedication to delivering messages. A failed delivery was and is an anomaly. On the other hand, a "MAILER-DAEMON" rudely informs me of its unsuccessful delivery attempts quite frequently."
February 27, 2006 -- Federal Computer Week has reported that "Nothing is more challenging for Robert Otto, the U.S. Postal Service's chief technology officer, than finding new ways to avoid unnecessary spending. Otto has no expectations of getting a larger information technology budget every year, and he accepts the challenge of making do with flat or lower budgets."
February 27, 2006 -- According to OilFiredUp.com, "Distribution company DHL, has been fined £8,000 and ordered to pay costs of £5,854 after a 5,000 litre fuel oil spillage."
February 27, 2006 -- According to EngineeringTalk, "CCD camera is a flexible, rapid and reliable identification system for use within logistical processes in high-end shipping and sorting markets."
February 27, 2006 -- AMEInfo has reported that "Emirates Post and Iran Post have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that focuses on increased cooperation in IT, money transfer, parcel delivery and mail hub services."
February 27, 2006 -- As Transport Intelligence has noted,"Dutch mail, express and logistics company TNT has reported its full year and fourth quarter results. The company reported a strong operational performance from its network businesses. Full year revenues from continuing operations were € 10.1 billion, an 11.0% increase on last year, with operating income of € 1.2 billion, a 3.9% increase. Following the decision by management to dispose of part of its Logistics division, the company now divides its operations into ‘continuing' and ‘discontinued' business. Amongst the former are the Mail, Express and Freight Management divisions."
February 27, 2006 -- The Hindu Business Line has reported that "Worried about the increasing subsidy in postal services, which is expected to be about Rs 1,450 crore this year, the Economic Survey has asked the government to clarify the rationale and mechanism for the ballooning subsidy."
February 26, 2006 -- As Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) noted in an article published in the Magic City Morning Star, "The U.S. Postal Service is the lynchpin of a $900 billion mailing industry that employs nine million Americans. Maine employers ranging from L.L. Bean and Cuddledown to printers and paper manufacturers are dependent on a healthy postal service. Universal access and affordable rates are vital for this important economic sector."
February 26, 2006 -- As one writer in the Guernsey Press noted, "the price of sending a letter locally could be as much as 38p in three years' time unless retail outlets are shut."
February 25, 2006 -- The latest issue of the PostCom Bulletin is available online. In this issue:
February 25, 2006 -- The latest issue of PostCom's PostOps Update has been posted on this site. In this issue: USPS updates mailers on flats sequencing initiative; flats address placement workgroup begins; streamlining verification; seamless acceptance for MLOCR users underway; seamless acceptance for periodicals also underway; USPS to introduce new one code solutions at Postal Forum; USPS to lift New Orleans mail embargo in May/June; APPS update; FAST update; USPS to make changes to BSN program; service workgroup stalled; POSTALONE! — the best is yet to come; address quality tools group to sunset; upcoming postal rules changes.
February 25, 2006 -- Transport Intelligence has reported that "In an interview with the Reuters press agency, UPS Chief Executive Mike Eskew has revealed that the company plans to create 22 more distribution centres in China in the next few months. The company is continuing to ratchet up its operations throughout the entire region in order to increase its market share. Eskew also commented that FedEx's recent acquisition of domestic express company DTW would put it in the position which UPS attained last year when it bought out its Sinotrans joint venture."
February 25, 2006 -- The Guernsey Press and Star has reported that "Guernsey's postal watchdog is backing the closure of up to five sub offices. Postwatch Guernsey has gone further than the Office of Utility Regulation with its suggestions. It believes that if the price of a stamp is to be kept down, then consumers will have to accept reduced services. Its proposals include: dropping standard deliveries and collections from six days a week to five, a significant reduction in roadside collection boxes, and culling post offices to five or alternatively just four but with a mobile one."
February 25, 2006 -- Daily Ireland has reported that "Small businesses are under threat and jobs will be lost if postal services in Belfast are crippled by a second strike, it was claimed last night. The Communication Workers Union (CWU) is considering balloting its members on industrial action less than a week after the 18-day dispute was called off. Shop stewards have claimed staff who took part in the unofficial action have been victimised since they returned to work. But Royal Mail denied the allegations and branded the union irresponsible. The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) said its members were still suffering from the mammoth backlog left by the strike, while the Ulster Unionist Party urged the government to get involved before the dispute escalates."
February 25, 2006 -- From eMediaWire: "The United States Postal Service (USPS) recently announced that IncentOne™ was awarded "APPROVED VENDOR" status to provide its Gift Certificate Award™ via the USPS' eAwards system. The USPS eAwards system is a tool designed for managers to engage employees and increase moral by reinforcing positive behaviors that are aligned with organizational goals. The platform allows USPS managers flexibility in designing and operating employee recognition programs recognizing performance excellence. eAwards is designed to minimize the time between the activity and the recognition by providing a recognition program platform that instantly gives access to both the 78,000 managers authorized to purchase incentives, and the 770,000 employees of the USPS who will be redeeming the Gift Certificate Award for the reward of their choice."
February 25, 2006 -- Reuters has reported that "The European Commission on Friday approved up to 150 million pounds in annual state aid for Post Office Ltd. (POL), a retail subsidiary of the Royal Mail Group, to help serve rural areas."
February 25, 2006 -- According to CNN Money, "startup engineers could take a lesson from a 99-year-old company, however. Besides its armies of truck drivers, UPS (Research) has 4,700 IT personnel and spends $1 billion a year on technology. With such extensive offerings, it can't take for granted that its customers will simply stumble upon the new technology that it rolls out."
February 25, 2006 -- RTE Business has reported that "ComReg survey has found that most businesses solely rely on An Post for their postal needs, with only 12% using other service providers as well as the national postal service provider. The findings of ComReg's 2005 postal business and residential surveys published today show that the average businesses spent €6000 on An Post services in the year. The survey found that financial services companies are the greatest users and awareness of other service providers apart from An Post is relatively low."
February 25, 2006 -- According to the Kyodo news service, "Japan Post is likely to chalk up a net profit of about 2 trillion yen in fiscal 2005 to March 31, up from the previous year's 1.2 trillion yen, President Masaharu Ikuta said Friday."
February 25, 2006 -- AMEInfo has reported that "The 3rd Annual International Business Awards today announced that Emirates Post, the leading postal services provider in the United Arab Emirates, has signed on as a National Sponsor of the awards and will eliminate entry fees for all companies in the U.A.E. that submit entries before the March 31 deadline."
February 25, 2006 -- FinFacts has reported that "Almost one in five businesses complained about Irish postal services in 12-month period."
February 25, 2006 -- Hindustan Times has reported that "the postal department has taken yet another innovative step to augment its revenue. The department of post had agreement with Oriental Insurance Company (OIC) Limited to provide a ‘personal accident death insurance' cover to saving bank and senior citizen scheme account holders of the post office."
February 25, 2006 -- According to News Media Update, "The U.S. Postal Service last week detained a Washington, D.C.-based journalist for a German television network, releasing him only after he agreed to turn over his videotape of news footage taken at a New Orleans mail pick-up center for victims of Hurricane Katrina."
February 24, 2006 -- Business Mailers Review has reported that:
Business Mailer's Review is an award-winning, independent biweekly newsletter covering issues of importance to the business mailer. It is regularly cited as among the best sources of postal information. For subscription information, check the BMR web site.
February 24, 2006 -- According to the Aberdeen News, "Clem Felchle had the tall task Thursday of trying to convince community leaders that possible changes to local postal service will largely benefit the Aberdeen area. The 50 or so audience members, however, wanted that pledge in writing. For 90 minutes, the manager for the U.S. Postal Service's Dakotas District shared many facts about local postal service and answered sometimes pointed questions. Ultimately, the crowd wanted a hard copy of many of the answers Felchle provided. He said he would check with his supervisors to see if he could release the information in writing."
February 24, 2006 -- The Jerusalem Post has reported that "Israel Postal Service workers announced a general country-wide strike on Friday, to be in effect until further notice."
February 24, 2006 -- UK Fundraising has reported that "The Royal Mail has launched a direct mail campaign to help businesses across the UK prepare for the introduction of its new pricing system, Pricing in Proportion (PiP), which will have a direct impact on charity direct marketing. Packs providing information on the new pricing system, as well as advice on how companies can manage the impact of PiP, are being sent to nearly half a million small, medium and large businesses from this week."
February 24, 2006 -- According to the Santa Barbara News-Press, "The postal union established a memorial fund for five employees killed in Goleta -- but gave a cold shoulder to the sixth worker slain there. To the American Postal Workers Union, Maleka Higgins is apparently a nonperson. Maleka's financially challenged family -- husband Pablo and her now-motherless child Emily -- stand to receive little if anything, other than from local donations. Why? Because according to Maleka's mother, Sherie Higgins, Maleka dropped out of the union after many years when she went on maternity leave. She planned to rejoin but hadn't done it by the time of the Jan. 31 tragedy."
February 24, 2006 -- DMNews has reported that "The Direct Marketing Association has joined a coalition spearheaded by the Association for Postal Commerce (Postcom) to combat movement of the growing number of state do-not-mail bills popping up this year. Do-not-mail bills have been introduced in Missouri, New York and Illinois. In Missouri, two bills were introduced, one targeting commercial mail to consumers and the other targeting business-to-business mail."
February 24, 2006 -- From PRWeb: "The United States Postal Service (USPS) recently announced that IncentOne™ was awarded "APPROVED VENDOR" status to provide its Gift Certificate Award™ via the USPS' eAwards system. The USPS eAwards system is a tool designed for managers to engage employees and increase moral by reinforcing positive behaviors that are aligned with organizational goals. The platform allows USPS managers flexibility in designing and operating employee recognition programs recognizing performance excellence. eAwards is designed to minimize the time between the activity and the recognition by providing a recognition program platform that instantly gives access to both the 78,000 managers authorized to purchase incentives, and the 770,000 employees of the USPS who will be redeeming the Gift Certificate Award for the reward of their choice."
February 24, 2006 -- The BBC has reported that "The postal workers union and Royal Mail are to meet later as efforts continue to avert another mail strike."
February 24, 2006 -- Techworld has reported that "Both sides of the US political spectrum have found an issue to unite them: free e-mail. Next Tuesday, a group of non-profit organisations and small businesses will announce the formation of a coalition aimed at putting a stop to AOL's and Yahoo's plans to charge fees to mass e-mailers. The coalition, expected to be launched at a press event in New York, will be sponsored by digital rights advocacy group, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), and it will include two political adversaries: the liberal MoveOn.org and the conservative RightMarch.com political action committees."
February 24, 2006 -- According to KCAL-TV, "A U.S. Postal Service official says that employee schedule changes should eventually fix the mail delivery problems that have affected parts of Los Angeles County. The Postal Service has gotten a slew of complaints recently about law and slow delivery from customers in the Westside, San Fernando Valley, South Bay and Central Los Angeles. One reason for the problems is the closure of the Marina Del Rey sorting facility. The closure increased the amount of mail processed at a South Los Angeles office."
February 24, 2006 -- From the Federal Register:
February 24, 2006 -- From the Business Wire: "DHL, the world's leading express and logistics company, has launched a new service by 12 p.m. second day for non-dutiable shipments to major cities and business centers in ten Asia-Pacific countries. DHL MidDay Express is now also available for import shipments to Europe from Asia-Pacific. DHL is the first express company to offer this service on a large scale."
February 24, 2006 -- "Is There a Future for Mail?" by Luis Jimenez, Senior Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer Pitney Bowes presented to the Postal Rate Commission, Washington, D.C. on February 22, 2006. Check it out.
February 24, 2006 -- Ireland Online has noted that "Small businesses are under threat and jobs will be lost if postal services in Belfast are crippled by a second strike, it was claimed tonight. The Communication Workers Union is considering balloting its members on industrial action less than a week after the 18-day dispute was called off." See also U.TV
February 24, 2006 -- FedSmith has reported that "The U.S. Postal Service fared well in a pair of decisions reviewing its personnel actions which were just issued by the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals."
February 24, 2006 -- Indian Express has reported that "While the ministry of communications and IT is busy changing the Indian Post Office Act to wrest an exclusive monopoly over letters that weigh up to 500 gms, the Rs 4,000-crore private courier industry has demanded privatisation of all postal services in the country. The industry has drafted a Position Paper on the Post Office (Amendment) Bill which it has marked to President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and the Ministry of Communications and IT, with requests to reject the Bill's unfavourable provisions."
February 24, 2006 -- According to the Financial Times, "Bull, the French computer group that escaped bankruptcy via state aid, yesterday reported its first annual growth in six years. Sales grew 3 per cent to €1.2bn ($1.4bn), boosted by a contract to automate mail systems at La Poste, the French postal group. Net income rose 11 per cent to €15.8m, helped by lower interest payments."
February 23, 2006 -- The Federal Times has reported that "Dale Goff, new president of the National Association of Postmasters of the United States, is likely facing the most challenging of his 36 years with the U.S. Postal Service. "Many of us are suffering with inadequate staffing levels," said Goff, who took office Jan. 1. "Almost every problem we deal with every day comes down to this one problem of staffing."
February 23, 2006 -- From the PR Newswire:
February 23, 2006 -- If you're interested in more information on the Supreme Court's ruling on the Postal Service's liability for tort suits (Dolan v. USPS), check out:
February 23, 2006 -- Shippers Newswire has reported that "The government of El Salvador has signed a cooperation agreement with UPS aimed at simplifying the Central America country's customs procedures."
February 23, 2006 -- According to the Shanghai Daily, CHINA'S postal industry narrowed its loss to 398 million yuan (US$49.45 million) last year, said the National Development and Reform Commission, the country's top economic planning agent."
February 23, 2006 -- DMNews has reported that:
February 23, 2006 -- Supply Chain Review has reported that "Export facilities continue to expand at Queensland's air transport and logistics hub with the country's leading postal service provider – Australia Post – set to open its new $8.5million Post Logistics centre in the heart of Brisbane Airport's Export Park. Over a year in construction, the state-of-the-art warehouse and office development is Australia Post's first purpose-built building in Brisbane for its emerging third-party logistics business."
February 23, 2006 -- Transport Intelligence has reported that "DHL has announced plans to enhance its foot-courier network within New York City by building a new facility on New York's West Side. The $10.4 million investment includes the leasing and retrofitting of an existing building near Times Square to serve DHL customers throughout New York's Upper West Side and Midtown business district. DHL has the largest foot-courier network of any major U.S. express delivery company operating in New York City."
February 23, 2006 -- Reuters has reported that:
February 23, 2006 -- The Media Bulletin has reported that "Postwatch has sided with the magazine industry in opposition to Presstream's removal from the Royal Mail price control, and has written to MPs to encourage them to raise the issue in Parliament."
February 23, 2006 -- The DM Bulletin has reported that "Dutch mail group TNT has called an agency review for a £3m rebrand of its business-to-business postal services."
February 23, 2006 -- From PressReleaseNetwork: "CertiMaiL launch the first e-mail service recognized in Court, providing to an email the same value as a classical paper hand-signed and time stamped. CertiMaiL's legally recognized e-mail service provides an electronic mail with the same postal status as a classical, hand-signed, time stamped, paper mail but with greater security and lower cost. The CertiMaiL e-mail is the first digital mail recognized in court: It is as easy to use as plugging a USB-key in to a PC. End-users are able to access a unique service throughout Europe which authenticates all e-mail."
February 23, 2006 -- The Brown County Democrat has reported that "A possible U.S. Postal Service plan to move mail processing from Bloomington to Indianapolis would not hurt service in Nashville's ZIP code 47448, according Nashville Postmaster Bruce Gould. The postal service is currently studying the efficiency of sorting all 474-area ZIP code mail in Indianapolis instead of in a plant on Bloomington's west side."
February 23, 2006 -- The BBC has reported that " Postal workers will vote on an official strike Postal workers are to hold a ballot on whether to take official strike action."
February 22, 2006 -- Azeezaly S. Jaffer, vice president, Public Affairs and Communications, United States Postal Service, in a letter to the editor of the Sioux City Journal, has written: "I'm pleased that the Postal Service, however inadvertent, has helped Sen. Tom Harkin and Rep. Steve King find common ground, as suggested in your Feb. 12 editorial, "Political foes join forces." The editorial dealt with the study the Postal Service is conducting on mail processing in Sioux City, a study whose outcome, the editorial notes, "remains unclear." But then inexplicably, the editorial predicts how the study will turn out and that we'll see "a degradation of mail service to Northwest Iowa and Northeast Nebraska." I have no idea how you could reach that conclusion, and frankly I think you need to tell your readers what research you used to form that opinion."
February 22, 2006 -- The New York Times has noted that "In a country where the power is usually out, the police may rob you and few traffic lights actually work, it is perhaps surprising that Iraqis still get mail. The territory is demonstrably hostile: the train that carries the letters north is frequently attacked. Bright orange American vans had to be painted black for safe passage through dangerous areas south of Baghdad. Postmen on mopeds brave gun battles to deliver letters in Dora, a Baghdad neighborhood so paralyzed by violence that corpses lie in the street for hours. And there are no mailboxes, so postmen deliver to the addressee, not to the address — a task that has become far more complicated in the upheaval of the past three years."
February 22, 2006 -- The Nigerian Tribune has reported that "President Olusegun Obasanjo has approved the appointment of Alhaji Ibrahim Mori Baba as the acting Postmaster General \ Chief Executive Officer of the Nigeria Postal Service (NIPOST)."
February 22, 2006 -- From the PR Newswire:
February 22, 2006 -- CEP News (Courier-Express-Postal), published by the MRU Consultancy, has reported that:
Norway's Posten Norge AS achieved a record result during the last financial year. The post again achieved the highest increase in the logistics segment.The mail segment, however, is a cause for some concern. The total volume was only increased through a marked growth in advertising mail (unaddressed mail: +11.6%, addressed: +3.2%), while so-called A and B mail (1st and 2nd class) decreased by 5.5%.
Erik Olsson, CEO of Sweden's Posten AB, is looking back on a more than satisfactory financial year 2005.
Despite losses in the USA, Deutsche Post AG will achieve a definitely improved EBIT for the financial year 2005.
The "Bring More Colours into the Postal Market" forum has confirmed the demand for an end to the letter monopoly. The forum says it is unacceptable that German customers have to subsidise the post's international ventures through excessive postage rates.
Norway's Posten AS intends to start operating on the Danish mail market early next year. Initially, Posten's subsidiary CityMail will launch business mail services in the Copenhagen area, which may become extended to other Danish regions after the complete market liberalisation expected in 2009.
the Bulgarian parliament passed the new postal act after the first reading. According to an official declaration, the amendment complies with European Union requirements, which means - among other things - that parcels may in future only be opened with the permission of either the sender or the addressee.
The Belgian-Dutch finance group Fortis (2004 turnover: 70.4bn euros) is expected to become the Irish An Post's partner for financial services.
Deutsche Post AG has put off its profit target for DHL USA. The post has abandoned its previous and often confirmed goal of breaking even in the USA by the end of 2006. Instead, the express segment in North America is set to move towards the profit zone "over the next few years". With immediate effect, business figures for the USA will no longer be shown separately.
Schweizerische Post intends to turn its entire Logistics segment into an independent public limited company.
TNT has bought back almost 20 million of its own shares since the beginning of December (situation as per 14.02) which is more than half the envisaged volume.
Logistics operator Exel, now a member of the Deutsche Post group, intends to sell its subsidiary Marken. According to an announcement published last week, the investment bank UBS has been commissioned to find a buyer for Marken, which specialises in time sensitive express transport.
Worldwide express service operators' growing interest in the Indian market appears to attract financial investors, too.
The MRU, founded in 1992, is the only consultancy in Europe, which has specialised in the market of courier-, express- and parcel services. For large-scale shippers and CEP-services in particular, the MRU provides interdisciplinary advice for all major questions of the market, as there are for example market entry, product design, organisation, and EDP.To learn more about the stories reported above, contact CEP News.
February 22, 2006 -- The Irish Sun has reported that "The Australian Trade Commission has signed a two-year deal with FedEx to promote trade between the United States and Australia. The agreement leverages the expertise of both FedEx and Austrade in order to make expert resources available and connect Australian and U.S. businesses that wish to import and export."
February 22, 2006 -- The The Guardian has reported that "Competition forces the poor to subsidise private interests, as the case of Royal Mail demonstrates."
February 22, 2006 -- According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "Chief Executive Mike Eskew says he checks the price occasionally but views Wall Street's ups and downs as a distraction from his job of managing the Sandy Springs delivery giant "for the next quarter-century, not the next quarter." But it's hard not to notice that archrival FedEx has outperformed UPS on the New York Stock Exchange for five of the last six calendar years."
February 22, 2006 -- The Japan Herald has reported that "Euronet Worldwide, Inc., a leading electronic payments provider, today announced it has entered the Chinese market with an ATM outsourcing agreement with Postal Savings and Remittance Bureau (PSRB), the fifth largest financial institution in China. PSRB is part of the China State Postal Bureau (China Post, the national postal service). PSRB provides basic deposit and remittance services to customers through the extensive network of post offices across the country."
February 22, 2006 -- The Trend News Agency has reported that "Russia and Azerbaijan will sign a number of agreements in the communication field. It will be implemented in accordance with the resolution of the Russian-Azerbaijani inter-governmental commission. Agreements between the both countries' Communication Ministries in the information technologies, postal and electronic communications fields, as well as the agreement between the governments of Azerbaijan and Russia on cooperation in the field of postal money transfers will be signed."
February 22, 2006 -- According to Dublin People, "A recruitment embargo at An Post, which has left "hundreds" of positions vacant in the company, has been blamed for significant postal delays this week.There have been complaints from some customers that they have not received post for days while others have been waiting for over a week to receive important correspondence."
February 22, 2006 -- Russia and Eastern Europe, often in the media shadow of China and India, represent some of the most dynamic markets for international magazine publishers. George J. Green, President of Heart Magazines International (HMI) will conduct this forum focusing on magazine publishing opportunities in Russia and Eastern Europe. Date: Wednesday, March 8, 2006 Time: 12:00 – 2:00pm Place: MPA Board Room 810 Seventh Avenue Floor 24 New York City Price: $75.00 MPA Members $100.00 Nonmembers.
February 22, 2006 -- UPS has been rated "America's Most Admired" company in its industry in an annual survey conducted by FORTUNE magazine."
February 21, 2006 -- Real Tech News has reported that "Australian Post apparently is the first postal agency in the world to SMS or email you within 30 minutes of finishing the mail sort with that now famous line from the movie: You've Got Mail!"
February 21, 2006 -- The Times-Picayune has reported that "Nearly six months after Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans' main post office reopened Tuesday, but postal authorities said mail delivery will still be delayed."
February 21, 2006 -- According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "Externally, hulking brown UPS delivery vans have little in common with gas-sipping hybrids like the Toyota Prius or the new Honda Civics. But the Sandy Springs delivery giant has ordered 50 delivery trucks powered by similar combinations of internal combustion and electric motors that the company says will improve fuel economy 35 percent. UPS also ordered 4,100 "low-emissions" vehicles that use natural gas, propane, batteries or hydrogen and are meant to improve efficiency by 15 percent."
February 21, 2006 -- Kyodo news service has reported that "The board of Japan Post Corp., the company formed in January to prepare for the privatization of Japan's postal system, appointed its eight executive officers Tuesday, including Sakon Uda, principal at McKinsey & Co., and Akira Uno, former chairman of SMBC Consulting Co., company officials said. Most of the other new executive officers come from Japan Post, the public corporation for postal services, and the Financial Services Agency, according to the officials. The appointments will take effect on March 6 for Uda and March 21 for the others."
February 21, 2006 -- As the Arizona Republic has noted, "Two cents might not seem like a lot, but for businesses that rely on direct mail to reach clients and prospective clients, the extra pennies you've had to shell out for stamps since last month's rate hike have started adding up. The U.S. Postal Service delivers almost 200 billion pieces of mail each year, and bulk business mail, comprising catalogs, advertising circulars and direct-mail campaigns, makes up about 60 percent of its revenue. Although bulk mail, media mail and mail sent by designated groups such as non-profit organizations receive certain discounts, the 5.4 percent rate increase is affecting most businesses."
February 21, 2006 -- Aftenposten has reported that "The head of the Norwegian postal service (Posten) wants to get out of the state-mandated banking business and shut half of its post offices around the country. That's not popular, either among the public or politicians. Dag Mejdell, who recently took over as Posten's chief executive, unveiled record profits this week but nonetheless wants to further cut overhead. The postal service already has been through a major reorganization that closed traditional post offices and re-established some as kiosks inside grocery stores. That hasn't been enough, Mejdell thinks, to cut costs sufficiently."
February 21, 2006 -- The Asahi Shimbun has reported that "Japan Post has decided to stop mail delivery and collection at 1,000 primarily rural post offices by October 2007, when postal privatization begins, sources said. Currently, about 4,700 of the nation's 24,600 post offices provide those services."
February 21, 2006 -- The National Association of Major Mail Users (NAMMU) has announced: "DESTINATION CANADA -- A program that de-mystifies the Canadian marketplace and encourages the use of the mail channel for postal commerce. Interactive workshop talking points include: the marketplace (population, economic indicators, business outlook); key issues (privacy, list availability, emerging trends); Canadian creative resources (agencies, winning approaches by market segment); the postal business environment (postal rates and requirements); Canadian supplier infrastructure and capabilities. The differentiating factor of Destination Canada to other programs is that it enlarges the scope of business opportunities for the mailing industry by promoting the use of the entire Canadian supplier infrastructure, creative through fulfillment, in Canada and the world market. For sponsorship and other event opportunities contact: firstname.lastname@example.org The DMA runs October 14-18 in San Francisco."
February 20, 2006 -- Daily Ireland has reported that "Postal workers who took part in unofficial strike action in Belfast have been told they will not receive any overtime payment to deal with the backlog of undelivered post."
February 20, 2006 -- According to the Oxford Press, "When it comes to the U.S. Postal Service, nearly everyone agrees that something needs to change. But a new move to fix long-running fiscal problems has set the service against Congress, its biggest customers and even some of its own employees. Postal Service officials say the new board overseeing many internal business practices is unworkable. The bill has the support of high-volume mailers and even of some postal unions. The Postal Service is continuing to lobby the conferees for changes."
February 20, 2006 -- According to Business World, "DHL Ireland has reported an increase of more than 90pc in pre-tax profits as international business activity from Ireland continues to grow."
February 20, 2006 -- According to KTIV News, "Though there's still no "stamp of approval" on a study that could mean big changes for Sioux City's mail processing, there's even more opposition to the study, itself."
February 20, 2006 -- NewIndPress has reported that "The Postal Department's plan to debar courier companies from delivering letters weighing below 500 gm, by amending the Indian Post Office Act, 1898, would especially hurt the securities trading industry of the nation, claimed the Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI). In a release issued here, the ICCI, said that the security trading industry compulsorily sends their shares and funds through courier service, since the documents are delivered within 12 hours by private couriers. "The government's move to safeguard the Department of Posts from competition is against the spirit of free market and entrepreneurship," the release indicated, appealing that the Act be dropped."
February 20, 2006 -- As U.TV has noted, "The cost of posting large envelopes or packages in the Republic of Ireland goes up from this morning. There is no change to the price of the ordinary €0.48 stamp. But for large envelopes weighing between 50 and 100 grams, the cost rises from €0.60 to €0.90."
February 20, 2006 -- According to the Belfast Telegraph, "Disastrous though the Belfast postal dispute has been for local businesses, there was a little silver lining to this particularly dark cloud. Not so much on account of the absence of any bills - because regrettably they all have to be paid at some stage in the future, possibly with interest. No, the greatest plus point was the temporary elimination of all that junk mail which now forms such a high proportion of a typical mail delivery." Fine, stupid. Now figure out how you're going to finance the U.K.'s mail system WITHOUT advertising mail.
February 20, 2006 -- U.TV has reported that "Work has begun in earnest to clear the backlog of mail in Belfast which built up during the postal strike."
February 20, 2006 -- One of our readers has brought to our attention that a paragraph appeared to be missing in our piece on "Value Added, Or Just Robbing the Cookie Jar." She was right. It's been corrected and reposted on this site. Sorry 'bout that.
February 19, 2006 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that "Exel, the U.K. logistics company acquired last year by Germany's Deutsche Post, is reported to be offering its specialist courier business, Marken, for sale."
February 19, 2006 -- The Alaska Journal has reported that "Highly awaited amendments to the Rural Services Improvement Act were passed by the U.S. Senate Feb. 9, and were passed surprisingly fast, according to aviation industry leaders. Attached to the U.S. Postal Reform bill, the amendments will remove a mandate that could have forced smaller air carriers to convert to a larger operation to keep their mail-rate status for carrying U.S. Postal Service bypass mail."
February 19, 2006 -- The Times of India has noted that "With the postal department lobbying for a ban on courier services from delivering letters weighing below 500 grams and asking for an exclusive privilege in this category — snail mail may be all set to make a comeback. However, owing to the higher efficiency and reliability attributed to courier companies, regular users are fuming at the prospect."
February 19, 2006 -- Al-Bawaba has reported that "Empost, the UAE's national courier company, has announced the launch of EziMail, a unique value added service that facilitates the delivery and collection of mails to and from the customer's office. EziMail offers customers the advantage of having their regular mails delivered via courier in a secure and efficient manner. The service also includes mail posting – the collection of mails for delivery to the post office together with the option to purchase postage stamps."
February 19, 2006 -- According to Reuters, "United Parcel Service Inc. is using its own facilities in China as inventory space for smaller U.S. companies that lack the logistic capability to do business in that booming economy, top executives said in a series of recent interviews."
February 19, 2006 -- United Press International has reported that "U.S. postal carriers in Niagara Falls, N.Y., will participate in the Carrier Alert Program aimed at bringing help to the elderly and shut-ins. The city's 85 postal carriers deliver to 32,000 homes in the Niagara Falls area, Niagara Falls Postmaster Thomas Szklarz said. Brochures will be distributed the the public and the county social service agency will notify the local post office of customers who wish to participate in the program. The customer's letter carrier, in performing his or her daily rounds, will be alert to an accumulation of mail which might signify a sudden illness or accident, the Buffalo (N.Y.) News reported Saturday."
February 19, 2006 -- The Fiji Times has reported that "Post Fiji Ltd wants a 40 per cent increase in charges to meet the rising cost of business. Its request for the increase is now before the Commerce Commission and a review has begun. If approved, the cost of sending a letter within Fiji would increase from the current cost of 18 cents to just under 30 cents."
February 18, 2006 -- The latest issue of the PostCom Bulletin is available online. In this issue:
February 18, 2006 -- The Associated Press has reported that "Two leaders of a postal workers' union were arrested Friday and accused of embezzling more than $400,000 from their organization. The two men took the money from 2000 to October 2002 from the payroll account of Local 190 of the American Postal Workers Union in Clifton and the union account used to pay routine monthly expenses, according to a federal indictment handed up in Newark on Tuesday and unsealed with their arrests."
February 18, 2006 -- The Waterbury Republican-American has reported that "State and federal lawmakers are calling the U.S. Postal Service's decision to downgrade the main post office in the city unacceptable. Legislators and a representative of the postal union argue that the move doesn't make economic sense given the cost of transporting mail to the new regional processing center in Wallingford and back each day, saying that it leads to a reduction in service and a loss of business traffic downtown. That message fell on deaf ears because the postal service failed to send a representative to the Friday morning meeting in Mayor Michael J. Jarjura's office."
February 18, 2006 -- The Smithsonian's National Postal Museum announced that it received a donation from FedEx to fund "Airmail in America," a new exhibition opening Feb. 22 in the museum's transportation gallery. "Airmail in America" highlights the critical role of the postal system in the creation of America's commercial aviation industry, as well as the pilots and aircraft that made it possible.
February 18, 2006 -- According to the Times-PicayuneMail delivery throughout the metropolitan area continues to be seriously disrupted, but things should get nearer to normal before long, US Postal Service officials told the New Orleans City Council this week.
February 18, 2006 -- The Belfast Telegraph has reported that "THOUSANDS of Royal Mail customers breathing a sigh of relief over the end of a wildcat postal workers' strike were warned last night that it may take up to a month to deliver all letters and packages caught in limbo. As strikers went back to work yesterday after nearly three weeks on the picket line, Royal Mail braced itself for a deluge of compensation claims over the stoppage, which caused chaos across the province. According to the postal company, the unofficial strike has created a mountain of seven million letters and parcels which must be sorted and delivered along with the resumption of regular daily business over the coming weeks. And that huge pile of mail does not include an imminent rush of post held back by customers until the strike was resolved." See also the BBC
February 17, 2006 -- Be sure to check out the latest in a series of PostInsight papers on the internet and mail:
The Emergence of Electronic Alternatives. The last three decades have seen the emergence and proliferation of multiple electronic alternatives to mail. What are the causes of this apparent paradox of burgeoning adoption of electronic alternatives and the resilience of mail? This paper looks at this question by reviewing the entire communications market; deconstructing past forecasts of technology; and developing a deeper understanding of what happens when consumers and markets adopt new technologies.
The Internet and Mail. The explosive growth of the Internet, which has now lasted over a decade, has led many observers in the postal world to make projections about the Internet's impact on mail. For each of these popular assertions, this paper assembles the best of the recent research and analyzes the data in a variety of ways to discern objectively what is real and what is "myth" about the Internet's impact on mail.
February 17, 2006 -- According to Business Week, "United Parcel Service (UPS ) may soon bring shareholders a nice surprise package. The world's largest express company, with an AAA credit rating, is rich in cash and profits. Not only does UPS dominate the U.S. market, where it picks up 75% of its revenues, but it's also building up in China and India. The global delivery market is estimated to be worth more than $100 billion a year. In the U.S., explosive growth in Internet retailing is also adding to UPS volume. But the still-uncounted big plus will come from Asia, where its competitive edge may even be greater. UPS operates 560 airplanes and 88,000 ground vehicles worldwide."
February 17, 2006 -- Traffic World has reported that "Deutsche Post AG, Europe's biggest postal service, raised fourth-quarter profit 27 percent on lower health-care and tax costs and new acquisitions."
February 17, 2006 -- UPS has announced it had placed an order for 50 new-generation hybrid electric delivery trucks and also would acquire 4,100 low-emission conventional vehicles during 2006. The hybrid electric vehicles (HEV) are being purchased in two sizes from International Truck and Engine and Freightliner LLC. The trucks will feature lithium ion batteries that are capable of faster re-charging and have a longer life than batteries used in previous generations of HEV's. The truck bodies will be identical externally to the signature-brown trucks that now comprise the UPS fleet.
February 17, 2006 -- The Adelaide Advertiser has reported that "AUSTRALIA Post has axed its oldest tradition of offering pensioners free mail redirection. Australia Post said it could no longer afford the annual $5.7 million bill to run the service. It will cost pensioners $33 per year to use mail redirection."
February 17, 2006 -- And now for something completely different....ThisIsMoney has noted that "The Royal Mail has been hit with another fine by the industry's regulator after being accused of securing 'unfair commercial advantage' against rivals. Postcomm proposed a fine of £2.16m because the company had failed to take adequate steps to make sure it did not gain an unfair commercial advantage in the newly-liberalised mail market. The fine follows a penalty of £11.7m against Royal Mail announced earlier this month because of the amount of lost or damaged post. The Royal Mail chairman Allan Leighton has hit back insisting that "This is almost Monty Pythonesque - by Postcomm's line of thinking I have absolutely no doubt that later this year the regulator will fine us for delivering the best quality of service ever due to the fact that they decide it's anti-competitive."
February 17, 2006 -- Asia Pulse has reported that "Japan Post President Masaharu Ikuta requested that an objective definition be set for personal correspondence during a study group meeting Thursday at the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications. Currently, only the post office is allowed to deliver personal correspondence, which is considered mail addressed to specific individuals, such as letters and postcards. There have been complaints at Japan Post that private-sector firms may be encroaching on its territory with their mail delivery services because the standards for personal correspondence are not clear. Without mentioning specifics, Ikuta recommended clarifying what constitutes personal correspondence by setting measurement standards for mail."
February 17, 2006 -- The Ft. Worth Star-Telegram discusses "The 'hidden tax' that's in the mail."
February 17, 2006 -- The Derrick has reported that "Nearly seven months after regional mail-sorting duties were switched from the Oil City Post Office to a center in Erie, there are mail-related "issues" stirring up consumers and postal workers alike."
February 17, 2006 -- The Rockford Register has reported that "Despite protests by congressmen, the U.S. Postal Service will study moving local mail sorting from Rockford to Palatine. But Postal Service officials also said Thursday that they'd allow people here to comment on how the move might affect local service."
February 17, 2006 -- Ireland Online has reported that "The Belfast postal strike which has crippled services in the city for more than a fortnight was today called off. The Communication Workers Union confirmed its members had voted to return to work after an agreement was reached with Royal Mail. The unofficial strike began on January 31 amid allegations of management harassment and bullying at a Belfast depot." See also the BBC.
February 17, 2006 -- According to the Business Standard, "The Indian postal department will sell cashew nuts from Ratnagiri and Goa and Alfonso mangoes through their 100-odd outlets in Mumbai. "This will be in addition to our existing commodities like fast moving Hallmark cards sold through the outlets," K Noorjahan, chief postmaster general of Maharashtra Circle, said today."
February 17, 2006 -- The Japan Times has reported that "Japan has seen a sharp increase in the number of postal remittances to North Korea in recent years, an opposition lawmaker said Thursday. Japan Post Executive Vice President Katsuyuki Okada, responding to a question in a session of the Internal Affairs and Communications, said the public corporation will look into specifics, including the total amount of money sent from Japan to North Korea. Anyone can send remittances to that country under the Universal Postal Union treaty."
February 17, 2006 -- Transport Intelligence has reported that "French national mail operator La Poste has authorised its parcels subsidiary GeoPost to acquire rival French express operator Exapaq, dependent on the approval of the relevant authorities. Exapaq specialises in the movement of parcels less than 30kg in the B2B market. It employs 1800 employees in France and carries 32 million parcels a year with revenues of €194m in 2004. The acquisition will complement its Chronopost operations in France. GeoPost has also announced that it has acquired a Greek express company, Interattica, the fourth largest provider in the market with sales of €11m."
February 17, 2006 -- Engadget has reported that "TPG Post in Holland just issued two regular-costing 39-euro-cent stamps...with moving images. These unique plastic stamps use lenticular technology to lace twelve film stills together to replay the winning Olympic races of two skating legends (in Holland anyway). These stamps are available now from the Dutch post office."
February 17, 2006 -- The Asahi Shimbun has warned: "Beware of traveler's checks and international postal money orders (PMOs) being sent as payment for Internet transactions, especially if they are for more than the purchase amount. In a new scam, con artists ask for change in cash."
February 17, 2006 -- Reuters has reported that "A global probe of airlines suspected of fixing cargo prices widened to Asia on Wednesday as authorities searched the offices of some of the world's biggest carriers from Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong. The European Union's executive arm and the U.S. Justice Department on Tuesday raided a number of airlines on both sides of the Atlantic, while other carriers were asked for information."
February 17, 2006 -- The American Postal Workers Union has told its members that "The Postal Service provided a long-awaited outline of the Evolutionary Network Development (END) program in a meeting with APWU officers Feb. 14, 2006, the same day it submitted the plan to the Postal Rate Commission (PRC) for evaluation. The USPS is required by law to seek an advisory opinion from the PRC when it proposes to make changes in service that are national in scope. The USPS plans to replace the nine existing facility-types with five processing facility-types: Regional Distribution Centers (RDCs), which will process all classes of parcels and bundles and serve as Surface Transfer Centers; Local Processing Centers (LPCs), which will process single-piece letters and flats and cancel mail; Destination Processing Centers (DPC), which will process single-piece letters and flats; Airport Transfer Centers (ATCs), which will serve as transfer points only; and Remote Encoding Centers (RECs). Over a period of years, these facilities are expected to replace Processing & Distribution Centers, Customer Service Facilities, Bulk Mail Centers, Logistic and Distribution Centers, annexes, the Hub and Spoke Program, Air Mail Centers, Remote Encoding Centers, and International Service Centers.
February 17, 2006 -- According to the Times of India, "Government is unjustified in reinforcing monopoly of the Posts & Telegraphs Department over all postage weighing less than 500 gm. The government's proposal to buttress a virtual state monopoly when private players are present in the sector is baffling."
February 17, 2006 -- The latest copy of the National Association of Postmasters of the U.S. electronic governmental affairs newsletter is available on the NAPUS web site.
February 17, 2006 -- General Services Administration (GSA) Annual Mail Educational Forum "Solutions Today for Tomorrow's Challenges" March 22, 2006 1800 F Street NW – Auditorium Washington, DC 20405 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Registration is required for all attendees prior to the meeting date. If you have any questions or would like to register, send an email to Federal.email@example.com or contact federal mail at (202) 501-MAIL (6245) and provide your name, agency and phone number. For additional information contact: Devoanna Reels Office - (202) 501-3781 Email - firstname.lastname@example.org
February 16, 2006 -- From the PR Newswire: "At a meeting of the New Orleans City Council today, the Postal Service pledged its commitment to providing the best service possible for every household and business in the New Orleans area."
February 16, 2006 -- According to The Mercury, "AUSTRALIA Post is under fire for toughening prohibitions on imports of legal firearm components through international mail services."
February 16, 2006 -- From CCNMatthews: "Canada Post has signed a new dealership contract with Barrett Services to provide postal products and services in North Harbour beginning March 13, 2006."
February 16, 2006 -- According to the Guernsey Press and Star, "THREE years ago it would have been unthinkable that Guernsey Post could enter the Awards for Achievement, let alone win anything. But on Thursday night, in front of the cream of Guernsey's business community, the company walked away with the coveted prize for best large business."
February 16, 2006 -- According to Kyodo, "The president of a holding firm established as part of Japan's postal system privatization asked the ruling Liberal Democratic Party on Thursday to consider revising the privatization laws, including giving the firm greater freedom in business acquisitions, LDP officials said. Yoshifumi Nishikawa told an LDP meeting that the present laws impose constraints on his company's future acquisitions of other firms that would be required to make the privatization successful, the officials said. He noted that Germany's postal privatization has been successful thanks to Deutsch Post's positive acquisitions of other companies."
February 16, 2006 -- African News Dimension has reported that "Liberia's former Post & Telecommunications Affairs Deputy Minister for Administration in the dissolved National Transitional Government of Liberia (NTGL) Towah A. Towah has disclosed a huge indebtedness of the Ministry that exposes it to legal action by the defunct Ghana Airways in the country. According to Mr. Towah, the authority of that ministry under the leadership of former minister Eugine Nagbe broke the mail transport with the company to avoid increment in debt to that government owned airline in the country. The huge debt, he said made Ghana Airways on many occasions to threaten the ministry with a lawsuit."
February 16, 2006 -- The Sioux City Journal has reported that "Union statements about the possible effects caused by moving outgoing mail processing from Sioux City to Sioux Falls are misinformed "scare tactics," a U.S. Postal Service spokesman said."
February 16, 2006 -- The Daily News-Miner has reported that "Chamber of Commerce board members from across Alaska toured the halls of the Legislature Wednesday, pressing lawmakers on issues important to small business and big industry. Nine representatives from the Fairbanks chamber met with legislative leaders on a wide list of local priorities. Among them: A resolution opposing the U.S. Postal Service's plan to change the bypass mail system between Fairbanks and Barrow."
February 16, 2006 -- The Sofia News Agency has reported that "Bulgaria's new law for postal services has been adopted at first reading in Parliament. The new rules were designed to match European Union standards, the authorities say. Once the law is put into practice, checks into a parcel will be carried out only after the sender or addressee give permission. It will be asked for in case inspectors suspect that a piece contains illegal objects or substances, media explained."
February 16, 2006 -- According to UTV, "The postal strike which has crippled services in Belfast for more than a fortnight could be over within 24 hours." See also the Belfast Telegraph.
February 16, 2006 -- Air Cargo World has reported that "Cargo traffic for United States airlines grew a bare 1.3 percent in 2005, ending the year with a slight 1.8 percent gain in December despite deepening weakness in the domestic air cargo market. Domestic cargo, including mail, fell 1.2 percent last year, according to the Air Transport Association including a 1.1 percent decline in domestic cargo in December that left the carriers behind their domestic cargo traffic from six years ago. The domestic decline included a 12.4 percent decline in domestic mail traffic for the airlines, including a 28.4 percent drop in December, marking a sharp setback in air carrier attempts to reclaim lost postal business."
February 16, 2006 -- The U.S. Postal Service has created a new resource that shares ideas designed specifically to help small business owners and entrepreneurs achieve their business goals. Impact is a new publication from the Postal Service that will be issued in four hard copy editions and eight electronic newsletter editions annually. A video version of Impact will be distributed through various news and business websites and cable network's on-demand libraries. According to the Small Business Administration, there are more than 23 million small businesses in the United States, providing about 75 percent of the new jobs added to the economy since 2002, and employing almost 50 percent of the private workforce. "Impact is one more example of the value the Postal Service places on this important customer," said Anita Bizzotto, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer. "As we continue to serve small business owners, we are looking for new ways to provide the information they need and providing resources to help this entrepreneurial community prosper."
February 16, 2006 -- PC World has reported that "Microsoft hopes to charm small businesses with a new bundle of software and services called Office Live, available for public beta testing starting today. The star of the show is a free, basic Web site for your company--courtesy of Microsoft and some third-party ads that will run on the page. Office Live will also offer monthly subscriptions to a bundle of 20 Web-based "applications," many of which are templates for organizing and sharing information online."
February 16, 2006 -- From CCNMatthews: "Canada Post has announced the launch of a new online shipping solution on eBay Canada, giving Canadian eBay and PayPal members access to Canada Post shipping services directly from eBay (www.ebay.ca) and PayPal (www.paypal.com) websites. Now, Canadian users listing items on eBay.ca or eBay.com can create, purchase and print Canada Post shipping labels with postage right from their computer, making shipping easier, faster and more efficient. There are no fees to use the online platform and the cost of postage can be paid conveniently through a PayPal account. Postage-paid packages can then be mailed at any post office or street letterbox."
February 16, 2006 -- According to Reuters, "United Parcel Service Inc. has been contacted informally by the U.S. Justice Department over a transatlantic antitrust probe. "UPS understands it is not part of the probe," UPS spokesman Norman Black said. "As is its practice, UPS will cooperate with requests from government agencies."
February 16, 2006 -- KLFY has reported that "U-S Postal Service official said today that mail deliveries to the New Orleans area should improve substantially when a Hurricane Katrina-damaged plant reopens operation this spring." See also the Times-Picayune.
February 16, 2006 -- The Congressional Research Service has produced the latest version of its "Postal Reform Bills: A Side-by-Side Comparison of H.R. 22 and S. 662." Of course, if you don't want to wade through the CRS 62-page version, you can alway take a look at PostCom's "digest" version of essential comparisons.
February 16, 2006 -- The Financial Times has reported that "Deutsche Post on Wednesday abandoned its break-even target for its struggling DHL package delivery arm in the US and said it would stop reporting separate results for the unit. The news led to a substantial sell-off of the stock. The German postal group, the world's largest logistics company, has been plagued by problems, particularly over service levels, following its acquisitions of DHL and Airborne, a Seattle-based delivery company bought for $1bn in 2002."
February 16, 2006 -- From PR Newswire:
PostalWatch distributed a Congressional Briefing entitled "Postal Expenses Continue to Rise" to Members of both Houses of Congress. The briefing analyzes the U.S. Postal Service's skyrocketing operational expenses, which are escalating rapidly despite a reduced postal workforce and other postal cost-cutting initiative.
Pitney Bowes Inc. and Canada Post have partnered to provide a new online shipping solution for eBay Canada and PayPal customers. This new service enables Canadian eBay users who list items on eBay.ca to create, purchase and print Canada Post shipping labels with postage right from their computers. Packages can then be mailed at any Canadian post office or street letterbox.
February 15, 2006 -- UPS has announced the launch of package shipping services for Canadian eBay users, enabling them to easily ship goods to buyers within or outside Canada via UPS. By integrating UPS service options directly into the Canadian eBay site, as is already the case on eBay's U.S. site, users will be able to ship within Canada and internationally just with one click of their computer mouse. The UPS shipping tools allow eBay sellers to calculate costs, request a UPS pick-up, track shipments, review transit times and print shipping labels all at the point of transaction. Both international and domestic UPS shipping labels are available and can be paid for via PayPal, an online payment system. Benefits to eBay buyers include the ability to control costs using the time-in-transit and service calculator tools to best determine which UPS service to choose.
February 15, 2006 -- In case you haven't noticed it, we have enhanced the postcom.org site search feature. Now, from just one convenient place, you can search the postcom.org, the www.usps.com, the ribbs.usps.gov, and the www.prc.gov websites as well as the PostCom membership directory and the U.S. Postal Service headquarters telephone directory all from the PostCom web site. Give it a try. You'll like it!
February 15, 2006 -- Government Computer News has reported that "The U.S. Postal Service is gauging whether any vendors are interested in co-sponsoring a nationwide recycling program for computer and telecommunications equipment. In a recent request for information, the Postal Service said several retail locations across the country have participated in pilot "e-cycling" programs since 1999, and it is considering launching its own national program with industry support. "The ideal solution would allow consumers and small businesses to safely and effectively dispose of their obsolete materials in the most convenient and cost-effective manner possible," the RFI said. "The program would be co-marketed by USPS and its selected partner(s), with the objective of meeting financial and/or corporate citizenship objectives." At this point, the Postal Service envisions hosting the program through its nearly 38,000 retail locations, 300,000 collection boxes and 290,000 letter carriers."
February 15, 2006 -- From Business Wire: "APX Logistics' Returns offering generated record growth in 2005 and continues to run at robust growth levels. Direct merchants continue to turn to APX Logistics, the largest, independent business-to-consumer, small package delivery provider to manage their consumer direct return's programs as a result of their ability to provide an effective and cost-efficient returns solution."
February 15, 2006 -- GovExec.com has reported that "Now that sweeping postal legislation has cleared the Senate, the bill's champions are gearing up for what will likely be a contentious conference. Aides in both chambers say it will be relatively easy to reconcile House and Senate differences, but resolving issues dealing with the White House's looming veto threat is another matter."
February 15, 2006 -- CEP News (Courier-Express-Postal), published by the MRU Consultancy, has reported that:
Deutsche Post AG said it plans to acquire a majority stake in old-established British firm Williams Lea. The post intends to use the new acquisition in order to expand its DHL Global Mail International services way beyond mere mail transport. Williams Lea claims to occupy a leading position in the customised Corporate Information Solutions market, providing direct marketing advice, print and document management and mail sorting and franking, among other things. Williams Lea also provide other services, such as the handling of insurance claims for Prudential, including sending out insurance assessors and transferring compensation payments.
Schweizerische Post's CEO Ulrich Gygi has said it was foreseeable that the post would continue to lose some of its market share due to liberalisation. From 2009, the post would be able to share its profit with the government.
Almost unnoticed by the public, Belgium's La Poste has dismantled 2,500 of its approx. 16,000 post boxes throughout the country in the last two years.
The French La Poste has announced the acquisition of Exapaq (2004 turnover: 194m euros, 32 million parcels), which will lead to a considerable strengthening of the company's position in the French express market.
Hungary's Magyar Posta has defended itself against accusations involving the loss of valuable parcels
Germany's Hermes Logistik Gruppe has developed a new service offer in order to attract new customer groups - and step up B2C competition with Deutsche Post. Hermes, which hitherto has operated chiefly in the mail order market, this month launched the ProfiPaketService directed at business customers "dispatching a minimum of 1,000 parcels per year".
UPS continues its strong growth trend in Europe.
According to Scott Davis, CFO of UPS, DHL has fundamentally misjudged the implications of breaking into the US market. DHL will have to face many years of major spending to build a domestic network that can match those of its competitors. Mr Davis said the expensive DHL advertising campaign in the US had been a mistake: "They had a big ad campaign and didn't have the service capabilities to back it up." According to Mr Davis, building the necessary infrastructure in the US does not take two years but two decades.
The "Financial Times" (10.02) has reported that the TNT planned withdrawal from logistics operations could happen sooner than expected.
Mexican CEP operator Estafeta Mexicana, S.A. de C.V. (3,500 employees) is investing around 41m euros in the extension of the San Luis Postosi logistics centre. Managing director Jose Antonio Armendariz said the extension would create an alternative to the Mexico City, Monterrey and Guadalajara airports.
The MRU, founded in 1992, is the only consultancy in Europe, which has specialised in the market of courier-, express- and parcel services. For large-scale shippers and CEP-services in particular, the MRU provides interdisciplinary advice for all major questions of the market, as there are for example market entry, product design, organisation, and EDP.To learn more about the stories reported above, contact CEP News.
February 15, 2006 -- As the Financial Times has noted, "When FedEx paid $880m for Flying Tigers, a cargo airline, in 1988, it was buying a piece of Chinese history. Flying Tigers was founded by, and named after, a group of American volunteer fighter pilots who flew for China against Japanese forces early in the second world war. The acquisition helps explain why, nearly two decades later, FedEx operates more flights to China than any other express delivery company. But while FedEx enjoys aerial supremacy into and out of China, inside the country it faces a toughfight with its rivals DHL, UPS and TNT."
February 15, 2006 -- Advertising Age has reported that "Aiming to bolster its customer-service message, the U.S. Postal Service is mailing a monthly postcard featuring characters from the comics to tout its services to 120 million residential and 10 million business customers."
February 15, 2006 -- RTE Business has reported that "The Government has approved a proposal for An Post to enter exclusive talks with Belgian-Dutch financial services company Fortis on a joint venture. An Post and Fortis say that if the talks are successful, they expect to introduce new products to the Irish market early next year." See also the Sunday Business Post.
February 15, 2006 -- In a recent letter to the editor of WhatTheyThink, James N. Andersen, president and CEO of IWCO Direct said that "We believe WhatTheyThink.com has done its readers a disservice by publishing the U.S. Postal Service's press release regarding postal reform legislation pending in the Senate (the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act, S. 662) without reference to the controversy surrounding both the accuracy of the USPS position and the timing of making it public. We believe the U.S. Senate got it right when they unanimously passed this bill last week. By taking this action the Senate has moved us one step closer to ensuring the long-term viability of the U.S. Postal Service, and the long-term viability of mail as a commercial communications medium."
February 15, 2006 -- According to the Salt Lake Tribune, "Congress gets Hustler magazine, even if it is unwanted. The porn magazine arrives every month at your congressman's office. Tucked in a conservative-looking manila envelope, the latest edition of Hustler goes to all 535 members of Congress. Free of charge. Not that most members want it. It usually gets thrown in the circular file marked "trash." But like clockwork, it keeps coming, despite efforts to have it stop."
February 15, 2006 -- The Aberdeen American News has reported that "A U.S. Postal Service study of the Aberdeen area is still in its final stages. Teresa Rudkin of the USPS's regional public affairs office in Denver said no decisions have been made. "Nothing's really changed," she said. Rudkin said most of the report is done. Postal officials may have much of the information they're looking for, yet are looking for even more answers, she said. There are fears in the Aberdeen area that the study could result in local mail being sent to Huron for automatic processing. Some officials believe that would delay the delivery of some mail in Aberdeen."
February 15, 2006 -- USPS communications chief Azeez Jaffer told the Muskogee Phoenix that "Recently, a column by a self-styled critic of the U.S. Postal Service appeared in your publication. It was written by Don Soifer, who pitches flawed views whenever something significant occurs regarding the postal service. As usual, his writing tries to create the impression that government is really messed up because it is in the delivery business and only the private sector can do more for less. "
February 15, 2006 -- The Mercury News has reported that "Incensed about paying higher insurance rates than their neighbors, several hundred Palo Alto residents signed petitions to break away from the 94303 ZIP code they share with East Palo Alto. But now, secession leaders have done a U-turn, concerned about the impression they would give if they ask to cleave 94303 by community, class and race."
February 15, 2006 -- The U.S. Postal Service has filed with the Postal Rate Commission (Docket No. N2006-1) its first request for "an advisory opinion on changes in the application of current service standards to numerous 3-digit ZIP Code service area origin-destination pairs for different mail classes. These changes are expected to result from a system-wide review and realignment of the Postal Service's mail processing and transportation networks."
February 15, 2006 -- Arutz Sheva has reported that "The Histadrut national labor federation has declared a ‘work dispute' which impacts 5,000 employees. The dispute surrounds the government opening the market to competition, a move that employees insist will lead to the collapse of the postal authority. Declaring a ‘work dispute' begins the two-week countdown timer permitting a strike following the hiatus period."
February 15, 2006 -- According to DM News:
DHL announced an expanded agreement yesterday with USAnotebook.com, an Internet retailer of refurbished laptop computers. USAnotebook.com, Pompano Beach, FL, used DHL on a limited basis along with other shipping carriers, but recently selected DHL as its exclusive domestic shipping provider to enhance service to its businesses and consumers nationwide. USAnotebook now ships all company products via DHL.
In a move to expand its offering of online marketing applications, Mailnet Services Inc. said yesterday that it acquired the assets of MarketingForce, a New York-based technology firm providing brand management solutions to 35,000 channel partners, franchisees and licensees of global brands. Mailnet Services helps businesses deliver direct mail for marketing campaigns quickly and cost-effectively through two Internet-based services, MailnetExpress and Listcleanup.com.
February 15, 2006 -- According to the Belfast Telegraph, "As public concern over the postal crisis grows, strikers today predicted their unofficial dispute is coming to an end."
February 15, 2006 -- The BBC has reported that "The main post office in Dumfries is to close despite an 8,000-signature petition against the plans."
February 15, 2006 -- From the PR Newswire: "The U.S. Postal Service celebrates Black History Month by reflecting on the progress, richness and diversity of African-American achievements. Although February has been designated as the official month to celebrate Black history, every day is an occasion to highlight the monumental significance of African-American contributions and the vital role they have played in shaping America's history."
February 15, 2006 -- DefenseLINKNews has reported that "A new mail delivery contract is projected to save millions of dollars in costs to air freight letters and packages to U.S. servicemembers deployed in the Middle East, a senior DoD official said here yesterday. Under terms of the new contract, DoD pays only for the weight of postal cargo flown from Newark, N.J., to mail sorting centers in Bahrain and other Mideast locales, Bill Carr, deputy undersecretary of defense for military personnel policy, told Pentagon Channel and American Forces Press Service reporters. The Defense Business Board, a DoD-sanctioned entity that looks for ways to save taxpayer dollars, also is examining other methods to realize more savings within the military mail system, to include possible privatization." Now, you gotta wonder. If you can privatize the military postal system, why can't you do the same with the civilian postal system?
February 15, 2006 -- Two new exhibits in the National Postal Museum's transportation-themed "Moving the Mail" gallery shed light on the complex transportation web used to move the mail from one point to another. "Networking a Nation: The Star Route Service" opens Feb. 21 and features a full-size semi truck cab-cutaway, allowing visitors to gain a new perspective on transportation from behind the cab's steering wheel. "Airmail in America" opens Feb. 22, the 85th anniversary of the day one pilot single-handedly saved airmail service from elimination by Congress.
February 14, 2006 -- Alfred M. Goodloe, Jr. died at 4:40 p.m., February 13. Al was well known in the international mail and marketing community. As president of Direct International, he was the long-time publisher of a newsletter on international marketing called Publisher's Multinational Direct. Condolences can be sent to Al's sister, Alice Goodloe Whipple, at 2 Hedge Row Rd, Plainsboro, NJ 08536.
February 14, 2006 -- At last week's meeting of the Association for Postal Commerce Board of Directors, the following persons were elected as directors of the Association: James Bowler (Mail GlobalExpress); Bob Gillen (Acxiom);Tom Murray (Banta Corporation;Wanda Senne (World Marketing); Wendy Smith (Publishers Clearing House); Michael Winn (RR Donnelley); and Lisa Wurman (Vertis, Inc.). For PostCom members, we also have posted a summary of some of the key actions taken by the Board.
February 14, 2006 -- According to the Daily Telegraph, "AUSTRALIA Post workers have been told to provide medical certificates to show why they were absent from work on the Friday after Australia Day. With many thousands of workers having taken advantage of the one-day gap to the weekend this year, the postal workers say they have been singled out. They accuse management of violating their privacy by asking them to reveal their medical conditions."
February 14, 2006 -- Reuters has reported that "Playboy Enterprises Inc. on Tuesday posted a 68 percent drop in quarterly profit, hurt by sluggish advertising at its namesake magazine. Higher paper prices, a postal rate increase, and weak newsstand sales for almost every category of magazine have plagued earnings in the publishing industry."
February 14, 2006 -- From PR Newswire: "comScore Networks, the leader in the use of the Internet to measure and understand consumer behavior, today released an analysis of consumer behavior related to Valentine's Day. The comScore analysis revealed that total online spending in the Flowers & Gifts, Health & Beauty and Jewelry & Watches categories rose 22 percent year-to-date, through February 9, 2006 versus the corresponding period in 2005. On an individual category basis, online sales in the Health & Beauty and Jewelry & Watches category each rose 24 percent compared to the same period in 2005 as Americans purchased gifts to celebrate with loved ones. Online sales in the Flowers, Greetings & Gifts category rose at a slightly slower rate, increasing 17 percent versus last year."
February 14, 2006 -- According to E-Trade, you should 'be good to Mother Nature." A sign of the times.
February 14, 2006 -- MSNBC has reported that "American CEOs and other free-trade proponents are ceding ground and public opinion to critics of globalization and must do a better job promoting the benefits of a global economy. That's the opinion of Mike Eskew, CEO of the world's largest package delivery company, United Parcel Service Inc."
February 14, 2006 -- The Transport News Network has reported that "At the end of March, Amtrak Express Parcels is launching a new range of international express services which can be booked and tracked via the web. Amtrak customers will be able to arrange shipments through Amtrak's existing web booking service that is already in place for domestic deliveries and collections. Shipments can be booked and labels printed in the same way, giving a single point system that prepares all shipments, both domestic and international, for collection. The Amtrak services are underpinned by NetDespatch web services that eliminate paperwork and provide online tracking. The service is available from any internet connected computer, anywhere in the world, allowing international agents and customers to manage and track their shipments." Editor's Note: This is in reference to Amtrak the U.K. parcel delivery firm, not the American passager rail service.
February 14, 2006 -- Financial Times Deutschland has reported that "Deutsche Post, the German postal service operator, has been experiencing difficulties with a major logistics contract for German car manufacturer BMW."
February 14, 2006 -- From Business Wire: "The Hungarian express and parcels market is primarily dominated by the integrators, namely DHL, TNT and UPS. The national postal operator, Magyar Posta, is the fourth largest player in the overall market followed by GLS Hungary and FedEx, the latter stronger on the international express air delivery segment. Express and parcels delivery carriers in Romania generated some EUR94 million in 2004, making the country the fifth largest parcel market in Eastern Europe. Romania is the second fastest growing express and parcels market in the region, only behind Bulgaria, experiencing a 20% growth between 2004 and 2005. For European express and parcels delivery providers there is an opportunity to benefit from growing parcel volumes in this region but they need to secure strategic partnerships and enlarge their geographical coverage, otherwise these players will have no chance to compete with the integrators and the larger pan-European postal houses."
February 14, 2006 -- WKYT has reported that "The East Point Post Office on the Floyd/Johnson County line was shut down by the postal service back in December. Now, East Point residents continue the fight to get their post office back open, but postal officials say the residents are being taken care of. Residents hope petitions will be their saving grace."
February 14, 2006 -- Business Week has reported that "Inflation in Zimbabwe soared to 613 percent in January. Imagine if its postal system had to operate under an inflation-based cap!
February 14, 2006 -- 4NI has reported that "Striking postal workers in Belfast will today hold a meeting to discuss whether or not to accept an offer from Royal Mail bosses to bring an end to their two-week unofficial action. Last night, management agreed to use a third party to help improve future relationships with the union. Following talks between Royal Mail and national representatives of the Communication Workers Union in London yesterday, management said that staff must return to work immediately and agree not to hold further industrial action for the next year, before a resolution can be agreed." See also RTE.
February 14, 2006 -- A CWU national spokesperson today condemned Royal Mail "double-dealing" for jeopardising a resolution to the ongoing postal dispute in Belfast.
February 14, 2006 -- Now that postal reform bills have passed in both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, the Direct Marketing Association is urging quick action by the joint House-Senate Conference Committee to resolve differences between the two bills and quickly finalize legislation that will help secure a successful future for the U.S. Postal Service (USPS).
February 14, 2006 -- According to Transport Intelligence, "It has been reported that Dutch mail, express and logistics operator TNT has received a high degree of interest in the sale of its Logistics subsidiary. This has led to speculation that the company may be able to dispose of the unit, either as a whole or in multiple parts, ahead of its timetable. Originally management announced that it had set itself the target of completing the disposal by the second half of 2006 but now it is believed that this schedule could be moved forward. No word as yet has been forthcoming from the company itself."
February 14, 2006 -- Rediff has reported that "Condemning the proposed amendments to the Indian Post Office Act, 1898, courier companies in four southern states on Friday announced the formation of 'the Association of Express Industry - South India' to get their grievances redressed. The association office bearers said that a joint action committee would be formed and a memorandum submitted to the Centre to reconsider its decision, which, they said, would be detrimental to the interests of the courier industry and throw at least 15 lakh persons out of jobs. Their major grouses are the proposed restriction on carrying letters only above 500 grams, high registration and renewal fees of Rs 10 lakh and Rs 5 lakh respectively per annum and 10 per cent of gross revenue to be paid as universal service obligation."
February 13, 2006 -- The Budapest Times has reported that "The Hungarian Post Office (Magyar Posta) last Thursday denied it was to blame for misplacing numerous packages after a daily newspaper claimed that several online companies had placed Hungary on a delivery blacklist. The daily Magyar Hírlap claimed the country has become a “Bermuda Triangle” for high-value packages sent through the mail, and online vendors Amazon, CD-WOW and Threadless all refuse to deliver after countless complaints from customers. While Amazon told The Budapest Times and Budapester Zeitung that it had imposed no such ban, Threadless – an online designer t-shirt retailer – confirmed that it no longer takes orders from Hungary."
February 13, 2006 -- AFX Europe has reported that "Photo-Me International PLC said it won a five-year contract with the UK's Post Office Ltd to supply 400 photobooths and install digital media kiosks in the Post Office's directly managed branches."
February 13, 2006 -- The Sydney Morning Herald has reported that "Australia Post has defended its policy of using a specially chosen panel of doctors to assess whether injured workers are capable of returning to work. The postal corporation, which in the past has had major problems with lost work time due to injury, has spent almost $1.5 million over the past two years on 8,000 GP consultations for its workers. Under its injury policy, unwell workers are offered a free consultation with a doctor chosen by Australia Post."
February 13, 2006 -- dBusiness News has reported that "Mail service for residents of St. Bernard Parish will resume Monday, Feb. 13, at a temporary trailer site at the Chalmette Post Office. The Chalmette Post Office will offer retail, post office box, and over- the-counter mail service for the following five Post Offices located within St. Bernard Parish."
February 13, 2006 -- According to AME Info, "Part of Emirates Post dedication to provide easy access to all customers it is now providing its services at the Centre for Integrated Government Services (TAMM) located in Madinat Zayed in Abu Dhabi."
February 13, 2006 -- Channel News Asia has asked: "Looking for something special to send your loved ones for Valentine's Day? How about a personalised stamp with your photo on it. Singapore Post's customised stamp printing service will allow you to do so. Using SingPost's MyStamp service, customers are able to use their favourite photos to design their own sheet of stamps. These stamps can be kept as souvenirs or simply as a personalised addition to letters or gifts sent locally or overseas."
February 13, 2006 -- Reuters has reported that "German mail and logistics giant Deutsche Post is buying a majority stake in UK firm Williams Lea as it seeks to reduce its dependence on its domestic mail market."
February 13, 2006 -- According to the BBC, "Talks aimed at resolving Belfast's post office strike are to resume in London. National representatives of the Communications Workers Union (CWU) are to meet Royal Mail management."
February 12, 2006 -- According to the Sioux City Journal, "Rare is the topic on which Tom Harkin and Steve King find common ground, but that's exactly what has occurred in the quest to save Sioux City's Mail Processing and Distribution Center. On Thursday occurred perhaps the most hopeful sign yet that closing the Sioux City center and transferring its functions to Sioux Falls is not a done deal. The Senate passed a postal reform bill that contained a provision introduced by Harkin that would block the Postal Service from implementing any consolidation study until it provides an opportunity for local input and gives the public a detailed analysis of costs."
February 12, 2006 -- As the Times and Democrat has noted, "After the Civil War, African-Americans began long record of contributions to the Post Office."
February 12, 2006 -- According to the BBC, "Both sides involved in the Belfast postal dispute have accused each other of prolonging the strike. Royal Mail claimed the Communication Workers Union had rejected its offer to resolve the unofficial action."
February 11, 2006 -- "Value Added? Or Just Robbing the Cookie Jar?" A perspective by postal commentator Gene Del Polito for Direct magazine.
February 11, 2006 -- Newswire.co.nz has reported that "Unions for postal workers say while measures to increase the safety of posties are good, the new high-visibility jackets are a safety hazard in themselves."
February 11, 2006 -- The BBC has reported that "The union representing striking Belfast postal workers has denied it has rejected a proposal by Royal Mail to end the unofficial dispute."
February 11, 2006 -- The Gulf Times has reported that "THE region's postal sector is witnessing remarkable changes driven by technological innovations being implemented by member states of the Arab Postal Union (APU), according to Q-Post chairman Ali Mohamed al-Ali."
February 11, 2006 -- The Belfast Telegraph has reported that "The Belfast postal strike continued last night with no sign of a breakthrough as political pressure mounted on both sides to broker a deal. As the strike entered its 12th day, Royal Mail said it had not received a response from the Communication Workers Union to the offer made on Wednesday. It is believed that the CWU was in talks last night. No-one from the union could be contacted."
February 11, 2006 -- The latest issue of the PostCom Bulletin is available online (with key postal reform legislative attachments).
February 11, 2006 -- According to the BBC, "The union representing striking Belfast postal workers has offered to reconvene talks at the Labour Relations Agency over the weekend to end the dispute."
February 11, 2006 -- The Evening Standard has reported that "The BBC, banking giants HSBC and HBOS and mobile phone groups O2 and Orange are all set to give the Royal Mail the sack -- the latest major companies to quit the state-owned postal operator over cost and service levels. The latest defections are likely to see more than two billion letters handled this year by private postal operators in contracts worth upwards of GBP300 million."
February 10, 2006 -- From the PR Newswire: "Long committed to being an environmental leader, the U.S. Postal Service at a ceremony today in San Francisco celebrated the completion of two hybrid alternative power plants that are expected to cut in half -- along with other major energy efficiency measures -- power purchases and heating needs at two of the Postal Service's largest facilities in California. The new power plants at the San Francisco Processing & Distribution Center combine two solar technologies and hydrogen-fuel-cell generation, and energy efficiency retrofits at both sites that will help achieve significant energy savings."
February 10, 2006 -- Seven members of the former President's Commission on the Postal Service tried to get the House and Senate postal leadership to reconsider some aspects of the postal reform bills:
"We have two major concerns with the bills as they are currently proposed. First, the bills call for a rate ceiling tied to the CPI, or a similar economic indicator, but do not give the Postal Service any additional flexibility or authority to reduce costs....The Postal Service Board of Governors and management must have a greater ability to reduce costs. Almost 80% of the total cost of the Postal Service is labor. The fastest growing elements of that cost are health care and retirement benefits....The Postal Service has very little control over the majority of its costs, and those costs are rising significantly faster than the CPI. To implement a rate ceiling tied to the CPI or a similar economic indicator. but not give the Postal Service any additional ability to reduce costs will, in our judgment, in the not too distant future, lead to an inevitable reduction in universal service or simply transfer the excessive and unfunded costs to the tax payers....The proposed legislation goes too far in transforming the regulator by giving it powers that will limit even further, rather than increase, the ability of the postal service to operate like a business."
February 10, 2006 -- The latest copy of the National Association of Postmasters of the U.S. electronic governmental affairs newsletter is available on the NAPUS web site.
February 10, 2006 -- Here are some of the "blow-by-blows" from yesterday's action in the Senate.
Take a close look at the Frist language in the unanimous-consent agreement that says, in essence, if a House conference report vitiates the principle of budget-neutrality, don't send it back.
February 10, 2006 -- Posted on this site is the version of the Senate bill as amended and approved by the Senate. And, yes, it's called H.R. 22.
February 10, 2006 -- The USPS has again been posting its EXFC scores on its RIBBS web site.
February 10, 2006 -- Dow Jones has reported that "TNT and Pierre-Michel Mendy/Groupe Lapegue announced Friday that they have signed an agreement for the sale of the activities of Transports Pierre Mendy and Mendy Ltda, part of the activities of TNT's French subsidiary TNT Logistics Holdings SAS."
February 10, 2006 -- The Helena Independent Record has reported that "On Tuesday, a U.S. Postal Service spokesman said they may consolidate local mail services, perhaps processing Helena mail in Great Falls. If implemented, a local letter would go to Great Falls before delivery. On Thursday, Baucus didn’t mince words, questioning the logic of the idea. “What a ridiculous idea,” he said. “I have tried and tried to find the logic in the proposal but I cannot. Helenans deserve some answers here.” Baucus said he was not only concerned about the efficiency of the move and the effects on priority mail service, but also the impact to Helena. Baucus said he is concerned also about job losses. The senator wrote to U.S. Postal Service senior vice president Thomas Day, saying the postal service has been slow to respond to previous inquiries about the change. Baucus said he was concerned Montana officials weren’t asked for input."
February 10, 2006 -- KITV has reported that "It could amount to "salvation" for Sioux City's mail processing plant. Rumored to close following a postal service study, the U.S. Senate has passed a bill that includes language that could keep the facility open. "We're as close as we could ever be, says Postal Union Rep, Jim Price. "I think it's always a good thing. And what we're really looking for is community input. We think the postal service should be taken consideration from the local communities that are going to be implemented. We've got that from this bill."
February 10, 2006 -- The Freeport Journal Standard has reported that "Even as the U.S. Senate approved a major postal reform bill Thursday, U.S. Rep. Don Manzullo continued lobbying against another, more controversial bill that calls for closing the Rockford mail-sorting facility and moving its operations - and jobs - to Palatine. The legislation, which is stalled pending a review requested by Manzullo, also could mean the end of postmarks for Rockford and Freeport. Mail sent from those cities would instead carry a Palatine postmark. The postmark change would impact the 610 and 611 zip codes. On Thursday, Manzullo sent a letter co-signed by House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert, R-Illinois, to Postmaster General John E. Potter, urging him to reconsider the so-called Area Mail Processing Program. According to Manzullo spokesman Rich Carter, the letter questions whether Palatine could handle the additional mail capacity and highlights potential harm AMP could inflict on Rockford area businesses and postal customers."
February 10, 2006 -- Business Mailers Review has reported that:
Wow!! What an issue!! You're still not getting BMR? Are you crazy? Business Mailer's Review is an award-winning, independent biweekly newsletter covering issues of importance to the business mailer. It is regularly cited as among the best sources of postal information. For subscription information, check the BMR web site.
February 10, 1006 -- DM News has reported that "Royal Mail's Postcode Address File, the electronic database containing every address in the United Kingdom, should be more widely available and managed by a separate business unit within Royal Mail, UK postal regulator Postcomm said this week."
February 10, 2006 -- The Scotsman has reported that "The Royal Mail is to be fined £11.7 million over "serious" breaches of its licence because of the amount of post which is lost, stolen or damaged, it has been announced. Industry regulator Postcomm said it was proposing the financial penalty because of the Royal Mail's failure to meet its obligations to protect letters and parcels and for its poor performance in parts of London. The postal group has 28 days to make representations to Postcomm about the fine, which is the biggest it has ever faced." See also The Independent.
February 10, 2006 -- According to the BBC, "Royal Mail has said it is hoping to get a quick response to an offer which could end the postal workers' strike. The company has suggested a third party should help facilitate talks with the Communications Workers Union about ways to improve industrial relations."
February 10, 2006 -- The Glasgow Daily Record has reported that "A POSTWOMAN was yesterday told she faces jail for hoarding 7.5 TONS of mail in her home." See also The Times.
February 10, 2006 -- As the old song says: "It's a long way to Tipperary...." But not quite as long as the road to postal reform. Take a look at the chart posted on this site and you'll see what we mean. Check this out too: http://mchugh.house.gov/legislation/postal_legis.html
February 10, 2006 -- From Business Wire: "Gilat Satellite Networks Ltd. (Nasdaq:GILTF) today announced it has been selected to provide a broadband satellite communications network to Federal State Unitary Enterprise Russian Post. Russian Post is one of Russia's largest companies, operating more than 40,000 post offices and providing many other telecom, shipping, retail and financial services for annual revenue of US$1.5 billion. Gilat will deploy a SkyEdge VSAT hub station in the Siberian capital city of Novosibirsk. The network will provide broadband Internet access, always-on data communications for postal applications and telephony services to remote postal facilities throughout Siberia and far-eastern Russia. The initial order is for several hundred sites."
February 10, 2006 -- AFX has reported that "Global economic growth prospects appear to be in good shape heading into 2006, FedEx chief economist Gene Huang said Thursday. Global growth should be slightly above 3% this year, after growing at a 3.3% rate in 2005, Huang said."
February 10, 2006 -- The Nigeria Daily Independent has reported that "Courier Regulatory Department (CRD), of the Nigerian Postal Services (NIPOST) on Thursday, revoked the operational licenses of seven registered courier companies headquartered in Lagos. By the provisions of Decree 41 of the constitution, which empowers NIPOST to regulate the courier industry and apply sanctions where necessary, coupled with the revocation order, the seven companies have ceased to exist as registered courier operators."
February 10, 2006 -- From the PR Newswire: "Lockheed Martin has announced the French Post Office, La Poste, has agreed to invest $175 million in its future mail processing information system. Lockheed Martin is partnering with Bull on the Systeme d'Interpretation des Adresses (SIA) initiative, which will provide automation solutions that will improve the efficiency and accuracy of France's postal system."
February 10, 2006 -- To the American Postal Workers Union, Senate passage of S. 662 represented a "struggle [that] now moves to a new stage."
February 10, 2006 -- The Associated Press has reported that:
February 10, 2006 -- Public Agenda has reported that "The Managing Director of Ghana Post Company, Mr. Kofi Dua-Adonteng has observed that the HIV/AIDS pandemic and Tuberculosis are core health issues affecting the socio-economic development of the country. According to him, the Ghana Post Company therefore, deems it fit as part of its corporate responsibility to be involved in campaigns aimed at fighting the two diseases, particularly HIV/AIDS, whiles promoting the postal business. To this end the company has launched newly designed HIV/AIDS and T.B. postal stamps, which will be sewn on the uniforms of school children. The company also launched an essay competition recently in Accra."
February 10, 2006 -- NewKerala.com has noted that "Jharkhand Chief Minister Arjun Munda is all set to use an e-software that will scan the reams of postal mail he receives every day and help reply to them in real time. According to an official of the Chief Minister's Office (CMO), every day more than 200 letters addressed to the chief minister are received. "It is difficult for the chief minister to go through each letter. Now through the e-software each letter will be scanned and put on the computer. And the theme of the letter will be mentioned so that the chief minister can read it," said an official of the CMO. "The chief minister will now be able to reply to the letters he wants to." The software is aimed at sending replies within 24-48 hours of receiving the letters by post."
February 9, 2006 -- The Mailers Council has reported that "Following are the Senate conferees for the postal reform bills: DEMOCRATS Lieberman (CT) Akaka (HI) Carper (DE) REPUBLICANS Collins (ME) Bennett (UT) Coleman (MN) Stevens (AK) Voinovich (OH).
February 9, 2006 -- Senator Daniel K. Akaka has been named one of three Democratic conferees to S. 662, the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act, which passed the Senate under Unanimous Consent. “Today’s action by the Senate is important to everyone in Hawaii who relies on the U.S. Mail,” said Akaka who has worked with the U.S. Postal Service to meet Hawaii’s postal needs. As the former chairman of the Senate postal subcommittee, Akaka worked with his Hawaii colleagues to make sure that air transportation of mail continued to the islands in the aftermath of 9-11, despite a ban on commercial flights. “Hawaii has over 628,000 delivery points throughout the state. Providing the Postal Service with the ability to meet the demands of its customers in the 21st century is critical,” Akaka explained. He also noted that the U.S. Postal Service is the lynch pin to a $900 billion mailing industry which employees 9 million people in the United States.
February 9, 2006 -- The U.S. Postal Service's Comprehensive Statement on Postal Operations for FY 2005 can be found on the USPS web site.
February 9, 2006 -- A copy of the presentation given by USPS chief financial officer Richard Strasser to the USPS Board of Governors has been posted on this site.
February 9, 2006 -- The Board of Directors of the Association for Postal Commerce (PostCom) expressed its thanks to the members of the U.S. Senate for passing postal reform bill, S.662, this afternoon. PostCom President Gene Del Polito praised Senators Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Thomas Carper, D-Del., for their persistence and dedication in bringing S.662 to the full Senate for today’s vote. Collins chairs the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs; Carper is the ranking minority member.
“This critical legislation is the first step to reforming postal laws in the United States,” Del Polito said. “Although we applaud its passage, there remains much to do. We still await a favorable report from the conference committee that embodies the principles already articulated in the Senate bill.”
The bill now moves to a joint Senate-House conference committee to work out differences between the House postal reform bill, passed last summer, and the new Senate version. Industry observers are concerned the White House will exert political pressure on the conference committee to insure the bill is budget neutral.
Other plaudits to Congress....Pitney Bowes, Direct Marketing Association, National Association of Letter Carriers.
February 9, 2006 -- From the PR Newswire: "The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) thanks members of the U.S. Senate who passed postal reform legislation (S.662) this afternoon in a unanimous consent vote. DMA appreciates the efforts of Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), Senator Thomas Carper (D-DE), and the other 25 cosponsors of the postal reform bill (S.662), as well as Senator Kit Bond (R-MO), who worked closely with Senator Collins to address concerns that had stalled consideration of the vote by the full Senate."
February 9, 2006 -- Rep. John M. McHugh (R-NY) commented on today's Senate vote to pass the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act under unanimous consent agreement:
"I am thrilled that the Senate has voted today to pass their version of this very critical legislation. It is another big step for postal reform - and twice in just over six months that Congress has acted to overhaul the Postal Service and ensure its future solvency. As it stands, the major differences with this legislation do not lie between the House and Senate. The bigger challenge lies with resolving the issues raised by the Administration. I look forward to a productive Conference Committee where all reasonable parties come together in good faith to resolve the outstanding concerns."
On July 26, 2005, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 410-20 to pass H.R. 22, the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act, of which McHugh is the primary sponsor. Prior to that, it had been more than 35 years since Congress last acted to update the laws of the U.S. Postal Service.
February 9, 2006 -- The Mailers Council has applauded the Senate on the passage of S 662, a bill to reform the postal laws of the United States.
February 9, 2006 -- Senate bill S. 662 (postal reform) has passed by unanimous consent.
February 9, 2006 -- The EU Observer has reported that "National parliaments are looking into possible European Commission over-regulation in the areas of postal services and divorce matters - but preparations for a general EU law watchdog scheme have revealed large difficulties."
February 9, 2006 -- DM News has reported that "The U.S. Postal Service took another step toward complete automation of the mail-sorting process with the Board of Governors' approval yesterday of a new technology that will be fully deployed by 2008. The Flats Sequencing System will allow the sequencing of larger mail pieces in delivery point order. Flat mail, which includes large envelopes, catalogs, magazines and newspapers, is one of the most labor-intensive mail categories to process because of variations in size, thickness and address label placement. Allowing the sequencing of larger mail pieces in delivery point order will reduce the time carriers need to prepare mail for delivery."
February 9, 2006 -- Dow Jones has reported that "Shares of Stamps.com (STMP) hit a new 52-week high Wednesday after the company reported its fourth-quarter profit nearly tripled as sales of its customizable U.S. postage surged. "Obviously, the numbers are quite good," Needham & Co. analyst Mark May said Wednesday, linking better-than-expected results to the company's nascent PhotoStamps business, which allows users to turn photographs into valid U.S. postage."
February 9, 2006 -- Reported on the Postalnews blog: "First class mail volume was down by just under a billion pieces from the prior year in the quarter ending December 31, according to volume numbers released by the US Postal Service on Wednesday. The 3.8% decline in first class volume was only partially offset by a slight (0.5%) increase in standard volume. In terms of dollars, first class was down $415 million, while the standard increase was just $30 million. There was continued growth in both Express Mail (up 5.7%) and Priority (up 4.1%), but the additional revenue from the two classes combined came to just $75 million more than the prior year. The decline in volume wasn’t a total surprise- a year ago there was a sharp spike in mail volume attributed by USPS CFO Dick Strasser to “the quadrennial impact of election mailings, increased activity in marketing financial services and credit cards”. An additional concern for the postal service was a 0.7% decline in Total Factor Productivity."
February 9, 2006 -- KTVQ has reported that "The U-S Postal Service is considering a change that would have Helena mail processed 90 miles away in Great Falls. Postal officials say they'll decide by the end of the month whether to make the change."
February 9, 2006 -- MENA-FN has reported that "A delegation from TNT, the global provider of mail, express and logistics services, discussed the potential for joint ventures with Emirates Post."
February 9, 2006 -- The Kennebec Journal has reported that "The Senate is expected to approve legislation as early as today to reform the U.S. Postal Service, a major step in a long-delayed effort by Congress to make the post office more competitive with the Internet and companies like FedEx. If the reform effort fails, advocates say, there could be larger increases in the price of stamps and a loss of universal delivery service. That could have a drastic effect in a state like Maine, which has a large number of rural addresses." See also Maine Today State News.
February 9, 2006 -- The Quad-City Times has reported that "McCAUSLAND, Iowa may keep its full-fledged U.S. Post Office after all. A tentative agreement will retain the postal service enjoyed for generations in the city of 300 near the Wapsipinicon River. Terms were reached Wednesday between Mayor Doug Stoltenberg and Doug Morrow, Hawkeye District manager for the U.S. Postal Service in Des Moines."
February 9, 2006 -- The Irish Examiner has reported that "Hundreds of patients are missing hospital appointments because of unofficial strike action by postmen in Belfast. Staff at the City Hospital confirmed serious disruption at the outpatient unit. With no sign of an end to the stoppage, which has hit several areas of Belfast, the Royal Mail and the 300 striking postmen are under mounting pressure to agree terms for a return to work. The strike is now in its second week."
February 9, 2006 -- According to the San Francisco Chronicle, "It was the lost treasure in the philatelic world -- the only knownenvelope bearing a 90-cent Abraham Lincoln stamp from 1869. The Lincoln stamp was part of the first series to be issued by the post office with two colors. Besides the recently assassinated president, the 1869 stamps depicted trains, boats and other modes of transportation.
February 9, 2006 -- According to the editorial staff of the Economic Times, "The department of posts (DoP) has proposed that private courier companies be barred from delivering letters weighing up to 500 grams. The suggestion needs to be junked, it is not even worthy of a discussion. At one end, this suggestion is indicative of the serious competition private courier companies are giving the DoP. Secondly, the department’s stand on the issue also reveals that the DoP is yet to realise the immense commercial potential of its vast network."
February 9, 2006 -- According to Rediff.com, "Since most companies, and many individuals, prefer to have a courier come and pick up mail for delivery instead of standing in line at the post office to buy stamps, it's not surprising that the department of posts feels threatened by an industry that has grown to Rs 3,500 crore (Rs 35 billion). The result is a proposal to ban couriers from carrying packages that weigh less than 500 gm, and to make this category the exclusive preserve of the post office. It is not clear whether delivery boys retained by most offices will also fall under this ban. But while it is in the mood to ban, the postal authorities should also look at the hundreds of crores lost on account of e-mail becoming so popular."
February 9, 2006 -- GovExec.com has reported that "Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., has lifted his hold on sweeping postal overhaul legislation, clearing the way for the measure to be approved by the full Senate. Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., also had a hold on the bill, which he released earlier this week, postal lobbyists said. Sessions' concerns, which centered around the bill's budget impact, were eased when staff for Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Chairwoman Susan Collins, R-Maine, said she would consider changes to language that gives the Postal Service access to money slated for an escrow account and shifts the agency's $27 billion military pensions obligation to the Treasury. A congressional aide said Sessions made it clear he could renew his opposition if his concerns are not addressed in conference."
February 9, 2006 -- Transport Intelligence has reported that:
UPS in the US has brought forward the guaranteed commit time for its 2nd Day Air A.M. delivery service to 10:30 a.m. from 12 p.m. and added a Saturday delivery option for UPS 2nd Day Air. The moves are part of an overall expansion of the UPS 2nd Day Air portfolio that also includes the addition of 9,300 ZIP codes to the 2nd Day Air A.M. delivery service area.
TNT Logistics Italy and the Japanese company Denso Id Systems, part of the Toyota Group and a leader in the design and production of hand-held barcode scanners, have signed a deal for the supply of 1,000 Denso terminals for the management of the electronic proof of delivery system. At the same time, through its subsidiary Telis, TNT Logistics Italy has agreed on a partnership with Denso for the management of reverse logistics activities and the reconditioning of the terminals for Denso's clients.
February 9, 2006 -- The Associated Press has reported that "A former strip club waitress mailed condoms filled with a potentially explosive mixture to a television station, strip clubs and other places, saying she was tired of being mistreated by men, according to court documents. In FBI documents unsealed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Boston, Kimberly Lynn Dasilva, 40, said she "couldn't take it anymore."
February 9, 2006 -- According to the BBC, "The union representing most of the workers in the postal strike met the Labour Relations Agency on Thursday. The meeting followed a proposal by Royal Mail to bring in a third party to resolve the dispute. Both sides have now been involved in separate meetings with the Labour Relations Agency."
February 9, 2006 -- According to the Belfast Telegraph, "Whichever side your sympathies are with, the current postal strike must rank as one of the most inexplicable in recent times. A walkout over alleged harassment of an individual postman in Belfast has been allowed to escalate into a major stoppage which is costing money and, probably, jobs in Royal Mail and small businesses."
February 9, 2006 -- The Preston Today has reported that "Royal Mail could be hit with a hefty fine and tough new recruitment rules after staff were caught stealing."
February 9, 2006 -- The Economic Times has reported that "THE Indian government is planning to set up mail regulatory and development authority (MRDA) for the postal and courier services. Currently, there is no authority to regulate the Rs 3,500-crore private courier industry. Department of Post (DoP) has proposed amendments in the Indian Post Office Act, 1898, to make provision for the regulator. MRDA will ensure that all the private courier service providers and mail services of the department of post comply with the terms and conditions of the registration. It will promote competition and efficiency in mail services."
February 9, 2006 -- The Financial Express has reported that "On the face of it, the department of posts’ (DoP) attempt to bar courier companies from delivering letters weighing up to 500 gm seems like a throwback to the protectionist mindset of the pre-reform days. The Indian Post Office Act, 1898, makes delivery of letters the DoP’s exclusive preserve. However, since ‘letters’ aren’t defined in the Act, courier companies have eaten into the traditional DoP cake. Faced with losing more and more business to nimbler private sector players, many of whom have the advantage of operating in the unorganised sector and, hence, can offer cutthroat rates, DoP is reportedly considering the easiest option: amending the Act."
February 9, 2006 -- MoneyControl.com has reported that "The Indian Government feels that the amount of letters flowing through the Indian postal system is dwindling. That's because courier companies are increasingly delivering letters -- and that's illegal. Now, the government is considering an amendment to the Indian Postal Act, which will allow courier companies to carry letters that weigh over half a kilo. This move has courier companies worried."
February 9, 2006 -- The Kyodo news service has reported that "All Japan Postal Labor Union Chairman Akira Miyashita told a meeting of the 87,000-member union's central committee that the union will consider its integration with the 140,000-member Japan Postal Workers' Union to increase their bargaining power."
February 9, 2006 -- Business Objects, the world’s leading provider of business intelligence (BI) solutions, has announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire privately-held Firstlogic, Inc., a global provider of enterprise data quality solutions and services. Building on the company’s EIM (enterprise information management) strategy, this acquisition will provide customers with a single, consistent view of their business, improve the trust and confidence in the information needed to make better decisions, and accelerate compliance initiatives. See also the LaCrosse Tribune.
February 8, 2006 -- The Association for Postal Commerce reaffirmed its support for S. 662 as written. The PostCom Board of Directors said that the major principles that PostCom has long believed are essential for meaningful postal reform are sufficiently reflected in the current bill.
February 8, 2006 -- The Association for Priority Mail Users, Inc. (APMU) has endorsed the call for a 30 to 60 day “time out” to give mailers an opportunity to weigh the grave danger to the mailing industry presented by S. 662, the postal reform bill now pending in the Senate.
February 8, 2006 -- From the PR Newswire: "Pitney Bowes Inc. has announced the successful completion of its acquisition of Emtex Ltd. for approximately $41 million. Emtex's software and services allow large-volume mailers to simplify document production and centrally manage complex multi-vendor and multi-site print operations."
February 8, 2006 -- UTV has reported that "Royal Mail managers from England have been shipped to Belfast to keep a skeleton delivery service going for businesses as a wildcat strike by postal staff today showed no sign of ending."
February 8, 2006 -- UPS has accelerated the guaranteed commit time for the industry’s only 2nd Day Air A.M.® delivery service to 10:30 a.m. from 12 p.m. and added a Saturday delivery option for UPS 2nd Day Air®. The moves are part of an overall expansion of the UPS 2nd Day Air portfolio that also includes the addition of 9,300 ZIP codes to the 2nd Day Air A.M. delivery service area. These deferred premium services offer any business an economical alternative for time-sensitive shipments that do not require overnight delivery and are especially popular among manufacturers, online retailers and wholesalers.
February 8, 2006 -- Rediff.com has reported that "If the government has its way, letters weighing below 500 gms will be carried exclusively by Department of Posts as the over-a-century-old Indian Postal Act 1898 is set to be amended most likely in the Budget session. This will facilitate DoP getting this lucrative segment, which has been cornered by private courier industry now. If implemented this new Act will deliver a body blow to India's courier industry." See also the Economic Times.
February 8, 2006 -- The BBC has reported that "Royal Mail workers in Londonderry have refused to join their Belfast colleagues in unofficial strike action."
February 8, 2006 -- The Shippers Newswire has noted that "DHL said Tuesday it is offering a new shipping software for small and medium-sized businesses that can be installed on a personal computer and produce all the documentation needed for the entire shipping process. EasyShip Professional is for companies that prefer to use their own computer hardware offline rather than going on the Internet to access DHL servers."
February 8, 2006 -- From PrimeZone Newswire: "Window Book, Inc., the leader in postal mailing and shipping solutions, announces the launch of its web-based United States Postal Service (USPS) Applications Form Filler, a free portal that allows customers and U.S. Postal Service Representatives to access and complete all required U.S. Postal Service Application Forms directly from Window Book's web page."
February 8, 2006 -- The Belfast Telegraph has reported that:
February 8, 2006 -- According to the News Letter, "Royal Mail must listen to its workforce and approve an independent review of working conditions, union chiefs said yesterday."
February 8, 2006 -- CEP News (Courier-Express-Postal), published by the MRU Consultancy, has reported that:
Poste Italiane's CEO Massimo Sarmi believes that following privatization, his company could become a takeover target for a leading international bank.
Via a legislative initiative, Austria's Social Democratic Party SPO intends to create obstacles for private mail service providers.
Together with eBay, DHL Global Mail has introduced a new delivery service for eBay customers in Singapore. From now on, letters and parcels weighing up to two kilos are delivered to buyers in Asia and worldwide. eBay customers in Singapore can place their orders with DHL Global Mail via phone or e-mail.
Finland's Suomen Posti Oy has strengthened its position in the Scandinavian logistics market through the acquisition of the Swedish firm Roadlink AB.
Royal Mail's European parcel network GLS intends to open 800 parcel shops in the Netherlands this year.
With effect from 1 January this year, the Polish post has added Cash-on-Delivery to its service portfolio.
The MRU, founded in 1992, is the only consultancy in Europe, which has specialised in the market of courier-, express- and parcel services. For large-scale shippers and CEP-services in particular, the MRU provides interdisciplinary advice for all major questions of the market, as there are for example market entry, product design, organisation, and EDP.To learn more about the stories reported above, contact CEP News.
February 8, 2006 -- According to the Wall Street Journal, "While big newspaper companies are increasingly battling the Internet and other sources of information and advertising, small papers have been able to keep a hold on their markets, concentrating on local politics, sports and community events. Most rural areas don't yet have the same access to the Web that urban markets do, protecting small papers, for now, from the Web competition that has hurt major papers."
February 8, 2006 -- According to one letter carrier who spoke to the Whittier Daily News: "I for one am tired of the lies and deception that are routine in daily operations within the Postal Service. The problems you describe are not isolated, postal management across this nation spend 95 percent of their time avoiding the real issues that are brought to them. They have only one goal, achieve the artificial numbers that determine if they are meeting the goals set at headquarters."
February 8, 2006 -- Brian Sheehan (postalnews.com) has a nice summary of the Postal Service's latest payroll report in his postalnews blog.
February 8, 2006 -- According to DM News, "Melissa Data, a provider of data quality software and services, announced yesterday the release of Residential & Business Delivery Indicator, a tool that lets catalogers and other shippers identify address types prior to shipping parcels."
February 8, 2006 -- Handelsblatt has reported that "The federal network agency in Germany is investigating claims that Deutsche Post, the German national postal services provider, has been carrying out price dumping activities for items sent by letter post. A spokesperson for the agency confirmed that it would be examining whether Deutsche Post had been charging too little for its services, thereby putting rivals at a disadvantage. Deutsche Post has rejected the accusations."
February 8, 2006 -- Computer Weekly has reported that "Delivery provider TNT Express is expanding its multimillion-pound RFID programme in trials to optimise global supply chains."
February 8, 2006 -- The Belfast Telegraph has reported that "The Royal Mail strike was continuing last night despite protesting workers being urged to call off their week-long wildcat action by a union leader. Ray Ellis, a national officer from the Communication Workers' Union, held a meeting with staff yesterday to encourage them to go back to work but strikers refused to return until their demand for a full independent industrial relations review is met. But at the same time he said Royal Mail should agree to a review of employee relations. "We are doing our best to get our people back. Royal Mail need to respond," he said. A spokesperson for Royal Mail said: "This is not the outcome we and our customers had hoped for. We need to establish why the national CWU officials have been unable to achieve a return to work."
February 8, 2006 -- Gulf Times has reported that:
Q-Post will soon be able to make deliveries of all local mail in less than 48 hours.
It IS the proper and effective utilisation of resources, both human and technical, at one’s disposal that makes a postal system function smoothly, said T B Reddy, Universal Postal Union’s (UPU) consultant.
February 8, 2006 -- The Memphis Business Journal has reported that "FedEx Express and FedEx Ground have agreed to take disciplinary action against companies that violate FedEx policy and ship cigarettes directly to consumers, New York state Attorney General Eliot Spitzer said Tuesday. FedEx said the punishment will include the termination of shippers who repeatedly violate the policy."
February 7, 2006 -- Transport News Network has reported that "Courier & Parcel Despatch Expo is a new international exhibition and conference dedicated to parcel technology and services to be held in Amsterdam on 10,11,12 October 2006. Courier & Parcel Despatch Expo will provide a much needed showcase of emerging technologies, latest systems and vital services for the total parcel logistic process - from the parcel packaging and collection point through to the final delivery."
February 7, 2006 -- The Shanghai Daily has reported that "SENIOR managers at Shanghai's private express delivery firms will lobby the government for "fairness" as they fear the latest draft for a new Post Law will bankrupt their businesses. The latest draft, written by China Post, allows the state-backed firm to monopolize express delivery of all mail and goods lighter than 350 grams. Previous drafts allowed private firms to handle deliveries under 350 grams as long as it was not personal mail."
February 7, 2006 -- According to TopTechNews, "America Online will begin charging businesses to send commercial e-mail to its users in the first wide-scale use of authenticated e-mail to reduce spam. But some marketers affected by the plan, set to start in several weeks, call it e-mail taxation designed to create a new stream of revenue for AOL. AOL says The New York Times and American Red Cross have signed up for the service."
February 7, 2006 -- On February 22 at 10:30 a.m., Pitney Bowes Chief Strategy Officer Luis Jimenez will provide the Postal Rate Commission a briefing on the future of mail.
February 7, 2006 -- According to Ireland Online, "A week-long postal strike in the North is uniting Protestants and Catholics from both sides of the community divide in west Belfast." Who'd a thunk?
February 7, 2006 -- The Associated Press has reported that "Workers who were exposed to anthrax at the Brentwood postal facility have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to revive a civil rights lawsuit."
February 7, 2006 -- NI4.co.uk has reported that "The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has today called on Enterprise, Trade & Investment Minister Angela Smith to intervene in the ongoing Royal Mail strike. Local businesses hard hit by the action which has dragged on into a second week want to see an end to the dispute, which is affecting postal deliveries to thousands of small businesses across Belfast."
February 7, 2006 -- The Washington Post has reported that "President Bush proposed a 2.2 percent pay raise for federal civilian employees and members of the armed forces yesterday, marking the first time in his presidency that he has called for equivalent raises for both groups."
February 7, 2006 -- Citizens Voice has noted that "The same day he was sworn in as the nation’s newest justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals handed down a decision by Judge Samuel Alito with major implications for a Luzerne County woman. Writing for a unanimous three-member panel, Alito ruled a Glen Lyon woman’s claims of sex discrimination and retaliation by her employer, the United States Postal Service, should be heard by a jury at trial. The Third Circuit Court of Appeals was involved because a lower court had tossed the case before it reached that point."
February 7, 2006 -- The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has reported that "with its infrastructure problems apparently fixed, DHL plans another major ad campaign during the Winter Olympics aimed at wresting market share from its American rivals. DHL intends to gain premium-priced international and next-morning shipments through the strength of its overseas brand and what it sees as its superior customer service. DHL said it won't drop prices in a short-term move to grab market share. UPS and FedEx have responded to DHL's challenge by speeding up delivery times, increasing services and offering incentives to some large customers — moves that DHL must match to stay in the game."
February 7, 2006 -- MTI has reported that "Several international online retailers have included Hungary on their list of banned postal destinations after repeated complaints about lost shipments, national daily Magyar Hirlap reported on Tuesday. Online shops cd-wow.com and threadless.com do not deliver to Hungary at all, while amazon.com has placed certain Hungarian addresses on a list of banned destinations, the paper said. According to Magyar Hirlap, there appears to be a Bermuda triangle for mail orders in Hungary, which affects both domestic and international senders and explains why most Hungarian online shops use private delivery services instead of Magyar Posta, the Hungarian post office. Hungary's post office and the Universal Postal Union (UPU) are trying to address the problem by carrying out checks. According to UPU, most problems affecting European destinations can be traced back to transfer points at the Frankfurt airport, said the paper."
February 7, 2006 -- The Belfast Telegraph has reported that "Royal Mail last night confirmed it was unable to accept any Special Deliveries due to the wildcat postal strike which has all but crippled services in Belfast. However, it said managers will continue to make every effort to ensure Special Delivery items posted in the UK for addresses across Northern Ireland are delivered. Mail posted in Belfast, with the exception of the east of the city, will not be delivered, regardless of destination." See also the BBC.
February 7, 2006 -- AFX Europe has reported that "Deutsche Post AG plans to transform some 200 of its estimated 5,400 postal outlets into postal agencies to be owned jointly with other companies."
February 7, 2006 -- As the Washington Post has reported, "The Postal Service has been charging for the delivery of mail for decades," said Nicholas Graham, a spokesman for AOL. "This is being advanced as a voluntary option for people who simply want to have their e-mail delivered in a different way." See also DM News.
February 7, 2006 -- The DM Bulletin has noted that "Direct mail spending has fallen for the second year running, but the decline had been slightly offset by a rise in door-drops, according to a new report. Focused door-drops present an inexpensive alternative to yesterday's direct mail campaign. Advertisers may not know the name of the recipient, but they can tell from where they live that they fit the target demographic."
February 7, 2006 -- From BusinessWire: "Exstream Software, Inc. (www.exstream.com) announced today that the Etat de Vaud, Canton of the Swiss Confederation, is successfully using its AFP Jazz!(R) software to optimize the production and delivery of correspondence to 380,000 tax payers. The Etat de Vaud estimates annual savings of 100,000 CHF ($76,000 USD) using AFP Jazz! for print stream optimization, sorting, bundling and consolidation of advanced function production (AFP) files."
February 7, 2006 -- According to Flight International, "United Parcel Service (UPS) formally opened the $135 million expansion of its European express package air hub at Cologne/Bonn airport last week, amid signals from a German state premier that the government will back its desire to extend its night-flight clearance for the long term."
February 7, 2006 -- The Associated Press has reported that "The city's former main post office is an egregious example of a surplus federal building that costs taxpayers millions of dollars a year as it sits vacant, waiting to be sold or demolished, a U.S. senator said Monday. The empty building's annual cost to taxpayers is $2 million, said Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., chairman of a subcommittee that listened to testimony Monday from several government agencies at a hearing on unused federal property. The hearing was held at a working postal facility across the street from the vacant building."
February 7, 2006 -- The Arab News has reported that "Thousands of mailboxes are being installed in residential buildings in different parts of the capital as part of Saudi Post’s novel plan to enable the people to send and receive mail from their own residential buildings without going to the post office."
February 7, 2006 -- The Irish Examiner has reported that "Royal Mail tonight confirmed it was unable to accept any Special Deliveries due to the wildcat postal strike which has all but crippled services in Belfast."
February 6, 2006 -- From the President's Budget for FY 2007:
The Administration continues to strongly support efforts to enact comprehensive postal reform legislation that fosters a healthy Postal Service for future generations. The Postal Service provides an important service to the American people and the economy, and the Administration believes that the Postal Service should continue providing affordable and reliable universal service, while limiting exposure to taxpayers and operating appropriately in the competitive marketplace.
Postal reform must be accomplished in a responsible manner that is fair to taxpayers, ratepayers, and Postal Service employees. It must be consistent with the principles of best governance practices, transparency, flexibility, accountability, and self-finance, as expressed by the President in December 2003, and not have an adverse impact on the Federal budget. To this end, the Administration supports reforms that: allow the Postal Service pricing flexibility, but within a firm annual Consumer Price Index rate cap and with a strict limit on the circumstances when rates can exceed the cap; require compliance with all Securities and Exchange Commission financial reporting standards; and permit greater flexibility in the use of negotiated service agreements and worksharing arrangements. In addition, the 2007 Budget proposes to use the pension savings provided to the Postal Service by the Postal Civil Service Retirement System Funding Reform Act of 2003 (P.L. 108-18) that would otherwise be held in escrow in 2006 and beyond, to put the Postal Service on a path that fully funds its substantial retiree health benefits liabilities.
February 6, 2006 -- The Belfast Telegraph has reported that "ROYAL Mail today admitted its services had been seriously compromised by the unofficial strike by hundreds of workers. Concerns about the impact of the strike were deepening today, but no new talks were scheduled to be held between union and management representatives."
February 6, 2006 -- U.TV has reported that "Royal Mail today accused 'renegade' Communication Workers Union representatives of misleading their members over the unlawful strike by postal workers which has disrupted mail deliveries in Belfast for six days." See also News Letter.
February 6, 2006 -- According to the Washington Post, "administration officials say finding an antidote to rising health costs will be a priority for the White House this year."
February 6, 2006 -- Transport Intelligence has reported that:
A new World Bank study cautions unless further market reforms are taken, the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe are in danger of permanently breaking into two intra-regional trading blocs—one rich and one poor. The study, From Disintegration to Reintegration: Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union in International Trade, analyses the evolution of trade by 27 transition countries since the fall of communism. One of the key reasons behind the dichotomy is the divergence in the willingness of countries to undertake reforms of their economies, including trade and transport policies.
TNT in the UK has won the contract from Universal Music Operations Ltd to make overnight deliveries to independent retailers and major high street chains stocking music and film CDs and DVDs.
February 6, 2006 -- ACTING POSTMASTER general and CEO of the Postal Corporation, Michael Gentles, has responded to recently published letters in The Gleaner. In a statement to the newspaper, he expressed confidence in the existing postal service's security arrangements.
February 6, 2006 -- The Penisula has noted that "A workshop on the postal services quality in the Arab countries, organised by the General Postal Corporation (Q-Post) opened here yesterday at the Diplomatic Club under the sponsorship of the Universal Postal Union (UPU) with twenty Arab countries taking part."
February 5, 2006 -- The Jerusalem Post has reported that "As street banners lose their effect on the voting public, the Postal Authority has invited the various political parties to order stamps with the Hebrew letters or slogans that represent them for distribution by direct mail among potential voters. The authority says it can dispatch the material to specific demographic groups or other targeted groups, as well as a variety of logistical services."
February 5, 2006 -- The Times-Picayune has reported that "Five months after Hurricane Katrina paralyzed mail delivery in southeast Louisiana, New Orleans area residents find the Postal Service still in rehab. Tardy letters, delayed billing statements, invitations to long-ago holiday parties, AWOL insurance checks and the continued ban of magazines and other periodicals for the ZIP codes beginning with 701 are among the common symptoms. Post-Katrina mail service around southeast Louisiana remains slow. Delays in payments Delivery delays also have plagued utilities and other businesses trying to restart billing procedures."
February 4, 2006 -- The New York Times has reported that "Soon companies will have to buy the electronic equivalent of a postage stamp if they want to be certain that their e-mail will be delivered to many of their customers. America Online and Yahoo, two of the world's largest providers of e-mail accounts, are about to start using a system that gives preferential treatment to messages from companies that pay from 1/4 of a cent to a penny each to have them delivered. The Internet companies say that this will help them identify legitimate mail and cut down on junk e-mail, identity-theft scams and other scourges that plague users of their services. The two companies also stand to earn millions of dollars a year from the system if it is widely adopted."
February 4, 2006 -- People's Daily has reported that "FedEx, the world's largest express delivery company, has purchased the whole shares in its former joint venture with a Tianjin-based company to reinforce its delivery network in China."
February 4, 2006 -- The Monterey Herald has reported that "FedEx Freight West officials were scrambling Friday to recall W-2s sent to as many as 8,500 employees after learning that some of the forms also included other workers' tax information."
February 4, 2006 -- The Belfast Telegraph has reported that "Top-level talks between Royal Mail and union representatives over the ongoing unofficial strike action ended last night without resolution. There was further disruption today after a minimum number of Royal Mail staff showed up for work last night at the Northern Ireland mail centre at Mallusk. Talks had dried up in Belfast and the focus moved to London yesterday in the dispute, which is related to alleged bullying and harassment affecting workers in Belfast."
February 4, 2006 -- Dawn.com has reported that "The Federal Services Tribunal (FST) on Friday stayed the termination of services of some 1,100 temporary and daily wage employees of Pakistan Post. The services of these employees were terminated without assigning any reason. Six of the fired employees had approached the tribunal for relief. The case was heard by a two-member bench comprising Chaudhry Ilyas and Tariq Farook. The terminated employees had been serving the department for three to 10 years. Staying the termination of the services of the petitioners, the bench observed that removing anyone from employment without an inquiry and show cause and assigning any reason was against the principle of justice. The FST members further observed that some of the employees had already become overage while working for the department and wouldn’t be able to find a suitable job anymore."
February 3, 2006 -- As Air Cargo World has noted, "As fuel indexes at airlines around the world remain over predetermined thresholds for the second consecutive week, fuel surcharges are going up."
February 3, 2006 -- Reuters has reported that "FedEx Corp. drivers in Northboro, Massachusetts, were wrongly classified as independent contractors, a regional office of the National Labor Relations Board has ruled."
February 3, 2006 -- According to The Courier, "ROYAL MAIL last night expressed “deep disappointment” after staff in its Dundee east depot voted to go ahead with industrial action—which could happen next Saturday."
February 3, 2006 -- According to what PostCom has learned from usually reliable sources, Sens. Sessions and DeMint are maintaining their hold on S. 662. Both, we are told, are demanding that S. 662, either in the bill or in conference, be budget neutral. In other words, the Senate must accede to the Administration's position on the treatment of the released CSRS escrow money and the payment of the military obligation.
February 3, 2006 -- The latest issue of the PostCom Bulletin is available online. In this issue:
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February 3, 2006 -- The National Association of Presort Mailers (NAPM) strongly supports the call by former Deputy Postmaster General John Nolan that the Senate put off floor action on postal reform legislation and let mailers and the Postal Service step back and study the Senate postal reform bill (S. 662) before it is brought to a vote in the U.S. Senate.
February 3, 2006 -- The latest copy of the National Association of Postmasters of the U.S. electronic governmental affairs newsletter is available on the NAPUS web site.
February 3, 2006 -- Business Week has an interesting piece of which lobbyists "win" or "lose" in the post-Abramoff era.
February 3, 2006 -- The Sioux City Journal has reported that "Members of the Iowa congressional delegation kept the pressure on the U.S. Postal Service, sending a letter asking Postmaster General John Potter for a chance to provide input on the possibility of moving processing and distribution duties from the Sioux City post office."
February 3, 2006 -- The Los Alamos Monitor has reported that "In a letter sent today to Chairman Tom Davis and Ranking Member Henry Waxman of the House Committee on Government Reform, Rep. Tom Udall requested that they include New Mexico postal operations in any future oversight hearings that may occur."
February 3, 2006 -- According to KFOX-TV, "If you've had problems with slow mail service in Las Cruces, it may soon be a thing of the past. Postal officials met privately with Las Cruces city leaders on Thursday to discuss the problems and come up with solutions. Mayor Bill Mattiace said the results were positive. The postal service is now working to hire more people at the postal annex on the city's north side. It also wants to shorten delivery times by two to three days. "You're gonna see differences in three to four months, big differences, improved service," Mattiace said."
February 3, 2006 -- From Canada NewsWire: "A ruling by arbitrator Guy Dulude will not impact Canada Post's decision to close the Quebec City Mail Processing Plant. The arbitration was in response to a grievance filed by the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW). While the issues raised in the ruling require Canada Post to make some minor adjustments in terms of timing of the multi-phase project, it will not delay the final completion date. Canada Post has agreed to provide an updated notice of change to the union, and will respect the 120-day notice as per the collective agreement."
February 3, 2006 -- dBusiness News has reported that "BÖWE BELL + HOWELL, the world’s leading provider of document processing and postal solutions, received an Honorable Mention in the Technology Application of the Year Award from Xplor International. BÖWE BELL + HOWELL was honored for developing Print Stream Optimization (PSO), a patent-pending solution that uses advanced software algorithms to change the order of documents in print streams before they are printed, dramatically improving the throughput of downstream finishing equipment."
February 3, 2006 -- The Burlington Free Press has reported that "The U.S. Postal Service is considering a plan to change the way it processes first-class mail in Vermont, a move that could make the Burlington postmark largely a thing of the past. Mail from ZIP codes beginning with the numbers 054 and 056 -- an area bordered by Burlington, Highgate, Richford and Montpelier -- is sorted at a processing center in Essex Junction and stamped with a Burlington postmark. A second processing center in White River Junction handles mail from the rest of the state. If the plan is adopted, all first-class letters originating in Vermont would be sorted in White River Junction."
February 3, 2006 -- Transport Intelligence has reported that "Finland Post Corporation is acquiring the Swedish logistics company Roadlink Spedition AB, whose annual net sales total some €25 million, and its four outlets with terminals based in Stockholm, Malmö, Gothenburg, and Jönköping."
February 3, 2006 -- According to UTV, "Royal Mail today threatened legal action against union officials representing postal workers on wildcat strike in Northern Ireland."
February 3, 2006 -- According to the BBC, "About 40 postal staff at Royal Mail's main sorting office in Mallusk, County Antrim, have walked out in support of colleagues on strike in Belfast. The unofficial action was started on Tuesday by more than 200 postal workers at the city's Tomb Street depot. So far, deliveries in north, south and west Belfast have been disrupted for the past four days. The east of the city has been unaffected. Royal Mail has said deliveries in the rest of NI will not be disrupted."
February 3, 2006 -- In its latest DMM Advisory, the USPS announced that "We update the DMM on Postal Explorer (pe.usps.com) concurrent with the first Postal Bulletin of every month, so Postal Explorer is always your most up-to-date resource for mailing information. The February 2 update includes the following changes: Return of Prescription Drugs We revised 601.11.11 to allow the return of prescription drugs by mail when the return is initiated by a drug manufacturer or the manufacturer's registered agent. Labeling Lists We revised labeling lists L001, L007, and L606 to reflect changes in mail processing operations. Check the Summary of Changes for a complete listing of updates. You will find revisions listed by effective date and also by chapter, with clickable links to revised sections. The DMM is updated with all of the new prices effective January 8."
February 3, 2006 -- According to Linns' Bill McAllister, "The United States Postal Service has renewed its efforts to kill any attempt to regulate the prices of its Art of Disney letter sheets, which bear an imprinted stamp. The Disney stationery is different, the Postal Service said in a five-page motion filed in response to a complaint filed by Douglas F. Carlson, a San Francisco lawyer and self-professed postal watchdog. Carlson charged in a petition filed June 24, 2004, with the commission that the $14.95 price charged for a "pad of 12 sheets" with imprinted stamps is outrageously high and inconsistent with the rulings requiring stamp rates "to be fair and equitable. "
February 2, 2006 -- The Nation has reported that "The United States wants Thailand to open the express delivery service sector so its firms can use the country as a gateway to expand to neighbouring countries in the Asean region in a prospective free trade agreement."
February 2, 2006 -- CBS News has reported that "Bad Credit B Gone is one of 20 companies accused by government regulators of making promises to remove negative information from consumers' credit reports _ promises they can't keep. "The fact is, they can't deliver on their claims. No one can legally remove accurate and timely information from your credit record," Eileen Harrington, deputy director of the Federal Trade Commission's Bureau of Consumer Protection, said Thursday. Harrington announced a joint federal-state sweep against companies accused of running sham credit repair operations. The crackdown, dubbed "Project Credit Despair," also involved the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and state law enforcement agencies in Louisiana, Tennessee, Ohio, California, Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky and Florida."
February 2, 2006 -- From the Canada NewsWire: "In a landmark decision, Arbitrator Guy Dulude has ordered the "suspension and postponement" of any further action toward the closure of the mail processing plant in Quebec City."
February 2, 2006 -- 9news.com has reported that "The US Department of Labor says a postal worker's suicide in 2002 was directly related to work-related depression. The department ruled in October that George Kruest dealt with a hostile work environment and awarded his widow an annual benefit of about $15,000."
February 2, 2006 -- In a letter to the Postmaster General, Rep. Waxman and Chairman Davis have requested information about service and delivery performance in advance of a scheduled February 16, 2006, hearing on the Postal Service.
February 2, 2006 -- Dow Jones has warned: "Don't toss out any unfamiliar white envelope without giving it the once-over. It might be a check from the government. Those familiar light brown envelopes carrying Social Security, tax refund and many other government checks to millions of Americans won't be arriving anymore. Instead, the Treasury Department is switching to white envelopes this month for most checks sent by its Financial Management Service. It's easier for mail-sorting machines to read printed bar codes on the white envelopes, explained FMS spokeswoman Alvina McHale. By presorting the envelopes with bar codes the agency can get a discount on its postage."
February 2, 2006 -- The Pittsburgh Tribune has reported that "This week's murder-suicide by a California postal worker was a setback to the U.S. Postal Service's effort to stamp out the use of the well-known phase "going postal" -- a term it considers disparaging to its workers, and a complete myth."
February 2, 2006 -- CNET News has reported that "In Memphis, Tenn., a small medical supply company called Luminetx has developed a new method of palm-reading that it hopes will rival fingerprinting or retinal scans as a way to perfectly identify individuals. Luminetx Chief Executive Officer Jim Phillips, speaking at The Entertainment Gathering conference here Wednesday said, "In a way, it's like looking at a bar code. We convert your veins to a bar code."
February 2, 2006 -- ABC13.com has reported that "Two Houston postal workers may lose their jobs for having sex while at work."
February 2, 2006 -- The Highland Park News has noted that "Highland Park Postal employees moved quickly to help find and return seven $100 bills for a Highland Park resident who inadvertently dropped them in the mail with other envelopes."
February 2, 2006 -- Internship Opportunities with the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) through The Washington Center for Internships & Academic Seminars The Washington Center is working in partnership with the U.S. Postal Service to help develop a pipeline of high quality and diverse college students, and showcase the variety of exciting opportunities that exist in the USPS. The USPS will provide full scholarships to five student participants during the summer 2006 term, to cover the Washington Center’s program fee, housing fee, a weekly stipend, and transportation expenses to and from Washington. The desired majors include: Business Administration Human Resources Mathematics and/or Statistics Public Relations Marketing and/or Advertising Students must be U.S. citizens, pass a drug screen and criminal records check. Along with the Washington Center application materials, students should write a statement of interest in this exciting opportunity. Students of diverse backgrounds are highly encouraged to apply. To be considered, students should submit applications to The Washington Center no later than February 10. For questions email email@example.com.
February 2, 2006 -- From the PR Newswire:
February 2, 2006 -- According to MultiChannel Merchant, "assuming that the Senate passes the bill, a conference committee must convene to consolidate S.622 and sister bill H.R.22, which the House of Representatives passed in the summer. And consolidation could take months."
February 2, 2006 -- ThisDay has reported that "As the search for a new Postmaster General of the federation continues, majority of courier operators in the country are pushing for the appointment of the new PMG outside of the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST). Operators who spoke with THISDAY on the issue are of the opinion that appointing a Nigerian who is a professional, and who may not necessarily be a courier operator is the best way to put NIPOST towards the path of privatisation."
February 2, 2006 -- DM News has reported that:
February 2, 2006 -- The BBC has reported that "Royal Mail has made plans to ensure children in Belfast expecting transfer test results on Saturday receive them despite strike action by postal staff. Mail deliveries in north, south and west Belfast are expected to be severely disrupted again on Thursday because of the dispute. The unofficial strike by more than 200 staff has been going on at the city's Tomb Street depot since Tuesday."
February 2, 2006 --Sys-Con has reported that "The American Postal Workers Union (APWU) Health Plan has successfully implemented Version 6.0 of HEALTHsuite, the innovative healthcare administration and claims processing software solution from RAM Technologies, Inc. The APWU Health Plan implemented HEALTHsuite to administer its Fee-For-Service, PPO, and Consumer Driven benefit options."
February 2, 2006 -- The Eldridge North Scott Press has reported that "McCausland residents voted overwhelming Monday to continue their fight to save the town's post office, whose operations are slated to be suspended as of Feb. 24, according to Postal officials."
February 2, 2006 -- Transport Intelligence has reported that "Global mail, express and logistics operator TNT has announced that it is to enter the domestic express market in India. At a press briefing in Mumbai, management stated that it would make an investment of around €100 million in the Indian market over the next five years."
February 2, 2006 -- ReliefWeb has reported that "The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) today signed an agreement with Firstlogic Inc., a global information technology software provider that will supply data quality software on a pro-bono basis."
February 1, 2006 -- The USPS wants you to know: "Continue to redirect drop shipments for entry at SCF Santa Barbara CA 931 to 2901 E Camino del Sol, Oxnard CA 93030 through Friday morning. Starting at noon on Friday, February 3, enter drop shipments scheduled for the Santa Barbara SCF at 400 Storke RD, Goleta CA 93199."
February 1, 2006 -- According to The Economist, "Congress wants to impose restrictions on lobbyists. Fair enough, but it is Congress itself that most needs curbing. Lobbying can't be banned—Americans have a constitutional right to “petition the government for a redress of grievances”. And they have an awful lot of grievances. Lobbyists are not the disease, merely the symptom. The worst offenders are usually the most senior members of Congress. Lawmakers face perverse incentives. Voters reward them for bringing home the bacon, not for standing back while their colleagues scoff the lot."
February 1, 2006 -- The Japan Times has reported that "Yamato Transport Co. filed an appeal Wednesday with the Tokyo High Court against a lower court's dismissal of its request that Japan Post stop the parcel delivery service it's offering in a tieup with Lawson Inc."
February 1, 2006 -- Reuters has noted that "The Boston Globe and Worcester Telegram & Gazette have mistakenly sent out slips of paper with the credit card data of up to nearly a quarter million subscribers. The credit card numbers were printed on routing slips attached to 9,000 bundles of newspapers sent to retailers and carriers last weekend, according to the two Massachusetts newspapers owned by the New York Times Co."
February 1, 2006 -- Victoire has noted that "A basic First Class stamp will rise by 2p to 32p from 3 April 2006, the Royal Mail confirmed this month. The price of a basic Second Class stamp will also rise by 2p to 23p. This has cost implications of general business postage, but also for distribution of your printed and marketing material. First Class franked mail and items carrying a printed postage impression (PPI) will continue to get a 1p discount for items up to 60g compared to the price of stamped mail. For the first time, this discount will also apply to Second Class franked and PPI mail. The price of some business mail services will decrease for heavy weight items. However, business mail will still continue to subsidise social mail, such as personal letters and birthday cards. Royal Mail currently loses 5p on every First Class stamped letter and 8p on every Second Class stamped letter."
February 1, 2006 -- Yahoo! has reported that "After 145 years, Western Union has quietly stopped sending telegrams. On the company's web site, if you click on "Telegrams" in the left-side navigation bar, you're taken to a page that ends a technological era with about as little fanfare as possible: "Effective January 27, 2006, Western Union will discontinue all Telegram and Commercial Messaging services. We regret any inconvenience this may cause you, and we thank you for your loyal patronage. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact a customer service representative." The U.S. Coast Guard stopped using continuous wave telegraphy some time ago.
February 1, 2006 -- According to Marion Edwyn Harrison, President of, and Counsel to, the Free Congress Foundation, "So many of us take it for granted that postage will be cheap; that first-class mail will be delivered to almost any address between the next business day after collection and several business days; that properly addressed mail will be neither stolen nor lost; and that mail will be delivered to our residences and offices or to boxes very near them in all locations, including high-crime neighborhoods. The fact is that USPS operates an efficient and reasonably mechanized operation. And gigantic!"
February 1, 2006 -- Quad/Graphics, the world’s largest privately held commercial printer, has become the first corporation in the printing and publishing industry to join the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) SmartWaySM Transport Partnership, a collaborative voluntary program to increase the environmental performance of freight shippers. Members of the partnership agree to utilize SmartWay-recommended techniques to increase the energy efficiency and energy security of our country. Consequently, SmartWay Partners significantly reduce air pollution while saving money for their operations.
February 1, 2006 -- According to former U.S. Postal Service Deputy Postmaster General John Nolan:
"The Postal Service needs reform. Yet Postal management and the Board of Governors believe that each of the two bills in Congress would further hinder their ability to succeed. They also believe that the benefits claimed for the escrow and military pension provisions won’t be realized. If they are correct, how can they be blamed for speaking out? If they are wrong, what don’t they understand?....
"Success in this endeavor is not just getting a bill passed, but in getting legislation that makes a positive difference. Yet, when everyone should be dealing with the facts and key issues, there is intense focus on a process that is falling apart: politics, lack of communication, personal attacks, and finger-pointing have replaced honest and open discussion. Almost no one is talking with precision about what is actually in the bills!....
"What we need is a 30 to 60 day “time out” to read and analyze the bills so that we are all hearing the same thing at the same time and can work to resolve some of our differences. Why? At the heart of some current thinking is an extremely optimistic reliance on a Senate/House conference committee to resolve differences in the bills. Those in that camp are satisfied to say nothing or to support the bills while privately voicing concern. For others (most notably, but not exclusively, the Postal Service) this is a high risk process which creates an uncertain fate for the future of mail service."
February 1, 2006 -- Business Day has reported that "Minister Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri has, through the Postal Regulator, approved a 4% average general increase in postal services this year. The increase is expected to take effect from the beginning of April in line with the SA Post Office’s (Sapo’s) financial year."
February 1, 2006 -- Reuters has reported that "A group representing global newspaper publishers has launched a lobbying campaign to challenge search engines like Google that aggregate news content. The World Association of Newspapers said it would seek a meeting with European Commission officials and look into whether the news aggregators are infringing on their copyrights or brands."
February 1, 2006 -- The Las Cruces Sun-News has reported that "A public meeting between Las Cruces residents, city officials and the U.S. Postal Service isn't going to happen as city officials had expected. Apparently reluctant to meet with the public, U.S. Postal Service officials will instead meet privately at 9 a.m. Thursday with City Manager Terrence Moore and Mayor Bill Mattiace. But Moore said he still wants to meet with residents who are concerned about mail delivery problems in Las Cruces."
February 1, 2006 -- According to the BBC Monitoring Service, "Drug police in the Russian city of Norilsk have seized six kilograms of heroin, Russian RIA news agency reported on 1 February. The drugs had been sent to Norilsk by post from Ufa."
February 1, 2006 -- Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung has reported that "German national postal services provider Deutsche Post is hoping to streamline its costly post office network when it loses its monopoly on letter deliveries at the end of 2007. Deutsche Post believes that the law on the legal obligations of the monopolist (PUDLV) should simply set out a minimum number of post offices to be run by the group, rather than telling the group where exactly to site post offices and boxes. The group also hopes to alter the number of deliveries made in the week."
February 1, 2006 -- Dow Jones has reported that "Dutch postal and logistics company TNT NV said Wednesday it will launch a domestic express service in India, investing around EUR100 million over the next five years."
February 1, 2006 -- According to Reuters, "The Universal Postal Union says stamp collecting is the world's most popular hobby with 30 million collectors fuelling a business that, by some estimates, is worth $10 billion (6 billion pounds) a year. The number of collectors has been boosted by baby boomer retirees investing in their childhood hobby."
February 1, 2006 -- The Philadelphia Inquirer has reported that "Despite ample warning of an impending catastrophe, the federal government bungled its response to Hurricane Katrina because of a void of leadership and confusion about who was in charge, an independent investigation ordered by Congress has found. Walker's statement said other agencies got ready in advance, including the military and the Postal Service, but not FEMA - the nation's principal disaster-relief agency."
February 1, 2006 -- NewKerala.com has reported that "The Department of Post is introducing a new 'Speed Post Gold' service from today to ensure delivery of articles before lunch on the next working day." By the way, if Indian postal "circles" seem to have you puzzled, check out this article. It does a nice job of outlining the Indian post organizational structure.
February 1, 2006 -- CEP News (Courier-Express-Postal), published by the MRU Consultancy, has reported that:
The Swiss postal workers' union Transfair has called last week's framework agreement (CEP News 04/06) - which was concluded between the post and the KEP&Mail association - a "step in the right direction". The union says mutual use of sorting centres for parcels and of rail and road transport together with the possibility of feeding parcels directly into transhipment platforms makes economic and ecologic sense. It would also benefit customers by offering them more competitive prices and better service quality.
Belgium's La Poste could go partially public in 2009.
MailSource, a subsidiary of Schweizerische Post, has taken over Forrest Solutions, Inc. in the USA. Schweizerische Post sees the deal as an opportunity for MailSource to gain access to a market with a large potential and to become more attractive to customers operating internationally.
Pan Nordic Logistics, a joint venture between Post Danmark and Norway's Posten AS, will be present on the Estonian market in future. Last Thursday, a comprehensive, bilateral co-operation agreement with Eesti Post was signed, opening the existing networks in Estonia and Scandinavia to both companies.
US investor John Moore has invested in the Berlin-based parcel shop chain Paketeria via his investment portfolio Wilmington Scientific. His 20% stake involved an increase in capital for Paketeria GmbH.
Donal Curtin, CEO of Ireland's An Post, has announced that he does not wish to renew his contract, which expires in July.
February 1, 2006 -- Transport Intelligence has reported that "DHL has announced plans to expand its operations in Salt Lake City and construct a new service centre facility at the Salt Lake City International Airport. The $4.3 Million Investment includes construction of a 62,000-sq.-ft facility at the airport to serve Salt Lake City and surrounding areas for pickup, delivery and sorting operations."
February 1, 2006 -- From the Federal Register: "Meeting; Board of Governors Times and Dates: 10:30 a.m., Tuesday, February 7, 2006; 8:30 a.m. and 10 a.m., Wednesday, February 8, 2006. Place: Washington, DC, at U.S. Postal Service Headquarters, 475 L'Enfant Plaza, SW., in the Benjamin Franklin Room. Status: February 7--10:30 a.m. (Closed); February 8--8:30 a.m. (Open); February 8--10 a.m. (Closed). Among the matters discussed in the closed meeting: 1. Strategic Planning. 2. Financial Update. 3. Rate Case Planning. 4. Labor Negotiations Planning. 5. Negotiated Service Agreement. 6. Capital Investment--Remote Encoding System. 7. Personnel Matters and Compensation Issues."
February 1, 2006 -- NewsYemen has reported that "General Manager of the General Authority of Post and Postal Saving Mohammed Margham has said the technological development and emergence of Internet services have affected performance of post services and made demand for them by 70%. He has added that the advantages of Internet, the new alternative, is more advanced, less in cost and quicker in communicating information to the other party. Nevertheless, he affirmed that the post establishment has effected new areas of work and introduced financial services to compensate for the retreat in traditional postal services."
February 1, 2006 -- CBS2Chicago has reported that "A UPS driver was savagely beaten by middle school students while delivering packages in the western suburbs Friday."
February 1, 2006 -- From the Business Wire: "ADVO, Inc. is exploring strategic opportunities related to the company's wholly owned MailCoups, Inc. subsidiary. A franchise co-op direct mail company that produces and distributes coupon offers for small business owners under the SuperCoups(R) name, MailCoups presently constitutes approximately 1.5% of ADVO revenues. The subsidiary has 95 employees and 56 franchisees."