Association for Postal Commerce

"Representing those who use or support the use of mail for Business Communication and Commerce"

"You will be able to enjoy only those postal rights you are willing to defend."

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Postal News and Information from Around the World

November 1, 2014 

Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT): Senator Jon Tester today released the following statement after the Government Accountability Office released its report on the effects of the U.S. Postal Service's changes to mail delivery standards: "Reducing mail delivery standards reduces Americans' faith in the Postal Service and jeopardizes the Service's future. This report shows what almost everyone outside the Postal Service already knows: the Service's efforts to reduce delivery standards are keeping families and businesses from getting the services they need and the effects are being felt throughout rural America. I will keep working to improve the Postal Service so that it can provide the services that Montanans and all Americans expect and deserve."

Linns: For most of his 35 years with the federal government, Stephen M. Kearney was a financial analyst for the United States Postal Services. As stamp collectors might recall, Kearney spent two of his final years (2011-12) running the agency’s stamp program. For the man with a master of business administration degree from George Washington University, it was a sharp departure from minding the numbers on the financial side. Now Kearney has returned to his financial roots. As the executive director of the Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers, he has become one of Washington’s most important postal commentators. One of his major tasks is to offer alliance members insight into the Postal Service’s much-publicized money problems. Since Kearney filled most every executive job on the Postal Service’s financial side, few people outside the agency are better qualified to write about postal finances. That has made Kearney’s weekly “Alliance Report” must reading in Washington and, I suspect, at Postal Service headquarters.

From the Federal Register:

Postal Regulatory Commission
NOTICES
New Postal Products ,
65261 [2014–25978] [TEXT]  [PDF]
65261–65262 [2014–25981] [TEXT]  [PDF]
65260–65261 [2014–26017] [TEXT]  [PDF]
 
Postal Service
NOTICES
Meetings; Sunshine Act ,
65262 [2014–26109] [TEXT]  [PDF]

Memphis Business Journal: In a news release, FedEx Freight says the Teamsters union has pulled its petition at the North Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, facility. FedEx Freight has been notified by the National Labor Relations Board that the election at North Harrisburg — previously scheduled for tomorrow — has been officially cancelled. Earlier this month, the drivers of FedEx Freight's Philadelphia terminal voted to approve the formation of a Teamsters union. The vote comes after drivers rejected a similar proposal to unionize in New Jersey.

Memphis Business Journal: FedEx Express says it has requested assistance from the National Mediation Board in its ongoing pilot negotiations. The FedEx Corp. (NYSE:FDX) subsidiary has been in a contract negotiation with its pilots for more than a year and now it's looking for some assistance. National Mediation Board oversees labor agreements for entities covered by the Railway Labor Act, which includes "airlines, railroads and express companies."

Air Cargo World: After reporting a €47 million operating income loss for the third quarter, compared to a €3 million profit for last year’s Q3, Dutch express delivery firm TNT Express NV said it will roll out a new platform allowing pharmaceutical customers to track their sensitive shipments from end to end throughout the process. During Monday’s earnings call, TNT also announced a four-year, €185 million initiative to beef up the courier’s European road network, plus an ongoing effort to improve customer service. The new platform, called TrialDat, is a web-based data management tool designed for managing shipments in the lucrative life sciences sector. By enabling customers to see detailed views of the entire shipping process and create their own customized reports, TrialDat is expected to bring more visibility to the complex supply chain of the clinical research industry.

WLOS: The last minute push by political campaigns before Election Day is clogging up our mailboxes and putting a strain on the Postal Service. Postal workers say more political mailers are going out than ever before, and that may have an affect on how timely our mail is delivered.

 At the Postal Regulatory Commission:

Washington Post: The cloistered world of postage stamps is roiling again with a rare public airing of dissent in the ranks of the secretive committee of prominent Americans that chooses new stamp images. Cary R. Brick writes in a column in the current issue of Linn’s Stamp News that new stamp subjects are being held hostage by “pie-in-the-sky marketers.” “They come from the corporate world of soft drinks and Wal-Marts,” Brick, a 30-year chief of staff in the House of Representatives before his appointment to the stamp panel, wrote. “They are still at the table running the show, and I’m now just another consumer…But I still care deeply about the stamp program, as do philatelists and tens of millions of Americans who use the mail.” This airing of dirty laundry in the small but passionate stamp community, headlined “Let’s not throw traditional stamps into the CSAC dumpster,” draws another fault line in an ongoing debate over whether the cash-poor Postal Service should pursue commercial stamp subjects to lure new collectors and revenue at the expense of more enduring cultural images.

Entrepreneur: Just the other day the United States Postal Service made headlines by getting into the grocery delivery business. Yes, at a time when most people are writing off the organization as old and obsolete, it's not only saying no to that notion but continuing to reinvent itself. The side gig consists of delivering groceries from 3 a.m. to 7 a.m. for Amazon. The two-year market test, called Customized Delivery, is restricted to San Francisco but could expand nationwide. What many people may not know is that the postal service also serves as a subcontractor for Federal Express and the United Parcel Service, delivering 2 million packages a day on average for the two other shipping giants. So don't count the postal service as out just yet because it's doing whatever it takes to stay innovative and relevant in an age when online messaging has overtaken the way Americans choose to communicate. The organization is embracing change. It's pivoting to stay top of mind and focusing on what it can do. Other companies as well as entrepreneurs should take note.

Reminder: There are two Pre-MTAC Focus Session webinars scheduled for MTAC members and Participants only next week: (1) Wednesday, November 5--Mail Entry Roadmap Update and the Mailer Scorecard (2) Thursday, November 6—Mail Prep and Entry Focus Session Registration required.

  • November 5 at 3 p.m. (EST) Mail Entry Roadmap Update and the Mailer Scorecard Webinar The Mail Entry Roadmap lays out the Postal Service’s key initiatives to streamline the acceptance, induction, and verification of commercial mailings: Full-Service Intelligent Mail, eInduction, and Seamless Acceptance. This webinar will provide an update on key items in the Mail Entry Roadmap, such as, Full-Service, Move Update, eInduction and Seamless Acceptance. We will also walk you through the Mailer Scorecard – what information is reported on the different dashboards, and how to use the information to your advantage to create quality mailings. Attendee Information- Registration Required Date and Time: Wednesday, November 5, 2014 3:00 pm, Eastern Standard Time (New York) Event number: 995 552 305 Event address for attendees: https://usps.webex.com/usps/onstage/g.php?d=995552305&t=a Teleconference Dial-in: (855) 821-1290 Conference ID: 27587062
  • November 6 1:00-2:00 p.m. (EST) Mail Prep and Entry Focus Session Webinar The Mail Prep and Entry Focus Group will host a webinar for MTAC members that will include all of the regular updates normally given during the focus group meetings at MTAC in addition to a special segment on FAST appointment procedures. Covering these topics in advance of MTAC week will allow time to share new opportunities and have more robust discussion on topics of interest at the face-to-face focus group meeting. Agenda topics include: (1) FAST Appointment Procedures (2) Engineering & Technology Update (3) Work Group Updates (4) User Group Updates (5) MP&E Steering Committee Update (6) Flats Strategy Update (7) Remittance Mail
    Update Instructions for participating in the webinar appear below: Attendee Information: Event number: 993 917 073 Event address for attendees: https://usps.webex.com/usps/onstage/g.php?t=a&d=993917073 Teleconference Dial-in: (855) 821-1290 Conference ID: 17222149 If you cannot join using the direct link above, please use the alternate logins below: Alternate URL: https://usps.webex.com

Roll Call: Away from the din of the campaign, House and Senate appropriations staffers are quietly laying the groundwork for an ambitious wrap-up spending package in the lame duck. The push is coming in part from Republican leaders, who are making the case that they want to clear the decks for the 114th Congress and the prospect of Kentucky Republican Mitch McConnell becoming Senate majority leader. “We need to do an omnibus bill funding the entire government for the rest of the year, and get that whole business behind us, so that come January, [McConnell] will have a clean slate rather than looking backwards to old fights that we could look forward to making positive changes," House Appropriations Chairman Harold Rogers, R-Ky., told CQ Roll Call in a phone interview Thursday.

October 31, 2014 

IOM Today: The Isle of Man Post Office has seen a big drop in the amount of profit it was making. Twelve months ago it made £2.8m. At the year end this financial year it made £1.9m. However, it is putting a positive gloss on the situation by trumpeting a growth in revenues from alternative markets, despite the reduction in overall profit compared to the previous year. The government-owned agency says that it lost a major commercial customer, due to change in ownership, but will not say who because the information is ‘confidential’.

Post & Parcel: Pitney Bowes recorded a promising third quarter, as the world’s largest mailroom technology provider continued its multi-year transformation programme. The US-based company achieved its fourth consecutive quarter of year-on-year growth as revenues edged up 2% to $942m. With cost savings of nearly $100m achieved in the company, the quarter’s pre-tax profit (EBIT) was up 2% year-on-year.

Logistics Business Review: UK’s postal service company Royal Mail has announced to invest around £130m in next five years to deploy 76,000 advanced hand-held devices, in order to enhance the tracking capacities of its parcel services. British telecommunication firm BT will provide the technology for the devices in the next few years. BT will offer its services through its Field Force Automation service unit, and will provide new hand-held scanners to postmen and women next year. Besides improving the tracking capacities, the technology is expected to enhance the flexibility of the firm's parcel deliveries enabling it to be more customer responsive.

BreakingNews: The postal regulator has been urged to introduce an immediate cap on competition to the Royal Mail. The Communication Workers’ Union said Ofcom should act to support a “healthy, sustainable level of competition” in the postal sector and ensure the future of the one price goes anywhere universal service obligation (USO). The call came in the CWU’s submission to the Business Select Committee which sought evidence for its inquiry into competition in the UK postal sector. Billy Hayes, CWU general secretary, said: “Ofcom must urgently put a cap on unregulated competition to Royal Mail if it wants to secure the future of the universal postal service. At the moment it seems to favour its duty to promote competition in the postal sector instead of ensuring the financial sustainability of the USO.

INDUSTRY ALERT: Secure Destruction Mail Service Webinar November 13 at 2 p.m. (EST). The US Postal Service will be offering a new Secure Destruction Mail Service Option beginning November 18, 2014.

What is Secure Destruction?
The new Secure Destruction (SD) mail service option is a cost effect, secure, and convenient way to manage letter-sized First-Class Mail with personal protected information. Using intelligent mail digital technology, the USPS is now able to identify and intercept Undeliverable-As-Addressed (UAA) First-Class Mail coded for SD service. This mail, which would otherwise be returned to sender, is captured, securely shredded and recycled within Postal facilities by Postal employees.

Mailers that could benefit most from this service included those that are currently destroying 1st class return to sender mail with confidential or sensitive personal protected information. Please join us to learn more about Secure Destruction.  Registration required.

Attendee Information: US/Canada Attendee Dial-in: (8550 821-1290; International Toll Attendee Dial-in: (617) 500-8964;
Conference ID: 29474302
Attendee Direct URL: https://usps.webex.com/usps/onstage/g.php?MTID=e448bfbd2d307c289bef1dc06a2b5afec

If you cannot join using the direct link above, please use the alternate logins below: Alternative URL: http://www.usps.webex.com; Event Number: 996 871 183


Press Release: Postal Service to enhance holiday mail and package delivery for customers during the holiday season. Will also unveil Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer stamps.

Who: Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe and Chief Marketing and Sales Officer Nagisa Manabe

What: 2014 Holiday Kick-Off Event followed by the Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Forever stamps First-Day-of-Issue dedication ceremony. During the event, the Postal Service will:
  • Make an announcement regarding holiday delivery related to consumer and business audiences;
  • Announce mail and package preparations for the busy holiday season;
  • Release projections for holiday mail and package delivery
  • Reveal the limited-edition Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Forever Stamps with the first-day-of-the-issue ceremony.

When: 10 a.m. ET, Thurs., Nov. 6, 2014. Media check-in begins at 9:00 a.m. ET

Where: National Postal Museum (across the street from Union Station). 2 Massachusetts Ave., N.E., Washington, DC 20002.

Special Instructions: Please enter at the main entrance and allow extra time to go through a security check. Please RSVP to katina.w.fields@usps.gov by 4 p.m. Wed. Nov. 5.


The 2015 National Postal Forum registration is now open. Come join us at the Anaheim Convetion Center for the 2015 National Forum, May 17-20, in Anaheim, CA.

Post & Parcel: Britain's Communication Workers Union has called on postal regulators to place a cap on competition to Royal Mail. The union said a cap would promote a "healthy, sustainable" level of competition in the postal sector while preventing rivals "cherry-picking" Royal Mail's most profitable routes.

Corttez Journal: According to a local U.S. Postal Service official, all general election mail-in ballots must be received at the Cortez post office by 1 p.m. on Monday. Despite the local deadline, postal officials urge voters not to wait until the last minute. They recommend mailing your ballot this week.

Constitution Daily: "Before the NSA, there was the USPS"

From the Federal Register:

Postal Regulatory Commission
NOTICES
Meetings; Sunshine Act ,
64841 [2014–26016] [TEXT]  [PDF]
 
Postal Service
NOTICES
Product Changes:
  Priority Mail Negotiated Service Agreements ,
  64841 [2014–25961] [TEXT]  [PDF]
  64841 [2014–25963] [TEXT]  [PDF]
  64841–64842 [2014–25966] [TEXT]  [PDF]
  Standard Mail Negotiated Service Agreements ,
  64841 [2014–25967] [TEXT]  [PDF]

Newsday: There are a few givens about mail: It's not much fun anymore - even grandmothers remembering your birthday know about direct deposit; everybody likes the mail carrier, who waves to you whether you have flu, chicken pox or Ebola; everybody wants Saturday deliveries. Oh yes. Forever stamps - what are those all about? If you keep dozens of stamps issued years ago, you'll pay a little less to mail a letter today. But if you are like most people, you buy a few stamps and then post your letters. But the big news about the U.S. Postal Service is that it is monitoring our mail. Incompetently and intrusively.

Postalnews.com: Neocon pundit and Cornell professor Rick Geddes has been warning of the imminent demise of the US Postal Service for decades. His solution, of course, is privatization. Now Geddes says that the postal service's widespread snooping on Americans' mail increases the need to privatize. His office issued this press release: Rick Geddes, expert on the U.S. Postal Service and Cornell University professor of Policy Analysis and Management, says that recent revelations about the postal service tracking the mail of citizens – sometimes without proper authorization – only accelerates the need for major postal reform.

Republic 3.0: Over the last ten years, First-Class mail volume has dropped by more than a third, and over the last seven years, the Postal Service has lost more than $45 billion. The Postal Service has also cut its career workforce by more than 25 percent over the last five years, putting the total number of the postal employees at its lowest in decades. It has also eliminated more than 1,800 delivery routes, consolidated 143 postal service facilities and cut hours at nearly 8,000 post offices nationwide. Despite these drastic cutbacks, the Postal Service reports that it only has about 19 days of operating expenses in cash on hand. As a longtime member – and current Chairman – of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE) has spent the better part of the last decade championing a bipartisan approach to keep the Postal Service viable.

October 30, 2014 

 PostCom Members !! The latest issue of the PostCom Bulletin is available online.  Hey! You've not been getting the weekly PostCom Bulletin--the best postal newsletter anywhere...bar none?  Send us by email your name, company, company title, postal and email address. Get a chance to see what you've been missing.

PostCom Members !! The latest issue of  
PostCom's PostOps Update has been posted on this site.

Press Release: Pitney Bowes announced its quarterly earnings this morning. You can listen to a replay of the earnings call by visiting the investor page and following the webcast instructions.

 At the Postal Regulatory Commission:

  • MT2014-1 Notice of the United States Postal Service of Effective Date for Customized Delivery Market Test
    http://www.prc.gov/docs/90/90577/Notice.Cust%20Del.Effective%20Date.pdf  "The United States Postal Service hereby provides notice of the effective date of the Customized Delivery market test. The effective date for the Customized Delivery market test will be November 1, 2014."

usps logo Attention Postal One! Users:  

  • PostalOne!® Production Unix Operating System Patching - The Postalone! production servers will have their OS patched on Sunday morning November 2, 2014 between 4:00AM CT and 9:00AM CT. There will be not be an outage during the patching, i.e. the application will remain available. There is no associated mandatory Mail.dat® client download required. There are no Release notes for this patching process.
  • PostalOne! Test Environment for Mailers (TEM) Unix Operating System Patching will also occur on Sunday morning November 2, 2014. The TEM application will remain available during the patching cycle between 4:00 AM. CT and 9:00 AM. CT.

NLTimes: PostNL has started placing package vending machines at nine major train stations. People can have their package sent to such a machine and retrieve it when it suits them. The package machines will be placed on Schiphol Plaza, Utrecht Centraal, Den Haag Centraal, Rotterdam Centraal and Amsterdam Centraal, among others. The company wants the nine vending machines to be operational in the week before Sinterklaas. Web shoppers will soon be able to choose to have their order delivered to one of the vending machines. The customer will receive a text message when the package has been delivered. The package must be picked up within three days, otherwise it will be sent to another PostNL collection point. PostNL eventually wants to make it possible to also send packages through the machines.

USA Today: The U.S. Postal Service, United Parcel Service and FedEx expect a year-end surge in parcel delivery, fueled by booming online shopping during the holiday season. The Postal Service expects to deliver 4 billion packages this year, an 8% increase over 2013, U.S. Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe said Wednesday in an exclusive interview with USA TODAY. But deliveries over the holiday season could total 475 million, up 12% to 14% from last year. Parcel deliveries will peak between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

October 29, 2014 

Mail Entry Roadmap Update and the Mailer Scorecard Webinar November 5 at 3 p.m. (EST) The Mail Entry Roadmap lays out the Postal Service's key initiatives to streamline the acceptance, induction, and verification of commercial mailings: Full-Service Intelligent Mail, eInduction, and Seamless Acceptance. This webinar will provide an update on key items in the Mail Entry Roadmap, such as, Full-Service, Move Update, eInduction and Seamless Acceptance. We will also walk you through the Mailer Scorecard – what information is reported on the different dashboards, and how to use the information to your advantage to create quality mailings. Attendee Information- Registration Required Date and Time: Wednesday, November 5, 2014 3:00 pm, Eastern Standard Time (New York) Event number: 995 552 305 Event address for attendees: https://usps.webex.com/usps/onstage/g.php?d=995552305&t=a  Teleconference information: Attendee Dial-in: (855) 821-1290 Conference ID: 27587062

Barton Chronicle: In May of 2012 the United States Postal Service (USPS) implemented the Post Plan, which was devised to curb mounting debt, and prevent thousands of offices, many of them rural post offices, such as those in Greensboro Bend, Craftsbury Common, and Albany, from being shut down altogether. The USPS estimated that the plan would be up and running by September of 2014. For many rural offices in Orleans County, the Post Plan means decreased window hours, which is affecting local businesses that depend on the Postal Service for shipping. Also, many employees have seen their hours cut, and people who work full-time are having trouble getting to the post office while it's open.

Yahoo!: Even with widespread retail banking in place, India's postal banking service has a large scope due to its connectivity, Communications and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said here on Wednesday. Prasad was inaugurating the Postal Savings Banks Forum in New Delhi, which was organised by World Savings and Retail Banking Institute (WSBI) jointly with the National Savings Organisation (Ministry of Finance) and the Department of Posts. The theme of the forum was "The Rising Force of Postal Banking in the Retail Banking Market". According to a statement by the Press Information Bureau of India, post offices hold 1.6 billion savings and deposit accounts globally, which is second to commercial banks that hold about 2.5 billion accounts. Prasad said that postal banking transcended the rich and poor barrier, the biggest asset being the network of post offices throughout the country.


Postal Technology International:

Office of the Inspector General: The U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General established an Audit Project Page web site to provide an opportunity for our stakeholders to comment on our projects. Web site visitors can register comments and upload documents related to our project on Customer Care Centers at the link below. We will consider and use this information as appropriate during the course of our work. If you have questions or need additional information, please contact me at 636-345-9722 or Ron Legarreta, Auditor-In-Charge, at 630-315-2770.

  • Customer Care Centers - Deploying a world-class call center is a key part of improving customer satisfaction. The U.S. Postal Service has recently modified its call center operations, including now having them fully staffed by Postal Service employees. We are curious about your recent use and experience when calling 1-800-ASK-USPS®.
  • A Bird in Hand: The Importance of Customer Retention - We recently looked at the effectiveness of the Postal Service's customer retention strategies and explored whether it could do more to keep customers from reducing their postage spend or from leaving altogether. Our report recommended the Postal Service promote organization-wide collaboration and share information on customers at risk of defecting. We also urged the Postal Service to reach out to former customers.

Romania-Insider: Communication minister Razvan Cotovelea recently announced a salary increase for everyone who works with the state-owned Romanian Post, after the company managed to steer back into profitability.

The Association for Postal Commerce, the Association of Magazine Media (MPA), the Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers, the Direct Marketing Association, the EMA, the National Association of Advertising Distributors, and the Saturation Mailers Coalition have filed with the Postal Regulatory Commission a White Paper addressing the limits of the Commission's authority with respect to the review to be conducted under 39 U.S.C. § 3622(d)(3), i.e., the Commission Review of System of Rate Regulation. Basically, the paper makes clear that under the Postal Accountability and TEnhancement Act of 2006 the PRC does not have the authority to vitiate Congress' directive to limit postal prices to conform with a class-centered inflation-based cap. he Commission can and must declare that its 2017 Review under Section 3622(d) (3) will not result in any alteration to Sections 3622(d)(1) and (2) or Section 3622(e). While formal initiation of the review will not occur for several years, the Commission should resolve this issue now, so that when the review is commenced the Commission and all interested parties are focused on the matters that do lie within the Commission's discretion, thereby enabling the review process to produce results which advance the purposes of PAEA.

October 28, 2014 

The Board of Governors of the U.S. Postal Service will meet Nov. 14 in open session at Postal Service headquarters, 475 L'Enfant Plaza, SW, Washington, DC. The public is welcome to observe the meeting beginning at 8:30 a.m. in the Ben Franklin Room on the 11th floor. The Board is expected to discuss the following items:

  • Call to order and remarks of the Chairman of the Board Remarks of the Postmaster General and CEO
  • Approval of minutes of previous meetings
  • Committee reports FY2014 10K and Financial Statements
  • FY2015 Integrated Financial Plan (IFP) and Borrowing Resolution
  • FY2016 Appropriations Request
  • Quarterly Service Performance Report
  • Approval of Annual Report and Comprehensive Statement

Open session meetings of the Board of Governors are available on live audio webcasts at http://about.usps.com/news/electronic-press-kits/bog/welcome.htm. Three hours after the conclusion of the open session meeting, a recorded audio file will be available for listening.

CFO Briefing Following the Board's open meeting on Nov. 14, Postmaster General & CEO Patrick Donahoe and Chief Financial Officer Joe Corbett will host a telephone/web conference call to discuss the financial results in more detail. The call will begin at 11 a.m. ET and is open to the news media and all other interested parties. How to Participate: Important Notice: To ensure your computer is set up to join the event, click on the linkwww.webex.com/lp/jointest/ US/Canada Attendee Dial-in: (888) 888-9538 Conference ID: 25456349 Attendee Direct URL: https://usps.webex.com/usps/onstage/g.php?MTID=e74dbd2d895e48823583bf81c582c983a If you cannot join using the direct link above, please use the alternate logins below: Alternate URL: https://usps.webex.com Event Number: 391 244 548 The briefing will also be available on live audio webcast (listen only) at: http://about.usps.com/news/electronic-press-kits/cfo/welcome.htm

 At the Postal Regulatory Commission:

  • CP2008-15 Notice of the United States Postal Service of Termination of Inbound Direct Entry Contract with Hongkong Post
    http://www.prc.gov/docs/90/90552/CP2008-15 IDE HK Termination Notice.pdf

    "On August 5, 2008, the United States Postal Service (Postal Service) gave notice of filing, in the above-referenced docket, an Inbound Direct Entry Contract with Hongkong Post.1 On September 4, 2008, the Postal Regulatory Commission (Commission) issued Order No. 105 adding the Inbound Direct Entry Contract with Hongkong Post to the competitive product list.2 In accordance with Commission Order No. 105,3 the Postal Service hereby advises that the termination date for the agreement that is the subject of this docket is November 30, 2014. Therefore, the Postal Service now asks the Commission to remove the Inbound Direct Entry Contract with Hongkong Post from the competitive products list effective November 30, 2014."
     
  • CP2009-41 Notice of the United States Postal Service of Termination of Inbound Direct Entry Contract with P & T Express Service Joint Stock Company  http://www.prc.gov/docs/90/90557/CP2009-41%20IDE%20VietnamTermntionNotice.pdf
     

Yahoo! Finance: Unless you've been living under a rock for the past 5 years or so, you're aware that there are major problems going on at the post office. Saturday delivery seems to be continually on the chopping block. If you are anything like me, you may have thought to yourself, "If the Post Office goes under, I'll just ship things via UPS/FedEx. What's the big deal?" Turns out – it's a very big deal. UPS (UPS) and FedEx (FDX) both rely on the Postal Service for a not-insignificant portion of their deliveries.

Eyewitness News: The Communications Workers Union says it has now revised its wage demand in an effort to end the crippling strike at the South African Post Office. The union initially demanded a 15% wage hike and immediate permanent contracts for casual workers. But it's now asking for an eight percent increase to be implemented over four months and for casual workers to be employed within 16 months.

Financial Times: The chief executive of TNT Express warned that economic recovery in Europe will do little to help the Dutch parcel delivery group, which posted a €55m net loss in its third-quarter results on Monday. Investors should expect TNT Express's turnround to last between three and five years, according to Tex Gunning, who was appointed chief executive after US delivery group UPS's proposed takeover of the Dutch business collapsed in 2013.

Beware: Invoices are Right Around the Corner

Join Satori Software for this free webinar on October 29 at 9:00 AM PT.

Learn about the newly expanded USPS Mailer Scorecard. Identify critical data to review and what errors need to be addressed before USPS starts assessing penalties. Kim Mauch, postal product specialist for Satori Software provides information you can use right away to prepare your business for this next phase of Full-Service requirements.

Register for your webinar seat now:
https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/595387806

Washington Business Journal: The company that manages the Bolger Center is laying off 261 employees at the Potomac conference facility. Dolce International, the hospitality company that manages the U.S. Postal Serivice-owned conference center, filed notice of the layoffs with the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation Oct. 22. The layoffs would be effective Dec. 31, according to the notice.

Gnomes National News Service: NetSuite Inc., the industry's leading provider of cloud-based financials / ERP and omnichannel commerce software suites, today announced that NetSuite and Australia Post have partnered to deliver an integrated solution for merchants and omnichannel commerce businesses using postal services in Australia, enabling them to manage their mission-critical business operations with one cloud system—from financials, inventory management, order management, ecommerce and warehouse management, to fulfilment, delivery, collection and customer relationship management (CRM). Australia Post and NetSuite plan to collaborate and build the Australia Post SuiteApp on top of NetSuite's cloud business management suite, leveraging its powerful SuiteCloud development platform. The integrated solution aims to transform parcel delivery and collection processes ranging from parcel rates, label printing, parcel dispatching and track and trace, to parcel lockers and parcel collect—all in the cloud, in real-time and via any device.

Post & Parcel: Polish Post is preparing to bid to retain its position as the designated operator of Poland's universal postal service – but has warned of the dangers of awarding the contract to the company offering the lowest prices. The contract to run Poland's universal service between 2016 and 2025 is expected to be put out to tender by the end of this year by the government's Office of Electronic Communications. Polish Post was the designated operator appointed for 2013-2015 under the country's 2012 postal reform legislation, opened the nation's postal market fully to competition last year. The state-owned company said the next contract for the universal service will be "of great importance" in shaping the PLN 7bn Polish postal market for the next decade.


End of Life Isn't the End of the Road – Replacing your Address Correction Engine

Join the BCC Software for a FREE webinar on November 5 at 2 PM ET.

Register for your webinar seat now: https://bccsoftware.adobeconnect.com/addresscorrrection/event/event_info.html

Address quality is more important today than ever before. In order to ensure timely, predictable, and ultimate delivery of the mail, it is essential to have complete, correct, and current data. While BCC Software continues to leverage our three decades of experience to advance our address quality solutions, SAP has continued to abandon the market by ending support for products relied on by mailers across the country. Most recently, they announced that March 31 will be the end of life for their ACE and DataRight IQ products.

In this webinar, BCC Software President Chris Lien will discuss the options available to mailers needing to replace their SAP products or upgrade their CASS certified address correction software. The discussion will focus on key topics to consider when making a switch including:

• How a well thought out deployment impacts address assignment rates
• Key feature / functionality to look for
• Importance of platform native solutions versus emulators
• Lifetime cost and impact of making a switch

From the Federal Register: Postal Regulatory Commission New Postal Products , 64233–64234 [2014–25496] [TEXT]  Postal Products; Amendments , 64234–64235 [2014–25495] [TEXT]

Memphis Business Journal: FedEx Express will expand its early delivery service, known as "International First," to 31 new countries around the world. Express, a subsidiary of Memphis-based FedEx Corp., will offer the service in 97 markets after the expansion, allowing customers in those areas to ship packages — often critical, business-related packages — to any existing International First destination markets in one to three business days.

Investor's Business Daily: "This is a great country and a greater people," exclaimed Henry Wells upon visiting California during the Gold Rush era. Wells (1805-78) believed passionately in America. Where others saw pitfalls in the expanding country, he saw limitless opportunity. Wells, who played a critical role in launching American Express on the East Coast and Wells Fargo on the West, was the classic American entrepreneur. The sluggish federal government had trouble competing with an efficient businessman like Wells. The public prized his express delivery, which was cheaper and faster than the U.S. postal system's. Such was the success of Wells that the post office, reeling from public disfavor, had to reduce its rates. Wells endured government harassment via regulations, which he shook off easily, calling himself the "people's postmaster." He considered his express delivery a "peaceful revolution." His philosophy was that the "government should do as little as possible" in those areas of life where the private sector could supply service.

CBSNews: Stamps are important part of a nation's history. From the first modern stamp, Britain's "Penny Black" that came out in May 1849, to the landmark sale of the most expensive stamp in June 2014, the so-called British Guaiana One-Cent Back on Magenta - which went for a whopping $9.5 million, or nearly one billion times more than its original value - people have poured time, money, and love into the activity of collecting them. And philatelists say they still have so much to teach us.

New York Times: In a rare public accounting of its mass surveillance program, the United States Postal Service reported that it approved nearly 50,000 requests last year from law enforcement agencies and its own internal inspection unit to secretly monitor the mail of Americans for use in criminal and national security investigations. The number of requests, contained in a little-noticed 2014 audit of the surveillance program by the Postal Service's inspector general, shows that the surveillance program is more extensive than previously disclosed and that oversight protecting Americans from potential abuses is lax. The audit, along with interviews and documents obtained by The New York Times under the Freedom of Information Act, offers one of the first detailed looks at the scope of the program, which has played an important role in the nation's vast surveillance effort since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The audit found that in many cases the Postal Service approved requests to monitor an individual's mail without adequately describing the reason or having proper written authorization.

Attention Business Customer Gateway Users:  The Business Customer Gateway Release 9.1 deployment scheduled for November 2 will be delayed until January 2015 due to changes in the USPS production schedule. If you have any additional questions please contact the help desk at 800-522-9085.

October 27, 2014 

Government Accountability Office: GAO has released this report: U.S. Postal Service: Information on Recent Changes to Delivery Standards, Operations, and Performance, GAO-14-828R, Published: Sep 25, 2014. Publicly Released: Oct 27, 2014, http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-828R.

Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs: Committee Chairman Thomas Carper (D-DE) -- "This report by the Government Accountability Office tells us something we already know: the United States Postal Service is expected to provide, ‘prompt, reliable and efficient nationwide service,' but continuous cuts to services affect the Postal Service's ability to thrive and provide a dependable service that all Americans and businesses can count on," said Chairman Carper. "These budget cuts, service changes and facility consolidations and closures have a real impact on communities across the country. But, in the absence of reform, the Postal Service will be forced to continue these painful measures and others in order to keep the lights on. To create a service that Americans can rely on – a robust institution to serve generations to come - Congress must take action. The bipartisan Carper-Coburn Postal Reform Act of 2014, reported out of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee earlier this year, addresses the myriad challenges ailing the American institution and ensures it has the tools and resources it needs to thrive in the 21st century. The bill is a bipartisan and balanced solution to the Postal Service's financial crisis that would preserve key postal operations and service standards, protect millions of mailing industry jobs, and enable this critical institution to serve the American public for years to come. Before the year is done, I urge my colleagues in Congress to take up comprehensive postal reform and fix the serious, but solvable challenges facing the Postal Service."

 At the Postal Regulatory Commission:

Docket No. Title Document Type Filing Party
CP2013-58 Order No. 2226 - Order Approving Change in Prices Under Functionally Equivalent International Business Reply Service Competitive Contract 3 Negotiated Service Agreement
Orders/ Responses to Orders
PRC
MC2015-3 Notice of the United States Postal Service of Filing Request to Add Discover Financial Services Negotiated Service Agreement to the Market-Dominant Product List
Notice of Rate Adjustment/ Market Dominant Products
USPS
MT2013-2 Customer Contract Renewal Filing Notice for International Merchandise Return Service – Non-Published Rates Serial Number MT-IMRS-NPR-FY15-001
Notices
USPS
R2015-2 Notice of the United States Postal Service of Filing Request to Add Discover Financial Services Negotiated Service Agreement to the Market-Dominant Product List
Notice of Rate Adjustment/ Market Dominant Products
USPS

  "So How Are We Really Doing? "

usps logo Postal One! Release 39.0 Mailer Webinars

PostalOne!® Release 39.0 Production Deployment- will occur on Sunday morning, November 9, 2014, between 12 midnight and 9 a.m. CST. There will be an outage during the maintenance release and the application will not be available. A mandatory Mail.dat® client download will be required. Release notes for PostalOne! Release 39.0 can be found on https://ribbs.usps.gov/intelligentmail_schedule2014/releaseoverview2014.cfm. This release repairs known issues in PostalOne! and also includes database maintenance activities. Two webinars have been scheduled to review changes that will be implemented in PostalOne!® Release 39.0.

  • Topic: Business Related Changes Nov-2014 R39 External PostalOne! Release Training Date: Thursday, November 6, 2014 Time: 2 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. EST Meeting Number: 744 310 537 To start or join the online meeting, go to https://uspsmeetings.webex.com/uspsmeetings/j.php?ED=286777512&UID=3924658&RT=MiMxMQ==.  Teleconference information: Call-in-toll-free number: 1-678-317-2063 (US) Conference Code: 387 354 5093
  • Topic: Mail.dat®/Mail.XML® Nov-2014 R39 External PostalOne! Release Training Date: Friday, November 7, 2014 Time: 1 p.m. – 2 p.m. EST Meeting Number: 740 139 922 To start or join the online meeting, go to https://uspsmeetings.webex.com/uspsmeetings/j.php?ED=286786482&UID=3924658&RT=MiMxMQ==. Teleconference information Provide your telephone number when you join the meeting to receive a call back or: Call-in-toll-free number: 1-855-860-7461 (US) Conference Code: 387 354 5093

PRNewswire: The quickest way to minimize DIM weight (and therefore, shipping costs) is to reduce the overall carton size. Simply shrinking a box by 20% in each direction will reduce the cube size by 49%. By using a Box On Demand box making machine, shippers can create the right sized box for every shipment, every time, without the hassles of excess carton inventory and excess void fill. Box On Demand technology seamlessly integrates with existing WMS, ERP, or other inventory and order management software to allow the box machine to create the perfect box for each shipment in seconds. On multiple item orders, cartonization logic or real time dimensional scanning can ensure the most efficient shipping container is produced and utilized.

Irish Times: At some point next year, all 2.2 million individual addresses in the Republic will be assigned their own seven-digit post code – to be known as an Eircode – that will identify them from all others in the State. Creating the code meant tackling two peculiarly Irish problems. The first is that 35 per cent of addresses in the Republic are non-unique. In rural areas, neighbours on one stretch of road often have the same address. To complicate this further, they can sometime be members of the same family, and so have the same surname. The second is that single addresses can have a number of permutations, all of which will work when it comes to having post delivered. So "Serpentine Avenue, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4" or "Serpentine Avenue, Sandymount, Dublin 4" or "Serpentine Avenue, Dublin 4" will all work, as will the Irish version of all three, bringing the total to six.

Transport Intelligence: C.H. Robinson announced that the company has begun operations at a facility at Corona in Los Angeles, US, in order to provide Robinson Fresh customers with supply chain solutions. The service centre has over 187,000 sq ft of warehouse space that includes over 135,000 sq ft of temperature controlled operations, eight cold rooms with varying temperature zones, 28 docks doors, as well as air purification technology and cold chain handling processes. The facility is PTI compliant, PrimusGFS certified, and certified organic. Robinson Fresh provides temperature controlled distribution services for fresh produce. The facility will support national and regional programmes, repack, consolidation, cross dock, forward distribution, and floral services throughout the facility. By centralizing these operations, Robinson Fresh expects to create just-in-time efficiencies for customers in order to address seasonal surges and capacity strains within the market.

Roll Call: Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy sent a memo to House Republicans Wednesday providing an early sketch of how a new Republican Congress would purportedly operate. While the memo wasn't exactly a legislative outline — the email is titled "Government Competency," and seems intended as much for public consumption as for Republican members of Congress — McCarthy alludes to how he would like the GOP House to draft a 2015 legislative agenda. "To be successful, we need every member and every committee to participate in this grand and ongoing project of government reform," McCarthy wrote. "In the coming weeks, please take a moment and think about areas of government reform you would like to focus on during the next Congress." McCarthy mentions that, "working with our committees," Republicans will be formulating the components of a government operations overhaul for 2015.

Roll Call: So much for a predictable midterm cycle. The past month has left multiple possible outcomes for control of the Senate. Just three weeks remain until Election Day, yet control of the Senate remains a dogfight and more than a handful of seats could conceivably go either way.

Reuters: Croatia's last major state-owned bank, Hrvatska Postanska Banka (HPB), will team up with the biggest local insurer and the state-owned postal company in a drive to increase market share, HPB said on Monday.

PSNews: Australia Post is to modernise its regional and rural network of Post Offices, focusing on creating new revenue streams for licensees. More than 300 regional and rural Post Offices will receive new FlexiPOS point-of-sale technology to enhance their role in servicing their local communities. The new technology is part of a major investment by Australia Post in its regional and rural network, which includes the largest-ever annual increase in payments to licensees. The move is part of a commitment to maintain its extensive regional and rural network of Post Offices in the face of changing consumer needs and falling letter volumes. Executive General Manager Postal Services at Australia Post, Christine Corbett said the organisation was focused on creating new revenue streams for Post Office licensees.

Wall Street Journal: TNT Express NV said it fell to a third quarter net loss because of restructuring and legal costs and that trading conditions in Europe continued to be challenging. The Dutch parcels delivery company said Monday it posted a net loss for the quarter ending Sept. 27 of €55 million ($69.7 million), compared with a €6 million net profit a year earlier. The drop was mostly due to a €50 million provision for a French antitrust case. Revenue was down 2% at €1.65 billion from €1.68 billion in the third quarter of 2013.

3DPrint: There is mounting evidence that 3D printing has the potential to impact industry, manufacturing, and many different organizations. The USPS is interested in how this is going to affect them specifically, and how they can make it work for them economically, so they hired a consulting company, Laurits R. Christensen Associates, that specializes in the analysis of postal operations and complex postal data.

YekaterinburgNews: Koltsovo, in collaboration with FSUE Russian Post, opened an international mail processing center (MMPO Koltsovo) in November 2013 to reduce the delivery time of internationally-bound parcels departing the Sverdlovsk region. The opening of MMPO Koltsovo has also allowed incoming pieces of international mail to be more quickly distributed to addresses throughout the Urals. Currently, the facility is capable of processing 700,000 small packages each month.

Gallup: Americans' initial estimates of the total amount they will spend on Christmas gifts this year point to an above-average holiday season for the nation's retailers. While Gallup's October spending forecast is a warm-up to its key measure in November, it finds Americans expecting to spend $781, on average, up from $704 last November. These preliminary projections are positive, but it is important to note that Americans' estimates of the total amount they will spend on gifts can change as the holiday season progresses.

ProactiveInvestors: TZ Limited is poised for further revenue growth with the receipt of a formal letter of award for the supply, installation and support of electronic parcel lockers for Pos Malaysia Berhad. TZL expects to have entered into the formal supply agreement within the next thirty (30) days with Pos Malaysia. The award is conditional on Pos Malaysia Berhad and TZL entering into a formal contract of supply by 1 December 2014.

October 26, 2014 

Bloomberg: United Parcel Service Inc. (UPS) is anticipating an 11 percent spike in shipments during the December crunch and said this time it's ready to handle it. Measures Atlanta-based UPS is taking include implementing a "control tower" process, which entails comparing big retail customers' actual shipping volumes to those they originally projected, and going back to them to "mute" their demands if volumes get too high. Chief Financial Officer Kurt Kuehn suggested UPS' new controls this peak season are a collaboration with big retailers, not a cap on customers' shipments. UPS will try to accommodate big retailers' needs, but may have to impose surcharges on certain customers, or defer some of their package volume for a day to catch up, he said.

Wisconsin State Journal: Executive Q&A: Postal Service uses innovation to increase revenues but also needs Congress

Washington Post: "How Fedex is trying to save the business model that saved it millions"

October 25, 2014 

Postalnews.com: PMG discusses Election Mail, packages in latest State of the Business message to employees.

From the Federal Register:

Postal Regulatory Commission
NOTICES
New Postal Products ,
63962–63963 [2014–25483] [TEXT]  [PDF]
63963 [2014–25373] [TEXT]  [PDF]

Postal Service
PROPOSED RULES
Relocating Retail Services:
  Adding New Retail Service Facilities ,
  63880–63882 [2014–25403] [TEXT]  [PDF]
NOTICES
Product Changes:
  Parcel Select Negotiated Service Agreement ,
  63963 [2014–25537] [TEXT]  [PDF]
  Priority Mail Express and Priority Mail Negotiated Service Agreement ,
  63963 [2014–25525] [TEXT]  [PDF]

Campaigns and Elections: At a time when data-driven digital advertising is the talk of the campaign world, candidates and campaigns are still spending heavily on political direct mail for one reason: It works. That's exactly why so many campaigns avidly keep direct mail in their arsenal. We know direct mail for political campaigns can be an expensive proposition. From the design to the printing to the postage, the cost of traditional direct mail can often be prohibitive for campaigns working within tight budgets. Even in larger campaign operations, where fundraising dollars are plentiful, budgets can soar when factoring in mailing lists, permits and the standard postage rates associated with traditional direct mail. Now there's a way to do it for a lot less through Every Door Direct Mail® or EDDM® for short. The U.S. Postal Service enacted this new program to make direct mail more affordable by eliminating the need for permits or mailing lists. And the postage is significantly reduced—50 percent less than standard rates.

Post & Parcel: UPS appeared confident about its preparations for this year's festive season peak, as it issued latest quarter results that were above analyst forecasts. This year's Christmas run-up is expected to see further record parcel volumes, with 11% growth forecast over last year. The company, which struggled during last year's festive season and had to take on extra workers to shift historically high parcel volumes, said it has put an extra $175m in its operational budget for this year, and has invested $500m in the infrastructure ahead of the peak. E-commerce drove a lot of the growth, but UPS said its business-to-business volumes were also up on last year. UPS SurePost, the residential ground service that uses the Postal Service for last mile delivery, and is popular for e-commerce packages, saw shipments increased by more than 50% in the quarter, contributing to the 1.5% decline in revenue per package. Overall the UPS domestic package business saw profit margins up 30 basis points to 14.7%, with operating profit up 7.8% to $1.3bn.

October 24, 2014 

Business Recorder: Minister of State for Postal Services Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri Friday said a committee would be constituted to conduct survey for reviewing services of the Pakistan Post. "In view of the survey, new policies, standards and systems would be introduced to focus greater attention on improving customer satisfaction," he stated this during his visit to General Post Office Islamabad. He said that efforts would be made to transform Pakistan Post into a vibrant, modern, customer-friendly and self-sustainable service organization.

Wall Street Journal: As overwhelming as email can be, it remains the critical business communications tool, CIOs say. Clutter and storage problems notwithstanding, they say they will rely on the medium for the foreseeable future, despite the proliferation of would-be replacements.

Wall Street Journal: United Parcel Service Inc. said its revenue rose 5.7% in the latest quarter, helped by higher daily package volumes and strength overseas. Results beat expectations, pushing shares up nearly 2% premarket. The shipping giant, which affirmed its earnings guidance for the year, also said total revenue per package declined 1.5% as base rate improvements were offset by changes in customer and product mix.

TheLocal.no: Posten Norge, the national postal service, may stop Saturday mail delivery after the government allowed the move this week in Parliament. On Tuesday it was announced the Norwegian government will allow the country's postal service to stop mail distribution on Saturdays. The government may save 400 million kroner ($60 million) by reducing mail delivery from six to five days. In a proposal that is now being looked at by MPs, the government has drafted two alternatives: One, where all mail distribution on Saturdays is cut. The other, that Posten Norge still has the responsibility for distributing newspapers only, but no other kinds of mail.

Office of the Inspector General: "Undeliverable As Addressed Mail" -- "How does undeliverable as addressed mail impact you as a sender or receiver? Each year, about 6.8 billion mailpieces cannot be delivered as addressed for reasons such as people and businesses moving, illegible addresses, or deceased addressees. It is estimated that more than 40 million Americans change their addresses annually. However, not all moves are filed with the Postal Service, and some data suggest that up to half of those who move may not file the change. Depending on the mail class, undeliverable as addressed (UAA) mail may be forwarded, returned to sender, or treated as waste, at a cost of $1.5 billion in fiscal year 2013. Reducing UAA mail is important to the Postal Service and the mailing industry as they both face sizeable cost pressures and need to ensure the mail reaches its intended recipients. Over the years, the volume of UAA mail has declined. What do you think are additional causes for UAA mail? How can they be mitigated? How can the Postal Service get more people to report their change of address? How can the Postal Service, Postal Inspection Service, and mailers collaboratively work to reduce UAA mail?

Postal Technology International

Reuters: Determined not to repeat a holiday season that left millions of packages delivered too late and customers seething, United Parcel Service Inc (UPS.N) and FedEx Corp (FDX.N) are investing heavily in new infrastructure - but the continued dynamic growth of e-commerce will test those efforts. The world's two largest shipping companies are building new facilities, adding more temporary holiday workers and pushing retailers to help them avoid a recurrence of a pre-Christmas shipping logjam. Even so, the rise in shipping originating with e-tailers including Amazon.com Inc and Zappos could test even the new capacity levels. Peak days at both companies now equal roughly double their average daily volumes.

Post & Parcel: Midlands-based, address management company Postcode Anywhere has announced the appointment of a new business development manager, Canadian-born Danny O'Boyle marking the next phase in the company's growth. Mr O'Boyle's appointment involves nurturing and developing strategic relationships with Postcode Anywhere's key international clients such as Canada Post. His remit will be to replicate and manage similar relationships with other global postal providers.

 At the Postal Regulatory Commission:

MT2014-1 Order No. 2224-Order Authorizing Customized Delivery Market Test
Orders/ Responses to Orders
PRC

Federal Times: The Postal Service now has approval for a pilot program to deliver groceries and packaged food, according to an Oct. 23 decision by the Postal Regulatory Commission. The Postal Service had asked to test out a concept it called "customized delivery" in which the agency receives freezer bags filled with foods or other packaged goods from sellers and delivers them to people's homes. The PRC approved the request. "Grocery delivery services are expanding across the nation, with businesses ranging from the nation's largest retailers, to niche operators, to the popular car service Uber entering the marketplace," the Postal Service wrote in its original proposal notice Sept. 23. The Postal Service also noted that it sees a profitable growth area that could generate some needed revenue for the agency, more than $10 million but probably less than $50 million in any given year, although the commission said it was too early to tell how much money the Postal Service could make.

October 23, 2014 

usps logo Attention Postal One! Users:  

  • PostalOne!® Release 38.2 Production Deployment- This release only includes database maintenance activities. The deployment will occur on Sunday morning October 26, 2014 between 4:00AM CT and 9:00AM CT. There will be an outage during the maintenance release, i.e. the application will not be available. There is no associated mandatory Mail.dat® client download required. Release notes for PostalOne! Release 38.2 can be found on https://ribbs.usps.gov/intelligentmail_schedule2014/releaseoverview2014.cfm .
  • PostalOne! Release 38.2 Deployment to Test Environment for Mailers (TEM) will occur also Sunday morning October 26, 2014, TEM will not be available between 4:00 AM. CT and 9:00 AM. CT.

 PostCom Members !! The latest issue of the PostCom Bulletin is available online.  Hey! You've not been getting the weekly PostCom Bulletin--the best postal newsletter anywhere...bar none?  Send us by email your name, company, company title, postal and email address. Get a chance to see what you've been missing.

USA Today: Congress needs to work together to fix the U.S. Postal Service. The reasons are clear: its finances are in dire straits and getting worse. Every month brings a new tale of fiscal woe: red ink; declining First Class mail; a maxed-out line of federal credit; and tens of billions of dollars in retiree health care liabilities. With our nation's growing fiscal challenges, we can't afford another taxpayer bailout. But the American people and millions of jobs depend on and need a healthy and robust Postal Service. For years, the Postal Service has worked hard to compete in the age of the Internet – keeping prices as low as possible, reducing its fixed costs, and innovating where it can. Its workforce has been reduced through attrition from 788,000 to 491,000 since 2000. Nearly 300 mail processing facilities have been closed since 2006, cutting the number of such facilities in half. Nearly 16,000 post offices have had their operating hours cut. But the Postal Service can only do so much without new authorities from Congress, and without hurting service quality. Cutting costs is only the beginning, and can't be the only solution. The Postal Service needs to grow through innovation. In order to keep up with the billions of pieces of mail, catalogs, magazines, and packages Americans send and receive, it needs Congress to act.

 At the Postal Regulatory Commission:

Office of the Inspector General: The USPS Office of Inspector General established an Audit Project Page web site to provide an opportunity for our stakeholders to comment on our projects. Web site visitors can register comments and upload documents related to our project on Undeliverable As Addressed (UAA) Mail at the link below. We will consider and use this information as appropriate during the course of our work. If you have questions or need additional information, please contact me at 636-345-9722 or Doralyn Wilson, Auditor-In-Charge, at 630-315-2794. Thank you in advance for your time and consideration. Please feel free to forward this e-mail to anyone else you think may be interested in our audit. Audit: FY15 UAA Mail Audit Project Page Link: UAA

Wall Street Journal: Free shipping is getting more expensive. Retailers including Amazon.com Inc., Best Buy Co. and Gap Inc. are boosting the amount online shoppers must spend to qualify for free shipping, hoping to cover the growing cost of providing the perk. On average, a customer now has to spend $82 on merchandise to qualify for free shipping, based on July data from 113 major retailers—up from $76 the same month a year earlier, according to StellaService Inc., which collects data about online shopping. Amazon raised its free-shipping minimum to $35 from $25 late last year. And in March, the e-commerce giant increased the fee for its Prime membership, which allows for unlimited free two-day shipping, to $99 from its original price of $79.

Nehanda Radio: Zimbabwe Stock Exchange-listed companies are increasingly opting for electronic platforms to cut costs on publishing financials and other documents. Recently, diversified group Radar Holdings (Radar) said it was considering switching to the electronic format in delivering its communications in order to curb costs. "Expenses associated with preparation and delivery of physical copies of annual reports, shareholder notices and related documents has always been going up over the years," the group's company secretary Albert Chigova said. "In order to manage these costs," he said "the company would like to send electronic documents in place of physical documents thereby saving on printing and postage costs". He added that electronic documents reach recipients earlier than those sent through postal services while they also offer easy storage and quick retrieval of documents from anywhere.

Motoring: Renault is claiming that staff delivering the mail in the electric Kangoo ZE van have a better outlook on life. The car company has been supplying the Kangoo ZE to the French postal service for some time – and feedback indicates 95 per cent satisfaction from the drivers.

JustHere Qatar: Do you inform the police of your new address, each time you change residences? Majority don't. However, according to a report in The Peninsula, a prominent lawyer said there was an existing law that mandates people to notify the police of their residential address for security and emergency reasons. The law hasn't been strictly enforced due to which many residents, especially expatriates, are completely unaware about the mandate. As a result, the State Cabinet has approved a new decision of including the residential addresses on the Qatari Identity (ID) card. The new IDs will carry the holder's postal and physical address with details like street name and number.

Post & Parcel: Finland's postal operator Itella has said it will abandon its business activities in the fields of air and sea freight in Scandinavia. The company said the move came as part of a move to improve profitability within the organisation. Itella will relinquish service warehouses in Sweden, Norway and Denmark as its strategy switches to concentrate on road transport services in Scandinavian countries, in which the company believes it has a good opportunity to increase its market share. Internal distribution logistics in Sweden, Norway and Denmark will be outsourced, the firm said. None of the changes affect operations in Finland or the Baltic Republics.

Interactive Investor: Whistl, a firm launching a rival delivery service to Britain's dominant player Royal Mail, on Thursday lost a High Court challenge to have the former state-owned postal operator's VAT exemption removed. As part of its status as Britain's six-day-a-week universal service provider, Royal Mail is exempt from paying VAT, currently set at 20 percent, on revenues it receives from its service to deliver mail collected and sorted by rivals. In a lengthy case against Britain's HM Revenue and Customs, Dutch-owned Whistl, formerly known as TNT Post UK, argued that the exemption contravened EU law, but the UK High Court ruled on Thursday that it was compatible. Whistl said in a statement to Reuters it was reviewing the judgement and would then consider the legal options for appeal.

Dead Tree Edition: In just two and a half years, Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe has gone from hero to villain in the eyes of a leading publishing-industry magazine. Folio: named the U.S. Postal Service's CEO this week to its Folio: 100 list of the 100 most influential people in the magazine industry, in the "disruptor" category. Folio:'s slap at the PMG was a far cry from April 2012, when the magazine hailed Donahoe because "he has pledged to support the magazine industry." He was awarded a place on that year's Folio: 40 list of the magazine industry's "most innovative and distinguished professionals."

ABCNews: FedEx expects another record for holiday-season deliveries. The company forecast Wednesday that deliveries between Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve will rise 8.8 percent over last year, to 290 million shipments. That's a more subdued forecast than a year ago, when FedEx predicted 13 percent growth for the season. Volume is expected to surge on each of the first three Mondays in December. FedEx Corp. said the peak day is likely to be Dec. 15, when it expects to handle 22.6 million shipments around the world.

Daily Times: Motorbikes were distributed among postmen from across Balochistan to help them carry out their duties.

Daily Journal: The postal workers' union wants Harvard University's president to oppose a deal between Staples Inc. and the U.S. Postal Service that offers services in some stores or resign her seat on the office supply chain's board. The American Postal Workers Union on Wednesday took out a full page ad in The Crimson, the university's daily student newspaper, saying Harvard's involvement with Staples "sullies" its reputation.

WMPowerUser: Austrian site Futurezone.at reports that the Austrian Postal Service will very soon move from Apple smartphones to Windows Phones for their enterprise needs. The service will be dropping their iPhone 4 handsets, which are presumably coming to end of life, and adopting Nokia Lumia 630 and 930 handsets. "The costs were one of many aspects of the change," explains Philipp Teper, spokesman for the organization. "The goal is a uniform standard for hardware and software and a seamless integration of all mobile devices," he continued, suggesting more Microsoft products may be on the way.

October 22, 2014 

The Independent: One of the City's most prominent female bosses has demanded tougher "action" to get talented women to the top of businesses, and demanded improved childcare to help them succeed. Moya Greene, the chief executive of Royal Mail and one of only five female chief executives in the FTSE 100, said cultural and societal expectations were still blunting the aspirations of too many talented young women.

Post & Parcel: Australia Post is rolling out new web-linked point-of-sale systems for more than 300 regional and rural licensed post offices from next month. The national postal operator said most of the post offices earmarked for the new technology will receive the FlexiPOS system by mid-2015.

Office of the Inspector General: Procurement and Use of Common Fleet Trailers - Northeast Area -- "Owned and leased trailers are one of the most cost-effective ways to move large volumes of mail and related equipment, and are a significant component of the Postal Service's operations. From fiscal year 2000 to June, 2012, TIP, Inc., was the single provider for leased trailers for the Postal Service via the National Trailer Lease Agreement. When that agreement expired in June of 2012, the Postal Service switched to using multiple suppliers to provide leased trailers. As of FY 2013, the Postal Service leased more than 10,000 trailers from 17 trailer suppliers. The Northeast Area accounted for almost a third of the number of trailers leased by the Postal Service, and about 40 percent of the Postal Service's national costs for leased trailers were spent in the Northeast Area. Our audit of leased trailers will first focus on the Northeast Area given the impact this area has an overall leased trailer operations. The objective of the audit is to assess the effectiveness of leased trailer operations in the Northeast Area."

Wall Street Journal: Target Corp. has a present for its online holiday shoppers: Free shipping. The retailer is dropping shipping fees for all online orders from Oct. 22 through Dec. 20, raising the stakes in the battle with Amazon.com , Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and other retailers for shoppers who avoid brick-and-mortar stores.

Armidale Express: Australia Post take note: your refusal to install a drive-through street postal box for the elderly and disabled has drawn the ire of Disability Discrimination Commissioner Susan Ryan. It has also drawn a huge response from ratepayers and readers, many of whom have signed a petition calling for a reversal of the service's ban on such an installation in Armidale. It claims such an installation could be dangerous to posties clearing mailboxes and also to passing motorists. It would be difficult to think of sillier reasons for such a refusal.

Romania-Insider: Romanian parcel distribution company Sameday Courier registered an increase of 60% in the first nine months of the year, compared to the same period in 2013. Between January and September, the company posted a turnover of RON 5.1 million (some EUR 1.1 million), with a 10% profitability rate, reports local Dailybusiness.ro. Same -day deliveries – both local and international, tailor-made deliveries and postal services have led to this increase. For the entire year, the company expects its business to increase by 65%.

ZDNet: Alibaba's e-commerce business unit Taobao Marketplace has begun offering a self pickup service in Singapore to allow online buyers to collect their purchases from selected locations across the island. Offered in a collaboration with local postal service, SingPost, the self-collection service is available at more than 70 locations — or POPStations — in the country from which Taobao shoppers can choose to pick up goods they purchased from sellers on the e-commerce website.

Reuters: The CEO of state-owned Japan Post Holdings Co said on Wednesday the company wants to decide the timing of its initial public offering by the end of December.

Washington Post: Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) on Wednesday released his 2014 Wastebook, an annual list of 100 ways the federal government supposedly frittered away taxpayer dollars. This year, the senator claims to have identified $25 billion in waste: Postal Service grocery shipments to remote Alaska ($77 million): The U.S. Postal Service has shipped consumer items to remote villages in Alaska since 1972 at a cost of $2.5 billion since 1972, including $77 million annually in recent years. The "Alaska Bypass" program, which was detailed in a Washington Post report this summer, amounts to a giant subsidy for retailers who receive the goods, as they pay the agency about half of what it would cost them to ship the products commercially.

From the Federal Register:

Postal Regulatory Commission
NOTICES
New Postal Products ,
63178–63179 [2014–25014] [TEXT]  [PDF]
63177–63178 [2014–25056] [TEXT]  [PDF]

NBC  News: Sean Madden, the executive managing director at the design consultancy Ziba, tasked a design team with solving a problem hiding in plain sight. Madden's team created Signet, a system that could radically overhaul how we use the US Postal Service. At its core, it is a digital stamp and an app. If you want to send a parcel, you'd simply stamp it with a device that uses a laser to etch it with your name and a unique identifying pattern. After that, the USPS would pick up your package; from there, the app would prompt you to provide the name of the person you're trying to reach. Don't know their address? No problem: You could provide it in the app, or the service would ping the recipient on their phone, requesting info about to send the package—or defaulting to any address they might already have listed in the app. Once the addressee is entered and the package arrives at a sorting center, it's re-stamped with the addressee's name and another unique identifying pattern.

Curacao Chronicle: Several factions in Parliament want a solution to the problems facing the postal company Cpost International (Cpost). To improve the financial position of the postal company, the MPs suggest to reduce the concession, which has to be paid to Government. The MPs also propose to transfer all properties used by Cpost to the company itself.

TVNZ: A Wellington-based postal service company has confirmed an approach from authorities after inadvertently becoming associated with terrorist group ISIS. Private Box Ltd, which provides a mail-forwarding service to individuals and businesses, was horrified to discover last week that one of its addresses had a possible link to the jihadists. It came after the Icelandic government shut down a web domain, khilafah.is, that it claimed was "used for the website of a known terrorist organisation".

Northwest Herald: Online shopping on sites such as Amazon has led to the U.S. Postal Service delivering packages to a growing number of towns – including Spring Grove – on Sundays.

SaukValley: Starting this weekend, some Sauk Valley residents might start seeing letter carriers on their doorsteps on Sundays. That's because the U.S. Postal Service will be delivering packages on Sunday. The Sunday deliveries will made during the peak period, which is underway.

October 21, 2014 

usps logo Attention Postal One! Users:   The Business Customer Gateway Release 9.1 will be deployed to Production on Sunday, November 2, 2014 from 4:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. CT. The release will be completed in rolling fashion with no planned outages. This release will include additional enhancements in the BCG application. Release Notes for the Business Customer Gateway will be provided prior to deployment. This was originally scheduled for Sunday, October 26.

Cato: Daniel Henninger nailed it in his article "Killer Bureaucracies," which discussed the poor performance of so many federal agencies recently. He called for "scaled-down, distributed public responsibilities" to reduce bureaucratic failure. To that end, Congress should pursue . . . reforms: Eliminate bureaucracies that we do not need. Departments that mainly pump out subsidies and intrude on properly state, local, and private activities should be terminated, including the Departments of Agriculture, Education, and Energy. Federal organizations that perform useful business functions should be privatized, including USPS, FAA, TSA, Amtrak, TVA, and the Army Corps of Engineers.

Sen. Bernie Sanders: "Sen. Bernie Sanders discusses the Postal Service with Ed Schultz on MSNBC."

City A.M.: Online retail giant Amazon will this morning announce a same-day pick-up service in partnership with Connect Group's newspaper and magazine distribution arm, Smiths News. The service will let customers order goods from Amazon as late as 11.45am for collection at one of 500 newsagents or corner stores from 4pm later that day.

Mobile Marketing Watch: Looking for breaking news? You're most likely to be doing it mobile. That's in line with a recent study by the Newspaper Association of America (NAA). Conducted by comScore, the study showed that 80 percent of U.S. adult internet users accessed digital news content. When it comes to unique visitors, the digital newspaper audience came in at 164 million this past August—an 18 percent YOY increase.

Important Updates on Address Correction Service, Mailer Scorecard Reports &
Full-Service Electronic Verification Assessment Period.

  • Address Correction Service (ACS) An issue was encountered with Full-Service Address Correction Service (ACS) that decreased the number of records provided to mailers. A fix was implemented and data is currently being provisioned as expected. Data not previously supplied will be provided by October 31, 2014.
  • Mailer Scorecard Reports Recent messaging from the Postal Service advised customers not to use the Mailer Scorecard until further notice. Since then, the Postal Service has been working with the mailing industry to validate the accuracy of the Full-Service Electronic Verification reports (Mailer Scorecard) to help identify system issues when they occur and to validate when those issues are corrected. We are continuing to work aggressively to address issues with the reports that are impacting a small percentage of mailings and specific mailing scenarios. The mailing industry is encouraged to start using the reports again beginning November 16, 2014. The attached document contains a listing of specific issues impacting the Mailer Scorecard reports, the scenarios in which they occur and the scheduled dates they will be fixed. A Read Me tab describing each column of the report is included in the first tab.
  • Full-Service Electronic Verification – Assessment Period Based on feedback from the mailing industry the Postal Service is delaying the deployment of Full-Service electronic documentation (eDoc) postage assessments until April 2015 to allow for the issues to be resolved and allow time for mailers to review the data.

Bloomberg: Poste Italiane SpA, Italy's state-run postal service, plans to postpone an initial public offering that may raise about 4 billion euros ($5.1 billion), according to two people familiar with the matter. A share sale won't happen before the second half of 2015 at the earliest. Chief Executive Officer Francesco Caio, who took over this year, is moving the company from traditional postal services to more profitable financial, insurance and mobile-phone offers, as well as digital payments. An IPO would be part of Italy's effort to raise as much as 9 billion euros by selling stakes in state-run companies. The government said in January it planned to sell as much as 40 percent of Poste Italiane this year, part of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi's efforts to reduce the country's debt.

Business Day: The Financial Times carried a lengthy article on the successful privatisation a year ago of Britain's Royal Mail, led by CE Moya Greene, who is also credited with a turnaround at Canada's post office. The Royal Mail is competing successfully with the likes of FedEx on express parcel delivery. Like our own South African Post Office, it has universal service obligations, which are challenging, but it is meeting them. It has labour issues too, but is managing them so that services to customers are not disrupted. The contrast could hardly be more stark. SA's Post Office described itself in Parliament recently as being in "dire straits". It had strikes in August 2012 and February 2013 and the current, unprotected strike has now lasted for three months. Many companies have given up sending out bills to customers, or reports or notices to shareholders by post. Long-distance university Unisa has urged students not to send assignments in by post and two courier services are helping out for free. Small businesses have been hit particularly hard by the lengthy lack of postal services. Many organisations who used to use the post will have given up on the Post Office and found alternatives, from e-mail to courier services. The government must not be allowed to sink any more money into the Post Office unless it can be shown that the organisation can be properly fixed and that it is a genuine national asset, providing essential services which the private sector cannot. These are far from clear.

National Post: After Canada Post announced, by decree, that all home mail delivery in urban areas would be replaced by community mailboxes, some have marvelled at the continuing negative reaction of Montreal area mayors, including the writer and Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre. What sticks in our craw is not just the painfully evident lack of planning behind this decision, but the gnawing absence of public debate on a diktat issued by a state monopoly. Ten months after the announcement, things have not changed. Serving up a blend of the usual communications cant and oxymoronic clichés, Canada Post said it is getting rid of home delivery "to better serve all its customers." They went on to say they are committed to "delivering a positive customer experience," but not actually delivering the mail. Yet their stated goal is "to offer customers the types of services they want and need." Right. They've decided on what we need. Who cares what customers want when you're a monopoly?

The New Age: A Protracted strike by postal workers may be brought to an end today if the Communication Workers Union (CWU) accept a revised offer for its members to return to work. The proposed offer pertained to a salary increase of 6.5% backdated to April 1 and another increase of 0.5% in January 2015. The Post Office agreed to convert about 8000 casual workers into permanent staff within 30 months.

eCommerceBytes: Amazon hates to disappoint customers, and no doubt with memories of last year's late holiday shipments still fresh, it has decided to impose new restrictions on third-party sellers beginning November 13th: - Sellers will no longer be able to offer one-day shipping (unless they use FBA -- Fulfillment by Amazon). - Sellers will only be able to offer two-day shipping if they use UPS, US Postal Service, FedEx or OnTrac and if their Order Defect Rates are less than 0.5% (unless they use FBA).

WFIR: Roanoke area postal employees hope public pressure will forestall or block Postal Service plans to close Roanoke's mail processing center next year, a move that would lengthen delivery times for most of the mail you send. The Postal Service says it is one part of nationwide cutbacks designed to reduce its costs.

Reuters: Package delivery company United Parcel Service Inc said on Monday that rates for its services within and between the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico will rise by an average of 4.9 percent as of the end of the year. The Atlanta-based company said the rate changes for its ground, air, international and freight services would start Dec. 29.

October 20, 2014 

Business in Cameroon: According to Hervé Béril, Managing Director of Cameroon Postal Services (Campost), Cameroon's public postal service's sales "have been rising regularly by 10% per annum" since the implementation of the e-post project which received 32 billion FCFA in financing from the government by way of a loan from Eximbnk of China. Cameroon's postal service is currently managed by a team provided by French company, Sofrepost, which renewed its two-year technical assistance contract with the Cameroonian authorities as a part of Campost's restructuring. The contract is worth 2 billion FCFA.

 At the Postal Regulatory Commission: Position available: Management Analyst.

usps logo Attention Postal One! Users:   Important Updates on Address Correction Service, Mailer Scorecard Reports & Full-Service Electronic Verification Assessment Period.
Address Correction Service (ACS) An issue was encountered with Full-Service Address Correction Service (ACS) that decreased the number of records provided to mailers. A fix was implemented and data is currently being provisioned as expected. Data not previously supplied will be provided by October 31, 2014.
Mailer Scorecard Reports Recent messaging from the Postal Service advised customers not to use the Mailer Scorecard until further notice. Since then, the Postal Service has been working with the mailing industry to validate the accuracy of the Full-Service Electronic Verification reports (Mailer Scorecard) to help identify system issues when they occur and to validate when those issues are corrected. We are continuing to work aggressively to address issues with the reports that are impacting a small percentage of mailings and specific mailing scenarios. The mailing industry is encouraged to start using the reports again beginning November 16, 2014. Posted on this site is a document that contains a listing of specific issues impacting the Mailer Scorecard reports, the scenarios in which they occur and the scheduled dates they will be fixed. A Read Me tab describing each column of the report is included in the first tab. This list is also posted to the RIBBS website at Ribbs.usps.gov.
Full-Service Electronic Verification – Assessment Period
Based on feedback from the mailing industry the Postal Service is delaying the deployment of Full-Service electronic documentation (eDoc) postage assessments until April 2015 to allow for the issues to be resolved and allow time for mailers to review the data.

Radio Times: Traditional stamp collectors in America have become furious over new designs from the US Postal service that feature everyone's favourite rodent-themed Superhero (sorry Squirrel Girl), Batman. Created to honour The Caped Crusader's 75th birthday, the stamp set is made up of 8 different designs and include the artwork of several well-known Batman artists – but the purists aren't happy. "They have really ruined the stamp program," former Postmaster General Benjamin Bailar told Businessweek. Bailar, who resigned from the Citizens Stamp Advisory Committee in August as a protest to stamp series like this, went on to say: "They have prostituted it in an effort to make money." This isn't the first time that commercial stamp sets have raised the ire of philatelists; in November of last year, the Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee were furious when a certain boy wizard popped up on a new stamp design.

CBC: The installation of Canada Post's community mailboxes has not gone as smoothly as some Quebec residents had hoped. Canada Post spokeswoman Anik Losier admitted the mail delivery corporation has been working perhaps too hastily to complete the project to switch five million addresses over to community mailboxes. She said the Crown corporation has five years to move five million Canadians from door-to-door delivery to community mailboxes. She said this step alone would save Canada Post $500 million a year once all the addresses have been switched over.

CTV: Thousands of Canadians will have to walk a little further to get their mail starting Monday as Canada Post begins phasing out door-to-door delivery in some communities.

Financial Times: "Royal Mail faces mounting challenges"

Finnbay: An Extraordinary General Meeting of Itella Posti Oy has made the decision on changing the name of the company. From January 1, 2015, the name of Itella Posti Oy will be Posti Oy (Posti Ltd). From the beginning of 2015, the subsidiary will produce all of the Group's postal, logistics and parcel services in Finland.

Herald Sun: Australia Post officials are internally forecasting that the service now has little way to avoid slumping to its first full-year loss as the slide in letter volumes gathers pace. While there was a 5 per cent fall in the number of letters posted last year, the slide in letter volumes is now approaching a double-digit rate.

October 19, 2014 

Calgary Sun: Only in the public sector could something like this happen! The Canadian Union of Postal Workers, along with other groups, is taking Canada Post to court. They're angry that home delivery is being downgraded to community mailboxes. They say the move violates their Charter rights! But why is this change happening? Because between 2006 and 2013 the volume of mail Canada Post delivered went down by 1.2 billion pieces. The world is changing. We're moving to an increasingly digital world. That's just a fact. But don't tell CUPW that. They don't like that 8,000 jobs will be lost from this.

ITAR-TASS: The authorities of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic said on Sunday operation of postal services on the republic's territory will be resumed. "An agreement has been reached to resume operation post offices," Dmitry Gromov, a Deputy Minister of Information and Communications of the DPR, said on Sunday. Along with regular services, the postal offices will be entrusted to pay social allowances. In the recent months, Ukraine's postal service Ukrpochta stopped its operation in the Donetsk republic. People were unable to send or receive mail. Pensioners could not receive their allowances.

The Australian: Australia Post has appointed TNT veteran Bob Black to fill the gap at the helm of its $3.1 billion parcels business. The move comes as Australia Post awaits federal government decisions on its regular postal deliver business, which is losing money at a terminal rate.

Business Day: The irony about the South African Post Office strike, former First National Bank CEO Michael Jordaan tweeted this week, is that the longer it drags on, the more its customers will move to electronic alternatives —never to return. That the post office is in crisis is in no doubt. For more than 10 weeks, mail — letters, bills, magazines, parcels — has been piling up at its sorting centres. The only surprise is that there hasn't been a bigger outcry from its customers. That consumers aren't up in arms must give the institution real reason to be worried: if its clients have become blasé about the strikes, which have crippled the company with alarming regularity in recent years, it must mean they're finding alternatives. Private courier companies will be smiling. The question this latest strike raises is what should be done about the post office.

October 18, 2014 

New York Times: For the second time in five months, a venerable marketing trade association is acquiring another. The Association of National Advertisers in New York, founded in 1910, has agreed to acquire the Business Marketing Association in Naperville, Ill., which was founded in 1922. The two associations are announcing the agreement on Friday morning. It was the Association of National Advertisers that also made the acquisition in May, taking over an organization known as the Brand Activation Association, which had dated to 1911 and was long known as the Promotion Marketing Association. The Brand Activation Association became a division of the Association of National Advertisers, and that is what will become of the Business Marketing Association, effective on Nov. 30, pending approval of its members in a vote that is to begin on Friday.

From the Federal Register: Postal Regulatory Commission New Postal Products , 62682–62683 [2014–24764] [TEXT]

October 17, 2014 

 PostCom Members !! The latest issue of the PostCom Bulletin is available online.  Hey! You've not been getting the weekly PostCom Bulletin--the best postal newsletter anywhere...bar none?  Send us by email your name, company, company title, postal and email address. Get a chance to see what you've been missing.

From the Federal Register: Postal Regulatory Commission New Postal Products , 62473 [2014–24693] [TEXT]

October 16, 2014 

 At the Postal Regulatory Commission: The Association for Postal Commerce (PostCom) filed a written request with the Postal Regulatory Commission to change the date of the presentation scheduled for Tuesday, November 4, 2014 at 10 a.m. PostCom represents that concurrent with that scheduled presentation, over 15 associations are meeting with the Postmaster General, and would therefore be unable to participate. In the interest of having interested members of the public attend the presentation on postal costs and costing, the Commission reschedules the presentation for Wednesday, November 5, 2014 at 10 a.m. The second presentation, scheduled to take place Monday, November 17, 2014 at 10 a.m., remains unchanged.

American Postal Workers Union: The four postal unions are calling for a National Day of Action on Nov. 14 to send a message to Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe and the USPS Board of Governors: Stop Delaying America's Mail! "The Postmaster General is poised to make devastating cuts in service to the American people – cuts so severe that they will forever damage the U.S. Postal Service," the union presidents said. The unions selected the Nov. 14 date because it coincides with the USPS Board of Governors' final public meeting of the year.

The Washington Post: Republicans have a good chance to win the Senate on Nov. 4. No one expects them to lose the House. So what would a Capitol Hill controlled by Republicans mean for millions of people — federal employees, retirees and their families — directly affected by congressional action?

The Financial: The Federal Network Agency has approved the proposed adjustments to Deutsche Post mail prices, effective January 1, 2015, as submitted for approval on October 1. This will see the postage charge for a standard domestic letter (up to 20 grams) increase by 2 cents to EUR 0.62, according to DHL International GmbH.

NBCPhiladelphia: Spam emails aren't the only way people are trying to hustle you out of cash. The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that newspaper subscribers are being targeted with "fraudulent renewal and new order notices for their subscriptions." The Inquirer and Daily News have run page-length ads to warn readers of the fraud in the form of junk-mail through the U.S. Postal Service. The ad states subscribers across the country have received notices from companies identified as Readers Payment Service, Associated Publishers Network, Magazine Billing Network, and Publishers Billing Exchange.  An operator for publisherpayment.com told Inquirer reporter Joseph N. DiStefano that they collect subscription applications and fees, sell them to independent third parties who then set up a paper subscription with the reader's credit card. However, the papers say the process is neither authorized by nor affiliated with them.

Ottawa Citizen: The Canadian Union of Postal Workers plans a federal court challenge of the decision to end home-mail delivery, calling it a human rights violation.

CTV: Seniors' groups and organizations for people with disabilities are joining the Canadian Union of Postal Workers in a planned legal challenge to preserve home mail delivery. Canada Post wants to phase out home delivery in an effort to cope with a revenue squeeze from falling mail volumes. The postal workers union said the Federal Court challenge, which has not yet been filed, will argue that doing away with home delivery is a decision for Parliament, not Canada Post.

Canada NewsWire: Canada Post is confident that its plan to secure postal service for all Canadians, including those with disabilities or mobility issues, will withstand any and all legal scrutiny. While two thirds of Canadian households do not receive mail delivery to the door, making the decision to transition the remaining one third of households to community mailboxes was difficult. Digital alternatives are rapidly replacing traditional mail and that trend will accelerate. As a result, people are using Canada Post differently than they have in past years. In 2013, Canadians mailed almost 1.2 billion fewer pieces of mail than they did in 2006. The changes being made are necessary to secure the future of postal service in Canada and avoid becoming a burden on the taxpayers. Canada Post remains committed to ensuring the right approach is taken and no one is left behind. All Canadians must have access to the postal service.

ZDNet: Most recently, Australia Post has been implementing a digital approach to its logistics and delivery solutions to cope with the decrease in traditional letter deliveries. Now, the postal delivery organisation has taken a similar approach to enhancing customer service in its call centres. According to Australia Post direct channels general manager, Brady Jacobsen, for as long as the company's call centres have existed, the personal connection that is formed between front-line staff members — who are working in the stores or delivering the parcels and letters — and the customer has never been achieved in its contact centres.

Citizen: "The financial situation of the post office is dire. It is seriously dire," Sapo general manager public affairs Andrew Nongogo told Parliament's communications and public enterprises select committee. Referring to the ongoing strikes that have crippled post office operations over the past 10 weeks, he warned the parastatal was losing customers and money, and suggested there might not be enough to pay salaries at the end of the month. "The fact that we are not at work right now [due to the strike], and we are losing customers, we are losing the public in general, means that there is no money – that should be coming into Sapo – that would allow us even go and continue to pay salaries on the 25th." Responding to questions, he later repeated the warning. "If we don't go to work, we don't get money in, and if we don't get money in, we come back to the same position that you are asking me about –what will happen on the 25th of this month, of next month, etc? So that's how serious the position is."

From the Federal Register: Postal Regulatory Commission Restrictions on Unfair Competition , 62290–62294 [2014–24376] [TEXT]

October 15, 2014 

USPS Scorecards Part 2: eDoc Submitters and Mail Service Providers Join the Association for Postal Commerce, PostCom on Tuesday, November 11 for "USPS Scorecards Part 2" webinar. Bob Rosser, Director Postal Affairs, Products and Services, IWCO Direct will explain how to navigate your Scorecard. You'll learn how to interpret what the USPS data is saying about your mailing quality. Whether you have an in-house operation or are a Mail Service Provider, you are certain to gain new insights and tips that can be applied to understanding the data from your operation. Title: USPS Scorecards Part 2: eDoc Submitters and Mail Service Providers Date: Tuesday, November 11, 2014 Time: 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM EST After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar. Reserve your Webinar seat now at: https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/172913920

Reuters: Connect Group Plc unveiled e-commerce giant Amazon.com Inc as its first customer for a new same-day parcel delivery service in the UK, sending its shares up more than 18 percent. Connect Group, formerly known as Smiths News Plc, has sought to cut dependence on newspaper and magazine distribution as circulations drop.

PracticalEcommerce: There is an industry growing up around Ecommerce offering parcel forwarding services. It is mainly in the US but there are a few similar services in the UK. What they offer is a local address (US or UK) which you can use to get items delivered to from stores that will not ship internationally. Then these services will forward your purchases on to your real address. Many offer additional services like re-packing, inspecting and photographing the contents, and consolidating multiple parcels into one shipment. This can save postal costs, especially using couriers who charge more on size than weight. This is an industry growing up because so many Ecommerce retailers do not ship internationally. The gap in the market being filled by these middle men. All for a fee.

Save the Post Office: Goin Postal is a franchise chain of retail shipping & receiving stores based in Zephyrhills, Florida. The company has already arranged for its current franchisees to put stores in 500 Walmart locations, and it is currently looking for people who want to start a store in one of the other 1,500 Walmarts available for a postal counter. The Goin Postal stores are part of the USPS Approved Shippers program, which consists of stores that can also offer FedEx, UPS, DHL, and anything else they want. They make their profit by charging a fee on top of the USPS pricing. By expanding its network of "alternate retail channels" — whether through Village Post Offices in convenience stores, stamps on consignment at retail chains, online transactions on usps.com, postal counters in Staples, or an Approved Shipper counter in Walmarts — the Postal Service has been encouraging its customers to do business at places other than regular brick-and-mortar post offices.  [EdNote: What a fine idea! Postal services provided with greater accessibility offered at times and places more amenable to customers' needs, and provided in a more cost-efficient manner.]

MAIL PREP AND ENTRY FOCUS SESSION WEBINAR NOVEMBER 6 1:00-2:00 p.m. (EST) The Mail Prep and Entry Focus Group will host a webinar for MTAC members that will include all of the regular updates normally given during the focus group meetings at MTAC in addition to a special segment on FAST appointment procedures. Covering these topics in advance of MTAC week will allow time to share new opportunities and have more robust discussion on topics of interest at the face-to-face focus group meeting. Agenda topics include: (1) FAST Appointment Procedures (2) Engineering & Technology Update (3) Work Group Updates (4) User Group Updates (5) MP&E Steering Committee Update (6) Flats Strategy Update (7) Remittance Mail Update. Instructions for participating in the webinar appear below: Attendee Information: Event number: 993 917 073 Event address for attendees: https://usps.webex.com/usps/onstage/g.php?t=a&d=993917073 Dial-in: (855) 821-1290 Conference ID: 17222149 If you cannot join using the direct link above, please use the alternate logins below: Alternate URL: https://usps.webex.com

GFK: GfK has released its Europe Map Edition 2014/2015, which reflects thousands of changes that have occurred in Europe since last year. These digital maps of administrative and postal regions comprise the basis for place-based or so-called "geomarketing" analyses for companies across all industries. The approximately one thousand digital maps in the GfK Europe Map Edi-tion have been updated to reflect the latest status. The maps have been supplemented with numerous regional levels; one of these enhancements includes an increase in the level of detail, particularly along coastlines and in cities. The maps offer comprehensive coverage down to Europe's most detailed postal and administrative levels such as five-digit postcodes and municipalities. GfK's geomarketing experts have also calculated seamless-ly fitting 2014 data on GfK purchasing power, inhabitants and households.

Postalnews: The United States Postal Service is issuing a Request for Information (RFI) to evaluate the possibility of purchasing a new commercially available Right Hand Drive vehicle to supplement its existing fleet of light delivery vehicles. This would be a stop gap solution to meet Right Hand Drive vehicle requirements until the development of a purpose built Right Hand Drive vehicle can be accomplished. The Postal Service anticipates the need for up to 10,000 Right Hand Drive delivery vehicles to replace high maintenance cost Long Life Vehicles (LLVs) over the next two years.

WDSU: Thanksgiving and Christmas are just weeks away, and postal offices in New Orleans are looking for some additional manpower from former employees. Officials with the United States Postal Service announced this week that retired city carriers can temporarily return to their jobs during the peak-mailing season.

Finger Lakes Times: Victoria Reggie Kennedy, the widow of U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy, will speak Wednesday at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Kennedy, a legal strategist and financial attorney, will reflect on government gridlock and bipartisanship. Her appearance, which is part of the President's Forum series, is free and open to the public. Kennedy is awaiting Senate Confirmation as a member of the board of governors of the U.S. Postal Service.

Wall Street Journal: Singapore's main postal service is spending 182 million Singapore dollars ($145 million) on a new e-commerce logistics center in a bet that online retailing in Southeast Asia is set to boom.

Daily Bhaskar: In a bid to enhance its electronic connectivity and capability across 1.5 lakh Post Offices in India, Department of Posts is in the process of inducting new-age technology through an enterprise wide IT Project. In this series, it has also signed Business MOU with snapdeal.com & shopclues.com. In tune with the emerging e-Commerce market, parcel product has been revamped & Cash on Delivery (CoD) facility has been introduced. State-of-the-art Parcel centres are also being set up across the country. Department is also developing exclusive Parcel Network to cater the needs of e-Commerce companies.

Financial Times: Drones are a useful tool for delivering flags to football pitches . . . but they remain an extreme option for same-day parcel delivery. But if convenience really does trump everything these days, I foresee another twist to this story: a link-up between Amazon and the ambitious taxi-disrupter Uber. Parcel delivery competitors to Royal Mail already use "lifestyle couriers" – the marketing name for the man in the unmarked car sullenly handing over your parcel on his way to work – for "last mile" delivery. Uber, meanwhile, is keen to use its drivers to deliver virtually anything to consumers within a five-minute range.

Workplace Savings and Benefits: Royal Mail has seen more than 35,000 employees take-up the offer to be a part of the postal group's first save as you earn (SAYE) share scheme. The massive interest in sharesave scheme equates to more than 23% of the organisation's 150,000-strong workforce. As a result the firm has been forced to reduce the amount that can be saved each month by 43% to allow everyone who applied to participate. This reduction will only begin to apply for values over the minimum contribution level of £1.25 for weekly paid workers and £5 for those paid monthly. Savings had originally been capped at a maximum of £25 per week or £100 per month.

The Telegraph: Mount Pleasant, one of the largest sorting offices in the Royal Mail Network, receives and delivers over a million items of mail every day and Telegraph Business was given an exclusive look at how this is done.

Office of the Inspector General: Post Office Relocations: Having Your Say Our blog this week looks at the Post Office relocation process and our recent audit findings. If you have experienced a Post Office relocation in your community, were you satisfied with how and when you were informed? Share your experiences on our blog.

Postal Technology International:

Press Release: NPI (National Presort L.P.), a leading mail and parcel sorting technology company, was selected by Brazil Post, a world-leading postal service provider, to upgrade the country's mail and parcel sorting equipment. The initial contract of $11 million USD is for the revitalization of all of Brazil Post's Siemens Delivery Bar Code Sorters (DBCS) machines. The upgrades will streamline Brazil's postal services, improving delivery times, and will add at least 10 years of additional life to the country's existing systems. The contract with Brazil Post reflects the company's continued international growth, as mail processing organizations worldwide turn to NPI for exceptional equipment and support.

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