Association for Postal Commerce
"Representing those who use or support the use of postal services 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
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October 10, 2015 


Federal Register: Postal Regulatory Commission NOTICES New Postal Products , 61511–61512 [2015–25915] [TEXT]

DMM Advisory:

  • PostalOne!®, SASP, and BCG Maintenance and Upgrades PostalOne!® Scheduled Maintenance –The PostalOne! system will not be available on Sunday, October 18, 2015, from 4 AM to 10 AM CT due to scheduled maintenance. (1) New Mail.dat® client download will be made available during this release. This download will be optional and users can continue to submit files using Mail.dat client Version (2) Mail.dat client download will continue to be supported. (3) Mail.dat client download will continue to be supported through November 1. (4) Mail.dat client download will continue to be supported through November 1. Note: Depending on feedback after Mail.dat client is downloaded, versions and will be retired on November 1.
  • Seamless Acceptance and Service Performance (SASP) Release will deploy on Sunday, October 18, 2015, between 4 AM and 11 AM CT. This release includes fixes to known SASP issues to include updates to select Full-Service and Seamless Verifications.
  • The Business Customer Gateway (BCG)/eAdmin Oracle 12c Production upgrade will occur on Sunday, October 18, 2015, from 3 AM to 7 AM CT. There will be an outage during this upgrade and the application will be unavailable during this time.


CCTV America: International courier/ shipping giants FedEx and UPS have announced that they’re raising the fuel surcharge on their services, a fee that’s passed down to the consumer. But the current record low drop in fuel prices around the globe has people wondering why. Consumers have expressed anger, and e-commerce companies, who rely heavily on shipping for of their businesses aren’t happy either.

The Wall Street Journal: Free shipping on returns are increasingly a reality for retailers offering online shopping, further adding to e-commerce fulfillment costs even as companies struggle with tightening margins. About 49% of retailers now offer free return shipping, according to a new study released this month by the National Retail Federation, underscoring how companies that had long been resistant to footing the bill for returns are being forced to do so by their customers. “To remain competitive, we expect this will significantly increase over the next year, though retailers clearly will need to manage the cost aspect as well,” said the report, which was prepared with e-commerce consultancy FitForCommerce. Many surveys have shown that consumers will often judge a company on its return policy. However, such policies are adding to the cost of e-commerce, which already weighs on margins before returns are even made.

Turn to Ten: Between buying a home, going to college or heading south for the winter, a lot of people are going online to change their addresses. But be careful. Deceptive websites and outright scammers are waiting to pounce.

WABC-TV: It's a scam that uses a tried and true method of payment, good old fashioned U.S. Postal Money Orders. But there's a new deception that could steal hundreds, even thousands from you, unless you know what to look for.

October 9, 2015 

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


EcommerceBytes: The USPS has confirmed it has renegotiated ePacket rates with China Post. Spokesperson Darlene Casey said the bilateral agreement with China Post became effective on October 1st and provides for additional compensation for inbound ePackets originating in China. ePacket allows Chinese companies to send lightweight purchases (a maximum weight of 4.4 lbs or 2 kg) to US customers with tracking. US sellers say in many cases, it costs the Chinese firm less money using ePacket than it would cost them to reach the same US buyer. Amazon pressed Congress to take a look at the issue in June. While Casey confirmed new rates had been negotiated, she declined to disclose specifics because "it is commercially sensitive information of the USPS and China Post." While it appears this could be good news if ePacket rates are higher, USPS has said it doesn't have much leverage in negotiations. We asked if the rate change was only with China or with all countries that participate in ePackets. "Other postal operators also have agreed to pay to have scanning with delivery epackets, but not all countries elect to participate in this system of additional compensation for inbound epackets originating in their countries as they may not wish to offer delivery scanning to their customers," Casey said. "The countries that have ePacket agreements with USPS are China, Hong Kong and Korea Post. We are unable to disclose rate information as it is commercially sensitive information of the USPS and foreign postal operators." Casey also confirmed that effective October 1, 2015, scanning and tracking services, also known as "visibility," will no longer be offered for import International Registered Mail, just as those services are not offered for international First-Class Mail.

Infosecurity-Magazine: A quarter of US Postal Service (USPS) employees clicked on a ‘phishing email’ designed to test their security awareness in an audit this year, highlighting the ongoing challenge of training staff to spot potential cyber-attacks. The Office of Inspector General conducted the audit in May this year but the results have only just been released this week. It claimed that the Postal Service runs one of the largest corporate email systems in the US, with over 3.5 million emails sent to more than 200,000 accounts each day. However, disappointingly, 789 of the 3,125 employees who took part in the exercise clicked on the link in the phishing email. What’s more, 93% of those that received the email did not report it to the organization’s Computer Incident Response Team, as required by policy.

DCVelocity: The chairman, president, and CEO of FedEx Corp. lashed out yesterday at legislative and judicial attempts to penalize business' use of independent contractors, saying they interfere with interstate commerce and threaten to undermine the responsiveness and efficiency of the supply chain. Keynoting an industry conference in his company's hometown of Memphis, Tenn., Frederick W. Smith said the U.S. and world economies have flourished over the past 40 years because transport deregulation allowed companies to be flexible in managing changes in a cyclical industry. Attempts by legislative and judicial bodies to restrict those freedoms are a "profound" change that bodes well for no one, Smith said.

Seeking Alpha: It's going to be a bit more expensive for retailers to ship packages this holiday season. That's because both United Parcel Service and FedEx have announced fuel surcharges to their shipping rates, increasing the cost merchants must pay to ship goods to their customers. The most recent increase was announced this week by FedEx, marking the company's second "fuel surcharge" increase this year. With the new surcharge that takes effect November 2nd, retailers will pay about $170 more than the standard rate for shipping 100 shoeboxes overnight from New York to Atlanta (according to the Wall Street Journal). UPS has a similar charge that adds about $200 to the same shipping example above. Ironically, at the same time that these shippers have been increasing their fuel surcharges, the cost of fuel has actually been declining. Below is a 1-year chart of the retail price of diesel fuel, which has fallen roughly 26% over the last 12 months.


INDIA: Hindustan Times: If all goes according to plan, India Post will soon offer life insurance products as part of a broader strategy to give its millions of customers a suite of financial and savings instruments ranging from small savings, fixed deposits, insurance and mobile wallets. A specific policy for the girl child, with a maximum assured sum of Rs 10 lakh, is also on the cards. The move is part of the postal department’s strategy to modernise its services, leveraging its network of 160,000 post offices , 45,000 postmen and 250,000 extra-departmental employees, who would be trained to serve as personnel financial advisers in remote villages.

SINGAPORE: Nikkei: Singapore Post announced on Friday it will acquire a 71.1% stake in U.S.-based e-commerce logistics provider Jagged Peak for $15.8 million, expanding its footprint into America. The acquisition will be made through a newly-formed subsidiary, SP Jagged Peak. This will be the latest cross-border investment by SingPost, which is seeking to optimize its international logistics services for online retailers and brands. Jagged Peak provides e-commerce operation services covering the whole retail chain -- from its online shopping platforms to fulfillment, warehousing and delivery. The company's operating system is utilized by more than 20 warehousing facilities across the U.S., Canada and Europe. According to the company, its extensive network of fulfillment centers allows for next-day delivery to more than 96.8% of U.S. households using low-cost ground services. The company's full-year revenue was $61.7 million in 2014.

IRELAND: Irish Times: Fianna Fáil Senator Mary White has claimed the new Eircode system is placing householders in the wrong geographical area. She told the Seanad that Dublin residents had complained to her they were being placed in the wrong area. “There are people all over Ireland who have been located in geographically incorrect towns, counties and even provinces,’’ said Ms White. “The system has even located Shannon Airport in Limerick, whereas we all know it is in Clare, while residents in Leixlip have had Naas added to their address.’’ She claimed homes in west Wicklow had received a Kildare postcode and, according to Eircode, people in Dublin 16 actually live in Dublin 24.

AUSTRALIA: ITNews: Australia Post has sharpened its focus on e-commerce by creating a dedicated business unit headed by former CIO Andrew Walduck, as part of the organisation's drive to become a "sustainable e-commerce company". In July AusPost CEO Ahmed Fahour moved Walduck out of the IT division and into its digital solutions unit to grow the postal body's services business. Fahour has placed his bets on digital services being the saviour for an organisation suffering from both a steep decline in letter volumes and falling rates of foot traffic in its retail outlets. Yesterday he told staff the postal body would place an even greater emphasis on e-commerce by splitting its operations out from within the larger postal services division and into its own business unit.

CZECH REPUBLIC: Radio Praha: The state-owned Czech Postal Service faces court action over alleged discrimination in salaries. Employees in Moravia say they will sue the company after finding out that they make on average 3,000 crowns a month less than their Prague counterparts. Photo: Filip Jandourek Photo: Filip Jandourek Postal service workers in Moravia are up in arms after discovering that the company has been what they call “short charging” them for years.

HONG KONG: Ejiworld: Hongkong Post has spoken. The royal insignia on postboxes will be nowhere in sight in the near future. Hong Kong Post issued a statement Friday, which happens to be Love Post Day, ending speculation over the future of the colonial emblem. The government considers the continued use of the royal insignia on colonial-era postboxes inappropriate, the statement said. The postal service is looking into ways to update the markings on these boxes.

October 8, 2015 

At its October 2015 meeting, the Association for Postal Commerce presented to Wanda Senne (pictured on the left) its Lee Epstein Award in recognition for her long and extraordinary service (in many capacities) to the advertising mail industry. Wanda has been a member of the PostCom Board of Directors. She's served on its Executive Committee, and chaired its Education Committee. She's also been responsible for producing many of PostCom's educational webinars. She' recently was elected to serve as the Industry Vice-Chair of the Postmaster General's Mailers Technical Advisory Committee (MTAC), after having served as the industry co-chair of its Standard Mail workgroup.


A senior logistics and software platform manager with 20 years of experience in supply chain management with a mail service provider is seeking an opportunity in logistics management and associated operations and/or transportation activities.

Interfacing with the United States Postal Service in mail acceptance, postage payment, and mail entry initiatives (eInduction, Seamless Acceptance, Full-Service, Business Customer Gateway, PostalOne!, Mailer Scorecards and IMb Tracing) is a primary skill-set. Please direct all inquiries to



USPS Industry Alert: USPS Shipping Products and Services Webinar Series October 13, 2015, 11a.m. EDT – Priority Mail® Join us as the Postal Service continues to host its series of informational webinars on a variety of products and services. The webinars focus on service enhancements, features, benefits, how to get started, and onboarding information to acquire the knowledge and skills to effectively use Priority Mail® service. Tuesday, October 13, 2015 at 11a.m. EDT – Priority Mail® Priority Mail® – Tune in for an in-depth session on the benefits of Priority Mail®. USPS experts will discuss the various features, prices and fees you can expect to find, as well as take you inside the most recent product enhancements. They will also explain how to order expedited shipping supplies. Speakers: Tiffany Jesse, A/Manager Shipping Development Garry Rodriguez, Classification Specialist Attendee Information US/Canada Attendee Dial-in: (866) 381-9870 Conference ID: 33228396 Attendee Direct URL:

Postal Regulatory Commission:

  • Docket No. RM2016-1 Petition Of The United States Postal Service Requesting Initiation Of A Proceeding To Consider A Proposed Change In Analytical Principles (Proposal Eleven)

    Proposal Eleven seeks authorization to change the statistical estimator for revenue, pieces and weight for the digital letter mail sampling in the Origin-Destination Information System - Revenue, Pieces and Weight (ODIS-RPW) system first discussed in Docket RM2015-11. Beginning Q2 FY2016, the Postal Service proposes to replace ODIS-RPW system manual data collection at some letter Mail Exit Points (MEPs) with an automated selection of digital images selected from the incoming secondary Delivery Barcode Sequencing (DBCS) second pass operation. Mail processed on the second pass is termed Delivery Point Sequenced, or DPS mail. The digital images captured would provide the same information as manual data collection except for a few items as discussed in Docket No. RM2015-11. In this proposal, ODIS-RPW would replace the direct expansion estimator with a ratio estimator that utilizes national End-of-Run (EOR)
  • RM2016-2 Petition of United Parcel Service, Inc. for the Initiation of Proceedings to Make Changes to Postal Service Costing Methodologies Neels Report.pdf

USPS Office of the Inspector General:

  • Use of Leased Trailers - Western Area

    Background. The U.S. Postal Service leases more than 8,000 trailers nationwide for its operations. It procures trailers to meet local transportation needs and assigns them to specific facilities. Each Postal Service area is responsible for its own trailer use and requirements. As of October 2014, 1,600 trailers were leased in the Western Area. Our objective was to assess the use of leased trailers in the Western Area.

    What the OIG Found. Opportunities exist for the Western Area to improve management of leased trailers, return unneeded trailers, and reduce lease costs. The Western Area returned about 140 unneeded leased trailers to suppliers in fiscal year (FY) 2014. As of the end of FY 2014, the Postal Service reported a total of 1,674 leased trailers in the Western Area. However, we found an additional 84 trailers in FY 2013, and 78 trailers in FY 2014 that were underused. These trailers were considered underused because they did not comply with the Postal Service’s guidance for showing that a trailer is needed. That guidance prescribes at least one trailer move every 7 days, or about 52 moves per year. Of the 84 underused trailers in FY 2013, data showed that 15 percent never moved and 85 percent moved less than once per week, on average. Of the 78 underused trailers in FY 2014, data showed 27 percent never moved and 73 percent moved less than once per week, on average. These conditions occurred because the Postal Service did not have controls or a standard operating procedure requiring local officials to assess the need for leased trailers based on use and return unneeded trailers to suppliers. Further, the Postal Service did not have an accurate and effective inventory system for recording, monitoring, and tracking leased trailers. As a result, the Western Area incurred unnecessary trailer lease costs of about $275,000 in FY 2013, and about $254,000 in FY 2014. We also concluded it could avoid about $264,000 annually over 2 years if it were to return the remaining underused trailers. In FY 2015, the Postal Service issued a new trailer lease policy and began developing requirements for a trailer management module in its Solutions for Enterprise Asset Management application to help manage leased trailers. The scheduled completion is extended to May 2016, due to data issues.

    What the OIG Recommended. We recommended management enforce new leased trailer policies, thoroughly assess trailer needs, and return any unneeded leased trailers to suppliers.

USPS Industry Alert: PostalOne!®, SASP and BCG Maintenance and Upgrades PostalOne!® Scheduled Maintenance – The PostalOne! system will not be available on Sunday, October 18, 2015 from 4:00AM to 10:00AM CT due to scheduled maintenance. (1) New Mail.dat® client download will be made available during this release. This download will be optional and users can continue to submit files using Mail.dat client Version (2) Mail.dat® client download will continue to be supported. (3) Mail.dat® client download will continue to be supported through Nov. 1st. (4) Mail.dat® client download will continue to be supported through Nov. 1st. please Note: Pending feedback for Mail.dat® client versions and will be expired Nov. 1st. Seamless Acceptance and Service Performance (SASP) Release will deploy on Sunday, October 18, 2015 between 4:00AM to 11:00AM CT. This release includes fixes to known SASP issues to include updates to select Full-Service and Seamless Verifications. The Business Customer Gateway/eAdmin Oracle 12c Production upgrade will occur on Sunday, October 18, 2015 from 3:00AM to 7:00AM CT. There will be an outage during this upgrade and the application will be unavailable during this time.

NATIONAL NEWS Is the U.S. Postal Service trying to destroy America’s newspapers? Based upon the evidence, you have to wonder. The postal service — faced with we would argue is an overstated assessment of its pension obligations — has been cutting like crazy. Services have been consolidated. Regional centers have been eliminated. And the delivery has been slowed. It’s a heck of a strategy when the USPS is trying to compete with email and the Internet, but it’s the strategy currently being employed. While all postal customers have seen the impact, none have suffered as much as second-class postal customers: America’s newspapers.

eCommerceBytes: The US Postal Service announced it will no longer offer scanning and tracking services for some international Registered Mail destined for the United States. The move comes amid growing concern over an imbalance in shipping fees that puts US merchants at a competitive disadvantage against foreign retailers. The Postal Service said the change is being made to improve the profitability of import Registered Mail items (those rates are governed by the Universal Postal Union, not the USPS) and to encourage international posts to shift their items from the import Registered Mail stream to the import ePacket product (whose rates are negotiated between international postal services). ePacket itself has been criticized for not doing enough to correct the imbalance. In June, Amazon complained to Congress that U.S. sellers suffer under what he called a "frustrating" and "completely unnecessary and illogical" system whereby Chinese firms can ship low-weight orders to American buyers at significantly cheaper rates than are available to domestic sellers.

Dead Tree Edition: Judge James E. Boasberg rejected the $7.6 million fine the U.S. Postal Service placed on Southern California Edison, in part because forcing the utility to follow USPS’s Move-Update regulations to the letter would create an “absurd consequence” that would put customers into a “Kafkaesque situation.”


TUNISIA: Coin Journal: La Poste Tunisienne, the national postal services of Tunisia, has announced the launch of a pilot for a new payment infrastructure powered by the Monetas platform. Monetas, a Swiss software company focusing on blockchain-based infrastructures, will provide la Poste Tunisienne with an enhanced version of the institution’s payment app. The new digital payment infrastructure will enable e-Dinar users to make instant, secure peer-to-peer mobile transfers, pay online merchants, brick-and-mortar businesses, pay their utility bills, send remittances, as well as manage official government identification documents, Monetas said. E-Dinar is a digital wallet service from la Poste Tunisienne launched in 2000 as part of the government’s e-Tijara initiative.

CAMEROON: AllAfrica: Users of Cameroon's postal services are quick to testify. Some of them met at three different Campost regional offices in downtown Yaounde on October 7, 2015, were unanimous that gone are the days when fear gripped clients due to the non-delivery of mail with some of them pilfered. Government has invested over FCFA 32 billion in computerising the country's postal services, sources at the Hotel de Ville, Yaounde Branch of Campost, told Cameroon Tribune. They explained that the huge investment have ushered in faster service delivery with customers able to send and retrieve mail in the shortest possible time. "Delays as well as the phenomenon of misplaced documents have reduced to nought," Nsangou Chouaibou, Head of Section for the Distribution of Mail at the EMS Campost Branch office said. He revealed that mail that was delivered in a week now reach recipients in a day.

THAILAND: Thai Visa News: Thailand Post today displayed its new cardboard box that it claims is strong, durable and capable to excellently withstand impact and pressure. The new packing box can withstand weight of a healthy person and can excellently resist impact and pressure.

MALAYSIA: Malaysian Digest: The current postal service is increasingly in demand as a strategic network to encourage the rapid growth of domestic and cross-border e-commerce, says Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak. He was confident the tradition of excellent national postal service would continue into the next decade, in line with the rapid growth of digital service.

SINGAPORE: Ang Malay Net: Singapore Post has successfully delivered a mail using an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) for point-to-point recipient-authenticated mail delivery, the company said today in a statement. It added that this is the first time in the world a postal service has successfully used an UAV. “A last mile mail and packet drone delivery trial was successfully completed between Lorong Halus and Pulau Ubin,” SingPost said.

October 7, 2015 

The Board of Directors of the Association for Postal Commerce announce that Jessica Lowrance, CAE (pictured on the right) has been unanimously elected as President-Elect of the association. She will assume full duties of President and CEO upon the retirement of the current president, Gene Del Polito, at the end of 2016.


USPS Office of the Inspector General:

3D printing is leading to dramatic changes in the fields of manufacturing and logistics, with major implications for postal operators and other transportation and delivery companies. In a July 2014 white paper, If It Prints, It Ships: 3D Printing and the Postal Service, the OIG described how the rise of 3D printing could significantly benefit the Postal Service through an increase in commercial package shipments. In our new follow-up white paper, An Update on 3D Printing and the Postal Service, the OIG describes developments in 3D printing and the logistics marketplace and examines what these changes could mean for the Postal Service. The largest impacts of the growth of 3D printing are likely to fall on the logistics industry, potentially disrupting a significant portion of global air cargo or ocean container shipments and the freight trucking business, among other things. Localized production via 3D printing, including some potential reshoring of manufacturing back to the United States, will help shorten supply chains and reduce delivery times. This promises to enhance the importance of efficient last-mile parcel delivery, a core competency of the Postal Service. Foreign postal operators and other organizations involved in logistics and delivery have already begun working with 3D printing companies to offer unique services. By monitoring 3D printing developments and their potential implications for its nationwide delivery network, the Postal Service could better prepare itself for the fundamental changes to come in the global logistics landscape.

  • Information Security Awareness Training and Phishing

    Background. Information security awareness training is a formal process for educating employees about corporate information technology policies and procedures. Implementing information technology training helps reduce security threat risks. The U.S. Postal Service’s security awareness training program consists of specified topics such as password protection, transmission of sensitive information, and phishing. Phishing is a security threat used to deceive an email recipient by posing as a legitimate entity. About 156 million phishing emails are sent globally every day. In 2014, phishing email attacks caused about 18 percent of cyber intrusions. With one of the largest corporate email systems, the Postal Service handles more than 3.5 million emails a day delivered to more than 200,000 email accounts. In November 2014, the Postal Service announced a significant cyber intrusion that appeared to be caused by a phishing email attack. Providing security awareness training that emphasizes security threats, combined with testing employees’ understanding, are key to avoiding or minimizing the impact of phishing emails. Our objective was to evaluate the effectiveness of the Postal Service’s information security awareness training related to phishing and to determine how employees respond to phishing emails.

    What the OIG Found. When we began our review, the Postal Service’s information security awareness training related to phishing was not effective because it did not completely explain how to identify and report phishing emails. However, during our audit, management added instructions for identifying and reporting phishing emails. Therefore, we are not making a recommendation in this area. In addition, current policy does not require all employees with network access to complete the annual information security awareness training. Although this training is available to all employees with network access, only Chief Information Office employees and new hires are required by policy to complete the annual training. We performed a limited phishing assessment by sending emails containing false links to 3,125 Postal Service employees. Of the 3,125 employees who received the phishing email, 2,916 (93 percent) did not report the email as required by policy. The results of our test identified 789 of the 3,125 employees (25 percent) clicked on the link in the phishing email. Of these 789 employees, we determined 710 (90 percent) did not report that they clicked on a phishing email to the Postal Service’s Of 3,125 employees in our sample, 2,986 (96 percent) did not complete the annual information security awareness training, based on training records for FY 2014. In addition, 750 of 789 employees in our sample who clicked on the link in the phishing email (95 percent) did not complete the training. When management does not require all employees with network access to take annual information security awareness training, users are less likely to appropriately respond to threats. A recent study revealed that user awareness training effectively changes behavior and reduces security-related risks by up to 70 percent.

    What the OIG Recommended. We recommended the Postal Service modify policy to require all employees with network access to take annual information security awareness training.

Background. The primary objective of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service Revenue Investigations Program is investigating revenue loss due to postage shortfalls, improper or fraudulent mailings, and related issues. Customer complaints, anonymous tips, and U.S. Postal Service employees or other investigative agencies provide revenue investigation leads. Postal inspectors determine whether insufficient postage was willful or unintentional; and provide investigative findings of noncriminal cases to the Postal Service for appropriate action. Prior to the beginning of fiscal year (FY) 2015, revenue investigation cases could be initiated at the Postal Inspection Service division level. The majority of the investigations (76 percent) ended up in administrative versus criminal or civil outcomes. Additionally, mailers sometimes felt inappropriately targeted by these investigations. In FY 2015, the Inspection Service changed its processes for initiating revenue investigations. This is the second of two reports related to the Postal Service’s Undeliverable as Addressed mail strategies. The first report, Strategies for Reducing Undeliverable as Addressed Mail (MS-MA-15-006) was issued on May 1, 2015. The objective of this second review was to evaluate Postal Inspection Service enforcement efforts over revenue investigations, specifically how revenue investigations are initiated, conducted, closed, and appealed.

What The OIG Found. The Postal Inspection Service conducted and closed revenue investigations in accordance with applicable policies and procedures and was not involved in the Postal Service appeals process for revenue deficiencies. To enhance the quality of revenue investigations, in FY 2015, the Postal Inspection Service implemented a centralized headquarters-coordinated committee comprised of nine contracted revenue fraud analysts with prior Postal Service and Postal Inspection Service experience to pre-screen all revenue investigative leads. They evaluate the leads for validity, potential revenue loss and to ensure the appropriate use of postal inspectors for potential fraudulent cases and postal service personnel for non-investigative matters. The Postal Inspection Service makes the final decision to conduct an investigation. The creation of the committee should improve the quality of revenue investigations and appropriately assign referrals. Thereby, reducing the number of Postal Inspection Service investigations. However, the Postal Inspection Service has an opportunity to further enhance the evaluation of its program by documenting the Postal Service resolution for its revenue investigative cases. We reviewed a statistical sample of 147 closed revenue investigation case files and 62 files (42 percent) did not document the resolution reached by the Postal Service. This occurred because the Postal Service did not always provide the Postal Inspection Service with the final deficiency collected. This pertinent information could assist the Postal Inspection Service with its continuous evaluation of the Revenue Investigations Program.

What The OIG Recommended. We recommended management establish procedures to document the Postal Service’s resolution for its investigative cases for continuous evaluation of the Revenue Investigations Program.

  • How Can the Postal Service Control the Costs to Shuttle Vehicles?  -- The Postal Service spent nearly $34 million in fiscal year 2014 to move its vehicles from one location to another for maintenance, repair, or transfer. Local Vehicle Maintenance Facility (VMF) management determines when contractors or postal employees must shuttle vehicles. In 2005, the Postal Service awarded a vehicle maintenance repair agreement to the United States Auto Club (USAC) for vehicle shuttling service. Under the contract the USAC shuttles vehicles weighing less than 1 ton, such as jeeps, long-life vehicles, and minivans. It uses tow trucks to shuttle multiple vehicles from their assigned location to the servicing VMF for maintenance or repair. The shuttle service includes both short and long distance vehicle movement based on vehicle maintenance schedules and availability. Although the USAC provides the necessary shuttle service, VMF managers do not have to use USAC for this purpose and can, instead, use local, independent contractors to transport vehicles if it is more cost effective.

Attention Postal One! and Business Gateway Users:

  • PostalOne! Scheduled Maintenance –The PostalOne! system will not be available on Sunday, October 18, 2015 from 4:00 AM to 10:00 AM CT due to scheduled maintenance.
    · New Mail.dat® client download will be made available during this release. This download will be optional and users can continue to submit files using Mail.dat client Version
    · Mail.dat® client download will continue to be supported.
    · Mail.dat® client download will continue to be supported through Nov. 1st.
    · Mail.dat® client download will continue to be supported through Nov. 1st. Note: Pending feedback for Mail.dat® client versions and will be expired Nov. 1st
  • Seamless Acceptance and Service Performance (SASP) Release will deploy on Sunday, October 18, 2015 between 4:00 AM to 11:00 AM CT. This release includes fixes to known SASP issues to include updates to select Full-Service and Seamless Verifications. The Business Customer Gateway/eAdmin Oracle 12c Production upgrade will occur on Sunday, October 18, 2015 from 3:00 a.m. to 7:00 a.m. CT. There will be an outage during this upgrade and the application will be unavailable during this time.


Save the Post Office: Postal Pulse is the new employee engagement survey being used by the Postal Service, after decommissioning the Voice of the Employee (VOE) survey that had been used for many years. The Pulse was administered to postal workers in March and April of this year, and now the results are being shared with USPS employees.

The Washington Post: The two largest postal unions, fearful that thousands of jobs would be lost through privatization, have said for a long time that the Postal Service’s billion-dollar deficits are artificial. The agency’s eight consecutive annual losses, totaling more than $52 billion, are largely due to its obligation (imposed in 2006 by Congress as part of a sweeping postal bill) to pay $5.5 billion a year and counting toward the health benefits of future retirees. The agency’s finances have stabilized in the past two years, with revenue more than covering expenses by about $1.2 billion during the first three quarters of this year. That’s without the pre-funding payment, which postal officials have now defaulted on multiple times, or long-term obligations to workmen’s compensation costs. The higher revenue is largely driven by cost cutting, from shrinking the workforce to closing mail-sorting plants. Numerous bills in Congress have called for eliminating the retiree payment, a budget maneuver at the time that most postal observers agree more than covers the agency’s obligations to future retirees. However, Congress has so far shown little appetite for fixing postal finances.

Salon: The Washington Post recently published an article asking if the post office should “be sold to save it.” It begins with an explanation of what the author sees as an unsustainable postal service. It goes on to advocate for privatizing the agency by selling off parts of it to bidders who could then operate it independently. The problem with the Post‘s argument starts in its thesis: that the post office is in some sort of deep fiscal hole of its own making – a result of being left behind in the Internet Age and a shrinking consumer base. The truth is that almost all of the postal service’s losses can be traced back to a single change in the law made by the Republican Congress in 2006. Remarkably, even one of the main sponsors of the 2006 legislation now agrees the pre-funding requirement was a bad idea. In 2014, a writer for the Roanoke Times reached out to former congressman Tom Davis, a Virginia Republican who today works for the accounting and consulting giant Deloitte. Though Davis agreed that the requirement was unwise, he said it was “the cost of getting the bill through,” noting that the Bush administration wanted to use the revenue to help balance the budget (note that the U.S. Postal Service doesn’t actually use taxpayer dollars but does have implicit subsidies such as borrowing at a lower rate).

Benzinga: The Wall Street Journal reported that FedEx Corporation FDX was planning to increase its fuel surcharge ahead of the holiday shopping season in an effort to boost its bottom line. The company's shipping costs will rise from about $67 to $170 for the transport of 100 shoe boxes, a significant blow to e-commerce firms that rely on fast delivery to please customers. United Parcel Service, Inc. UPS similarly raised prices in February, increasing its own cost to ship 100 shoe boxes to around $200. The increase has sparked outrage among retailers who rely on shipping companies to move their merchandise. Fuel prices have been on the decline this year, so many retailers say the surcharge is unnecessary. However, FedEx claims that costs have risen despite the fall in oil prices as packages have become heavier and more abundant. While it's likely too late to make any changes to their supply chains before the holiday season begins, e-commerce firms have already begun to find new ways to cut out shippers like FedEx and UPS in order to lower their costs.


CANADA: Kelowna Now: The Canadian Union of Postal Workers alleges that Canada Post is engaging in election advertising while failing to register as a third party with Elections Canada. "Canada Post's material clearly qualifies as election advertising," said Mike Palecek, National President of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, which filed the official complaint against Canada Post Corporation for distributing flyers about the mailboxes with which it plans to replace home delivery.

SPAIN: PRNewswire: Correos, the postal industry leader in Spain, has partnered with Prepaid Financial Services (PFS), a leading European issuer and programme manager of physical and virtual prepaid card products, to launch the contactless Correos Prepago MasterCard(R) card in Spain. As part of the partnership, PFS provides the complete prepaid solution including BIN sponsorship, programme management, end-to-end technology solution and customer service support. As the industryleader in the transportation ofdocuments and parcels, Correos distributes nearly 3,600 million deliveries each year, reaching28 million homes, companies and institutions. Furthermore, Correos has over 2,400 post office branches across Spain, providing customers with complementary services and financial products such as money remittance and now prepaid MasterCard cards.

JAPAN: Bloomberg Business: Japan Post Group is set to raise as much as 1.44 trillion yen ($12 billion) in its initial public offering, making it the biggest debut share sale in the country since 1998. The triple sale of the government-owned postal giant will be offered at a range of 1,100 yen to 1,400 yen a share for Japan Post Holdings Co., a regulatory filing showed Wednesday. Its banking unit is being priced at 1,250 yen to 1,450 yen, and the insurance arm will be offered at 1,900 yen to 2,200 yen. Japan’s government is selling the postal service, whose origins date back to 1871, mostly to citizens as part of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s plan to get people to invest more of their savings.

ESTONIA: The Baltic Course: Although the Estonian Economy Ministry does not yet have a specific work plan to partially or completely sell or list on the bourse the state-owned postal company Omniva, the long-term plan is to reduce the state's ownership in the company.

October 6, 2015 


USPS Office of the Inspector General: How Can the Postal Service Improve Post Office Box Service? -- Post Office Box (PO Box) Service is a premium service offered for a fee to any customer and without charge to customers who are not eligible for carrier delivery. The service is provided exclusively through receptacles owned and operated by the Postal Service or its agents. PO Box rental rates have experienced multiple increases over time. A customer rents a box by prepaying the box rent fee for a 3-, 6-, or 12- month period at a postal retail unit, a self-service kiosk, or online at PO Box fees are based on the box size and the fee group to which the box’s 5-digit ZIP Code is assigned. There are five box sizes and availability varies by facility. A postmaster (or designee) and a box customer cannot make any agreement that contravenes the regulations on PO Box Service or fees. Nationwide, the Postal Service manages over 21 million PO Boxes at over 33,000 postal retail units. In fiscal year 2014, box rentals accounted for $913 million in revenue. The Postal Service uses the Web Box Activity Tracking System (WebBATS) to manage its PO Box Service. WebBATS can be used to post payments and refunds and generates more than 40 reports. Information regarding all PO Boxes must be entered into WebBATS to effectively manage inventory. Post offices are required to annually audit PO Box Service and two related services -- Caller Service and Reserve Service. Is the process for initiating PO Box Service customer friendly? What issues, if any, did you encounter when arranging for a PO Box? Have you experienced any issues when paying PO Box rental fees, either in person, online, or by self-service kiosk?

Postal Regulatory Commission: The GAO report made two recommendations to the Commission: 1) hold a public proceeding to address how the Postal Service can improve the completeness of its delivery performance information; and 2) provide more readily available data and additional analysis of the Postal Service’s delivery performance information. The Commission adopts both recommendations

Senate Committee on Homeland Securty and Governmental Affairs: Senators Tom Carper (D-Del.), Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), and Jon Tester (D-Mont.), members of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, have responded to a new Government Accountability Office (GAO) report that found the on-time mail delivery performance results provided by the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) and Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) are not complete and may not give an accurate assessment of service for many communities across the country.

The report, “Actions Needed to Make Delivery Performance Information More Complete, Useful and Transparent,” outlines deficiencies in the Postal Service’s measurement capabilities and makes recommendations to Congress to direct USPS and the PRC to improve the completeness, analysis and transparency of delivery performance information. Specifically, GAO called on USPS and the PRC to include more detail on the Postal Service’s performance beyond the national level to include area and district performance. “As my colleagues and I have heard through numerous committee hearings, round tables, and countless conversations with postal customers, stakeholders, and management, service across the country, particularly in rural communities, is suffering,” said Senator Carper, Ranking Member on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. “In order to fix these service problems, we need to figure out their root causes.

Unfortunately, the Government Accountability Office found that the delivery performance results that the Postal Service and Postal Regulatory Commission provide do not give Congress or postal customers an accurate assessment of service. While the Postal Service can and should take steps to address these serious shortcomings in performance and transparency, Congress must also help the Postal Service get better in this area. My bill, iPOST, would help put the “service” back in Postal Service by stabilizing operations and requiring measurable improvements to delivery performance across the country. It would also require the Postal Service to publicize its performance data on its website so customers in all areas of the country can assess how the Postal Service is doing in their communities.

I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues in Congress, including Senators Heitkamp, Tester, and McCaskill, the Administration, and stakeholders to strengthen my bill and understand new ways we can help the Postal Service improve and maintain quality service across the country.” “There is no question that mail delivery and service in rural areas like North Dakota are seriously lacking,” said Sen. Heitkamp. “Through my Fix My Mail initiative I’ve heard about the challenges residents face getting mail on time, and an independent report I requested backed up those stories showing severe mail delivery problems in my state. As we learned from this new GAO report, how can the Postal Service possibly improve delivery in rural communities if it doesn’t accurately track the time it takes to deliver mail to these areas? There is no reason why we shouldn’t have access to that data. But we can change that. Senator Carper and I worked to include provisions in his bill to require the Postal Service provide definitions for urban, suburban, and rural communities, and mandate mail delivery performance goals that hold the agency accountable for improving delivery in underperforming communities. The reality is that rural communities, like North Dakota, are disproportionately and unfairly impacted by cuts to mail service and delivery which have harsh impacts on families and small businesses living in those regions. But with real data at their disposal, as this bill would require, the Postal Service will know exactly where it needs to make changes.”

“Today’s report makes clear what we’d suspected about USPS service for rural Americans—that the Postal Service is unable to accurately measure its delivery times in rural areas. Until the Postal Service is able to accurately assess their own performance and address their ability to deliver on-time mail to rural customers, they can’t possibly consider further consolidations of processing facilities and post office closures," said Senator McCaskill. “Montanans tell me that there are serious delays in mail delivery and yet time and time again the USPS tells me they’re doing great,” said Senator Tester. “ We clearly need better data that reflects what’s actually happening on the ground. This report confirms what many of us in rural America have been hearing from our constituents for years.” Over the past few years, in an effort to reduce costs and resize its vast network of processing and distribution plants, the U.S. Postal Service has shifted more and more mail volume from overnight to two to three day delivery. In response to concerns vocalized by constituents with delays in service beyond the Postal Service’s self-regulated delivery standards, Senators Carper, McCaskill, Heitkamp, and Tester requested GAO review the Postal Service’s ability to accurately measure delivery performance versus delivery standards across the nation and in some of the more rural areas of the country.


Business Insider: Amazon Prime is becoming a major headache for college mailrooms. A report on Monday from the University of Connecticut's Daily Campus said the university was planning to make changes to its mailroom procedures in response to a flood of packages that have overwhelmed its staff. The basic problem is that there's nowhere for the packages to go: The mailrooms, originally designed to deal with letters received by students living in dorms, are simply not big enough to handle the volume of packages being received.

The Wall Street Journal: FedEx Corp. is raising its fuel surcharge for the second time this year, jolting e-commerce companies, retailers and other shippers with price increases just as they gear up for the make-or-break holiday sales season. The increase, which takes effect Nov. 2, would add about $170 to the bill for shipping 100 shoeboxes overnight from New York to Atlanta, up from the $67 added by the current surcharge. The figures, from an analysis by supply-chain consulting firm Spend Management Experts, are based on FedEx’s published rates and the August average fuel price. The package-delivery company previously boosted its fuel-surcharge index in February, following a similar increase by rival United Parcel Service Inc. Their indexes determine how much the price of shipping a package will rise as fuel prices fluctuate. UPS’s surcharge would add about $200 to the cost of shipping the same 100 shoeboxes, the analysis found. FedEx’s latest increase caught customers off guard because the company’s fuel costs have been falling. The price of diesel fuel, which FedEx uses in its trucks, has plunged by about a third over the past year.

Business Wire: Quad/Graphics, Inc. has streamlined its organizational structure to better serve the evolving needs of marketers and publishers in today’s multimedia world. “Marketing and publishing have been completely upended by the explosion of media options,” said Joel Quadracci, Quad/Graphics Chairman, President & CEO. “We recognize that our clients need to connect content across channels and measure how each channel influences and impacts the other. To accomplish this goal they are rethinking organizational structures and eliminating silos, and we are no different. We are evolving our organizational structure to align with our clients’ evolving needs. Our goal is to make it easier for our clients to take advantage of our full continuum of integrated solutions to help them generate increased engagement, response and revenues while reducing their total cost of production and distribution. Our streamlined organizational structure will contribute to an overall better client experience, while also helping Quad/Graphics realize improved efficiencies and cost-savings.”


IRELAND: UTV: Full service is expected to be restored at An Post after the Communications’ Workers Union (CWU), who represent staff there, agreed to suspend industrial action.

EUROPE: Business Finance News: According to Wall Street Journal, FedEx Corporation’s plans to take over TNT Express NV failed to attract European regulators. They require the company to sell its assets with concession, without which many fear a termination of the deal. FedEx has proposed $4.9 billion bid for the acquisition. It believes that it shall not face any problem with it unlike United Parcel Service, Inc. Its deal was rejected by the Federal Commission in 2013, because of the fact that the merger would bring less competition in 15 EU countries, eventually hiking prices for deliveries borne by the consumers. Furthermore, UPS was also facing difficulties to find buyers for its assets. This time, it has made sure to make a convenient deal for FedEx and TNT.

October 5, 2015 


USPS Office of the Inspector General: Are Carriers Correctly Reporting Package Deliveries? Today the U.S. Postal Service uses several delivery status events to create a fully visible delivery system. It has increased its tracking from five to 13 possible scanning events, and uses both active and automated barcode scanning to track packages. Package tracking events can be viewed via the Postal Service’s Track and Confirm system. The Postal Service uses package scanning data to measure service performance so it is visible to customers. Performance is measured from when the Postal Service first accepts a package for delivery and scans it as received to the first stop-the-clock scan event. The postal carrier uses a handheld scanner to perform this stop-the-clock scan, which indicates the Postal Service's commitment to deliver the package is complete. The Postal Service’s goal is to provide world class visibility for its products and service. However, customers across the country are posting comments to social media sites about their experiences with Postal Service carriers. Many customers are commenting that carriers are not delivering or attempting to deliver their packages even though tracking indicates otherwise. Carriers are required to scan packages they deliver or attempt to deliver at the point of delivery. Have you received notification that your package was delivered, but not received your package? Have you received notification of an attempt to deliver your package, but no attempt was made by the carrier What improvements can be made so carriers can more accurately provide delivery scans for customers?

U.S. Government Accountability Office: GAO-15-756 U.S. Postal Service: Actions Needed to Make Delivery Performance Information More Complete Useful and Transparent 

What GAO Found.U.S. Postal Service (USPS) measurement of on-time delivery performance has expanded greatly over the past 9 years, but remains incomplete because only 55 percent of market-dominant mail (primarily First-Class Mail, Standard Mail, Periodicals, and Package Services) is included (see fig.). The remaining 45 percent is excluded due to various limitations, such as not having barcodes to enable tracking. Incomplete measurement poses the risk that measures of on-time performance are not representative, since performance may differ for mail included in the measurement, from mail that is not. Complete performance information enables effective management, oversight, and accountability. In addition, the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) has not fully assessed why USPS data are not complete and representative. While PRC's annual reports have provided data on the amount of mail included in measurement, they have not fully assessed why this measurement was incomplete or whether USPS actions will make it so. PRC may initiate a public inquiry docket (a type of proceeding) to improve data quality and completeness, but has not done so. Such a proceeding could facilitate evaluating data quality and identifying areas for improvement, as well as actions and time frames to complete improvements. USPS's and PRC's reports on delivery performance are not as useful as they could be for effective oversight because they do not include sufficient analysis to hold USPS accountable for meeting its statutory mission to provide service in all areas of the nation. USPS's and PRC's reports provide analysis, as legally required. However, this national-level analysis does not facilitate an understanding of results and trends below the national level, such as for USPS's 67 districts, to identify variations and areas where improvements are needed. Further, delivery performance information is not sufficiently transparent or readily available. USPS posts only the most recent quarterly report on its website making it difficult for stakeholders to access trend data. Also, USPS and PRC are not required to provide—and do not report—performance information for rural areas. While several Members of Congress have recently requested studies on rural delivery performance, USPS has stated that such analysis would be costly, even though it could not provide specific cost estimates. Such cost information would be useful for Congress to assess whether developing this information would be appropriate.

Why GAO Did This Study. USPS is in the difficult position of balancing cost-cutting actions to address its poor financial situation with efforts to provide prompt, affordable, and reliable mail service. GAO has previously reported that complete, useful, and transparent delivery performance information is essential for USPS and stakeholders to understand USPS's success in achieving this balance. GAO was asked to review how USPS measures delivery performance and how PRC assesses this information. GAO assessed (1) USPS's measurement of mail delivery performance and related oversight by PRC and (2) USPS's and PRC's reporting of this information. GAO reviewed USPS and PRC delivery performance data for fiscal years 2010-2015, delivery service standards, and measurement system documents, as well as applicable laws and leading practices identified in GAO's prior work.

What GAO Recommends. To assist in determining whether to require USPS and PRC to report on delivery performance for rural areas, Congress should direct USPS to provide cost estimates related to providing this information. Further, GAO recommends that USPS and PRC take steps to improve the completeness, analysis, and transparency of delivery performance information. USPS and PRC agreed with the recommendations addressed to them, but disagreed with certain findings on which they are based. GAO believes these findings are valid, as discussed in this report.

U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia: The United States Postal Service has established discounted rates for bulk mailers who take steps to ensure their address lists are accurate. USPS here claims that one of its customers, Plaintiff Southern California Edison, wrongfully availed itself of these rates while sending millions of mailpieces to customers at incorrect addresses. As a consequence, USPS slapped Plaintiff with a $7 million revenue-deficiency assessment, which precipitated this suit. At the core of the dispute is the question of what penalty should come from the fact that Plaintiff’s procedures for verifying customer addresses — a requirement for discounted postal rates — fell short of USPS’s standards . . . . In now considering the parties’ Cross-Motions for Summary Judgment, the Court finds that jurisdiction is proper, and that, even under the deferential “reasoned decisionmaking” standard of judicial review, USPS cannot support a revenue-deficiency assessment of the size entered here. Yet because Plaintiff acknowledges its noncompliance — and the costs that has imposed on Defendant — the Court believes some reduced assessment is appropriate. It accordingly remands to the Postal Service’s appeals body to determine a more reasonable sum

Postal Regulatory Commission:

  • PRC Appoints New Commission Secretary. The Postal Regulatory Commission today announces the appointment of Stacy L. Ruble as Secretary and Chief Administrative Officer. In his new role, Mr. Ruble will oversee the day-to-day operations of the Commission’s Office of Secretary and Administration which provides management and staff support to the Commission’s operational offices. Mr. Ruble succeeds Shoshana Grove who is retiring from the position after more than 40 years of service in the postal industry. The Office of Secretary and Administration develops, implements, and administers the Commission's financial management system and accounting activities including those relating to the budget; is responsible for human resources and personnel, management of the Commission’s official records, facilities and infrastructure, continuity of operations planning, strategic planning; and serves as the point of contact for all Commission contracts and audits. Mr. Ruble joins the Commission after an extensive career in the Armed Forces. Most recently, he served as the Director of Field Support Activity for the U.S. Navy where he managed the Chief of Naval Operations’ $1.4 billion budget. In 2007, he retired from the United States Army as a Lieutenant Colonel after a 25-year career, specializing in transportation, finance, and logistics during which he received numerous commendations.
  • Mail Classification Schedule. The Mail Classification Schedule describes every product offered to the public by the US Postal Service and serves as a standard reference work when reviewing ongoing postal products. A draft working copy of the Mail Classification Schedule is available here. It is typically updated on a weekly basis in redline legislative format to represent the most current US Postal Service product offerings.


Huffington Post: With corporate-conservative calls for full or partial privatization of the United States Postal Service (USPS) escalating, groups are sounding the alarm about new nominees to the USPS Board of Governors. The Senate is scheduled soon to consider the nominations of Mickey D. Barnett, James C. Miller III and two other nominees. Miller is a notorious privatization advocate and Barnett is a payday lender lobbyist. The Leadership Conference, a civil & human rights coalition, has sent a public letter to Senate Majority Leader McConnell and Minority Leader Reid asking them to oppose the nominees. (Since all four nominees are to be voted on as a package, the Leadership Conference is asking that the entire slate be voted down. At Naked Capitalism, in Epic Fail for the Postal Service: The Wrong Model and the Wrong Board, the other two nominees are described as not particularly bad for the USPS, but are "... a reflection of a system that treats public service as a revolving door for political and economic elites. This leaves a permanent imprint of the one percent on government and may be one of the primary reasons for cynicism in the electorate.")

The Washington Post: After years of cost-cutting to adjust to steep financial losses, the U.S. Postal Service is contending with angry customers whose mail is taking longer — sometimes much longer — to arrive. New research by Congress’ watchdog now says that the post office’s tracking system for measuring on-time delivery is so unreliable that there’s no way to know how late the mail really is. In an unusually stern report, the Government Accountability Office found the Postal Service’s tracking of delivery times “far from complete” and called on the agency to provide “quality delivery performance information.” Just 55 percent of the mail is even measured by postal officials, auditors found, making it unlikely that the agency is meeting its legal obligation to provide quality service to every corner of the United States. Current information on performance “is not sufficiently transparent or readily available,” GAO found. “Quality delivery performance information is needed … for postal stakeholders and the general public … to assess the balance between USPS cost-cutting to address its poor financial situation while maintaining affordable postal rates and providing timely, universal delivery service,” said the report, which has not been made public and was obtained by The Washington Post. Auditors also took regulators to task for their passive approach to the problem. And GAO criticized postal officials for failing to provide the public with data on whether they are meeting delivery standards for rural addresses compared to urban or suburban ones. Lawmakers representing rural states, who requested the GAO study, say spotty mail service is now the new normal across their districts, with cross-country and local delivery delayed by several days.

Commercial Carriers Journal: The American Postal Workers Union, which represents U.S. Postal Service employees, said Thursday it’s opposed to an exemption request submitted recently by private, contracted mail carriers seeking an exemption from the federal 14-hour on-duty limit. Drivers of those for-hire carriers contracted by the USPS are “already overworked,” the union says. The exemption request, says the union, is a means for the carriers to “squeeze a few extra hours of labor” out of their drivers. Related Mail carriers request exemption of 14-hour rule compliance NSRMCA requests that mail-carrying drivers have the ability to — after being off duty for eight consecutive hours — choose to be on-duty up to ... The National Star Route Mail Contractors Association, which represents for-hire trucking companies that carry U.S. mail, requested in August that drivers working for contracted mail carriers have the ability to — after being off duty for eight consecutive hours — choose to be on-duty up to 15 hours in a 24-hour period and drive up to 10 hours. NSRMCA says its drivers typically work in “split-shifts,” breaking their on-duty time up with a nine-hour break between on-duty shifts. The postal workers union, however, disagrees with NSRMCA’s assertions that the change won’t impact driver fatigue or highway safety.

Fox6Now: You might think the checks you put in a mailbox are secure -- but U.S. postal inspectors say think again! They say outgoing mail in an unlocked box is an open invitation for thieves. The suspects were stealing the checks, and then using an elaborate process for duplication. "Using fairly sophisticated software computer equipment, they would scan these checks and print out all brand new counterfeit versions of these checks on blank check stock," Cunningham said. The suspects were essentially gathering all of the vital information on a check. "They would scan all the information on that check to include the company logo, the account number and then the routing number of that check," Cunningham said. Small business checks Small business checks They would then recruit individuals with an ID to cash the new check.


IRELAND: eCommerce News: An Post, the state-owned postal services provider of Ireland, is joining the world of delivery boxes. Last month, An Post announced it has started its Delivery Box service. “No more missed deliveries, stress-free online shopping and your parcels delivered safely even when you are out”, the company promises. The service, called very originally ‘Delivery Box’, offers a wall-mounted box which holds letters and parcels in a locked and weather-resistant box, as Post & Parcel writes. Customers will also be able to leave their stamped mail or online shopping returns in the box for collection by the courier. The box is allied to the nationwide delivery network of An Post and will cost 69.99 euros. Customers will get the box, access keys, installation template and activation card within five working days of ordering. As proof of delivery, An Post will use a scanning system so there’s no need for a signature. And when a delivery has been made, the customer will get a notification.

IRELAND: Irish Times: The strike that has led to postal services around the country grinding to a halt over recent days has been suspended. The Communications Workers Union, which represents staff at IO Systems, a contractor which maintains automated sorting equipment for An Post, said the industrial action had been called off after the company agreed to re-instate workers on their original rosters and pay levels. New talks between IO Systems and the Communications Workers Union are to take place to try to address the issues over revised rosters and consequent cuts to earnings which were at the heart of the dispute.

ITALY: Journal of Commerce: Poste Italiane, Italy’s state-owned postal company is expected to start selling shares in its initial public offering next week and make its debut on the Milan stock exchange at the end of October or early November. The Italian government is aiming to raise around 4 billion euros ($4.5 billion) from the sale of 40-percent of the 153-year old company in the country’s largest privatization in a decade. A successful listing of Poste Italiane, whose businesses also include logistics, finance and insurance, would pave the way for further sales of state companies, including air traffic control operator Enav, and Ferrovie dello Stato, the national rail company, in 2016. Poste Italiane, Italy’s biggest employer with a 143,000-strong workforce, almost doubled its first-half net profit to 435 million euros from 222 million euros in the first six months of 2014, on revenue up 7 percent at 16 billion euros. The company, along with France’s La Poste, is one of the few major fully state-owned European postal services following the partial privatization of the U.K.’s Royal Mail in late 2013.

IRELAND: UTV: The state body is unable to process mail for delivery because of industrial action taken by staff belonging to a business which maintains automated sorting equipment. Post offices will open on Monday and post that is in the system will be delivered. Meanwhile, the union representing workers who are on strike has urged there is no need for An Post to suspend services. Some 36 workers who maintain the automated mail sorting systems at four An Post mail centres are in dispute with IO Systems in response to the unilateral imposition of rostering arrangements that cut their wages by 22%.

BARBADOS: Nation News: Can the postal service in Barbados survive the next decade as it is today? The Postal Service has been much more than a provider of economic services and has served the common good of most Barbadians. It has been a vital link between people, whether intra-island, or internationally with relatives and friends overseas. It has also provided a key service for both Government and commerce. Over time there has been a sentimental link as much as a social and economic connection. But the advent of the Internet, the use of electronic transfers and rising competition from private courier providers have all inflicted serious blows to the post office network. As Barbadians – businesses and individuals – become even savvier with the technology, there will be even greater migration from what the post office now offers. It cannot continue in its current format.

PAKISTAN: The Nation: Pakistan Postal Services Director General Fakir Syed Shaharyuddin said on Sunday that entire network of Pakistan Postal Services was being computerized to achieve world standard. Delivery of the service at door-steps of people with speed and accuracy would be ensured, he said in an exclusive interview with APP here. He said, the department of Pakistan Post Office (PPO) is a public utility organisation and not merely profit earning entity.

October 4, 2015 


EUROPE: Morningstar: FedEx Corp. has run into unexpected hurdles in its planned takeover of Dutch rival TNT Express NV, as European regulators consider demanding concessions, such as asset sales, which could throw the deal off course. FedEx (FDX) executives have portrayed the proposed EUR4.4 billion ($4.9 billion) merger as a sure thing, arguing it bears little resemblance to an earlier bid for TNT by rival United Parcel Service Inc. That deal failed in early 2013 after resistance from Europe's antitrust cops. Then as now, executives of both companies were sure the deal would get a green light. European Union regulators could serve FedEx with a formal complaint listing their concerns in about two weeks, said people close to the deal, a step typically followed by negotiations over potential concessions.

October 3, 2015 


USPS Office of the Inspector General: Management Alert – U.S. Postal Service Handling of Inbound International Mail at the [redacted] International Service Center in (Report Number NO-MA-15-006 -- This draft management alert presents the results of our self-initiated review of the U.S. Postal Service Handling of Inbound International Mail. This alert addresses non-compliance with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) inspection requirements for inbound international mail at the ISC and lack of accurate data for inbound mail presented for inspection. We are issuing this alert to facilitate immediate corrective actions due to safety and security concerns. 


IRELAND: RTE: The Irish Postmasters Union has said industrial action affecting postal services has put its members livelihoods at risk, as well as seriously affecting the people they serve. Staff who maintain key equipment in the four An Post mail centres are taking strike action over cuts in pay. The 36 staff in question are employed by contractor IO Systems, but are retained by An Post to maintain the automated postal processing machinery at the centres in Dublin, Cork, Portlaoise and Athlone.

CHINA: The Washington Post: China's postal service is ordering tighter checks on packages following a series of mail bombings that killed 10 people and injured 51. Mail carriers and overnight delivery services must conduct additional checks for explosives, dangerous chemicals, weapons, gunpowder and poisons, the State Post Bureau said on its website Saturday. Closer cooperation with police will also be required.

October 2, 2015


Courthouse News Service: Missing glue on a bulk mailing will cost Sears, Roebuck and Co., and two other companies more than $1 million, a federal judge ruled Wednesday. In 2014, Sears, along with Segerdahl Graphics and Aspen Marketing Services, sued the United States Postal Service after it disqualified the companies from lower shipping rates on mailers because the mailers were not sealed properly. "This is case about an extra dab of glue - just an extra bit of stickum worth $1.25 million," U.S. District Judge Rosemary Collyer wrote in her opinion. Sears, Segerdahl and Aspen mailed non-compliant fliers advertising three events in 2009. In 2012 the Postal Service certified debts against the companies that totaled $1.25 million. The Postal Service's rule requires companies to seal rectangular self-mailers on both the top and the bottom as well on the open edge created when the mailer is folded in half. This prevents the Postal Service's processing machines from jamming on the open ends, according to the opinion. The companies said their mailers were sealed on the corners, and that the Postal Service's rule is not clear about where on each edge companies must seal their mailers. The companies claimed the Postal Service's decision was inconsistent with regulations and violated the Fifth Amendment because it was "retroactively reinterpreted." They also claimed the Postal Service charged them more than the costs the service actually incurred, the ruling says. The Postal Service's decisions are not subject to judgment under the Administrative Procedures Act, Collyer said, and therefore the agency can be said to have engaged in reasonable decision-making if it gave "reasoned consideration" to the case. Because of this, Collyer said, she had to begin from a place of "strong presumption" in the Postal Service's favor. "The Postal Service's decision on a mailing rate classification should be overturned only when 'clearly wrong,'" Collyer wrote.


The Hill: A war over mail delivery is breaking out at the U.S. Postal Service (USPS), where public and private sector postal workers are fighting with each other over more driving hours. The American Postal Workers Union (APWU), the union that represents hundreds of thousands of U.S. Postal Service employees, is challenging a request for more driving hours by private trucking companies that also carry mail. The National Star Route Mail Contractors Association requested an exemption from driving safety rules for the private trucking companies that contract with USPS to deliver mail. At issue is a regulation from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) that prohibits truck drivers from operating commercial motor vehicles for more than 14 hours without adequate rest. The safety regulation is intended to prevent fatigued truck drivers from falling asleep at the wheel and causing accidents. The exemption would allow these private mail carriers to get around the rule — something that has the public sector mail carriers who are employed directly by USPS up in arms. The U.S. Postal workers, which compete with the private trucking companies to carry mail across the country, are challenging the exemption because they say it would jeopardize road safety.

NakedCapitalism: The US Postal Service's Board of Governors which has had a strong tendency to rubber-stamp management's plans, has been operating without a quorum. Board member terms are staggered and Obama served up a slate of nominees in March. I've attached a letter at the end of this post from The Leadership Conference to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid urging them to reject Obama's set of five nominees in their entirety. In other words, they are telling Obama to start from scratch. The letter singles out two particularly troubling candidates. One is Mickey Bennett, who has been a lobbyist for the payday lending industry. One proposal to fix the Postal Sevice's trumped-up budget problems would be to offer low-cost financial services at bank branches. Needless to say, that's the last thing the predatory payday lending industry would like to see. Separately, anyone who has worked in or served as a lobbyist for industries know to engage in widespread abuses, like payday lending and debt collection, should be deemed to be unfit for government service of any sort unless they've become whistleblowers. Another nominee, James Miller, has advocated privatizing the Postal Service since his time at the Office of Management and Budget, back in the 1980s. He remains fixated on this idea, despite ample evidence that privatization leads to higher costs and worse service. Of course, I'm charitably assuming that Miller is actually interested in producing better results for the public, as opposed to a big looting opportunity for corporate interests. See also the Washington Examiner.

Roll Call: The Treasury Department said Thursday it would reach the debt limit a bit earlier than was expected by many on Capitol Hill. Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew told Congress in a new letter that thanks in part to lower-than-expected quarterly tax receipts, the extraordinary measures to forestall breaching the debt limit, combined with the new revenues, will run their course just a week after the resignation of Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, takes effect. That makes it all the more likely the debt limit will need to be addressed before his departure. "Based on this new information, we now estimate that Treasury is likely to exhaust its extraordinary measures on or about Thursday, November 5," Lew wrote in a letter to Boehner. "At that point, we could be left to fund the government with only the cash we have on hand, which we currently forecast to be below $30 billion. This amount would be far short of net expenditures on certain days, which can be as high as $60 billion."

The Wall Street Journal: The most unlikely beneficiary of the online-lending boom may be the U.S. Postal Service. Thanks in large part to online lenders, the average monthly volume of personal-loan offers sent through the mail has more than doubled in two years to 156 million in the year through July from 73 million in the same period in 2013. In July alone, LendingClub mailed 33.9 million personal-loan offers, more than double the amount during the same month in 2014, according to Mintel Comperemedia, a database that tracks advertisements.


IRELAND: Independent: Union chiefs have blasted as "bizarre and reckless" a country-wide shut down of postal services over a row involving 33 outsourced workers. An Post claims it has no option but to urge people not to mail any letters or parcels across Ireland until further notice. It says strike action by one of their suppliers - IO Systems - has crippled its nationwide delivery services. "Due to the withdrawal of labour by staff of IO Systems, we are unable to process mail for delivery to customers," a spokeswoman said.

IRELAND: RTE: An Post has advised customers not to mail any items with immediate effect due to industrial action. Staff who maintain key equipment in the four An Post mail centres are taking strike action over cuts in pay.

October 1, 2015 

  PostCom Members !! The latest issue of the PostCom Postal Executive Update  is now available online.


USPS Office of the Inspector General:

Background. The U.S. Postal Service implemented its Promotions Program in 2011 to encourage mailers to integrate technology with the mail and build customer awareness of mail use beyond standard letter and package delivery. As a result, it promotes the value of mail and provides an opportunity for mail to remain competitive in an increasingly digital society. For example, one promotion used color messaging to create greater connection with and response from consumers and another used mobile barcodes on mailpieces that a mobile device can read. In calendar years 2013 and 2014, the Postal Service offered 13 promotions involving about 2,600 mailers and provided over $87 million in postage discounts. Eight of these promotions and almost $5 million in postage discounts were for promotions that included some products which did not cover their direct costs. The Postal Service acknowledges that these discounts will not lead to cost coverage in the short term, but believes it can increase revenue in the long term by increasing the value of mail. Our objective was to determine whether the Promotions Program is effectively managed. We also identified other potential promotion opportunities.

What The OIG Found. Opportunities exist to further strengthen the management of the Promotions Program. The Postal Service has made progress developing and implementing individual promotions, however, it has not developed a comprehensive strategic promotions plan. Since the program's inception, more promotions have been introduced building customer awareness by integrating technology into the mail. The Postal Service has focused its efforts on individual promotions to retain and grow mail volume, integrate the use of new technology, and promote the value of mail to the digital community while building new uses for mail. Further, the Postal Service conducts analysis to determine individual promotion performance. However, there are no measureable targets for the program goals, so it is unknown how individual promotions contribute to the goals. The Postal Service does not have a comprehensive strategic plan for the Promotions Program because each individual promotion focuses on different content and outcomes. For example, some promotions focus on mail retention. By contrast, other promotions focus on integrating digital technology with physical mailpieces. However, without a comprehensive strategic plan that addresses such areas as measurable targets, promotion period, technology used, and postage discount rates, it is not possible to determine whether the results of individual promotions will accomplish the Postal Service's Promotions Program goals. We also found there may be opportunities to implement new promotions that add value and relevancy to mail.

What The OIG Recommended. We recommended management develop and implement reportable performance metrics to track program progress and measure the long-term value of promotional mail. We also recommended management develop and implement a strategy with well-defined documented processes to ensure major promotion program components are meeting the overall program goals by September 30, 2016.

  • Management Advisory Report - Solution for Enterprise Asset Management System – Vehicle Maintenance Facility Data

    Background. The U.S. Postal Service operates one of the world's largest transport and delivery fleets, which includes over 211,000 delivery, transport, and administrative vehicles. The Postal Service maintains the fleet using the Vehicle Maintenance Program at 316 Postal Service vehicle maintenance facilities and commercial garages throughout the country. Its Solution for Enterprise Asset Management (SEAM) system is a web-based application designed to improve fleet inventory tracking and visibility and standardize asset tracking and maintenance repair functions. This management advisory discusses errors noted in vehicle maintenance data during an earlier audit of vehicle maintenance facility efficiency nationwide. Our objective was to assess the accuracy and timeliness of selected vehicle maintenance facility operational data in SEAM.

    What the OIG Found. We found inaccurate and untimely vehicle maintenance data in SEAM from fiscal year (FY) 2012 through Quarter I, FY 2015. Specifically, our analysis showed work orders had inaccurate repair times and costs and incorrectly remained open in a "complete status" in SEAM. Work orders are changed to a "complete status" when all parts and labor have been entered into the database and the work order is ready for management's review. Our analysis also showed that 325,520 work orders had been completed and were awaiting review, indicating that management did not perform a timely review of the work orders. Our analysis also showed that work orders were awaiting review for an average of 145 days. There is no established time for management to perform their review. These conditions occurred because staff and management were unable to correct errors in the system on commercial work orders, there was inadequate management oversight and training for staff, and there were limited edit checks and exception reports for "complete status" work orders in the system. VMF personnel are now able to correct commercial work orders as necessary; therefore, we are not making recommendations on this issue. Maintenance records and Business Intelligence reports showing maintenance costs and delinquent scheduled maintenance were not always accurate, resulting in data reliability errors totaling over $292 million. We also verified that incorrect dollar amounts were not paid in SEAM; however, the incorrect data remained in the Business Intelligence reports. Without accurate and timely data, management has limited assurance that maintenance and cost data is sufficient and reliable for making operational decisions.

    What the OIG Recommended. We recommended management update SEAM to generate exception reports to help monitor the accuracy and timely closure of work orders in "complete status." We also recommended management provide SEAM training for vehicle maintenance staff and improve vehicle maintenance facility repair operations and policies to ensure work orders are reviewed and closed timely.

Federal Register: Postal Regulatory Commission NOTICES New Postal Products , 59202–59203 [2015–24819] [TEXT]


Daily Kos: On Monday, the Washington Post ran an article whose title posed a question: Should the Postal Service be Sold to Save it? In a word: No. The piece identified symptoms of the Postal Service's decline, but failed to correctly diagnose the underlying cause: The Postal Service Reform Act, a bill requiring the Postal Service to set aside all of the money it will spend on retirement for employees retiring in the next 75 years—most of whom haven't been hired and some haven't been born. Most importantly, the article's focus on a prescription for privatization is wrong and ignores research challenging the notion that privatization is a more efficient, cheaper cure-all. Privatization will kill the Post Office, not save it. Privatization will also ensure corporate interests swoop in to profit from the 231 years USPS has spent serving Americans.

Los Angeles Times: Brookings Institution scholar Elaine C. Kamarck has just issued a paper aimed at solving what she calls the "political stalemate" over the postal service. "The USPS exists right now in never-never land," she says in an accurate diagnosis. "It is not fully public and it is not fully private." Her historical analysis of what brought the service to its current dismal pass is compelling, and her solution combines conservative and liberal approaches: split the agency in two, bringing its responsibility for universal mail delivery entirely back to the public sector, and sending the rest of it out into world via total privatization. She's half right. The mandate for universal mail service should be chiefly a taxpayer responsibility. As for the rest, who needs it?

Direct Marketing News: I write a lot of stories about rising postal rates, and a lot of people who depend on the mail to conduct their businesses read them. They're interested in postal rates because their businesses are in danger of going away if those rates get too high. At the outset of 2007, the year the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (PAEA) took effect, Standard Flats and Carrier Route volume was in excess of 23 billion pieces and some 16,000 catalog titles mailed in the United States. By 2013 flats volume had plummeted to about 3 billion pieces and about 6,000 of those catalogs ceased to exist. There are three key stakeholders in postal operations: big mailers, postal worker unions, and the Postal Service itself. The four major postal unions have voluminous membership rolls and full-time staffs. They are all planted in D.C., know all the players on Capitol Hill, and can muster tens of thousands of workers to demonstrate on a day's notice. The Postal Service is a government institution with annual revenues of $67 billion. It fields an army of lawyers and has a chief lobbyist known as the Postmaster General, an office once held by Benjamin Franklin. The mailers have the Direct Marketing Association, The Association for Postal Commerce, and the ACMA, but they lag the other players in both gravitas and sheer numbers when it comes to playing legislative tag at the Rayburn Office Building.

Franchising: PostNet is arming entrepreneurs across the country with business survival tips to weather apocalyptic conditions and ensure local businesses remain strong – even during a zombie plague. PostNet is the chain of Neighborhood Business Centers that provide printing, shipping, graphic design and marketing solutions for today's time-strapped small businesses and consumers. The global franchise has launched a marketing campaign equipped with multi-channel elements, including a zombie classification guide, small business survival tips, humorous videos, and a sweepstakes to win an all-expenses paid trip to London and participate in a "Zombie Infection Experience." Participating locations across the U.S. and Canada are also offering a limited time offer of 20 percent off your first purchase via their new Online Print Center through the end of October. Small business owners can find all of these elements at

Atlanta Busines Chronicle: United Parcel Service Inc. on Wednesday opened a 208,000-square-foot, healthcare-compliant distribution and warehousing facility in New Jersey. The Atlanta-based package shipper and logistics company said the facility near Philadelphia International Airport is the first in its network to offer medical device companies autoclave capabilities, instrument inspection and surgical set replenishment, and more.

The Wall Street Journal: United Parcel Service Inc. is investing in a tech startup that allows brand manufacturers to set up websites and sell directly to consumers, bypassing the middlemen. Two-year-old Ally Commerce Inc., headed up by a former eBay Inc. executive, has launched websites and other e-commerce services for brands including D-Link, Bosch and Electrolux. The startup has raised a total of $8.4 million in two rounds of funding, and UPS declined to disclose the amount of its minority-stake investment. Direct-to-consumer online sales by manufacturers have become e-commerce's final frontier, and it is fast-growing. By next year, direct-to-consumer online sales are expected to become the largest source of sales for brand manufacturers at 34% of the total, according to a survey by Forrester. Brand manufacturers reported in the survey that their online sales grew nearly 30% in 2013, compared with about 14% growth for all e-commerce, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

The Berkshire Company: Last year, I wrote a letter to my United States Senators (Elizabeth Warren and Edward Markey) about the need for the Senate to confirm President Obama's nominees to the U.S. Postal Service ("USPS") Board of Governors. Senator Warren's staff didn't think that my letter warranted a response. One of Senator Markey's aides called my office to share the senator's support for this issue. He believed that some of the nominees would be confirmed during the "lame duck" session after the elections. None of the nominees were confirmed. In fact, no votes were taken on the Senate floor. The situation has only gotten worse. Due to term expirations, the Board of Governors was no longer going to have enough members to constitute a quorum for votes. Last December, using an astute parliamentary procedure, the Board of Governors created a "Temporary Emergency Committee" of the remaining governors. The committee would have all the powers of the entire Board until enough members were confirmed to reconstitute a regular quorum. And the Senate continues not to act. The Committee on Homeland Security held hearings and confirmed the nominees in July. But there have been no votes on the Senate floor. This December, two more governors – Ellen Williams and Louis J. Giuliano – will have to leave the Board. Their terms actually ended last year, and they're currently in the "holdover year". That will leave only one appointed governor on the Board. One.


IRELAND: RTE News: Postal deliveries face possible disruption from midnight as staff who maintain key equipment in the four An Post mail centres commence strike action over cuts in pay. The 36 staff in question are employed by contractor IO Systems, but are retained by An Post to maintain the automated postal processing machinery in the centres in Dublin, Cork, Portlaoise and Athlone. The Communication Workers Union said the dispute arose on 31 August when IO Systems introduced shift and roster changes resulting in income reductions from significant overtime and premium payments. The union instructed members not to cooperate with the changes and to stick to their existing work practices.

JAMAICA: The Wall Street Journal: Who needs an ad-blocking app when your telecom operator will prevent ads from reaching your mobile device? Wireless operator Digicel will soon begin blocking online advertising from traveling across its networks in the Caribbean and South Pacific, the company announced Wednesday. German telecommunications group Deutsche Telekom is also considering blocking advertising on its networks, a person familiar with the matter said. Jamaica-based Digicel said online advertising companies such as Google, Facebook and Yahoo will now be required to pay to deliver ads to its subscribers, or can expect to have them blocked. "Companies like Google, Yahoo and Facebook talk a great game and take a lot of credit when it comes to pushing the idea of broadband for all – but they put no money in. Instead they unashamedly trade off the efforts and investments of network operators like Digicel to make money for themselves," said Denis O'Brien, chairman of Digicel Group, in a statement.

WORLD MARKETS: The Wall Street Journal: Logistics in emerging markets have long centered around the movement of large quantities of manufactured goods or commodities between businesses. But rising consumption driven by a growing middle class is set to change that, according to new research reports. The development of consumer markets in Asia, Africa and Latin America are changing distribution channels, Transport Intelligence Ltd. and Kewill, a logistics management software provider, said in a report Wednesday. They predicted that by 2020, 1.8 billion people will be in a "consuming class," spending $30 trillion, up from $12 trillion today. The shift will require logistics firms to focus on parcel delivery to consumers in developing countries, which has traditionally taken a backseat to exports or the movement of raw materials and parts through global supply chains. Parcel shipments from businesses to consumers will grow nearly 14% a year in the next five years in the Asia-Pacific region, outstripping growth in North America and Western Europe, consulting firm Accenture said in a report presented at the Post-Expo conference for postal, courier and express industries in Paris this week. By 2020, business-to-consumer parcel shipment volume will surpass business-to-business volume in terms of parcel volume in the region, the consultants said. Logistics firms around the world are already scaling up capacity and infrastructure to meet this growing consumer demand.

GERMANY: Post & Parcel: UPS has doubled its throughput at its Nuremberg hub to 30,000 parcels an hour, using technology from Siemens Postal, Parcel & Airport Logistics (SPPAL). The sorting process, which was previously done using a conventional conveying system, is now achieved with an automatic system with five Visicon singulators, eight sorters and a total of 87 terminal stations.

SLOVENIA: Balkan Business News: Pošta Slovenije, the national postal company, has acquired the logistics business of Mladinska knjiga, the country's no. 1 publisher, in a deal worth just shy of EUR 13m, the companies revealed on Wednesday. The company plans to leverage the new capabilities to expand its parcel delivery and supply chain business, which has so far been constrained by lack of warehousing space. The Mladinska knjiga logistics division performs logistics services for the publisher as well as third parties and has been profit-making.

NETHERLANDS: Marketwatch: Dutch postal firm PostNL N.V. PNL said Thursday measures announced by the Dutch Authority for Consumers and Markets, which regulate access of other postal operators to PostNL's network, could limit its competitive position and impact it by up to 30 million Euros ($33.96 million) to EUR50 million over the next three to four years. The decision by the Dutch Authority for Consumers and Markets concern a tender of the Municipality of Rotterdam and the 2015 Tariffs. PostNL said it believes these decisions and possible measures could hamper the reliability and accessibility of postal delivery in the Netherlands.

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