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Postal News from May 2003

May 31, 2003 -- AME Info has reported that "Emirates Post has announced a summer promotion offering a 15 per cent discount on parcels bound for five countries in south Asia. The promotion will run from June 1 to July 31, 2003." A seasonal discount....What a concept.

May 31, 2003 -- The Irish Independent has reported that "An Post has moved to defend its letter delivery rate in the wake of a survey which showed the company only managed to deliver 73pc of ordinary letters by the next day. The Communications Regulator (ComReg), which monitors An Post's quality of service inline with European standards, found only three out of four items of ordinary correspondence were delivered the next day. ComReg looked at single piece mail - ordinary correspondence posted by individuals and businesses -and found the delivery rate fell far short of the 94pc target set by the regulator. According to ComReg, this will be addressed in the context of consultation on An Post'spricing proposals, to be launched shortly."

May 31, 2003 -- According to the most recent bulletin from the American Postal Workers Union, "during the final two days of testimony before the Presidential Commission on the U.S. Postal Service, most of the witnesses were from the corporate world, and most of them painted a bleak picture of the future, placing a large part of the blame on the costs associated with postal worker wages, health care and retirement benefits, and collective bargaining rights."

May 30, 2003 -- As Traffic World has noted, "FedEx Corp., United Parcel Service and DHL/Deutsche Post World Net are the logistics heavyweights that will continue to dominate global markets, but look for other major players in Europe and Japan to make their presence felt over the next few years."

May 30, 2003 -- Trinity Mirror PLC (U.K.) has reported that "Royal Mail bosses today said their service was "not good enough" after a watchdog revealed more than a million first-class letters fail to arrive on time every day. New performance figures for the period April 2002 to March 2003 showed Royal Mail had not met 80% of its delivery targets. The group's chief executive, Adam Crozier, told Channel 4 News: 'We are improving and we are getting better. However, it is absolutely not good enough.'"

May 30, 2003 -- You can find on the President's Commission on the Postal Service web site copies of the testimony that was presented by witnesses on May 28 and May 29, 2003.

May 30, 2003 -- The Baltic News Service has reported that:

May 30, 2003 -- Hoover's Online has reported that "with the global merger of the DHL and Danzas package delivery companies, the goal of the company in Mexico is take the lead in the market, ahead of UPS and Federal Express, says Mr. Mario Sotres, head of DHL Mexico. The company is hoping to grow by 37% in Latin America and Mexico. Sotres denies any plans to acquire any Mexican companies in the short term, as the focus will be on the newly merged companies. The new company will have a new logo, based on that of DHL, but with a change of color."

May 30, 2003 -- Channel5 (U.K.) has reported that "performance results for the Royal Mail show one million first-class letters are late every day. The statistics also reveal the company failed to meet 80 per cent of its overall targets, including its heavily advertised special delivery service." See also The Evening Telegraph.

May 30, 2003 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that:

May 30, 2003 -- GovExec.com has reported that "pay-for-performance could be included in a forthcoming plan to reform the U.S. Postal Service, most likely encompassing both employees and managers. Members of the Presidential Commission on the U.S. Postal Service are debating the concept, though details have not been ironed out."

May 30, 2003 -- Comptroller General David Walker's presentation to the President's Commission on the Postal Service has been posted on this site. See also the report by Dow Jones.

May 30, 2003 -- Penton Media's U.S. edition of Internet World magazine is transitioning to an electronic media franchise, including a weekly e-newsletter, an expanded website, Web events, and webcasts. The monthly print magazine will discontinue publishing with its June 2003 issue. The magazine's 175,000 subscribers will be offered a free subscription to the weekly e-newsletter, Internet World's Internet Business, and will be provided with expanded Internet business information services at its Web site, www.internetworld.com.

May 29, 2003 -- A summary of today's proceedings at the President's Commission of the Postal Service has been posted on this site. The remar ks of the Postmaster General have been posted on this site. See also the report of the PMG's remarks by the Associated Press.

May 29, 2003 -- The U.S. Postal Service has filed its case (MC2003-2) for an Experimental Parcel Return Service with the Postal Rate Commission. See also the report by DM News.

May 29, 2003 -- GoAsiaPac ific has reported that "the world's first underwater post office has opened in Vanuatu."

May 29, 2003 -- The Hartford Courant has reported that "saying it was outrageous that Wallingford postal workers were not told about high levels of anthrax in their building, state Senators voted Wednesday to require all employers to immediately notify workers in similar situations. 'I think it was an abomination that the workers at the Wallingford post office worked under those conditions and didn't find out until later' about the contamination, said Sen. Ernest Newton, a Bridgeport Democrat. 'It's our right to know.' The bill was written after a federal accounting audit showed that health and postal officials failed to tell the workers for nearly nine months that 3 million anthrax spores - the highest concentration of anthrax spores at any post office in the United States - were found under a machine in their building."

May 29, 2003 -- Business News Online has reported that "the Tanzania Postal Bank (TPB) through Western Union Money Transfer plans to open about 48 new locations in the Tanzania Posts Corporation (TPC) outlets on district level before the end of this year."

May 29, 2003 -- The Financial Times has reported that "DHL Airways will clarify its ownership and operational structure in a filing on Thursday with the Department of Transportation. Opponents FedEx and United Parcel Service expect to use the filing to bolster their case that the air carrier is controlled by German distribution group, Deutsche Post. The documents were ordered by Ronnie Yoder, the DoT's chief administrative law judge, in a preliminary hearing on Tuesday."

May 29, 2003 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that "TPG, the Dutch mail, express and logistics company, announced that its TNT Express division has won a competitive open bid to distribute consignments sent through the new international express service of the Brazilian state post office, Empresa de Correios e Telegrafos."

May 28, 2003 -- A summary of today's proceedings at the President's Commission of the Postal Service has been posted on this site. Be sure to also check the report of the Co mmission's consultant on the subject of Price Caps.

May 28, 2003 -- European sources have reported that "French post office-owned airline Europe Airpost is planning to withdraw its three A300-B4 freighters over the next two to three years. The move is in response to La Poste's focus on shipping more mail, parcel and express traffic by high-speed train and road, a mid-term objective being a TGV postal service between Marseille and Paris."

May 28, 2003 -- According to the Ledger Dispatch, "if projections from the United States Postal Service are fulfilled, e-mail may indeed become an out-and-out necessity. The postal service announced recently - via an Internet news release - that it expected the volume of paper mail to decrease by 2 percent by 2004. It's possible, it goes on to say, that universal mail delivery may eventually have to cease. Instead of relieving the system, less mail being sent via the neighborhood mail carrier and his or her pouch makes the whole system less efficient."

May 28, 2003 -- DM News has reported that "a media-buying agency is preparing for the launch of The Catalog Show, an hour-long infomercial that aims to bring the power of catalog marketing on the air through DRTV. The show will feature a smorgasbord of products from multiple retailers, but will not be done in the fashion of home-shopping channels." Or, as DM News headlined it, the catalog's not in the mail, it's on TV.

May 28, 2003 -- CEP News (Courier-Express-Postal) has reported that:

CEP News is without a doubt one of the best newsletters you can find that focuses on the courier, express, and postal market in Europe. For more information on a subscription to CEP News, contact the publisher.

May 28, 2003 -- Rep. John M. McHugh (R-NY) has introduced legislation to give postmasters the same options afforded to postal supervisors when negotiating pay and benefits with the U.S. Postal Service. Rep. McHugh is chairman of the Government Reform Committee’s Special Panel on Postal Reform & Oversight, which has jurisdiction over the U.S. Postal Service.

May 28, 2003 -- Traffic World has reported that "Retailers need better service, more choices from package carriers to support online sales Domestic small package carriers need to address service shortfalls or be left behind in the e-business market, warns Stu Slifkin, director of transportation, Tiffany & Co. Small package carriers are not providing the kind of year-round, 24/7 service that growing e-tailers such as Tiffany need."

May 28, 2003 -- The Polish News Bulletin has reported that "a price increase for postal services that went into effect on January 1, 2001 will be re-examined by the Office for the Protection of Competition and Consumers (UOKiK) following a decision issued by the Anti-Monopoly Court. The UOKiK had previously analyzed the rate hikes, which on average ranged from 20% to 40%, but found them to be warranted by market conditions that include significant competition from courier firms."

May 28, 2003 -- Les Echos (France) has reported that "TNT Express France, the French unit of TNT Express (the transport division of Dutch postal services group TPG), has reached a commercial partnership deal with Redcats, the French mail order giant. The deal will allow TNT Express France to use Redcats' parcel delivery network, which includes nearly 3,200 depots, and will increase its coverage in France, where it already has 120 sites."

May 28, 2003 -- East Anglia Business (U.K.) has reported that "consumers, small businesses and charities across East Anglia are being warned that a proposed tax rule from Europe could push the price of first-class postage up by about 5p. The EC's aim is to eliminate "competitive distortions" in which traditional national suppliers of postal services are exempt from VAT but their competitors are not. It insists the move is "unlikely to have a significant impact on the cost of postal services for private consumers" and says it will be "advantageous" to businesses because they will be able to deduct the VAT element of their postal charges."

May 28, 2003 -- EDP24 (U.K.) has reported that "plans for a 450m pounds package to halt the closure of Britain's rural post offices was eagerly embraced last night by sub-postmasters, MPs, and campaigners who described it as a "lifeline" for communities. The European Commission approved yesterday plans by the Government to invest the money over the next three years to maintain sub-postmasters' incomes, invest in services such as computer systems and develop innovative ways of delivering the post."

May 28, 2003 -- EastDay.com (China) has reported that "Dutch logistics and delivery giant TNT Holdings B.V. has stopped its 15-year cooperation with China's delivery service leader China National Foreign Trade Transportation (Group) Corporation (Sinotrans), as their cooperation contract ended yesterday, today's International Finance News said. TNT Workers with TNT Skypak-Sinotrans Ltd, a joint venture of the two, have moved their offices to Mach++ Express Worldwide Ltd, another company with which TNT has started a new joint firm. The business of the new venture will remain the same as TNT-Sinotrans with essential expansion in express delivery and logistics, a senior TNT official told International Financial News. Market analysts described the breakup of TNT and Sinotrans as a result of TNT's emphasis on postal business."

May 28, 2003 -- The Wilson County News has reported that "many readers of the Wilson County News who receive their newspapers by mail have been experiencing delays in the past month. According to postal officials, the delays are due to the implementation of new programs the post office currently is studying involving its sorting system. As a result, newspapers have been delayed. The post office is aware of the problem and is attempting to fix it."

May 28, 2003 -- According to BizReport (Denmark), "Meta Group surveyed employees at 387 companies around the world and reported in April that 80% prefer to use e-mail for business communication. Meta determined that just 20% of employees worldwide prefer using the phone. AOL and RoperASW recently determined that US business Internet users prefer to communicate at work via e-mail over using the phone or using postal mail -- 43% cited e-mail as their communication method of choice, compared to 33% who chose the telephone and 17% who chose snail mail."

May 27, 2003 -- The Wall Street Journal has reported that "an antitrust tussle over who makes mail sacks for the U.S. Postal Service has been delivered to the U.S. Supreme Court. The justices indicated that they will accept the appeal and determine whether federal antitrust laws apply to the quasi-governmental Postal Service. The case began when Flamingo Industries, a maker of mail sacks, sued the Postal Service in California after it lost its sack contract. In the lawsuit, the company alleged that the Postal Service had violated antitrust laws in an effort to purchase cheaper sacks made in Mexico."

May 27, 2003 -- According to SwissInfo, "the Swiss Post Office is to lose its monopoly from 2004, when other companies will be allowed to deliver parcels. Two years later, competition will be extended to letters weighing over 100 grams, following a government decision to gradually open up the market to competition."

May 27, 2003 -- Be sure to check out the report from the Institute for the Future for the Presidential Commission on future mail volume scenarios."

May 27, 2003 -- Reuters has reported that "a federal judge on Tuesday said he would press ahead with deciding if DHL Airways is a U.S.-owned company, even as it moves toward new ownership and a new name -- Astar Air Cargo Inc. At a prehearing conference, DHL attorney Sandy Litvack said the purchase by an investment group led by DHL management, and due to close June 30, could make the proceedings moot. But Administrative Law Judge Ronnie Yoder said he was not inclined to change course because of the sale, although DHL could apply for a delay in the proceedings based on the sale."

May 27, 2003 -- The Mercury News has reported that "cargo carrier DHL Airways Inc. said Tuesday it will change its name to AStar Air Cargo Inc., another move to quash concerns about foreign participation in the airline."

May 27, 2003 -- If you haven't done so yet, be sure to check the Reuters has reported that "the European Commission on Tuesday approved a 1.5 billion pound contract for Computer Sciences Corp to take over the infromation technology services activities of Britain's state-owned Royal Mail Group. 'The operations at stake did not give rise to significant competition concerns,' the Commission said in a statement."

May 27, 2003 -- AllAfrica.com has reported that the "Postal Corporation of Kenya has effected management changes in parcel mail sorting offices, the Postmaster General, Dan Ameyo, said yesterday. He said the changes are meant to improve efficiency, eliminate negligence and security lapses in the Corporation's parcel and mail centres."

May 27, 2003 -- DM News has reported that "with Civil Service Retirement System legislation signed into law, the U.S. Postal Service now is intensifying efforts to push its Product Redesign initiative."

May 27, 2003 -- SwissInfo has reported that "Swiss Post has announced plans to cut 2,500 jobs and drastically reduce the number of its mail processing centres. The proposed restructuring measures - deemed necessary to compete in a liberalised market - could affect 3,500 workers or six per cent of the workforce. Under the new plan the country's 18 mail sorting centres are to be closed and replaced by just three units."

May 27, 2003 -- The Washington Post has reported that "one way or another, Karla W. Corcoran, the U.S. Postal Service inspector general, is going to be out of her job next year. The question is whether she will leave on her own terms or be sent packing following allegations of mismanagement at her 750-person agency. Corcoran, the only IG the Postal Service has ever had, is the subject of congressional and executive branch investigations sparked by complaints about what current and former employees describe as her overbearing management style, questionable spending and unfair personnel decisions."

May 27, 2003 -- Logistics Management, "'f a package weighs less than one pound, it is generally best to send it via the U.S. Postal Service (USPS). Packages weighing more are usually best sent via an expedited carrier. The business rule should be: if it is under a pound, send it USPS." There are some who would disagree with this relatively simplistic advice.

May 26, 2003 -- Business Day (South Africa) has reported that "DHL, the express freight delivery unit of Deutsche Post, is to offer services in Iraq after the United Nations has lifted sanctions against the country."

May 26, 2003 -- As the Financial Post (Canada) has reported "the world is approaching one of those crossroads when governments have to make decisions that will affect people's lives for generations. Governments can take the road to greater liberalization of international trade for the good of all, or risk sliding back into a world governed by narrow and short-sighted protectionism and self-interest."

May 26, 2003 -- The Independent (U.K.) has reported that "proposals that allow rivals to use the Royal Mail's postal network would cost the business more than pounds 500m."

May 26, 2003 -- The New York Times has reported tyhat "according to Hans Peter Brondmo of Digital Impact, "eour e-mail is your identity, on the level with your name and phone number. The cost of e-mail is borne by the recipient, unlike with postal mail, where the cost is borne by the sender. Those are two reasons why I think unsolicited e-mail is not O.K."

May 25, 2003 -- According to the Ventura County Star, "if letters to the philatelic press are a good indication --and in this case, I think they are --the Postal Service is fumbling a chance to sell a lot of stamps that would never carry a letter."

May 25, 2003 -- The Polish News Bulletin has reported that "the Polish Parliament has adopted an amendment to the law on postal services, which will enable Poczta Polska (PP) to provide banking services: transfer of money, issue of payment cards and operations with such cards, as well as the issue of guarantees."

May 25, 2003 -- With tongue in cheek, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review asks: "Often uncertain over the correct location of a return address? Occasionally overwrought over where the stamp belongs on an envelope? You can emerge from the darkness, my friend. If you haven't already received it, chances are a primer for the postally challenged has an upcoming date with your mailbox. This 24-page booklet from the U.S. Postal Service contains not only everything you might want to know about mailing items. It contains everything you should already know about mailing them --unless you are a recent arrival from Irkutsk or perhaps a circus elephant. I always considered the act of mailing to be a routine and simple process. Judging from this guidebook, the postal service considers it a bewildering operation of intricate complexity. Which explains why an agency with a long history of financial difficulty increased its costs by mailing to hundreds of thousands of city residents an already conveniently available publication."

May 24, 2003 -- AME Info has reported that "Emirates Post and Bahrain Post today signed an agreement under which Emirates Post will install a state-of-the-art postal services automation system at post offices across Bahrain. The agreement was signed at the Ministry of Communications, Bahrain. Under the agreement, the postal services automation system will be implemented by Emirates Post through Point of Sales (POS) centres at different post offices which will automate all postal services at the counters and at the back office, and provide better customer service through track and trace facility."

May 24, 2003 -- The Financial Times has reported that "the Post Office is reconsidering its presence in the domestic telephony market just 14 months after launch, amid a fierce price war led by BT and The Carphone Warehouse. The company, part of Royal Mail Group, has begun a top-level rethink of its entire telecoms offering, to be overseen by Simon Carter, its recently appointed commercial marketing chief. Carter said the service had underperformed and the review would show whether there was a future for the Post Office brand in the telephony market." They must be taking lessons from the USPS. Deliver the mail! Just deliver the mail!

May 23, 2003 -- National Postal Mail Handlers Union members have ratified a two-year contract extension with the United States Postal Service. This action results in a 1.3 percent wage increase for approximately 58,000 postal employees effective November 27, 2004, and a 1.3 percent increase effective November 26, 2005.

May 23, 2003 -- ZDNet has reported that "tadio tags the size of a grain of sand could be embedded in the euro note if a reported deal between the European Central Bank (ECB) and Japanese electronics maker Hitachi is signed." So why not mail?

May 23, 2003 -- According to Forbes, online advertising is finally beginning to catch on. "Broadband is at 20% household penetration. Very low rates and video. That's the magic formula convincing traditional print and television advertisers to buy online. Widespread broadband adoption--19 million households in the U.S. alone have high-speed connections--allows advertisers to use video with confidence, often simply repurposing television creative. And the Internet is cheap. It costs about $5, on average, to reach 1,000 Internet users, versus $31 or so to broadcast the same message to a thousand households on prime-time network television."

May 23, 2003 -- For those who are interested in some of the "side" issues that often affect postal policies around the world, a copy of a study done by the Brattle Group entitled "The Economic Impact of an EU-US Open Aviation Area" has been posted on this site.

May 23, 2003 -- Business Mailers Review has reported that:

Business Mailers Review is published biweekly by Sedgwick Publishing Co. This is one of the best postal newsletters you'll find published in this country. There's much more to each issue than the teaser you see here. For subscription information, be sure to contact the publisher. Better than that, check out BMR's latest offer to new subscribers.

May 23, 2003 -- As the Washington Post has noted, "citizenship is almost as important to an airline as it is to a person. An airline that does not meet the citizenship criteria in U.S. aviation regulations cannot haul freight or passengers between any two U.S. cities, and must have government permission to pick up or drop off freight or passengers at a single U.S. location in international service. The Transportation Department has denied previous protests by FedEx and United Parcel Service that rival DHL Airways does not fit the definition of a U.S. "citizen." What's at stake now -- and a key reason the question is being examined more urgently -- is that DHL Worldwide Express, which is owned by the German postal system Deutsche Post, wants to greatly expand its U.S. business by purchasing Seattle-based Airborne Inc., the third-largest U.S. package company, for $1.11 billion."

May 23, 2003 -- The agenda for the next meeting of the U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors has been published in the Federal Register.

May 23, 2003 -- The Mirror (U.K.) has reported that "eighty thousand posties will get £20-a-week more to scrap the second delivery. They also stand to pocket a £1,000 one-off bonus if the move saves as much as bosses expect. But they will have to work longer shifts and will have bigger delivery rounds."

May 23, 2003 -- The Guardian (U.K.) has reported that "another Blairite senior official was defeated yesterday when an industrial militant won a top post in the 300,000-strong Communication Workers Union. Dave Ward unexpectedly beat loyalist John Keggie, a member of Labour's national executive committee, in an election dominated by threats from 30,000 London postal staff to walk out this summer."

May 23, 2003 -- The Times (U.K.) has reported that "the scale of Britain’s pensions crisis was thrown into sharp relief yesterday when two major employers, BT and the Royal Mail, revealed that they would pay hundreds of millions of pounds to plug deficits in their pension funds. The Institute of Actuaries, meanwhile, issued a warning at the annual conference of the National Association of Pension Funds in Glasgow that there is a £250 billion shortfall between the benefits promised by company pension schemes and actual assets."

May 23, 2003 -- WHIR (U.K.) has reported that "businesses that offer digital products or services over the Internet will have a new tax issue to worry about starting July 1, 2003. That's the day when a new directive from the European Union (EU) will come in to effect requiring non-EU companies that sell e-commerce and Internet services to pay Value Added Tax (VAT), which is levied on most European goods and services sold throughout Europe, on "digital" products or services sold to residents of EU member countries. The directive is applicable only to digital goods and services, and not to products delivered via traditional methods, as items sent by postal mail are already subject to VAT regulations."

May 23, 2003 -- The Independent (U.K.) has reported that "Royal Mail's hopes of putting its strife-torn industrial relations record behind it and returning to profit this year were dealt a blow yesterday after a key group of postal workers voted to strike over pay."

May 22, 2003 -- KBC Online (Kenya) has reported that "the Postal Corporation of Kenya-PCK is set to down size its workforce by about one thousand. Unlike the other two sister institutions, Telkom Kenya and the Communication Commission of Kenya, PCK had little to celebrate about. It had to grapple with numerous challenges. According to the Post Master General Dan Ameyo the main challenge included provision of postal services to unviable, un-served or under served remote areas of the country at affordable rates and competition from over 200 firms performing postal and courier related businesses."

May 22, 2003 -- The Financial Times has reported that "FedEx and United Parcel Service accused German postal operator, Deutsche Post, of further window-dressing its control of Miami-based DHL Airways ahead of pre-hearings on Tuesday at the Department of Transportation to determine the citizenship of DHL Airways."

May 22, 2003 -- Channel4News (U.K.) has reported that "Royal Mail aims to be back in profit this year, but warned that plans by the industry regulator Postcomm for rivals to use its delivery services are a potential threat."

May 22, 2003 -- Computerworld has reported that an e-mail marketer has told the Senate "that outlawing most commercial e-mail amounts to censorship and asked senators if they were planning to outlaw bulk postal mail as well. 'I'm told that there's a lot of cost factors in reading this e-mail,' Scelson said. 'When you read this e-mail, you go through and push 'delete.' But when you're at home [reading postal mail], you have to walk outside, take this junk mail out of the box, read this junk mail. Have you thought about how much chemicals, pollution and trees that are involved with this? And then you've got to throw it away.'" Anyone that stupid, deserves what he gets.

May 22, 2003 -- Universal Express, Inc. has announced that effective August 30, 2003, its subsidiary, Private Postal Network, Inc., will be known as WorldPost(TM). The WorldPost Network of over 9,000 independently owned and operated private postal stores will continue its mission of improving cash flows and building national recognition for members of its private postal system.

May 22, 2003 -- Well, says postal commentator Gene Del Polito, someone somewhere finally stumbed onto the bone-head idea of creating a state "do not mail" list.

Oh my heavens....

May 22, 2003 -- The Postal Service has published in the Federal Register a proposal "to amend current mailing standards in the Domestic Mail Manual (DMM) that would permit mailers to mail irregular-shaped and nonrectangular-shaped Regular Standard Mail and Nonprofit Standard Mail pieces, including pieces that are \1/4\ inch thick or less. Such pieces would be limited to the nonletter basic rate categories in the Standard Mail Regular and Nonprofit subclasses." Public comments are being solicited and should be submitted on or before June 5, 2003. Mail or deliver written comments to the Manager, Mailing Standards, ATTN: Neil Berger, U.S. Postal Service, 1735 N. Lynn Street, Room 3025, Arlington, VA 22209-6038.

May 22, 2003 -- Roanoke Technology Corp. has completed development and testing of an additional software module for its RTCHosting E-Commerce system that manages drop shippers and integrates with the United States Postal Service Web Tools API for shipping and tracking of packages.

May 22, 2003 -- The Washington Post has reported that "five deaf postal workers have filed a class-action lawsuit in Washington demanding that the U.S. Postal Service provide qualified sign language interpreters during work meetings at facilities nationwide. The 28-page lawsuit, filed last week in U.S. District Court, says the U.S. Postal Service has ignored numerous requests over the years to provide interpreters, a problem that "was exacerbated by the anthrax crisis" in 2001 when some hard-of-hearing workers at the Brentwood facility in Northeast Washington had difficulty grasping the life-and-death issues. There are more than 2,400 deaf and hard-of-hearing postal workers nationwide."

May 22, 2003 -- The human resources consulting firm Watson Wyatt & Co. plans to conduct “focus groups” with USPS employees to gauge their feelings about an incentive compensation program. Chris Hamilton, a representative of the consulting firm, said they were hired last week and have to present their report next week. They plan to interview groups of eight-to-10 clerks, drivers, mail handlers, or supervisors. American Postal Workers Union President Burrus was adamant in his rejection of such an endeavor. "The commission is seeking to pierce our bargaining process by asking questions about one component of contract negotiations," he told Hamilton. "To go directly to our members to discuss wages is totally inappropriate."

May 22, 2003 -- Bloomberg has reported that "BT Group Plc, the former U.K. phone monopoly, and five other British companies posted a combined deficit of 12 billion pounds ($19.6 billion) in their pension funds after slumping stocks reduced the value of investments. BT said its shortfall widened almost five times to 6.3 billion pounds, the largest reported by any U.K. company. State-owned postal service Royal Mail Group Plc said its gap was 4.6 billion pounds, the second-biggest shortfall."

May 22, 2003 -- According to Agence France Presse, "Deutsche Post, the semi-privatised German postal authority, said it would sell its controversial 25-percent voting stake in the US air freight company DHL Airways after US rivals argued the shareholding contravened US law. The deal is likely to make it harder for two rivals, United Parcel and FedEx, to show that DHL Airways is indirectly controlled by Deutsche Post, which would violate US law limiting ownership or control of US airlines by foreign entities."

May 22, 2003 -- U.TV (U.K.) has reported that "the Royal Mail halved its losses last year to £611 million and aims to return to profit after postal workers ''stopped the rot.'' See also the BBC.

May 22, 2003 -- According to the Washington Post, "Deborah Willhite, a Democratic operative and formerly the top lobbyist at the U.S. Postal Service until she quit late last year, has joined FieldWorks, a grass-roots strategies consulting firm, as a partner."

May 22, 2003 -- Rep. Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY), along with 45 original co-sponsors, introduced a resolution expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that the United States Postal Service (USPS) Stamp Advisory Committee should issue a stamp to raise awareness about the plight of missing and exploited children. According to a recent Zogby International poll of 1,401 adults, more than two-in-three Americans (68%) say the USPS Stamp Advisory Committee should issue a stamp raising awareness about the plight of missing and exploited children.

May 22, 2003 -- Euractiv has reported that "on 21 May, the [European] Commission released its consultative Green Paper on services of general interest. The document, which aims to tackle services in the 'economic' and 'non-economic' sectors alike, bases most of its conclusions on the premise that liberalisation - i.e., the opening up of the EU's broad markets to competition - has the potential to exert a positive influence on the quality and price of the services, and also on the job market. A key underlying question is whether such services should be state-run or privatised."

May 22, 2003 -- A coalition of mailers (including PostCom) has written to the President's Commmission on the Postal Service to note that "the Commission website reports that several private meetings have taken place between individual Commissioners and businesses, and their association representatives, that compete with the Postal Service. The headline summary for one of these meetings describes the association's concern as 'the subsidy for third class advertising mail by first class mail revenue' —a factually untrue statement.'"

May 22, 2003 -- DHL Airways has announced that a U.S. investor group, led by its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer John Dasburg, has reached an agreement to purchase all of the outstanding shares of DHL Airways, Inc. Dasburg said that the transaction will further solidify the airline's U.S. control and management, while putting the company on a new path toward becoming a global air cargo leader. The name of the company will be changed in the near future. The other members of the investment group are Richard C. Blum, Chairman of San Francisco-based Blum Capital Partners, L.P., a leading private equity firm, and Michael R. Klein, a Washington, D.C. business executive and lawyer who is co-founder and Chairman of the Board of Directors of CoStar Group, Inc. According to Dasburg, the company will continue to focus on what has been its core business -"wholesale" overnight "small package" business - while at the same time looking for attractive opportunities to expand its charter, Department of Defense, and Postal Service business.

May 22, 2003 -- Hugin (Sweden) has reported that according to Bertil Nilsson, head of Posten Production, "mail volume has steadily declined since the mid-1990s. Today, the mail terminals are beset by overcapacity. Against the backdrop of Posten's current financial situation, coupled with expectations of a continuing drop in mail volume, action must be taken to control costs." 

May 22, 2003 -- KBC Online (Kenya) has reported that "Kenya's postal/courier market is worth KShs4.14 billion and is projected to reach KShs 30 billion in the next five years. A postal market study concluded last December has revealed that there are over 200 firms performing postal/courier related businesses, and the number is still growing. The study, which was carried out on behalf of the Commission by Strategic Business Options Limited, suggests the market should be left to determine the optimum number of players, as is the practice in other countries."

May 22, 2003 -- According to Hoover's , UPS CEO Mike Eskew says "UPS' long-term goal is to create entirely new industries. By offering global supply-chain services for small businesses, the company hopes to eliminate trade barriers and greatly increase the quantity and variety of domestic and international shipments. UPS wants to be at the center of each transaction."

May 22, 2003 -- Malta Business Weekly has reported that:

May 21, 2003 -- The Associated Press has reported that "the Swedish postal service, Posten, said Wednesday it will lay off 450 workers and close two mail processing centers because of a drop in the number of letters and parcels it sorts."

May 21, 2003 -- In a letter to the Executive Director of the President's Commission on the Postal Service, PostCom President Gene Del Polito said: 

The Postal Reorganization Act of 1970 strictly prohibits any cross-subsidy from one class of mail to another. In order for NAA's contentions [about First-Class to Standard Mail subsidies] to be true, that would mean that someone would have to declare that the Postal Rate Commission, the Governors of the Postal Service, and every federal appeals court who has even heard a postal rate dispute have egregiously violated federal law, and deserve to be hauled off to jail. Obviously, no one has ever done so, and no one in authority ever will. The reason is simple: THERE IS NO SUBSIDY OF STANDARD MAIL RATES BY FIRST-CLASS MAIL.

May 21, 2003 -- The President's Commission on the Postal Service will meet on Wednesday, May 28 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm Hart Senate Office Building Room SH-216 2nd and C Streets, NE Washington, DC and on Thursday, May 29 8:30 am – 12:30 pm Hart Senate Office Building Room SH-216 2nd and C Streets, NE Washington, DC. The meetings are open to the public.

May 21, 2003 -- The Korea Times has reported that "DHL, one of the world's largest express companies, said yesterday that its Korean affiliate will deliver emergency medicine and aid cargo prepared by Korean Red Cross to Iraq free of charge."

May 21, 2003 -- The Guardian (U.K.) has reported that "plans for the world's most advanced automated international mail sorting office near Heathrow airport have spiralled out of control and behind schedule, as the loss-making Royal Mail prepares to announce another year of £200m in the red."

May 21, 2003 -- The Washington Post has reported that "Microsoft Corp. is proposing a new legislative approach to battling junk e-mail, hoping to bridge a widening gap between various industry and consumer groups that threatens to bog down congressional efforts to eradicate spam. The company is also pushing for an electronic seal-of-approval system for all e-mail marketing, to ensure that legitimate marketers meet high standards and to help consumers weed out unsavory or unwanted spam. Under the company's plan, unsolicited commercial e-mail would have to be labeled with "ADV" -- short for advertisement, a system used in some states and proposed in a bill by Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.)"

May 21, 2003 -- As the "Skeptic" has written for Dow Jones, "don't expect U.K. Mail, the Business Post (U.BPG) subsidiary that's one of several companies set to compete in the U.K. postal market, to collect letters in vans painted the familiar Royal Mail red. Not that anyone has anything against the color, of course - it's just that red's usually signifies losses. Which, of course, makes it the perfect color for Royal Mail vans, as the company fights to stem recent big losses."

May 21, 2003 -- The Scotsman (U.K.) has reported that "parcels group Business Post has delivered a 7 per cent rise in profits despite 'frustratingly slow' progress in setting up its rival to the Royal Mail. As part of the deregulation of the postal industry, the group has set up UK Mail, a service to collect and carry out initial sorting on mail from business customers."

May 21, 2003 -- The Telegraph (India) has reported that "the Indian postal department seems to have ensured equality for all, but not in a manner the founding-fathers of the Constitution had envisaged. A ‘speed post’ from the President of India warmed a Calcutta speed-post counter for more than 72 hours and, ultimately, reached its destination, Bhabani Bhavan, six days after it was mailed from the Rashtrapati Bhavan post office in New Delhi.The result: a function organised by the West Bengal Minorities’ Commission, an integral part of the system that has the President of India at its apex, was forced to do without the most important message — that from A.P.J. Abdul Kalam — last Friday."

May 21, 2003 -- The New York Times has reported that "the FedEx Corporation announced today that it planned to replace 30,000 of its delivery trucks with energy-saving, environmentally friendly hybrid-powered vehicles. The company said that it had already purchased 20 such trucks to begin building what would be one of the first big commercial fleets of hybrid vehicles. The new trucks — powered by both diesel engines and electric motors in a mix controlled by onboard computers — will be introduced over the next several months in four American cities."

May 21, 2003 -- Euract iv has reported that the European "Commission is set to release its consultative Green Paper on services of general interest on 21 May. 'Services of general interest' is a broad term that covers market services such as transport, energy, communication and postal services, as well as 'non-economic' services like health and education. The document, which aims to tackle services in the 'economic' and 'non-economic' sectors alike, bases most of its conclusions on the premise that liberalisation - i.e., the opening up of the EU's broad markets to competition - has the potential to exert a positive influence on the quality and price of the services, and also on the job market. A key underlying question is whether such services should be state-run or privatised."

May 21, 2003 -- PostCom has learned that the President's Commission on the Postal Service may hold several public meetings during the month of July at which issues may be discussed and decisions made. If this is true, mailers may not have to wait until the final report is released before knowing some of the substance of the Commission's recommendations.

May 21, 2003 -- Earlier, we had posted a link to a "draft" postal reform bill ostensibly developed under Sen. Thomas Carper's (D-DE) auspices. At the request of his staff, the link to that draft has been removed. PostCom has been told, however, that a link to essentially the same proposed language is available on Rep. John McHugh's web site. So...here's the link: http://www.house.gov/mchugh/hot_link_postal_reform_bill.htm

May 20, 2003 -- Federal Computer Week has reported that "the U.S. Postal Service has extended a contract for its Web-based reporting system, which gathers information from 60 USPS systems and presents it in a single interface for employees. The contract, announced today by Washington, D.C.-based Conquest Systems Inc., is incrementally funded and could reach a value of $10.1 million over five years."

May 20, 2003 -- In a piece published by the Providence Journal, Max Pappas of the Lexington Institute has written that "as the President's Commission on the U.S. Postal Service desperately seeks a way to stop the agency's financial nosedive, it ought to reach out and grab the hand brake of privatization. If it forgoes the privatization-solution, the commission is left with only fire-break reforms -- they won't cause the necessary long-term changes that powerful market forces would bring. As many other countries have realized, taking away a post office's monopoly and turning it into a real business is the most effective option available."

May 20, 2003 -- According to PC Magazine, "the e-postage survivors are focusing on small offices rather than trying to force alternatives on fairly efficient medium- and large-business mailrooms. The players include Stamps.com, which in 2001 bought and promptly submerged the E-Stamps.com name; Endicia Internet Postage (www.endicia.com); and to a lesser extent traditional mailroom helpers Pitney Bowes (www.pb.com) and Neopost (www.simplypostage.com). Much of their success comes from aggressive eBay sellers who ship many items each day, hate to stand in line at the post office, and yet aren't big enough to wring significant discounts from air express couriers."

May 20, 2003 -- The Western Mail (U.K.) has reported that "the Royal Mail was considering last night whether to mount a legal challenge to plans for it to deliver letters for rival firms for 11.5p." See also the Financial TimesThe Regulatory News Service, The Guardian, and the Evening Telgraph.

May 20, 2003 -- The Evening Telegraph (U.K.) has reported that "the Telecommunications Council of the EU, mainly postal and telecoms ministers from member countries, is meeting today to agree a Community-wide plan for the liberalisation of delivery services. Walking wounded: The Royal Mail is under pressure from all sides It is expected to restrict the monopoly power of the current state postal organisations in most countries. Sweden has liberalised already and the UK and Finland have started introducing a system of licences; the rest are still tightly controlled. Partly as a result of that, the British Post Office is getting hammered from every side. At one end, Consignia - as it now prefers to be known - is still battling some of the last entrenched unions and the resulting intermittent strikes."

May 20, 2003 -- KeralaNext (India) has reported that "Kerala circle of the Indian postal department has emerged as the leader in the country by conducting 250 million worth of international money transfer transactions during the last year, Chief Post Master General KNK Karthiyani said here yesterday. Karthiyani said at a press conference that the instant and hassle free transaction of money had made post offices popular in the State as people received money within minutes after the sender remitting it from abroad."

May 20, 2003 -- According to Japan Today, "a hotel in Kagawa Prefecture, where a SARS-infected Taiwanese doctor stayed, has stopped receiving mail because a local post office halted the service fearing the disease."

May 20, 2003 -- The Kyodo News Service has reported that:

May 20, 2003 -- According to the Associated Press, "the November 2001 death of an elderly Connecticut woman from inhalation anthrax has prompted experts to suggest that postal facilities initially deemed safe may have to be retested with better equipment."

May 20, 2003 -- As the Ass ociated Press has reported, "a fresh wave of anger over government pension reforms swept across France as more than 300,000 protesters marched and striking teachers prevented students from taking part of their high-school graduation exams. About 335,000 people - including teachers, state-owned France Telecom employees, train workers, tax collectors, postal workers, hospital staff and police officers - marched nationwide."

May 20, 2003 -- Deutsche Post maintains that "DHL Worldwide Express Does Not Compete Unfairly in the U.S. Parcel and Express Delivery Market." A copy of a communication being made available to interested parties on Capitol Hill has been posted on this site.

May 20, 2003 -- The DMA's international affairs vice president Charles Prescott asks: "Do You Know Where Your Mail Is?"

May 20, 2003 -- The Associated Press has reported that "DLH Inc. will provide its patented first-aid kits to U.S. Postal Service facilities, offices and vehicles. Up to 44,000 facilities and offices will purchase the 'On the Job' version of the Intelligent First Aid Kit, while 250,000 vehicles are to carry the smaller 'On the Move' version. Each kit has slots which hold individual, labeled and color-coded packets for the most common medical emergencies. Each sealed packet contains every item needed to treat that condition, plus illustrated instructions. The contract could be worth as much as $10 million."

May 20, 2003 -- Forbes has reported that "Northrop Grumman Corp. was awarded a U.S. Postal Service contract worth about $175 million to detect potential biological threats in the mail, Cepheid, which makes some of the technology used in the detection systems."

May 20, 2003 -- According to Dow Jones, "TPG NV (TP) will book EUR160 million to EUR170 million in new sales from a joint venture it announced Friday with fellow logistics company Arvil to manage all Fiat Auto's logistic activities within Italy."

May 20, 2003 -- Expansion (Spain) has reported that "Swiss Post, the Swiss national postal operator, is to set up operations in Spain with the eventual aim of making the country its springboard into Latin America. The Swiss company, which is already present in the UK, Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, the US and Italy, plans to use the franchise model to grow in the country. With this in mind, it has already signed a deal with ABC Mail for this company to become the master franchise of operations in Spain. ABC Mail is owned 85 per cent by the Netherlands's Allied Business and 15 per cent by the businessman Damian Rios, who has also been appointed general manager of the Spanish subsidiary."

May 20, 2003 -- Sunderland Today (U.K.) has reported that "postal workers were today expected to join colleagues across the UK to stage a day of protest against what they claim is one their industry's most serious challenges. The Communication Workers' Union (CWU) says the Government's decision to transfer benefit and pension payments directly into bank accounts could cost post offices up to 40 per cent of their business - and threaten jobs."

May 20, 2003 -- The Independent (U.K.) has reported that "Royal Mail accused the postal regulator Postcomm of 'throwing a huge spanner in the works' after it ruled that the organisation must deliver letters for rival companies for as little as 11.5p compared with the 28p cost of a first class stamp. Allan Leighton, Royal Mail's chairman, said he was shocked at Postcomm's proposals and warned they could spell the destruction of the universal service guaranteeing deliveries to all addresses in the country for the same price."

May 20, 2003 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that:

 

May 19, 2003 -- Traffic World has reported that:

May 19, 2003 -- The Buffalo News has reported that "Michael Eskew, chief executive of the world's largest package delivery company, said he sees 'a new age of commerce,' coming in which 'it's easy to reach customers anywhere in the world.'"

May 19, 2003 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that "cargo, long a Cinderella to passengers, has become a bigger priority because of its multiplier effect in attracting industries and creating jobs. Cargo may be getting more play in airport planning but it still faces higher hurdles than the more glamorous passenger business, bearing the brunt of capacity restraints at many of Europe's congested airports and the ire of environmental activists campaigning against aircraft noise and night flights."

May 19, 2003 -- In an article for Federal Times, veteran postal observer Alan Robinson wrote: "Two recent reports highlight why timidity may create substantial risks. Global Insight’s report, 'Cost Analysis of the Non-Standardization of Mail Entry Standards Postal Processes and Operations,' estimated that savings of at least $13.5 billion over five years could come from a restructuring of the Postal Service’s network and operations. The Mailers Council report, 'Postal Service Productivity: Why the Current Business Model Increases Costs and Reduces Incentives for Improvements,' identified the constraints that have prevented and will continue to prevent the Postal Service from achieving those savings. These constraints include unfunded liabilities, the quasi-governmental business model, an aversion to labor restructuring, and the size of the Postal Service."

May 19, 2003 -- From home page to home site, the United States Postal Service eases Live With Regis and Kelly viewers into the chance of winning a $250,000 home. By using the USPS’ Premium Postcards service, contestants can design, print and mail multiple Home Giveaway Contest entries without ever leaving their existing home. To enter the contest online, viewers are navigated, step-by-step, through the show’s website at http://tvplex.go.com/buenavista/livewithregis. Identifying the Regis and Kelly-branded Premium Postcard, contestants complete the required information – including five responses to contest clues given throughout the show’s broadcast. For the low cost of 79 cents each, the U.S. Postal Service handles the printing and mailing of every postcard entry.

May 19, 2003 -- Postal Service employees have commented on Simple Formulas' popularity with business customers. Now the easy-to-read brochures that teach small businesses how to grow using Direct Mail have been translated into Spanish. Packed with information on designing successful mailpieces, building customer mailing lists, creating customer loyalty and developing a direct mail strategy, the brochures make excellent tools for training, open houses and presentations. To order Simple Formulas in English or Spanish, call 800-THE-USPS (800-843-8777). You also can check Simple Formulas out on the Web at http://www.usps.com/dire ctmail/sf/wel come2.htm.

May 19, 2003 -- Japan Today has reported that "thousands of people nationwide took part in examinations Sunday for administrative positions within Japan Post, the state-run corporation that was launched April 1 to overtake mail delivery, postal savings and insurance services from the government. While Japan Post is offering such jobs for only 50 slots, more than 15,000 sat for the exams held at 28 locations, including universities such as Meiji Gakuin University in Tokyo's Minato Ward."

May 19, 2003 -- The Nation (Kenya) has reported that "Nation Courier Service has entered the international express delivery league after formalising a partnership with TNT Express. The move enables the Nation Courier to deliver parcels all over the world as it enhances the presence of TNT Express in Kenya and East Africa."

May 19, 2003 -- Unison.ie (Ireland) has reported that "An Post is to press ahead with its controversial plan to provide 500,000 roadside letter boxes to customers around the country - despite a ruling by the Communications Regulator that the State postal company cannot compel people to take the letter boxes."

May 19, 2003 -- The Philippine Daily Inquirer has reported that "the country's labor sector is urging the government to put on hold all negotiations for the opening up of the services sector under the World Trade Organization in order to assess the liberalization's impact on local service industries. The group is particularly worried about the inclusion of postal service, water distribution and electricity transmission on the wish list of services sector forwarded by the European Union to the Philippine government."

May 19, 2003 -- Reuters has reported that "British mail firm Business Post Group Plc BPG.L said on Monday the UK's postal regulator had proposed that it should pay between 11.46 pence and 406p for access to state-owned operator Royal Mail's delivery services. Business Post said the arrangement would depend on the weight of the letter or package and the amount of work done by its UK Mail subsidiary. The regulator will decide whether or not to go ahead with the proposal at the end of a consultation period in August."

May 19, 2003 -- The Jamaica Observer has reported that "the new 14-member board of the Postal Corporation of Jamaica has immediately thrown its full support behind embattled postmaster-general (PMG), Blossom O'Meally-Nelson, in the lawsuit brought against her by Moore's Transport Services. Meeting for the first time last week, the board which was recently appointed by Commerce, Science and Technology Minister Phillip Paulwell, also made it clear it was backing O'Meally Nelson in existing tensions between trade unions and the PMG."

May 19, 2003 -- Bloomberg News has reported that "France was hit by strikes for the fourth day in seven as school, hospital and postal workers staged their own protest of the government's plans to change the state pension system."

May 19, 2003 -- Credit Management (U.K.) has reported that "the cost of a Royal Mail first class stamp looks set to rise by at least 5p to 33p under proposals by the European Commission (EC) which are likely to be implemented soon. Currently, national suppliers of postal services are exempt from VAT but the directive will mean the UK will be forced to charge VAT on all postal services which will hit small, non VAT registered businesses the hardest, says accountants and business advisors PKF. The additional VAT charge will increase costs for private individuals and small business people as well as businesses such as banks, insurance companies and educational establishments which cannot recover all the VAT they incur. Charities will also suffer, as the VAT charge will add to an already heavy burden of irrecoverable VAT."

May 19, 2003 -- The U.S. Postal Service now offers USPS Online Payment Services Business Edition, an online bill paying service that it said lets business customers simplify their fiscal transactions. Business Edition, launched this month, lets usps.com business users make bill payments electronically to those they would ordinarily send checks. It is the business version of USPS' eBillpay service, the agency's electronic bill payment service begun in April 2000.

May 19, 2003 -- The Independent (U.K.) has reported that British "postal regulator Postcomm will today unveil the terms on which Royal Mail must give competitors access to its local delivery network and the price they will have to pay. The level of "access pricing" indicates how successful the Government is in its efforts to liberalise Britain's £20bn-a-year postal market. Postcomm's document will contain recommendations on how much Royal Mail will be allowed to charge Business Post's UK Mail for use of its 170,000 postmen and women, 1,400 local delivery offices and 73 mail sorting centres."

May 17, 2003 -- Le Figaro (France) has reported that "La Poste, the French national postal services group, yesterday presented planned changes to its courier activity, which represents 59 per cent of its total revenue, despite ongoing industrial action by employees. The group is determined to modernise now in anticipation of the deregulation of European courier services, which is expected to be complete by 2009, and future competition from its counterparts, particularly in Germany and the Netherlands."

May 17, 2003 -- Les Echos (France) has reported that "the postal charges for newspapers are to increase in France by 3.7 per cent from June 1. French newspaper publishers and the French post office, La Poste, are in talks to define the terms of their new agreement."

May 17, 2003 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that "the administrative law judge overseeing the controversial DHL Airways citizenship case has scheduled a pre-hearing conference for May 27. Ronnie L. Yoder, the Department of Transportation's chief administrative law judge, has to issue a recommended decision by Oct. 31." 

May 17, 2003 -- The Postal Service's Chief Marketing Officer has responded to MTAC concerns that mail redesign may not be proceeding at sufficient speed.

May 16, 2003 -- According to the Associated Press, "Italian postmen won't be ringing today. Postal unions representing 160,000 workers have scheduled a daylong strike to demand a new contract to replace one that expired 16 months ago, the ANSA news agency reported. Post offices were scheduled to be closed, curbing nearly all postal services _ including payment of pensions, ANSA said. The agency quoted union officials as demanding wage increases that are at least in line with inflation."

May 16, 2003 -- The Financial Times has reported that "TPG N.V. with its two brands TNT and Royal TPG Post, a global provider of mail, express and logistics services, announced it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the State Post Bureau of China (China Post), which will provide the foundation for a broad strategic partnership. With a background of successful past cooperation between China Post and TPG, the two companies are expected to expand their working links and build closer ties, as well as to initiate joint efforts in exploring global markets."

May 16, 2003 -- Tables that set forth information showing the change in revenue, average daily package volume and average revenue per piece for United Parcel Service (UPS), both in dollars or amounts and in percentage terms have been posted on the web by Yahoo! Finance.

May 16, 2003 -- The Detroit Free Press has reported that "some Detroit-area residents will soon have their packages and letters delivered by prototype hydrogen-powered vehicles. Beginning in November, United Parcel Service Inc. will operate a small fleet of fuel cell-powered vehicles on daily runs to test the experimental power source's performance during heavy stop-and-go driving in a busy metropolitan area."

May 16, 2003 -- The Associated Press has reported that "the government wants passenger airlines flying out of most major airports to carry U.S. mail packages weighing one-pound and heavier in their cargo holds by the end of the year. U.S. Postal Service mail heavier than 16 ounces was banned on passenger airlines after the Sept. 11, 2001 hijackings because of fears they would contain explosives. Since November, airliners have been able to carry heavier packages out of some airports after being screened by bomb-sniffing dogs under a pilot program run by the Transportation Security Administration."

May 16, 2003 -- According to Arutz Sheva (Israel), "Postal service is halted as the strike [of public workers] continues. Post offices are now closed as a result but agents of the Postal Authority are continuing to operate. That means certain Postal Authority satellite branches are operating but post offices are closed and there is no mail delivery at this time."

May 16, 2003 -- DMNews has reported that "the U.S. Postal Service begins a study this month designed to improve the agency's understanding of printing, barcode and mail preparation technology used by the mailing industry. The study ties in with the postal service's announcement earlier this year that it would consider a "one code vision" in which one standardized code would link to a suite of services, including mail processing sortation, address change services, postage payments and certified mail services."

May 16, 2003 -- CNET has reported that "federal and state law enforcement agencies pledged to take an aggressive new approach to fighting spam: identifying "open relay" mail servers that serve as conduits for massive quantities of junk e-mail. At an event in Dallas on Thursday, representatives of the agencies said they--in tandem with officials from Australia, Canada and Japan--had sent letters to operators of over 1,000 e-mail servers around the globe warning that an open relay 'creates problems for consumers worldwide, for law enforcement and for your organization.' Other organizations involved include the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the offices of three U.S. Attorneys and four state attorneys general."

May 15, 2003 -- The Postal Rate Commission has issued its opinion and recommended decision on the Postal Service's proposed negotiated service agreement with Capital One. In a nutshell, the PRC said that it  "recommends that the United States Postal Service enter into a three-year Negotiated Service Agreement (NSA) with Capital One Services, Inc., the nation's largest user of First-Class Mail. Under this agreement, for the next three years Capital One will receive discounts of 3 - 6 cents per piece for annual First-Class bulk volumes exceeding 1.225 billion pieces. As part of the NSA, the Postal Service will avoid the costly return of undeliverable Capital One First-Class solicitations." Check the PRC's press release on this matter.

May 15, 2003 -- An executive summary of the minutes of the May meeting of the USPS' Mailers Technical Advisory Committee has been posted on this site.

May 15, 2003 -- "If postal reform proceeds incrementally in the form of an improved government agency, what policy changes must be adopted for the Postal Service," so asks American Enterprise Institute scholar Gregory Sidak.  In his paper, he identifies "two broad goals for postal reform. The first is to define the Postal Service’s mission in terms of remedying conditions of market failure. This goal encompasses universal service, quality of service, and reasonableness of rates. The second broad goal is to avoid competitive distortions through the pricing and product offerings of the Postal Service. This goal entails avoiding government production in markets that are or can be served satisfactorily by private firms, as well as avoiding discrimination among mailers and among competitors in secondary markets. He then presents specific recommendations that will advance these two broad goals if the Postal Service remains an agency of the federal government. Those recommendations encompass costing, universal service, rate design and mail classification, the postal monopoly, and market entry and exit."

May 15, 2003 -- As the Lexington Institute has noted in one of its latest issue briefs, "There are troubling signs in the Service's most recent public financial data (covering the period from February 22 to March 21) that seem to show that Postal Service productivity is slipping backward once again."

May 15, 2003 -- Those who follow such things probably have noted that newspaper industry representatives have been busy little bees peddling their propaganda to just about any Presidential Commissioner who's willing to listen that First-Class Mail is forced to "subsidize" Standard Mail rates. Of course, if this were true, the U.S. Department of Justice would have had to haul into the Supreme Court everyone who has had anything to do with setting postal rates (the Board of Governors of the USPS, the Postal Rate Commission, and the federal appeals court judges who have heard postal disputes) for violating the Postal Reorganization Act's prohibition against cross-subsidies. But, heck, newspapers have never let "facts" get in the way. What, then, is behind all this clap-trap? According to Advertising Age (May 12, 2003), newspaper circulation figures continue to fall as Americans turn to other media for their news. Bummer...another monopoly biting the dust.

May 15, 2003 -- The Ellesmere Port Pioneer (U.K.) has reported that "a postal service watchdog body is investigating all 35 cases of mail mayhem reported to the Pioneer by its readers. The Pioneer has forwarded a catalogue of complaints about badly delivered and missing post to the (U.K.'s) independent Postwatch organisation."

May 15, 2003 -- Meli ssa Data, a provider of data quality software and services, today announced the release of Contact Zone for ACT!(R) Contact Zone checks the validity of addresses and phone numbers and provides data correction directly to ACT! records over the Internet.

May 15, 2003 -- The Great Falls Tribune has reported that "starting June 2, some mail that used to be routed through the Electric City will land directly in Billings, where it will be sorted at the state's main mail processing center. It's a move U.S. Postal Service officials say will improve service and efficiency for all Montana customers, but local officials and business people aren't convinced."

May 15, 2003 -- ZDNet has reported that "start-up E Ink and Dutch giant Philips Electronics plan to showcase working prototypes of "electronic paper" at a U.S. trade show this week. The engineering samples have been developed using components likely to be in the shipping model, according to Cambridge, Mass.-based E Ink. In addition, the panels will feature a pixel resolution higher than anything previously shown."

May 15, 2003 -- Government Computer News has reported that "The Postal Service expects to save up to $137 million over a decade with an integrated customer care management network that it plans to complete by the end of next year, a USPS project manager said yesterday. The new system consolidates seven customer contact centers into two and provides a toll-free, one-stop number for all postal information."

May 15, 2003 -- DM News has reported that "Stamps.com offers a new shipping capability called Hidden Postage that lets its PC Postage customers print a shipping label that does not contain the cost of the postage, the company announced this week. It is designed to reduce complaints from customers who might object to shipping and handling charges after seeing the postage."

May 15, 2003 -- The Irish Examiner (Ireland) has reported that "An Post insists it will not abandon plans to issue roadside letter boxes to rural customers despite the opposition of the communications regulator. The postal company said the cost-saving proposal "remains on the table" and warned if it didn't go ahead, the only alternative would be a price hike for services in rural areas. Such a move would create an unprecedented two-tier pricing structure for domestic mail, with city and country dwellers being charged differently for the same service."

May 15, 2003 -- The Business Report (South Africa) has reported that "the SA Post Office said yesterday it would accept help from any international postal agency as it sought to become financially viable by 2005, when government subsidies were scheduled to come to an end. But chief executive Maanda Manyatshe said assistance would only be accepted provided it was not along the lines of the failed strategic management partnership experiment with New Zealand Post. The Post Office is being restructured as part of a wider government programme to streamline state enterprises and make them attractive to investors."

May 15, 2003 -- The Sun Sentinel has reported that " A new security measure introduced at Miami International Airport will return mailed packages to the cargo holds of commercial airlines -- a valuable business the air carriers lost after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The Transportation Security Administration has chosen Miami as the site of a test program that uses specially trained dogs to detect explosive material that may be hidden in the mail."

May 15, 2003 -- Online. ie (Ireland) has reported that "a former ESB executive looks set to take over the helm at An Post after the postal company entered exclusive negotiations. Donal Curtin was managing director of ESB International Investments until last year, when he quit after failing to win the chief executive's post there. He made the final shortlist for the ESB post but lost to the company's commercial director, Padraig McManus. Curtin also faced stiff competition for the top position at An Post and news that he has entered exclusive negotiations follows speculation that internal candidate Eamonn Ryan would be appointed."

May 15, 2003 -- Japan Today has reported that "Japan Post said Wednesday the amount of postal mail accepted in fiscal 2002, which ended March 31, stood at 26.18 billion items, down 2.0% from the previous year and marking the first decline in eight years. The number of letters posted fell 2.6% to 12.84 billion, which Japan Post attributed to the spread of email, but there was a slight increase of 0.8% for postcards at 7.81 billion."

May 15, 2003 -- The following have been selected as the 2003 World Mail Award winners: INTERNET COMMERCE - Canada Post, for its Online Business Centre; ENTERPRISE - Correos de Cost Rica, for its transformation and branding; INNOVATION - Posten Sverige AB, for its handwritten digital postcards using Anoto technology; MARKETING CAMPAIGN OF THE YEAR - Deutsche Post, for its marketing campaign aimed at the Turkish ethnic community in Germany; TECHNOLOGY - Bearbox, for its intelligent consumer delivery boxes; SECURITY - Special Mail Services Ltd., for its Fraud Forum; CUSTOMER SERVICE (Sponsored by Innovapost) - Australia Post, for its customer bar-coding; AIRMAIL CARRIER OF THE YEAR - KLM; INDUSTRY LEADERSHIP - Dr. Klaus Zumwinkel.

May 14, 2003 -- The Edinburgh Evening News has reported that "EURO MP David Martin today warned that a plan to tax postal services would put the price of a first-class stamp up by 5p. He claimed the European Commission's latest VAT proposals were an attack on the public service postal operator. 'The Royal Mail are losing money now," he said. "They can't afford to pay British VAT at 17.5 per cent. There's no way they can do anything but pass the additional costs on to the consumer.'"

May 14, 2003 -- Dow Jones has reported that "the heads of two large trucking and transportation companies said Tuesday the economy remains flat and that it isn't showing any signs of improving or getting worse. Speaking at the Bear Stearns transportation conference in New York, which was Webcast, Roadway Corp. (ROAD, news) President and Chief Executive James D. Staley said the economy remains 'very flat' compared with the previous year in the company's view. There are no industries that stand out in terms of growing or shrinking more than others, he said."

May 14, 2003 -- Pitney Bowes Management Services Limited and Royal Mail have announced that it is joining forces to offer bespoke document management solutions to businesses. RMPB Ltd will combine the services of Royal Mail and PBMS UK to offer UK businesses 'Royal Mail Document Solutions,' a range of bespoke, outsourced document management services and mailroom operations. Royal Mail Document Solutions provides customers with a new level of integrated services, from 'Data to Doorstep' that increases service efficiencies, reduces costs and decreases customers' time and spend when dealing with several suppliers.

May 14, 2003 -- The Vanguard (Nigeria) has reported that "as the HIV/AIDS scourge begins to reach an alarming crescendo in Nigeria, the Nigerian Postal Services (NIPOST) has issued two denominations of postage stamps aimed at educating people on the dangers of the deadly epidemic. According to NIPOST, the reason for using the stamp technology for education on this destructible disease, was to match the spread of the disease with equal per centage tool of information to reach even the rural areas where the spread of the HIV/AIDS was beginning to gain much grounds."

May 14, 2003 -- Direct magazine has reported that "North Carolina has started auditing companies for sales tax it says is owed on postage."

May 14, 2003 -- DM News has reported that "postal reform could move ahead provided it receives strong backing from the White House, the chairman of the House of Representatives committee that includes oversight of the U.S. Postal Service told attendees yesterday at the Direct Marketing Association's 2003 Government Affairs Conference. Earlier yesterday, Sen. Susan Collins, R-ME, who chairs the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, discussed the importance of the CSRS legislation's passage but noted that the USPS still faces serious problems."

May 14, 2003 -- The Great Falls Tribune has reported that "Mail sorting will be on the agenda Wednesday when Electric City leaders and U.S. Postal Service officials meet to discuss an upcoming change in delivery. In August 2001, the U.S. Postal Service and FedEx formed an alliance, and the USPS became FedEx's largest customer in Montana. Today, Fed Ex transports mail across Big Sky Country. Currently, a FedEx plane lands in Great Falls, where much of the mail is loaded on to trucks destined for Billings, the site of Montana's main mail processing center. Mathison Postal Services, a trucking firm, has a $400,000 annual contract to transport the mail between the two cities. After sorting, the mail is loaded back on to postal vehicles or smaller aircraft and taken to its final destination, including some that comes back to Great Falls. Starting June 2, however, a FedEx plane will stop in Billings, where FedEx recently put in place the equipment needed to unload aircraft."

May 14, 2003 -- Haveeru Daily has reported that "Maldives Post Limited has established postal money order exchange services between Maldives and Japan."

May 14, 2003 -- RTE (Ireland) has reported that the Irish "Communications regulator ComReg says An Post cannot force people to have a letterbox installed in the grounds of their home. In a statement, ComReg said that while An Post could offer to provide such a letterbox, there was no obligation on consumers to accept it. ComReg also said An Post could not force people to avail of letterboxes some distance from their premises."

May 14, 2003 -- The Associated Press has reported that the U.S. Comptroller General has told Congress that "in an era of e-mail, cell phones and Palm Pilots, Walker questioned whether the Postal Service needs as many branches and other facilities as it did when stamped letters were the only way to send written messages from place to place."

May 13, 2003 -- According to the Wall Street Journal, "a high-stakes showdown between the world's three largest express-delivery operations depends on untangling a 34-year-old mystery: What is DHL?"

May 13, 2003 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that "the U.S. Department of Transportation announced Monday that it has set Oct. 31 as the deadline for the administrative law judge hearing the DHL Airways ownership case to reach a decision. Chief administrative law judge Ronnie L. Yoder had requested an extension until Nov. 24. The original DOT deadline was set at Sept. 2. The DOT said, 'A further extension would unreasonably extend a proceeding that, in the public interest, should be brought to closure without undue delay.'"

May 13, 2003 -- As Traffic World has noted, "Atlanta always has been a transportation town. After all, the city originally was called Terminus, as it was founded to be the southern terminus of the Western & Atlantic Railroad, established in the 1830s. Legend has it that a W&A engineer once said, 'Terminus will be a good location for one tavern, a blacksmith shop, a grocery store and nothing else.' Boy, was he wrong."

May 13, 2003 -- The Guardian (U.K.) has reported that "a pounds 4bn pension hole has been uncovered at Royal Mail which will alarm staff and government while forcing the cash-strapped management to consider pumping huge amounts into its retirement scheme. The problem will be revealed as early as next week on publication of its annual accounts and takes the gloss off a significant improvement in the state-owned company's overall financial position. The post office group is likely to report an operating loss of about pounds 230m for 2002-03 - the first 12 months of a three-year recovery plan - compared with a pounds 350m deficit in 2001-02. The black hole, one of the biggest ever revealed in a British business, has to be declared because of recent FRS17 accounting rules."

May 13, 2003 -- The Chicago Tribune has reported that "the U.S. Postal Service has published a book to help small-business owners effectively use the mail for marketing and distribution. "A Guide to Mailing for Businesses and Organizations" will take small-business owners through "a myriad of mailing standards that govern mail use and make it easier and more convenient for them to use mail to their advantage," a Postal Service news release said. The book goes through retail mailing services, discount or "bulk" mail and online mailing services. The book will be available nationwide this summer. Free copies will be available at larger post offices and at www.usps .com. A direct-mail promotion for the book will also be sent to 500,000 small businesses and non-profit groups.?

May 13, 2003 -- The Toronto Star has reported that "Cargo airline DHL Express has said it increasing its use of the Calgary airport and doubling its delivery speed with use of a turboprop instead of a 727 jet as part of a bigger emphasis in Canada."

May 13, 2003 -- U.S. Representative Charles Bass (R-NH02) has asked the United States Postal Service (USPS) to reissue one of two postal stamps that featured the Old Man of the Mountain.

May 13, 2003 -- The June 12, 2003 issue of USPS NewsLink has been posted on this site.

May 12, 2003 -- PostCom President Gene Del Polito is the recipient of this year's Mailcom "Franklin Award." The Franklin Award is given annually to mail industry professionals in recognition of their outstanding contributions to mail communications.

May 12, 2003 -- A paper commissioned by the President's Commission on the Postal Service entitled "Analysis of the U.S. Postal Service's Current Collective Bargaining Model and Possible Alternatives" is now available on the Commission web site.

May 12, 2003 -- The Independent Online (Malta) has reported that "Maltapost reached the agreement with FEXCO (Malta) Ltd and the first financial service which will be offered, at the Valletta post office, will be Western Union Money Transfer. A Maltapost spokesman said this service will strengthen the company's position in the money transfer field and will ensure that customers will be able to transfer and receive funds to and from practically anywhere around the world."

May 12, 2003 -- The Telegraph (U.K.) has reported that "Royal Mail, the loss-making postal carrier, could find over half the money it gains from putting up stamp prices disappearing straight into the black hole in its pension fund. Last week's penny increase in both first and second class stamps will raise a much-needed additional œ170m for the troubled group every year. However, the company is expected to release figures later this month showing that its pension shortfall is approaching œ4 billion."

May 11, 2003 -- IRIB News (Iran) has reported that "much of France will grind to a halt Tuesday as trade unions stage a show of strength against the centre-right government's programme of reforms for the country's creaking pensions system. Air travel and bus and train services are expected to be severely disrupted, strikes are planned by postal, telecommunications, gas and electricity workers and teachers, and more than a hundred demonstrations will take place across the country."

May 10, 2003 -- The Wall Street Journal has reported that "Airborne Inc. expects to begin seeking approval this month from the Department of Transportation for the spinoff of its airline unit, a key step in the proposed $1.1 billion acquisition of Airborne by Deutsche Post AG. In a Securities and Exchange Commission filing, the third-largest U.S. package-delivery company said DOT officials must decide whether the 116-plane airline still would meet federal airline-ownership rules after the transaction. Airborne reiterated that its takeover agreement is structured so that the DHL Worldwide Express BV unit of Deutsche Post still would be required to purchase Airborne, even if the DOT decides to ground the airline unit, called ABX Air Inc."

May 10, 2003 -- According to the Federal Times, American Postal Workers Union President William Burrus has "expressed concern in a recent interview over the delay in offering union members early retirement, which the union had negotiated in a December contract extension. The early outs had been scheduled to begin April 1, but the Office of Personnel Management has not yet given its approval. 'It appears the Postal Service is trying to change their commitment after the fact,' Burrus said. 'They want to limit [retirements] to geographical areas.'" See also the Burrus Update.

May 9, 2003 -- The BBC (U.K.) has reported that "a railway era is ending with the final journey of a travelling post office operating from Scotland. The last such train, on which Royal Mail workers process first-class mail, will pull out of Wishaw, near Glasgow, on Friday night, bound for Cardiff. The service is being stopped as a result of the Royal Mail's efficiency drive aimed at cutting its losses of more than 1m pounds a day."

May 9, 2003 -- ADVO, Inc. has announced that it has strengthened its management team with the addition of James Dahmus as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, effective May 28. In this role Dahmus will be responsible for oversight of ADVO's corporate finance functions, including general accounting, tax, investor and banking relations, and internal audit. He will report directly to Gary Mulloy, ADVO's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer."

May 9, 2003 -- Okay, it's time to register, if you intend on participating in the Industry-USPS Flats Summit slated to be held on July 15-16, 2003 at the Capital Hilton Hotel in Washington, DC. 

May 9, 2003 -- The May 9th issue of the Postal Service's NewsLink publication has been posted on this site.

May 9, 2003 -- Die Welt (Germany) has reported that "Deutscher Paketdienst (DPD), the German parcel forwarding specialist, intends to boost its express delivery services as part of its strategic alliance with US express delivery group Federal Express. The two companies signed a co-operation agreement last July. DPD is a subsidiary of Geopost, which is part of French postal service operator La Poste. Geopost, which operates worldwide."

May 9, 2003 -- The Asahi Shimbun has reported that "Japan Post wants to get into exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in a big way once it gets the go-ahead to sell them at post offices nationwide."

May 9, 2003 -- The Borneo Bulletin has reported that "the Postal Service Department held an 'Express Mail Service Customer Care Day' at its counter premium at the Mail Processing and Package Centre with the objective of interacting and showing appreciation to its customers particularly the contract customers. Express Mail Service (EMS) that has been established by the department to provide faster delivery services to foreign countries has the same quality with other delivery packages services provided by private courier companies to overseas. The types of items that are posted through this service include documents weighing below 30 kg; however, it depends on the contract weight limit between Brunei Darussalam and the designated countries."

May 9, 2003 -- Bloomberg has reported that "Japan's postal agency rejected calls from politicians to buy shares with its pension fund, saying the move would be at odds with government efforts to force banks to shed stock-market holdings. The postal system shouldn't buy shares 'just because the market is in bad shape,' Japan Post President Masaharu Ikuta said at a seminar in Tokyo. Such a move would be 'illogical' given that its stockholdings already stand at seven times its capital and amid a government push for banks to cut shareholdings by September 2004, he said."

May 9, 2003 -- The Southern Illinoisan has reported that "the U.S. Postal Service has memorialized Einar Dyhrkopp's nine years of service on the U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors by renaming the Shawneetown post office in his honor. His response: 'Hell, everybody I know who's gotten this honor has been dead!'"

May 9, 2003 -- Business Mailers Review has reported that:

Business Mailers Review is published biweekly by Sedgwick Publishing Co. This is one of the best postal newsletters you'll find published in this country. There's much more to each issue than the teaser you see here. For subscription information, be sure to contact the publisher. Check out the special offer to new subscribers.

May 9, 2003 -- BruneiDirect has noted that "while the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (Sars) has affected many sectors there are still some areas which benefited from the crisis. The Postal Services Department, for example, has recorded an increase in its services despite the sars situation. Postal services are now experiencing good revenues whilst aviation sector is experiencing a downturn. Today, the postal services department held an express mail services, E-M-S Customer Day to appreciate its customers especially contract customers. E-M-S provides business organisation and general public a safe, fast and efficient delivery service of letters, documents and packages to around 56 countries in the world including Asian, Asia Pacific, Europe and Middle East."

May 8, 2003 -- According to The Guardian (U.K.) "Mark Taber, along with hundreds of others, ordered items online from World of Shopping with an easy mind because it seemed to have been set up by Parcel Force and was promoted by Royal Mail. All the adverts gave the impression that customers would be dealing with Her Majesty's postal service. In February, however, World of Shopping ceased trading, but when Taber, who had not yet received his purchases, tried to get his money back, Royal Mail claimed it had nothing to do with the defunct company and never had had. "It appeared that Royal Mail Group was promoting World Of Shopping as a Royal Mail Group business, when, in reality, World of Shopping was a totally unrelated operation," says Taber. Royal Mail says it never owned World of Shopping (which has now been taken over by Altura). Instead, it licensed the real owners (Retail Futures Limited) to use certain of Parcelforce Worldwide's trademarks and domain names."

May 8, 2003 -- El Pais (Spain) Correos, the Spanish post office, registered a profit before tax of 82.7m euros in 2002, compared with 25.9m euros in 2001. Income grew 12.3 per cent."

May 8, 2003 -- SF Gate has reported that "a federal jury sided Wednesday with United Parcel Service in a discrimination lawsuit, ruling that seven Hispanic and black employees were fired for various disciplinary reasons, not race. The jurors deliberated less than an hour before ruling in favor of the Atlanta-based package delivery service.

May 8, 2003 -- According to The Scotsman, "Rowland Hill is credited with inventing the Penny Black and a universal one-penny rate. In fact, he only invented the idea of gum on the reverse. Thomas Chalmers of Arbroath operated a penny post the length of the east coast of Scotland. Hill was opposed to a uniform mail rate. He thought it unfair and unwise that urban should subsidise rural. The mail monopoly has to be understood as merely an expired tax. The Royal Mail was a source of prized revenues for centuries. That has long gone. Consignia plc, nothing to do with the monarchy, is a loss-making corporation plastered together by subsidies and the suppression of alternatives. The first beneficiary of an open mail market, oddly, would be the Post Office. Its fetid industrial relations and goofy economics would be blown away. The second beneficiary would be the rest of us. Business would boom. Hill’s 'lamentably inefficient' assessment could be the epitaph to an error."

May 8, 2003 -- Interfax (Europe) has reported that "the Hungarian Post has launched a program of modernization aimed at providing services at EU levels from next year, as well as improving efficiency and profitability at the company."

May 8, 2003 -- Kathimerini (Greece) has reported that "the Greek National Post and Telecommunication Commission (EETT) yesterday imposed a fine of 220,000 euros on the Greek Postal Service for inadequate service during the first six months of 2002. Only 48.69 percent of first class domestic mail was delivered within one working day as opposed to the 77 percent stipulated by the government, EETT said, adding that service fell short of delivering incoming mail from abroad within three days of it being posted."

May 8, 2003 -- According to the Yuma Sun, "the U.S. postal system does not have a reputation for cost-effectiveness or a competitive attitude, but perhaps that is changing. The post office announced a new contract system that will allow mail to be carried on airlines that provide the best service at the least cost. That is a change from the past when mail was divided up among all 54 airlines certified by the post office at a cost of about $370 million last year. Postal executive Paul Vogel said the new contracts are expected to not only improve service but be less costly because airlines will be competing to carry the mail."

May 8, 2003 -- According to PCWorld, "the CAN SPAM bill will end up hurting legitimate businesses far more than illegitimate ones. Aboveboard enterprises use bulk e-mail to contact customers. It's a cost-efficient and an important business tool. Look at what you get in your regular, physical mailbox (the one outside your house or apartment). It's filled with bulk mail. Some is useless and annoying, but other pieces are valuable—those department store coupons offering one-day, 15 percent discounts, for example. Many rules and regulations apply to snail mail, yet they manage to leave the door open for legitimate unsolicited mail. One of the key differences between physical bulk mail and the electronic version is that pornographic e-mail comes right alongside the innocuous life insurance offers. I would have to agree with legislators and others that this is just plain unacceptable. It's analogous to a Penthouse Magazine flyer (complete with graphic images) showing up, unsolicited, on your doorstep. Mailing laws prevent that from happening. So if postal mail laws work so well to control the kind of physical bulk mail you receive, why can't the US government apply the same template to spam?"

May 8, 2003 -- Canada Post International Ltd. (CPIL), postal consulting arm for Canada Post, recently assumed full responsibility for postal operations with its subsidiary, Nieuwe Post Nederlandse Antillen N.V. (NPNA). Postal and post banking services will be provided during a 20- year concession period for the people of five Caribbean islands in The Netherlands Antilles: Curaçao, Bonaire, St. Maarten, St. Eustatius and Saba.

May 8, 2003 -- Triangle Mail and Express News has reported that "Royal Mail has announced the secondment of John Modd, previously Managing Director of its International Services business, to Spring, the joint venture cross border mailing company established by Royal Mail, TPG and Singapore Post. Mr Modd took up the role of Vice President Strategy and Business Development on May 5 2003. Based at Spring’s Headquarters in Amsterdam, John will report direct to Spring’s CEO, Theo Jongsma."

May 8, 2003 -- Eyefortransport.com has reported that "Pony Express U.S.A., Inc. a business delivery solutions provider has appointed Juan D. Morales to the position of Chief People Officer. PonyExpress offers Florida businesses a variety of value-added and comprehensive delivery solutions with an emphasis on expedited next business day a.m. delivery for less cost. While at DHL Worldwide Express International, Mr. Morales was Vice President of Human Resources for the International Americas, functionally responsible for all Human Resource activity in 42 countries throughout the Western Hemisphere."

May 7, 2003 -- Commuter/Regional Airline News has reported that "regional air carriers came up short in the list of 18 airlines receiving major contracts from the U.S. Postal Service under the new contract-bidding program. Only four of the 18 contracts went to regional carriers, all of whom are located in San Juan, Puerto Rico. These 18 contracts do not include the major contract awarded to Federal Express last year. The four regionals receiving the contracts are Air Flamenco, Four Star Air Cargo, M&N Aviation and Roblex Aviation. All four serve the Caribbean out of Puerto Rico. All of the "Big Six" carriers - American, Continental, Delta, United, Northwest and US Airways - received contracts, although Delta and United combined to receive one contract. Remaining nine contracts went to ABX/Airborne, America West, American Trans Air, BAX Global, Frontier, JetBlue, Midwest Express, Southwest and Spirit Air. While the Postal Service only awarded 18 contracts, 34 carriers will be involved in fulfilling the contracts. A Postal Service spokesman told C/R News that the additional carriers will be flying as sub-contractors."

May 7, 2003 -- Reuters has reported that "Deutsche Post AG has published first-quarter earnings on Wednesday that solidly beat market expectations and boosted its shares with a 2003 outlook which analysts said left room for positive surprises. The German postal, express, logistics and banking group said it expected earnings before interest, tax and amortisation (EBITA) -- its key gauge of core earnings -- of at least 2.8 billion euros in 2003 after a solid start to the year."

May 7, 2003 -- According to RTE Interactive (Ireland), "a spokesman for An Post has warned that postage prices could rise by 21% following a proposal by the European Commission to apply VAT to national postal services, including stamps. If VAT is applied at the top rate the move could see the cost of a standard stamp rise from 41 cents to 49 cents, according to An Post. VAT applied at the lower rate of 13.5%, would see a standard stamp increase by between 5 and 6 cents."

May 7, 2003 -- Reuters has reported that "a federal judge is seeking a delay of nearly three months in a decision on whether DHL Airways meets the government's definition of a U.S.-owned company." Yup. This is Washington. Why render a decision when you can make a career out of it?

May 7, 2003 -- There will be a postal oversight hearing on Monday, May 19, at 1 p.m., in Rayburn 2247. The hearing will be held by the House Committee on Government Reform, Subcommittee on National Security, Emerging Threats and International Relations, chaired by Rep. Chris Shays (R-CT). The title of the hearing is "Stamping Out Anthrax in Postal Facilities, the Technologies and Protocols for Bioagent Detection."

May 6, 2003 -- Traffic World has reported that "FedEx Corp. now is offering a combination ocean-ground service that provides end-to-end visibility between Asia and the United States by leveraging its FedEx Freight, FedEx Ground and FedEx Trade Networks. FedEx claims that the new service, which will manage the ocean transportation leg as well as customs clearance and document preparation, has no direct competition."

May 6, 2003 -- KBC Online (Kenya) has reported that "Postal Corporation of Kenya has announced major changes in its management."

May 6, 2003 -- ABC's Barry Serafin has reported that "the job of the inspector general at the U.S. Postal Service is to root out waste, but the management practices of Inspector General Karla Corcoran have been wasteful and frequently just plain odd, a number of past and present employees."

May 6, 2003 -- Marines Online has asked: "Think you had a lot of mail built up the last time you returned from a two-week vacation? Picture a similar situation for the deployed Marines and sailors in Iraq, but multiply the amount of mail by about 25,000 times. The ten Postal Marines here at Camp Edson have delivered over 145 20-foot containers full of mail over the past three weeks in a massive effort to get packages and letters to the nearly 25,000 Marines they support in the 1st Marine Division and 1st Force Service Support Group throughout Iraq. If you laid out all the mail, it would fill an entire football field three feet deep and still rising."

May 6, 2003 -- According to Bloomberg, "Japan's ruling parties will ask the government to use more money from the postal savings and insurance systems to buy shares."

May 6, 2003 -- U.TV (U.K.) has reported that "the Royal Mail today signed a £1.5 billion contract to outsource computer work to private companies in a move aimed at saving the postal group £250 million over the next 10 years. More than 1,700 Royal Mail information technology staff will transfer to Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC), BT and Xansa, which will be responsible for running data centres, desktop computers and hundreds of business application systems." See also the report in The Times.

May 6, 2003 -- ChannelNewsAsia has reported that "Singapore Post's initial public offer, which closed on Tuesday, is likely to be hugely oversubscribed. The market will also be waiting to see if there are any strategic investors. Germany's Deutsche Post had been rumoured to be interested in a stake in SingPost. If Deutsche Post or another big postal agency snaps up a significant stake in SingPost, it will definitely help SingPost in its effort to internationalise."

May 6, 2003 -- The Daily Herald (Netherlands Antilles) has reported that "an important milestone was reached with yesterday's signing of the protocol between the Windward Island Civil Servants Union (WICSU) and Nieuwe Post NA/NV (NPNA), formerly Post NV. WICSU President Patricia Pantophlet was on hand for the signing and said, 'Although the negotiations were not smooth in the beginning, it is a pleasure to now say that we of WICSU have established a very strong working relationship with the company while securing employees' benefits.'"

May 6, 2003 -- Competitive Logistics LLC and LogicTools, Inc. have announced a partnership that will provide new options for companies looking to increase revenue and gain market share. Through this partnership Competitive Logistics, a full service Supply Chain Solutions company now has the opportunity to provide their customers with solutions that utilize LogicTools' full suite of network planning tools from infrastructure design through resource utilization to inventory positioning."

May 6, 2003 -- The Japan Times has reported that "Japan Post will try to improve its operations by creating 12 model post offices around the country so employees at its 24,000 outlets can learn about cost-cutting measures and improving productivity."

May 6, 2003 -- Online. ie has reported that "a proposal by the EU to slap VAT on postal services could lead to a sharp hike in the cost of postage stamps. Currently, national postal operators are exempt from VAT, but plans by the European Commission to change this could hit consumers' pockets. An Post said the proposal is at a very early stage, but has indicated that it is against the move." See also Business World.

May 6, 2003 -- From the British web site, Conservatives.com comes the following. "The cost of postage stamps could rise under proposals announced by the European Commission to apply VAT to all supplies of postal services, including stamps. Theresa Villiers MEP, Conservative Finance Spokesman in the European Parliament, said: 'VAT should not be extended to cover postal services. There is no need for this proposed EU tax increase. This would be another damaging blow to our hard pressed postal services. Conservatives are committed to defending VAT exemptions and zero rates - with sixty tax rises from Gordon Brown, we don't need more from the European Commission.'"

May 6, 2003 -- Other news from the Board of Governors meeting:

May 6, 2003 -- The U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors has announced that the USPS may soon be able to offer reduced rates for shippers participating in a new consumer-to-business parcel return service. The Postal Service Board of Governors, at its regular monthly meeting, authorized a filing with the Postal Rate Commission to seek an experimental classification for Parcel Return Services. The new service would apply to merchandise that is being returned by a consumer to a merchant. The merchant, or an agent on the merchant's behalf, would pick up the returned parcels at a designated postal facility, and pay the applicable postage. The prices for the new service would recognize the savings that are generated by the worksharing efforts of the merchant.

May 6, 2003 -- A furor has arisen over a New Haven Register story concerning the Postal Service's culpability in failing to take prompt action to guard local postal employees from the dangers of anthrax. See the letter by USPS Public Affairs vice president Azeezaly Jaffer and the letter to the editor by Connecticut's public health commissioner.

May 6, 2003 -- The Quad Cities Times has reported that "In 1970, when the U.S. Postal Service was revamped under the Postal Reorganization Act, there was no such thing as electronic mail. Computers barely fit into large rooms, let alone on a lap. William Young, national president of the National Association of Letter Carriers, told delegates Monday at the organization’s Iowa convention, held at the Radisson Quad-Cities in Davenport, that the U.S. Postal Service needs to catch up with technology to remain viable in the future.

May 6, 2003 -- Bloomberg News has reported that "Deutsche Post AG Chief Executive Officer Klaus Zumwinkel's plan to boost earnings by expanding the German postal service in the $65 billion U.S. delivery market may be dealt a blow by United Parcel Service Inc. and FedEx Corp. Zumwinkel, 59, in March offered $1.05 billion to buy Airborne Inc. to establish a ground network in the U.S. and diversify revenue streams as earnings growth at home slows. The purchase by Deutsche Post, in which the German government has a 70 percent stake, needs U.S. regulatory approval and comes amid a Department of Transportation inquiry into complaints from rivals United Parcel and FedEx about German control of DHL Airways Inc. 'The situation in the U.S is a problem for Deutsche Post,' said Reinhard Niebuhr, who helps manage the equivalent of about $5.6 billion at AMB Generali in Cologne, Germany. 'The large competitors there are trying to push Deutsche Post out.'"

May 6, 2003 -- DM News has reported that "a proposed rule expected to be published in the Federal Register today by the U.S. Postal Service could leave smaller nonprofit mailers open to abuse by for-profit fundraisers, said Neal Denton, executive director of the Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers. The current USPS rule says that any mail piece sent at the nonprofit rate must be owned and controlled by the nonprofit, though a nonprofit can contract with a for-profit fundraiser as long as the nonprofit maintains the role of principal agent. The proposed rule would give for-profit mailers much more freedom in striking deals with nonprofits, Denton said. 'The draft will cause the USPS to abandon any enforcement of the cooperative mailing rules on fundraising mail that solicits funds,' he said. 'Without regulatory oversight, small and unsophisticated nonprofit organizations can fall prey to one-sided and abusive arrangements of this kind. Many of these questionable contracts give the professional fundraiser exclusive rights to raise money for the nonprofit.'"

May 6, 2003 -- The Financial Standard (Kenya) has reported that "the European Union and the World Bank have set aside close to Sh96 billion to fund the development of East Africa' s road network over the next 10 years. The funding is expected to be complemented by further allocations by the three East African Community (EAC) governments, in a move expected to bolster business and encourage intra-regional economic growth. A number of projects have been prioritised in the EAC Infrastructure Development Programme, and will benefit from both the World Bank and EU funding. They include Cross-border (telephone) Connectivity, East African Road Network, Civil Aviation Safety, Postal Automation and Safety Navigation on Lake Victoria."

May 6, 2003 -- The British newspaper, The Independent, has reported that "three of the Blair Government's most senior women were dragged into two separate rows over allegations of vote rigging and cronyism yesterday. Patricia Hewitt, the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, was embroiled in a police investigation into claims that Leicester voters were pressured into completing postal ballots in last week's council elections." Hewitt is the minister that holds the portfolio for postal services.

May 5, 2003 -- According to the Journal of Commerce FedEx now offers, in competition with UPS, a combined ocean-ground service that includes customs clearance.

May 5, 2003 -- The Federal Times has reported that "A senator and the chairman of the U.S. Postal Service's Board of Governors are calling upon the Postal Service’s inspector general do more to cooperate with an investigation into her alleged improper personnel practices and use of official resources."

May 5, 2003 -- According to one Lexington Institute writer, "when private businesses face such troubles, budget constraints and bottom-line incentives drive them to improve. But the Postal Service, as a government service -- and a monopoly -- lacks such motivation. Official decrees and long-term plans may help, but the agency needs a more powerful solution. It needs to cut costs by cutting services. One way would be to replace doorstep and curbside service with centralized delivery."

May 4, 2003 -- The Wall Street Journal has reported that "competition is heating up in the small-package delivery business, threatening to hobble the recently strong shares of United Parcel Service and FedEx. These two titans with 80% of the market are battling each other while rivals snap at their heels, seeking a larger piece of the $45 billion parcel market. Unfazed by a weak economy, they raised rates nearly 4% in January for many packages. FedEx has been pushing into the ground sector, which has been more profitable than air delivery. UPS still dominates on the ground. But Airborne Express jumped into ground delivery last year. DHL WorldWide Express launched a ground-parcel business, and its parent Deutsche Post recently announced it is seeking to buy the ground-delivery operations of Airborne. While both moves by the German postal monopoly are being fought at the U.S. government level by UPS and FedEx, they reflect the changing dynamics of U.S. parcel delivery."

May 4, 2003 -- The Peninsula has reported that "expatriates in Qatar can now renew their Residence Permits from the comfort of their homes or offices, under the new system formally launched yesterday by the General Postal Corporation (Q-Post). The corporation also plans to shortly offer renewal of driving licences through the e-government system."

May 3, 2003 -- The Wall Street Journal has reported, "America Online said Wednesday that it blocked 2.37 billion spam e-mails one day this week, the first time it has topped the two-billion threshold. Two billion is such a big number that it can be hard to grasp, so an AOL press release sought to make things more comprehensible: That's about 1.6 million junk e-mails blocked per minute -- or, if you prefer, 67 spam e-mails blocked per account per day. Still too abstract? At the FTC conference on spam, Joe Barrett, AOL's senior vice president of systems operations, said that "if each of these 2.37 billion spam e-mails that AOL blocked had arrived in standard business envelopes, and they were laid end-to-end, they would circle the globe four times, and then reach the moon." Yeah...but can you imagine the postal revenue?

May 3, 2003 -- According to Traffic World, "the invasion of Iraq may be over militarily but the hostilities are far from finished. That means more uncertainty for companies already grappling with the growing complexity of international trade. In some cases - notably between the United States and France - finger-pointing has developed into outright hostility; witness the graphic displayed recently by online service AOL that depicted the French national flag as an ostrich with its head in the sand. The image was part of a poll the Internet service conducted over whether or not it is petty to punish the French for their anti-war stance. Petty or not, there are reports that the Bush administration is considering serious actions such as pushing for France to be blackballed from certain NATO decisions. France argues that it is reflecting the sentiments of many other countries - including America's NAFTA partner, Canada."

May 3, 2003 -- The Los Angeles Times has reported that "For more than two weeks, the U.S. Postal Service has refused to deliver mail on the block in Watts where Gator Reddic lives. The problem is that Gator has chased and threatened his postal carrier twice, and she worries that next time he might sink his teeth into her 4-foot-8-inch, 94-pound frame. Gator, a 4-year-old white and brindle pit bull, waits on a chain beside his house. The post office has demanded that his owner, Edward Reddic, either install a fence or properly restrain Gator." This is ridiculous! NOBODY should have to face an occupational hazard such as this. It's time public policy makers pull the choker chain on dog owners who place others in such hazard.

May 3, 2003 -- AllAfrica.com has reported that "three more illegal courier operators, Parcel Trust, Cargo Messengers International and M&E Express Limited have become the latest to fall to the axe of the Courier Regulatory Department (CRD) arm of the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST). This brings to 17 the number of illegal operators so far sealed up since NIPOST effectively began its clampdown as a way to sanitize the industry."

May 3, 2003 -- According to one MIT columnist, "Stamps.com gives you the ability to print postage from your PC. It's just like going to counter at the post office, but without the lines and crappy service. You can get rate quotes, purchase and print postage -- all from your desk for a monthly service charge. I found the service enormously convenient, despite some flaky third party integration issues in the software and annoying post office regulations for the service. The Stamps.com service is well designed and has good support. If you send mail via U.S. Postal Service frequently, the service they provide is invaluable."

May 3, 2003 -- The Jamaica Observer has reported that "The recent alliance forged between the Postal Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ) and the United States (US) Postal Service, through its agent, SkyPostal, has received a good response from St Ann residents. Under the agreement, Jamaica Post will be able to offer affordable options for businesses and customers to send mail and merchandise to the United States and Latin America. Jamaica Post will provide a reliable three-to-five day delivery of packages on weekdays. Customers who lease letterboxes from their local post offices will also be able to access the service on Saturdays. This will also allow customers to track their mail online from the point of initial processing through to its final destination." SkyPostal is a service created by former USPS international mail services chief Jim Grubiak and former parcel services president John Kelly.

May 3, 2003 -- The Independent (Malta) has reported that "Maltapost has recently set up an international mail hub in Malta for mail transiting to a number of regional Mediterranean countries. The newly set up hub will help to generate business opportunities and new areas of revenue for Maltapost. The agreement to set up the international mail hub was recently signed between GATS (Global Air Transport Systems) UK and Maltapost."

May 3, 2003 -- The Washington Post has reported that "in a letter Thursday to S. David Fineman, chairman of the postal governing board, two senators criticized retreats at which agency staff members engaged in team-building exercises, including dressing up in costumes, participating in mock trials and taping testimonials for the inspector general. Corcoran released a statement saying she was 'stunned' by the senators' complaint." See also the report in the Washington Times, CNN, and GovExec.com.

May 3, 2003 -- The latest issue of the Postal Service's USPS NewsLink publication has been posted on this site.

May 2, 2003 -- "Think you're going to get rich collecting FedEx and United Parcel Service refunds?" Traffic World asks. "E-mails imploring you to buy software to do just that have been arriving in in-boxes in recent weeks. But the companies whose refunds takers are supposed to collect say promises of making up to $1,000 a week for this work may be hollow promises."

May 2, 2003 -- The Jersey Evening Post has reported that "Jersey Post is facing a likely pension fund shortfall of around 10 million pounds."

May 2, 2003 -- AllAfrica.Com has reported that "TNT/IAS Express has launched an express Centre and comprehensive communication outfit at its Corporate Headquarters on the Epe Expressway, Lekki. The Express Centre is a corporate innovation to provide multifaceted business services to residents of the fast growing suburb of Lekki. This will include Internet services for browsing, e-mailing, local and international phone calls, fax and postal mailbox rentals, stamps and postages."

May 2, 2003 -- According to postal commentator Gene Del Polito, predicting what the President's Commission will do is tough. But there are many things it can do. He identifies just a few.

May 2, 2003 -- The Hoosier Times has reported that "with spring cleaning season under way, the Lions Club of Indiana will team up with the U.S. Postal Service Saturday to collect used, unwanted eyeglasses and hearing aids. The need is urgent."

May 2, 2003 -- Bloomberg News has reported that "the daughter of Argentine businessman Francisco Macri, who runs the country's largest postal service and other companies, was kidnapped in Buenos Aires three days ago, apparently for ransom."

May 2, 2003 -- DM News has reported that "A New Jersey state lawmaker is urging his constituents to stop 'junk mail' by signing up for the Direct Marketing Association's Mail Preference Service -- and is using a direct mail piece to get his message out." He should have his mouth washed out with soap!

May 2, 2003 -- The Wall Street Journal has reported that "two senators called on the Postal Service's board of governors to fire Inspector General Karla Corcoran, saying she has frivolously spent her office's funds instead of weeding out waste in the massive postal system. Sens. Byron Dorgan (D., N.D.) and Ron Wyden (D., Ore.) said elaborate team-building events held by Ms. Corcoran, who was hired in the Clinton administration, are a misuse of time and money. The senators said that in 2001, Ms. Corcoran's office spent about $2 for every $1 in wasteful spending it uncovered."

May 2, 2003 -- Vi deo Business has reported that "Netflix Inc. is implementing a new, more aggressive policy to address loss issues after a three-month investigation about stolen DVDs recently led to the firing of two employees. Previously, when a customer failed to receive a DVD or would find that a disc he'd sent back had not arrived, he would have to report that disc lost. If one subscriber accrued a lot of losses, his account would be placed on hold until he declared the losses to the U.S. Postal Service for review. In December, the DVD rental service's distribution center in Flushing, N.Y., showed a loss rate of around 2% to 3%, according to computer-generated data. When that figure goes past 1%, the company investigates, so Netflix and the USPS launched a joint probe. A New York-based USPS employee was arrested in October after being found by postal inspectors with hundreds of stolen DVDs."

May 2, 2003 -- The Wall Street Journal has reported that "for owners of global delivery networks the way to make more money is to deliver more packages. In a nutshell, that's the business principle driving a number of the recent developments in the global express delivery business."

May 2, 2003 -- DM News has reported that "After a relatively swift end to combat in Iraq, list professionals are taking stock of the conservative spring mailing season while finding reasons to be hopeful about the upcoming fall season. ndications are that the fall will be a more aggressive mailing season. The single biggest reason for optimism about the fall is the reprieve from another postage rate increase. 'We have been given the greatest gift that our industry has ever had, which is a deferment of the postal increase,' one person said. 'It's the first time in a long time that at this time of year we're not talking about how we're going to squeeze costs out to be able to afford the cost of the postal increase.'""

May 2, 2003 -- The Gay Financial Network has reported that:

May 2, 2003 -- The Louisville Courier-Journal has reported that "UPS hasn't cut its flights into Hong Kong, but concerns about the SARS virus have led to some changes in flight procedures and accommodations. Crew members are no longer allowed to take commercial flights into Hong Kong in preparation for outbound flights. Instead, they must hitch a ride on other inbound UPS flights."

May 2, 2003 -- The St. Louis American has reported that "The president and CEO of the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis, has responded to a critical letter he received from activists and former and current workers at United Parcel Service. He says the letter incorrectly accuses him of interceding into a discussion of alleged racist behavior at UPS in the city. Buford, who was sent a copy of a correspondence from UPS to the workers and activist Anthony Shahid, said this is where the misconception probably took place. A press release from the Urban League received on Tuesday states, 'Mr. Buford is currently not involved in any negotiation on behalf of UPS management or its employees in this matter.'"

May 2, 2003 -- The Jerusalem Post (Israel) has reported that "the Israeli Postal Authority could soon be delivering not only your mail, but your newspaper as well. Authority chairman and acting director-general Yossi Shelli announced that, with the opening of mail services to competition, the attempt is being made to find postmen and women more work instead of dismissing some of them. The authority will in the next few weeks initiate negotiations with newspaper publishers who, he said, spend about NIS 200 million on distributing their publications to subscribers each year. The authority intends to suggest cheaper alternatives.

May 2, 2003 -- The Daily News (Sri Lanka) has reported that "the Department of Postal Services would not be privatised, said Minister of Mass Communication, Imthiaz Bakeer Markar. The Minister said the postal service was operating at a loss of Rs. 973 million under the previous government which they had finalised to privatise. 'But due to the devotion and efficiency of the employees the loss has been reduced by Rs. 240 million,' Minister Markar said. The department has to compete with private sector today to attract customers to increase the revenue,' he said."

May 2, 2003 -- The BBC has reported that "the Royal Mail is still losing at least 2m pounds a week, its new chief executive has admitted."

May 2, 2003 -- The Tullahoma News has reported that "United States Postal Service money orders are becoming unwelcome with an increasing number of companies, but apparently it's all news to the Post Office. Many investment firms, financial institutions and insurance companies are no longer accepting U.S. postal money orders -or a variety of other cash equivalent tenders. But inquiries at three levels of the postal service brought the same response - they were unaware of the growing practice. Even the liquidity of U.S. Postal Service money orders is coming into question."

May 2, 2003 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that "Dutch mail and express specialist TPG N.V. has named a trio of executives to lead the expansion of its logistics operations under the TNT Logistics brand in Central Europe. Joining the company are: Gunther Thiel, founder and former chairman of Luxembourg-based Thiel Logistik, a logistics provider which had revenue of about $1.7 billion in 2002; Christian Furstaller, former chief operating officer of Thiel; Rodolphe Schoettel, former chief financial officer of Thiel. Thiel will join TPG in May. The others will start at TPG within a few months, the company said. The expansion includes Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Poland, Czech Republic and Hungary."

May 2, 2003 -- And from the Washington Post, more on America's advertising depression.

May 1, 2003 -- Dow Jones has reported that "for years, list broker Gilson Triberry has helped clients send bulk mail though the postal service to prospective consumers, despite the high costs involved. And until recently, he encouraged them to consider sending e-mail as a cost-effective alternative. But no more. 'Now that the well has been poisoned [by spam], I'm telling people to go back to the post office,' says Triberry, president of Direct Contact Marketing Group in Champaign, Ill."

May 1, 2003 -- The Bangkok Post has reported that "Despite the European Union's announcement of its intent to preserve its sensitive service sectors such as health and education, Thailand aims to negotiate with the trade bloc to open some areas of those sectors that would not directly affect Europeans, according to a Thai trade official. Sectors that the EU has proposed to open under current trade talks include computer services, retailing, postal services, telecommunications, financial services, tourism and transport. Thailand is disappointed in the EU decision to protect health and education since it requested the EU allow some professions like masseurs and trainers for Thai cuisine to work in Europe."

May 1, 2003 -- The Financial Gazette (Zimbabwe) has reported that "the Zimbabwe Postal Services (ZIMPOST) has recalled workers it summarily dismissed for participating in a three-day work stayaway called by the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) to protest a massive fuel price hike, the labour body president, Lovemore Matombo, said yesterday. The ZCTU president was among the ZIMPOST workers dismissed on Saturday."

May 1, 2003 -- The agenda for the Postal Service's May 6-8 meeting of the Postmaster General's Mailers Technical Advisory Committee has been posted on this site.

May 1, 2003 -- According to long-time postal guru Murray Comarow, "the Postal Service has historically been unwilling to publicly identify arbitration as a root cause of its labor costs, although many postal governors and officials are convinced that is the case. Mr. Vegliante's [recent] statement [before the Presidential Commission] touches on this issue, but does not deal with it head-on. Doing so would unleash a major stack by the unions and their supporters in Congress. USPS officials have been reluctant to launch an initiative which would be 'dead on arrival' on the Hill. A presidential commission, not concerned with long-term good relations with the Congress. business mailers, unions, or competitors, is positioned to deal with this fundamental issue."

May 1, 2003 -- The U.S. Postal Service is about to publish a "proposed rule would amend the Domestic Mail Manual standards for mail matter eligible to be sent at the Nonprofit Standard Mail rates. Specifically, it would exempt certain matter soliciting monetary donations from application of the cooperative mail rule."

May 1, 2003 -- PCWorld has reported that "Intel has released software which enables a computer to perform a similar task to human lip-reading, as an aid to existing sound-based voice recognition systems, the company said Monday. The Audio Visual Speech Recognition software should improve the accuracy of speech-recognition software under difficult conditions, especially those involving background noise, Intel said in a statement." Sorry...guess my audiological roots are showing.

May 1, 2003 -- From elsewhere around the net:

May 1, 2003 -- Escher Group Limited, a provider of peer-to-peer messaging and data management solutions, today announced that the postal service of the Faeroe Islands, Postverk Foroya, has selected its distributed messaging and content management platform to automate the islands' post office counter network.

May 1, 2003 -- The Trenton Times has reported that "for some seniors, stepping off the front porch, walking down the driveway and, in some cases, taking a stroll to retrieve the mail every day is a difficult task to manage. And heavy snow, stinging sleet and pouring rain can make the job nearly impossible. Believing the elderly shouldn't have to face such obstacles, Rep. Jim Saxton, R-Mount Holly, has proposed legislation aimed at providing a solution. The bill, introduced recently, would put an end to curbside and 'cluster mailboxes' in some age-restricted developments. Instead, the mail would be delivered to doors."

May 1, 2003 -- As Direct magazine has noted, "the European Commission has given its blessing to the proposed creation of a low-price direct mail service with a guaranteed delivery of five days (not including the day it is mailed) ."

May 1, 2003 -- In a letter to the Comptroller General, House Government Reform Committee postal panel chairman John McHugh (R-NY) and ranking panel minority member Danny Davis (D- IL) wrote:

In testimony before the House Committee on Government Reform in April 2001, you highlighted concerns about the Postal Service's financial outlook and announced that the GAO had added the Service's transformation efforts and long-term outlook to its High-Risk List. You also testified that the Postal Service needed to work with Congress and other stakeholders to develop a comprehensive plan that would address its financial, operational, and human capital challenges, and outline how the Service planned to accomplish fundamental transformation. The Postal Service developed such a framework with input from interested parties and issued its Transformation Plan in April 2002. We now request that the GAO evaluate the following areas: Financial Condition and Outlook, Infrastructure, Contracting, Workforce, and Mail Safety and Security.

May 1, 2003 -- "The U.S. Postal Service," said the Lexington Institute's executive vice president, "is playing a dangerous game: under-pricing product offerings in commercially competitive markets while over-pricing its monopoly service."

May 1, 2003 -- The U.S. Department of State has posted on its web site a "document summarizes reporting by Department of State officers on the annual meeting of the 40-member Postal Operations Council (POC) of the Universal Postal Union (UPU), chaired by Carlos Da Silva of Portugal. The meeting was held in Bern, Switzerland, from March 31 to April 11, 2003."

May 1, 2003 -- The International Mailers Action Group (IMAG) has announced that it will hold a special meeting on Thursday, May 29th from 2:00-5:00 PM in the Video Conference Room, 2nd Floor of the offices of the USPS International Business group located at 1735 N. Lynn St., Arlington, VA. For further information, contact rmiller@capecod.net

May 1, 2003 -- The Wall Street Journal noted that "DHL Airways Inc. said its new chairman and chief executive officer has agreed to acquire the closely held cargo carrier, an unexpected move that could complicate a looming showdown between three of the world's largest package-delivery companies. Despite the ownership change, FedEx and UPS are likely to claim that DHL Airways is still under Deutsche Post control because it relies on the German company for so much of its revenue. At the meeting here, DHL Airways acknowledged that about 90% of its revenue last year came from DHL Worldwide."

May 1, 2003 -- According to Traffic World, "DHL competitors are claiming victory because a case questioning the corporate citizenship of DHL Airways has been assigned to a Department of Transportation administrative law judge."

May 1, 2003 -- GovExec.com has reported that "the U.S. Postal Service backed off a proposal that would have given unionized workers the right to strike. Agency officials Tuesday told a presidential commission on postal reform that allowing workers to strike—and management to exercise lockouts—during contract negotiations would be a 'major mistake.' After meeting with airline executives and union leaders though, Postal Service officials came to believe that the Railway Labor Act is not an appropriate model for the agency. All four major postal union presidents, who also appeared before the presidential panel, echoed that sentiment. Although, William Burrus, president of the largest organization, the American Postal Workers Union, said he generally supports the right to strike. Nonetheless, he recognized that it is politically untenable."

May 1, 2003 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that "Airborne Inc. on Wednesday posted a loss in the first quarter after a year-ago profit, due mostly to higher fuel costs and harsh winter weather. The Seattle-based company, which plans to sell its sell its ground operations to DHL for $1.05 billion, said its first-quarter loss was $5.6 million against a profit of $5.3 million a year ago, gained mostly from cost-cutting."

May 1, 2003 -- Japan Today has reported that "a total of 15,866 candidates -- 11,324 men and 4,542 women -- have applied for roughly 50 career-track positions at the public postal corporation."

May 1, 2003 -- Le Monde (France) has reported that "yesterday French postal workers continued a general unlimited strike, which began on Monday after calls from five union organisations. According to directors of La Poste, the national postal services group, fewer employees took part this time (24 per cent, compared with 41 per cent on Monday). The strike is part of protests against the planned restructuring of the group's courier services in the 6th "arrondissement" of Paris. La Poste wants to automate sorting centres in the area and abolish the second daily delivery of mail. What is essentially a local conflict is being followed closely because of a more widespread atmosphere of social unrest in the French public sector."