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Postal News from March 2005

March 31, 2005 -- As one writer for the Post-Tribune has noted, "Postal reform has been in Congress for the last several years, but not until recently has anyone paid serious attention. A little study of history would reveal the Postal Service has been used as a "sacred cow" by deceiving political figures to camouflage their errors in judgment."

March 31, 2005 -- DM News has reported that "The U.S. Postal Service introduced the NCOALink Flat File format yesterday in an effort to decrease processing times and increase access. The NCOALink Flat File format is more user friendly on mainframe systems, where it helped reduce processing times as much as 40 percent during testing, the USPS said. This format is now available to NCOALink licensees at no extra charge."

March 31, 2005 -- The Financial Times has reported that "Singapore Post, the national postal operator, yesterday abandoned a controversial deal to buy a stake in a troubled local mobile phone repair company that had raised questions about conflicts of interest."

March 31, 2005 -- Dow Jones has noted that "It would be natural for theJapanese government to use any capital gains from the privatization of the national postal system to repay outstanding debt, the country's top Finance Ministry bureaucrat said Thursday."

March 31, 2005 -- Transport Intelligence has reported that "According to the latest report by leading US research company Armstrong Associates entitled ĹBigger and Better - 3PL Financial Results ľ 2004', third-party logistics service providers (3PLs) in North America had what the authors referred to as Ĺa great year' in 2004. Total revenues for the U.S. 3PL market rose to $89.4 billion, an increase of 16.3%. Armstrong Associates estimate that the overall compound annual growth rate for U.S. third-party logistics is 14.2% since 1996."

March 31, 2005 -- NAMC Internet Business News has reported that "Ask Jeeves«, Inc. has announced that BloglinesÖ (www.bloglines.com), the world's most popular free online service for searching, subscribing, publishing and sharing news feeds, blogs and rich web content has released the first of a wave of new capabilities that help consumers monitor customized kinds of dynamic web information. With these new capabilities, Bloglines is the first web service to move beyond aggregating general-audience blogs and RSS news feeds to enable individuals to receive updates that are personal to their daily lives."

March 31, 2005 -- From the Business Wire: "DHL, the world's leading global express delivery and logistics company, has awarded Siemens Logistics and Assembly Systems Inc., part of a $160M contract for the integration and supply of conveying and sorting hardware. The agreement includes the provision of upper-level management software for implementation in DHL's new letter and parcel sortation hubs. The hubs are located in Wilmington, Ohio; Allentown, Penn.; and Riverside, Calif."

March 30, 2005 -- As the Washington Post has noted, "The Postal Service said it will have to seek a rate increase that by next year would boost the price of a first- class stamp by two cents to 39 cents -- unless Congress steps in to help."

March 30, 2005 -- According to Dow Jones, "Thailand Post, a stated-owned postal operator, will restructure its organization ahead of its planned listing on the local bourse this year."

March 30, 2005 -- From the Business Wire: "UPS is implementing two new initiatives to protect the environment - 11,000 computers soon will automatically go to "sleep" when not in use, and 14 California facilities have begun purchasing "green" power. UPS also has joined the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Green Power Partnership."

March 30, 2005 -- Le Figaro has reported that "A second reading of the French government's bill to reform postal services will take place in the French national assembly between April 12 and 14, it was announced yesterday. The bill, which passed its second reading in the French senate on March 10, is intended to open up to France's postal services market to competition. Its provisions include permission for the French post office, La Poste, to set up a banking subsidiary."

March 30, 2005 -- CEP News (Courier-Express-Postal) has reported that:

Don't be satisfied with a less than complete report on the courier, express, and postal market in Europe. Get your subscription to CEP News, today..

March 30, 2005 -- The House Committee on Government Reform will hold its markup of H.R. 22 on April 14.

March 29, 2005 -- The U.S. Postal Service has reported that "Suzanne Medvidovich, senior vice president for Human Resources, has announced her retirement effective June 3. PMG Jack Potter praised Medvidovich's 30-year USPS career: "In a wide range of leadership roles, Suzanne has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to our employees and a powerful focus on operational excellence."

March 29, 2005 -- From the Business Wire: "GenPrime, Inc., the leading developer of rapid, broad spectrum screening systems for use in bio-warfare defense, has announced the United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) has selected its Prime Alert(R) Biodetection System for its biological detection needs. USPIS is the oldest federal law enforcement agency in the U.S. and is responsible for investigating and coordinating a response to a mail-related crime, including the undocumented transport of toxic agents. The USPIS will use Prime Alert nationwide to analyze suspicious substances on "white powder" calls, where speed and accuracy are critical in determining whether or not a foreign substance is harmful in nature."

March 29, 2005 -- The BBC has reported that "The Royal Mail is planning to charge customers for delivering letters and parcels according to their size rather than their weight from April 2006. Under the proposals heavier items are likely to become cheaper to post but larger ones will become more expensive. Royal Mail said this would make pricing fairer as it was the size and shape of letters and packages that determined collection and sorting costs. Industry regulator Postcomm will have to approve the Royal Mail's proposals."

March 29, 2005 -- The U.S. government's strategic plan for the UPU 2005-2008 has been published on the State Department website at the following link: http://www.state.gov/p/io/ipp/usgdoc/43539.htm This is the plan that guided the work of the U.S. delegation in preparation for and participation in the Bucharest UPU Congress.

March 29, 2005 -- ID4Online (India) has reported that "Indian Postal Department is facing an austere future as it has failed to modernise services with the changing times. It is experiencing delay in computerisation of its branches spread across the country and failure to reinvent its role. Out of 1,55,837 branches, the Department of Posts has computerised only 1,772 post offices, including 506 head offices by March 2004. At the current pace, say critics, the department will take decades to computerise all its branches to provide services to the customers. A senior official of the department associated with commercial activities has remarked that considering budgetary constraints, the government should consider public-private partnership to infuse information technology in the postal department for providing critical services in the rural and semi-urban areas. The government can permit the department to hire computer services on lease from private players, on the pattern of government schools. To make the scheme viable, it can offer tax incentives and other benefits. It will result in additional revenue to the department through enhanced business and cost reduction besides better services to the customers, he added."

March 29, 2005 -- FedEx Freight, a subsidiary of FedEx Corp., continues its aggressive nationwide expansion by opening four new service centers and expanding a fifth facility to meet growing customer demand throughout the United States.

March 29, 2005 -- MSNBC has reported that "UPS is hoping a $600 million cost-cutting system will keep its profits climbing even though gas prices are, too. United Parcel Service Inc. is in the midst of re-engineering its package pickup and delivery processes in an attempt to achieve hundreds of millions of dollars in reduced operating costs annually. The goal is productivity improvements, as well as reduced fuel usage from driving an estimated 100 million fewer miles each year. The system, whose implementation is behind schedule, was first introduced in 2003 and won't be finished until 2007 at the earliest."

March 29, 2005 -- TruckingInfo.com has reported that "The union representing 2,500 pilots at United Parcel Service Inc. has called for a vote to authorize a strike that could severely cripple the nation's largest carrier. UPS handles an average 13.6 million packages a day. According to the Wall Street Journal, results of the strike vote are expected in mid-May. UPS pilots have been without a contract for two years. Even if a strike is authorized, it would be unlikely in the near term. For one thing, eight months ago, the union invited federal mediation. It can't legally strike as long as mediation continues. For another, President Bush could step in to block a strike temporarily."

March 29, 2005 -- The Asahi Shimbun has reported that "Too many compromises The government's initiative to privatize postal services is rapidly degenerating into a policy disaster. As the government has been making so many concessions to the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, which opposes the reform, the privatization blueprint is becoming something quite different from what was originally envisioned."

March 28, 2005 -- From the Business Wire: "Acxiom(R) Corporation (Nasdaq: ACXM) and Digital Impact, Inc. (Nasdaq: DIGI) today announced they have reached a definitive agreement for Acxiom to acquire Digital Impact. Digital Impact uses its proprietary technology platform to deliver on-line marketing campaigns and offers an end-to-end solution that includes designing, sending and analyzing the results of each campaign. The company executes these campaigns across multiple media channels, including personalized e-mail, targeted websites, web advertisements, search engines and direct mail."

March 28, 2005 -- From the PR Newswire: "Concord Communications, Inc. has announced that Post of Slovenia has deployed SPECTRUM(R) Xsight(TM) software to ensure around-the-clock IT infrastructure availability and performance for its backbone network that connects 550 post offices throughout Slovenia."

March 28, 2005 -- The Wall Street Journal has reported that "Truckers, railroads and other cargo carriers have been more successful than many other industries in passing on rising energy prices to customers. But with oil prices continuing to rocket upward, many transportation companies are finding fuel surcharges go only so far to protect them. Surcharges typically trail fuel prices by at least several weeks, leaving transportation companies in a bind. Some cap the add-on fees, limiting the amount that can be recovered from customers, and collecting the surcharges can take tricky negotiations and can strain customer relations."

March28, 2005 -- Asia Times has reported that "The government has concluded that it will be difficult under World Trade Organization rules for it to legally regulate foreign ownership in the postal savings bank and postal life insurance company due to be created in April 2007 as a result of privatizing Japan Post, government sources said. WTO rules stipulate that free cross-border investment activities should be guaranteed, in principle, for service companies and other businesses. The rules, however, allow national governments to protect their interests by legally regulating the percentage of foreign holdings in certain types of businesses, such as airlines and broadcasting firms, as well as other operations directly run by governments."

March 28, 2005 -- According to the Daily Yomiuri (Japan), "The fiscal 2005 budget was passed Wednesday, leaving privatization of the postal services as the most controversial issue to be discussed in the latter half of the current Diet session. Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, who considers postal privatization his most important policy issue, seems to be trying to wrap up his "structural reform without sacred cows," which he has pushed since the inauguration of his administration. But whether privatization of the postal services is really a priority issue is questionable."

March 27, 2005 -- Japan Today has reported that "The ruling Liberal Democratic Party will be difficult to reach an intra-party accord on privatizing Japan's postal service system by the end of this week as instructed by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, LDP Secretary General Tsutomu Takebe said."

March 27, 2005 -- The Report from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament on the Application of the Postal Directive is available on the European Union's web site.

March 26, 2005 -- Deepikaglobal has reported that "The Department of Posts will launch a new service called 'Logistics Post' between Kochi and Kannur from April. Under the service, Logistics Post centres would collect or pick up parcels of any weight or dimension and deliver them to the destinations of consignor's choice."

March 26, 2005 -- National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) President William H. Young told his members that he welcomed introduction of Collins' bill since it advances the cause of postal reform, a cause NALC has advocated for the past 10 years. "I am especially pleased that the bill did not include any of the anti-labor measures proposed by the USPS Board of Governors," Young said. "The final push for postal reform has begun," Young added. "NALC plans to be in the thick of things to ensure that letter carriers and their families will benefit from reform and that the Postal Service remains a strong, viable institution for decades to come."

March 26, 2005 -- The Sun Journal has noted that "In revamping the U.S. Postal Service, U.S. Sen. Susan Collins has left post offices alone. Last year, a presidential commission suggested 35 ways to make the Postal Service a leaner, more efficient organization, better prepared to tackle its billions in debt. Among the ideas: fewer employees and picking offices to be shuttered, base closure-style. Collins' staffers said the senator decided to let the Postal Service make its own decisions on scaling back, instead of having Congress do it. Maine has 435 post offices and more than 3,600 employees. The Postal Service is the seventh largest employer in Maine, behind the likes of Hannaford, Wal-Mart and Bath Iron Works."

March 25, 2005 -- Hoovers has reported that:

March 25, 2005 -- The latest issue of PostCom's Postal Operations Update has been posted on this site.

March 25, 2005 -- Agenzia Giornolistica Italia has reported that ""After two months of negotiations we have signed the agreement for the next two years for Italian postal workers.┬" Secretary of Slp Cisl, Mario Petitto, thus expressed satisfaction, saying that the negotiations had been difficult but not bitter, thus showing that when the social partners are in a positive relationship reciprocally satisfactory agreements are reached. The 97 euro that will go to the workers are a just recognition of their commitment and this is the first time that an agreement has been reached at the beginning of the two years without tensions, rows, and strikes."

March 25, 2005 -- According to Bloomberg, "Italy plans to sell more than 5.2 billion euros ($6.7 billion) of shares in Enel SpA, the nation's largest utility, helping the government to reduce the second- highest amount of debt among European Union countries. The government also plans to sell part of broadcaster RAI SpA this year and may also offer shares in the national postal service, which runs one of the country's biggest banks."

March 25, 2005 -- AllAfrica.com has reported that "Nigerian Postal Services (NIPOST) raked in a total of N3,301,050,514.57 as internally generated revenue (IGR) for the year 2004. Minister of Communication, Chief Cornelius Adebayo who stated this during the official launching of NIPOST's Logo and Postmen Uniform, disclosed that the organization is striving to meet a new target of 48 hours delivery."

March 25, 2005 -- Business Mailers Review has reported that:

Business Mailers Review is published biweekly by Sedgwick Publishing Co. For subscription information, check the BMR web site.

March 25, 2005 -- Hey PostCom members! How do the House and Senate bills stack up against PostCom's essential eight principles for postal reform? Check it out. See also the more comprehensive side-by-side comparison of the H.R. 22 and S. 662 as well as the more "user-friendly" version.

March 25, 2005 -- According to Aviation Now, "A postal reform bill that lets international carriers bid to carry mail for the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) was introduced in the Senate last week, and the industry is lobbying to take it before the Senate Commerce Committee, which is likely to be more sympathetic to the plight airlines would face should the bill make it into law."

March 25, 2005 -- Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung has reported that "German mail and logistics Deutsche Post, Europe's largest postal service, sent a clear message on Tuesday when presenting its 2004 annual report: Thanks to strong overall results last year, Post's treasure chest is full enough to buy attractive companies whenever it wants. "We want to expand our national and international mail business and actively exploit opportunities for growth worldwide," Zumwinkel said. With takeover candidates in neighboring European countries arising less frequently than desired, Post is casting its eye on the lucrative U.S. market."

March 25, 2005 -- The Japan Times has reported that "With the passage of the 2005 government budget Wednesday, the Diet effectively ended the first half of its 150-day regular session. The biggest issue in the second half is the proposed privatization of postal services -- the main pillar of Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's reform initiative. To succeed, he must adhere to his professed principles of privatization. Postal reform would entail drastic changes. First, 270,000 employees of Japan Post, a public corporation, would become private workers. As a result, the number of national civil servants would drop 30 percent."

March 25, 2005 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that "DHL, the express unit of Germany's Deutsche Post, today said it is launching a $160 million project to automate and integrate its U.S. hub operations. The initiative, which DHL claims is the express industry's largest single purchase of tilt-tray loop systems for sorting letters and parcels, will begin this spring. When complete, the program will improve operational accuracy and shipment visibility, while enabling the Plantation, Fla.-based company to rapidly adapt to changing technical shipping requirements."

March 25, 2005 -- Financial Times Deutschland has reported that "DuMont-Schauberg, Rheinisch-Bergische Druckerei- und Verlagsgesellschaft and W Girardet, three German local newspaper publishers based in the west of the country, are to form a mail delivery joint venture, which will be named West Mail. Business customers with large volumes of mail will constitute the main target market for the new company, which is to be launched in the coming month. West Mail will recruit new staff for distribution in urban areas, while, in rural areas, existing newspaper delivery staff will also be responsible for mail delivery."

March 25, 2005 -- The Dayton Business Journal has reported that "The U.S. Postal Service announced Thursday it has increased the size and scope of its contracts with Dayton-based NCR Corp.'s Teradata. Under the first contract in 2000, the USPS used Teradata's data-warehousing services for some of its retailing operations. But it has expanded the contract to include a number of business areas, such as financial management, operational decision support and marketing, in addition to the original retailing."

March 25, 2005 -- The Wall Street Journal has reported that "Leaders of the union representing United Parcel Service Inc. pilots, frustrated by the slow progress of contract talks that began more than two years ago, said they will seek approval from members for a possible strike. No work stoppage is imminent, because the electronic voting won't be completed for at least a month and results won't be announced until mid-May. More than half of the 2,500 pilots flying UPS packages and other freight throughout the world must approve the proposal before the union can call a strike." See also the Seattle Post-Intelligencer

March 24, 2005 -- Traffic World has reported that "The Air Courier Conference of America changed its name to the Express Delivery and Logistics Association, and said it will be XLA for short. The group said the new name better reflects that its membership goes the aviation realm. The group also has a new executive director, Sue Presti, who has worked with ACCA's international committee for nearly a decade. XLA's members collectively move more than 20 million packages daily and earn revenues of more than $50 billion annually."

March 24, 2005 -- According to Hoovers, "UPS and its pilots' union, the Independent Pilots Association, head into four days of contract negotiations tomorrow. They'll have plenty of issues to talk about and not much time to resolve them if they hope to meet federal mediators' goal for an agreement by the end of the month."

March 24, 2005 -- Eyefortransport.com has reported that "Swiss Post is one of the fastest and most reliable postal companies in the world, according to the annual, independent measurements, while Sweden's postal service is breaking on-time delivery performance records."

March 24, 2005 -- GovExec.com has reported that "Labor and financial provisions in the postal overhaul measure introduced last week by Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Chairwoman Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Sen. Thomas Carper, D-Del., are being generally welcomed by a diverse coalition of stakeholders who want some of the language to find its way into the House version as well. The Senate bill strikes a compromise on a major point of contention: worksharing agreements, which allow the agency to offer discounts to large mailers for presorting mail and other tasks normally done by postal workers. Unions had feared changes in worksharing agreements, but the new language is a consensus among Collins, Carper, the Postal Service, the American Postal Workers Union and the bulk mailers. Union officials did criticize some of the bill's workers' compensation provisions. The compromise drops the four-year limitation on discounts for new products and outlines circumstances when mailers can receive discounts that exceed 100 percent of the Postal Service's costs."

March 24, 2005 -- Have you tried using the Postal Service's new online Domestic Mail Manual? Check it out.

March 24, 2005 -- The Budapest Sun has reported that "despite anecdotal evidence to the contrary, Magyar Posta claims it provides a good service, one that brought in a pre-tax profit of Ft5 billion ($26.73 million) in 2004. Company's contacted by The Budapest Sun, however, tell a different story: one of sending invites out ever earlier or assuming they will go astray."

March 23, 2005 -- The National Association of Postal Supervisors has endorsed postal reform legislation introduced on March 17 by Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), chair of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. NAPS President Ted Keating welcomed the Senator's bill, the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2005 (S. 662), as a constructive step toward achieving comprehensive postal reform.

March 23, 2005 -- GhanaWeb has reported that "The Pan-African Post Union (PAPU), a specialised agency for the African Union (AU), has mandated Ghana and Nigeria to pilot a project for the continent on HIV/AIDS and letter writing on competitive basis. The project is aimed at creating awareness for postal service agencies on the continent in the face of challenges posed by Information Communication Technology (ICT)."

March 23, 2005 -- Aaron Horowitz, Vice President, Operations & General Counsel for Cosmetique (and Executive Vice Chairman for the Association for Postal Commerce) has received an award from the U.S. Postal Service for his work on the Business Mailing Industry Task Force, partner-ship between law enforcement and business mailers to fight fraud in the mailing industry.

March 23, 2005 -- From the Federal Register: "Effective March 20, 2005, the Postal Service will release a redesigned DMM. The redesigned DMM will be issued under a new name, Mailing Standards of the United States Postal Service, Domestic Mail Manual, and will become the official DMM that contains the domestic mailing standards of the Postal Service effective through January 6, 2005. On March 20, the new DMM will be available on line to all Postal employees and customers."

March 23, 2005 -- The Postal Service's Financial and Operating Statements for February 2005 are available online.

March 23, 2005 -- The IowaChannel.com has reported that "Some mail carriers in the Des Moines metro are on strike Wednesday. The strike began at 9 p.m. Tuesday, when employees of the Mail Contractors of America walked off the job. The workers are part of the Urbandale terminal. Union members are unhappy with contract negotiations, particularly their health benefits."

March 23, 2005 -- The Louisville Business Journal has reported that "United Parcel Service Inc.'s profit jumped 15 percent in 2004, and its top executives have been rewarded. Chairman and CEO Michael L. Eskew was paid a salary of $927,500 and bonus of $435,000 in 2004, compared with a salary of $863,000 and bonus of $351,400 in 2003. UPS Chief Operating Officer John J. Beystehner, who also is president of Louisville-based UPS Airlines, made $512,500 and a bonus of $237,800 in 2004. Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer D. Scott Davis was paid $471,800 and got a bonus of $220,400 last year. Senior Vice President of U.S. Operations Calvin Darden, who retires March 31, made a salary of $472,000 and bonus of $220,400 in 2004." The Postal Service's Jack Potter? Well...he got bupkus. And that's about what Congress will provide for him and any future PMG if postal reform is ever enacted.

March 23, 2005 -- Hoovers has reported that United Parcel Service of America,Inc. (UPS), the world's largest express carrier and delivery company, announces that it has made up mind to set up its logistics center of the Northern China in the Free Trade Zone of Tianjin. The administrative agent of the free trade zone andUPS has signed the memo of understanding for cooperation."

March 23, 2005 -- The Peterborough Evening Telegraph has reported that "bungling Royal Mail workers are misdelivering mail addressed to a village post office."

March 23, 2005 -- The Financial Times (U.K.) has reported that "Royal Mail has escaped a fine for poor quality service, despite missing all of its 15 targets last year. Postcomm, the regulator, said Royal Mail had handled two serious disruptions in 2003 - a fire at a big sorting office and a series of unofficial strikes - as well as could be expected. However, the restructuring of its transport network in 2004 was not well managed, causing problems with mail deliveries in the fourth quarter of the financial year. But Nigel Stapleton, Postcomm chairman, said that fining Royal Mail would not help customers but just channel money to the government, Royal Mail's owner."

March 23, 2005 -- The Namibian has reported that "the Board of Namibia Post Limited (NamPost) yesterday announced the appointment of Sakaria Haufiku Nghikembua as the new Chief Executive Officer of NamPost with effect from April 1, following the resignation of his predecessor last year."

March 23, 2005 -- Kyodo (Japan) has reported that "Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said Wednesday his government will try to submit to parliament during next month a set of bills to privatize Japan's postal system now that the fiscal 2005 state budget has cleared the Diet."

March 23, 2005 -- AFX has reported that "China will seek to introduce more competition into its railway and postal systems, possibly by allowing private firms to access centrally administered infrastructure, Jin Kang, chairman of the finance ministry's Institute of Fiscal Science said. As models for possible reforms, Jin cited changes to the power system where private operators now sell electricity to China's central grid and also referred to the US Postal Service (USPS), where private package and courier operations co-exist with the monopoly letter carrier. China's State Postal Bureau (China Post), is currently both the regulator and dominant player in the country's mail delivery market."

March 23, 2005 -- DMNews has reported that "The Mailing Industry Task Force, a coalition of industry and U.S. Postal Service leaders, released its Phase II Progress Report this week at the National Postal Forum in Nashville, TN. The Phase II report highlights successes in four areas: Intelligent Mail and Address Quality; Pricing and Payment; New Products and Services; and the implementation of the Innovation Incubator Initiative, designed to promote the creation of innovative ideas to expand mail use by business and individual consumers."

March 23, 2005 -- Internet Week has reported that "The Williams Cos., which operates 15,000 miles of natural-gas pipelines, has found that using a new Web-based system to pay some of its bills earlier than the standard 45 days will help it save $1 million a year. Before the electronic system, Williams mailed payments to suppliers through the U.S. Postal Service about 30 days after receiving the invoice. By the time the check was cashed, 45 days had typically passed since invoicing. With the new system, suppliers provide invoices via the Web and can check the status of payments online."

March 23, 2005 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that "Shrinking losses at its U.S. unit will help Deutsche Post World Net, Europe's biggest postal and logistics service provider, post 2005 net income of about 2 billion euros ($2.64 billion). The company said Tuesday that new accounting standards, and a tax rate cut will also boost earnings."

March 22, 2005 -- The BBC (U.K.) has reported that "Royal Mail has paid ú43m in compensation to postal customers for late deliveries in the year to March 2004, the postal regulator has said. Postcomm said the money was paid directly to private and business users. Royal Mail must also pass on ú17m in savings to consumers in the new financial year, which starts on 6 April."

March 22, 2005 -- Check out some key presentations from the National Postal Forum being held this week in Nashville, TN (PostCom members only!)

March 22, 2005 -- From the PR Newswire: "The Mailing Industry Task Force (MITF), a coalition of mailing industry and Postal Service leaders, released its Phase 2 Progress Report today heralding the coming of information-rich barcodes that do more than just sort the mail. The four-year-old Task Force also honored its retiring co-chairman, Deputy Postmaster General John M. Nolan, stating that "Your four years have set a new standard for partnership" between the industry and the Postal Service."

March 22, 2005 -- From the Business Wire: "Fishbowl(R), a full-service marketing company for the hospitality industry, today announced that it now offers a complete turnkey direct mail service for restaurants, Fishbowl Direct(SM), designed to build new guest traffic in local markets. By bringing guests into the restaurant for the first time, Fishbowl Direct increases diner trial revenues and delivers a foundation for building long-term customer relationships through ongoing email relationship marketing with Fishbowl Guest Loyalty(SM). Fishbowl Direct is a turnkey service that provides high impact, actionable direct mail campaigns targeted at new restaurant customers, with minimal time or supervision by the restaurant. Its four-part direct mail series supports mailings on trial offers, new movers, new store openings, and holiday party bookings and more."

March 22, 2005 -- PMG Jack Potter told the 6,000 people gathered at the National Postal Forum in Nashville, TN, that management has forwarded to the Board of Governors its recommendation for a rate increase to pay for the escrow account. The increase will be between 5% and 6% across-the-board, which amounts to a 2 cent increase on a First-Class single piece stamp, Poter said, simply to fund the escrow. If the governors accept it, the filing will be made soon. If any legislation is passed that mitigates the escrow payment, the USPS would modify the filing, Potter said.

On the legislation now before House and Senate oversight committees, Potter and Chairman of the Board of Governors Jim Miller said they are concerned about parts of the bill that require reports from the Postal Service that require much attention but do not improve management of the organization. Miller added that some things in the legislation concern him. "If you take this part and drop other parts, it could actually make things worse and we'd be better off with no bill." Miller said he thought the prospects for a bill passing this session were good. But "it needs to come out right." Potter said the key is for a bill that maintains universal service, allows management and the board flexibility and helps the mailing industry grow.

March 22, 2005 -- In other action at the National Postal Forum opening session, PMG Potter said the USPS would begin work on the "Extended Transformation Plan," which would set the course for the USPS to 2010. He encouraged the mailing industry to provide input on its vision of transformation. Attendees were encouraged to visit the transformation work station and submit their comments via the USPS web site.

The Postmaster General recognized Deputy PMG John Nolan for his 25 years of service to the Postal Service and his 10 years in the private sector. Nolan will retire on May 1. He led his final session of the Mailing Industry Task Force later that morning.

Bob Krohn, chairman and CEO of PSI Group, was awarded the Partnership in Progress Award. Krohn is set to retire after a decade heading PSI. A copy of the PMG's speech can be found on the USPS' web site.

March 22, 2005 -- The Polish News Bulletin has reported that:

March 22, 2005 -- Dow Jones has reported that "Mail and logistics company Deutsche Post AG isn't planning to buy into Italy's postal service, Poste Italiane, Chief Executive Klaus Zumwinckel said Tuesday at a press conference. Zumwinckel's comments come follow press reports suggesting Deutsche Post might be interested in expanding in Italy. Italy's government has said it wants to privatise its postal service, but hasn't given a timeframe for the sale. Deutsche Post's attempts to expand its mail services elsewhere in Europe, including Denmark and Austria, have so far proven unsuccessful.

March 22, 2005 -- Bloomberg has reported that "Deutsche Post AG, Europe's biggest postal service, expects a ``positive impact'' on 2005 earnings because new accounting standards will mean a lower tax rate."

March 22, 2005 -- The Scotsman (U.K.) has reported that "The Royal Mail has paid out tens of millions of pounds in compensation to customers for late delivery of post, a new report showed today. Industry regulator Postcomm said ú43 million had been paid in direct compensation to business and private customers, while a further ú17 million was coming out of the postal group's revenues for the current financial year."

March 22, 2005 -- According to Transport Intelligence, "Fedex's good financial results were helped by the migration of lower revenue ground service to premium air express. This occurs later in the economic cycle when shippers become more focused on achieving market share. Getting product to market as quickly as possible becomes the priority with fewer controls on costs. FedEx's commanding position in the US air express market makes it the primary beneficiary of this trend."

March 22, 2005 -- According to Reuters, "Not so long ago, the classified ad section of the local newspaper was the best place to sell a car, rent an apartment or post a job opening. Now the Internet is shaking up this once-staid and lucrative business. Newspaper publishers that once enjoyed a virtual monopoly on the classified market are facing increasing competition, including from Web sites like eBay Inc., for this rich piece of turf."

March 22, 2005 -- Catalog Age has reported that "A keynote address that included images on five plasma TV screens, elaborate slide presentations, a video, and even a short performance from a local band kicked off the 2005 National Postal Forum at the Opryland Hotel and Convention Center here on March 21. More exciting than the bells and whistles, though, was Postmaster General John Potter's confirmation that next year's postal rate hike would likely average no more than 6%--far smaller than had earlier been speculated." A copy of Potter's keynote speech is available on the USPS web site.

March 22, 2005 -- Les Echos has reported that "La Poste, the French postal service operator, reached an agreement on Saturday with trade unions in the Bouches-du-Rhone area, following a dispute that has lasted for three weeks. However, the two sides were unable to agree on payment for the days on which postal workers were on strike; management says that the unions made demands that were not in line with legislation on pay during strikes."

March 22, 2005 -- AllAfrica.com has reported that:

March 21, 2005 -- The USPS today at the National Postal Forum in Nashville, TN, released the results of its Mail Moment Study,  which concludes the consumers value and use their mail.

March 21, 2005 -- The latest copy of the National Association of Postmasters of the U.S. electronic governmental affairs newsletter is available on the NAPUS web site.

March 21, 2005 -- From the PR Newswire:

March 21, 2005 -- The latest UPS financial report is available online.

March 21, 2005 -- According to the Palm Beach Post, "For two centuries, the U.S. Postal Service has coped with snow, rain, heat and gloom of night. Now it's confronting a new challenge in Palm Beach County Ś exploding growth. The county is growing so fast that the postal service can't hire enough full-time carriers. So it's turning to private contractors with their own crews. Postmaster Floyd McDaniel says that the county's unrelenting growth is adding 4,000 new addresses a year along mail routes Ś enough work for five full-time mail carriers. Making matters worse, the postal service has been hobbled by a hiring freeze and a money crunch. So, like other government agencies, it has decided to privatize somewhat. The postal service started hiring contractors here two years ago as a temporary way to fill the gap. But the savings are so great that the private mail carriers could become permanent fixtures in Palm Beach County neighborhoods. The private carriers cost half as much as the federal postal workers. "We find that we can get the entire package through a contractor at a cheaper cost," McDaniel said."

March 21, 2005 -- Transport Intelligence has reported that:

March 21, 2005 -- From the Federal Register: "This document informs the public that at the request of the United States Postal Service Governors, the Commission will reconsider its opinion and recommended decision approving a negotiated service agreement in docket number MC2004-3. The Postal Service has been allowed until April 15, 2005, to submit arguments in favor of reconsideration. The dates for further procedural steps will be determined after the Postal Service submission has been reviewed. The Postal Service's memorandum and proposal is due April 15, 2005."

March 21, 2005 -- Direct has reported that "Mailer groups are upbeat about the Senate postal measure."

March 20, 2005 -- Looking for the Senate postal reform bill?

March 20, 2005 -- The Daily Yomiuri (Japan) has reported that "Liberal Democratic Party executives have told Cabinet members they could not guarantee party consensus on the proposed postal reform bills unless the 2017 date for completion of the move to privatization of the post office was reconsidered."

March 20, 2005 -- The Lowell Sun has reported that "Mail from Washington lawmakers rained on Massachusetts like a spring nor'easter last year, hitting nearly every mailbox and costing taxpayers almost a half-million dollars. The practice, known as "franking," permits legislators to inject unsolicited mass mailings into their districts, paid for by taxpayers. They often come in the form of newsletters featuring lawmakers' photos and their legislative accomplishments and political opinions. Critics contend the practice strengthens incumbents during election years -- though mailings are not permitted within three months of ballots being cast -- and drains federal coffers."

March 19, 2005 -- According to Thomas McLaughlin and Murray Comarow writing for the Federal Times, "The U.S. Postal Service's competitors have long asserted that the agency's advantages deprive them of a level playing field. Yet this tells only one side of the story. In other respects, the Postal Service operates at a disadvantage."

March 19, 2005 -- Kyodo has reported that "The government and the ruling Liberal Democratic Party agreed Saturday that the completion of the nation's postal services privatization can be postponed from the government plan of 2017, if economic and social conditions at that time are deemed."

March 19, 2005 -- From the PR Newswire: "Pitney Bowes Inc. applauded the introduction of new postal reform legislation by Chairman Susan Collins and Senator Tom Carper, the Committee Democrat who has taken the lead on postal reform issues."

March 19, 2005 -- The Postal Service has issued another in a series of revised or new Customer Support Rulings, PS-006, Written Additions, that is intended to provide guidance via clear examples as to what may be mailed as Standard Mail and what must be mailed as First-Class Mail. In addition, two CSRs, PS-125 and PS-176 have been rescinded because of outdated material or having been superseded by new or revised postal standards or other CSRs.

March 19, 2005 -- The Postal Service's latest report of Cost and Revenue Analysis for mail products and services has been posted on the Postal Rate Commission web site.

March 19, 2005 -- Ghanaweb has reported that "The Ghana Post Company Limited has started a pilot "Corporate Mail Bag" service under which it provided door-to-door mail delivery service to corporate customers using the Private Mail Bag system."

March 19, 2005 -- From the Motley Fool: "Stock Madness 2005: UPS vs. FedEx"

March 19, 2005 -- From the BusinessWire: "Escher Group, Ltd., a leading provider of counter automation and business applications to the postal industry, announced today that it has retained the services of Elmar Toime, former deputy chairman of Royal Mail Group and chief executive of New Zealand Post, to identify new business opportunities and develop and promote strategic solutions for customers worldwide."

March 19, 2005 -- Le Figaro (France) has reported that "The French post office, La Poste, has confirmed reports by one of its unions, the CGT, that it has decided to sell its 70 per cent stake in its parcel subsidiary, TAT Express."

S.662..... March 18, 2005 The Senate postal reform bill (S.662) is available on this site. This bill represents a significant improvement over the previous version. It truly sets the stage for enactment of a meaningful postal reform measure. This is the corrected version as introduced in the Senate. See also the Millinocket Magic City Morning Star, Federal Times, and GovExec.com.

March 18, 2005 -- Seven.com.au has reported that "Today Tonight has exposed major security breaches and theft at Australia Post including companies specifically set up to handle stolen money."

March 18, 2005 -- In its latest report on the Postal Service, the Institute for Research on the Economics of Taxation has asked: "The government-owned U.S. Postal Service often cites commercial sensitivity as a reason to withhold from the public various details about the costs and revenues of its products and how it estimates per-product costs. The federal entity compares itself to a private business when resisting disclosure, although it stresses its governmental status in many other contexts. Should a government enterprise like the Postal Service be able to use claims of commercial sensitivity to conceal financial results from the public?"

March 18, 2005 -- Government Computer News has reported that "Rep. Tom Davis took the first step toward making good on his promise to repeal the provision requiring every agency to name a chief privacy officer. The Virginia Republican earlier this week introduced a one-sentence bill that would remove Section 522 of the Transportation, Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act of 2005. Congress referred the bill, HR 1271, to the House Government Reform Committee, which Davis chairs, meaning the legislation will make it through committee quickly and onto the House floor for a vote. "I strenuously oppose Section 522 of the [act] requiring that each federal agency have a privacy officer to carry out duties relating to the privacy and protection of personally identifiable information," Davis said last year during the debate on the appropriations bill. "These federal information security functions are an intrinsic part of existing federal information policy. They are the responsibility of the agency CIO. Therefore, privacy officers are unnecessary."

March 18, 2005 -- Dow Jones has reported that:

March 18, 2005 -- Die Welt has reported that "Deutsche Post, the German postal service operator, which had been regarded as the favourite to acquire the 22 per cent stake to be sold in the Danish operator Post Danmark, may not, after all, win the bid. Danish press reports now suggest that the share package may be acquired by the UK investment firm CVC Capital Partners."

March 18, 2005 -- Newsday has reported that "A congressional committee will review the federal government's response to this week's anthrax scare that closed three mail facilities, but turned out to be a false alarm. U.S. Rep. Christopher Shays, R-Conn., has scheduled an oversight hearing for April 5 on the reported lack of coordination between the agencies involved, including the Pentagon."

March 17, 2005 -- From the Business Wire: "GrayHair Software, Inc., a leading developer of direct mail and business mail applications, and Monticello Software, Inc., a pioneer in the Mail.dat(R) field, have announced a workflow partnership that will enable small- and medium-volume mailers to take advantage of the USPS PostalOne!(R) online acceptance, verification and postage payment systems."

March 17, 2005 -- Ghanaweb has reported that "Mr Yaw Barimah, the Eastern Regional Minister, on Thursday appealed to the management and staff of the Ghana Post Company to change their work ethic to ensure the company's progress. He reminded them that as an all-Ghanaian staff, they had the challenge to succeed to prove the point that Ghanaians have the capability to successfully develop their own institutions without expatriates. Mr Barimah, who was addressing the opening of a two-day Annual Review Meeting of the Ghana Post Company, said if the company wanted to stay in business, then it had to discard its ''civil service attitude'' towards work."

March 17, 2005 -- Gibbons Stamp Monthly has published "The first of three articles by Professor Albert Hamilton on the postage stamps, and associated history, of the island of Newfoundland."

March 17, 2005 -- Bloomberg has reported that "FedEx Corp., the No. 2 U.S. package carrier, said third-quarter profit climbed 53 percent as shipments from Asia and Europe increased."

March 17, 2005 -- Newswatch50 has reported that "In recognition of his commitment and leadership in Congress to enact comprehensive reform of the U.S. Postal Service, the National Newspaper Association has presented Representative John McHugh with its President's Award."

March 17, 2005 -- The New Zealand Herald has reported that "New Zealand Post has almost doubled half-year profit, one of its strongest first-half results ever. And more is likely to come with NZ Post saying yesterday that growth and efficiency gains will contribute to strong full-year results." See also Stuff.co.nz.

March 17, 2005 -- XML.com has noted that "With the increasing popularity of RSS and Atom, syndication is beginning to be used for many more innovative purposes than simply distributing website updates. This article shows how to simplify such mundane tasks as tracking packages by converting tracking data into an RSS 2.0 feed."

March 17, 2005 -- The Cincinnati Enquirer has reported that "Customers, employees and consumer watchdogs have wondered for years if Berkeley Premium Nutraceuticals ran a legitimate business. Now they have even more reason to believe their hunches were on the mark. The lead agency, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, will examine the confiscated records to decide if Berkeley violated mail-fraud laws in the course of billing consumers for products they didn't want after a 30-day free trial period. With more than 5,000 complaints filed against Berkeley at the Cincinnati Better Business Bureau and the Ohio Attorney General's office since 2001, Berkeley has long been accused of unscrupulous business practices. Its ads run frequently on cable TV channels, and its large, 24-hour sales force is pressured to sell erection-enlargement and female libido-enhancement pills to people responding to the TV spots. "Enzyte is more successful subtracting from the male wallet than it is adding to the male organ," said David Schardt, senior nutritionist."

March 17, 2005 -- NBC SanDiego has reported that "Skyrocketing gas prices are putting the pinch on the local postal service district and the high pump prices could soon be passed on to consumers, NBC 7/39 reported. The San Diego postal service is spending $184,000 a month on gas, NBC 7/39 reported. That number is up 22 percent from last year. "(If) fuel goes up a penny, it adds a $1 million to our overall costs per year," said postal worker Mike Cannone. "It is really, really significant." Since the postal service cannot scale back deliveries, it is trying to cut costs using electric vehicles and trucks that run on natural gas. Still, officials admit that continued high prices at the pump could play a role in raising the price of stamps."

March 17, 2005 -- From the U.S. Newswire: "The U.S. Postal Service will meet with representatives of various state attorneys general on Thursday to discuss how the Service can avoid legal liability for its role in delivering cigarettes sold illegally on the Internet. The result could be an agreement to curtail delivery of such cigarettes, or requirements that the sellers take steps such as verifying the age of purchasers, insuring that state cigarette taxes are paid, etc. The meeting was sparked by a letter threatening the postal service with civil -- and possibly even criminal -- liability if it continues to deliver cigarettes purchased over the Internet. The nation's attorneys general have concluded that "virtually all" online tobacco retail sales are illegal, and several other companies which facilitate these sales have taken steps to reduce their potential legal liability by requiring Internet cigarette sales sites to provide proof that they fully comply with the law. The letter to the Postal Service which sparked the meeting was sent by Action on Smoking and Health."

March 17, 2005 -- The Business Ledger has noted that "UPS and Fedex are expanding their markets."

March 17, 2005 -- Le Figaro (France) has reported that "The Bouches-du-Rhone division of the French post office, La Poste, in south-eastern France has decided to clear the backlog of unsorted mail resulting from strike action by setting up a parallel sorting service aimed mainly at businesses."

March 17, 2005 -- RTE Business (Ireland) has reported that "An Post has sold its two subsidiaries in the international mobile telephone top-up market for Ç85m. PostTS UK and PostTS Spain are being sold to electronic payments group Alphyra. An Post bought the two companies from the Caudwell Group for Ç8.5m in February 2002. An Post says that since then it has invested a further Ç7.5m in the businesses, which were returned to profit in 2004."

March 17, 2005 -- The Wall Street Journal has reported that "German mail and logistics unit Deutsche Post World Net AG has sold its 24.8% stake in German logistics firm Transoflex to financial investor Odewald & Cie of Berlin."

March 17, 2005 -- The Financial Express (India) has reported that "The government has ruled out privatisation of postal services but indicated that franchising post office facilities was an option that the department will pursue in future to expand the postal network."

March 17, 2005 -- Asia Pulse has reported that "Japan Post announced Wednesday the management goals of its two-year action plan leading up to privatization in 2007. The plan calls for measures to shore up the customer base ahead of privatization, including emphasizing the delivery of postal packages and the promotion of investment trusts for customers with postal savings. Japan Post aims to trim its work force by 10,000 employees by the end of fiscal 2006 to reduce its total payroll to 252,000."

March 17, 2005 -- Japan Today has reported that "The government will accept the ruling Liberal Democratic Party's demand in a meeting Thursday that post offices are legally required to be evenly situated nationwide even after privatization."

March 16, 2005 --PostCom's Postal Operations Library provides archived articles from the PostCom Bulletin and other PostCom publications, separated by topic. Each document contains a reverse chronological (most recent articles first) listing of articles published by PostCom on that particular topic. The Postal Operations Library is designed to facilitate research and education/training on specific issues for PostCom member companies. The documents are updated as articles are published by PostCom. The Postal Operations Library provides PostCom members with a tool to obtain the most comprehensive information available on a particular issue. For example, if a member wants all the information PostCom has published on the USPS' Postal Automated Redirection System (PARS), or if a member wants to research the chronological progression of a program such as MERLIN, it can be obtained quickly and easily by visiting the Postal Operations Library. This new service is available to PostCom members only.

March 16, 2005 -- Deutsche Welle has reported that "A parcel which vibrated and made strange noises caused panic in a post office in eastern Germany on Wednesday before it was revealed that it was an inflatable erotic doll, police said. The police noticed that the sender's address was on the package. When they confronted the red-faced sender of the parcel, he explained it was a lifesize sex doll which he had packed up to be sent back to the manufacturers because it had failed to have the desired effect. "He opened the package and expertly removed the batteries," said the spokesman. "It was rather embarrassing for the sender."

March 16, 2005 -- In a communication directed to all postal customers, USPS Pricing and Classification Vice President Steve Kearney said: "I am writing to let you know that the new mailing standard clarifying the eligibility standards for Standard Mail takes effect June 1. This is more than a year after we first proposed it, and seven months after the new clarified standard was published in the Federal Register. So far, many customers have indicated that they have appreciated our efforts to clarify the line between what can be mailed as Standard Mail and what must go as First-Class Mail."

March 16, 2005 -- CEP News (Courier-Express-Postal) has reported that:

Don't be satisfied with a less than complete report on the courier, express, and postal market in Europe. Get your subscription to CEP News, today..

March 16, 2005 -- In his latest communication to his members, American Postal Workers Union President William Burrus said that "I am often amazed at the hypocrisy found in political debate when large sums of money are at stake. And in the debate over postal "reform" legislation, some major mailers have taken hypocrisy to new heights. These corporate and advertising mailers seem willing to go to any length to protect the excessive postage discounts they have come to enjoy. And while they vigorously defend the postage discounts they receive for "worksharing" ľ even when the discounts exceed the costs the Postal Service avoids ľ they decry postal wages, claiming that postal workers are overpaid. Even worse, the corporate and advertising mailers are currently engaged in an all-out effort to convince the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs, which is preparing postal reform legislation, that these excessive discounts should be codified into law."

Gee....Given the strength of feeling expressed above, the following item is worth re-reading.
According to postal commentator Gene Del Polito, "The Postal Service and policy makers find themselves confounded by the confusion resulting from the use of two dialects of the same language based on a perpetuation of a PRC fiction that single-piece and presort First-Class Mail are both a part of one subclass, rather than two distinctively different subclasses. The matter can be resolved simply by instructing the USPS to provide its ratemaking data based on CRAs generated for every separately scheduled rate, and by giving the USPS sole authority to define what is and what isn't a subclass.

March 16, 2005 -- The Outer Banks Sentinel has reported that "Benjamin Franklin worked long and hard to find the quickest routes to move the mail between the colonies in the 1700s. Although a genius, it's doubtful that he ever could have imagined that the day would come when the route could be shortened to the distance between the customer's front door and the computer. With the hectic summer months just around the corner, the United States Postal Service is encouraging the Outer Banks' small business and residential customers to use the Internet to serve their postal needs."

March 16, 2005 -- According to the Associated Press, " Anthrax tests from two Pentagon mailrooms came back negative Tuesday, a day after initial testing indicated the deadly spores might be present, prompting nearly 900 workers to take antibiotics. Responding to what now appear to have been false alarms, officials handed out antibiotics and closed three mail facilities Ś two that serve the Pentagon and one in Washington that handles mail on its way to the military. Officials think that the confusion stemmed from a mistake at a Defense Department laboratory at Fort Detrick, Md. Officials there apparently mixed up a sample of actual anthrax that is kept on hand for comparison purposes with the sample taken from the Pentagon mailroom, a senior administration official said Tuesday." See also the Washington Post.

March 16, 2005 -- The USPS' Marketing Technology and Channel Management has recently unveiled an updated version of the MERLIN Website, which incorporates the great feedback it has received from our internal staff and from customers.

March 16, 2005 -- The Journal of Commerce has repoarted that "the European Union will press Washington next week to open up the trans-Atlantic air-cargo market as a first step towards its long-standing goal of creating a single EU-U.S. aviation market. The negotiations, which began in 2003, broke down in June after EU transport ministers rejected a proposal from Washington which they said did not give European carriers sufficient access to the U.S. domestic market. The EU is focusing on airfreight because it is smaller than the passenger sector and most all-cargo carriers broadly support market-opening measures."

March 15, 2005 -- According to postal commentator Gene Del Polito in an article for Direct magazine, "Any business person worth his or her salt knows that it costs more to find a new customer than it does to keep an old one. The more customers you keep, the better your bottom line.You've got to wonder, then, why the Postal Service seems so bent on driving some of its current customers out of the mail rather than working with them more closely to keep them on as active customers."

March 15, 2005 -- Nikkei has reported that "The postal privatization bill draft compiled by the government includes a requirement that it sell to the market about two-thirds of the outstanding shares of the holding company that takes over Japan Post."

March 15, 2005 -- WJLA-TV has reported that "The Postal Service says it's taking a cautious approach by closing the V Street postal sorting facility. The facility only handles government mail. It was closed after signs of anthrax were detected on mail at military mail facilities at the Pentagon and Bailey's Crossroads. A little over 200 people work at the facility and they are being given antibiotics as a precaution. There are no reports of any health problems. D.C. Health Director Doctor Gregg Pane says there's no reason to panic. He calls it "prudent" to offer the antibiotics to workers at the V Street facility."

March 15, 2005 -- Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) has written a letter to the Senate Budget Committee urging that they include a reserve account in the Fiscal Year 2006 budget for "meaningful" postal reform. Senator Collins is expected this week to introduce postal reform legislation that she authored with Senator Tom Carper (D-DE). Senator Carper also signed the letter to the Budget Committee. Senator Collins is the Chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, which has jurisdiction over the United States Postal Service (USPS).

March 15, 2005 -- In his most recent communique with the members of the American Postal Workers Union, APWU President William Burrus wrote: 

Legislation to overhaul the Postal Service is on track to be presented in the Senate soon, and discussions between the White House and the Senate and House committees with jurisdiction are ongoing.

The major issues of concern to APWU that are under discussion are:

  1. Whether the Postal Service will continue to be responsible for the retirement costs for military service of USPS employees (no other federal agency pays these costs);
  2. The release from escrow of approximately $70 billion that the Postal Service overpaid to the Civil Service Retirement fund;
  3. Weakening the limits on excessive "worksharing" discounts that were adopted by the Senate committee last year;
  4. Restrictions on USPS authority to increase rates;
  5. Changes to the pricing and classification of single-piece parcel-post mail that could force the Postal Service to discontinue providing the service; and
  6. Reductions to compensation for employees who are injured on the job.

In addition, the following anti-union proposals have been circulated, but have not been accepted by the sponsors of the legislation:

  1. A request by the USPS Board of Governors [PDF] and the Postmaster General that would require the union to negotiate for benefits ű such as healthcare and retirement ű that are currently guaranteed by law; and
  2. A proposal that would require arbitrators to factor into their decisions on postal worker contracts a selective set of economic criteria (such as the Postal Service's "present financial health") that would virtually guarantee that the wages and benefits of postal workers would be eroded.

APWU is engaged in the discussions to resolve the outstanding issues. However, items 7 and 8 are viewed as destructive, anti-union amendments. Their consideration would require the APWU ű and perhaps other postal unions ű to use all of our resources to defeat this effort at postal "reform."

March 15, 2005 -- The Orlando Sentinel has reported that "In old Winter Park, residents love their oak-lined brick streets, crisp homes and manicured lawns. But they hate streetside mailboxes. The neighbors there don't want their streets to become "tin-can alleys," says resident Rod Sward, chairman of Keep Winter Park Streets Beautiful. The city won't allow mailboxes to be installed, and yet the postmaster won't deliver to some homes without one. The nearly decade-long war still has residents caught in the crossfire. The postmaster is "holding mail hostage," Sward said."

March 15, 2005 -- dBusiness News has reported that "B WE Bell + Howell, the world's leading manufacturer of document processing and postal solutions, this week announced the company and its employees have raised $84,500 for worldwide tsunami relief efforts."

March 15, 2005 -- Borsen-Zeitung (Germany) has reported that "Deutsche Post, the German postal service operator, is no longer interested in acquiring Osterreichische Post, Austria's leading postal service operator. The German group previously decided not to bid for Belgium's state-owned postal service operator, but is still interested in acquiring Denmark's leading postal operator. Deutsche Post will instead focus on extending its existing operations in Spain, France, the UK, the US and the Netherlands. Management aims to boost operations abroad in order to reduce the group's dependence on its monopoly for domestic letter forwarding activities, which expires in 2007."

March 15, 2005 -- AMEInfo has reported that "A high-level UAE delegation, led by H.E. Sultan Saeed Al Mansoori, UAE Minister for Communications, attended the 8th annual conference on European Postal Services, organized by the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) in Rome from March 8 to 10, 2005. Mr. Abdulla Al Daboos addressing the European Postal Services Conference. The event focused on the need to respond to changing mail scenario and provide a new direction to posts."

March 15, 2005 -- Asia Pulse has reported that "Encouraged by the response, the UAE postal service has re-launched its parcel service to India which guarantees delivery to the destination within two weeks and more value-added features."

March 15, 2005 -- From the PR Newswire: "Suburbia's latest challenge may not be "keeping up with the Jones," but rather "slowing down and getting to know the Jones.'" One thing's for sure: more than half of Americans (55%) believe they are less familiar with their neighbors today than their parents were with their neighbors a generation ago. And, according to a recent survey, our hectic schedules are to blame. In this fast-paced world of instant worldwide communications, it's ironic that sometimes the hardest connections to make are with folks just across the street." Sad...but true.

March 15, 2005 -- Transport Intelligence has reported that "DHL has opened a US $15.85 million export facility at Sydney Airport, as it anticipates further free trade agreements between Australia and its trading partners. The air express cargo facility has the capacity to move over 90,000 kilograms of freight each day. DHL said it was hoping to benefit from increased international trade following Australia's free trade agreement with the US, as well an expected deal with the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN)."

March 15, 2005 -- DI-VE (Malta) has reported that "Mail deliveries are still being hit by an industrial action ordered by the GWU. Last week, the General Workers' Union has registered an industrial dispute with Maltapost and has directed counter administrators not to process bills of any organisation or institution that are normally paid at Maltapost as of today. As a reaction, the company suspended four workers as they were advised not to report to work until the issue is resolved."

March 15, 2005 -- DMA International Affairs Vice President Charles Prescott, who also serves as the Chairman of the Universal Postal Union's Consultative Committee, has written an excellent piece on "The UPU: Why It Matters."

March 15, 2005 -- AllAfrica.com has reported that "Mailsafe should enhance the effectiveness of door-to-door delivery of mail throughout the country, improve the security of mails, increase the revenue base of postal services, provide data for macro economic planning, enhance the effectiveness of bill distribution by utility companies and improve revenue collection of utility services such as electricity, water, telephone, among others."

March 14, 2005 -- The Postal Service's for On-Roll and Paid Employee Statistics (ORPES), February, 2005 (Pay Period 04, 2005) has been posted on the Postal Rate Commission web site.

March 14, 2005 -- The Oxford Economic Forecasting study of "The Economic Impact of Express Carriers in Europe" is available on this site. Thanks go to the Global Express Association for making this report available to PostCom as a courtesy.

March 14, 2005 -- According to Traffic World, "ABX Air is finding that being independent is increasingly profitable, whether the former Airborne Express airline flies for DHL or not."

March 14, 2005 -- The Associated Press has reported that "Iran's postal service issued a stamp Monday lauding the country's achievements in nuclear technology, state-run television reported. President Mohammad Khatami oversaw the ceremony launching the new stamp during a visit to Iran's atomic energy organization. The stamp features a picture of the Bushehr nuclear power plant emblazoned over a map of Iran, along with emblems of the country's atomic energy agency: a bunch of wheat and a book. A lightning bolt meant to symbolize the peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear program - Iran contends it is pursuing technology for civilian use - is also featured on the stamp."

March 14, 2005 -- From the PR Newswire: "The dramatically redesigned "Mailing Standards of the United States Postal Service" (DMM 300) will be released at the 2005 National Postal Forum (NPF), the nation's leading mailing industry trade show in Nashville, TN, March 20-23. The DMM 300, which focuses on the needs of large volume mailers, postal employees and customers who require access to all mailing standards, will be given to registered Forum attendees beginning Sunday, March 20 and throughout the event while supplies last. The DMM 300 builds on the success of the industry award winning DMM 100, "A Customer's Guide to Mailing," and the DMM 200, "A Guide to Mailing for Businesses and Organizations."

March 14, 2005 -- As the Federal Times has noted, "When Clay Johnson went to Austin to help newly elected Texas Gov. George W. Bush set up his statehouse administration in 1995, he expected it to be a short gig, maybe a year and a half. Now, 10 years later, Johnson is still working for Bush, this time as a key player in his White House administration. As deputy director for management at the Office of Management and Budget, Johnson's job is to make sure agencies work better and spend the taxpayers' money wisely." Johnson is the former CEO of the Horchow Collection.

March 14, 2005 -- DM News has reported that "In contrast with the critics of postal reform who have charged that the proposed postal reform legislation would increase the deficit by as much as $1 billion a year, this new analysis shows that not passing postal reform could result in a loss of tax revenues in the $2 billion to $3 billion range."

March 14, 2005 -- The Herald News has reported that "Working through the worst winter in decades, the postal worker's motto, "Neither rain, nor sleet, nor gloom of night will keep me from my appointed rounds," could be forever tarnished, according to carriers of the Fall River and Somerset post office branches, who have been forced into mandatory overtime, working on days off and delivering mail in the dark. And some postal carriers say that's only the beginning."

March 14, 2005 -- According to one columnist for the Ridgecrest (CA) Daily Indpendent, "Somehow things seem to be getting mixed up at the Post Office. Like letters, for instance. Things that should arrive the next day, don't make it for weeks. Some letters that should arrive next door, travel around the world for awhile before reaching their destination. Airmail has taken on a whole new meaning."

March 14, 2005 -- According to Federal Computer Week, "Accenture surveyed more than 140 government officials in the United States and 12 foreign countries. Overall, the findings showed that public-sector officials have been slower to adopt the shared service center concept than their private-sector counterparts. Many executives interviewed for the Accenture survey identified savings as a top shared services objective. U.S. Postal Service officials, for example, saved $71.4 million and reduced their financial operating expenses by 16 percent to 18 percent though shared services, according to the survey. Robert Otto, USPS' chief technology officer, said creating shared service centers for IT, finance and human resources eliminated the need for hundreds of positions and decreased the agency's workload. To avoid putting all their eggs into one basket, USPS officials did not create a single financial shared service center. Instead, they lumped hundreds of sites performing finance operations into three shared service centers. Based on their experience with that project, officials consolidated their human resources operations into one shared service center."

March 14, 2005 -- New Kerala (India) has reported that "The proposed nation-wide postal strike tomorrow had its echo in the Rajya Sabha today with members of NDA and Left parties demanding sympathetic consideration of demands of employees by Government. The issue was raised during zero hour by BJP member S.S. Ahluwalia who said lakhs of postal employees were going on strike tomorrow to press their demands alleging that the Government has backed on its promise to look into their grievances. He said they had to resort to strike, that too in the crucial month of March, as Government has failed to address their problems."

March 14, 2005 -- Digitial Media Asia has reported that "China United Telecommunications Corporation Ltd. (China Unicom) and China Post have recently signed an agreement on joint development of the ŠUni Video' visual information service in Beijing. The broadband visual information platform of ŠUni Video' is reportedly the only public switchboard of visual data in China. According to terms of the agreement, the two sides will use the extensive network of service outlets of China Post to jointly expand the coverage of the ŠUni Video' visual information service."

March 14, 2005 -- The Herald (U.K.) is carrying a story about "A SCOTTISH start-up company has joined the hodgepodge of hobbyists, small-time entrepreneurs and eclectic collectors on eBay's daily virtual auctions with a new twist that could make its business boom and, at the same time, help millions of needy individuals. Global Satcom, a Glasgow-based company founded by post office worker Graeme Ritchie, intends to turn over ˙300,000 within two years by taking in boxloads of goods from charity shops and selling them at often triple the price they would fetch on the high street." A neat idea!

March 14, 2005 -- Transport Intelligence has reported that "Japan Post is increasing its range of services in competition with the private sector. It is in the process of developing a door to door Šfrozen parcel' product, rivalling its leading competitor Yamato Transport Co. In order to do this the postal operator is entering into agreements with other parcels companies, including Nippon Express, to serve a domestic B2C market. It will focus on marketing the new product and the development will not require any investment of its own. It is believed that the new product development for frozen goods and other recent initiatives are as a result of the Japanese government's plans for privatising the post office."

March 14, 2005 -- Kyodo has reported that "Japan Post President Masaharu Ikuta on Monday dismissed as unrealistic the government's profit estimates for new businesses that may be launched by entities to be created through privatization of postal services."

March 13, 2005 -- You can find the program for the 39th Annual Print Distribution Conference on this web site.

March 13, 2005 -- Window Book, Inc., a firm specializing in postal shipping, manifest mailing and Delivery Confirmationź software, recently released the Your First Priority PackageÍ mailer (YFPP). This patent-pending solution is the only 3/4-inch thick bubble mailer specially designed to meet the U.S. Postal Service's First-Class Mailź Delivery & Signature Confirmation requirements as per DMM S918. Shippers using YFPP mailers benefit from the affordable cost and great value of the USPS First-Class Mail rates on lightweight fulfillments and can still track their packages without paying high UPSź, FedExź or DHLź rates. YFPP's have been largely successful for legal and financial mailers who require proof their crucial documents or accountable mail pieces are delivered to their recipient's door.

March 13, 2005 -- The Periodical Publications Association (U.K.) has reported that "Complaints about lost or misdirected letters will cost the Royal Mail nearly ˙50 per complaint, under a new scheme for funding the postal services watchdog, Postwatch. Postwatch, which handled 273,000 complaints during the last financial year and spent more than ˙10m, (or ˙37 per complaint), has always been funded by the Royal Mail through a licence fee. However, the Royal Mail has announced it will now pay Postwatch directly and in proportion to the complaints received. For the first 27,500 complaints received, Royal Mail will pay ˙45. Any complaints after that will cost ˙36."

March 13, 2005 -- The Times of Malta has reported that "The General Workers' Union has registered an industrial dispute with Maltapost and has directed counter administrators not to process bills of any organisation or institution that are normally paid at Maltapost as from Tuesday. The union said the issue is over the failure by Maltapost to implement recommendations related to the conditions of work of the workers in question. It said the issue dated back to June 2003."

March 13, 2005 -- According to Azertaj, "Distribution by Armenia of the postage stamps on behalf of the so-called "Nagorno Karabakh Republic" is inadmissible. Nagorno Karabakh is an internal part of Azerbaijan. Making such step and the assistance rendered by some countries to Armenia in this is estimated as disrespect to the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Azerbaijan. These ideas were expressed in the letter sent to the member countries by the UPU International Bureau's Director General Edward Diane who supported position of Azerbaijan, foreign ministry of Azerbaijan told AzerTAj."

March 13, 2005 -- Deepikaglobal (India) has  reported that "Postal employees across the country will go on an indefinite strike from March 15 in support of their 12-point charter of demands, which included dropping the proposed move to amend the IPO Act, 1898, and POSB Act and retain the monopoly of postal services and savings bank. The Postal Joint Council of Action, in a release here, said the employees of Postal, RMS, MMS, Administrative, Postal Accounts and Gramin Dak Sevaks will strike work on a call given by the National Federation of Postal Employees and the Federation of National Postal Organisations."

March 13, 2005 -- Globes Online (Israel) has reported that "The Israel Postal Authority plans to spend NIS 250 million in replacing its mail-sorting center in Tel Aviv. The Postal Authority will publish an international tender in the next few days for leading companies dealing in consultation, designing, and construction of mail-sorting and logistics centers."

March 13, 2005 -- Reuters has reported that "The transport sector may be moving into the later stage of the economic expansion and the group's stocks may be approaching a peak, Bear Stearns analyst Ed Wolfe said on Friday, citing two trends that emerged in a quarterly shippers' survey. The airfreight and logistics, rail and trucking sectors have outperformed the S&P 500 in the past five years, leaving Wolfe concerned that the group "may be approaching a peak," and that when a downturn emerges, it could be a long one."

March 13, 2005 -- According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, "FedEx Ground is booming and has become fierce rival to UPS."

March 13, 2005 -- BruneiDirect has noted that "Although nowadays there are modern and sophisticated modes of delivering mail, Kuala Lumpur still prefers to hold on to the traditional use of bicycle, which has been in existence since 1800. Today, people only seem to see letters being delivered by postmen on motorcycles or mail vans."

March 13, 2005 -- As the Journal of Commerce has noted, "As crude oil prices soar to all-time highs, air-cargo carriers are again imposing fuel surcharges to deal with the extra costs."

March 13, 2005 -- According to Zap2It, "Robots are taking over -- your local post office. Visitors to post office lobbies nationwide can interact with ODIS the talking robot mailbox, who will demonstrate to Rodney and Fender -- two mechanical stars of 20th Century Fox's "Robots" -- how to use the USPS.com's online services. Humans with postal needs will benefit from the instructions as well. The online services include: the Hold Mail function, which allows customers to instruct the post office to temporarily hang onto their mail during trips away, and the NetPost CardStore, which lets visitors custom design and mail greeting cards, complete with personalized photos and gift cards."

March 12, 2005 -- A report by the U.S. Department of State summarizing the work of the 2005 session of the UPU Postal Operations Council, held in Bern, Switzerland from January 17 to 28 has been posted on this site.

March 12, 2005 -- The Japan Times has reported that "Just over 49 percent of respondents to a government poll support Japan Post's privatization and more than 68 percent of respondents are "interested" in the issue, according to figures released Friday. While the results could be used as ammunition for Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's drive to change the state-run postal service, several major media firms' polls show the public does not think the issue should be a priority for the government."

March 11, 2005 -- Business Mailers Review has reported that:

Business Mailers Review is published biweekly by Sedgwick Publishing Co. For subscription information, check the BMR web site.

March 11, 2005 -- The latest copy of the National Association of Postmasters of the U.S. electronic governmental affairs newsletter is available on the NAPUS web site.

March 11, 2005 -- RTE Interactive has reported that "Figures released this afternoon show that An Post's service last year fell well short of targets set by communications regulator ComReg. ComReg's 2004 report on the postal service shows that 72% of standard mail was delivered within one working day throughout the State. This compares with the regulator's target of 94% and is up only slightly on the 2003 figure of 71%. 96% of mail was delivered within three working days. This was again short of the ComReg target of 99.5% and was unchanged from 2003. The report also found that service levels for mail posted in Dublin for delivery elsewhere were poorer than for mail posted outside Dublin for delivery countrywide."

March 11, 2005 -- According to Hoovers:

March 11, 2005 -- From the PR Newswire: "Marion Narcisse, a retail sales associate at the Denham Springs, LA, Post Office, has been selected as the national winner of the 7th annual Benjamin Franklin Community Newspaper and Postal Service Partnership Award of Excellence."

March 11, 2005 -- The Postal Service will release the redesigned Domestic Mail Manual (DMM) on March 20, 2005 at the National Postal Forum (NPF) in Nashville, TN. Now officially called, Mailing Standards of the United States Postal Service, Domestic Mail Manual, the new DMM replaces DMM 58 effective March 20.

March 11, 2005 -- Transport Intelligence has reported that "Deutsche Post is turning its attention to more postal privatizations planned in Europe and overseas in the run-up to full postal liberalization in the EU. After bidding for a 25% stake in Post Danmark, the German group is now considering an offer for Poste Italiane. But a bid for the Belgian post office is off the agenda."

March 11, 2005 -- According to MSN Money, "AuthentiDate Holding Corp. ADAT announced today that AuthentiDate and Eastman Kodak Company EK will test the interoperability of the United States Postal Service Electronic Postmark(R) Service (USPS(R) EPM(R)) with Kodak's Secure Email Service (SES). The two companies will work together to pilot Kodak's Secure Email Service incorporating the USPS Electronic Postmark Service. Backed by the integrity of the United States Postal Service, the EPM detects any alteration of the data."

March 11, 2005 -- According to the latest report on postal employment, "As of February, USPS career workforce stands at 690,301, down 14,280 from the prior year. The biggest reductions were in clerks- 10,042; mailhandlers- 1,267; supervisors- 1,117; and Area/HQ- 886. City carriers dropped by 64, while rural carriers were the only group to increase, up by 999."

March 11, 2005 -- According to Reuters, "Some 1,519 postal workers have been living in poverty since the Congolese government split the national Post and Telecommunications Office (ONPT) into two entities and placed them under the new Soci t e des T l communications du Congo (SOTELCO) in 2002. Since the beginning of 2004, they received just two months pay from their new employer, which, like the old one, belongs to the state."

March 11, 2005 -- SevenOnline has reported that "Many planes, trains and subways were idle Thursday and postal workers and teachers stayed home in a day of national labor protest that also risked embarrassing organizers of Paris' bid for the 2012 Summer Olympics."

March 11, 2005 -- From the PR Newswire: "Michael J. Critelli, chairman and CEO of Pitney Bowes Inc. told a group of financial analysts this week that the company's growth in 2005 and beyond will stem from creating and building multiple and diverse growth platforms within the mail and document management market place, rather than a single or handful of very large opportunities."

March 11, 2005 -- According to Dow Jones, "Dutch postal and logistics company TPG (TP) said in a press statement Thursday that ABN AMRO (ABN), BNP Paribas (13110.FR), HSBC Bank plc (HBC) and The Royal Bank of Scotland plc, the Mandated Lead Arrangers and Bookrunners, completed a EUR1 billion multicurrency revolving credit facility for TPG NV. The facility replaces the company's existing EUR600 million facility signed October 03. It will be used as liquidity backup for TPG's Euro commercial paper programme and for general funding purposes."

March 11, 2005 -- From the BusinessWire: "Synactive, a leading developer of customizing and simplification solutions for SAP R/3(R) (NYSE:SAP), today announced that Canada Post has successfully deployed Synactive's GuiXT product as the standard for their HR appraisal process. Canada Post, the official postal administration for Canada, cited reduced training time, better user compliance and ease of use as primary factors in its decision."

March 10, 2005 -- From the PR Newswire: "Omega Communications, Inc., a leading provider of eCommerce solutions, announced today their approval from UPS as a licensed integrator of UPS OnLineź Tools."

March 10, 2005 -- ArriveNet has reported that "Federal Solutions Group, LLC (FSG), a Federal IT sales accelerator for a highly select group of leading technology companies, today announced the appointment of Norm Lorentz as Senior Managing Director. Mr. Lorentz recently served for two years as the first ever Chief Technology Officer (CTO) for the Federal government at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Mr. Lorentz has also spent six years at the U.S. Postal Service where he held several positions including Senior Vice President, CTO and Chief Quality Officer.

March 10, 2005 -- The Navhind Times (India) has reported that "All postal unions in Goa namely NFPE, FNPO and BPEU, in a joint meeting, have unanimously resolved to participate in an indefinite strike called by three major postal federations of the country, commencing from March 15.The strike had been called after all efforts to resolve the workers demands failed. The strike call has been given by the federations to fulfill 12 demands including revision of pay scales of all cadres of postal staff and lifting the ban on recruitment and filling of vacant posts in all categories, immediately."

March 9, 2005 -- The Kyodo news service has reported that "The government is considering slashing the capitalization for a planned privatized postal savings entity from the originally intended 6.3 trillion yen so that more funds can be allotted to other spinoffs from Japan Post, government sources said."

March 9, 2005 -- According to the DM Bulletin (U.K.), "Pitney Bowes has appointed Stuart Bonthrone as managing director of the UK and Ireland, replacing Steve Grieco."

March 9, 2005 -- The Asahi Shimbun has reported that "Postal workers have stolen more than 1.59 billion yen in public funds so far in fiscal 2004-double last year's take and already the highest annual amount in the past decade, Japan Post officials said."

March 9, 2005 -- Japan Times has reported that "Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi is trying to stare down his Liberal Democratic Party. But LDP heavyweight Tamisuke Watanuki says he won't be the first to blink. Watanuki, a former speaker of the House of Representatives, is considered a key figure in the political tug of war over privatization of postal services, on which Koizumi has bet the fate of his Cabinet."

March 9, 2005 -- Transport Intelligence has reported that "Swedish Post, Posten, has released its 2004 results. The mail operatorĂs net sales grew by 2% to SEK 25,120m (ă2,763m) although its operating profits improved considerably by SEK 1,269m (ă139.6m) to SEK 991m (ă109m). This was achieved mainly by higher revenues and substantial cost reductions. Management stated that fierce competition and electronic substitution had eroded mail volumes although demand for Posten's logistics and direct mail services had continued to rise."

March 9, 2005 -- CEP News (Courier-Express-Postal) has reported that:

Don't be satisfied with a less than complete report on the courier, express, and postal market in Europe. Get your subscription to CEP News, today..

March 8, 2005 -- AFX Europe has reported that "Siemens AG's Swiss unit has won an order worth 310 mln sfr from the Swiss post office Schweizerische Post for letter-sorting equipment, Schweizerische Post said in a statement."

March 8, 2005 -- As the Washington Post has noted, "The House and Senate Budget committees tomorrow will begin writing their budget resolutions for fiscal 2006 -- the first in a series of legislative steps that help shape federal workforce issues, including next year's federal pay raise. The resolutions prepared by the budget committees serve as guidelines to the Appropriations committees, which put together the annual spending bills. Given the rising federal deficit, the budget committees also may order other congressional committees to find cost savings in the programs that they oversee -- a process called reconciliation. If such cuts are ordered, the committees that handle federal employee programs -- Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, and Government Reform -- would face tough choices because most of the money under their jurisdiction is in the federal retirement and health insurance programs. In addition to addressing the federal pay raise, Collins and the House committee called for adjustments on U.S. Postal Service pension and health care obligations as a way to hold down mailing costs."

March 8, 2005 -- It is with sadness that we note the passing of veteran list compiler and founder of National Business Lists Leo Gans. Gans served for many years as a member of the PostCom Board of Directors. He was 89. Gans founded Chicago-based NBL in 1958 and remained at the helm of the company until selling it to Market Data Retrieval and retiring in 1984. 

March 8, 2005 -- The Polish News Bulletin has noted: "Poczta Polska: State-owned Giant Enters Path Towards Commercialisation as Full Market Liberalisation Looms."

March 8, 2005 -- Transport Intelligence has reported that "Finnish logistics operator John Nurminen Oy is to sell its Fashion Logistics business operations to Finland Post to concentrate on its core business areas. The operations will transfer to Post's Logistics business unit on 30 April 2005, and Fashionet Logistics' personnel will be employed by the Post."

March 8, 2005 -- Check out the BBC's "On this day in 1971" piece.

March 8, 2005 -- Information Week has reported that "On the job for just two months, United Parcel Service Inc. CIO and senior VP David Barnes has three big projects on his plate. The overall strategy is to develop one-to-one customer relationships, while maintaining an IT infrastructure with "dial-tone reliability."

March 8, 2005 -- A copy of the National Association of Postal Supervisors Legislative Update has been posted on this site.

March 8, 2005 -- The National Post (Canada) has reported that "A former ad man implicated in the federal sponsorship scandal received some rare good news Monday when Canada Post said it found $250,000 that had vanished after being handled by his firm. But Jean Lafleur's relief was tempered by more evidence he spent lavishly, reaped huge commissions and even double-billed the government for other sponsorship work in the 1990s. The inquiry into the sponsorship program was told that Canada Post had tracked down the missing $250,000 sent by Public Works through Lafleur."

March 8, 2005 -- According to Japan Today, "Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi urged his fellow Liberal Democratic Party executives Monday to work hard to get the opponent-dominated ruling party to support privatizing Japan Post with the aim of legislating the policy by June 19."

March 7, 2005 -- It's Official: Deputy Postmaster General John Nolan has announced that he will retire from the USPS at the end of May.

March 7, 2005 -- Heard it thru the grapevine: Word has it that some USPS national sales reps aggressively pursuing information on mailing patterns and spending, apparently in an attempt to build a national database on postal customers. If the sales rep does not receive the information from his or her postal contact (often a manager of postal operations), the sale rep is going to a higher level manager to request the same data. The requests usually include data would be considered confidential, if not proprietary--data that would never be divulged to the USPS. Anyone hearing of such a problem should contact PostCom immediately.

March 7, 2005 -- According to a recent article in the National Review, "It's time to privatize the U.S. Postal Service. The facts are plain. Even with a locked-in monopoly, the USPS can't make ends meet. Its accounting is so murky and convoluted it makes our Enrons and WorldComs look like models of financial transparency. We mail-users ¨ and ultimately taxpayers ¨ end up paying through the nose for the increasingly obsolete privilege of "universal service," i.e., six-day-a-week delivery to every household in the nation. If USPS were a private company, now would be the time to get serious about cutting costs and downsizing. If USPS were a competitive company ¨ as opposed to bloated federal bureaucracy ¨ stamp prices would be falling, not rising."

March 7, 2005 -- ChannelNewsAsia has reported that "SingPost is buying into Accord Customer Care Solutions as a major partner. Lim Ho Kee, Chairman, SingPost, said, "Our three core business are mail, logistics and retail....ACCS is in the business that will allow us to enhance our logistics business and our retail business.

March 7, 2005 -- AMEInfo has reported that "Addressing the first World Mail, Express & Air Cargo Expo in Dubai last week, ARAMEX President and Chief Executive Officer Fadi Ghandour called on the Arab logistics industry to play a more active role and increase co-operation in shaping the future of trade in the region."

March 7, 2005 -- The Indianapolis Star has reported that "UPS Inc. has decided to close an eastern Indiana plant that builds and repairs air freight containers some time next year. The company acquired the plant when it bought Menlo Worldwide Forwarding in December. About 45 people work at the plant, and they were told last week of the decision, UPS spokesman Malcolm Berkley said Friday. The plant opened in 1993 in the city about 40 miles east of Indianapolis and was formerly known as Emery Worldwide Forwarding. Berkley said the closing decision was made because of redundancies in the Menlo Worldwide Forwarding and UPS networks." Gee....Just think....This decision didn't even require an act of Congress or PRC review. What a concept!

March 7, 2005 -- Dow Jones has reported that:

March 7, 2005 -- Bloomberg has reported that "The Japanese government aims to submit a plan to privatize the country's postal agency by the end of this month."

March 7, 2005 -- The Times (U.K.) has reported that "ROYAL MAIL is to use microchip technology to track errant post after accusations that it mislays a million letters a week. The organisation plans to spend millions of pounds on a surveillance system that will help it to find out how letters get lost and where they end up. Test letters will be fitted with microchips and sorting offices with tracking devices. The system will track the letters at different points of their journey, and help to identify weak points. But the move is likely to anger postal unions if they believe that the system is being used to monitor individual workers."

March 7, 2005 -- The Manawatu Standard (NZ) has reported that "The state-owned postal service is looking for ways to improve the quality of the household mailing lists it sells to business customers who in turn use the information to send personalised advertising. Letter volumes have been falling by up to 4 per cent annually for several years as people replace pen and paper with e-mail and other electronic communication. "The biggest single challenge we face is clearly the continuing use by customers of letters as a means of communication," NZ Post chief executive John Allen said. The best way to do that was to further increase the use of mail by business customers. Mail's share of the total advertising spend in New Zealand was just 8 per cent, compared with slightly more than 15 per cent in Australia and nearly 20 per cent in the United States."

March 7, 2005 -- Nikkei has reported that "The government has begun drawing up a plan to make sure that postal financial services in very sparsely populated areas are continued, The Nihon Keizai Shimbun learned Sunday. The government is concerned that after postal services are fully privatized, providers of postal savings and postal insurance may pull out of less-populated areas. Contemplating such cases, the government will use the regional social contribution fund that will be set up at the holding company to be established in April 2007."

March 7, 2005 -- Japan Times has reported that "54% in survey say Diet should go slow on postal reforms Only 22.7 percent of the public wants the government to legislate a set of bills to privatize Japan Post during the current Diet session."

March 6, 2005 -- WISH-TV has reported that "Tens of thousands of northwest Indiana veterans and their families won't get their government benefits on time this month. Lake County veteran's office official Patricia Amerski says the delay is caused by problems with getting March disability checks in the mail. She says regional Veterans Affairs officials told her the government issued its checks on time. But an equipment problem at a postal facility in Chicago has delayed their transfer to local post offices in certain zip codes."

March 6, 2005 -- Here are two interesting items brought through the courtesy of Postal Solutions. The first is a paper by Tim Walsh entitled: "Traditional values: Working with industry to deliver lower prices and better services." The second is a PowerPoint presentation on: "Best Practices: fighting for relevancy."

March 6, 2005 -- Check out the PostInsight web site for the paper by Fouad Nadar. He notes that "Posts have been issuing forecasts for decades aiming to project future volumes and revenues, especially to account for the effects of electronic substitution. This paper examines how well the mail volume forecasts have performed and compares the experiences with forecasting in Europe and in the U.S."

March 6, 2005 -- The Telegraph has reported that "The traditional response by French workers to something they do not like is to take to the streets in protest, but the country's retired postal staff have come up with a new way to make their anger felt. Furious that the government has abolished long-standing perks - free home telephone lines and credit card subscriptions - 130,000 postal pensioners are threatening to vote "Non" in the May 29 referendum on the European Union constitution."

March 6, 2005 -- According to the Daily Yomiuri (Japan), "the government must stick to the point of postal reform."

March 5, 2005 -- According to postal commentator Gene Del Polito, "The Postal Service and policy makers find themselves confounded by the confusion resulting from the use of two dialects of the same language based on a perpetuation of a PRC fiction that single-piece and presort First-Class Mail are both a part of one subclass, rather than two distinctively different subclasses. The matter can be resolved simply by instructing the USPS to provide its ratemaking data based on CRAs generated for every separately scheduled rate, and by giving the USPS sole authority to define what is and what isn't a subclass."

March 5, 2005 -- According to PostCom's President and Vice President, "The idea of banking inflationary increases was bad when it first was proposed by the Postal Service in the late 1990s. It remains bad today. It's worthy of an early burial, before it brings the whole postal reform effort to a devastating end."

March 5, 2005 -- The International Labor Communications Association has reported that "Annual average AFL-CIO membership dropped by 167,775 from 2003 to 2004, to 12.95 million, figures provided at the federation's Executive Council meeting in Las Vegas say. Retirements and buyouts pushed the Postal Workers down by 14,272, to 225,625. The Letter Carriers were unchanged, at 210,000."

March 5, 2005 -- Money Plans has reported that "Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. (SMBC) and public postal entity Japan Post both announced Monday that they plan to issue smart cash cards that use finger vein patterns to verify the cardholder's identity. SMBC will begin issuing the cards this year. Japan Post will start issuing them in October 2006."

March 5, 2005 -- The Independent (U.K.) has reported that "Complaints about lost or misdirected letters will cost the Royal Mail nearly ˙50 a time, under a new scheme for funding postal watchdog Postwatch. The watchdog, which handled 273,000 complaints last financial year and spent over ˙10m, or ˙37 a complaint, has always been funded by the Royal Mail through a licence fee. However, the Royal Mail said yesterday it would now pay Postwatch directly and in proportion to the complaints received. For the first 27,500 complaints received, Royal Mail will pay ˙45. Any complaints after that will cost ˙36."

March 5, 2005 -- Handlesblatt (Germany) has reported that "Deutsche Post, the German postal service operator, is keen to expand its international operations. The company says that it is examining the possibility of acquiring a stake in both the Italian postal service operator, Poste Italiane, and the postal service of the United Arab Emirates, Emirates Post. According to press reports, Emirates Post is preparing for privatisation. Deutsche Post already cooperates with this company, which is said to be profitable. Silvio Berlusconi, the Italian prime minister, has said that Poste Italiane will be partially privatised within the next 18 months."

March 5, 2005 -- From the PR Newswire: "Joining with other international life insurance associations with member companies operating in Japan, the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI) issued a statement today urging that a "clear, unambiguous commitment to the achievement of 'equal footing' for all market participants" be included in legislation being developed to privatize Japan Post."

March 5, 2005 -- The Japan Times has reported that "The postal reform tug-of-war between Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and his foes in the Liberal Democratic Party is heating up as his self-imposed March 15 deadline for submitting privatization bills to the Diet nears. In an economic sense, however, their debate may miss the point, experts say. It appears the lawmakers are solely concerned with how they can retain jobs at the nation's post offices, not the fate of the 350 trillion yen managed by the state-run postal savings and insurance systems -- a quarter of Japan's financial assets held by individuals."

March 5, 2005 -- New Kerala (India) has reported that "The e-post service, launched by the Indian postal department countrywide, is making its impact in the villages and towns of Orissa. The state has designated 34 head post offices in leading towns as e-post centres. Computers with Internet, printers and other facilities are installed in these places."

March 4, 2005 -- DM News postal commentator Cary Baer has written that "There is no question that First-Class mail, the U.S. Postal ServiceĂs main product, is in long-term decline. The so-called postal reform legislation does not directly address this issue. The long-term survivability of the USPS depends on its ability to react to a changing landscape of customersĂ needs. The postal serviceĂs track record of reaction has not been good."

March 4, 2005 -- The latest copy of the National Association of Postmasters of the U.S. electronic governmental affairs newsletter is available on the NAPUS web site. "FEHBP in the Crosshairs"

March 4, 2005 -- As the Syracuse Post-Standard has noted, "Don Sundman went on a shopping spree in New York City last month and spent $1 million - on 12,000 stamps. Sundman, of Skaneateles, was the major buyer Feb. 12 at a stamp auction to benefit the Smithsonian Institution's National Postal Museum in Washington, D.C. But then, as president of one the largest stamp retailers in the world, Sundman spends about $10 million a year on stamps including, in 1998, the purchase of the rarest stamp in America. And where, exactly, is this international hub of philately? It's in the small Oneida County village of Camden, around the corner from the local McDonald's, where the Mystic Stamp Co. [a long-time PostCom member] employs 125 people in a mail-order operation that sells anywhere from 40 million to 100 million stamps annually."

March 4, 2005 -- A copy of the USPS' recent customer support ruling on "whether a computer prepared mortgage payment card is considered a bill or statement of account that is mailable only at First-Class or Express Mail rates, rather than as Standard Mail" has been posted on this site.

March 4, 2005 -- PostCom Members: Available online you can find: (1) the minutes of the February 15, 2005 meeting of the PostCom Postal Operations Committee and  (2) notes from the MTAC Flats Preparation Optimization Workgroup meeting.

March 4, 2005 -- From the PR Newswire: "Pitney Bowes Management Services (PBMS), a subsidiary of Pitney Bowes Inc. (NYSE: PBI), today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Compulit, Inc., a leading provider of litigation support services to law firms and corporate clients. This business will be part of the newly created Pitney Bowes Legal Solutions operation, which is led by Arlen Henock."

March 4, 2005 -- According to The Economist:

March 4, 2005 -- The National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) has told its members that "The Postal ServiceĂs Board of Governors, largely silent over the past two years while NALC and a large coalition of mailers, employee groups and other postal stakeholders built a broad consensus on postal reform legislation, called on Senate leaders to smash that consensus by radically disrupting the existing system of collective bargaining and interest arbitration. In a letter dated February 24 to Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), the Governors proposed that employee benefits, now provided by various federal government-wide programs, be subject to collective bargaining and that interest arbitrators be required to consider a selective list of criteria (such as the ˘present financial health and ability to pay÷) when issuing their decisions. ˘I find it especially outrageous,÷ NALC's [President] Young continued, ˘that in the same letter in which it asks the Senate to give the USPS tools to attack craft employeesĂ pay and benefits, the Board also hypocritically asks the Senate to remove the federal cap on executive compensation in the Postal Service. NALC will oppose a money grab by postal management when craft employee pay and benefits are under attack.÷ NALC remains convinced that comprehensive postal reform is essential for the long-term viability of the Postal Service and the long-term job security of letter carriers and other postal employees. But the union has consistently held over the past 10 years that it will oppose any postal reform legislation that weakens letter carriersĂ collective bargaining rights or threatens to undermine the pay and benefits of postal employees."

March 4, 2005 -- In letters written to the chairman and ranking minority member of the House Budget Committee, USPS Senior Vice President for Governmental Affairs Ralph Moden, wrote: "I strongly urge you to ensure that the Committee's budget resolution does not adopt the President's budget proposal, but rather provides for the enactment of legislation similar to H.R. 22. Doing so will allow the Postal Service to fully pre-fund its retiree health benefit obligation at a pace and amount that will not unduly burden American ratepayers."

March 4, 2005 -- Transport Intelligence has reported that "TNT Express has revealed a ă14.3 million investment plan to expand capacity and upgrade facilities at its European road hub in Duiven, the Netherlands. The planned expansion, which is to be completed by October 2005, has been driven by a significant increase in volumes since the hub first started operating in 1998."

March 4, 2005 -- The Whistler Question (Canada) has reported that "Squamish residents and District of Squamish council both sent the same message to Canada Post this week: they donĂt want community mailboxes (CMBs). By the end of a public meeting at the Sea to Sky Hotel on Wednesday (Mar. 2), a Canada Post Corp. (CPC) representative said he would tell the mayor the residents served by the Garibaldi Highlands post office donĂt want to be switched to a community mailbox (CMB) system."

March 4, 2005 -- The Asahi Shimbun (Japan) has reported that "Koizumi is pulling out all the stops to ensure the controversial legislation goes through. The government and some ruling party heavyweights want to drastically extend the current Diet session to secure passage of crucial postal privatization bills, while the prime minister has hinted he will reward loyal supporters with positions in a reshuffled Cabinet, according to sources. The Diet session is due to close on June 19, but it could be extended for as long as two months, the sources indicated."

March 4, 2005 -- According to Hoovers, "UPS celebrates 30 years in Canada."

March 4, 2005 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that "FedEx Express, a subsidiary of FedEx Corp., has launched what it claims is the express air cargo industry's first direct flight from mainland China to Europe. The flights will provide daily service from Shanghai, China to Frankfurt, Germany using a MD-11 freighter."

March 3, 2005 -- Yo! Chief! Direct magazine's postal guru wants to know: Are you going to get involved in the process that will dictate what your future postal costs are likely to be...or..."Will You Just Stand By and Watch?"

March 3, 2005 -- Die Welt has reported that "Deutsche Post, the German postal service operator, is reported to have asked Germany's anti-trust authority for permission to withdraw its application for the acquisition of the logistics activities of KarstadtQuelle, the ailing German department store and mail order group. Spokespersons for both Deutsche Post and the anti-trust authority have confirmed the reports."

March 3, 2005 -- The Irish Times has reported that "The postal regulator, ComReg, has floated the idea of An Post offering a two-tier system for the delivery of standard mail. In a document issued yesterday, the regulator said An Post's current performance on next-day delivery remained below acceptable standards and it was time to consider what services the company should be offering."

March 3, 2005 -- According to Reuters, "FedEx, the world's top air express shipper, will decide whether to set up a new Asian cargo hub in China by the end of 2005 after launching its first direct connection between Europe and the mainland. Such a hub would help the U.S.-based FedEx Corp. cement its foothold in Asia, especially in China -- the world's third-largest trading power -- where rival United Parcel Service Inc. claims to control a fifth of the market."

March 3, 2005 -- The DM Bulletin (U.K.) has reported that "Postcomm [the U.K. postal regulator] has begun a 30-day consultation on the proposed issue of a long-term licence to Racer Consultancy Management Services to provide bulk mail, consolidation and tracked business-to-business services. Racer describes itself as a niche distribution company that provides priority mail and courier services to large City-based financial and legal clients."

March 3, 2005 -- The Norway Post has reported that "In two years the Norwegian Postal Service (Posten) will no longer have monopoly on the distribution of letters in Norway. There is a majority in Parliament in favour of a Government proposal to end the monopoly by 2007."

March 3, 2005 -- The Philadelphia Business Journal has reported that "The Philadelphia law firm Fineman Krekstein & Harris PC has opened up a government relations office in Washington, D.C. The new office will be run by S. David Fineman, the firm's managing partner. Fineman recently stepped down as chairman of United States Postal Service's board of governors, and the new office will focus on legislative and regulatory issues. Fineman will divide his time between the firm's Philadelphia and Washington offices. The firm also has an office in Westmont, N.J. The firm has roughly two dozen attorneys."

March 3, 2005 -- Mailers Council Executive Director Robert E. McLean today issued the following statement in response to the United States Postal Service's plans for a postage rate increase.

March 3, 2005 -- PostCom would like to welcome its newest member: Sidley Austin Brown & Wood LLP represented by Joy Leong, Attorney.

March 3, 2005 -- VolunteerTV has reported that "Some Tennessee lawmakers are using a practice known as "franking" to subsidize election-season mailing to constituents at the expense of taxpayers. Politicians claim the practice is a way to keep voters informed. But critics say taxpayers are funding some legislators' campaigns and paying for another advantage in elections that already favor incumbents."

March 3, 2005 -- According to CommentWire, "TPG announced improved quarterly and annual results for 2004. Encouraging progress is clearly being made across all three business units, helped by the strategic moves made in the past twelve months. However, when faced with competition from the likes of Deutsche Post, more work will be required to ensure continued success. Although TPG's mail segment continues to contribute over 60% of group operating profit, volumes have been under pressure due to a slow domestic economy and increasing competition, which will further intensify when the Dutch postal market is deregulated in 2007. To tackle this, the company reiterated its three-pronged strategic approach for growth in the future, namely postal consolidation, Chinese expansion and freight management."

March 3, 2005 -- The Business Standard (India) has reported that "It is no secret that your local post office will soon be selling financial products and admission forms. But daily household items like hair oils, skin-care products, food products? What is a post office doing in that department? The department of posts (DoP) is poised to tie up with a host of fast-moving consumer goods companies ¨in some cases, it has already tied up with companies ¨to offer the public all these and more."

March 3, 2005 -- Japan Today has reported that "Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi on Wednesday ruled out a possible extension of the ongoing Diet session despite a lingering row over postal privatization. As the government has failed to narrow the gap with the ruling parties over Koizumi's key policy, some ruling party leaders began to hint at extending the 150-day session due to end on June 19."

March 3, 2005 -- The Kyodo news service has reported that "The government plans to allow the Tokyo and Osaka Central Post offices to be rebuilt as high rises so they can move into the office rental business as part of the postal privatization process starting in April 2007."

March 2, 2005 -- All right postologists. Are you up to it? Check out the "Postmasters Challenge" -- a new feature on the National Postal Museum web site. And, while you're there, check out what's new at the Museum.

National Postal Museum

March 2, 2005 -- The Wall Street Journal has noted that "Samsung Electronics Co. has created a device designed to change how museum-goers view art. A number of museums around the world also are experimenting with PDA-based systems. In Washington, the Smithsonian Institution started using Hewlett-Packard Co.'s IPAQ hand-held computers at the National Postal Museum last summer. It plans to start rolling them out in its other museums soon."

March 2, 2005 -- In a letter to James C. Miller III, Chairman of the U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors, PostCom Board Chairman Vince Giuliano and PostCom President Gene Del Polito said:

As you know, the road to postal reform has been a long and rocky one. Throughout the past 11 years, PostCom has been an ardent proponent of the kind of reform that will better empower the U.S. Postal Service to thrive (let alone survive) in the tumultuous years still ahead to ensure that mail remains a viable means for business communication and commerce.

We are most pleased and appreciative of the recent communication from the Board of Governors to the responsible committee leaders in the House and Senate regarding reform. We believe the issues you have raised articulate very well the characteristics of a reform bill that is essential if the reform process is to be deemed a success. We recognize fully that these principles, if enacted, would greatly enhance mail's value and power as a communication and business transactional vehicle. This, we believe, is not only in the best interests of companies such as ours who business interests are tied to the continued viability of a universal mail service, but also in the best interests of all Americans.

Besides our congratulations and appreciation, please know that we stand four-square in support of your efforts to ensure that the best policy decisions are made regarding the integrity and viability of our nation's postal system.

March 2, 2005 -- According to the Gaylord Herald Times (MI), "No decisions have been made about the future of the Gaylord mail processing facility. Phil Williams, Gaylord-based manager of post office operations for the 496 and 497 zip codes, met with the plant managers from the Grand Rapids, Traverse City and Saginaw plants, the postmaster of Gaylord, and the head postmaster for the Greater Michigan district in Grand Rapids Feb. 22 to discuss postal cost efficiency in the greater Michigan area. Earlier this month, the American Postal Workers Union (APWU), the Gaylord branch, voiced concerns regarding decisions over the past two years that they say could allow an easier transition in shutting down the Gaylord mail processing facility and potentially relocating about 50 employees."

March 2, 2005 -- Business World (Ireland) has reported that "Communications watchdog, ComReg, today published a consultative document on the range services that must be available in a deregulated postal market. ComReg said the consultation will lead to a decision on which services An Post - as the current designated universal service provider - should be providing to fulfil its obligation to provide a universal service."

March 2, 2005 -- CEP News (Courier-Express-Postal) has reported that:

Don't be satisfied with a less than complete report on the courier, express, and postal market in Europe. Get your subscription to CEP News, today..

March 2, 2005 -- Vertis, the premier provider of targeted advertising, media, and marketing services, enhances its strategic suite of services with the launch of two new Web sites: www.vertismedia.com and www.storecentricresults.com. Both sites have been designed to speed retailers and other marketersĂ ability to discover new ways to make their targeted marketing programs more effective

March 2, 2005 -- The United States is better prepared today to protect Americans against an anthrax attack like the ones that killed five people and terrorized the country in 2001, a senior U.S. Postal Service security official told the Associated Press.

March 2, 2005 -- The U.S. Postal Service has announced that "Megan Brennan has been named Acting Vice President of Area Operations for the Northeast Area."

March 2, 2005 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that "Deutsche Post World Net, the German mail, express and logistics conglomerate, today reported 2004 profit rose 21 percent as it slashed costs, boosted its parcel delivery business in Asia, and capped losses at DHL, its U.S. express unit."

March 2, 2005 -- Bucks Free Press (U.K.) has reported that "ROYAL Mail has warned it may have to close further post offices unless restrictions on operations are relaxed. Without the changes, it is claimed, plans to open the postal network to outside competition next year will threaten the company's guarantee to deliver to every home at the same price."

March 2, 2005 -- The Polish News Bulletin has reported that "Three years ago the Postal and Telecommunication Regulation Office (URTiP) conducted an inspection of the UPS courier company and found several packages weighing less than 2 kilograms. Since this type of parcel is classified as a letter, the first instance court decided that UPS had broken the terms of its permit (only the Polish Post (PP) can deliver such parcels). UPS appealed, stating that as their services are not available to the general public and only to big contractors, no transgression had taken place. Yesterday, Poland's Supreme Administrative Court ruled that the URTiP was wrong. Nonetheless, PP will have a monopoly on several services. Postal services available to the general public have been reinterpreted, as have also terms such as "letter" and "package". The URTiP has the right to inspect the content of parcels, so it is possible more changes will take place in the interpretations."

March 2, 2005 -- The Asahi Shimbun (Japan) has reported that "Members of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party are so incensed about Livedoor Co.'s attempt to buy radio broadcaster Nippon Broadcasting System Inc. that the postal privatization plan is being used in their arguments. LDP lawmakers opposed to Livedoor's move say that if controls are not tightened on foreign investment, privatized postal entities could fall into the hands of foreign investors."

March 2, 2005 -- The Kyodo news service has reported that "The government will consider whether to limit foreign investment in the planned spinoffs of Japan Post in privatizing the public corporation, postal privatization minister Heizo Takenaka said Wednesday."

March 2, 2005 -- AMEInfo has reported that "The Department of Economic Development (DED) and Emirates Post announced the launch of a massive promotion campaign to encourage business owners and investors to conduct trade licence registration procedures through the post offices in Dubai."

March 2, 2005 -- Strategiy has reported that "H.E. Sultan Saeed Al Mansoori, the UAE Minister of Communications and Chairman of Emirates Post has accompanied by Abdulla Ibrahim Al Daboos, Director General, Emirates Post has officially opened World Mail, Express and Air Cargo Expo, Middle East and Africa, the premier regional forum for the mail, express and air cargo industries."

March 2, 2005 -- Aliran has taken Pos Malaysia to task for instituting new higher postal rates precipitously while providing no guidance or rationale for their structure and implementation.

March 2, 2005 -- According to PublicTechnology.net, "Public-private partnerships for the provision of public service infrastructure have seen massive growth. Research funded by the Economic and Social Research Council confirms the potential benefits of partnerships, but also identifies circumstances under which more traditional forms of procurement are preferable."

March 1, 2005 -- Posted on this site, you will find a nice brief update on all the Negotiated Service Agreements that have been approved thus far. Members Only.

March 1, 2005 -- American Shipper has reported that "DHL, a provider of express delivery and logistics services, has opened a newly expanded express terminal at MoscowĂs Sheremetyevo Airport. The facility, enlarged to 23,700 square feet, is ˘part of an investment program announced at the end of 2004 which is estimated at 20 million euro,÷ said Roland Thomas, head of commercial business for DHL CIS. DHL Russia, established in 1984, now serves 800 towns and cities with a network of 100 stations and agencies, 1,400 employees, and 400 commercial vehicles."

March 1, 2005 -- eWeek has reported that "After two years of testing RFID in myriad ways, Bob Nonneman, industrial engineer manager at UPS, has concluded that much progress needs to be made before radio-frequency identification sees widespread industry adoption. Still, Nonneman is optimistic that EPCGlobal's new Generation 2 standard will be a step in the right direction."

March 1, 2005 -- The Kyodo news service has reported that "Ministop, which is under supermarket operator Aeon Co., will be the second Japanese convenience store chain to join hands with Japan Post in its door-to-door delivery service. Lawson Inc. teamed up with the state-backed postal service provider in November."

March 1, 2005 -- As Air Cargo World has noted, "International air business is growing rapidly at UPS and the carrier is adding the pilots and aircraft for more. Even as the parcel delivery giant attempts to negotiate a new labor deal with its pilots union, the carrier said last month that it will hire 200 pilots by year's end. Those hires will be in addition to the 100 pilots UPS already had announced it would bring on board in 2005."

March 1, 2005 -- Wickwire Gavin will again be presenting our "Changes, Modifications, and Claims under U.S. Postal Service Contracts" seminar on April 5, 2005 at the Marriott Hotel in Tysons Corner, Va. (A brochure has been posted in a pdf format.)

This is an advanced one-day course on the fundamentals of properly identifying and responding to changes; understanding which contract modifications to sign and not sign; and preserving, preparing, and presenting requests for equitable adjustments under U.S. Postal Service contracts. Topics covered include: recognizing and reacting to contract changes, preserving your right to compensation, avoiding self-defeating actions, preparing an equitable adjustment, and resolving your claims successfully.

Attendees receive a detailed course manual containing our updated treatise on these topics, as well as pertinent attachments, including applicable portions of USPS purchasing regulations, and sample modifications and claims. The instructors are David Hendel and Stephen Hurlbut, both of whom formerly served in the USPS General Counsel's Office and in private practice have advised a wide variety of contractors on postal contracting matters. For more information about the seminar, contact Beth Hughes at (703) 790-8750 or bhughes@wickwire.com. Additional information is also available on our website, www.wickwire.com.

March 1, 2005 -- InformationWeek has reported that "For a peek at the future of wireless applications, take a look at the technology behind the familiar brown United Parcel Service Inc. delivery trucks. The $37 billion-a-year package-delivery company is building one of the largest Wi-Fi networks in the world, which, when finished next year, will constitute 15,000 wireless-access points at 1,700 warehouse facilities around the globe."

March 1, 2005 -- ComputerWorld has reported that "United Parcel Service Inc. has acknowledged that its highly touted package-flow technology isn't flowing as smoothly as expected, with problems at about a third of the 300 or so centers where it has been implemented. The package-flow software suite, a UPS initiative unveiled in October 2003, was developed in-house to help the company more efficiently plan deliveries made by its drivers in the U.S. At that time, UPS said it would deploy the technology at its 1,000 U.S. hubs by 2005. However, now it seems that full implementation won't be achieved until the end of 2007, said UPS spokeswoman Donna Barrett."

March 1, 2005 -- Postmaster General Jack Potter has announced the appointment of two new officers. Lynn Malcolm is Vice President, Finance, Controller. Susan Plonkey is Vice President, Service and Market Development.

March 1, 2005 -- The U.S. Postal Service has appointed 14 industry experts to the new Remittance Mail Advisory Committee (RMAC), which has been formed to help the Postal Service improve its business and operational alignment with the remittance industry. During the next year, the group will recommend solutions for end-to-end remittance processing improvements, as well as strategies for innovation. Committee members include: Kitty Turner, division manager of remittance mail for Allstate Insurance, Hudson, OH; Cliff Whittle, director of billing and payment services for American Express, Weston, FL; Les Young, vice president for Bank of America, San Francisco, CA; Don Gagne, director of remittance processing for Discover Financial, Riverwoods, IL; Steve Nugent, vice president of remittance operations for Mellon Global Financial, Pittsburgh, PA; Mark Stevens, CEO of OPEX Corporation, Moorestown, NJ; Charles Gunn, manager of remittance operations for PECO Energy, and Loretta Rosso, director of payment processing for Comcast Cable, Philadelphia, PA. Other committee members are: Lex Litton, vice president of Phoenix Hecht, Research Triangle Park, NC; Robert Craig, senior vice president for REMITCO, Wilmington, DE; Dana Gould, vice president of the Association for Work Processing Improvement, Boston, MA; Joan Argentino, remittance manager for Verizon, Cockeysville, MD; and Lynn McBride, remittance operations manager for Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, Minneapolis, MN."

March 1, 2005 -- Bloomberg has reported that "Deutsche Post AG, Europe's biggest postal service, said fourth-quarter profit rose 59 percent as the company cut costs and demand for shipments increased."

March 1, 2005 -- From SourceWire: "L-Mail, the online letter writing, printing and posting service, has teamed up with Austrian postal service provider redmail. The new business relationship will enable L-Mail customers located anywhere in the world to have letters printed and posted direct in Austria saving postal costs and increasing speed of delivery. Redmail, a joint venture of the Austrian publishing group Styria Medien AG and the Dutch TPG Post Group, is the largest private postal operator in Austria."

March 1, 2005 -- The National (Papua New Guinea) has reported that "ANZ Bank and Post PNG Ltd have joined forces to expand banking and postal services throughout the country. An agreement signed last week allows ANZ to set up branches, agencies and electronic banking services within Post PNG office premises."

March 1, 2005 -- As the Federal Times has noted, "The U.S. Postal Service wants to strike another deal to offer discounts in exchange for permission to destroy a companyĂs undeliverable mail."

March 1, 2005 -- Reuters has reported that "Truckers may start looking for merger partners as they seek ways to compete with the heft created by Yellow Roadway's $1.37 billion deal to buy USF Corp., analysts said on Monday."

March 1, 2005 -- The BBC Monitoring Service has reported that "The Universal Postal Union has ruled that forged postage stamps with the depiction of a Karabakh horse produced by the Nagornyy Karabakh separatists are void."