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Postal News from August 2005

August 31, 2005 -- The Scotsman has reported that "ALMOST one in ten first-class letters were delivered late in the Lothians during the summer months, making Edinburgh the second worst-performing area in mainland Scotland for next-day delivery."

August 31, 2005 -- To get the latest from the U.S. Postal Service on mail service in Katrina-impacted areas, go to http://www.usps.com/communications/news/serviceupdates.htm. Also, the Associated Press has reported that "The Postal Service has shut down operations in New Orleans and in nearby storm-damaged areas. Some local post offices were reopening in Mississippi, but more than 200 lacked electricity, officials said. Mississippi postal officials said in locations where offices are closed plans are being developed to make first-of-the-month checks available at designated sites."

August 31, 2005 -- CEP News (Courier-Express-Postal), published by the MRU Consultancy, has reported that:

Osterreichische Post AG is still far from ready for a competitive market. The business consultants have calculated that an IPO would in the medium term lead to a turnover decline between 10 and 12% for the post and that its operating result would drop by 60 to 100m euros - the main reason being the post's dependency on the mail segment.
The Swiss post continues to enjoy considerable profits.
Austria's postal workers' union is opposed to the post going public.
After Deutsche Post AG's shares were approaching their IPO price of 21 euros for the first time in several years, five company board members sold around half a million shares worth over 10m euros. Market observers conclude that the board is not expecting the shares to go up any further at present. A spokeswoman for the post pointed out that the board members' decision to sell was a private matter.
The supervisory board of Austria's Osterreichische Post will discuss possibilities of pulling out of the DPD Austria parcel service.
The Swedish post's subsidiary HIT AB, which specialises in logistics and in-night services, aims to become the leading market operator in the Baltic states.
TNT Express has launched a new service for the distributive industry from its European central hub in Liege.
Japan Post has scored further points on the domestic express market. Last Thursday the post announced that it is taking over delivery of around 70% of the parcel volume of retail chain Tobu from September.

The MRU, founded in 1992, is the only consultancy in the German speaking area, which has specialised in the market of courier-, express- and parcel services. For large-scale shippers and CEP-services in particular, the MRU provides interdisciplinary advice for all major questions of the market, as there are for example market entry, product design, organisation, and EDP.To learn more about the stories reported above, contact CEP News.

August 31, 2005 -- Asia Pulse has reported that "Korea Post, South Korea's mammoth postal service agency, announced Wednesday it will begin adopting the free, open-source operating system known as Linux for its desktop computers nationwide from Thursday, replacing the Windows system produced by U.S. software giant Microsoft Corp."

August 31, 2005 -- China Radio International has reported that "Beijing Postal Services announced Tuesday that it will open its first post office at a foreign embassy, when it begins operations at the United States Embassy September 1. The Beijing Times reported Wednesday that the new post office will provide visa applicants with the option of a passport mailing service, among other postal businesses."

August 31, 2005 -- Japan Today has reported that "Haruo Shimada, special adviser to the Japanese Cabinet Office, said Wednesday at the Forbes Global CEO conference in Sydney that the postal system was "the cancer of Japan," saying it is a "communist kind of segment in the huge financial market." Shimada said because the state protects the system, the Japanese people mistakenly think it is "safe." But government protection creates a "lack of incentives" for people and a "lack of a sense of taking risks," and this "highly regulated" system is creating "a tremendous burden for the future of Japan."

August 31, 2005 -- According to The Independent, "To make further progress, Japan needs to dig deeper into structural reform. For Mr Koizumi, the postal savings system is the obvious starting point. By Western standards, Japan's postal savings system is an anachronism of baffling proportions. Originally initiated as a way of rebuilding infrastructure in the post war period, the post office is the largest repository of private savings in the country, with more than $3 trillion of deposits. Nor does this government-guaranteed grip on the nation's savings show any sign of waning. To the contrary, with zero interest rates and an unpredictable stock market, it's still growing."

August 31, 2005 -- According to the Mail Tribune, "Rogue Valley residents might see a cargo plane with United Parcel Service markings in December. UPS now handles Harry and David’s overnight gift pack deliveries, including those formerly shipped by FedEx. When holiday orders peak in the weeks leading up to Christmas the Atlanta-based parcel shipper may fly a DC-8 into town to ferry gift packs to Portland ."

August 30, 2005 -- Air Cargo World has reported that "New moves by FedEx and UPS suggest just how powerful the Chinese economic explosion has become. Both U.S. express giants said they would establish major air hubs in China, with FedEx signing its agreement to move into Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport, a deal that will close the carrier's Asia hub at Subic Bay in the Philippines. UPS, meanwhile, will begin package delivery to 23 cities across China in September and launch an air hub in Shanghai in 2007."

August 30, 2005 -- RedNova News has reported that "Homeowners' patience is being tested to the limit by a rising tide of junk mail and nuisance phone calls. But a new champion has entered the fray to help stem the tide. "We're trying to save the rain forests, yet all this paper is being wasted," says Paul Claridge with a shake of his head. The volume of direct mail being sent by private companies has mushroomed by 87% in the past decade. Last year alone, more than four billion items were posted to households, with financial institutions the worst offenders."

August 30, 2005 -- MediaWeek has reported that "Magazines will face up to the fact size matters. Revised regulations for postal distribution will have far-reaching consequences for virtually all titles."

August 30, 2005 -- RTE Business has reported that "The Irish Exporters' Association has called on the Government to safeguard the future of air freight links to the US against any future change in policy by Aer Lingus."

August 30, 2005 -- Graphic Arts Monthly has reported that "Adding more value to print is critical. How to do so has the industry on a search for market opportunities and technologies. Two fields getting a good deal of attention are the mailing services and closely related fulfillment services arena. Printer participation in three events falling in close succession this year — the Mailcom exposition, the National Postal Forum and, most recently, April's MFSA/NAPL Fulfillment Conf. — underscore the perception of unfolding opportunities that can turn cylinders on presses and drive postage meter belts alike. At the behest of members, the Mailing & Fulfillment Assn. and the National Assn. for Print Leadership jointly sponsored the 2005 Fulfillment Conf. this spring in Cleveland. The MFSA hopes to educate printers so they don't add mail and fulfillment services as loss leaders to drive print sales. For their part, NAPL members just want to know the technical requirements required to get in on the business."

August 30, 2005 -- Portalino has reported that ""Romania will privatize its postal and national radio communication companies, the government said. The radio communication company would be sold by the end of next year, while the postal company would have to be restructured first and could be sold by 2008, Communication and Information Technology Minister Zsolt Nagy said. The state is interested in finding a strategic investor to take over the postal company, Nagy said. About 25 percent of the state-owned stock in the Romanian Post and 20 percent of Romtelecom's stock would be transferred to a fund which compensates people whose property was confiscated during the communist regime."

August 30, 2005 -- The Daily Toreador has reported that "Beginning Oct. 3, the U.S. Postal Service may decide to no longer deliver mail to individual residents at some student housing apartment complexes in Lubbock. Lubbock Postmaster Ted Turner said the Postal Service is thinking about changing the delivery policy because of changes in the way student housing complexes lease out their apartments. Many apartment complex employees and residents are protesting the policy change, but the postal service said not to worry the mail will be delivered as usual until decisions are made."

August 30, 2005 -- From the Business Wire: "APX Logistics, a leading provider of business-to-consumer shipping solutions, has named Vasco F Fernandes, Chief Marketing Officer. As Chief Marketing Officer, Fernandes will oversee strategy formulation, product management, marketing and pricing. He will also manage the firm's relationship with the United States Postal Service and their other strategic partners."

August 30, 2005 -- Bloomberg has reported that "Japan's Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said he may have to delay the sale of the state-run post office should his ruling Liberal Democratic Party be re-elected and the postal bill passed. The original plan was for the sale process to begin April 2007."

August 30, 2005 -- Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum Schedule of Programs September – December 2005

August 30, 2005 -- The Times has reported that "MIDDLE managers in the postal service are threatening to disrupt plans to create a “super union” representing more than two million workers because they believe that it will be too left wing. The Communication Managers Association (CMA) is angry that Amicus, its parent union, is in negotiations to merge with the Transport and General Workers’ Union (T&G) and the GMB. The association, which represents about 13,000 middle managers at Royal Mail, says that its members’ needs will be neglected within the so-called super union. The association will vote shortly on whether to oppose the merger, which is set to happen early in 2007. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the CMA will break away from Amicus if the merger goes ahead."

August 30, 2005 -- The Gulf Daily News has reported that "MEMBERS of the public can now pay their electricity and water bills at all 13 post offices in Bahrain. A top Electricity and Water Ministry official yesterday urged people to make use of the new service, which started on an experimental basis in May at post offices in Budaiya, Riffa and Sitra. It was gradually extended to other post offices, but now all 13 of Bahrain's post offices are accepting payments, said ministry Under-Secretary Dr Abdul Majeed Al Awadhi."

August 30, 2005 -- As the New York Times has noted, "Japan's post offices, which have deep roots throughout the country, have grown into the world's largest financial institution, Japan Post, with $3 trillion in assets. But they have also played another, little understood role here, serving as the bedrock of Japan's postwar political structure and the long-governing Liberal Democratic Party's machine."

August 30, 2005 -- PostCom has learned that John Walsh has resigned from the U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors.

August 30, 2005 -- UPS has become one of the first transportation carriers to deploy a trade processing system developed by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) that accelerates cross-border commerce while improving security at the nation’s borders.

August 29, 2005 -- The Pricing and Classification folks over at the Postal Service want your opinion on how they're doing with the DMM Advisories. Let 'em know. Take a short survey.

August 29, 2005 -- The Manila Standard has reported that "The Bureau of Customs is tapping service courier providers Federal Express (FedEx), United Parcel Service (UPS), DHL and TNT Express Worldwide to strengthen the government's antismuggling campaign."

August 29, 2005 -- According to the Herald Sun, "AUSTRALIA Post has sent 8000 workers to company doctors in the past two years in a crackdown on suspected malingerers. The push to identify workers faking illnesses and work injuries has cost the corporation more than $1.4 million."

August 29, 2005 -- China Daily has reported that "Leading integrated express delivery service companies such as DHL, FedEx, TNT, and UPS believe China's ongoing postal reforms will have a profound, positive impact on the country's overall economy and their own Chinese operations. The four international logistic giants have noted key concerns regarding the country's new postal scheme and the definition of a postal monopoly. They say that a vibrant and competitive express services sector in China, which is in the interest of the country's economy, can only occur if the playing field is level and competitive."

August 29, 2005 -- The Malaysian National News Service has reported that "Pos Malaysia Bhd would be undertaking a Voluntary Separation Scheme (VSS) which it would offer to 14,000 qualified staff. The scheme would be offered beginning Sept 1 to Sept 18, 2005 and taking up the offer would be on a voluntary basis, a statement from Pos Malaysia said here Monday. It said that the main objective of the VSS was to boost its efficiency level so that it would become more competitive."

August 29, 2005 -- The Royal Oak Daily Tribune has reported that "Working conditions at the Royal Oak and Madison Heights post offices aren't as bad as 1991 but they were in a state of deterioration until recently, according to an expert who analyzed both places as part of a congressional inquiry. Advertisement William Downes, the lead investigator into allegations that management is creating a hostile work environment, recommends several changes be made starting with training for Postmaster Michael Bembas. "The postmaster needs to be trained in how to manage employees in a more humanistic fashion," Downes says in an internal report issued to Patrick R. Donahoe, the Chief Operating Officer for the Unites States Postal Service."

August 29, 2005 -- Reuters has reported that:

August 28, 2005 -- Al Bawaba has reported that "Empost, the UAE’s national courier company, highlighted its diversified range of courier services at the 4th Al Ain Networking Exhibition held at the InterContinental Resort Al Ain on August 28. Some of many Empost products include Ezimail post office box clearance service; Mandoub comprehensive government PRO services; Empost Stores all over the UAE that provide access to Empost Courier services as well as postal and stationery products; and Empost Direct which is a range of specially-tailored direct mail marketing services."

August 28, 2005 -- The Independent has reported that "The Post Office is setting itself up as an arch-rival to WH Smith with a new look that will turn more than 500 of its outlets into copycat versions of the high street stalwart. Books, DVDs, CDs and toys will all soon make an appearance on the shelves of 540 branches of the Post Office under a new initiative aimed at rejuvenating its musty, dusty offerings of cards and stationery."

August 28, 2005 -- According to the Rocky Mountain News, "Denver's elected auditor can be a useful watchdog, quietly saving the city money and calling attention to the administration's fiscal shenanigans. But too often through the years the auditor misses the mark just for the sake of grabbing a headline. He - and it's always been a he - does, after all, often have higher ambitions. The latest to swing and miss is incumbent Dennis Gallagher, who recently accused the city of failing to collect all it is owed in landing fees by United Parcel Service."

August 28, 2005 -- Hoovers has reported that "Unhappy UPS Store owners take their sentiments online."

August 28, 2005 -- The BBC Monitoring Service has reported that "The customs staff posted at the Postal Appraisement Department in the General Post Office (GPO) Karachi, foiled an attempt to smuggle narcotics and antique coins worth millions of rupees and seized 4.5 kg of heroin and coins. The smuggling attempt was foiled when customs examiner (export) of the Postal Appraisement Department was examining the parcels booked for United Kingdom and USA via postal parcels a few days back, sources added. The three parcels were seized and inquiries were ordered to detect the racket involved in smuggling by the postal parcels. Sources at the customs said that the postal staff had already checked all three parcels which were seized. To investigate the matter booking and checking staffs of post office was summoned for interview, sources added."

August 28, 2005 -- According to Khaleej Times, "The work to install mailboxes at residential and commercial locations under the new postal service called Wasel (delivery and collection of mail from the doorstep), is underway, and people would be able to receive and drop mail from their doorstep within a month's time, according Dr. Usamah M.S. Altaf, vice president and CIO of Saudi Post."

August 27, 2005 -- The Times of Oman has reported that "A session of official-level talks was held at the Ministry of Transport and Communications yesterday between the Sultanate of Oman and Yemen. With regards to postal services, Sheikh Al Harthy said the two countries were currently exploring new means of cooperation. He added that following the issuance of the royal decree to establish Oman Posts Company, the post services in Oman would improve in the near future."

August 27, 2005 -- Air Cargo World has launched a weekly e-mail newsletter August 12, bringing subscribers each week the critical information and developments that have helped make the publication the United States' leading magazine for information about the air freight industry. Called Air Cargo This Week, the free newsletter will offer a snapshot of the week's most important events in the air freight transportation world. Daily updates also will be published at www.aircargoworld.com.

August 27, 2005 -- MENA-FN has reported that "Director-General, Emirates Post, Abdulla Al Daboos, has said the postal authority recorded rapid progress while implementing its growth strategy for the ongoing year with a focus on diversification. "We began the year on an encouraging note following a record profit of Dh125 million for 2004," he observed. Latest available statistics reveal that global international letter post volumes dropped by 5 per cent in 2003, however, Arab countries and Empost broke an all-time record in incoming domestic and international mail by registering a growth of 6.7 per cent. A senior official from Empost told Khaleej Times: "Direct marketing is determined to play a major role in business as companies would like to outsource most of their direct marketing needs. Emirates Post has already compiled a database for more than 2.5 million addresses offering a complete direct marketing solution for businessmen."

August 27, 2005 -- AMEInfo has reported that "Empost, the UAE's national courier company, has signed with Sir Speedy, the world's largest printing, copy and digital network, to offer value-added courier and postal services at Sir Speedy. Empost's local and international express courier services will be available at Sir Speedy's outlet; the Empost Ezi-Pack, the prepaid express delivery within UAE and the Empost Ezi-Box Parcel Express delivery within and outside UAE. In addition, the outlet will offer parcel services, registered mail, Mumtaz (express mail service) and postal stamps.:

August 27, 2005 -- From the Canada NewsWire: "The Hon. John McCallum's statements on rural postal service yesterday did little to ease fears of post office closures for members of Canada's largest postal union, the Canadian Union of Postal Workers."

August 27, 2005 -- The Asahi Shimbun has reported that "Japan Post has scored another coup in a match-up against private industry The public postal corporation on Thursday announced a deal to handle 70 percent of Tobu Department Store Co. parcel deliveries The service will begin from next month and will take a huge chunk of business from archrival Yamato Transport Co Yamato has been handling 97 percent of Tobu's business Japan Post, which cannot be privatized because of the Aug. 8 defeat of six bills in the Upper House, is pushing ahead with business expansion under the current law."

August 26, 2005 -- The latest issue of the PostCom Bulletin is available online.  In this issue:

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August 26, 2005 -- According to Todd Butler, owner of Butler Mailing Services, "Currently, the two largest companies presenting this non-compatible automation mail are NetFlix and Block Buster; but they are not the only customers with mail piece design problems. New guidelines must be developed to ensure that CD/DVD mail, claiming automated letter rates, is capable of being processed on USPS letter sorting machines. "

August 26, 2005 -- Business Mailers Review has reported that:


Business Mailer's Review is an award-winning, independent biweekly newsletter covering issues of importance to the business mailer. It is regularly cited as among the best sources of postal information. For subscription information, check the BMR web site.

August 26, 2005 -- The latest UPS financial statement is available online.

August 26, 2005 -- Nikkei has reported that "The ruling coalition has placed the privatization of postal services at the top of a list of priority policy plans it will present to voters ahead of the Sept. 11 general election. The joint campaign platform, released Friday, compiled by the Liberal Democratic Party and its junior coalition partner New Komeito, stresses that postal reform is the centerpiece of the reform drive, which it claims will lead to reform in all other areas, such as public finances, financial services, government administration and politics. The common platform clearly states that the coalition will seek to enact the postal privatization bills at a special Diet session due to convene soon after the lower house election."

August 26, 2005 -- According to the Wall Street Journal, "By comparing Japan Post's asset allocation with those in the private sector, Citigroup calculates that U.S. Treasurys, European bonds and Japanese and foreign stocks would be the big winners if the reform goes through. The big loser would be the Japanese bond market that has benefited from the postal system's preference for domestic sovereigns."

August 26, 2005 -- The Amarillo Globe News has reported that "They will handle rain, hail, and the dark of night, but dormitories give the U.S. Postal Service pause. Property managers for at least three complexes with high student populations learned last week that their office staff would be responsible for sorting and delivering mail sent to their tenants. Managers received a letter dated Aug. 10 explaining that the U.S. Postal Service is only responsible for delivering mail to dormitory or residence hall buildings."

August 26, 2005 -- The Local has reported that "The state-owned Swedish postal service reported net profits of 395m kronor for the first half year. That's an increase of 24% on the same period last year. However, turnover dropped marginally from 12.5bn to 12.35bn kronor. Profits for the second quarter almost doubled from 121m to 219m kronor compared with last year."

August 26, 2005 -- The Associated Press has noted that "Peter Symons noticed something odd about a postcard he received in the mail from Florida. "When I looked at it, I saw it had 4 cents in stamps and I said, 'Well, that's sort of strange,'" he said. Then he noticed the postmark: Nov. 7, 1955. Bob Taylor, a spokesman for Canada Post, said the delivery truly was a fluke. "It could have been in the U.S. Postal Service for years," he said. "It could have been stuck behind a cabinet. Sometimes these are found during renovations." Because of insufficient postage, he said, the postcard should have been returned to sender. And who that sender was remains a mystery."

August 25, 2005 -- The Cambridge Evening News has reported that "ONE in five large businesses in Eastern England would consider switching postal provider from Royal Mail when the market is opened to competition in January 2006, a new survey revealed. Continental Research interviewed 200 businesses in the area on issues such as security of mail, delivery and collection times and value for money. Only half the companies surveyed were "very satisfied" with the overall postal service they receive."

August 25, 2005 -- 925.M has reported that "While Hef continues to live the greatest life imagineable at his famed mansion, the empire he created is undergoing a major paradigm shift. Playboy magazine, arguably the first adult publication to plow through social, cultural and mainstream barriers, is losing money. Print ad revenue has taken a tumble on the publishing end, which is the weakest link in the Playboy umbrella having posted a second-quarter loss of $2.3 million. In light of these financial woes, Hef's daughter and Chief Executive of Playboy Enterprises, Christie Hefner, announced this week that the magazine is now going digital. Beginning on September 13th, Playboy Magazine will offer full issues online with the help of digital publishing firm Zinio Systems. Playboy readers can now save themselves the embarrassment (hey, at least it's not Swank or Hustler) by getting issues sent to their computers rather than their mailboxes by snickering postal workers."

August 25, 2005 -- Pantagraph has reported that "Illinois consumers were told last week the state can't afford to provide any relief from record-high gas prices. Since then, however, Gov. Rod Blagojevich OK'd a plan to give a major U.S. company a six-figure break on its motor fuel taxes. Without comment, the governor signed into law a measure allowing United Parcel Service to save up to $100,000 per year on fuel charges. Supporters say giving the world's largest package-shipping company a break could create more jobs for a corporation that already contributes $30 million per year in taxes to state and local governments. UPS officials said the tax break applies only to fuel burned by vehicles moving around company property, such as transfer hubs."

August 25, 2005 -- According to the U.S. Postal Service, "With installation of scanning equipment at 87 Computer Forwarding System sites nationwide, the first phase of Postal Automated Redirection System (PARS) deployment is complete."

August 25, 2005 -- As DM News has noted, "With postal prices on the way up, the catalog industry will be happy to hear that forecasts call for paper prices to stabilize, if not decline, in the coming months."

August 25, 2005 -- According to the JournalNews, "In a study released this summer, the Congressional Management Foundation reported that Congress received more than 200 million letters and e-mails in 2004, up from about 53 million communications in 1995, a nearly 300 percent increase. That means Congress is fielding nearly four times as many communications as it did 10 years ago, when Capitol Hill was first connected to the Internet. After the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, all congressional mail was routed through Washington, D.C., and exposed to high levels of radiation to kill any anthrax spores. Two New York congressman said mail sent to their offices through the U.S. Postal Service might not get to them for a month or more."

August 25, 2005 -- The Media Bulletin has reported that "Publishers are unhappy with the compensation scheme Royal Mail intends to offer customers whose postal bills will rise when it changes its pricing scheme in September 2006. Postcomm [the U.K. postal regulator] has said that it intends to remove Royal Mail's Presstream service from regulation from April 2006, meaning the services would not be subject to price control or quality of service performance measures."

August 25, 2005 -- Postal commentator Kate Muth wants to know: "How are you spending Direct Mail Week? Throwing a few steaks on the grill and inviting your marketing team over to celebrate? Or taking the distribution team out for happy hour in recognition? Or maybe just hugging your letter carrier? "

August 25, 2005 -- According to Traffic World, "DHL's U.S. unit reached better than 97 percent on-time delivery for all products, the company reported in an update."

August 24, 2005 -- The Great Falls Tribune has reported that "Businesses rely on the U.S. Postal Service to get products from one place to another. And now the USPS is beginning to think like a business, too, pushing its postmasters and station managers to cut shipping costs and save workers the hassle of standing in line. Faced with increased competition from UPS and FedEx and lost revenue because of fax machines, the Internet and automatic bill payments, the U.S. Postal Service started its "business connect" program earlier this year. Postmasters and station masters, in addition to their regular postal chores, are now meeting with local business leaders to tout Postal Service programs. And it's paying off."

August 24, 2005 -- CEP News (Courier-Express-Postal), published by the MRU Consultancy, has reported that:

The Swiss public was not impressed when Ulrich Gygi's (CEO of Switzerland's post) indicated that he intended to put postage rates up in the event of a market liberalisation. The weekly "Sonntags Zeitung" flashed the headline: "Postage rates going up again although post loaded".
The Austrian post and telecommunications expert Bernhard Muller has called the draft for a new postal act a "muddled patchwork". It was disquieting that the government - having been ordered by the EU to introduce liberalisation - was now trying to protect the post in order to launch it on the stock market and making access to the postal market difficult for competitors.
In an official statement, Austria's Chamber of Trade and Industry (WO) subscribed to the demands already presented by the League of Austrian Business (CEP News 27/05) several weeks ago. Rapid liberalisation is seen as a vital step in order to promote Austrian operators' competitiveness and as the only way to prevent the kind of problems that arise from late market liberalisation, according to WKO.
A majority of German post customers is dissatisfied with the services provided. The business magazine "Capital" has carried out a representative survey, according to which 53% of the interviewees criticised long post office queues and one in two said there were not enough Deutsche Post AG branches. 
Deutsche Post has reached an agreement with the German service sector trade union ver.di on Monday regarding higher salaries for civil servants. The daily "Die Welt" (22.08) reported that the salaries will increase by between 3 and 4% and that the agreement will add around 50m euros to the post's staffing costs.
Deutsche Post AG's exemption from VAT is an obstacle to competition on the postal market. According to the forum, exempting the post from VAT seriously distorts the competitive situation on the German market and cannot be justified by the post's universal service obligation.
Most Germans would like to continue to communicate in the more traditional way via telephone and mail, despite the arrival of SMS and e-mail. A representative study carried out on behalf of the Deutsche Presse-Agentur news agency shows that 79% of the interviewed did not want to give up the use of the phone, while 69% found the idea of not writing letters anymore inconceivable.
In Switzerland, the draft for an amended federal national security law has been received with criticism. The government's attempt to give the intelligence agency DAP wide-reaching powers has alarmed the data protection ombudsman, who says the draft is going well beyond the aims of inner security.
UPS intends to monitor fuel costs with the help of a computer program. The software will check fuel prices at all airports used by UPS.
UPS intends to widen its domestic express service in China considerably.

The MRU, founded in 1992, is the only consultancy in the German speaking area, which has specialised in the market of courier-, express- and parcel services. For large-scale shippers and CEP-services in particular, the MRU provides interdisciplinary advice for all major questions of the market, as there are for example market entry, product design, organisation, and EDP.To learn more about the stories reported above, contact CEP News.

August 24, 2005 -- According to Bloomberg, "Deutsche Post AG (DPW GY) slipped 17 cents, or 0.8 percent, to 20.95 euros. The postal service will probably have to cut postage rates at the beginning of 2006, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported, citing Eugen Pink, the head of the German delivery service association."

August 24, 2005 -- The Springfield Republican has reported that "The city's Fire and Police departments, the state Department of Health and the FBI were among a plethora of agencies that responded to an anthrax drill at the Postal Service bulk mail center in the Indian Orchard section yesterday. The drill simulated the steps that agencies would take if anthrax were detected in the handling of mail at the U.S. Postal Service Processing and Distribution Center on Fiberloid Street."

August 24, 2005 -- Transport Intelligence has reported that "A global trade union organization has stated that it intends to target DHL as part of its campaign to ‘organize’ global enterprises. The Union Network International (UNI), which is made up of many of the world’s largest white collar service unions as well as the powerful US teamsters union, has said that it will run multi-national campaigns to increase the influence of its member unions where they are not already represented within the DPWN subsidiary."

August 24, 2005 -- The Peninsula has noted that "A letter should not take more than five days, excluding the day it is mailed, to reach from one major city in the world to another, according to a new international standard adopted by the Universal Postal Union (UPU). The UPU has asked member countries to decide standards for airmail and intimate customers about them, the latest edition of Q-Post, an in-house bi-lingual monthly of Q-Post, said in a write-up, quoting M Zuhair Al Qahwaji, postal consultant. Postal expenses are likely to rise by up to 13 per cent by 2006-7 and this may lead service providers around the world to accordingly increase postal rates."

August 24, 2005 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that "DHL Express joint Chief Executive John Mullen, head of the DHL Express division for the Americas, Asia and emerging markets, told an analyst conference call that the company would meet its targets of lowering losses in the United States to $367 million this year and break even in the fourth quarter of 2006."

August 24, 2005 -- Dnevnik has reported that "Local companies Factor I.N. and Easypay have applied before Bulgaria's Communications Regulation Commission (CRC) for licences to operate as providers of postal money order services."

August 24, 2005 -- BlackEnterprise has reported that "CALL it Western Unionsky. Russia's mammoth post office says it will start offering international money transfers to the torrents of Russians going abroad before the end of the year. The post office will make use of its Cybermoney system that was established in 2003 to make the transfers. It is currently signing deals with national post offices from other countries and will settle the payments through the Universal Postal Union in Bern, Switzerland. Initially the post office will target customers in the other countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States that were once part of the Soviet Union. But Igor Mandrykin, head of Pochta Rossii's sales operations, has greater ambitions. He says that eventually the network will be expanded to go wherever Russians go."

August 24, 2005 -- IPE has reported that "The €1.6bn pension scheme of the Irish postal service An Post has restructured its manager roster with the help of consulting firm Mercer."

August 23, 2005 -- The Globe and Mail has noted that "In a bid to draw more customers, Mail Boxes Etc. Canada will rename its 276 stores under the United Parcel Service Inc. banner starting this fall, borrowing the name of its well-known parent courier company. The rebranding, which will be unveiled today, is an attempt to cash in on UPS's high profile and generate more business, said Steve Moorman, senior vice-president of Oakville, Ont.-based MBEC Communications Inc., which licenses Mail Boxes Etc. in this country."

August 23, 2005 -- dBusiness News has reported that "BÖWE BELL + HOWELL, the world’s leading provider of document processing and postal solutions, announces the introduction of their innovative solution for high-speed processing that will revolutionize the mail processing industry. Called Print Stream Optimization (PSO), the solution combines software and production equipment to intelligently manage and manipulate a print stream in order to optimize equipment utilization while achieving maximum postal discounts."

August 23, 2005 -- Gulf Times has reported that "THE Qatar General Postal Corporation (Q-Post) will install new Siemens mail sorting machines early next year, an Arabic daily said yesterday. The machines could sort approximately 40,000 postal articles per hour, Q-post chairman Ali Mohamed al-Ali was quoted as saying."

August 23, 2005 -- From Market Wire: "A new survey report underwritten by Harte-Hanks, Inc. and prepared by CSO Insights, Inc., reveals that more than one in five organizations spend more than 45 percent of their entire marketing budgets on "target marketing," and an additional two in five spend between 15 percent and 45 percent on such activity. "Database and interactive marketing lead all categories in new marketing investments," said Richard Hochhauser, president and chief executive officer, Harte-Hanks, Inc., in announcing the availability of the full study report. "Web sites and e-mail, in particular, really show strength. Yet struggles with data quality and data management remain pervasive. There is more work to do."

August 23, 2005 -- From Business Wire: "QuickAddress Names, released today by QAS, augments the company's suite of address management products by validating consumer names along with addresses at the point of data entry."

August 22, 2005 -- The Sydney Morning Herald has noted that "Australia Post has been accused of overcharging customers to redirect mail overseas as it chases record profits while traditional letter volumes dwindle. The cost of redirecting mail overseas has risen from $66 a year - the same as domestic redirection - to $377 if the address is in the Asia-Pacific region, and $535 elsewhere."

August 22, 2005 -- The Congressional Resarch Service has prepared and posted an updated version of its Side-by-Side Comparison of H.R. 22 and S. 662.

August 22, 2005 -- The U.S. Postal Service has announced that Rudy Umscheid, Vice President, Facilities has announced his retirement and has been replaced by Keith LaShier of the Western Facilities Service Office.

August 22, 2005 -- Computerworld has reported that "Microsoft Corp. is marketing an RFID (radio frequency identification device) package for postal services at a stamp exhibition in Taiwan, hoping to woo the government's post office and potentially forge a new line of business for the software maker.The technology Microsoft has on offer here allows a postal service, the package sender and the receiver to view exactly where the package is at all times. It also notifies a receiver when the package will arrive and alerts senders via MSN Messenger or a mobile phone SMS (Short Message Service) after it has been signed for at its destination."

August 22, 2005 -- TechWeb has reported that "More than 7 in 10 major companies analyzed by a research and consulting firm scored poorly for their policies toward re-using personal data for marketing purposes."

August 22, 2005 -- According to the Denver Post, "Denver Auditor Dennis Gallagher is demanding that United Parcel Service pay more than $275,000 over what his office admits is a clerical error in a contract. The dispute has Mayor John Hickenlooper's administration fuming. City officials characterized Gallagher's move as "gotcha" contract enforcement that could chill relationships between the city and businesses. The auditor's office, however, isn't budging. "A contract is a contract," said auditor spokesman Denis Berckefeldt. "UPS is a giant corporation with hundreds of thousands of dollars in lawyers and all of them can't get (the contract) straight?"

August 22, 2005 -- According to ShareCast, "Interactive Prospect Targeting has acquired consumer preference data provider Postal Preference Service for £4.3m. PPS, based in Richmond in Surrey, has been bought from the Royal Mail, Dutch Post Office and two private individuals in London and Belgium."

August 22, 2005 -- The BBC has reported that "Royal Mail has scrapped charges for visually impaired people sending print material in 16 point font or larger. The free mail service, for books, letters and other print material is an extension of the company's "Articles for the Blind" postal service. The UK-wide scheme delivers specified items - such as talking books and white sticks - free of charge, for those registered blind or partially sighted."

August 22, 2005 -- According to the Gulf Daily News, "The world's biggest postal network, India Post, has sought the help of global consultants to spruce up the old-fashioned image of the 150-year-old organisation and become more competitive. R Ganesan, secretary of the Department of Posts, said US-based firm KPMG Consulting would submit a report within two months on ways to restructure the state-owned firm and reduce its losses."

August 22, 2005 -- Elena Diakova from Pitney Bowes has asked in DM News, "The Internet opened a new, versatile channel for remote shopping and spurred a growing trend for consumers to shop and buy online. What role can we expect for paper catalogs and mail order in the near future?"

August 22, 2005 -- The Nashua Telegraph has noted that "The Greater Hudson Chamber of Commerce sponsored a grand opening ceremony at the Postal Center USA recently. The Postal Center USA is a “pack and ship” store offering customers alternative choices for shipping their packages. They provide UPS, Fed Ex, DHL and U.S. mail along with packing services, shipping and moving supplies, office supplies and greeting cards. Other services available include fax, copy, notary, laminating, mail box rental and key making services."

August 22, 2005 -- The Hartford Courant has reported that "The state Department of Correction is teaching postal workers in New England and New York to deal with angry dogs."

August 22, 2005 -- The Star has reported that "A re-invention of the postal industry is inevitable and industry players should not fear global rivalry, but rather embrace it in the spirit of co-operation and competition among players, Deutsche Post AG divisional board member Dr Herbert-Michael Zapf said. Zapf said a re-invention of the postal industry would entail innovation, quality and service. The industry, he said, must innovate to meet future challenges, adding that innovation was more than just having new products but an understanding of one’s own business. “The postal industry needs to develop a broader understanding of postal services, which will ultimately lead to an extended value chain of postal services,” he told reporters in Kuala Lumpur last month. Zapf was a guest speaker at the recent 12th Asean Postal Business Meeting 2005. He said competition was good as it brought out the best in companies to provide efficient goods and services to consumers."

August 20, 2005 -- The latest issue of the PostCom Bulletin is available online. In this issue:

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August 20, 2005 -- The latest issue of PostCom's PostOps Update has been posted on this site. In this issue:

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August 20, 2005 -- Be sure to check out the updates noted on the PostCom Library Index. Getting this stuff is why you're a PostCom member...right?

August 20, 2005 -- According to the Bangkok Post, "Thailand Post may scrap a pilot project to open four ''clean'' Internet cafes following losses at the site at its Khao San Road post office. Branded as TNet and run by TOT Plc, the Internet cafes were positioned as suitable for young people as they blocked access to pornographic web sites and other inappropriate content. The idea was initiated by Dr Surapong Suebwonglee, the former Information and Communications Technology minister. As the Khao San outlet was attracting few customers, Thailand Post is reconsidering plans for four more outlets, said Wutthipong Moreechart, senior vice president of Thailand Post. The charges at TNet are relatively high _ at 65 baht an hour _ but the real deterrent appeared to be Net censorship in an area full of young foreign tourists. ''They are going to other Internet cafes run by small operators which have no policy on blocking web sites and charge lower access fees,'' he said."

August 20, 2005 -- The Winston-Salem Journal has reported that "Hundreds to thousands of game birds, fighting cocks and other fowl are shipped into North Carolina each day through the U.S. Postal Service without proof they've been checked for highly contagious diseases, state agriculture officials said Thursday. This loophole, a violation of state law that requires all birds entering North Carolina to be certified as healthy, poses a potential health and bioterrorist threat to the state's $2.1 billion poultry industry, they said."

August 20, 2005 -- According to the News Letter, "Royal Mail postal workers have received death threats from Northern Ireland loyalist paramilitaries warning them not to deliver mail in north Belfast. The UVF are believed to be behind the threats which are linked to their ongoing feud with the LVF."

August 20, 2005 -- The Cambridge Evening News has reported that "POST boxes in the Cambridge area will be checked for collection tabs indicating the daily final collection. Postwatch, the watchdog for postal services based in Ely, will carry out the survey in the East of England next week as part of a national report."

August 20, 2005 -- Reuters has reported that "Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi took to the streets in western Japan on Saturday, hoping to drum up support for his postal privatisation agenda ahead of a parliamentary election next month."

August 20, 2005 -- According to Nikkei, "The Liberal Democratic Party's manifesto for the forthcoming general election, announced by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, is a strong declaration of his determination to win the bloody political battle for postal privatization. The problem with the party's platform, entitled "120 promises from the LDP, is that it offers hardly anything else."

August 20, 2005 -- The Tallahassee Democrat has reported that "Full mail service is expected to be restored to this barrier island community one day before the Sept. 16 anniversary of Hurricane Ivan. The U.S. Postal Service resumed deliveries to the core business area and some residential communities three months ago but even that was temporarily interrupted when Hurricane Dennis again battered Pensacola Beach on July 10. Other residents have had to cross a bridge to the mainland to pick up their mail at a small shopping center in nearby Gulf Breeze."

August 20, 2005 -- Le Figaro has reported that "The postal sector branch of the French trade union CGT has asked employees of the French post office, La Poste, to take part in what it calls a day of festivities and demands on September 20, the post office's pay day. The event is intended as a protest against the French parliament's recent reform of French postal services, including the establishment of a postal bank. It will also feature demands for pay rises. The CGT is La Poste's biggest union." See also La Tribune.

August 19, 2005 -- CNET has reported that "Online retailers are starting to worry about spiking oil prices, which briefly reached $67 a barrel last week and are elevating shipping costs for some companies. Both FedEx and UPS have imposed special fuel surcharges on top of normal delivery fees. Each company currently levies a 2.75 percent fuel surcharge on ground shipments. For airborne packages, FedEx's rate is 12.5 percent. UPS has capped its air surcharge at 9.5 percent and says it does not expect to increase it in the near future. In addition, a U.S. Postal Service rate increase is in the works. The Postal Rate Commission is weighing an across-the-board 5.4 percent hike for domestic mailings, which, if approved, could take effect in January 2006, spokesperson Jim Quirk said. "For every penny increase in fuel, it adds about $8 million in expense," Quirk said."

August 19, 2005 -- The Transport News Network has reported that "Amtrak Express Parcels have announced this week that they have bought Nightspeed Services Ltd. Amtrak's acquisition of Nightspeed is just the latest in a series of mergers and buy outs in the UK express parcels sector, leading towards inevitable consolidation in the UK road transport industry. Recent deals have included the acquisition of Lynx by UPS, and before that Securicor Omega by DHL."

August 19, 2005 -- As Logistics Management has noted, "Two years after DHL Express made its splashy entry into the U.S. market with its $1 billion acquisition of Seattle-based Airborne Express, the integrated carrier has elbowed its way to a 6 percent share of the domestic parcel business. DHL has a long way to go before it will make a substantial dent in the domestic parcel market, where UPS is still the dominant player on the ground. According to The Colography Group, an Atlanta-based transportation research firm, UPS carries 50.8 percent of express packages weighing less than 70 pounds. FedEx continues to gain on UPS and now has a 21 percent market share. The U.S. Postal Service follows right behind with 20.3 percent."

August 19, 2005 -- Expansion has reported that "Correos, the Spanish post office, has approved a plan to modernise its sorting offices via the acquisition of new equipment. The company's objective is to improve working conditions for employees, who number almost 30,000, as well as unifying its company image and improving service quality. Correos operates 1,800 sorting offices."

August 19, 2005 -- Prensa Latina has reported that "Cuban Lysbeth Daumont won the international contest of letters for children and young people of the Universal Postal Union (UPU), according to United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) sources. More than three million children under 15 from 56 countries participated in the contest created by UNESCO and the UPU in 1972." See also the Cuban News Agency.

August 19, 2005 -- Inside Line has reported that "The world's largest automaker said Wednesday it will contact owners through the OnStar communications system about recall notices. The company said it will follow up with a reminder if owners fail to bring their vehicles to a dealer for recall repairs within 60 days. In the past, automakers notified owners of a recall by mail and then followed up with postcards every two months. GM says the switch to OnStar instead of the U.S. Postal Service is aimed at increasing recall completion rates, which recently have ranged from 50 to about 98 percent."

August 19, 2005 -- As USA Today has noted, "Three years ago, paying the electric bill in the south Indian village of Palakkode was a day-long task. With unreliable postal service, bills are paid in person. That means a trip of several miles, perhaps on foot, and a wait in line. Today, the citizens of Palakkode go to Muhammed Harroon. Mr. Harroon does not work for the electric company — he runs the village's Akshaya center, a room with five computers hooked wirelessly to the Internet, where local citizens can surf the Web, take computer-literacy courses, and pay their bills electronically."

August 19, 2005 -- According to The Independent, "Whilst Zimbabwe has, almost endlessly over the last seven years, suffered the intense pangs of hyperinflation, the media controlled by the state has vigorously and repeatedly given great prominence to the innumerable endeavours of government's spokesmen to berate the totality of commerce and industry for the supposed causes of that inflation. However, whilst government is usually rigorously opposed to price increases by commerce and industry unless they are lower than the rate of inflation, and have been determined after very extensive consultation, the same criteria do not apply to government, and to its “commercial” operations through its parastatals. In the year ended June, wherein the Consumer Price Index (CPI) based rate of inflation was 164,3%, postal charges rose by 4 641,5%, being more than 28 times the annual rate of inflation!

August 19, 2005 -- Japan Today has reported that "The ruling Liberal Democratic Party pledged Friday in its policy platform for the upcoming general election to resubmit Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's defeated postal privatization bills for passage in the next Diet session."

August 19, 2005 -- From I-Newswire: "NetPost Mover's Postcards, through a partnership with AmazingMail, Inc., expands on two rapidly growing areas for internet-savvy Postal Service customers - Internet Change of Address and internet-based printing and mailing."

August 19, 2005 -- DM News has reported that:

August 19, 2005 -- Dr. Lukas Loeffler has been appointed by Siemens Dematic as the new Executive Vice President of Postal Automation (PA). Lukas comes from Giesecke & Devrient where he was responsible for the Currency Automation and Services business unit during the last six years. Lukas had worked for Siemens ElectroCom as Vice President of Product Management and Development, Postal Automation in Konstanz, Germany and Irving, TX from 1994 to 1998. Lukas will transfer to Arlington on September 1, 2005 and will work with Heribert before assuming full responsibility on October 1, 2005. Heribert Stumpf will leave his position as head of PA on October 1 and become Chief Financial Officer of Siemens Corporation in New York.

August 19, 2005 -- MTAC Presentations Available Online to PostCom members. The presentations from the August 17-18, 2005 Mailers Technical Advisory Committee (MTAC) meetings are available on PostCom's web site for members only. 

August 19, 2005 -- Traffic World has reported that "After a May decline, U.S. airlines posted a slight increase in air cargo traffic in June spurred on by modest growth in domestic and international volumes."

August 19, 2005 -- As the Motley Fool has noted, "If you've ever received a bulky A4 envelope through the post whose only adornment is a first class stamp, you may not find news of the forthcoming Royal Mail pricing changes that surprising. In just over a year (September 2006) and following pricing structures seen in Australia, Canada, Japan and the USA, the Royal Mail is to introduce a new method of calculating how much it will cost to post letters in the UK. Instead of charging simply by weight as it does at the moment, the new system is set to charge by size, too. Some smaller, heavier items (such as catalogues and magazines) will become cheaper to post, whilst larger, lighter items (such as posters rolled up in cardboard tubes) will become more expensive. The changes are expected to affect around 20 per cent of stamped mail for consumers and 30 per cent of business mail. And as Royal Mail believes it loses around 5p on every item of First Class stamped mail and 8p on every item of Second Class (a total loss of £235m in 2004/5) it clearly hopes that this new pricing structure can redress the balance."

August 19, 2005 -- Neue Zürcher Zeitung has reported that "A report commissioned by the Swiss communications ministry says a partial liberalisation of letter delivery services would not threaten the country's mail service. If the government gives the go-ahead, Swiss Post could see its monopoly on letters limited to those weighing less than 100 grams - a move opposed by unions. The independent study, released on Thursday, comes ahead of a government debate on the issue next month."

August 19, 2005 -- IWCO Direct, a leading national provider of integrated direct mail solutions, announces the expansion of its single-pass commingling capacity with the installation of two Siemens Dematic Delivery-Point Bar Code Sorter (DBCS) machines at IWCO Direct-New York. With this installation, IWCO Direct will have seven DBCS machines in operation, solidifying its position as the nation’s largest provider of DBCS-based commingling services.

August 18, 2005 -- From MarketWire: "Firstlogic, Inc., a global provider of enterprise-wide postal automation and data quality solutions, today honored the company's Postal Automation development division, the software team responsible for architecting premiere Firstlogic high-performance postal address management solutions. The team has been rated by the Carnegie Mellon Software Engineering Institute (SEI) (http://www.sei.cmu.edu) as performing at a Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI)® Level 2 maturity level. This appraisal demonstrates a commitment to excellence in project management, software development and delivery. CMMI Level 2 appraisal for Postal Automation software development means Firstlogic customers, including government-related organizations, can meet organizational requirements to select products that have had an outside audit of a software product's lifecycle, from conception to delivery."

August 18, 2005 -- From Business Wire: "AuthentiDate Holding Corp. has announced that it is leveraging the RSA(R) Federated Identity Manager within AuthentiDate's Persistent Identity Engine(TM) technology to enable application of authentication procedures to electronic content such as documents, files and transactions. AuthentiDate is a member of the RSA Secured(R) Partner Program, which certifies the interoperability of AuthentiDate's Persistent Identity Engine with RSA Federated Identity Manager."

August 18, 2005 -- The Prague Post has reported that "Next month public and private organizations will have the option of processing official documents via an electronic stamp developed by the Information Technology Ministry that transforms simple electronic copies into official documents. According to ministry officials, when the stamp is affixed to a hard copy of electronic excerpts from official registries, the document carries the same authority as an official signature."

August 18, 2005 -- From the Mailers Technical Advisory Committee meeting:

L'Enfant Plaza was buzzing yesterday after the USPS' Chief Financial Officer Richard Strasser decided to share his personal opinions of the postal reform bills moving through Congress with the Mailers Technical Advisory Committee. Strasser told MTAC that the governance structures in the bills are a "disaster." The bills transfer all the authority to an outside entity but leave the USPS with the transparency and accountability burdens, he said. This will lead to a government bureaucracy that won't be able to respond to customers' needs, he suggested. After briefing MTAC on the USPS' financial situation through July, Strasser launched into his personal concerns with the bills, stressing that these were the opinions of Dick Strasser and not an official position of the Postal Service. 

Nearly lost amid the hubbub were Strasser's significant comments about the rate request now moving through proceedings at the Postal Rate Commission. The escalation in fuel prices and the increase in next year's cost of living adjustments (COLAs) for craft employees "enhance the need for a 5.4% increase in January," he said. The prefunding requirements of the postal bills -- or an escrow account payment -- combined with the fuel and COLA increases make the 5.4% rate increase necessary. The USPS' financial situation is more unfavorable than when the case was filed, he said.

August 18, 2005 -- Scoop has reported that "A group of posties will publicly demonstrate their dissatisfaction with their employer, NZ Post, outside the Auckland Mail Centre at 167 Victoria Street West, Auckland between 3.00pm and 4.30pm on Thursday 18 August 2005. The posties are angry that a Business Unit Incentive Plan (BUIP) payment to posties is allocated unfairly by NZ Post."

August 18, 2005 -- According to UsingRFID, "A new report available from Research and Markets, 'Printable Electronics: Roadmaps, Markets and Opportunities', describes and evaluates the growing 'printable electronics' market and forecasts the most likely future growth areas. The report looks at how the use of low-cost, high-speed printing technologies to create electronic circuits and devices is likely to change the economics of the electronics industry and to create new kinds of products. This article is copyright 2005 UsingRFID.com. According to its backers, the emergence of high-resolution ink-jet printers and semiconductor inks will enable electronics industry to transition from an environment in which electronics manufacturing plants are escalating in cost to one in which production costs are modest, and in which small, customised runs are economically viable."

August 18, 2005 -- DM News has noted that "Despite a pessimistic view that mail volume is eroding because of e-mail and other electronic substitutes, some mail categories have increased while other volumes are generally flat, a Pitney Bowes study says. Michael Reynolds, director of strategy at Pitney Bowes, discussed the study at the quarterly MTAC meeting yesterday. In general, Reynolds said "substitution has already happened for simple transactions where there is a direct substitute. [But] substitution is evolving more gradually for other transactions, and the long- term effects of substitution are still ill-understood for many mailed transactions."

August 18, 2005 -- As the Viet Nam News Agency has noted, "the post and telecom market, which has for long been dominated by the VNPT, is shared with businesses from other sectors. They are the Military Post and Telecommunications Corporation (Viettel) of the Defence Ministry, the Saigon Post and Telecom Joint Stock Company (Saigon Postel) of Ho Chi Minh City, the Viet Nam Power Telecom Company (VP Telecom) of the Electricity of Viet Nam, the Viet Nam Shipping Communications and Electrics Company (Vishipel) of the Ministry of Transport and Communication and Ha Noi's Telecom. Postal services have been available at more than 16,000 sites nationwide, delivering daily newspapers to more than 90 percent of the country's total communes."

August 18, 2005 -- The Center for Media Research has noted that "The recent Forrester report, "The State Of Consumers And Technology: Benchmark 2005," from more than 68,000 North American households and combined with data from the seven previous years, shows by 2010, 62 percent of US households will have broadband access to the Internet, 53 percent will own a laptop, and 37 percent will use a digital video recorder (DVR) to gain control over how and when they watch TV."

August 18, 2005 -- The DM Bulletin has reported that "Postcomm has approved Royal Mail's change to size-based pricing, allowing its introduction twelve months from now in mid-August 2006 at the earliest. The response to the regulator's consultation on the change led it to concede that its proposed timescale for introduction by April 2006 was too short. Royal Mail is allowed to choose the exact date for the change, and customer watchdog Postwatch believes it is likely to be in early September 2006." See also The Scotsman and The Times.

August 18, 2005 -- The governing Liberal Democratic Party is asking all those running as LDP candidates in the Sept 11 general election to sign a pledge that they will support postal privatization, according to a copy of the written pledge Kyodo News obtained Wednesday.

August 18, 2005 -- Dow Jones has reported that "The container shipping industry is expected to see healthy worldwide growth of about 8% a year for the rest of the decade. But the industry, which generates annual revenue of around $100 billion, is due for an overhaul, according to a study from the IBM Business Consulting Institute, a unit of International Business Machines Corp. (IBM)."

August 18, 2005 -- The Associated Press has reported that "An employee at the District of Columbia postal facility where anthrax killed two workers in 2001 has been diagnosed with Legionnaires' disease, heath officials said Wednesday. The unidentified 57-year-old man was diagnosed in July after checking himself into a hospital with flu-like symptoms. He works at the former Brentwood postal facility which was closed for more than two years after anthrax contamination killed two workers in October 2001."

August 18, 2005 -- As the Wall Street Journal has noted, "Responding to rising demand for cargo shipments from Asia to the U.S., United Parcel Service Inc. said it plans to order eight new Boeing 747-400 freighters, extending the life of Boeing Co.'s venerable jumbo jet. While important for UPS, the airplane order is the single largest for 747s in years."

August 17, 2005 -- From the Mailers Technical Advisory Committee meeting: "USPS Sr. Vice President of Operations Bill Galligan told attendees of the Mailers Technical Adivsory Committee (MTAC) today that the USPS has decided that in its Flats Sequencing System (FSS) plans ECR Saturation Mail will continue to be accepted at destination delivery units, rather than being entered at facilities with FSS machines. "We don't want those nine billion pieces of saturation mail and their trailers pulling up to our plants," Galligan said "We don't think it's a good business decision." This marks the first major FSS processing decision announcement from the USPS since it decided to pursue FSS in lieu of Delivery Point Packaging (DPP), and it was welcomed by industry. Galligan said the USPS is a bit ahead of schedule on its FSS initiative and is on target for national deployment early in calendar year 2008. He also told MTAC attendees that FSS likely would bring with it some standardized address placement for flats, -- a concept that was not received positively by industry -- but Galligan said that the issue, along with a myriad of others, should be worked through with the USPS and industry. Galligan said those efforts should get started now."

August 17, 2005 -- CEP News (Courier-Express-Postal), published by the MRU Consultancy, has reported that:

"We never wanted the kind of 'heave, ho!' privatisation that happened in Britain", said Hans Eichel, (still) Germany's chancellor, thus rejecting rapid market liberalisation. According to Dow Jones news agency, Mr Eichel spoke in favour of a harmonised European market liberalisation at the Deutsche Post AG general works meeting in Mainz on Monday. "Our aim is to achieve as harmonious a procedure as possible when the exclusive rights are abolished in 2009, and we'll pursue this goal in all European authorities", said Mr Eichel. Rudolf Pfeiffer, chairman of the German Association of Courier, Express and Postal Service Providers (BdKEP e.V.), told the CEP News that the SPD (Labour) Chancellor had "to put his cards on the table in view of the election campaign". 
The draft for Austria's new postal act (CEP News 30/05) remains under severe criticism. The trade union says it wants to "pull a few more venomous fangs" from the draft, for which junior minister Mainoni of the Ministry for Infrastructure is responsible. Trade union chairman Gerhard Fritz demands strict licensing procedures for future competitors to stop operators from picking only attractive metropolitan regions as delivery areas. Austria's Workers' Council subscribes to the same proposition.
During the first half of 2005, the Finnish post suffered a considerable drop in profit on a slightly increased turnover.
The GLS Germany subsidiary Der Kurier, which specialises in domestic express consignments, has recently introduced a mail service: nationwide over-night delivery of official documents, e.g. fines, as "Postal Delivery Documents (PZU)" with records of when, how and where the document was delivered.
FedEx has partly pulled out of the European express market. Almost unnoticed by the public, the integrator has sold the European section of its Custom Critical operations with effect from 1 June. The Dutch Roberts Europe has acquired FedEx Custom Critical Europe in the form of a management buy-out.
The role played by express services in air freight today is obvious when looking at the otherwise insignificant Anchorage airport in Alaska. Used as a stop-over by UPS and FedEx, the airport has a transhipment volume of over 2.37m tons (an over 13% increase on 2003) and is the world's fourth biggest cargo airport.
Austrians think that Osterreichische Post's postmen are the most trustworthy category when it comes to letting strangers into their homes.

The MRU, founded in 1992, is the only consultancy in the German speaking area, which has specialised in the market of courier-, express- and parcel services. For large-scale shippers and CEP-services in particular, the MRU provides interdisciplinary advice for all major questions of the market, as there are for example market entry, product design, organisation, and EDP.To learn more about the stories reported above, contact CEP News.

August 17, 2005 -- According to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, "At 18 billion catalogs a year and growing, junk -- er, direct -- mail costs us our trees and our patience. And the industry has become even more sophisticated, finding new ways to woo us with its 0% APR offers." One of these days...direct mailers will wake up to the damage this sort of disinformation does to the perceived value of doing business by mail. [Hint: They'll begin to support Mail&Jobs]

August 17, 2005 -- From the Federal Register: "The Postal Rate Commission is relocating from 1333 H Street, NW., Suite 300, Washington, DC 20268-0001 to 901 New York Avenue, NW., Suite 200, Washington, DC 20268-0001. The effective date of the changes is August 29, 2005. The revisions do not entail any changes to existing telephone numbers, ZIP Code, e-mail addresses or the Commission's Web site address (http://www.prc.gov)."

August 17, 2005 -- The Guardian has reported that "The chief executive of the business-to-business postal group DX Services has resigned following what is understood to have been a disagreement about the group's strategy ahead of the liberalisation of the British letters market at the beginning of next year. Peter Brougham, whose salary is £243,000 a year, will stay on in his role until a successor is appointed."

August 17, 2005 -- The Morning News has reported that "U.S. Postal Service officials are making a pitch to have mini-post offices in single-family residential subdivisions instead of a mailbox for each house. Two postal representatives, Stephanie Barnhill and Chuck Hamilton, explained the concept to members of the Springdale Planning Commission during a work session Tuesday night."

August 17, 2005 -- Irish Times has reported that "An Post expects its new financial and banking service to be ready by January, with the new entity to offer bank accounts, savings products and insurance services."

August 17, 2005 -- E-Pao has reported that "Postal services like transaction of money, speed post, speed money order, telegram money order and despatching of letters and parcels have come to a grinding halt at Imphal Post office from today following the indefinite cease work strike launched by All India Postal Employees' Union to protest the arrest and torture of a postman by City police personnel." See also Kangla Online and Hindu Business Line.

August 17, 2005 -- Sify Financial News has reported that "Admitting in the Lok Sabha today that the proliferation of courier service in recent years has made a dent in the revenue of public postal services, the Government today said it would amend the Indian Postal Act to put under scan the private courier service network in the country."

August 17, 2005 -- Transport Intelligence has reported that:

TNT Express has announced plans to expand its Middle East Road Network with the addition of five new routes, all to be operational in 2006. The move comes as TNT develops its Middle East Road Network (MERN), starting with its ‘Day Definite’ service, which guarantees customers the exact number of days to delivery.
The Independent Pilots Association (IPA), UPS pilots union, has told UPS that they will refuse to fly Northwest Airlines (NWA) struck goods. The IPA informed UPS of its position in anticipation of a possible strike by the mechanics at NWA, which could occur this Friday.

August 17, 2005 -- Internet Retailer has reported that "DHL Smart & GlobalMail introduced a package delivery service to Asian countries that offers mid-range pricing, with faster delivery times and track-and-trace capability. The company is positioning the service between the low-cost, slower, non-trackable service that the U.S. Postal Service offers and the higher-priced, speedier trackable services that the USPS, UPS and Fedex offer."

August 17, 2005 -- TVNZ has reported that "Paper Plus has bought the New Zealand Post Books & More chain, creating New Zealand's largest books and stationery group. New Zealand Post chief operating officer of customer solutions Paul Hutchinson says New Zealand Post wants to focus on growing postal and banking products and services rather than running a book and stationery franchise business."

August 16, 2005 -- Online.ie has reported that "The Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources, Noel Dempsey, today re-affirmed his commitment to the introduction of postcodes as he announced the National Postcode Project Board has convened for the first time. Following the Minister's announcement in May of this year, this group was established with a view to considering the feasibility, design and implementation of a postcode proposal. Minister Dempsey has asked chair of ComReg, Isolde Goggin, to appoint project managers to design a suitable postcode and to analyse costs. The project managers will present their proposals to the Postcode Board, with their own recommendations, to the Minister by the end of 2005."

August 16, 2005 -- NEPA News has reported that "Package delivery service DHL broke ground Tuesday on a $107 million distribution center that will serve eight East Coast states and Washington, D.C. Advertisement The 290,000-square-foot facility, scheduled to open by September 2006, will be able to handle 40,000 letters and 50,000 parcels per hour, the company said. It will employ about 340."

August 16, 2005 -- From the PR Newswire:

August 16, 2005 -- According to the Edinburgh Evening News, "THE threat of divorcing the retail and delivery aspects of the Royal Mail needs to be taken seriously. Naturally, the state-owned postal group sees no need for such action. Others see it differently."

August 16, 2005 -- From the Business Wire: "APX Logistics is pleased to announce the appointment of Lanny Michael as President of Corporate Services and Chief Financial Officer. Mr. Michael will reporting to APX Logistics Chief Executive Officer and Chairman Bradley Garberich and will be located at the Company's headquarters in Santa Fe Springs, CA."

August 16, 2005 -- MSNBC has reported that "Four years after United Parcel Service Inc. bought Mail Boxes Etc. Inc. and its thousands of retail locations, many dissatisfied franchisees of what is now the UPS Store are wondering why Brown hasn't done more for them. A growing coalition of several hundred store owners has banded together to form The Brown Board Owners Association Inc., a group that is carrying their grievances -- centered around concerns of declining profitability -- to UPS' door."

August 16, 2005 -- DM News has reported that "The Direct Marketing Association's Quarterly Business Review, released yesterday, marked the eighth consecutive quarter of positive growth results, and revenue projections for the third quarter remain just as optimistic."

August 16, 2005 -- FinFacts has reported that "The telecoms and postal regulator, ComReg, is currently considering an application from An Post to have the price of a stamp increased from 48 cent to 60 cent, a 25 per cent rise. The Irish Direct Marketing Association (IDMA) said An Post was "financially viable" and did not need the increase. ComReg has been studying the price application for several months now, but has so far refused to sanction the price rise. The regulator remains unhappy about An Post's delivery performance and also wants an improvement in mail volumes. It claims these are far lower than in similar sized states to the Republic."

August 16, 2005 -- According to The Telegraph, "A communist postman has overtaken President Jacques Chirac in a poll of France's 50 most popular personalities."

August 16, 2005 -- The Asahi Shimbun has reported that:

August 15, 2005 -- The Smithsonian's National Postal Museum announced that John Nolan will succeed James Pehta as chairman of the National Postal Museum Advisory Council. Ed Gleiman will serve in the newly created role of vice chairman. Nolan recently retired from his position as deputy postmaster general; Gleiman is former chairman of the Postal Rate Commission.

August 15, 2005 -- IranMania has reported that "Iran and the Republic of Cuba will issue a joint stamp in order to foster bilateral cooperation, the Iranian ambassador to Cuba announced on Monday."

August 15, 2005 -- Kommersant has reported that "State-run post office Pochta Rossii announced Friday it will enter the foreign market of money transfer before late this year by sealing bilateral agreements with post offices of a raft of countries and using its Cybermoney system to make payment via the server of Universal Postal Union in Bern. Today’s targets of the company are more moderate, just to grab a portion of money transfer markets in some countries of CIS. To this effect, Pochta Rossii is slashing tariff rates for respective services by several times."

August 15, 2005 -- CBC News has reported that "Postal workers have launched a massive campaign to stop the closure of a mail-sorting plant in Quebec City. Three hundred people work in the facility. Over the next two years, the plant will be shut down and mail will be trucked to Montreal for sorting. Deborah Bourque, president of the Union of Postal Workers, objects to the move."

August 15, 2005 -- From the Federal Register: "The Postal Service has published a Notice that will change the standards for Periodicals preparation. It is proposing new standards to reduce handling costs for Periodicals mail prepared in sacks. The proposal includes the following changes: 1. Most sacks must contain a minimum of 24 pieces. 2. Generally, mailers may prepare a bundle with fewer than six pieces if they place that bundle in a sack that meets the new 24-piece minimum. 3. Two new types of sacks have been added: a 3-digit carrier routes sack and a merged 3-digit sack."

August 15, 2005 -- From the PR Newswire: "Canada Post Borderfree, the only provider to offer U.S. retailers a total solution set for a seamless launch into new markets including market intelligence, logistics and technology to fulfill cross-border transactions and complete marketing services, takes a closer look at the Canadian consumer with the introduction of Snapshot(TM). Snapshot is a proprietary segmentation system that helps retailers identify and communicate with specific Canadian consumers who demonstrate the highest demand for their products. Snapshot(TM) enables Borderfree to examine consumer data drawn from multiple sources and identify specific sub-segments of the population based on spending habits, lifestyle and media preferences. This 'snapshot' into the 30 million Canadian consumers is invaluable to retailers looking to break into the Canadian market, as it allows merchants to efficiently target select consumers with relevant offers, minimizing marketing spend. The result - consumer interactions are optimized to increase sales and establish profitable, longer-term relationships."

August 15, 2005 -- The Kyodo news service has reported that "Sales of Japan's mail-order industry as a whole rose 9.0 percent in fiscal 2004 from the previous year to a record high of 3.04 trillion yen due partly to the growing popularity of Internet-based orders, an industry group said Monday. Overall sales marked the sixth consecutive yearly increase in the fiscal year that ended last March, said the Japan Direct Marketing Association, an external body of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. The group began collecting data in 1983. The association attributed the sales rise partly to the increased use of the Internet. In particular, an increasing number of Japanese women are ordering cosmetics via the Internet or postal mail, an association official said."

August 15, 2005 -- According to The Times, "ROYAL MAIL could be broken up in one of the biggest shake-ups in its 300-year history, under plans being considered by the industry regulator. The Times has learnt that Postcomm is considering whether customers would be better served by splitting Royal Mail into two or more parts. A break-up would separate its big mail centres and delivery activities from the Post Office branch network and other retail operations. Postcomm is calculating the benefits of a split and aims to consult consumers, industry and Royal Mail itself in the new year. The regulator is concerned that Royal Mail is charging rivals too much to use its infrastructure, which is hampering competition in the postal market. It also wants more transparency in Royal Mail’s functions."

August 15, 2005 -- As the Minneapolis Star-Tribune has noted, "For most people, the front of an envelope is a place for addresses and postage, and a crooked stamp indicates little more than that the sender was in a hurry. But for others, this tiny sliver of real estate is home to a coded language that has been passed down for more than a century. The so-called language of stamps emerged in the Victorian era as a discreet method of courtship at a time when parents often censored mail."

August 15, 2005 -- Vanguard has reported that "About 148 private companies operating in the courier sector of the economy are now lobbying the National Assembly to secure a legislation for the establishment of a commission for effective regulation of the industry. The companies, acting under the umbrella of Association of Nigerian Courier Operators (ANCO) have made representations to the Senate and the Presidency, requesting that the process be quickened for the creation of the proposed body which they argued should be like the National Communication Commission (NCC), the body that regulates the telecommunications industry."

August 15, 2005 -- The Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette has noted that "Those catalogs are from L.L. Bean Inc., the Freeport company that learned a long time ago it could capitalize on the sense Americans have of its home state. Now the privately held L.L. Bean has decided that it needs to venture outside of Maine, opening retail stores far beyond state borders, to fend off those challengers. Now, L.L. Bean finds itself at a pivot point. And finds the marketplace has changed. Other companies, such as Eddie Bauer, noticed its success. They flooded the nation’s mailboxes with catalogs; they built stores in shopping malls. Sales growth at L.L. Bean slowed."

August 15, 2005 -- The Durham Herald-Sun has reported that "The U.S. Postal Service has backed away from sending a controversial letter telling Durham residents who move into a house getting door delivery to erect a curbside mailbox or face having their mail held for two weeks and returned to the sender."

August 15, 2005 -- The DM Bulletin has reported that "UK Mail has secured a contract worth at least £500,000 with the Cabinet Office to handle mail for the Government Gateway, the first piece of government business to be lost by Royal Mail."

August 15, 2005 -- Foster's Online has reported that "International Medical Equipment Collaborative (IMEC) received a $25,000 grant from The UPS Foundation, the charitable arm of United Parcel Service. The grant will be used to send medical equipment and supplies to doctors and nurses who treat the poor in developing countries."

August 15, 2005 -- AFP has reported that "Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's government will submit postal privatisation bills again to parliament if he wins the upcoming election."

August 14, 2005 -- According to the Marshfield News-Herald, "With a major Postal Service reform bill now having passed the House of Representatives, debate over the legislation among big business, big labor and bean counters from various branches of government is focused on Senate and White House approval. Lost amid the political wrangling is the fact that the new law does little to fix the most fundamental problems that affect post office consumers. The legislation offers no relief on labor issues. A serious reform plan would have strengthened USPS management's power to negotiate with unions. Instead the bill explicitly states that no existing labor privileges, such as no-layoff rules, shall be affected. The bill capitulates to unions even further by mandating that one slot on the USPS Board of Governors be filled by someone with unanimous backing from organized labor. How about a seat for someone representing the consumer?

August 14, 2005 -- The Port Arthur News has reported that "A group of local postal workers is worried about issues more vicious than angry dogs and bad weather. Paul Arceneaux, president of The National Association of Letter Carriers, Branch No. 1179, is seeking complaints from customers and carriers and will take those to Washington, D.C., in hopes of alleviating problems at the local level. He said carrier complaints cover a range of topics: hostile work environment, understaffed office, altercations between management and carriers, carriers taking on more than one route and other issues. Cliff Rucker, district manager for the Postal Service, said there are ongoing labor management meetings to take care of such disputes and one is scheduled for Monday."

August 14, 2005 -- JiJi Press has reported that "The Democratic Party of Japan said Saturday it will take up postal reform in its policy plan for a forthcoming parliamentary election, reversing its original stance of dismissing the issue as an internal dispute within the ruling camp."

August 14, 2005 -- The Barbados Advocate has reported that "THE Barbados Postal Service on a whole has been commended recently, for its outstanding service in the area of mail delivery. There are, however, two problems which seem to have no end for some of the delivery service personnel, stationed at various post offices throughout the island."

August 13, 2005 -- As the Wausau Daily Herald has noted, "Practically everyone these days receives countless pre-approved credit card applications in the mail, including the mail carrier who has to lug them around. Now, however, there's an option that will allow you to reduce the amount of junk mail you receive. A new federal rule requires credit bureaus to spell out how consumers can opt out of receiving credit card offers or insurance offers. Four of the major consumer credit reporting companies, Equifax, Experian, Innovis and TransUnion, now offer a phone number and a Web site that allow consumers to join a list that prevents credit card and insurance companies from sending them unsolicited offers."

August 13, 2005 -- The Guardian has published an interview with Alan Johnson, U.K. trade and industry secretary.

  August 13, 2005 -- AMEInfo has reported that "Empost, Emirates Corporation for Commercial Postal Services has announced the expansion of its Health Pack service - a strategic initiative launched in association with the Ministry of Health - to the Ras-Al-Khaimah (RAK) Medical District. The move to expand the express courier service to RAK will ensure timely delivery of health certificates directly to the doorsteps of residents of the emirate."

August 13, 2005 -- The Associated Press has reported that:

August 13, 2005 -- As the New York Times has noted, "operators of garbage dumps are stuffing more waste than anyone expected into the giant plastic-lined holes, keeping disposal prices down and making the construction of new landfills largely unnecessary." In other words, we are NOT running out of landfill space because of anyone's discarded mail.

August 13, 2005 -- Air Cargo World has reported that "UPS named Michael J. Burns, the chairman, CEO and president of automotive parts giant Dana Corp., and Stuart E. Eizenstat, a key aide to former Presidents Carter and Clinton, to the company's board of directors."

August 12, 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.

August 12, 2005 -- According to the Falls Church News-Press, "A moment’s reflection will bring one to the notion that the Postal Service is the one institution that already has infrastructure in place to deliver things to every home in the country. It has buildings and deliverers nearly everywhere, plus the organization, the management, and electric delivery vans. It has the management experience of massively expanding its operations during the Christmas rush."

August 12, 2005 -- As Federal Times has noted, "High fuel prices and other unexpected expenses helped push third-quarter results for the U.S. Postal Service into the red and prompted postal executives to recalculate their year-end projections from a heady $1.7 billion in net income to only $1 billion, according to the agency’s chief financial officer."

August 12, 2005 -- From the PR Newswire: "According to Gary Seitz -- executive vice president of C.TRAC information solutions of Strongsville, Ohio and a nationally-recognized postal expert -- as staggering as the USPS costs are, for organizations that depend on mail for sales and solicitations, UAA costs are incalculable."

August 12, 2005 -- According to PostalReporter.com, "An internal postal management memo, leaked to the APWU but legally obtainable, is hard evidence that Automated Postal Centers (APCs) will be used to try to cut clerk jobs, specifically those of Sales and Service Associates, or window clerks."

August 12, 2005 -- The Kyodo News Service has reported that "Japan Post's Yu-Pack delivery service will be available at a total of about 6,300 Circle K and Sunkus outlets as part of the state-run postal service provider's efforts to enhance its delivery operations."

August 12, 2005 -- From the Canada NewsWire: "The Council of Canadians and Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) are filing to appeal a Court decision concerning the constitutionality of NAFTA investment rules. The groups had asked the Court to declare the private enforcement of NAFTA's investment rules unconstitutional because it undermines the role of Canadian courts and offends both the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Bill of Rights."

August 12, 2005 -- The latest issue of the PostCom Bulletin is available online. In this issue:

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


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August 12, 2005 -- The European Commission has announced that "The final reports of the Wik-Consult and Ecorys studies on "the evolution of the regulatory model for European postal services" and "the development of competition in the European postal sector" have been published:

August 12, 2005 -- As the Washington Post has noted, "Cable and wireless operators in particular ranked the lowest in a customer-satisfaction survey during the first quarter of this year -- even lower than the much-maligned airline industry, according to the American Consumer Satisfaction Index. Local and long-distance service providers ranked slightly higher -- 70 points on a scale of 100, compared with 63 for wireless carriers and 61 for cable and satellite companies -- although the satisfaction rate had declined 10 points in the past decade, according to the survey, which is an independent measurement jointly taken by the University of Michigan and the American Society for Quality. In comparison, airlines received an average 66-point mark, while express-delivery services such as FedEx Corp., United Parcel Service Inc. and others got an 81-point score."

August 12, 2005 -- Business Mailers Review has reported that:

Business Mailer's Review is an award-winning, independent biweekly newsletter covering issues of importance to the business mailer. It is regularly cited as among the best sources of postal information. For subscription information, check the BMR web site.

August 12, 2005 -- As MarketingSherpa has noted, "Direct postal mail response rates to magazine offers have been languishing for years now. Most publishers try to supplement by planting 'get the magazine' offers on their Web sites, but it's not a major home run for anyone."

August 12, 2005 -- According to Arab News, "Expatriates and their families can now receive mail under a new service provided by Saudi Post. These measures were launched in preparation for the move to privatize Saudi Post. The thrust of its service, according to a reliable source, is to ensure prompt delivery to homes and business establishments. A prominent feature of the new system is the use of a smart chip that alerts the postman when he is in the vicinity of an addressee. The smart chip will be embedded in the mail box, which will be fixed to the entrance door of the house/apartment. The Geographical Positioning System, the Geographical Information System and the routing system guide the driver to the right destination, thereby preventing any misdirection. There is also a track and trace system on the Saudi Post’s website that lets a registered user know the status of the user’s mail. The user simply has to enter his/her EMS ID Number, which will in turn reveal the current status of the incoming or outgoing mail within seconds. Women will also be appointed in the Saudi postal service for manual sorting of mail, handling computerized records, coding, setting up training programs as well as handling inquiries and follow-ups."

August 12, 2005 -- The Financial Times has reported that "The failure of the Japanese government's postal system reform drive this week was a reminder of the difficulties of tinkering with a state service embedded in the life of a nation. But officials in China dismiss the idea that Tokyo's troubles hold lessons as they embark on a long-awaited campaign to shake up their sprawling postal system with its tens of thousands of offices and quarter of a million employees. While other arms of the government have modernised, China Post has remained an opaque and bureaucratic hybrid combining the roles of regulator, mail deliverer and one of the country's biggest financial institutions."

August 12, 2005 -- GovExec.com has reported that "This fall the U.S. Postal Service plans to debut a Web-based program to train managers and frontline employees on handling suspicious mail, an agency official said. The move is in response to recent recommendations from the Government Accountability Office. The online training program will be complete by the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30 and, along with a video and paper-based instructions, will provide employees with advice on how to deal with a "greater variety of suspicious mail scenarios," said Thomas Day, senior vice president of government relations for the Postal Service. GAO recently reported that enhanced training would help mailroom employees make better decisions on how to treat packages that could pose security threats."

August 12, 2005 -- According to Wired,  "Jose Avila recently found himself in just that predicament. Although he has a good job as a software developer, he's locked into two rents after moving to Arizona, and has no extra cash for an Ikea shopping spree. But instead of scouting street corners for a ratty, unwanted couch, Avila got creative and built an apartment full of surprisingly sturdy furniture -- out of FedEx shipping boxes. Fanciful as his creations may seem, FedEx is not amused. The shipping giant's lawyers have sent Avila letters demanding he take down the site he created to document his project, invoking, among other things, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (.pdf), or DMCA. Avila has outfitted his entire apartment with FedEx box designs, including a bed, a corner desk with wall shelves, a table, two chairs and a couch. Drawing from architecture and drafting classes he took in college, Avila has designed pieces that are surprisingly un-boxy."

August 11, 2005 -- According to the Daily Yomiuri, "The Liberal Democratic Party will pledge to resurrect and pass its postal privatization bills by the end of the year if the party retains power after the Sept. 11 House of Representatives election."

August 11, 2005 -- As SurfingTheNetWithKids has noted, when it comes to the Smithsonian's National Postal MuseuNational Postal Museumm: "Leave your preconceived notions at your keyboard, because there is lots to do and see at the National Postal Museum. For stamp collectors and wannabes, there is an entire section devoted to philately. For art lovers, Art of the Stamp is an exploration of this "universally available art form." For history buffs, there's the story of the Inverted Jenny (a famous postal misprint) and the biography of Mary Katherine Goddard, a colonial postmaster. And teachers will be bowled over by the printable curriculum guides, which include commemorative stamp designing and letter writing projects."

August 11, 2005 -- Asia Pulse has reported that "The State Postal Bureau (China Post) is progressing with its scheme to merge its two sub-businesses, the express mail service (EMS) and China Post Logistics Co Ltd."

August 11, 2005 -- Politics.co.uk has reported that "Billy Hayes, The general secretary of the Communications Workers Union has attacked Postcomm's latest proposals accusing them of jeopardising the future of the postal industry. Mr Hayes said: "It is simply unacceptable for an un-elected body to make such irresponsible proposals that put the future of the industry in doubt. "Postcomm's suggestions would more than halve the profits Royal Mail recently recorded, increase the unsustainable losses it is making on stamped mail and stifle its ability to compete in a competitive market."

August 11, 2005 -- Personnel Today has reported that:

August 11, 2005 -- The Asahi Shimbun has reported that "Postal privatization is not simply about what should be done with the management of Japan Post, a mammoth public corporation with 260,000 workers on its payroll. It was initially designed as a launch pad for broad reforms to make the nation's fiscal and financial systems healthier, cut into the entrenched vested interests of public corporations and end the deep-seated tradition of putting the governing classes above the people The huge amount of private funds flowing into postal savings and insurance programs have been used to finance the government debt, resulting in poor fiscal discipline. If public corporations are to be scrapped or privatized, there is no reason to maintain such state-run financial services as gargantuan public-financing machinery. Pruning the government workforce is essential for effective administrative and fiscal reforms."

August 10, 2005 -- According to the Evening Times, a postman fired for failing to deliver junk mail has lost his unfair sacking claim. Stewart McGregor, 37, said he was unable to deliver the mail as the weight of the items he had to carry on his round was too heavy. A Glasgow tribunal heard the delivery of brochures, circulars and other advertising literature was a valuable source of income for Royal Mail and that postal staff were paid extra to deliver such items. The tribunal ruled that his sacking was fair."

August 10, 2005 -- From the PR Newswire: "Australia Post has announced that it has acquired the global operations of PrintSoft, including PrintSoft Americas Inc., effective July 1, 2005. PrintSoft is a global leader in providing variable print software solutions for corporate, financial, utility, direct marketing and service bureau environments. This will be the first time that Australia Post has owned a business operating in the United States. Australia Post and PrintSoft jointly developed Australia Post's successful [hybrid] Post eLetter service, enabling clients to create letters, invoices, statements and postcards on their desktops, then securely submit them electronically to the Australia Post service bureau, where they are automatically aggregated, sorted and produced with bar codes for optimal production and postage saving. PrintSoft also has offices and distributors in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Switzerland, Czech Republic and Brazil."

August 10, 2005 -- According to WebitPR, "The UK’s postal service is being liberalised on 1st January 2006, but many businesses and organisations are still unaware of the opening-up of the market to competitors to Royal Mail early next year."

August 10, 2005 -- Commissioner Dawn Tisdale has been elected by his colleagues as Vice Chairman of the Postal Rate Commission.

August 10, 2005 -- The Envelope Manufacturers Association's Foundation for Paper-Based Communications has hired PR agency GolinHarris to develop a $1 million-dollar media campaign on the security and dependability of the U.S. Mail. "It's time we start telling our side of the story," said John Parsio of the trade group. "The fact is mail and envelopes feel good in our homes and they don't interrupt our dinner or our Sunday coffee."

August 10, 2005 -- Eyefortransport has reported that "ABX Air has agreed to extend the initial term of its hub and line-haul services agreement in exchange for temporarily placing more of its revenue potential under a cost-related incentive. The hub services agreement covers package handling, sorting, warehousing, line-haul logistics and maintenance services that ABX Air provides to DHL on a cost-plus basis in Wilmington and at eighteen other regional sorting hubs throughout the US."

August 10, 2005 -- Postal organizations are under the constant pressure of reacting to changing market needs, streamlining their operations and securing/ increasing their profits. By looking at different postal organizations around the world one can observe that postal organizations are at different stages in the transformation process. Some of them are already acting as independent private companies, others are dealing with the first steps to restructure their business. A specific look at the situation of Asian postal organizations and their counterparts in Western Europe reveal that there are some major differences. Bundesverband Deutscher Postdienstleister e.V. (BvDP) and the folks at Arthur D. Little will take a closer view at the strategies which those organizations are following and try to identify what learnings can be derived from the developments of the postal markets in each of the regions in a conference on POSTAL STRATEGIES ASIA/EUROPE, which will be held on September 28 - 30, 2005 at the Hilton Hotel Bonn in Bonn, Germany." Check it out.

August 10, 2005 -- CEP News (Courier-Express-Postal), published by the MRU Consultancy, has reported that:

The Austrian CEP service provider Redmail Logistic & Zustellservice GmbH severely criticised the postal reform bill elaborated by Osterreichische Post AG and Austria's Ministry of Transport. Redmail's criticism focuses on the "serious disadvantages for private postal service providers" and the "continued reinforcement of OPAG's monopolistic position, which is blatantly contrary to EU directives."
Deutsche Post World Net (DPWN) is selling yet another licence for the PC supported franking solution STAMPIT - to Estonia. Estonia is the third country after Britain and Switzerland to introduce convenient letter and small package stamp solution to customers.
DHL intends to leave its stake in China's government-owned forwarding company Sinotrans at its current five percent level.
GLS is employing new sorting technology to optimize parcel transhipment in Belgium. The Group's Belgian subsidiary has installed fully automated sorting equipment at its central Vilvoorde transhipment plan, bringing the capacity up to 2,500 parcels per hour.
Austrian CEP operator EMS (Express Mail Service) is promising customers worldwide tracking and tracing facilities.

The MRU, founded in 1992, is the only consultancy in the German speaking area, which has specialised in the market of courier-, express- and parcel services. For large-scale shippers and CEP-services in particular, the MRU provides interdisciplinary advice for all major questions of the market, as there are for example market entry, product design, organisation, and EDP.To learn more about the stories reported above, contact CEP News.

August 10, 2005 -- Union Network International (UNI) has noted that "Japanese postal unions have pledged to their customers to continue the process of reform and improvement to services that has been going on within the state-owned Japan Post."

August 10, 2005 -- From the Business Wire: "AuthentiDate International AG, a subsidiary of AuthentiDate Holding Corp. has announced that its electronic invoicing solution with digital signatures has been certified by one of the world's leading auditing firms. Electronic invoicing allows both senders and recipients to reduce costly paper invoices, but companies need special software to create signatures for electronic invoices. This software should be able to digitally sign large volumes of invoices automatically and quickly while providing fast and seamless integration into existing corporate processing environments. AuthentiDate is today the sole supplier of the United States Postal Service(R) Electronic Postmark(R) (USPS(R) EPM(R)), a unique service for secure electronic communication in the USA."

August 10, 2005 -- Politics.co.uk has reported that "Nigel Stapleton, chairman of Postcomm, today said that the regulator's recommendation to freeze Royal Mail's average domestic prices from 2006-2010 had been made in order to "offer customers a better deal and secure the universal service". "The revised price caps are challenging but achievable as Royal Mail prepares for the full opening of the market in 2006." He said. Far from worsening the quality of the postal service, Mr Stapleton asserted that the suggested targets would be "good news for domestic customers" who were set to "benefit from a freeze on Royal Mail's average prices and stronger incentives on the company to improve its quality of service".

August 10, 2005 -- An online survey conducted by The Nikkei Business Daily on Monday and Tuesday found that 87.2% of respondents support postal privatization. Just 8.1% were opposed to the plan. When asked about Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's decision to dissolve the lower house and call a snap election after the bills' upper house defeat, 64% approved.

August 10, 2005 -- Bloomberg has reported that "Japan Post, the world's largest savings bank, will proceed with a plan to offer investment trusts, challenging Mizuho Financial Group Inc. and other lenders for their fastest-growing source of revenue. Banks will face increased competition from Japan Post after the nation's parliament voted on Aug. 8 to keep the company in public hands. The postal service has almost 25,000 branches in the world's second-largest economy, compared with 492 for Mizuho, and its deposits are guaranteed by the government."

August 10, 2005 -- The Asahi Shimbun has reported that "Japan Post is trying to expand its business operations by acquiring a distribution company affiliated with department store operator Daimaru Inc., sources said. They said Japan Post is in final talks in its efforts to bolster its capability in parcel home-deliveries and direct mail services, areas in which Japan Post competes with the private sector. If the deal goes through, it will be Japan Post's first acquisition. Japan Post was transformed into government-affiliated public corporation from the Postal Service Agency in 2003."

August 10, 2005 -- Japan Today has reported that "The ruling Liberal Democratic Party has begun purging lawmakers who voted down key postal reform bills by fielding Environment Minister Yuriko Koike in the upcoming election in the place of a House of Representatives lawmaker who opposed the legislation."

August 10, 2005 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that "A federal mediator has called representatives of UPS and its pilots union to Washington next week to discuss the status of their contract negotiations."

August 9, 2005 -- The U.S. Postal Service updates the DMM on Postal Explorer (pe.usps.com) every month. The following changes to its mailing standards in August include: Premium Forwarding Service Experiment -- Added 709.8.0 to provide the rates and fees, eligibility criteria, and mailing standards for our new Premium Forwarding Service experiment. This new service ships mail to residential customers who are away from their primary address for at least 2 weeks and up to 1 year. Labeling Lists  Revised: labeling lists L001, L002, L004, L005, L007, L008, L009, L011, L606, and L801 to reflect changes in mail processing operations.

August 9, 2005 -- According to the Manchester Evening News, "Union leaders today warned that constant speculation about further job cuts at the Royal Mail was "extremely unsettling" for postal workers. A Royal Mail spokesman said the organisation was not making any predictions about employment."

August 9, 2005 -- According to the Edge Daily, "Courts Mammoth Bhd has formally sealed a partnership with Pos Malaysia Bhd to enable the retailer’s customers to pay monthly instalments at 650 computerised post offices nationwide. Pos Malaysia has a total of 655 post offices, five mobile post offices, 224 mini post offices, 324 postal agents and 4,688 stamp vendors." 

August 9, 2005 -- The DM Bulletin has reported that "Royal Mail's rivals have been asked by Postcomm to consent to its final proposed modifications to their existing licences ahead of the introduction of full postal competition in January. Postcomm has come up with a new standard licence for alternative operators to Royal Mail after industry-wide consultation. The licence would replace those it has already issued to 10 operators and take effect from January 1 2006, but all those operators need to agree to the changes."

August 9, 2005 -- Computing has reported that "Ofcom is making the wireless bandwidth used by radio frequency identification (RFID) equipment available free of charge. The move is part of a Europe-wide recommendation by the Conference of Communications and Postal Administrations (CEPT) to make RFID technology easier to implement. The bandwidth is already in use by RFID systems, but this move means that companies will no longer have to apply or pay for licences."

August 9, 2005 -- The Financial Times has reported that "There were signs on Monday that Liberal Democratic party rebels who voted against a bill to privatise Japan's giant postal system were losing their resolve to set up a rival party. Mr Koizumi, who on Monday dissolved parliament and called an election in anger at the defeat of postal privatisation by the upper house, said parliamentarians who voted against the bill would be expelled from the party. Many rebels would end up running as independent candidates, in some constituencies a tactic that would reduce their chances of winning."

August 9, 2005 -- The Asahi Shimbun has reported that "Fifty-five percent of respondents in an Asahi Shimbun poll say they agreed with Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's moves to privatize the postal system. And nearly as many, 53 percent, agree that privatization of postal services should be pursued."

August 9, 2005 -- According to UPS, "A public opinion poll of China’s emerging urban middle class found that high-quality personal care toiletries and consumer electronics lead the list of most desired American products. Apparel and fashion accessories and music and videos are close behind. The items drawing the least interest – American cigarettes and liquor."

August 9, 2005 -- In his latest perspective for Direct magazine, postal commentator Gene Del Polito noted that "Thus far, the Postal Service's fiscal show has been one-sided, i.e., "cost-sided." Very little has been seen from the USPS on what others might characterize as its strategic plan for growing future mail volume and revenue. The time the USPS bought by fat-trimming is running out. If that's the only act the Postal Service has then it soon will find itself on the horns of another fiscal dilemma. The dilemma, one would suspect, will be made a lot worse of postal reform is enacted and the USPS doesn't move quickly enough to transform its governmental-bureaucratic culture into more of an entrepreneurial mode."

August 9, 2005 -- GeoPak has reported that "India is expected to again urge Pakistan to grant it the most favoured nation (MFN) status while Islamabad will push for greater market access for its goods in bilateral trade talks beginning on Tuesday. Pakistani officials said trade discussions would focus on shipping, railways, air links and postal services." See also India Monitor.

August 9, 2005 -- The Financial Times has reported that "Postal reform, the threat of privatisation and concern about the future of an organisation considered to be a national treasure are familiar topics for discussion in the UK as well as Japan. But change at Royal Mail, the UK's state-owned postal operator, has been driven by businessmen not politicians."

August 9, 2005 -- According to Hoovers, "GLOBAL PACKAGE delivery giant UPS is working to standardise Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technologies to come up with new supply chain management (SCM) solutions for its customers at the global level. UPS was running pilots in the US incorporating RFID in its operations, starting with dynamically printed package labels that automatically encode a tag."

August 9, 2005 -- Asia Pulse has reported that "Distribution companies are scrambling to evaluate the consequences of the upper house's rejection on Monday of postal privatization bills, as the defeat has created a lot of uncertainty within the industry. "It's regrettable because we lost a great opportunity to carry out structural reform that would have reduced waste by big government," said Yamato Transport Co. (TSE:9064) President Atsushi Yamazaki. But Yamato will likely benefit from the halt in postal privatization, as it has decided to fight against Japan Post to defend its top share in the door-to-door parcel delivery service market."

August 9, 2005 -- As the Asahi Shimbun has noted, "It wasn't just Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi who was dealt a severe blow by Monday's Upper House rejection of his prized postal privatization package. State-run Japan Post itself is reeling from the setback as it had counted on the bills being passed to go ahead with new joint ventures that were on the drawing board. For now, at least, Japan Post must shelve its plans to enter into the international deliveries business overseas. Since it is state-run, Japan Post is restricted by law on how it operates. The giant public corporation is not allowed to operate in areas that could be seen as competing with private-sector businesses."

August 9, 2005 -- The U.S. Postal Service has announced that its Premium Forwading Service is now available. "PFS is a personalized service for sending all mail from a primary residential address to a temporary address using Priority Mail. Express Mail, First-Class Mail or Priority Mail packages too large to fit inside the Premium Forwarding Service package are rerouted separately at no additional charge. PFS is available only for domestic mail. It is designed for residential customers who want to receive all of their mail at a temporary address, including a Post Office Box, regardless of the distance. With PFS, the Postal Service boxes and reships mail to a temporary address for customers who are away from their primary address for at least two weeks and up to one year. The nationwide service begins today, providing all residential customers with a range of quality mail-forwarding options to meet individual needs."

August 9, 2005 -- FedNewsOnline has noted that "The American Postal Workers Union ratified a one-year extension of its collective bargaining agreement with the United States Postal Service."

August 9, 2005 -- The DM Bulletin has reported that "Royal Mail and Postcomm have again clashed over the regulator's proposed price control, with job losses at the postal service under the media microscope. Royal Mail is disputing Postcomm's proposal that it can increase the price of first-class stamps from 30p to at most 34p by 2010. Chief executive Adam Crozier, speaking on Monday's 'Today' programme on BBC Radio 4, said the proposals were a backwards step."

August 9, 2005 -- According to The Independent, "Only 21 days left to post back comments on the proposed price control regime for Royal Mail and the atmosphere is becoming febrile. The regulator, Postcomm, wants to limit the increase in the price of a first-class stamp to 4p over the next four years. Royal Mail wants permission to increase it from the present level of 30p to as much as 48p. In order to keep prices down, Postcomm has suggested that various categories of business mail, which help subsidise the cost of a first-class stamp, be retained within the basket of regulated products. Royal Mail wants them taken out so that it can meet the competition that is heading its way when the UK postal market is liberalised entirely from next January. The posties say that unless they are allowed to raise prices by a reasonable amount (though how a 60 per cent increase over four years fits this category is unclear) then they will have to shed 40,000 jobs."

August 9, 2005 -- According to BlackEnterprise, "The slow pace of the postal law amendment process is becoming a major impediment to the country's postal system reform, experts say. The State Council, China's cabinet, finally endorsed a long- awaited postal system reform package late last month, formally kick starting a long-stalled reform process in the sector that many say is overdue. According to the plan, State Postal Bureau (SPB), also known as China Post, will separate the administrative role from its postal business functions, a move that many had expected." See also People's Daily.

August 9, 2005 -- Japan Today has reported that:

August 9, 2005 -- In a letter to the President of Djibouti, Union Network International wrote that "UNI has learned that brother Hassan Cher Hared, Secretary for International Relations, acting President of UDT, and also Secretary General of the Djibouti Postal Workers Union, was dismissed by the Director General of La Poste. He is accused of serious professional misconduct, absenteeism and insubordination. He was dismissed just after he had been suspended for a period of 8 days. The statement that we received makes it clear that the reasons for his suspension and dismissal are not based on any substantiated grounds, but reflect a ferocious determination to get rid of a trade union officer who was acting within the context of his duties and prerogatives. We have also learned that UDT has decided to lodge an official complaint with the ILO (International Labour Office)."

August 8, 2005 -- The U.S. General Accountability Office (GAO) has released its latest report on the Postal Service, which is entitled: U.S. POSTAL SERVICE Guidance on Suspicious Mail Needs Further Refinement GAO-05-716. See also the story by the Associated Press.

August 8, 2005 -- The U.S. Postal Service has announced that "A new, interactive tool on Postal Explorer can help you determine when a mailpiece containing “personal” information is eligible for Standard Mail or may be required to be mailed at First-Class Mail postage rates. You’ll find an easy-to-use decision tree with links to Customer Support Rulings (CSRs), summaries of the new CSRs, and links to the DMM."

August 8, 2005 -- More from the Financial Times on the Japan postal privatization issue:

August 8, 2005 -- The BBC has reported that "Speculation that the Royal Mail wishes to shed another 30,000 front line workers has once more thrust the state-owned postal service into the headlines. The job loss figure came in a report into the future of the Royal Mail commissioned by postal service regulator Postcomm. And the regulator is also in dispute with the Royal Mail over stamp prices, with reports that Royal Mail wants to raise the price of a first class stamp from 34p to 48p. Although Royal Mail disputes the job cuts figures, why is it credible that the company, which has already shed thousands of jobs, might need to cut some more? And why is the Royal Mail in dispute over the price of postage?"

August 8, 2005 -- The Association for Postal Commerce welcomes its newest members:

August 8, 2005 -- As Bloomberg has noted in the International Herald Tribune, "Japan's economy has long been reminiscent of M.C. Escher's work. At first glance, the Dutch graphic artist's pictures seem perfectly plausible. Closer inspection, however, shows that his repeating, interlocking shapes simply cannot exist in the three-dimensional world. The Japanese economy can be a lot like that, and there's no better example than efforts to "privatize" its postal services system. Just about anywhere else in the world, a privatization effort would mean something other than what it does in Asia's biggest economy."

August 8, 2005 -- In his latest message to his members, American Postal Workers Union (APWU) President William Burrus said that "much has changed since the rosy days when postal reform replaced sliced bread as the greatest idea in the history of mankind (at least in the mailing community). The USPS Board of Governors has issued a carefully-crafted statement explaining “the extreme difficulties the Postal Service would have meeting consumers’ needs in the event new legislation were enacted that was revenue neutral and that at the same time gave the Board very limited authority to govern the organization as an efficient business enterprise.” The White House has demanded that any postal reform bill be “revenue neutral,” and the House and Senate bills limit the Board’s authority to govern the organization. Now that we are on the brink of realizing the dreams of those who cried from the mountaintop for “reform,” the very agency that they are purporting to save is saying, “thanks, but no thanks.” In fact, postal management is now saying that if there were no reform legislation they would do just fine. What happened to the imminent demise of a $900 billion business that represents 9 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product? What are these people smoking? Everyone wants to go to heaven, but no one wants to die."

August 8, 2005 -- According to The Guardian, "Up to 30,000 Post Office jobs could be at risk, according to a study commissioned by mail regulator Postcomm. The warning of job losses comes amid reports that the company, battling increased competition and proposed price caps, will raise stamp prices to fill a £4.5bn hole in its pension fund. Details of the possible job losses were revealed in a study by consultancy LECG for Postcomm. The analysis says that the Royal Mail is "forecasting operational redundancy costs".  According to weekend reports, at least 30,000 job losses, from a 165,000-strong workforce, are planned."

August 8, 2005 -- The Journal has reported that "Rural communities are concerned about the future of postal services after reports the Royal Mail is to cut at least 30,000 jobs."

August 8, 2005 -- All Headline News has reported that "The UK's Royal Mail has given a remote island by the name of Tristan Da Cunha its first postal code. Action was taken after residents complained that they could not order items online because few companies would send goods to the UK territory in the South Atlantic. To make matters worse, citizens have had difficulty receiving their mail out of confusion because its capital is called Edinburgh."

August 8, 2005 -- CNN has reported that "Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi is poised to call a snap election after Japan's upper house of Parliament on Monday decisively rejected a proposal to privatize the country's postal system. Citing Koizumi's coalition partner, the Reuters news service was reporting that the prime minister would call an election for September 11. Koizumi has staked his political future on an aggressive reform agenda that would have seen Japan Post split into four units and the eventual creation of the world's largest private bank. His postal reform bills were voted down, 125-108, on Monday afternoon in the upper House of Councilors." See also the Associated Press, Bloomberg, and Reuters. To put this in perspective. It would be like hearing that the President and the Congress had called for a special election because the Senate failed to pass H.R. 22.. 

August 8, 2005 -- The Vanguard has noted that when it comes to courier services in Nigeria, "Competition is a tonic for growth."

August 8, 2005 -- From SourceWire: "Sweden Post, which handles 20 million pieces of mail daily, is to equip its drivers with interactive handheld computers from Intermec Technologies Corp. to provide real-time data capture during deliveries. The agreement includes 2,500 Intermec 761 ruggedised handheld computers and accessories, as well as vehicle-docking stations, chargers and holsters, and a comprehensive service and support package."

August 8, 2005 -- The Citizens Voice has noted that "All "prescreened" or "preapproved" insurance and credit offers will now come with a "short, simple and easy-to-understand statement of consumers' opt-out rights." This new type of notification is the result of an order by the Federal Trade Commission. This means people can opt out of this type of junk mail similar to the way people can be placed on the "do not call" list for phone solicitors."

August 7, 2005 -- According to the Lexington Institute's Charles Guy, "It's long been discussed by Postal Service observers that the agency's penchant for secrets has created a long-standing financial transparency problem. But things may have just gotten a whole lot worse. Postal Service management recently announced new procurement regulations that effectively close the window on transparency and accountability for the $12 billion it spends each year on supplies. This spring, the Postal Service scrapped volumes of existing procurement regulations and replaced them with a nine-page directive, published in the Federal Register in April. The new directive increases the Postal Service's discretion in making purchases and reduces legal protections for suppliers, some of whom are small businesses that rely heavily on postal business."

August 7, 2005 -- The BBC has reported that "The Royal Mail has denied reports it is planning to slash a further 30,000 jobs as part of a bid to boost productivity. The Sunday Telegraph said details of the proposals were outlined in a "strategic plan" submitted to industry regulator Postcomm. Details of the plan came to light in a review of the report by consultancy LECG, commissioned by Postcomm. Royal Mail denied the claims, dubbing LECG's report "speculative" and "full of assumptions and projections."

August 7, 2005 -- According to The Independent, "Royal Mail is to force customers to pay for its £4.5bn pension fund deficit with plans to raise stamp prices to plug the black hole. Royal Mail insists that no decision has been taken on how to reduce its pensions gap. But at the meeting, Stephen Agar, Royal Mail's director of regulatory affairs, said: "Prices have been too low to fund the deficit. Pensions are a real cost that customers should bear."

August 7, 2005 -- According to The Telegraph, "Royal Mail will, at the beginning of 2006, lose its officially-sanctioned monopoly. Which sounds hugely significant, but the more important liberalisation actually took place in 2003 and 2004, when it started to face competition in the market for bulk mail (the distribution of letters and parcels for big businesses - such as banks or utility companies - that send out thousands of items in one go). Royal Mail is nowhere near as efficient as its Dutch and German counterparts. Nor is it as flexible as the new, nimble interlopers in the British market. Royal Mail is over-manned and under-automated, according to its own strategic plan, and postmen are overpaid. So to modernise its business, its needs a load of dosh. Capital investment in automation and the rationalisation of mail centres will cost £1.4bn by 2010/11, it says. And further cash may be required to finance part of a substantial reduction in staff numbers. And then there is a vast pension fund deficit, estimated by Royal Mail's advisers at between £2.5bn and £4.1bn. So where is all the money going to come from?"

August 7, 2005 -- The Peninsula has reported that "DHL has stepped up plans to expand in Qatar by opening a fourth office in Doha as part of its planned QR10m investment in the country."

August 7, 2005 -- NDTV.com has reported that "College students in Mumbai are helping sort the backlog of mail after rainwater entered dozens of letter boxes and post offices hampering services in the city. The rain water damaged letters, money orders, dividend warrants, greeting cards and even instruments of post office banking."

August 7, 2005 -- AMEInfo has reported that "Emirates Post and Emirates Driving Institute have entered into a partnership to offer driving licence admission application at post offices, starting from August 8, 2005. Emirates Post is gradually intensifying its program of offering multiple, non-postal services at post-offices. Services related to driving licences are the latest to be added to the list."

August 7, 2005 -- The Japan Times has reported that "Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi on Saturday flatly rejected a plea from his predecessor Yoshiro Mori to avert a snap election even if his postal privatization bills are voted down in the House of Councilors."

August 7, 2005 -- Bloomberg has reported that "Shizuka Kamei, a senior lawmaker in Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party, said the party may break up and dissident members form a new party if Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi calls a snap general election. Kamei is one of the LDP lawmakers opposed to Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's plan to sell the nation's state-run postal services."

August 6, 2005 -- The U.S. Postal Service has posted its financial and operating statement for June 2006.

August 6, 2005 -- Here from the National Association of Major Mail Users (NAMMU) is an opportunity to meet with business colleagues and share views on practical and strategic initiatives to increase collaboration, understanding and business success with Canada Post Corporation. This invitation is important and relevant to any and all rates, mailing conditions, definitions, requirements, non-compliance penalties, competitive business issues, customer serve issues, on any type of mail and process. The objective is to prioritize and refine the initiatives to a manageable number of key business drivers, that are reasonable, actionable and vital to the profitable business of mail – and positively impact 2006.

August 6, 2005 -- The latest issue of the PostCom Bulletin is available online. In this issue:

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August 6, 2005 -- The agenda for the August meeting of the Postmaster General's Mailers Technical Advisory Committee (MTAC) has been posted on this site.

August 6, 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. In this issue NAPUS notes that "On July 29, the only obstacle to Senate passage of S. 662, the Collins-Carper Postal Enhancement and Accountability Act, was a “hold” that Sen. Christopher Bond (R-MO) [named by NAPUS as the "Senator from Hallmark"] placed on the bill, at the request of Hallmark Cards. Hallmark demanded that a provision be added to the bill that would restrict USPS rate-setting flexibility. Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) did not assent to the demand, so Sen. Bonds did not lift the “Hallmark Hold.” As a result, action on S. 662 will have to wait until after Labor Day.As a footnote to the Hallmark-Bond effort, Hallmark’s political action committee (HALLPAC) contributed $10,000 to Sen. Bond’s 2004 reelection, the maximum permitted under law."

August 6, 2005 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that "DHL today announced that it has signed a long-term lease for a new building currently under construction adjacent to its corporate headquarters in Plantation, Fla. The company, a unit of Germany's Deutsche Post, said the five-story building on about six acres is part of an office campus controlled by Patrinely Group, a Houston developer. Featuring more than 109,659 square feet, the building is eventually expected to house approximately 600 DHL employees and will employ state-of-the-art telecommunications and data connectivity."

August 6, 2005 -- As Air Cargo World has noted, "National Mediation Board officials requested UPS and Independent Pilots Association officials to meet them next week and provide a status report. The meeting, slated to take place August 9 at NMB Washington, D.C., is simply a status conference, not negotiations, said officials from both the union and company."

August 6, 2005 -- Hoovers has reported that:

United Parcel Service of America Inc. is set to increase the number of its own trucks for parcel delivery and collection in Japan as part of an effort to strengthen its operations in the country.
A ranking UPS official has said the company will not abandon its operations in Clark, Pampanga in favor of China. "Clark is very important for us. We will continue to do business there. Our intra-Asia hub there is seen to complement the planned international hub in China," UPS Chief Operating Officer John Beystehner said on the sidelines of a technology summit here. He said the location of UPS' hub in Pampanga, which opened in 2002, allows the company to connect to major business centers in the region within a four-hour flight.

August 6, 2005 -- BCC Software, a BÖWE Bell + Howell company and a leading developer of high-performance software and solutions for professional mailers, has been certified by the United States Postal Service® (USPS®) as a LACSLink™ Developer and Distributor Licensee. With this certification, BCC adds LACSLink to the array of BCC Data Services — list-enhancing resources available to users of BCC’s Mail Manager 2010 and Mail Manager 2010 LE software products as well as the BCC Data Services Wizard, a downloadable stand-alone application.

August 6, 2005 -- The Kellogg School of Management is world renowned for its excellence. Take a look at what Kellogg had to say in its own journal about one of its own graduates (and one of its most sought-after lecturers) Helen Teplitskaia. A native of St. Petersburg, Russia, Teplitskaia is known for her expertise on doing business in Russia and other EurAsian markets

August 6, 2005 -- From the Canada NewsWire: "According to the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, The "New Era" in Canada Post has struck with a vengeance. On August 3, 2005 the new Canada Post management team informed employees, the public and the union that it will close the Saint-Paul Street Letter Processing Plant in Quebec City, eliminating more than 300 jobs. The work currently done in Quebec City will be transferred to Montreal. Canada Post has told the union that all mechanized plants across Canada are under review. These cuts to jobs and service come despite the fact that Canada Post has earned over $700 million in profits over the past five years."

August 6, 2005 -- According to Nikkei, "When upper house lawmakers vote on the package of bills to privatize the postal services on Monday, their political sagacity will be put to the test. The possible political consequences of the upper chamber's rejection of this crucial reform should make opponents of the legislation within the Liberal Democratic Party pause to consider their actions."

August 6, 2005 -- According to the Financial Times, "Japan's uncanny ability to puncture positive sentiment is about to manifest itself again. The economy is staging its strongest recovery since the bubble burst over a decade ago and the stock market has been flirting with 15-month highs. But with the tussle over post office privatisation - a keystone of Junichiro Koizumi, prime minister's, reforms - the country faces the real possibility of political paralysis."

August 6, 2005 -- As the Associated Press has noted, "A plan to privatize Japan's huge postal savings system and create the world's largest bank cleared its last parliamentary committee Friday, setting the stage for a political showdown that could overturn the government of Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi. Staking his political future on passing the plan as a centerpiece of his economic policy, Koizumi suggested he will dissolve Parliament's lower house and call nationwide elections if the upper house rejects the package."

August 6, 2005 -- The Asahi Shimbun has reported that "Opponents of the postal privatization bills gained a huge boost Friday from a former Cabinet member whose influence has sparked panic among ruling coalition leaders over Monday's vote in the Upper House."

August 6, 2005 -- Slate has explained "How Japan's Postal Service Got $3 Trillion [and] It wasn't by selling trillions of stamps."

August 6, 2005 -- The Pak Tribune has reported that "The postal service was revived in Kandahar, Afghanistan on Thursday in this after a quarter century, enabling residents to correspond with relatives and friends in the country and abroad."

August 5, 2005 -- From the Business Wire:

Escher Group, Ltd., the leading provider of counter automation and business applications to the postal industry, announced today that it has received an order from long-time customer, Deutsche Post World Net, to extend the current contract through 2010. The contract includes a technology upgrade, as well as maintenance and support services. Siemens Business Services GmbH. & Co. OHG will continue to provide most of the on-site support services for the postal authority.
The South African Post Office has selected the Escher Group's WebRiposte(TM) Essential to automate its post office counter network. South Africa joins a customer base of over 23 countries that have implemented the Riposte(R) family of products to support a full range of services from postal transactions and savings accounts, to utility and benefit payments.

August 5, 2005 -- According to The Guardian, "The Liberal Democrats will test the willingness of activists to move towards radical reform of public services by proposing the partial privatisation of the Royal Mail at their autumn conference."

  August 5, 2005 -- Bloomberg has reported that "Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's proposal to sell Japan Post will come to a vote today in an upper house committee charged with discussing the issue, Takao Jinnouchi, the committee's head, told reporters in Tokyo. If it receives committee approval, the bill would go to the upper house of the parliament. Upper house lawmakers will vote on the bill Aug. 8."

  August 5, 2005 -- The Associated Press has reported that "Japanese stocks dropped Friday due to political uncertainty over the fate of a contentious vote to privatize the nation's postal system."

August 4, 2005 -- PostCom vice president Kate Muth has reported that "The Postal Service would have extreme difficulty meeting consumers’ needs if new legislation were enacted that was revenue neutral and at the same time gave the Board of Governors limited authority to govern the organization as an efficient business enterprise, James C. Miller, chairman of the Board of Governors said in a statement released following the board’s monthly meeting. " In short, if a budget neutral bill were to pass, the Postal Service's response would be "you can't get there from here."

August 4, 2005 -- As Wickwire Gavin's David Hendel noted in the most recent issue of The Government Contractor, "Sweeping changes occurred on May 19, 2005, when the U.S. Postal Service revoked its 523-page USPS Purchasing Manual (PM) and replaced it with just six pages of new procurement regulations. Unlike the PM, which was the USPS equivalent of the Federal Acquisition Regulation, the new regulations are silent on how USPS will buy goods and services. Instead, the agency’s purchasing policies are now set out in a new publication called the Interim Internal Purchasing Guidelines. Because USPS did not issue the Guidelines as regulations, the agency believes they are non-binding and cannot be relied on by third parties." This article appeared in the Vol. 47, No. 27 issue of The Government Contractor July 20 and is reprinted by permission of West, a Thomson Business. The Government Contractor is a leading weekly government contracts law periodical featuring in-depth, comprehensive analysis and authoritative coverage of procurement information, statutes, regulations and legal decisions. To subscribe to TGC, call 1-800-344-5009 or go online at www.West.Thomson.com. The Government Contractor is also available on Westlaw, West's online legal research service. For more information , go to www.Westlaw.com.

August 4, 2005 -- Do any business with the Postal Service? If you don't, do you want to know how? If so, the sign up to attend the latest seminar by Wickwire Gavin on "Doing Business with the U.S. Postal Service -- under the New Regulations & Guidelines!

August 4, 2005 -- Eyefortransport's "RFID in Transportation & Logistics" report identifies the key issues facing transportation & logistics companies and their customers when it comes to RFID implementation. The new report examines the reasons behind companies' RFID strategies, the obstacles they foresee and the benefits they expect to realise through implementation of the technology. The report also compares this year's survey data with that of a similar survey conducted last year.

August 4, 2005 -- UPS has announced it had created the new position of senior vice president for communications and brand management and expanded its Management Committee to 12 members. Christine M. Owens, 49, UPS's vice president for transportation, has been promoted to the new position and will assume responsibility for Public Relations, Employee Communications, Customer Communications, Advertising and Brand Management. Owens will report directly to the chief executive officer and becomes the second woman on the UPS Management Committee, which includes the most senior managers who direct the corporation's day-to-day activities.

August 4, 2005 -- According to Traffic World, "The race to deploy radio frequency identification technology is moving into a new stage, with a major carrier jumping into the mix, which may prompt shippers to take a fresh look at the technology. In June, DHL said it will place RFID tags on all of the more than 1 billion packages it ships annually by 2015, becoming the first major package carrier to commit to a complete RFID rollout by a certain date."

August 4, 2005 -- As the Journal of Commerce has noted, "The Westbound Transpacific Stabilization Agreement on July 14 announced a proposed $50 per-FEU rate increase on wastepaper exports to Asia, effective Sept. 1. This would be the second such rate increase this year and third since late 2004. The discussion agreement that represents 12 carriers in the westbound Pacific issues voluntary guidelines on rate increases. WTSA members are free to set their own charges. Global competition for the Asian market is strong, and European exporters appear to enjoy more favorable transportation rates."

August 4, 2005 -- Air Cargo World has noted that "Expedited trucking is not just cheaper, say forwarders, but is often faster and more reliable than shipping by air."

August 4, 2005 -- Check out Forbes for the article on "Why lower deficit numbers complicate [Comptroller General] David Walker's crusade in Washington."

August 4, 2005 -- Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung has an interesting piece on Deutsche Post entitled: "The Semi-Private Bundespost."

  August 4, 2005 -- According to the Center for Media Research, "Store-based retailers who do well as "Triple-play" retailers use stores, catalogs, and the Internet to maximize their share of customer spending. These merchants sell relatively high-margin products (home goods or apparel, for instance) while striving to tailor their channels to complement one another fully. Catalogs attract new customers, drive repeat business, and coordinate product lines; the Web offers convenience, product information, and quick updates for pricing or promotions; stores, by contrast, allow shoppers to handle and test goods before they buy them. Triple-play retailers generated nearly $6 billion in 2003, some 17 percent of total online revenues."

August 4, 2005 -- DM News has reported that:

August 4, 2005 -- The Yemen Observer has reported that "The Yemeni International Telecommunications Company, TeleYemen, launched last Wednesday a system for payment of bills via the Post Office and internet, with the use of the e-rial. TeleYemen CEO, Jan-Michel Latute said that it was a step forward to facilitate payments by company subscribers and provide a better service for the public at large. He said that TeleYemen would benefit from the vast nationwide postal network to deliver Tele Yemen services to the public at large."

August 4, 2005 -- According to Reuters, "A federal mediator has called representatives of United Parcel Service Inc. and its pilots union to Washington next week to discuss the status of their contract negotiations, the parties said on Wednesday. Mediation between the world's largest package company and its 2,500 pilots was put on an indefinite recess in June after the two sides failed to resolve their nearly 3-year-old contract dispute. Federal law requires both sides to remain at the negotiating table unless released from talks by the National Mediation Board."

August 4, 2005 -- The Washington Post has reported that "Congress is on summer break and the president is at his Texas ranch, but at the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association, this is a dandy time for grass-roots lobbying. More than 40,000 NARFE members have sent postcards to Capitol Hill urging their congressional representatives to find a remedy for two stipulations of Social Security law that the association contends unfairly penalize many federal retirees, especially lower-income women. More postcards are on the way." Can't you hear the Postal Service urging them all to "keep those cards and letters coming." Ka-ching!

August 4, 2005 -- GovExec.com has reported that "Two pivotal senators are not biting at an administration proposal aimed at striking a deal on disputed provisions of postal overhaul legislation. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairwoman Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Sen. Thomas Carper, D-Del., said the administration proposals also are opposed by the Postal Service. Collins said she was "pleased to see the administration move on military pensions" but that "the borrowing is strongly opposed by the Postal Service." Carper shook his head when asked about the White House's proposal. "We can do better," he said. "The administration should listen to the recommendations of its own commission," which the bill would implement. But "the major differences aren't between the House and Senate," McHugh's spokeswoman said. "The biggest challenge is going to be reconciling the bills with the administration. ... It's going to be tough, but we'll work it though it." Carper said he expected to see the bill go to the Senate floor this fall. Collins, who has been meeting with Senate Budget Committee Chairman Judd Gregg, R-N.H., on the legislation's budget impact, said she was working with leadership to get a date for a floor vote."

August 4, 2005 -- As MultiChannel Merchant has noted, "Although the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (bill H.R. 22) was passed in Congress last week, don’t pop the champagne just yet. The U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors chairman James C. Miller III warned on Aug. 2 that the path to reform would not be easy, and that additional postal rate hikes could be likely. One stumbling block to getting the bill passed is the White House, which has made it clear that H.R. 22 will be vetoed if it’s not revenue-neutral. Miller said that this conflicts with both H.R. 22 and Senate version, bill S. 662. What’s more, if such revenue-neutral legislation were enacted, it would give the BOG limited authority to run the Postal Service like a legitimate business enterprise, and make it hard for the USPS to meet consumer needs."

August 4, 2005 -- The Direct Marketing Association (The DMA) has released the 2ND edition of The DMA 2005 Postal & E-Mail Marketing Report, which provides direct marketers easy access to essential data on promotional marketing uses of both traditional mail and e-mail. The report was conducted in cooperation with The DMA List & Database Council and focuses on 2003 and 2004 benchmarks. “The evolution of e-mail as a direct marketing channel, coupled with new direct mail opportunities and challenges, have created unique dynamics that beg strategic direction,” said Ann Zeller, vice president, information & special projects, The DMA. “This DMA report provides significant trendlines from calendar years 2001- 2004 that direct marketers can use to gauge their own trials and efforts and provide direction for effective strategic planning.” Compiled by The DMA Research Department, this report represents the “newest generation” of The DMA’s former Annual List Usage Survey, which covered “postal” mailing trends since the early 1980’s.

August 4, 2005 -- MeritDirect's Ralph Drybrough says in DM News: "I have been a business-to-business cataloger, consultant or list broker since 1973, and throughout these years the mantra that “response rates are falling” has been a constant. And yet, the BTB mailing industry has grown steadily through this three-decade response rate decline and is bigger and healthier than ever — more players, more brands, more offers, more products and services, more channels and more money at the top and bottom lines. Could it be that the conventional wisdom of falling response rates is just a matter of list source codes that are missing in action? After all, if rates have been falling all this time, would there even be a BTB direct marketing pulse rate to detect, let alone a response rate?"

August 4, 2005 -- The Guardian has reported that "The Royal Mail is to pay postal workers a pounds 400 bonus if profits reach pounds 600m in the current financial year. The "share in success" scheme will include all 195,000 delivery, sorting office and counter staff."

August 4, 2005 -- Les Echos has reported that "ColiPost, the subsidiary of French postal service operator La Poste that specialises in the delivery of parcels to individuals, is planning to invest 250m euros in the modernisation of its sorting offices. The investment is to be made between now and 2008."

August 4, 2005 -- Air Cargo World has reported that "Spurred on by double-digit increases in import and export volumes, the U.S. international air freight industry scored its best results since 2000 last year and is poised to maintain steady growth despite the recent dip in traffic, according to a major industry study."

August 4, 2005 -- The Financial Times has reported that "Party heavyweights from Japan's governing Liberal Democratic party yesterday stepped up pressure on Junichiro Koizumi, prime minister, not to carry out his threat of calling a snap election if the upper house rejects postal privatisation. Mr Koizumi's allies are pressing for a vote tomorrow, when they consider the bill stands more chance of scraping through. Hiroyuki Arai, one of the main upper house LDP rebels, wants to delay the vote until Monday. That would give legislators the chance to go home to their constituencies over the weekend and soak up the anti-privatisation mood that is widespread in rural areas."

August 4, 2005 -- Bloomberg has reported that "Japan's upper house lawmakers will probably approve the sale of the state-run postal services to stop Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi calling snap national elections that the ruling party may lose, investors said."Imagine that. In the United States, that would be like saying that President Bush's postal reform objectives must be enacted into law or else the Republican Party risks losing control of the White House, the House and the Senate.

August 4, 2005 -- Nikkei has reported that "Liberal Democratic Party leaders on Thursday decided to postpone at least until Monday a vote on the hotly contested postal privatization bills as senior party members grew increasingly wary of the prospect of a general election." See also Forbes.

August 4, 2005 -- The Christian Science Monitor has reported that "The administration of Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi may be about to hit the wall. A key set of postal privatization bills looks likely to be voted down in Japan's upper house Friday in what would be tantamount to Mr. Koizumi losing a vote of confidence in his leadership."

August 4, 2005 -- The Mercury has noted that "South Africa's postal service was often underrated and, when compared to some of its international counterparts, ranked among the best. This was said by Ruban Govender, the regional manager of the Durmail distribution centre, when addressing Southern African Development Community communication ministers and the region's postal regulator CEOs yesterday. The group toured the mail distribution centre in NMR Avenue to conclude the South African Postal Operators' Association conference, which started at the International Convention Centre on Monday."

August 3, 2005 -- PersonnelToday has reported that "The Communication Workers’ Union (CWU) has expressed concern about the timing of Royal Mail’s announcement that a new Share in Success scheme is to be introduced. Royal Mail has said the scheme - discussed without the union’s involvement - is designed to pay out £400 per employee if the business hits a profit target next year of £600million. The previous scheme paid £1,050 to every postal worker, based on three-year profit targets." See also Virgin Net.

August 3, 2005 -- From the Canada NewsWire: "Canada Post has announced its intention to transfer the processing of Lettermail and Admail from Quebec City to Montreal. This change will allow the Corporation to maximize its operations and improve service performance."

August 3, 2005 -- AP Worldstream has reported that "The international post office in the Russian capital was evacuated Tuesday after a high level of radiation was detected coming from a package, the Emergency Situations Ministry said. The package was emitting radiation about 1.5 times higher than normal background level, said ministry spokeswoman Natalia Goncharova."

August 3, 2005 -- Gulf News has reported that "The floods in Mumbai have caused delays in the delivery of parcels from UAE, a senior official from Emirates Post said yesterday. Ahmad Belhaif, Acting Assistant Director General, Operations Affairs, warned that delivery of parcels sent to Mumbai may be delayed for quite a while."

August 3, 2005 -- Scoop.co.nz has reported that "New Zealand Post and Ticketmaster, the world's leading ticketing company, today announced an agreement whereby Ticketmaster NZ Limited will acquire the Red Tickets brand and certain ticketing assets from New Zealand Post Limited and, through a separate agreement, New Zealand Post's PostShops will continue selling event tickets as part of Ticketmaster NZ Limited's broader ticketing distribution network throughout New Zealand."

August 3, 2005 -- The Government of India's Press Information Bureau has reported that "The Minister of State for Communications & Information Technology Dr. Shakeel Ahmad, has informed the Lok Sabha that the Government is proposing to formulate National Postal Policy and is currently engaged in the process of updating the provisions of the Indian Post Office Act to make it more relevant to the times and empower the Postal Services Board so that the department enjoys more functional autonomy. The Government has also recognised the need to clearly identify the Universal Service Obligation and the cost of fulfilling it, which, today, is included as a part of the Department's budgetary deficit/loss. A major exercise has been initiated to review the system in terms of structure, products, processes, resources, accounting and pricing structure, technology requirements, etc., and to identify how best the Department can meet the twin challenges of becoming commercially viable while continuing to fulfill the Universal Service Obligation."

August 3, 2005 -- CEP News (Courier-Express-Postal), published by the MRU Consultancy, has reported that:

Deutsche Post's CFO Dr Edgar Ernst has got shareholders' hopes up with regards to dividends in 2005. At last week's announcement of Deutsche Post AG's half-year results, Dr Ernst promised shareholders increased dividends for the financial year 2005.
The Dutch TNT group is applying the emergency brake to its French operations.
Deutsche Post's CEO Klaus Zumwinkel is unhappy about the way in which domestic mail markets within the EU are being opened to competition.
Belgium's De Post is admitting business customers into its online postal services order facility starting on 1 August.
Poste Italiane has set up ambitious targets for the years 2006 to 2008.
After the introduction of parcel packing stations 4 years ago, Deutsche Post now intends to explore the market potential of non-counter-based letter services.
On 4 October - more than 12 years after the introduction of five-digit post codes in Germany - Deutsche Post publishes a revised book of post codes. 3 million copies of the post code book will be on offer in more than 9,000 post offices at 6.95 euros. It contains around 63,000 changes to post codes, resulting from changes to street names, locations or areas. Nearly 3,000 new post codes have been introduced.
"Easy Parcel Dispatch" is the name of Schweizerische Post's new service for business customers, which was introduced on 2 August. The product has several features aimed at facilitating domestic and international parcel dispatch for business customers.
Siemens AG, the German manufacturer of automated technology, has signed a contract with the Bulgarian ministry for postal matters for the construction of a modern sorting centre in the capital Sofia.
The "Big Brown Machine" is successfully courting China. UPS has become the main sponsor for China's National Olympic Committee. The co-operation agreement includes the Olympic Games in Beijing in 2008 as well as sponsorship of China's leading athletes, who will compete at the Turin winter games in 2006. UPS will also lend logistical support to the Beijing summer games.
FedEx Ground, a subsidiary of FedEx Corporation and a leading provider of road transport for smaller consignments in the USA, has announced the opening of another automated sorting centre. The centre in McGook near Chicago, Illinois, is one of currently 9 automated "satellites", which support and reduce the load of FedEx Ground's 28 hubs by speeding up the sorting procedure.

The MRU, founded in 1992, is the only consultancy in the German speaking area, which has specialised in the market of courier-, express- and parcel services. For large-scale shippers and CEP-services in particular, the MRU provides interdisciplinary advice for all major questions of the market, as there are for example market entry, product design, organisation, and EDP.To learn more about the stories reported above, contact CEP News.

August 3, 2005 -- NewIndPress has reported that "The Postal Department has extended its cargo service, Logistics Post, across the State [Kerala]. The service will be operated from Kannur to Thiruvananthapuram daily and will ensure next day delivery of any heavy parcel. En route, the cargo service will be available in Kozhikode, Thrissur, Aluva and Ernakulam. The tariff will be competitive and instant insurance coverage is also offered. Pickup/door delivery facilities are the other attractions.

August 3, 2005 -- Rising Nepal has reported that "With the General Post Office (GPO) at Sundhara all set to introduce computerised registration for the posting of letters, people will now be relieved, as they will no longer have to affix stamps on their letters. The new system, according to GPO, will come into force within two weeks. The computerised registration service will be started only for those who want to send registered letters."

August 3, 2005 -- Bloomberg has reported that "The yen snapped a two-day rally against the dollar in Asia on concern the upper house of Parliament will reject a bill to sell Japan's postal system, the top priority for Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's government. Japan's currency weakened as Koizumi has threatened to call elections if the bill fails. An upper house committee will decide on the sale by Aug. 5, Toranosuke Katayama, the ruling party's leader in the chamber, told reporters in Tokyo July 26. Koizumi referred to the sale of Japan Post, the world's biggest savings bank with 350 trillion yen ($3.1 trillion) in assets, as the biggest ``reform'' in a century."

August 3, 2005 -- Sources have told PostCom that "the White House, Senate Republican leadership and key sponsors of the legislation reached agreement in substance on the budget concerns to a degree that all felt comfortable attempting to move the bill on Friday. In order to move the bill, it would have needed to go by unanimous consent. But, there was a "hold" on the bill by Senator Bond. His hold is primarily related to his interest in having agreement on what is known as "Fair and Equitable" language. This language was deemed unacceptable. Efforts to develop acceptable language were unsuccessful and that ended the effort."

August 3, 2005 -- The Nikkei News Service has reported that "Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi on Tuesday tried to underscore his accommodating approach toward postal privatization by offering to heed the demands of Liberal Democratic Party upper house lawmakers opposing the initiative. With the final vote on the postal bills scheduled for Friday in the upper house, Koizumi was making a last-ditch attempt to dissuade opponents from voting against the legislation. The prime minister tried to show his sincerity by answering questions patiently and thoroughly during Tuesday's session. His entreaties, however, largely fell on deaf ears."

August 3, 2005 -- The Yomiuri Shimbun has reported that "Heizo Takenaka, state minister for postal services privatization, suggested Tuesday that the government may review a stipulation in the postal privatization bills requiring a holding company to completely dispose of shares in the planned postal savings bank and postal insurance company."

August 3, 2005 -- Financial Times Deutschland has reported that "DHL, the parcel forwarding and express delivery subsidiary of German postal service operator Deutsche Post, is reported to be feeling the negative effects of the weak mail order sector."

August 3, 2005 -- The Associated Press has reported that "In the event of a flu pandemic or a bioterrorism attack, help could arrive via the U.S. mail or from the fire station down the street, Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt (search) said Tuesday. Leavitt, in an hour-long interview with Associated Press reporters and editors, said it's clear that the system of delivering medicines in the United States is inadequate in the event of an emergency."

August 3, 2005 -- According to ABC7 (NY), "It's the mail that nobody wants - but still the letters keep coming. Statistics show you'll get 41 pounds of junkmail this year." Again I say: "Mail & Jobs" "Mail & Jobs". Wake up direct mailers!! It's time you gave it your support.

August 3, 2005 -- Bob O'Brien, Vice President, Postal/Distribution Policy, will be retiring effective August 26, after 42 years of service with TCS and Time Inc. Bob was a recipient of the prestigious Postmaster General's "Partnership In Progress" Award and the United States Postal Service "Industry Excellence Award." Bob also served as industry co-chair of the Postmaster General's Mailers Technical Advisory Committee (MTAC). Retiring....You lucky duck.

August 3, 2005 -- From the U.S. Postal Service:

August 3, 2005 -- UPS has announced significant improvements to its UPS Trade DirectSM service, a unique product that combines cross-border movement of freight and packages to eliminate the need for warehousing. The improvements allow customers to use a common computer application to prepare and process freight and package shipments of all types. They also allow freight movements, including Less-Than-Truckload (LTL), to be tracked online at UPS.com just like small packages. The enhancements not only make it easier for customers to check the status of their goods in transit but also reduce the amount of time necessary to prepare shipment labeling and vital customs documentation.

August 3, 2005 -- The Jackson Clarion-Ledger has reported that "Businesses rely on the U.S. Postal Service to get products from one place to another. And now the USPS is beginning to think like a business, too, pushing its postmasters and station managers to cut shipping costs and save workers the hassle of standing in line."

August 3, 2005 -- icEssex has reported that "Bowel cancer screening by post will help save the lives of thousands of victims, the Government has said. Health Minister Rosie Winterton outlined details of the national bowel cancer screening programme for England, which will cover everyone aged 60 to 69 by 2009. Home testing kits will be sent out to those eligible for screening every two years to look for signs of the disease, which kills over 16,000 a year. A small stool sample is then sent back to the lab to be analysed. Kits will be sent to around two million people in the target group each year. The programme will start next next April, with around 25% of England covered by the end of 2006/07. A further 25% of the country will be included in 2007/08, while the final 50% will begin in 2008/09 to give the NHS time to prepare and allocate resources."

August 3, 2005 -- Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi agreed Tuesday with Mikio Aoki, head of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party's caucus in the Upper House, to seek to have an upper chamber plenary session vote on postal privatization bills Friday, Kyodo News Service said.

August 3, 2005 -- The Asahi Shimbun has reported that "Twelve Upper House members of the Liberal Democratic Party indicated they will vote against the postal privatization bills, meaning that if six others follow suit, the prime minister's pet project is doomed."

August 3, 2005 -- The Center for Media Research has reported that "The International Federation of the Periodical Press, in their 2005 survey about successful consumer magazine websites, reports that 84% of sites want to expand the publication's audience beyond the print audience base by creating a new online audience, and 81% of the sites want to use the website to attract new readers for the printed magazine."

August 3, 2005 -- DHL has been selected by Sun Microsystems as its exclusive global logistics provider for after-market service parts. The agreement leverages DHL's international network and the company's expertise in logistics, express shipping, and air and ocean freight to provide Sun with a comprehensive, seamless global logistics solution customized to Sun's business requirements. The contract will involve over 300 logistics facilities housing thousands of parts to be used for service support to 1.5 million Sun customer systems in over 100 countries.

August 3, 2005 -- Hoovers has reported that "With their expansion into the U.S. market on track and nearly complete, DHL executives face a fresh debate: How much profit can they realistically expect in the U.S. as they compete with larger, more-recognizable rivals? That's the next phase of attack of the U.S. market, said DHL Chief Executive John Mullen in an interview Friday with Dow Jones."

August 3, 2005 - Transport Intelligence has reported that "Deutsche Post World Net (DPWN), which generates 49% of revenues from international activities, is looking out for possible acquisitions in the international mail, express and logistics sectors, chairman Klaus Zumwinkel said at the company’s half-year results news conference. He added that in the postal sector, where it was outbid for a 22% stake in Post Danmark and had decided not to bid for a 49% stake in Belgian Post, DPWN would take a “pragmatic” approach between acquisitions, holdings and organic growth. Zumwinkel also renewed his call for EU states to agree on a final date for full postal liberalization. With the end of its domestic postal monopoly on letters weighing less than 50g set for December 31, 2007, the German mail and logistics group is gearing up for full competition in its home market."

August 3, 2005 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that "DHL on Monday said it has expanded its DHL Solutions unit in the American marketplace. The move combines the logistics activities of three former Americas business units -- Express Logistics, Airborne Logistics Services, and Solutions -- into the global DHL Solutions business unit. DHL Solutions offers customized end-to-end supply chain services ranging from consulting and supply chain design to warehousing, distribution logistics and order management. The unit is located at DHL's U.S. headquarters in Plantation, Fla."

August 3, 2005 -- Fleet Owner Magazine has reported that "The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has awarded Mack Trucks Inc. a contract for over 1,400 trucks. The order includes 1,800 Mack Vision on-highway model, and 226 of its MR vocational models by the end of 2006."

August 2, 2005 -- The Association for Postal Commerce welcomes its newest member:

Diamond Marketing Solutions, represented by Sue Gorski, Accounting Manager

August 2, 2005 -- SABCNews has reported that "A three day conference of SADC ministers and postal operators is underway in Durban. Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri, the South African communications minister opened the conference saying it was an ideal opportunity to strategise about ways and means to revive the dying postal sector in the SADC region. The theme for the conference is Building Strategic Alliances. Thirteen countries from the SADC region are represented at the conference. The main objective is to draw up a four year strategy to harmonise and revive the postal sector in the region. South Africa has devoted considerable resources to information and communication technologies, but the postal sector still has an important role to play in the region."

August 2, 2005 -- As Traffic World has noted, "A controversial provision that would have mandated fuel surcharges in the trucking industry was stripped out of the final version of the highway bill following heated efforts on both sides of the provision. Shippers had fought hard against the provision, which had been included in the version of the highway bill that the House had approved but not included in the Senate's version of the spending plan for transportation infrastructure."

August 2, 2005 -- dBBusiness News has reported that "BÖWE Bell + Howell, a manufacturer of document processing and postal solutions, announced today the release of JETSTM Version 3.1, the latest and most encompassing iteration of enterprise management software. In the print/mail environment, enterprise management involves instantaneous monitoring of every machine, module, process and job."

August 2, 2005 -- From the PR Newswire: "EnergyWindow, Inc., a supplier of information technology-based tools and consulting to manage the energy supply used by businesses, today announced the initial results of a multi-state electricity procurement campaign conducted by them on behalf of the U.S. Postal Service (USPS). EnergyWindow used its online auction technology (specifically developed for energy procurement) to help the USPS quickly and easily purchase electricity for USPS offices, plants and distribution centers in five states in the eastern United States."

August 2, 2005 -- From MarketWire: "Performance Assessment Network®, Inc. has been awarded a contract from the United States Postal Service (USPS) to provide technology and expert consulting services, specifically in the development and administration of Web-based versions of USPS pre-employment personnel selection tests."

August 1, 2005 -- As DM News has noted, "Robert J. Posch Jr. is passionate about direct mail. That's a good thing, since he deals with it on a daily basis as a direct marketing attorney and senior vice president of legal, government and postal affairs and chief compliance officer/secretary at Bookspan. Most recently, Posch worked on the first proposed negotiated service agreement involving Standard mail between the U.S. Postal Service and Bookspan, Garden City, NY, a direct marketer of general interest and specialty book clubs. NSAs offer customized pricing incentives based on the company's mail operations. Posch's latest crusade, however, is an attempt to mobilize the industry to stop passage of do-not-mail bills pending in New York, Massachusetts and Missouri. Hawaii also has a concurrent resolution urging Congress to enact do not mail."

August 1, 2005 -- Transport Intelligence has noted that "Global mail, express and logistics provider TNT has released its second quarter results. The Mail division saw revenues grow. TNT’s Express division saw the best results overall. However the company’s logistics division experienced mixed fortunes. TNT continued to experience problems in the transportation unit of its French operation. It has now confirmed this course of action by officially placing the transportation unit (60% of its French logistics business) up for sale."

August 1, 2005 -- The Financial Times has reported that:

August 1, 2005 -- The Asahi Shimbun has asked: "Will the bill for privatization of postal services be passed during this plenary session of the Upper House of the Diet? The struggle within the ruling Liberal Democratic Party on this issue is moving toward a showdown. If 18 LDP lawmakers vote against the bill, the effort to privatize the postal system will be derailed. If that happens, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi has indicated he may dissolve the Lower House. The negative effects of rejecting this bill would not halt with the postal services dilemma."

August 1, 2005 -- According to Reuters, "The head of Japan's main opposition party said on Monday a vote is unlikely this week on bills to privatize the giant postal system, rejection of which could prompt Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi to call a snap election. The ruling coalition wants to call a vote in parliament's upper house on Friday, but opposition Democratic Party leader Katsuya Okada said there had not yet been sufficient debate."

August 1, 2005 -- Daiji World has reported that "The city of Mangalore will have a new facility called 'Direct Post' being introduced by the department of posts department from Monday August 1. This was announced in a press conference by Senior Superintendent of Posts (Mangalore) N R Vishalakshi here on Saturday July 30. She said that this unique service would be beneficial to companies, service organizations like telecom, credit cards, government departments, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), insurance, publishers, religious institutions etc. Under this facility the sender can send postal articles like letters, cards, brochures, pamphlets, questionnaires, samples, promotional items like CD's, floppies, audio and video cassettes, posters and any other printed items that are not prohibited by the Indian Post Office Act 1898 or Indian Post Office Rules 1933. A minimum quantity of 1,000 pieces only will be accepted. Vishalakshi said that there is no upper limit with regard to sending, while using the 'Direct Post' facility."

August 1, 2005 -- MENA-FN has reported that "The Saudi Postal Service Organization has approved a 300 percent increase in some of its services' fees, Al-Youm newspaper reported. The mailbox charges increased to SR300 per year for individuals and SR1,000 for private institutions. In the past, customers used to rent a mailbox for SR300 for three years. These new charges will be effective on the first day of the month of Rajab (Aug.7). The new charges will help in reducing the SR200 million deficits of the SPSO and to increase its income."