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Postal News from March 2006:

March 31, 2006 -- The latest issue of the PostCom Bulletin is available online. In this issue:

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March 31, 2006 -- From the PR Newswire: "U. S. Postal Service officials have initiated several activities to ensure a smooth and efficient handling of absentee ballots cast by displaced voters across the country. "We realize that a large percentage of Louisiana voters are exercising their constitutional right to vote via absentee ballots," says Delores Killette, the Postal Service's Vice President of Consumer Affairs and Consumer Advocate. "Those ballots are being sent through the mail, and the United States Postal Service stands ready to deliver these ballots to elections officials."

March 31, 2006 -- Well, it should come as no surprise, but even Canada Post has its share of disaffected customers. Take a look at http://www.postalproblem.ca.

March 31, 2006 -- According to one writer for the Valley Morning Star, "Our semi-dysfunctional postal agency has been given a free ride to compensate for its losses by raising postal rates several times during the past few years. Rather than making serious changes to improve the quality of service, the agency is still conducting business as usual by refusing to make tough decisions that would improve its financial management and goals."

March 31, 2006 -- As Multichannel Merchant has noted, "Many merchants strive to keep mailing costs in check by decreasing overall catalog weight. But paper basis weight and finish play an integral role in how a catalog goes through the mail. If your contact center is receiving an increased number of complaints about torn or missing covers or requests for another catalog because the first was ruined, you may have a spoilage problem."

March 31, 2006 -- Looking for information on the latest Postal Service request for Postal Rate Commission approval of its most recent negotiated service agreement? Then check out the materials posted on the PRC web site. You also can use the PRC web site search function that's available on the right side of this page.

March 31, 2006 -- According to The Olympian, "It's time to let the Olympia postmark go. Even Congressman Brian Baird recognizes the futility of the fight to keep a postmark in the capital city. In a recent meeting with The Olympian's editorial board, Baird said he saw absolutely no way to reverse the U.S. Postal Service's decision to consolidate mail processing in Tacoma."

March 31, 2006 -- DMNews has reported that:

The Italian postal service has seen more cross-border and in-country mail volume as a result of a quality of service program formed by the European Union Postal Directive in 2002 and monitored by an independent organization of postal administrations. Under the quality of service program, if postal organizations meet or exceed delivery targets they receive additional funds. "Quality of service has been very good for us," said Massimo Sarmi, CEO of Poste Italiane, who spoke to reporters at a media breakfast here yesterday. "Our volumes have increased as well as the overall service quality of our mail." Sarmi also noted a rise in direct mail in the country.
The U.S. Postal Service filed for its first Negotiated Service Agreement based on encouraging a mailer to increase its use of First Class mail. The USPS seeks a three-year agreement with Washington Mutual Bank covering First-Class Mail for the bank's credit card services.

March 31, 2006 -- As DM News' Deliver has noted, "A 2004 study by Canada Post found only 35 major titles in circulation. But at the end of 2005, twice that number were mailing and prospecting in Canada. Still, this figure is dwarfed by the 13,000 titles circulated in the United States. Major U.S. retailers long have known of the Canadian market's potential but have been reluctant to pursue Canadian business because of challenges in maintaining the integrity of their brand experience with foreign customers. Canadians read 74 percent of their direct mail on average, and their response to direct mail offers is 25 percent higher than their U.S. counterparts."

March 31, 2006 -- As the Salt Lake Tribune has noted, "Dogs can jump through screens and glass. They can break metal leashes and vault picket fences. Then they can bite the suspicious, the oblivious, the young, the elderly. And they go for mail carriers, who traverse their territory daily. More than 4 million people were bitten by dogs last year, half of them children and 3,475 of them mail carriers, said U.S. Postal Service spokesman Mark Saunders. The frequency of attacks increases as the weather warms. Hence, National Dog Bite Prevention Week, sponsored by the Postal Service - and this year to be observed May 21-28."

March 31, 2006 -- RIA Novosti has reported that "The Russian postal service will incur losses of $36 million in 2006, its chief executive said Friday. Speaking at the reopening after refurbishment of St. Petersburg's main post office, Igor Syrtsov admitted the company was facing losses, but said Russian Mail would be given 4.5 billion rubles ($162 million) as part of an investment program in 2006. The funds will be used to build automated sorting centers in Moscow and St. Petersburg, and modernize post offices and transport, he said. Syrtsov added that Russia would have over 20,000 postal offices offering Internet access by yearend, and that employees would receive a 30% pay raise in 2006."

March 31, 2006 -- The BBC has reported that "Royal Mail chiefs have asked the government to give postal workers a stake in the company."

March 31, 2006 -- As the Multichannel Merchant has noted, "It comes as no surprise that shipping costs are increasing. What is a surprise is the extent to which costs have climbed. The increases are forcing companies large and small to seek new ways to pare expenses."

March 31, 2006 -- Investors Business Daily has a nice piece on former UPS CEO James Casey.

March 31, 2006 -- China Morning Post has reported that "UPS consolidates delivery of multiple destination goods The innovative service does away with warehousing and multiple customs clearance for easier and cheaper delivery."

March 31, 2006 -- As Logistics Management has noted, "A new offering recently rolled out by the United States Postal Service (USPS) provides shippers a convenient and cost-effective method for returning merchandise through the mail. Dubbed Parcel Return Service (PRS), this new program will go into effect on April 2. USPS spokesperson Bob Anderson told Logistics Management that PRS is a program designed primarily for high volume shippers, such as Nordstrom or JC Penny, who experience annual return volumes of 50,000 or more parcels from their customers. He added that qualified shippers can register to be PRS participants."

March 30, 2006 -- According to GeekZone, New Zealand Post has reported that "The electronic payment service eBill will be withdrawn from 24 July 2006. The last date users will be able to receive new electronic bills via eBill will be 12 June 2006 and the last date to make any payments via eBill is 10 July 2006."

March 30, 2006 -- The Direct Marketing Association has reported that "The Consultative Committee of the Universal Postal Union (UPU) on March 28 formed a working group on Universal Service, which will provide private-sector input into the UPU debates on this issue. The Consultative Committee, which represents the interests of the non-postal and non-governmental sector of the global postal industry, is chaired by Charles Prescott, who is the US Direct Marketing Association's (DMA) vice president for international business development and government affairs."

March 30, 2006 -- The Universal Postal Union has reported that "A record number of 26 postal operators have received awards in recognition of the high level of their EMS service. Six members of the UPU's EMS Cooperative received Gold-level certification, nine Silver-level and 11 Bronze-level for their performance in 2005. Top performer Singapore Post was awarded gold for a fifth consecutive year, while Hong Kong, China received Gold-level certification for a fourth year. Three countries (Colombia, Mauritius and the Philippines) have joined the Cooperative as new members, while three others (Benin, Cuba and Mongolia) have re-joined, bringing the Cooperative's membership to 134 countries."

March 30, 2006 -- Reuters has reported that "The possible initial public offering of Poste Italiane SpA is unlikely to occur before the end of this year, the postal and financial services company's chief executive officer said on Thursday."

March 30, 2006 -- Describing the nation's roads, ports, railroads and airports as the backbone of global trade, UPS's chief executive officer today warned that America was taking a chance with its future by neglecting its infrastructure. Mike Eskew, UPS CEO.

March 30, 2006 -- The March 30, 2006 issue of DMM Update has been posted on this site.

March 30, 2006 -- Singapore will be hosting the Asia Pacific Mail and Express Congress, the first conference and exhibition of its kind, in coverage and experience for the Asia Pacific region from 3 to 5 October 2006. Among the speakers: Mr. Michael J Critelli, Chairman and CEO of Pitney Bowes and Mr. Harry Koorstra, Group Managing Director for Mail of TNT. In addition, the director for international strategy and regulatory affairs at Pitney Bowes International, Mr. Tim Walsh, will discuss postal and regulatory challenges in Asia Pacific, with a focus on pricing, product and channel strategy. Other speakers from Asian-Pacific Postal Union, Swiss Post International, ARAMEX, Pos Malaysia, Supply Chain Asia, Mailing List Asia and Ecole Polytechnique Federale De Lausanne will address major postal, express and logistics issues. A major topic to be covered is the liberalisation of the postal sector, a mammoth task for an industry which last year delivered 204 billion pieces of mail globally and employs six million people in India alone. For more information, contact Adeline Lim +65 6322 778 or email to adeline.lim@terrapinn.com for speaking, sponsorships and exhibiting opportunities. Visit www.terrapinn.com/2006/mailexp for more details.

March 30, 2006 -- Traffic World has reported that "Package shipping firm DHL Express Americas named Charles Brewer, a longtime company executive overseas, as executive vice president of U.S. air products and services in an effort to help bolster its ailing U.S. business."

March 30, 2006 -- The Daily Freeman has reported that "City Postmaster Sherry Elkind told a gathering Monday night that any property owner who did not want a curbside mailbox installed can request its removal by the U.S. Postal Service."

March 30, 2006 -- From the PR Newswire: "GoodStorm (http://www.goodstorm.com), a progressive e-commerce company, is helping BringThemHomeNow.com, a coalition of groups calling on President Bush to bring U.S. troops home from Iraq, to launch a tax day protest by selling an anti-war postage stamp online. Approved and licensed by the U.S. Postal Service, the $.39 cent first class stamp is available at Bring Them Home Now's online store at http://www.BringThemHomeNow.com. The stamp features the symbol of the growing movement -- a peace sign festooned with a yellow ribbon."

March 30, 2006 -- KFOX-TV has reported that it "has been trying to find out what exactly was going on with complaints that from viewers who say their mail has been arriving late. On Wednesday, we tried to contact postmaster Felix Guerra for about three weeks now, and he still hasn't returned our calls. We also went to his office to talk with him, but postal workers say he is out of town. While he still has yet to talk with KFOX, Guerra is communicating with postal customers by sending them a post card in the mail. The card says the U.S. Postal Service is changing and they will have route inspectors following letter carriers to check each route. They say it is all to better serve their customers."

March 30, 2006 -- INQ7.net has reported that "President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on Thursday announced that the state-run Philippine Postal Savings Bank (PPSB) would be converted into overseas remittance centers where Filipinos abroad could send money."

March 30, 2006 -- According to the Amherst Times, "Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-27) announced that the Postmaster General's office had agreed to a third party medical review for Sergeant Jason Lyon. This comes after a March 22 letter to Postmaster General John Potter and phone calls to Deputy Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe, requesting that the United States Postal Service (USPS) review Sergeant Lyon's case."

March 30, 2006 -- In commenting on two recent appointments to the USPS Board of Governors, DM News postal commentator Cary Baer has asked whether "these nominees help direct the USPS in solving its critical problems, or have they been nominated to resolve an unrelated political problem? The resumes for the two USPS board nominees show no involvement in postal, direct mail, printing or any industry related to the postal service. It's unfortunate that governors' seats too often are given out as a reward for political or public service endeavors with little regard to what the individual can bring to help the USPS solve its own set of difficult problems. Industry leaders should establish a panel to review the qualifications of nominees. The panel must be willing to issue its review conclusions publicly, similar to the way the American Bar Association does for judicial nominees."

March 30, 2006 -- Here's a fact for you from DM News' Deliver supplement: "In 2005, the USPS processed more than 216 billion pieces of mail. Nine billion pieces were undeliverable as addressed and did not reach the intended household or business customer."

March 30, 2006 -- As the PostalNews Blog has noted, "Postcom submitted questions to the Postal Rate Commission about the review and approval process for AMP proposals. The mailers organization also wants to know what steps the USPS takes to monitor and safeguard service during a consolidation. In another interrogatory, Postcom asked about service measurement, and whether the USPS has actual service performance data for each of the 850,000 possible 3-digit ZIP code pairs. If it does not, the group asks how the USPS will evaluate the impact of consolidations on service."

March 30, 2006 -- From the Federal Register: "The U.S. Postal Service has published a final rule that adopts new mailing standards to make Parcel Return Service a permanent classification. Parcel Return Service replaces the former Parcel Return Services experiment and is now open to all postal customers who meet the participation requirements."

March 30, 2006 -- KCAU-TV has reported that "Postal workers say the fate of the Mail Processing Center has already been decided. But the U.S. Postal Service itself says that's not so."

March 30, 2006 -- NineMSN has reported that "Commonwealth ombudsman Professor John McMillan will take on this new role of dealing with complaints about postal services under legislation which passed parliament this week. Communications Minister Helen Coonan said the new Postal Industry Ombudsman (PIO) would have the power to investigate and act on complaints about the delivery of postal services across Australia." See also the Sydney Morning Herald.

March 30, 2006 -- According to Multichannel Merchant, "The U.S. Postal Service's efforts to modernize and cut costs apparently are resulting in sluggish catalog deliveries this spring. And although some mailers say that mail to the West Coast, New Mexico, and Texas has suffered the most, "you can't really define exactly what areas are being affected," says Gary LaBarre, distribution manager for Maple Grove, MN-based printing and production services provider Banta Catalog Group. "It's like trying to hit a moving target."

March 30, 2006 -- The U.S. Postal Service has circulated a summary of its most recent MTAC meeting.

March 29, 2006 -- According to KFOX-TV, "It is a problem that KFOX has been reporting over the last few weeks - slow mail delivery. Now, the Post Office says they are trying to do something about it. The Post Office, by way of a postcard, is telling some of its customers that they are making a serious effort to deal with the recent problems, and that is a welcome sign for many El Pasoans. Some say getting their mail has been as good as ever."

March 29, 2006 -- According to the Sioux City Journal, "Sioux City advocates who want to have input into the possible decision to move the local postal service distribution and processing center got some concessions Tuesday after a meeting that included Siouxland's congressional delegation. Fearing that a now-completed U.S. Postal Service feasibility study could recommend shifting the Sioux City center to Sioux Falls, Sioux City officials since December have sought to get some input into the postal process. With roughly 100 postal jobs in the balance, for the second time in nine weeks the congressional delegation representing Sioux City sat down with USPS senior vice president of operations Bill Galligan, and this time came away with some pleasing concessions, said U.S. Sens. Charles Grassley and Tom Harkin."

March 29, 2006 -- Europa has reported that "The Spanish postal service (Correos) has recently opened up 4000 new ‘free access' points to its virtual offices, with over 30000 terminals spread across Spain. Developed in co-operation with the state agency Red.es, this initiative is intended to further promote the information society in Spain."

March 29, 2006 -- As DMNews has noted, "Behind the sheer volume of Video Professor's mailing requirements lies a business model that requires a unique approach to meeting its mail needs. Foremost of the challenges to its shipping partner, DHL Global Mail, was the ongoing "need for speed" given unpredictable volume."

March 29, 2006 -- CEP News (Courier-Express-Postal), published by the MRU Consultancy, has reported that:

With 811 m CHF in profit last year, Schweizerische Post only narrowly missed its 2004 record result of 830m CHF. In view of progressing liberalisation, CEO Ulrich Gygi announced further restructuring measures and expansion into new markets.
Private operators are showing little interest in entering the Swiss mail market. So far, only four firms have filed licence applications: DHL Express (Switzerland) AG, Fioege Logistik (Switzerland) AG, NES AG and Emil Frey Betriebs AG.
New Zealand Post experienced a decline in turnover and profit during the first half of the current financial year.
Postal market liberalisation is a success story in Britain. Nigel Stapleton, chairman of British regulatory authority Postcomm, claimed competition had already led to quality improvements in Royal Mail services.
Schweizerische Post's international mail subsidiary Swiss Post International (SPI) has climbed to rank five among international mail service providers.
Deutsche Post will introduce price cuts and different structures of distribution in a bid to win back lost territory in the private customer sector.
Within five years Norwegian logistics service Tollpost Globe AS has managed to achieve one of the highest profit margins in the entire Nordic logistics sector.

The MRU, founded in 1992, is the only consultancy in Europe, 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.

March 29, 2006 -- The Postal Rate Commission has issued a notice of inquiry to all participants in the END advisory request (Docket No. N2006-1), in which it is seeking input regarding what should be the scope of the proceeding.

March 29, 2006 -- As the Wall Street Journal has noted, "Overnite Corp., acquired in August by U.S. package-delivery king United Parcel Service Inc. to invade the trucking business, is starting to look a lot like the rest of the chocolate-brown Atlanta company. The assimilation could help UPS in its battle with rival FedEx Corp. but complicates contract talks with the Teamsters union expected to begin near the end of next year."

March 29, 2006 -- According to the Modesto Bee, "Some day, Congress will run out of post offices to rename. And then what will it do to keep busy? The lawmakers returning Monday from the "St. Patrick's Day District Work Period" are off to one of their slowest starts in years. They've been in session less, conducted fewer hearings and passed fewer bills than almost any other time in the past decade."

March 29, 2006 -- From the PR Newswire: "The Postal Service has been awarded the advertising industry's highest honor for research that results in high- impact marketing, a postal official said. The 2006 Grand Ogilvy Award was accepted by Postal Service representatives for the organization's "Access" campaign, which increased awareness of USPS package shipping products and services."

March 29, 2006 -- According to Financial Times Deutschland, "Things are not going well for the chief executive of Deutsche Post, Klaus Zumwinkel. Put on the alert by chronic problems in the USA, investors are beginning to question his strategy. He has two years left to eliminate doubts about his life's work—then his contract runs out."

March 29, 2006 -- The Mailers Council has shared with its members a backgrounder indicating its position on the key issues conferees must be resolved regaring postal legislative reform (HR 22).

March 29, 2006 -- The Daily Star has reported that "With the advent of cellphones, courier services and email, the activities of post offices have declined significantly in the recent years. The main functions of the post offices are now to deliver money orders, pensions, parcels and run some savings schemes."

March 28, 2006 -- TMCNet has reported that "DHL International GmbH, the world's leading express and logistics company, made an announcement by saying that it would release a new product to provide express delivery services for heavy goods of 50 to 150 kg."

March 28, 2006 -- According to Forbes, "Dutch postal company TNT NV wants to expand in Germany, grabbing some of Deutsche Post World Net AG's market share in mail delivery, board member Harry Koorstra told Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. The company wants to set up logistics centres in Munich and Berlin and is also not ruling out acquisitions."

March 28, 2006 -- Reuters has reported that "French trade unions began a one-day national strike on Tuesday to try to force conservative Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin to abandon a new job law that makes it easier to fire young workers. Commuters faced delays on public transport and airports were expected to be hit by stoppages. Some postal workers, teachers and media employees were among those planning to strike and hundreds of thousands were expected to attend protest rallies."

March 28, 2006 -- The Toronto Star has reported that "Christmas the past two years wasn't quite as merry for thousands of people in Huntsville. They didn't get their Christmas cards. For others, it was worse. They didn't get personal cheques or financial statements either. But what makes this story really strange is that, according to the Ontario Provincial Police, neither Canada Post nor the OPP received an unusual number of complaints from people about missing mail. It took the firing this month of a Canada Post employee to uncover the real story of why the mail went missing and how it went virtually undetected. Most of the mail was re-routed to a Jeep and a bedroom closet, the OPP allege. Now, a 26-year-old Huntsville resident is facing charges after police recovered 110 boxes of undelivered mail, some of it going back to 2004."

March 27, 2006 -- Below are recent reports posted on the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General website. If you have additional questions concerning the report, please contact Agapi Doulaveris at 703.248.2286.

March 27, 2006 -- As The Economist has noted, "THE fabled "Licence Raj", the suffocating blanket of regulatory controls that India has been steadily dismantling since 1991, had holes in it. In one of them sprouted a flourishing private courier business. Today, more than 1m people are employed in more than 2,500 firms, ranging from big multinationals such as DHL and TNT, to small local-delivery services operating fleets of bicycles. The industry is growing by 20-25% each year. Of around 16 billion items of post in India each year, private firms handle more than 7 billion. But the government, it seems, now wants to grab back a big chunk of that business for its own postal service, India Post. The couriers are up in arms."

March 27, 2006 -- From the PR Newswire: "Postal officials said today that the next generation of the organization's barcode technology used to sort and track mail will be featured at the mailing industry's leading trade show, National Postal Forum, in Orlando, Fla., April 2-5. Generically known as a four-state barcode, this development in technology will enable business mailers to track up to a billion pieces of mail at a time as well as to more easily request special services, such as address correction and confirmation of delivery. The new technology will also enable the Postal Service to process and deliver mail more efficiently."

March 27, 2006 -- DMNews has reported that

March 27, 2006 -- According to the Irish Times, "Isolde Goggin, the chairwoman of the Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg) seems like a nice woman. It's hard to believe that she and her two fellow commissioners, John Doherty and Mike Byrne, are little better that fifth columnists hell bent on destroying one of the State's great institutions and generally wrecking the fabric of society. But this apparently is pretty much the ComReg game plan if one is to put much store by the sworn testimony of Donal Curtin, the chief executive of An Post, in an affidavit supporting An Post's successful application last week for a judicial review of ComReg's decision not to approve an increase in the price of sending a letter."

March 27, 2006 -- International Freighting Weekly has reported that "Logistics companies are seeing staff turnover rates in China of up to 40%, according to research by the Eyefortransport (EFT) group (see Briefing, page 6). With a continuing shortage of experienced logistics and supply chain managers leading to such a high turnover, the EFT research study concluded: "This imposes continuous training overheads on the logistics suppliers. "Sourcing and retaining skilled staff in China will be an ongoing issue for the foreseeable future." The report also highlighted shortcomings in the Chinese educational system, saying it did not emphasise initiative, innovation or personal advancement."

March 27, 2006 -- icLiverpool has reported that "LIVERPOOL has been named and shamed as having one of the worst postal services in the country - with one in 10 letters delivered late. Just 89.2% of first-class post sent to the city's sorting office reached its destination the following day, according to the National Audit Office (NAO) study."

March 26, 2006 -- INQ7.net has reported that "A BODY representing various government agencies has approved the 3.3 billion-peso modernization project of the Philippine Postal Corp. (Philpost), more than three years after it was first proposed."

March 26, 2006 -- According to the Shanghai Daily, "CHINA will accelerate plans to reorganize the State Post Bureau, which involves splitting off its banking component and creating the nation's fifth-biggest lender by deposits."

March 26, 2006 -- The Atlanta Business Journal has reported that "UPS rival FedEx announced Friday it now has the rights to operate three additional weekly flights to China, bringing the total to 26. FedEx Express, the largest subsidiary of Memphis, Tenn.-based FedEx Corp., will operate these frequencies, which were awarded by the U.S. Department of Transportation. FedEx Express says it will maintain its leadership position with more all-cargo flights to and from China than any other U.S. cargo airline."

March 26, 2006 -- USPS Newslink has reported that "Deputy Postmaster General and Chief Operating Officer Pat Donahoe today announced an organizational realignment that will transfer administration of the Arizona and Nevada-Sierra Districts from the Pacific Area to the Western Area and the Carolinas from the Eastern Area to Capital Metro. The change will be effective April 1."

March 26, 2006 -- As the Miami Herald has noted, "Gone are the days when students ran to the mailbox to look for the proverbial thick envelope. In the age of the Internet, high school seniors' hearts race as they go online to learn if they were admitted to college."

March 26, 2006 -- NDTV Profit has reported that "The UPA government has allowed Department of Posts (DoP) to deploy funds from its two insurance schemes in the stock markets through mutual funds for better returns. The DoP will soon appoint asset management companies (AMCs) through a bidding process and both private and public sector companies would be allowed to bid."

March 26, 2006 -- AMEInfo has reported that "Empost, the UAEs national courier service, has announced the appointment of Mark McCormack as its new Operational Consultant. McCormack will be responsible for increasing productivity and efficiency of Emposts operations and will also contribute in developing innovative products and services."

March 26, 2006 -- Strategiy has reported that "Emirates Post has announced the launch of "Direct2Door", a speedy parcel and document service to India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal, in collaboration with major courier companies in the respective countries, backed by a money-back guarantee and track-and-trace facility."

March 26, 2006 -- According to IEEE Spectrum, "A newly marketed anthrax detector that originated in the U.S. space program promises to halve the detection time of the system currently used by the U.S. Postal Service. It was devised by Universal Detection Technology Inc., in Beverly Hills, Calif., building on work done by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) at the California Institute of Technology, in Pasadena. If it proves its worth in the field, the system may offer the Postal Service a cheaper and more effective way of countering bioterrorist attacks."

March 25, 2006 -- 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.
 

Who handles the distribution of the PostCom Bulletin?
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March 25, 2006 -- The latest issue of PostCom's PostOps Update has been posted on this site. In this issue:

March 25, 2006 -- From the Postal Rate Commission's Docket No. N2006-1 prehearing conference:

In Friday's prehearing conference in N2006-1. Commissioner Tisdale indicated that neither the Postal Service's proposed schedule, nor the shortening of the response times they requested in order to expedite the schedule in this proceeding would apply. He indicated that the Commission appreciated that the Postal Service had requested their advice, and that their advice would be more valuable if based on a fully developed record. He also admonished the Postal Service for requesting expedition while it nonetheless needed to file several motions to accept late responses to interrogatories.

Counsel for APWU argued at some length that the END program was a continuation of the NIA program that began in 2001-2 and that it want the Commission to make observations and findings regarding the scope of its authority to examine the Postal Service's decisions in this area, and the scope of permissible discovery in this proceeding. He argued that they don't know how to proceed without knowing the scope of permitted interrogatories. They are attempting to discover whose decision it was to conduct the Area Mail Processing reviews that have been initiated thus far (whether the requests originated at headquarters or in the field), and have thus far been stymied. Also, they are inquiring regarding what role the public plays -- they anticipate arguing that they observe no real role for citizen input to be considered in the Postal Service's process.

Commissioner Tisdale stated that the PRC intends to issue a Notice of Inquiry to ask all participants to comment on the scope of the proceeding, and asking participants to make comments that will be useful to him for evaluating the proper scope of discovery in this case. He said a Procedural Schedule will be issued shortly.

March 25, 2006 -- Paul Vogel, USPS VP Network Operations Management, has contacted MTAC members concerning Mail Transport Equipment (pallet) shortages.

March 25, 2006 -- 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.

March 25, 2006 -- The U.S. Postal Service's Office of the Inspector General has issues two reports (http://www.uspsoig.gov/foia_files/CA-MA-06-001.pdf and http://www.uspsoig.gov/foia_files/HM-AR-06-002.pdf) on the Postal Service's handling of issues subsequent to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

March 25, 2006 -- PMG Jack Potter has named Susan Bronwell as vice president, Supply Management. She will manage more than $12 billion in annual supply management expenditures. Bronwell was most recently manager of the Mail Equipment Portfolio.

March 25, 2006 -- The Associated Press has reported that "The U.S. Postal Service unveiled its new set of 39-cent stamps honoring four of baseball's biggest hitters. The stamps will be issued July 15 in ceremonies at Yankee Stadium."

March 25, 2006 -- The Kodiak Daily Mirror has reported that "A proposed post office to be located on Near Island is on hold due to changes in postal service technology."

March 25, 2006 -- Peter Moore Software has introduced The 3600 Generator XP for Standard Mail to join its sister programs, the 3541 Generator XP for Periodicals and the 3602 Generator XP for Standard mailings. The 3600 Generator XP is a Windows-based program that makes it a snap to create USPS 3600-R postage statements from keyed input. In order to simplify entry of data for repeat jobs, the program maintains a database of customers, permits, jobs, and postage statements.

March 25, 2006 -- From Web Wire: "The hurricanes that battered the Gulf Coast last fall displaced literally thousands of Louisiana residents, many of whom may still be eligible to vote in upcoming primary and general elections in their home state."

March 25, 2006 -- Rediffhas reported that "Besides selling postal stamps and envelopes and despatching money orders, your neighbourhood post office will be hawking cellphones and airtime, if an idea by Motorola takes wings. The US-based global telecommunications major is mulling selling of telecom products and services through a wide network of 135,000 post offices to target even the remotest locales in the country."

March 25, 2006 -- Neue Zurcher Zeitung has reported that "The Swiss Post Office said on Friday that it made a profit of SFr811 million ($616 million) in 2005."

March 25, 2006 -- Armenia Now has reported that "Armenian journalists are sounding the alarm over legislation that requires newspaper delivery companies for the first time to apply for licenses. Local activists say that the legislation, introduced by Armenia's parliament last year in the form of an amendment to existing laws on mail service and tax regulations, is in fact a hidden form of state censorship."

March 25, 2006 -- The Guernsey Weekly Press has reported that "Guernsey Post's dividend could be used to subsidise its rural retail outlets."

March 25, 2006 -- AllAfrica.com has reported that "Several employees have been caught in theft of mails and smuggling at the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications. At a press conference yesterday, Posts and Telecommunications Minister, Jackson E. Doe said the four employees caught in mails theft and smuggling would be turned over to the Justice Ministry for prosecution. He asserted that under the laws of Liberia, mail theft is a serious crime."

March 25, 2006 -- The New Mexico Channel has reported that "The Santa Fe post office is hiring part-time rural mail carriers. The Santa Fe post office has been under fire for slow deliveries."

March 25, 2006 -- NDTV Profit has reported that "The government has reportedly dropped its plan to change the Post and Telegraph Act which would have stopped courier companies from carrying any package that weighs less than 500 g. But courier companies may now have to pay a certain amount to subsidise the postal department. The govt says the postal department should have a complete monopoly over lightweight packages and letters so that the profits made on them can be used to subsidise postal services for the poor and underprivileged. But the Planning Commission has apparently said this is a wrong way to go about it at a time when reforms are being pushed forward in every other sphere."

March 25, 2006 -- Reuters has reported that "Greyhound Canada Transportation Corp. will stop transporting live birds, animals and insects from May 1 as the threat of bird flu grows, a Greyhound Lines Inc. spokesman said on Friday. "Greyhound Canada will no longer ship animals, birds, insects, bees or other lab creatures," spokesman Dustin Clark said. "Even if it's a perception, we don't want to impact our passengers."

March 25, 2006 -- The Rising Nepal has reported that "International Express Mail Service (EMS) is to be expanded to Turkey from April 1 as per the agreement reached between the Department of Postal Services. This means that letters and merchandise goods can be sent to Turkey from Nepal with the start of the EMS. Nepal now has EMS link with 36 countries including Turkey, according to the Department of Postal Services."

March 25, 2006 -- Air Cargo World has reported that "The abrupt bankruptcy of APX Logistics left a lot of packages stranded. The consolidator normally picked up a million packages a day and routed them through the USPS for delivery. The Postal Service expects to have all of them on their way to customers by the end of the week. USPS is adding resources and increasing the number of drop-ship appointments at Bulk Mail Centers to deal with packages accepted by APX prior to the company's filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection March 16."

March 25, 2006 -- The latest copy of the National Association of Postmasters of the U.S. electronic governmental affairs newsletter is available on the NAPUS web site.

March 24, 2006 -- Handelsblatt has reported that "Deutsche Post, the German national postal services provider, has announced plans to reduce postage for parcels for private customers at DHL, its express and logistics subsidiary. Klaus Zumwinkel, head of Deutsche Post, said that more attractive products would be offered at lower prices. The group also plans to streamline organisational structures at DHL, improve quality and service and also increase profitability in general." Competition....You gotta love it.

March 24, 2006 -- Hoovers has reported that "Package delivery giant UPS will move fewer parcels via railroads as it embarks on a plan to reduce ground delivery times. What's being taken from the trains is going to trucks, which offer UPS faster transit speeds on certain routes, company spokesman Norman Black said."

March 24, 2006 -- According to Federal News Radio's Mike Causey, "Not so long ago the best way to get the attention of an elected official was to flood his or her office with mail. Snail mail. A handwritten letter to show sincerity and that it's from a real person, with a postage stamp on it. But gone are the days. In fact snail mail, at least to members of the U.S. House of Representatives or the U.S. Senate, is the equivalent of a courier running through the woods with a note wedged into a cleft stick. Now instead of a small army of letter-opening, subject-sorting clerks, most congressional offices get much of their grass-roots input via e-mail. In addition to being quick and easy, e-mail only has to pass through a spam blocker. For security reasons (can you say anthrax?) real mail, that is snail mail, addressed to Capitol Hill often goes to a remote site where it is checked, maybe run through an X-ray, irradiated, and/or sniffed by a machine with lots of blinking lights. The bottom line is that it takes awhile and sometimes the letters arrive looking like your dog chewed on them, or did something on them."

March 24, 2006 -- The Postalnews blog has summarized some of the salient information obtained from the Postal Service's February 2006 financial statement.

March 24, 2006 -- DMNews has reported that "Only 4.8 percent of Britons respond to direct mail while the average consumer gets 8.5 pieces of direct mail a week, according to the new TouchPoints survey released yesterday by the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising."

March 24, 2006 -- The latest issue of the National Association of Major Mail Users eView has been posted on this site.

March 24, 2006 -- The Standard has reported that "Postal corporation chief executive, Dan Ameyo, has been sacked. His place has been taken over by Kenneth Oluoch on acting capacity. Until his elevation, Oluoch was the general manager, customer service. Sources said Ameyo was forced to quit, over allegations of abuse of office. His dismisal came just a day before the end of his contract." Nairobi, Kenya is the planned site for the 2008 Congress of the Universal Postal Union.

March 24, 2006 -- From the U.S. Postal Service: "Customers and merchants looking for an easy and economical way to return merchandise through the mail can now rely on Parcel Return Service (PRS) to handle their needs on a permanent basis. By approving a recommendation from the Postal Rate Commission, the U.S. Postal Service Governors on Wednesday made PRS a permanent mailing option. The Board of Governors voted to make the change effective on April 2, 2006."

March 24, 2006 -- According to The Olympian, "Current and retired postal workers picketed the main Olympia post office Wednesday afternoon to draw attention to the U.S. Postal Service's plans to transfer some mail operations from Tumwater to Tacoma."

March 24, 2006 -- According to the Jackson Sun, "South Jackson residents have renewed their efforts to save the Bemis post office as another threat to close it has resurfaced." See also the Jackson Sun editorial.

March 24, 2006 -- From dBusiness News: "With the cost of different postage payment methods a hot topic among high-volume mailers, attendees of the 2006 National Postal Forum at the Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center, April 2 to April 5 in Kissimmee, Fla., will be looking for solutions to help them save time and money in a meter-less environment. To help mailers fully realize the benefits of alternative postage payment options, BÖWE BELL + HOWELL will feature its new WayMarkTM weight verification and management system, along with a full line of postal solutions products and services."

March 24, 2006 -- From Business Wire: "Verticalnet, Inc., a leading provider of on-demand supply management solutions, today announced that the French national mail and financial services company, La Poste, has successfully deployed the Verticalnet(R) XE Supply Management Solution Suite as its enterprise-wide sourcing platform. La Poste is the third largest postal service in the world, generating revenues of over 18 billion euros per year. La Poste and its workforce of over 300,000 deliver more than 27 billion letters and parcels each year and offer financial services via more than 17,000 postal outlets in France. La Poste manages over 3.6 billion euros annually in spend."

March 24, 2006 -- From the PR Newswire: "Participants in this year's leading trade show for advertisers and mailers -- the National Postal Forum -- will be treated to keynote speeches by leaders in the industry, as well as by a legend in the world of baseball."

March 24, 2006 -- InTheNews.co.uk has reported that "Britain's public sector is overspending on postal services to the tune of £31 million, it has been claimed. A report by the National Audit Office (NAO) showed that average spending per item of 28p compared poorly to the financial and utilities sectors, who spent 22p and 20.4p respectively. Four main areas of savings were identified by the report, including £9 million by sending mail through second rather than first class, £9 million by making civil servants sort and prepare their own mail and £4.5 million by cutting down on poorly addressed "undeliverable" mail." See also The Times.

March 24, 2006 -- The Mumbai Mirror has reported that "The Department of Post (DoP) will be submitting a report to the Ministry of Finance asking the latter to continue certain subsidies if DoP is to be made profitable. This is a fallout of the Ministry's decision of asking the DoP to invest Postal Life Insurance (PLI) money in the stock market. PLI is DoP's life insurance policy which is available only to government and semi-government employees."

March 24, 2006 -- The Jerusalem Post has reported that "The Israel Postal Company has acceded to the suggestion of the Supreme Court to negotiate quickly with 65 contractors who run postal agencies around the country. The state postal company has presented this same proposal to the Tel Aviv District Court 10 days ago, but it was rejected by the postal agents."

March 23, 2006 -- The Wall Street Journal has reported that "Fedex Corp, helped by a surprisingly strong holiday shipping season and continued economic strength, reported a 35% jump in fiscal third-quarter profit and nudged higher its profit target for the current fiscal year. Overall delivery volume of air and ground packages increased 4%, led by a 9.9% jump in international shipments by air, partly reflecting surging deliveries to and from China. FedEx's bottom line should get an even bigger jolt from China once the company completes a buyout of its joint venture there, which will help FedEx expand into smaller cities."

March 23, 2006 -- According to Les Echos, "The French post office, La Poste, has entered into talks with PlaNet Finance, the French NGO specialising in microfinance. The discussions concern the programme 'Entreprendre en Banlieues' which PlaNet Finance launched yesterday to facilitate the creation of small businesses in the deprived suburbs of French cities via microcredit and micro venture-capital."

March 23, 2006 -- According to Asia Pulse, "Japan Post Corp. is considering purchasing a core computer system from a major bank for the banking unit that will be created when postal services are privatized in October 2007."

March 23, 2006 -- The Aberdeen News has reported that "A major printing company, a blood-collection agency and a private mail-sorting firm are among the Aberdeen organizations that would feel a pinch if mail service out of Aberdeen takes another hit."

March 23, 2006 -- From Transport Intelligence: "The number of mergers and acquisitions undertaken by the largest players in the worldwide express, mail and logistics sectors has reached its highest level since its peak at the height of the ‘dotcom' boom. This was just one of the findings of Transport Intelligence's latest report ‘Global Logistics Strategies 2006'."

March 23, 2006 -- The Amherst Times has reported that "Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-27) sent a letter to Postmaster General John E. Potter requesting that the United States Postal Service (USPS) review the case of Sergeant Jason Lyon, a member of the National Guard who served in Iraq for the U.S. Army. Sergeant Lyon has been denied an appointment to serve as a Mail Carrier in Western New York, because of a sprained ankle received while serving in Iraq and which has subsequently healed. While the U.S. military has deemed him fit for service, the USPS has not."

March 23, 2006 -- CRM Today has reported that "The U.S. Postal Service Accounting Help Desk in St. Louis, MO, has earned highly coveted recognition as a Certified Center of Excellence by Purdue University. The Center for Customer-Driven Quality™ at Purdue University benchmarks the performance of over 20,000 customer service call centers in 43 different industries in North America. The Postal Service's Accounting Help Desk is operating in the top 10 percent of call centers in the consumer products industry."

March 22, 2006 -- The U.S. Postal Service has announced that Robert Pedersen has been named Acting Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President, succeeding Richard Strasser, who is retiring April 3, according to PMG Jack Potter, who made the announcement this morning. Pedersen will head the Postal Service's Finance, Treasury, Information Technology, and Supply Management activities. He will serve as a member of the Executive Committee and Chairman of its corporate Capital Investment Committee. The PMG said that over the next several weeks, Pedersen and Strasser will be working together to implement a smooth succession.

March 22, 2006 -- UPS has announced it had completed the rollout of UPS Trade DirectSM Air and Ocean services to facilitate export shipments from the United States and Canada to Europe.

March 22, 2006 -- Bloomberg has reported that "FedEx Corp., the No. 2 U.S. package shipping company, said fiscal third-quarter profit rose 35 percent, more than analysts expected, as a strong U.S. economy increased shipments and allowed it to raise prices."

March 22, 2006 -- CEP News (Courier-Express-Postal), published by the MRU Consultancy, has reported that:

The Dutch mail market may be completely opened to competition by April next year. A spokeswoman for the Ministry of Economics confirmed on Tuesday that a government commission had adopted the corresponding bill and had demanded only minor amendments from the Ministry.
According to information gleaned by the CEP News, the EU Commission is currently investigating the basis for opening proceedings against Germany for breach of agreement.
The Swiss tabloid "SonntagsBlick" (19.03) reports that Schweizerische Post is considering abolishing second class mail for private customers.
Sweden's Posten AB has made a takeover bid to shareholders of Swedish firm Stralfors AB (2004 turnover: 330m euros, profit: 7.5m euros). Posten intends to pay over 190m euros for the company, which specialises in printed forms and comprehensive information transfer solutions.
TNT shares are no longer traded on the London stock exchange.
Last week every Belgian household received a letter from La Poste. With the help of the letter, CEO Johnny Thijs aims to calm all those customers who fear that pending changes to the post's company structure will lead to poorer service performance.
The string of bad news in connection with Osterreichische Poses planned IPO continues. Last Thursday an Austrian mail market expert established that the post's increase in result in 2005 was due chiefly to drastic job-cutting measures. Last Friday, Austria's Supreme Court ruled that the post had abused its market dominating position in the field of newspaper distribution.
Deutsche Post AG is not expecting profits to drop following the complete opening of Germany's mail market. Analysts, on the other hand, expect Deutsche Post to incur a 20% profit decline in the mail segment as a result of the market opening.
A spokesperson for the Hungarian oppositional party MDF (Magyar Democratic Forum) has made a declaration in favour of part privatisation of state enterprises.
In 2005 Germany's Hermes Logistik Gruppe enjoyed its best annual result since the company was founded as a subsidiary of the Otto mail order firm. Hermes intends to create a basis for long-term further growth by developing the "first B2C and C2C network in Europe". According to Mr Schneider, the shops of the Otto distribution company in France and Britain will be bundled under the Hermes umbrella.
Taxipost, the Belgian La Poste's express service, is currently subject to industrial action in various locations. Workers at the reception counters in three Belgian cities, among them Antwerp, have been on strike since Monday. The workers are protesting against the post's refusal to extend expiring, time-limited work contracts.
Osterreichische Post is apparently about to conclude the long planned purchase of Germany's CEP operator Trans-o-flex.
Last week UPS confirmed that a subsidiary company has been subject to an internal investigation for breach of the US anti-corruption law. The company announcement stated that employees of Supply Chain Solutions may have broken the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices law. The integrator said that the stock exchange regulatory authority and the Ministry of Justice had both been informed of the outcome of the investigation.
FedEx is currently involved in co-operation discussions with Okay Airways Co, China's first private airline.
The planned April launch of a joint venture between Japan Post and TNT will be considerably delayed.

The MRU, founded in 1992, is the only consultancy in Europe, 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.

March 22, 2006 -- According to The Register, "The organization which runs the bar code systems has backed the extension of EU privacy rules to cover RFID technologies."

March 22, 2006 -- According to the Asian Journal, "UNITED Parcel Service or UPS Philippines is hoping to further grow its intra-Asia hub in the country depending on the growth of UPS's Shanghai operations as well as securing an additional port in Nagoya, Japan."

March 22, 2006 -- The Wall Street Journal has reported that "At the beginning of this year, Britain ended the Royal Mail's 370-year-old monopoly on letter delivery, becoming the fourth and largest European economy to embrace an open postal market. Many European governments, though, are dragging their feet on postal liberalization, despite an EU directive calling for members to open the industry to competition by 2009. The laggards are not doing their citizens any favors. Opening up industries to competition, whether they are state-run monopolies or close-knit oligarchies, tends to benefit consumers."

March 22, 2006 -- The Mirror has reported that "POSTAL deliveries should be opened up to competition, an official report recommended yesterday. This would be the best way to improve the service described in some areas as "chaotic", it said. At present Royal Mail is regulated by Postcomm. But the National Audit Office said investigations by the watchdog often became bogged down. NAO head Sir John Bourn said: "Competition is a less costly and burdensome way of protecting consumers." Royal Mail said: "We agree with the thrust of the report urging less regulation." See also InTheNews.co.uk

March 22, 2006 -- WCBSTV has reported that "There were less than a hundred, walking the picket line. But they were loud: "Hell no, we won't go!" Black, white, Latino, male and female. Some in their 20s. Many in their 50s. About three-fourths, by my unscientific estimate, were postal workers. The rest were folks from the Bronx, who use the post office. They were marching in the cold at the landmark building that stands like a fortress on the Grand Concourse and 149th. The Bronx General Post Office. And they were there because, they say, a study that's being done by the Postal Service on efficiency is really a done deal, aimed at closing three facilities that process mail in the Bronx."

March 21, 2006 -- According to Les Echos, "La Poste, the French postal service operator, was found guilty of misleading advertising by the commercial court of Paris on February 10 and has been ordered to pay around 50,000 euros in damages in total. The advertising related to Benefic, a fund in which 300,000 customers invested in 1999 and 2000."

March 21, 2006 -- The Associated Press has reported that "Deutsche Post AG said Tuesday it will sell a courier company that it acquired when it took over British rival Exel PLC last year."

March 21, 2006 -- WCAX-TV has reported that "He's cleared for combat duty with the U-S military but not fit enough to deliver the U-S mail. Jason Lyon of Hamburg, near Buffalo, has been turned down for a postal carrier job because of the ankle injury he suffered after jumping off an Army Humvee while serving with the Army in Baghdad two years ago. After a few weeks, military doctors certified the 28-year-old sergeant physically fit and he returned to combat duty. Lyon was later wounded by a roadside bomb that killed three of his comrades. A doctor for the U-S Postal Service ruled that Lyon's ankle injury makes him unfit to be hired as a mail carrier. The doctor said the injury would make it difficult for the National Guardsman to walk or stand for long periods of time. Post office officials say Lyon could still seek a job as a mail clerk or custodian."

March 21, 2006 -- The USPS has published a sources sought notice through FBO seeking information on available technology and supply sources that can provide a "Track & Trace Scanner (TATS)" solution to read and process special services (e.g., Delivery Confirmation/Signature Confirmation) barcodes on its SPBS equipment. PostCom suggests that parcel mailers review the barcode specifications the USPS is considering for this technology enhancement. Please forward any questions or concerns to Kathy Siviter at kathys@postalconsulting.com. The USPS in its notice includes specifications as to the barcode symbologies, parcel sizes, read rate requirements, accuracy levels, and more. The USPS will use the information gained from the notice to prequalify sources for a competitive product evaluation at the USPS and the opportunity to submit a proposal. Interested vendors must respond to the USPS solicitation for information by March 31, 2006. A copy of the full announcement can be seen on the FBO web site at http://www.fbo.gov/spg/USPS/SSP/APHQ/Reference%2DNumber%2D030706/SynopsisR.html.

March 21, 2006 -- The Postal Rate Commission has issued a recommended decision in the matter of Docket No. MC2006-2 concerning repositionable notes. And in the matter of the Bookspan NSA???

March 21, 2006 -- The National Association of Major Mail Users has told its members that:

NAMMU members and their business interests are well represented by the Quebec City chapter and Montreal chapter membership and their national Board directors. They have presented and continue to present any significant drawbacks from the user perspective through these chapters, and where possible, describe positive alternatives. Without interfering in the sensitive discussions between Canada Post and its employees on this topic, NAMMU has nevertheless introduced the business stakeholder perspective to the equation.

NAMMU has every reason to believe the Corporation and its employees have the business maturity to resolve these difficulties in a constructive and appropriate forum. The credibility of the mail channel with the public as a stable, viable communication medium is at stake, as are all our livelihoods. Together, we need to tell the positive story about the mail channel, work together to increase volumes and attract new customers to this vital medium. Today we have invited the parties to consider the significant business risk of continued media involvement, and emphasized the potential for a more positive outcome possibly lies in direct discussion and negotiation. Members with additional questions/comments are welcome to contact the NAMMU executive: executive@nammu.org

March 21, 2006 -- The Philippine Daily Inquirer has reported that "A Japan-based company is set to infuse P3.3 billion into state-owned Philippine Postal Corp. (Philpost) to help modernize postal services in the country."

March 21, 2006 -- The PostalNewsBlog has quoted one APWU official as saying: "The United States Postal Service is reducing service to many communities by consolidating mail canceling and sorting operations into just a few large hubs. The proposal to discontinue canceling mail in Olympia, and to move many mail operations to Tacoma on April 3rd, is part of a larger national restructuring where as many as 250 mail processing facilities may be closed and consolidated. These consolidation plans will benefit the big mailers at the expense of citizens, non-profit organizations, small businesses, and businesses of any size that require fast mail service to and from their customers." How did "big mailers" get to be the enemy in all of this???

March 21, 2006 -- NY1 News has reported that "Bronx mail could be rerouted to Manhattan after a U.S. Postal Service study, but union members say the study is flawed. The consolidation study could result in mail from major Bronx distribution and processing centers, including the one at the main Bronx post office on the Grand Concourse, being sent to Morgan Station in Manhattan for sorting, then trucked back to customers in the Bronx."

March 21, 2006 -- The Irish Independent has reported that "A REFUSAL to allow a 12c increase on the price of a stamp could lead to €70m losses for An Post in four years time, it has been claimed. Communications Regulator ComReg's block on a stamp price hike from 48c to 60c for a standard letter threatens the financial recovery of An Post, the High Court has heard. The High Court yesterday granted An Post leave to challenge the regulator's decision. ComReg has effectively imposed a price freeze on the obligatory and loss-making letter post service of An Post, a company which is at risk and whose entire recovery plan is dependent on a price increase."

March 21, 2006 -- According to the Montgomery Advertiser, "In small, rural towns like Emelle in Sumter County, the post office is more than a place to retrieve mail. It's often the heart of the community. And the postmasters are much more than government employees. "The main social function of small town post offices is as a social gathering point," said Conner Bailey, professor of rural sociology at Auburn University. "People come to pick up their mail, talk with friends and the postmaster and exchange information. It's kind of like sitting around the cracker barrel in the country store."

March 21, 2006 -- As New Orleans City Business put it, "To say we have ongoing issues with mail delivery is a huge understatement. The storm didn't make us miss any print cycles but the lack of a working postal system has interrupted service for way too many readers. We had no choice but to expand our coverage to the Internet and through e-mail updates. The complementary, electronic distribution enabled us to deliver business news to our readers in spite of the obstacles presented by the U.S. Postal Service."

March 21, 2006 -- The New York Daily News has reported that "The newspaper industry has been kicked around for a long time and it's not going to take it anymore. Starting today, the trade group Newspaper Association of America will fight back with an ad campaign valued at $50 million. Retro-looking print ads will run today in 700 daily newspapers and in trade magazines, such as Advertising Age and online. The campaign tagline reads: "Newspaper advertising, a destination, not a distraction." The campaign marks an aggressive effort to promote newspapers to advertisers in the face of declining circulation and shrinking market share." So, what are those whose livelihoods are tied to mail-based advertising willing to spend?

March 21, 2006 -- The Atlanta Business Journal has reported that "United Parcel Service Inc.'s profit went up 16 percent in 2005, but executive bonuses were lower due to a shift from immediate compensation to long-term compensation for annual bonuses, according to a proxy filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Half of the annual bonus the Atlanta-based package shipper awards is now paid in restricted stock units that vest over a five-year period, UPS said. UPS Chairman and CEO Mike Eskew made a base salary of $979,500 and a bonus of $229,100, plus other compensation of $13,537, for $1.22 million in total compensation in 2005. This marks an 11 percent drop over the $1.37 million in compensation he got in 2004. However, his base salary rose 5.6 percent compared with his base salary of $927,500 in 2004. Eskew's bonus in 2004 was $435,000. Eskew's long-term compensation awards (restricted stock units and restricted performance units) jumped to $1.25 million in 2005, compared with $973,680 in 2004. He also received options for 34,993 shares."

March 21, 2006 -- Reporter.gr has reported that "The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCTI) puts up for sale the technical requirements for the investment banks shortlisted for consultant in the restructuring of the Romanian Post, declared Minister of Communications and Information Technology Zsolt Nagy, ACT Media news agency reports."

March 21, 2006 -- Ireland Online has reported that "The High Court has allowed An Post to seek a Judicial Review of a refusal by ComReg to increase the price for standard domestic letter stamp. An Post's application to raise price from 48 cent to 60 cent was dismissed and the company is now asking the High Court to quash ComReg's decision and to order it to approve the price increase. An Post has predicted losses in excess of €20m in 2006 following the ComReg decision not to allow the hike." See also the Irish Examiner

March 21, 2006 -- The Association for Postal Commerce welcomes its newest members:

Campbell-Ewald, 30400 Van Dyke Avenue Warren, MI 48093-2316, represented by Anthony J. Hopp Chairman, CEO Campbell-Ewald is the Postal Service's advertising agency of record. (Thanks to David Hendel, Wickwire-Gavin, for introducting this company to PostCom.)

CognitiveDATA, Inc., 900 s. Shackleford Road, Ste. 610 Little Rock, AR 72211-3898, represented by Rodney A. Ford CEO. CognitiveDATA is the thought leader of data quality technology, focusing on building response driven solutions taht enable direct marketers to optimize marketing expenditures. (Thanks to Bob Gillen, Acxiom, for introducting this company to PostCom.)

March 20, 2006 -- PaperandPrint.com has reported that "The Logistics World Alliance (LWA), launched at SITL in Paris, unites five of Europe's major logistics companies, who will offer intelligent and integrated approaches to international supply chains. The UK is represented by Bibby Distribution, with the other partners from France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Portugal. The companies in the alliance are Bibby Distribution (UK), Azkar (Spain and Portugal), Bartolini (Italy), MGF Logistique (France) and the Rhenus group (Germany)."

March 20, 2006 -- Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung has reported that "German postal services provider Deutsche Post has been given approval by the European Commission to take over Williams Lea, the UK business services company. The Commission said that the takeover, which was announced one month ago, did not present any problems."

March 20, 2006 -- According to DMNews, "News that third-party logistics provider APX Logistics had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection left parcel consolidators scrambling to sign up clients."

March 20, 2006 -- FedBizOpps.gov has noted that "The United States Postal Service is seeking information from suppliers with capabilities to implement and manage Janitorial Services in U. S. Postal Service facilities for as many as 48 states (does not include Hawaii or Alaska). The INITIAL need will be for custodial services in the states of Illinois, California, and Texas, although near future needs for custodial services could include as many as 2,500 postal facilities or more in the 48 states. Distant future needs may include additional locations for cleaning, landscape, snow removal and misc. building services." Kudos to PostalNews.com for catching this one.

March 20, 2006 -- The Financial Express has reported that "The department of post, for a change, will play the role of match-maker. To begin with, in the Maharashtra circle, the department proposes to join hands with online marriage portals, including shaadi.com for this purpose. AP Shrivastava, the post master general of the Maharashtra circle, told FE that the department proposes to collect photographs and details of prospective brides and bridegrooms and upload the information with the marriage portal."

March 20, 2006 -- AMEInfo has reported that "Empost, the UAE's national courier company, has entered into a strategic partnership with National Bonds Corporation (NBC), the national saving scheme for the UAE. Empost will be the official courier service provider for NBC."

March 20, 2006 -- According to the Associated Press, "If you ever pick up a magazine, you already know the work of Brown Printing. For half a century, the Waseca company has printed catalogs and magazines from Time to the New England Journal of Medicine. Now the big plant, along Highway 14 on the west side of the city, is getting bigger as the company puts $56 million into expansion and new equipment."

March 20, 2006 -- The Express and Star has reported that "Internet retailers today warned they would refuse to deliver to areas where packages regularly go missing, as it emerged Wolverhampton is in a national top 10 of the most unreliable postcode areas. Web sellers are currently compiling a list of the biggest hotspots in the country for lost or stolen mail in a bid to combat theft. Online shopping is expected to grow by some £7 billion this year alone. But the increased num-ber of purchases on the web inevitably leads to a higher number of items in the postal system, which are vulnerable to opportunist thieves and organised gangs."

March 20, 2006 -- According to the DM Bulletin, "Royal Mail has said it is 'minded to accept' the 2006-2010 price control proposals from Postcomm and expects to inform customers next week of pricing changes in early April. Its acceptance depends on it reaching agreement with Postcomm on the formal amendment to its licence, according to a statement issued by the company. A Postcomm spokesman was unavailable to provide a reaction at the time of publication. If it accepts, the agreement is subject to 28 days' statutory consultation before the changes can be incorporated into Royal Mail's licence and take legal effect. The changes can be backdated to April 3 once the 28 days are over."

March 19, 2006 -- Bloomberg has reported that "Deutsche Post AG, Europe's biggest postal service, expects the loss of its domestic mail monopoly in 2008 won't reduce the company's total profit, mail division chief Hans-Dieter Petram told Focus."

March 19, 2006 -- The IT Wire has reported that "Australian electronic document delivery specialist, ConnXion Limited, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Singaporean postal services provider, Singapore Post (SingPost). Under the MOU, which was formalised this week, SingPost will operate the hosted service for electronic email, fax and postal delivery of business documents such as invoices, statements and reports to its customers in Singapore and across Asia, using ConnXion's technology. The service aims to give SingPost's customers a seamless option for both paper and electronic document delivery."

March 19, 2006 -- According to the Transport News Network, "Newspaper distribution has been given a boost as the latest fleet upgrade of TNT Newsfast has just been completed with vehicles equipped with technology to keep everyone informed within the time conscious delivery chain."

March 19, 2006 -- ITP Technology has reported that "Q-Post, Qatar's postal service, is examining an ambitious plan to provide information on incoming and outgoing mail to other postal services over an extranet portal. Executives said the implementation of the system will lead to both significant time and cost savings. The portal will be one of two Q-Post is planning to create, with the other being an intranet to allow company management better access to financial data."

March 19, 2006 -- The Tri-City News has reported that "Coquitlam RCMP aren't saying whether an organized crime ring is responsible for the huge cache of stolen goods — including weapons, keys, mail and pieces of ID — recovered from a Port Coquitlam home recently. And at a police press conference Friday, Canada Post's Robert Taylor dodged questions about whether the thefts were an inside job aided by a postal service employee. Canada Post uniforms and mailbox keys were among the stolen items recovered, leading some to question the integrity of the postal system."

March 19, 2006 -- The Jerusalem Post has reported that "Tel Aviv District Court president Judge Yehuda Zaft rejected Thursday the striking postal agents' request to cancel a temporary restraining order against them. The judge said that the postal contractors, who are not Israel Postal Company employees, must return to work immediately and return mail, cash and equipment that they had taken to protest against what they called the "unfair" cancellation of contracts in Bnei Brak and Tel Aviv."

March 18, 2006 -- The Financial Times has reported that "Royal Mail said yesterday it was "minded to accept" the final version of a four-year price control to 2010 that was proposed by its regulator this week. The state-owned postal operator said it would inform customers next week of price changes taking effect next month. The move represents a softening of the negotiating stance adopted by Royal Mail, which had earlier signalled it would reject the price control unless the government first agreed to its request for £2bn of state money. Negotiations with ministers over this funding are still continuing."

March 18, 2006 -- Forbes has reported that "The global airfreight business is returning to the growth that sustained the industry before the bottom fell out during the dot-com bubble of 2000 and the impact of Sept. 11, 2001. The watchword is no longer "west," but "global."

March 18, 2006 -- Kuensel Online has reported that "Six remote gewogs of Lunana, Shingkhar Lauri, Merak, Laya, Menjiwong and Serthi have been connected to the rest of the country using VSAT terminals. The VSAT/e-post project jointly implemented by the International Telecommunications Union, Universal Postal Union, the government of India, and the government will be formally launched on Monday, March 20."

March 18, 2006 -- The latest issue of the PostCom Bulletin is available online. In this issue:

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March 17, 2006 -- In a letter to Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee chairman Susan Collins, the leadership of all the postal employee organizations asked the senator and her conference colleagues to: (1) repeal the CSRS escrow fund, (2) return the Postal Service's military retirement obligation back to the Treasury, (3) adopt the looser House language that permits the Postal Service to exceed the inflation-based rate cap, and (4) adopt the Senate language that would permit the USPS to "bank" unused rate setting authority.

March 17, 2006 -- From Canada NewsWire: "Canada Post responded today to a recent media campaign by its largest union, the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW), by suggesting it rename its "Operation Transparency" campaign "Operation Honesty" and be honest about Canada Post's communications efforts as they relate to the Quebec City Letter Processing Plant."

March 17, 2006 -- Hawaii has introduced 3 resolutions (HCR 310, HR 244, and SCR 228) urging the U.S. Congress to approve legislation requiring the US Postal Service to provide mail recipients the option of being included on a list of those not wishing to receive any unsolicited commercial mail. So, where are all the catalogers? And why aren't they up in arms? Many don't consider themselves in the "postal business," and if these sorts of resolutions get legs in Congress...they won't be.

March 17, 2006 -- During the week of March 20, over 1,000 postmasters will ascend Capitol Hill to urge Congress to support postal reform, which safeguards postal services for all Americans and ensures a viable U.S. Postal Service. The effort is being promoted by the 41,000-member National Association of Postmasters of the United States (NAPUS). The conference will include an address by senior House Ways and Means member Benjamin Cardin (D-MD) and a joint appearance by key congressional postal staff members at a legislative rally at the Marriott Crystal Gateway Hotel, in Arlington, on Wednesday morning, March 22. Among the dignitaries who will address the Monday, March 20 General Session are Postmaster General John Potter, Chairman of Postal Board of Governors James Miller, and former Chairman of the Postal Rate Commission Edward Gleiman.

March 17, 2006 -- As the New York Times has noted, "While etiquette books still extol the practice, and no one denies that finding a handwritten letter amid the bills and solicitations is — well, practically heart-thumping — the reality is that the coming generation communicates almost exclusively by cellphone and e-mail, text or instant messages. It is not far-fetched to predict that today's young people, after the low-tech summer-camp years are over, may never again in their lives put pen to paper to write a personal letter. While there are pockets of revival where thank-you notes are alive and well, the Postal Service acknowledges that the personal letter appears to be going the way of the telegram."

March 17, 2006 -- The Postal Rate Commission has posted on its site the Postal Service's Periodic Reports/Data Reports for Docket No. IM2006-1. Among the documents posted:

FY 2005 International Cost and Revenue Analysis - PRC Version (Exhibit 1)
FY 2005 International Cost Segments & Components Report - PRC Version (Exhibit 2)
Overview/Technical Description (Volume I)
Domestic Processing Model (Volume II)
FY 2005 Billing Determinants (Exhibit 5)
F-85 Handbook Updates Statistical Programs Letters (Exhibit 6)
Cost Segment 3 Supporting Documents (Exhibit 7)
Cost Segment 7 Supporting Documents (Exhibit 8)
FY 2005 Cost and Revenue Analysis Report - PRC Version (Exhibit 3)
FY 2005 Cost Segments & Components Report - PRC Version (Exhibit 4)

March 17, 2006 -- The Liberian Daily Observer has reported that "Several officials and employees of the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications are currently being investigated for their alleged involvement in mail theft. Several packages of mail have allegedly been stolen."

March 17, 2006 -- According to the BBC Monitoring Service, "Western Union Financial Services Inc, a worldwide leader in money transfer services, and Vanuatu Post have signed an agreement to offer the Western Union Money Transfer service in Vanuatu."

March 17, 2006 -- The Irish Times has reported that "The communications regulator ComReg has asked An Post for a report on the lack of postal deliveries in parts of south Co Dublin over the past weeks."

March 17, 2006 -- Air Cargo World has reported that "APX Logistics, the country's largest parcel consolidator, ceased operations on Thursday and the United States Postal Service was moving to take on large numbers of shipments caught in transit. Officials at APX, a California-based provider that claims $700 million in annual revenue, gave no reason for the shutdown. One senior executive said majority owner Heritage Partners had decided the business should file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Calls to Heritage, a private equity firm in Boston, were not immediately returned. Heritage formed APX in 2004 when it acquired the small package division of RR Donnelley Logistics and combined it with American Package Express."

March 17, 2006 -- The Belfast Telegraph has reported that "The Royal Mail in Northern Ireland is experiencing turbulent times with postal competition hotting up and ongoing threats of industrial action, a watchdog warned today. The independent regulator for the postal market, Postcomm, said the past few months - which witnessed major postal disruption in Belfast following an unofficial walkout - had affected the delivery of mail. However, Postcomm chairman, Nigel Stapleton, told the Belfast Telegraph that the problems facing the company were just a "hiccup" and added that Royal Mail's service quality is at an all-time high across the UK."

March 17, 2006 -- To complete the National Association of Major Mail Users (NAMMU) workshop series on interface, Canada Post hosts this Super Session on RVU and CRM processes. Current models will be presented, customer issues examined, ideas for improvement previewed. Open dialogue is encouraged and customer input is vital to the process. Discussion leaders include: Gerald Gervais, General Manager, Customer Service & Internet Channel; Susan Jahudka, Director, Order Acceptance Process; Steven Dineen, Director Commercial Service; Joe Addeo, Director Transaction Mail. Time and Place: 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. April 7, 2006 Canada Post Corporation Gateway – Mississauga Bonus: Preview an update on EST for Unaddressed Admail. Register Today! Questions? Call 416-977-3703."

March 17, 2006 -- According to the St. Petersburg Times, local residents are calling "for improved postal service."

March 17, 2006 -- Radio New Zealand has reported that "New Zealand Post will continue to cut costs as it faces falling mail volumes and higher fuel costs. mail volumes continue a steady decline, as people increasingly use email. New Zealand Post can counteract that somewhat, particularly in the business mail sphere, and pushing advertising such as circulars."

March 16, 2006 -- According to the Federal Times, "The U.S. Postal Service will not change its mail delivery practices following the February Supreme Court decision that allows a woman to sue the agency after she said she was injured when she tripped and fell over mail left on her porch."

March 16, 2006 -- According to Stuff.co.nz, "New Zealand Post made $34.7 million after tax in the six months to December, largely as a result of rapid growth at Kiwibank."

March 16, 2006 -- A copy of the Postal Service's March DMM Update has been posted on this site.

March 16, 2006 -- The USPS has posted on its ONE Code Solution web site, a document updated this week concerning the OneCode Confirm service it plans to implement based on using the 4-state barcode.

March 16, 2006 -- DHL unveiled its radio frequency identification (RFID) pilot project being developed in partnership with IBM at CeBIT, the annual information and technology trade fair in Hannover, Germany. DHL and IBM will demonstrate how the use of RFID-tagged packages can improve tracking and security for customers.

March 16, 2006 -- From the PR Newswire: "Customers using NetPost's Mailing Online now can send mail internationally. Mailing Online, a powerful printing and mailing service, combines the speed of the Internet with the effectiveness of traditional mail. Mailing Online offers an array of printing and mailing options to customize orders. With a few clicks of the mouse, customers can upload their document and address list and Mailing Online takes care of the rest: printing, folding, inserting, addressing, and applying the postage to each piece. Each piece is professionally prepared and mailed the next business day, if submitted by 1:30PM, EST."

March 16, 2006 -- MULTICHANNEL MERCHANT has heard from several sources that Santa Fe Springs, CA-based third-party logistics provider APX Logistics will file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection before the start of business March 16. Several sources confirm that the company will also no longer be serving the small parcel/small package business for the U.S. Postal Service. After midnight of March 15, the company will no longer process its small packages/small parcels."

March 16, 2006 -- According to the Associated Press, "Thousands of civil servants demanding higher salaries marched in the Sri Lankan capital on Thursday, part of a daylong nationwide strike that paralyzed the government. Health workers, teachers, postal employees and transportation workers took part."

March 16, 2006 -- According to Radio New Zealand, "New Zealand Post says net profit for the six months to December fell 14% to $34.7 million, partly reflecting a smaller contribution from Express Couriers. New Zealand Post now only holds 50% of Express Couriers and only gets 50% of its profits." See also Scoop.co.nz

March 16, 2006 -- KGO-TV has reported that "Identity theft is the fastest growing crime in the country and it's hard to find someone who hasn't been a victim. But some accuse a government agency of actually helping thieves gain access to personal information. Even in this age of technology, we still rely on regular mail to send and receive sensitive information. Yet some Bay Area consumers say the post office isn't providing strict enough protection for their mail. They say the current 'change of address' system itself needs changing."

March 16, 2006 -- From CCNMatthews: "Canada Post has reassured its bargaining agents, its employees and its customers that it remains open and transparent in its efforts to modernize its network and improve service."

March 15, 2006 -- Les Echos has reported that "Deutsche Post, the German postal service operator, announced yesterday that it had appointed Stephane Corthier as the new head of the express activities of its French subsidiary."

March 15, 2006 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that "TNT NV, the Dutch mail and express company, will invest $120 million over the next five years to boost its presence in India."

March 15, 2006 -- PC World has reported that "Three computer science researchers are warning that viruses embedded in radio tags used to identify and track goods are right around the corner, a danger so far overlooked by the industry's high interest in the technology."

March 15, 2006 -- The Newsletter.co.uk has reported that "THE future of postal services in the Province will be debated today at an event hosted by Postcomm, the independent regulator of postal services in the UK and Postwatch Northern Ireland, the consumer body. The joint seminar is the first opportunity for local business, the public sector and politicial representatives to engage directly with the postal services regulator since the UK mail market was opened up to full competition on January 1 this year."

March 15, 2006 -- The Financial Times has reported that "An extra penny could be added to the price of a first- class stamp to help Royal Mail absorb increases in its pension deficit, said Postcomm, the regulator of the state-owned postal operator. This would mean first class stamps would rise from 30p to 37p by 2010, according to the final version of proposed price controls published by Postcomm. The additional increase would be triggered if the £4.25bn pension deficit rose to more than £5.9bn."

March 15, 2006 -- Kyodo news service has reported that "Japan Post hopes to sell 540 billion yen worth of investment trusts through its post office network in fiscal 2006, 2.3 times more than its initial target."

March 15, 2006 -- From the Canada NewsWire: "The president of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, Deborah Bourque, will deliver a public ultimatum to her Canada Post counterpart, Moya Greene, calling on the Corporation to disclose its plans for public postal services. The ultimatum is part of "Operation Transparency," a campaign for Canada Post to publicly disclose all strategic planning documents or face the possibility of non-violent civil disobedience. The campaign plans will be unveiled during a national press conference to be held at 11 a.m., in Room 130-S of the Centre Block, followed by the delivery of the Ultimatum to Canada Post Place, 2701 Riverside Drive, at 2 p.m."

March 15, 2006 -- FedNewsOnline has noted that "William "Jack" Gentry received the 2006 Benjamin Franklin Community Newspaper and Postal Partnership Award of Excellence for going beyond the call of duty by "personally haul[ing] sacks of newspapers to distant offices to ensure timely delivery."

March 15, 2006 -- The Lafayette Journal and Courier has reported that "The city of Lafayette will lose about 100 jobs when a local mail-processing equipment manufacturer moves operations to the East Coast later this year. Pitney Bowes, which earned nearly $5.5 billion in 2005, is a global provider of mail and messaging solutions. It acquired full ownership interest of MailCode in late 2002."

March 15, 2006 -- According to the Postalnewsblog.com, "much of the politicians arguments have to do with the impact on the local economy if jobs move elsewhere. That's a reasonable political consideration, but it has nothing to do with moving the mail. If Tom Harkin, or the APWU want to prop up the local economy with postal jobs, they need to either show why those positions make economic sense for the USPS, or they need to come up with the money to pay for them from somewhere else (and admit that it's a political subsidy)."

March 15, 2006 -- From the Federal Register: "The U.S. Postal Service has published a final rule that adopts a new marking requirement for Bound Printed Matter (BPM) machinable parcels consisting of multiple pieces secured with transparent shrinkwrap. The new marking will enable our automated equipment to recognize that these BPM machinable parcels are intended for a single address. Under the new standards, mailers must use a firm optional endorsement line or apply a pressure-sensitive firm Label F. The new standards do not apply to BPM flats or irregular parcels. Effective Date: July 6, 2006."

March 15, 2006 -- The DM Bulletin has reported that "Postcomm has revised the terms of Royal Mail's 2006-2010 price control after industry consultation. The changes affect magazine delivery services, the front loading of price increases, and allows the postal operator to effect price increases should its pensions deficit climb."

March 15, 2006 -- Transport Intelligence has reported that:

Despite the strong overall performance, Deutsche Post CEO Klaus Zumwinkel commented that he didn't want to hide the fact that not all corporate divisions made the sort of contribution he would have liked. Accordingly he stated that further action was needed for the express business in the USA. Expanding on the challenges which its US operation faces, John Mullen, who heads up Express Americas, Asia Pacific and Emerging Markets, stated that service performance and financial improvement experienced in the first half of the year was undone by the unavoidable integration of DHL and Airborne networks.
TNT Newsfast, incorporating TNT Network Logistics, has taken delivery of the last of the 327 new vehicles to support recent contract wins. These include Charles Wells brewers, Oxford Stationery and Wrigleys as well as rapidly expanding TNT Mail.

March 14, 2006 -- From the PR Newswire: "The Postal Service is sponsoring two annual prizes for scholarship that highlight this rich history. The Moroney Awards for Scholarship on Postal History feature a junior prize of $1,000 for scholarship written or published by undergraduates or graduate students, and a senior prize of $2,000 for scholarship published by faculty members, independent scholars, public historians and other non-degree candidates. Submissions for both awards must be postmarked by December 1, 2006 and award winners will be announced by February 15, 2007. The scholarship can be on any topic of the American postal system from the colonial era to the present -- including the history of the imperial postal system that preceded the establishment of the American postal system in 1775. Though submissions must be historical in character, they can draw on the methods of disciplines other than history, including geography, cultural studies, literature, communications or economics. Award eligibility requirements, selection criteria and other information is available at http://www.usps.com/postalhistory/moroney.htm"

March 14, 2006 -- The Local has reported that "Strålfors, a Swedish company that produces printed forms, is to be bought by Posten, the state-owned postal service in a deal worth over 2 billion kronor. Posten is offering 95 kronor per share for the family firm, and Strålfors' board has unanimously recommended that shareholders accept the bid."

March 14, 2006 -- The Armenian News Network has noted that "Haypost, the Armenian postal service, will introduce new zip code system in Armenia effective April 1, 2006. Instead of the previous 6-digit postal code, new postal codes will contain 4 digits. The complete list of new postal codes and post offices is available at the Haypost website link: http://www.haypost.am/abt_offices.html"

March 14, 2006 -- ZDNet UK has reported that "Media tycoon Rupert Murdoch has issued a powerful warning of the disruptive force that technology can inflict on traditional business models. Murdoch, chief executive of News Corp, admitted that power was moving away from proprietors such as himself, towards a "new media audience" who use IT and the Web to "to inform, entertain and above all to educate themselves". This included bloggers, and Web users who access information and downloaded music and video online. "It is difficult, indeed dangerous, to underestimate the huge changes this revolution will bring or the power of developing technologies to build and destroy — not just companies but whole countries," said Murdoch, in a speech for the Worshipful Company of Stationers and Newspaper Makers. Where the blazes has he been?

March 14, 2006 -- The Belfast Telegraph has reported that "Disgruntled postal workers are to consult union members at Royal Mail to discuss the possibility of threatening a further strike. Royal Mail said this morning that it has not received any official notification of a ballot for industrial action from members of the Communications and Workers' Union (CWU)."

March 14, 2006 -- According to Editor & Publisher, "The annual "The State of the American News Media" report, to be released Monday, declares that while 2004 was a bad year for the newspaper industry, with circulation and advertising declines, "2005 was about three times worse" in some ways."

March 14, 2006 -- According to the San Bernardino County Sun, "It's more than understandable why postal deliveries in New Orleans are a months-long endeavor. It's certainly difficult to get mail to folks when not only the routes but the addresses have been wiped out - literally. But why do such problems persist in our high-and-dry region? Complaints have been coming in to local postal offices and to congressional representatives from patrons who report lost mail, no delivery or week-long waits. The most common complaint has been that mail is delivered after dark, sometimes as late as 10 p.m. No one seems able or willing to state a cause. A little honesty needs to come first before local postmasters begin reassessing routes."

March 14, 2006 -- Business News Americas has reported that "Brazil's Banco Postal wants to boost its customer base to 18 million from 4.5 million this year. Banco Postal is a joint venture between Brazil's largest private bank Banco Bradesco and the national post office Correiosfocuses. It focuses on low-income customers and offers loans and checking and savings accounts, among other services."

March 14, 2006 -- Asia Pulse has reported that "State postal service company PT Pos Indonesia is estimated to have suffered losses in 2005 for having to pay severance pay to pensioners and an increase in production costs."

March 14, 2006 -- Wireless Insight Asia has reported that "Gilat Satellite Networks will provide a broadband satellite communications network to the Federal State Unitary Enterprise Russian Post. A SkyEdge VSAT hub station will be deployed in the Siberian capital city and the network will provide broadband Internet access, always-on data communications for postal applications and telephony services to remote postal facilities throughout Siberia and far-eastern Russia."

March 14, 2006 -- According to Gulf Times, "Q-POST and the French Postal Corporation are exploring the possibility of signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the exchange of information, beneficial to people of the two countries, a Q-Post statement issued yesterday stated."

March 14, 2006 -- Financial Times has reported that;

Deutsche Post, the German postal and logistics group, forecast flat operating profit for 2006 on Tuesday and gave a weak outlook for its DHL express division, sending its shares sliding. Deutsche Post has grown through acquisitions, including DHL and Airborne in 2002, to be the world's largest logistics company. But it faces tough competition in the US from dominant rivals FedEx and UPS, and last month abandoned a target for DHL's US package delivery business to break even by the end of the year.
Royal Mail's leading competitor in the UK has intensified its campaign against the state-owned postal operator's request for £2bn of government money, writing to MPs to argue the funding would constitute "unfair state aid". The lobbying by TNT Mail, the UK arm of the Dutch postal group TPG, comes as parallel negotiations by Royal Mail with the government, its sole shareholder, and Postcomm, its regulator, near their climax.

March 14, 2006 -- From the Federal Register: "Postal Service Board of Governors Meeting. Times and Dates: 4 p.m., Wednesday, March 22, 2006; and 8:30 a.m., Thursday, March 23, 2006. Place: Washington, DC, at U.S. Postal Service Headquarters, 475 L'Enfant Plaza, SW. Status: March 22--4 p.m. (Closed); March 23--8:30 a.m. (Closed). Matters To Be Considered: 1. Strategic Planning. 2. Rate Case Planning. 3. Financial Update. 4. Labor Negotiations Planning. 5. Personnel Matters and Compensation Issues. 6. Postal Rate Commission Opinion and Recommended Decision in Docket No. MC2006-1, Parcel Return Service. 7. Postal Rate Commission Opinion and Recommended Decision in Docket No. MC2006-2, Extension of Market Test for Repositionable Notes."

March 14, 2006 -- The Sioux City Journal has reported that "While the decision could move a mail processing center from Iowa to South Dakota, Iowa 5th District Congressman Steve King and South Dakota Congresswoman Stephanie Herseth agreed that openness in the process is the key. King and Herseth said they support USPS running operations as efficiently as possible. They rebuffed the notion that injecting local input into the decision is a way of politicizing what is supposed to be a process setting operational decisions based on costs and efficiency."

March 14, 2006 -- The Daily Record has reported that "U.S. Postal Service officials with the Ellensburg Post Office will decide in the next two weeks whether changes in mail delivery will come to the more than 80 residents of Rosewood, a manufactured-home development off Mountain View Avenue. Residents say they want delivery to curbside post boxes to continue, according Jack Snell, president of the Rosewood Residents' Association. A petition to that effect was given to the post office, signed by 83 residents."

March 14, 2006 -- From Business Wire: "MoneyGram, a leading provider of global money transfer service, announced today that Poste Italiane, the Italian Post Office, has renewed a multi-year agreement with the company. Poste Italiane is a major agent for MoneyGram in Italy."

March 14, 2006 -- The Providence Journal has reported that "There was a time when the main U.S. Post Office was the place to go for taxes. You could find forms, instructions and booklets there, get your tax return done at no charge, and — on the filing deadline day each April — be greeted by live music, balloons and the smiling face of the postmaster. Now, you can't even find a federal income-tax form; the post office no longer stocks them."

March 14, 2006 -- AdWeek has reported that "AKQA said it has won the largest creative account in its history by being named the lead Web agency for the United States Postal Service. The project, an undisclosed share of a $55 million contract, calls for the San Francisco-based independent to design and maintain USPS.com, the postal service's main consumer Web destination."

March 14, 2006 -- GovExec.com has reported that "The information provided to the public by government-operated contact centers could be enhanced if agencies focused more on accuracy and had better guidance on performance measurements and oversight practices, the Government Accountability Office concluded in a new report. The report looked at contractor-run contact centers at the U.S. Postal Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, General Services Administration and departments of Defense, Labor and Education. GAO considered the use of four techniques for improving accuracy: regular review of the centers' information databases, monitoring of public contacts and center responses, post-inquiry satisfaction surveys and validation of contractor-prepared reports. Only two contact centers -- operated by GSA and USPS -- used all four of these practices."

March 13, 2006 -- According to eWeek, "Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) was invented more than 50 years ago but has so far failed to live up to its promise to connect everyday things through a wireless network and make it possible, in theory, to track every item ever produced.

March 13, 2006 -- According to the Associated Press, "A lot of people in New Orleans are asking the same question. Six months after Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast, mail delivery is limited and slow, even in the least-damaged New Orleans neighborhoods. Only first-class letters -- no magazines or bulk mail -- are delivered to working addresses in much of the New Orleans area, and they can take days, sometimes weeks, longer than normal to arrive. Delayed mail often results in interminable waits on hold to talk about missed letters or bills from the government, banks or other institutions and late fees from credit companies and utilities. Many companies offered grace periods to customers during the first few months after the storm, but they are less willing to do that now."

March 13, 2006 -- From the U.S. Postal Service: "It's not exactly the Olympics, but the Postal Service's 2005 Stamp Program did win three Gold Medals for its artistic and design excellence. A total of 20 prizes for stamp designs, illustrations, and the USA Philatelic catalog were awarded to the Postal Service by top graphic design publications and organizations."

March 13, 2006 -- From the PR Newswire: "Stamps.com(R) (Nasdaq: STMP), the leading provider of Internet-based postage services, today announced that the U.S. Postal Service has notified the public of a new market test for customized postage that is expected to begin later this month or next month, and is expected to continue for a period of two years. In addition, beginning with this new market test, the U.S. Postal Service is expected to lift the restriction on business advertising on customized postage, which has been in place since the second market test began in May 2005. Stamps.com plans to participate in the new market test with its PhotoStamps(R) product, and will begin marketing PhotoStamps for business use as soon as the business advertising restriction is lifted."

March 13, 2006 -- Rediff has reported that "Panicky courier cos want govt to rethink move March 13, 2006 19:28 IST The Competition Commission of India has called for wider consultation on amendment to Post Office Bill that among other things seeks to give exclusive rights to India Post for carrying letters weighing below 500 gms. Leading private courier companies also asked the government to hold wide-ranging consultation process on the proposed amendment to the Indian Post Office Act, 1898 saying implementing the bill in the current state would be a retrograde step for the country in terms of competition and level playing field."

March 13, 2006 -- According to the New York Times, "The third annual review of the state of American journalism found that while there were more media outlets this year than ever, they were covering less news. As part of the review, a special study looked at how a variety of outlets, including newspapers, television, radio and the Internet, covered a single day's worth of news and concluded that there was enormous repetition and amplification of just two dozen stories. Moreover, it said, "the incremental and even ephemeral nature of what the media define as news is striking."

March 13, 2006 -- AMEInfo has reported that "The Director General of Universal Postal Union (UPU), Mr. Edouard Dayan, expressed satisfaction at the preparations for the UPU Strategy Conference 2006, which will be attended by 1,000 delegates from 130 countries, at Grand Hyatt Dubai, from November 14 to 16, 2006."

March 13, 2006 -- According to Agence France Presse, "Postbank, the banking arm of the semi-privatised German postal service Deutsche Post, said that bottom-line profits rose by 13 percent to 492 million euros (585 million dollars) in 2005."

March 13, 2006 -- The Washington Post has reported that "Innovative Technologies Inc. of Chantilly won a $2.3 million contract from the Postal Service for television production support for its Bolger media unit."

March 13, 2006 -- Transport Intelligence has reported that:

TNT has announced that the minority shareholder in its Italian joint venture TNT Arvil, Ecotras S.R.L. of Milan, has given notice of the exercise of its option.
Sweden Post, Posten, has reported stronger earnings. Management commented that since 2003, it had turned financial crisis into stability. It achieved this through implementing efficiency measures in its mail division and increasing revenues within logistics and direct mail.

March 13, 2006 -- The Nigeria Daily Independent has reported that "Acting Postmaster-General of the Federation, Mallam Ibrahim Mori Baba, has explained the disappearance of Postal orders from the nation's post offices, saying that the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) was currently repackaging the service."

March 13, 2006 -- The General Services Administration (GSA) will hold its FY06 Mail Educational Forum "Solutions Today for Tomorrow's Challenges" March 22, 2006 at the GSA Auditorium located at 1800 F Street NW Washington, DC 20405 between the hours of 8:30 A.M. - 4:00 P.M. For additional information contact: Devoanna Reels Office - (202) 501-3781 Email - devoanna.reels@gsa.gov

March 13, 2006 -- Deutsche Post World Net AG wants to reorganise the European operations of its DHL mail delivery unit to better adjust to specific market conditions, head of DHL Peter Kruse told Welt am Sonntag.

March 13, 2006 -- The Financial Times has reported that "BBVA last week unveiled a money-transfer venture, one of the first of its kind for China, that will tie up its extensive US network with Bank of China, the country's second largest bank with some 11,600 branches. BBVA Bancomer has a network of 35,000 wiring locations in the US, including the US Postal Service and regional banks such as Wells Fargo."

March 12, 2006 -- Catalogers! CNET has reported that "international retailer Metro Group is showing off an intelligent dressing room at the CeBit trade show in Hannover, Germany. The technology lets you try on outfits without taking your clothes off. Basically, it scans your measurements and lets you see on a projection screen how a piece will look on you (no guarantees on how accurately it represents your booty in those jeans, however). You also get a list of suggested items that go along with the outfit you choose."

March 12, 2006 -- Here's some food for thought. The Washington Post has a story on "Electricity Deregulation: High Cost, Unmet Promises."

March 12, 2006 -- According to Reuters, "UPS Capital, a financial unit of United Parcel Service Inc. is set for major lending growth to U.S. small businesses and rising profitability over the next two years after tripling loans in 2005."

March 12, 2006 -- The El Paso Times has reported that "Delays in El Paso's standard-class mail delivery service that are affecting some merchants have drawn scrutiny from the office of U.S. Rep. Silvestre Reyes and prompted the U.S. Postal Service to hire temporary workers."

March 12, 2006 -- The Alaska Journal of Commerce has reported that "The Fairbanks North Star Borough filed an appeal with the U.S. Department of Transportation over the U.S. Postal Service's business plan to change how Barrow receives its bypass mail."

March 12, 2006 -- As the Houston Chronicle has noted, "For mail artists, the medium is the postal system. One thing they all have in common? Naked white envelopes make their skin crawl."

March 12, 2006 -- The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner has reported that "Sen. Ted Stevens wants to eliminate part of a law he wrote in 2002 that will otherwise force Alaska's Bush mail planes to be regulated like major airlines in a few years. Instead, Stevens wants to route more mail, starting in July, to the three Bush air carriers that already have upgraded to the higher regulatory level and fly mid-size planes. The proposed change would allow the U.S. Postal Service to start saving money sooner by putting mail on the more heavily regulated mid-size aircraft this summer. Facing a nationwide revenue shortfall of up to $1.8 billion this year, the service is struggling to cut costs in Alaska, where its expenses far exceed its income."

March 11, 2006 -- Peter Moore Software takes pleasure in introducing The 3602 Generator XP for Standard Mail to join its sister program, The 3541 Generator XP for Periodicals. The 3602 Generator XP is a Windows-based program that makes it a snap to create USPS 3602-R and 3602-N postage statements from keyed input. In order to simplify entry of data for repeat jobs, the program maintains a database of customers, permits, jobs, and postage statements. For further information, or to order, contact: PJM@PeterMoore.com

March 11, 2006 -- As the Washington Post has noted, when he appeared to speak before the National Newspaper Association, President Bush got a question from the audience on postal reform. Here is the question and the President's response:

QUESTION: Postal reform, which has been going on in Congress for about 10 years, was really pushed forward by a commission that you appointed. And it was passed overwhelmingly by both houses and we have this bill going to conference in April or May.
QUESTION: There's some concern that the administration may want to oppose this bill or veto it; it's so-called not favorable to the federal budget.
But there are things in that bill that are very important to the newspaper industry. And part of that is the funding that keeps rates fair because of some overpayment of military pensions that we don't think should be put on to the taxpayers, the ratepayers. So we would ask your support on behalf of us and Bonnie Mullins...
(LAUGHTER)
... to support that bill as it's in the Congress, if it comes to your desk, sir.
BUSH: As you know, we did support postal reform. And as you accurately noted, we got the process started. And we look forward to working with Congress on an acceptable bill.
Frankly, this issue hadn't made it to my desk prior to me arriving at this meeting. I'm mindful of the bill. I need to know more about the particulars before I make you a commitment one way or the other.

March 11, 2006 -- The Washington Post also has reported that "Claude A. Allen, who resigned last month as President Bush's top domestic policy adviser, was arrested this week in Montgomery County for allegedly swindling Target and Hecht's stores out of more than $5,000 in a refund scheme, police said." Allen had been the key White House executive concerning postal reform.

March 11, 2006 -- The Washington Post Co. yesterday announced plans to eliminate the equivalent of 80 newsroom positions over the next year by offering an early retirement plan to eligible employees and through attrition of full- and part-time workers. Like many newspapers suffering from declining circulation, The Post's revenue has remained flat for several years. The number of paid subscribers has declined 4 percent a year. The Post is trying to extend its reach by adding features to its Web site, such as blogs and podcasts, and with the launch of a Washington Post radio venture later this month."

March 11, 2006 -- Vowing to do "everything in its power to thwart the Postal Service's network realignment plan," the American Postal Workers Union's National Executive Board voted to approve a $5 dues assessment at a special meeting March 10. The assessment will help pay for an advertising campaign designed to make the public aware of the expected changes and the negative effect they will have on service to individual consumers and small businesses."

March 11, 2006 -- The next time anyone wants to grouse about "undeserving" or "overpaid" postal workers, show him the story that appeared in the Pensacola News Journal.

March 11, 2006 -- As Barrons has put it, "as airlines go, ABX Air is an odd duck."

March 11, 2006 -- According to The Guardian, "The security of the Royal Mail is being put at risk by widespread use by postal workers of unauthorised private cars to carry mail on their rounds, the Guardian has learned. Growing numbers of postmen are using their own vehicles to transport postal sacks, placing the bags at risk from thefts and break-ins."

March 11, 2006 -- The Belfast Telegraph has reported that "ROYAL Mail has come under fire after thousands of undelivered letters and packages were dumped in a Belfast store and left uncollected for three days. Three bags of mail addressed to residents in the Highfield, West Circular, Springfield and Springmartin areas of the city were left in a newsagency on Tuesday by a postman who said he would collect them later that day, but never returned. It is thought some of the letters were part of the massive backlog of mail which accumulated during last month's strike."

March 11, 2006 -- The Associated Press has reported that "The U.S. Postal Service is not doing enough to halt the illegal shipment of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco across the country, Sen. Charles Schumer charged Friday. Schumer, joined by New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, said he will introduce legislation next week in the Senate that will impose fines of at least $1,000 per offense and possible jail time for anyone convicted of mailing cigarettes through the Postal Service."

March 11, 2006 -- 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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March 11, 2006 -- The Association for Postal Commerce welcomes its newest member:

Gillespie MRM Princeton, 3450 Princeton Pike, Lawrenceville, NJ 08648-1206 represented by Thad J. Lee Production Supervisor.

March 11, 2006 -- The latest copy of the National Association of Postmasters of the U.S. electronic governmental affairs newsletter is available on the NAPUS web site.

March 10, 2006 -- Business Day has reported that "SECOND only to its former sibling Telkom, consumers love to hate the SA Post Office. It is regularly slammed as a useless bureaucratic giant that does little more than suck up taxpayers' money and lose letters. Judging by the latest financial results, there have been some encouraging shifts under way at the organisation. But does it have a future? That question applies more broadly to postal systems around the world, all of which are facing huge change. Globally, postal systems have been forced in recent years to adapt to a rapidly altering environment brought about by technological advances and competition. The biggest threat to the world's postal systems is the internet, whereby small and big postal items from a utility bill to an annual report can be sent electronically and then printed out at the other end. Further, many developed countries have opted to liberalise their markets, which means that traditional postal monopolies are falling away. Postal operators have to not only become self-sufficient but profitable."

March 10, 2006 -- Transport Intelligence has reported that "The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has released January traffic results showing that international freight traffic, strengthened by renewed activity in the global economy, continued its recent recovery with 5.3% growth. The level was well above its full-year traffic growth of 3.2% in 2005. International passenger traffic for the month grew by 6.2% year-on-year."

March 10, 2006 -- According to postal commentator Gene Del Polito, "So far, the U.S. Postal Service has done an amazing job reducing costs. Thus far, however, there is very little that mailers have seen from the Postal Service regarding any intent to increase the appeal of its products in the face of stiffening media competition. Here's one proposal to get the Postal Service going in a direction of added value and mail volume and revenue growth."

March 10, 2006 -- The CBC has reported that "The Canadian Union of Postal Workers says there is more mail than there are people to deliver it in St. John's and Mount Pearl. CUPW official Craig Dyer says since January, Canada Post has had fewer employees on the job than usual. Some workers are off on sick leave, he said, while some have been injured and others are on annual leave."

March 10, 2006 -- 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.

March 10, 2006 -- ZDNet U.K. has reported that "The EC is pushing for global standards and interoperability for RFID tagging but there is also concern that individual privacy could be compromised."

March 10, 2006 -- From the Federal Register:

March 10, 2006 -- According to Scoop.co.nz, "This Saturday, Posties from Rotorua to Whangarei will be joining their union's campaign for a five-day week by wearing a bright black and yellow armband with the slogan "5 on 2 off". Posties are happy to continue delivering all the mail but want to do it on week days only. Their union, the Postal Workers Federation, says this is possible under the deed of understanding between NZ Post and the government. That allows for NZ Post to shift to 5-day delivery if local communities vote in favour."

March 10, 2006 -- KVIA-TV has reported that "After receiving several complaints about mail delays in the Sun City, the ABC-7 I-Team investigates. El Pasoans tell ABC-7 they're concerned about getting their bills and important mail delivered to them. Postal Officials say there are absolutely no problems with first class, second class or express mail--virtually any mail with a stamp on it--including bills and account statements. However, James Coultress with US Postal Service, admits they are slightly behind, on delivering reduced rate mail or "standard" mail which is mostly advertising mail."

March 10, 2006 -- Union Network International (Uni) `has reported that "An agreement between the Communication Workers Union (UK) and Royal Mail has taken a very important step forward in developing the CWU's strategy of catching national average pay and dealing with change in the industry. It has been agreed that an efficiency review will take place across the company with local negotiations in every workplace being the key to agreeing where improvements and savings can be made. In addition, crucially agreement has been reached that a share of those savings will lift the basic pay of postal workers. In addition an assurance has been achieved that Royal Mail will not seek to replace full-time jobs with part-time jobs nor will any worker be compelled to go part-time."

March 10, 2006 -- African News Dimension has reported that "The year-on-year rate of inflation in February 2006 in Zimbabwe was 782 percent gaining 168.8 percentage points on the January rate of 613.2 percent. Goods and services which recorded the highest price increases were hair dressing shops which went up 3,312.6 percent, postal services which soared by 3,064.1 percent and rentals which went up by 2,083.7 percent."

March 10, 2006 -- The latest issue of the Universal Postal Union Direct Marketing Advisory Board Update has been posted on this site. In this issue:

March 10, 2006 -- Deutsche Post World Net is further expanding its international mail network: DHL Global Mail has reached an agreement with Yamato Holdings to form a joint venture in Japan for the Mail area. The new joint venture is the first of its kind in the country and will offer a full range of direct marketing services. DHL Global Mail, as the unit of Deutsche Post World Net responsible for the international mail business, will hold 49 percent and Yamato Holdings 51 percent of the shares. Deutsche Post World Net is therefore the first foreign service provider to make a successful entry into the Japanese mail market. See also the Kyodo news service and Reuters.

March 10, 2006 -- The Postal Rate Commission has issued a "Notice and Order Concerning Postal Service Motion for Expedited Issuance of a Recommended Decision" (MC2006-2).

March 10, 2006 -- The PostalNews Blog has noted that "Not a big surprise, considering their business- Netflix has filed as an intervenor in N2006-1, the Postal Rate Commission case where the Postal Service is requesting an advisory opinion on the potential service standard changes that could take place as the USPS proceeds with a realignment of its processing network. Netflix is one of the few companies whose entire business model is based on first class mail. As they say in their letter of intervention: 'Intervenor is an online DVD rental service providing more than 4 million members access to DVD movies. Members select movies to rent at the Netflix website (www.netflix.com) and receive delivery of their movies via First Class Mail. These rented DVDs are then returned to Netflix using First Class Mail. Intervenor's service could be impacted by the changes described in this proceeding.'"

March 10, 2006 -- The National League of Postmasters has reported that "The National League of Postmasters reports that on March 9, discussions were resumed on revamping the Work Service Credit System (WSC). The LEAGUE and NAPUS presidents along with Postal Headquarters officials participated in the meeting."

March 10, 2006 -- WNBC has reported that "The U.S. Postal Service has ordered a post office near where four people were killed in a postal substation to remove a memorial to the victims, saying the space was needed to help sell more items."

March 10, 2006 -- From I-Newswire: "ZIPCodeWorld.com is proud to announce the release of free online United States and Canada store locator service to all Web designers, Web developers and Webmasters. ZIPCodeWorld Store Locator Live generates an HTML form on your web site for your customers to find dealers, stores, or locations nearest them by ZIP code. The service is hosted in a dedicated server 24 x 7. ZIPCodeWorld.com handles all the programming code, hassle, and system maintenance. The results of your customers' searches will be shown on a pop-up Web page that has your own logo. The results show each location's distance from your customer, and even maps."

March 10, 2006 -- The Associated Press has reported that "Office gear maker Pitney Bowes Inc. said it will consider alternatives for its capital services business after a regulatory ruling that could delay a planned spinoff by a year. The Stamford, Conn.-based company -- which makes postal meters and other office machines -- said in April it would spin off its Capital Services unit, which provides financing for non-Pitney Bowes equipment. The agreement called for private-equity group Cerberus Capital Management LP to invest more than $100 million in the business, whose interests include capital equipment, vendor financing and commercial real estate."

March 10, 2006 -- From the Business Wire: "Intelligent Direct Marketing, Inc.(TM) (IDM), the leader in direct mail for the automotive industry, announced that it has added TrackMyMail to its direct mail promotions; providing the most reliable service in the business."

March 10, 2006 -- According to the La Canada Valley Sun, "Rep. David Dreier (R-San Dimas) has asked for an inquiry by the Committee on Government Reform into the U.S. Postal System's service delivery. Dreier is requesting the investigation based on several complaints from his constituents and small business owners in his district, including La Ca¤ada Flintridge, according to a letter written to the committee's chairman, Rep. Thomas Davis III (R-Virginia). "We have had so many problems in our district," said Mark Harmsen, district representative in Dreier's office. Harmsen said that they have received a variety of complaints from residents such as receiving their neighbors' mail and a sudden change in mail pick-up and delivery times at businesses."

March 9, 2006 -- NY1News has reported that "Bronx mail is about to be rerouted to Manhattan as part of a U.S. Postal Service study, but union members say the plans are flawed. The consolidation study means mail from three major Bronx postal centers, including the Bronx main post office on the Grand Concourse, will be sent to Morgan Station in Manhattan for sorting, then trucked back to customers in the Bronx."

March 9, 2006 -- NetImperative has reported that "Data management firm The REaD Group has launched a site that lets consumers control the post they receive by communicating directly with brands The site, www.itsmypost.com is a service borne out of The REaD Group's acquisition last year of My Right To Be Private. Itsmypost.com allows members of the public to register online, create a personal profile and decide from which companies they would like to receive mail communication. Itsmypost.com members will be able to express their wishes by post whereby a template letter, in accordance with the ICO guidelines, is generated by the service."

March 9, 2006 -- From the PR Newswire: "William "Jack" Gentry, a dedicated Florida postmaster who has gone beyond the call of duty to personally haul sacks of newspapers to distant offices to ensure timely delivery, is this year's winner of the Benjamin Franklin Community Newspaper and Postal Partnership Award of Excellence. The award was presented today by Postmaster General John E. Potter and National Newspaper Association (NNA) Postal Committee Chair Max Heath during the Association's 45th Annual Government Affairs Conference at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C."

March 9, 2006 -- TechWeb has reported that "DHL has tapped several companies to expand its radio frequency identification technology (RFID) projects within the supply chain. The logistics provider Wednesday said it's collaborating with IBM Corp., Intel Corp., Royal Philips Electronics N.V. and SAP AG."

March 9, 2006 -- The Universal Postal Union will be conducting two one-day conferences on the future of the world's postal systems. The first (April 28, 2006) will explore the development models that some of the world's more modern and innovateive posts have adopted in response to growing competition and increased market liberalization. The second (June 30, 2006) will be on postal regulation.

March 9, 2006 -- The USPS has posted on its web site (http://ribbs.usps.gov/onecodesolution/SPUSPS3200A.PDF) the specifications for the 4-state barcode (now renamed the "One Code Solution) for letter mail. PostCom urges all members to review the barcode specifications and communicate any questions or concerns to Kathy Siviter at kathys@postalconsulting.com. The USPS is expected to announce at the National Postal Forum a June 1st implementation date allowing mailers to use the 4-state barcode on letter mail, along with educational workshops, application process information, and certification information for using the 4-state barcode.

March 9, 2006 -- The Financial Times has reported that "Ministers have extended an agreement to minimise the closure of rural post offices until the autumn while the future of the loss-making network is discussed. The "no avoidable closures" deal between the government and Royal Mail to find a replacement when a local subpostmaster or mistress resigned, due to end this month, would be extended to the autumn, said Barry Gardiner, minister for competitiveness."

March 9, 2006 -- The Philadelphia Inquirer has reported that "Inmates at the Gloucester County Jail will become the first in New Jersey - and possibly the nation - to get all their personal mail via the Internet. E-mail will be sent to a central computer at the jail, inspected for coded gang messages, printed, and distributed. The jail will phase out U.S. Postal Service "snail mail" by the summer and handle all correspondence, with the exception of mail involving the inmates' legal cases, through a service called Jpay, authorities said."

March 9, 2006 -- According to the Daily News, "BotswanaPost has provided in its 2006/07 financial year sufficient funds for a major renovation of Sefhare Post Office as well as the construction of a public toilet to cater for all postal customers including old age pensioners."

March 9, 2006 -- ITP.net has reported that "The independent postal service in Qatar, Q-Post, announced today that it has implemented a new solution to help manage its finances. Q-Post will use Oracle Financials, part of the Oracle eBusiness Suite, to help manage the corporation's switch from cash-based accounting to accrual-based accounting, where revenue is recognised at the time a service is delivered rather than when the payment is received."

March 9, 2006 -- From the U.S. Postal Service: New Preparation for Periodicals. Flat-Size Mail Periodicals mailers currently may prepare two types of mixed area distribution center (ADC) bundles and sacks, including a new type of optional mixed ADC bundle and sack that improves service for Periodicals without adding processing costs. We published a proposal in Tuesday's Federal Register to make this optional separation a requirement beginning July 6, 2006.

March 9, 2006 -- The International Mailers Advisory Group (IMAG) will be holding its next scheduled membership meeting at the National Postal Forum in the Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center Monday, April 3rd - 4-6 p.m. Pitney Bowes, Inc. has kindly offered to host the meeting in their suite (please check with hotel on arrival for Suite #) Seating is limited, please RSVP by March 20 by contacting IMAG Executive Director Richard Miller. Among the topics to be discussed: Report on the State of IMAG...Update and discussion with USPS on products and services ... briefing on UPU private sector initiatives... relevant updates from last MTAC meeting ... update on Address Management and related issues ... 2006 forecast and comments from mailers...open forum on international issues.

March 8, 2006 -- Window Book mailing software announces its plans to keep pace with changes in the USPS drop ship destinations upgrade plan.

March 8, 2006 -- The Association for Postal Commerce welcomes its newest member:

NPI 3901 La Reunion Parkway Dallas, TX 75212-6012, represented by Henry Daboub, CEO/President.

NPI, has been designing leading-edge mail sorters for over 20 years, with over 1,000 machines in use worldwide. NPI sets the standard for affordable, high quality, low maintenance machines, while meeting the highest expectations in automated mail sorting with the industry's most compact design. Our exclusive technology can be configured into a number of modular designs to meet specific customer requirements for labor, floor space and cost. National Presort sorters are also equipped with the most advanced software-based readers in the industry: our Electrovision OCR and Omni-Directional BCR run with off the-shelf hardware using the latest Pentium processors. New technology upgrades for these readers are both inexpensive and as easy to install as loading a disk.

March 8, 2006 -- Soooo...exactly where in the U.S. are legislators trying to restrict your ability to use mail as a medium for business communication and commerce? Take a look at the chart that's been posted on this web site. Thanks go to DMA for providing this information.

March 8, 2006 -- CEP News (Courier-Express-Postal), published by the MRU Consultancy, has reported that:

"We're very well prepared for the IPO". Anton Wais, CEO of Austria's post. However, there were clearly disparate trends of development.
According to the official government website of the People's Republic of China, the country's State Council has endorsed the reform concept for China Post. Plans involve splitting the post in two parts: one purely administrative part will remain under the aegis of the Information Ministry. The other part will form China Post Group and take charge of the operating business in June this year.
The Swiss business federation Economiesuisse is calling for an extensive liberalisation of the postal market and a more limited definition of the universal service.
The German public service union Ver.di is critical of Deutsche Post's cost cutting programme.
Britain's DX Services experienced a significantly lower operating result on a slightly declining turnover. While the parcel and mail turnover remained stagnant, DX was largely able to absorb the decline in Document Exchange via higher prices introduced in April 2005.
TNT intends to use a large part of its logistics sales proceeds to finance the buyback of more shares.
The Hamburg-based mail order firm Otto has taken a first step toward opening German dispatch and warehouse centres to third parties.
The board of Austria's Osterreichische Post has announced its intention to reinforce B2B parcel delivery activities from this summer. The Austrian post is also planning to expand in (South-) Eastern and Western Europe.
TNT is planning a considerable expansion of its aircraft fleet capacity by 2007.
In the eyes of UPS the CEE region and the CIS remain growth markets. The Czech Republic, Hungary and Russia are definitive growth markets.

The MRU, founded in 1992, is the only consultancy in Europe, 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.

March 8, 2006 -- The Polish News Bulletin has reported that "The new CEO of national post office Poczta Polska, Zbigniew Niezgoda, will present his "opening report" describing the state of the company inherited after the previous management, to MPs. The report is expected to disclose several skeletons in the closet of the previous management. It will most likely point to organisational chaos, a result of changes implemented in September 2005 which created 12 "competency centres" and significantly increased the number of regional directors, which cost the firm ZL58m annually."

March 8, 2006 -- The Wall Street Journal has reported that "Lufthansa offered to cooperate with federal prosecutors investigating possible price-fixing and collusion in the global air-cargo industry, which could give Germany's largest airline immunity from criminal charges if it provides evidence against other carriers, lawyers and executives close to the case said."

March 8, 2006 -- According to the East Anglian Daily Times, "HUNDREDS of postal collections in rural East Anglia could be axed as the Royal Mail looks for more efficiency savings."

March 8, 2006 -- According to The Guardian, "Special Delivery is when you pay Royal Mail extra not to lose your parcel. The idea is that whatever you send is tracked through all stages of its perilous journey, and that the recipient signs for it before the postie hands it over. Given how much post Royal Mail manages to mislay each year, that should be a comforting back-up, but there's a glitch: anyone, it seems, can scrawl their name on the delivery log and pocket the goods."

March 8, 2006 -- From the PR Newswire: "Post offices are fast becoming a popular financial services distribution channel in the region. Approximately 42 percent of the revenue of post offices across Asia-Pacific is contributed by financial services, as opposed to 12 percent in industrial countries and 14 percent globally, according to the Universal Postal Union. "Post offices in Asia today offer a wide variety of financial services, either through postal payments or via a postal savings bank. Several Asian postal operators, led by India Post, Japan Post, Korea Post and Taiwan's Chunghwa Post have long been major providers of postal savings and postal life insurance products," comments Titien Ahmad, Head of Content, Asia-Pacific, VRL Publishing."

March 8, 2006 -- DMNews has reported that:

March 8, 2006 -- From PR Leap: "To improve the flexibility and cost effectiveness of a total outsourced customer care solution, Returned Mail Solutions announced the formation of a comprehensive suite of ala carte options for reducing and eliminating the growing concern with Returned Mail."

March 8, 2006 -- The latest Postal Legislative Update from the National Association of Postal Supervisors is available on this site.

March 8, 2006 -- The BBC has reported that "British postal workers have gone back to work today after seven weeks on strike. The 200,000 postmen and women voted by 14-1 yesterday in favour of a deal hammered out after more than 13 hours of talks at the Department of Employment on Friday. They had been demanding a 13% pay rise - but they have settled for a complex package which will award them wage increases after an inquiry into the efficiency of Post Office staff and management. Strikers are disappointed because they are being asked to return to work without even the 8% rise offered when the walk-out began on 20 January."

March 8, 2006 -- When it comes to the next postal rate case, according to postal commentator Kate Muth, "one thing is crystal clear to the mailing community. The Postal Service should not ask for a contingency fee in this upcoming case. The Postal Service is debt-free for the first time in its history. Borrowing should be the first option for handling any unforeseen events, such as higher fuel costs (can they go any higher?) or natural disasters that add to infrastructure costs."

March 8, 2006 -- According to the Times-Mail, "Ninth District U.S. Rep. Mike Sodrel has weighed in on the fight to keep 474-area ZIP code mail processing in Bloomington instead of being shifted to Indianapolis."

March 7, 2006 -- The Financial Times has reported that "Royal Mail has been accused by consumer watchdogs of "gamesmanship" by threatening to reject proposed postal price controls if the government refuses its application for £2bn of investment. Postwatch, the consumer body, said it was "ridiculous that customers, particularly large business customers, were not told months ago what the pricing structure from April will be". The uncertainty stems from complex negotiations between Royal Mail and both its regulator, Postcomm, and its sole shareholder, the government."

March 7, 2006 -- The Aberdeen News has reported that "A group concerned about mail service in Aberdeen met with the Aberdeen City Council on Monday to ask for their support. The group, led by Gail Ogdahl, president of the Aberdeen Area Chamber of Commerce, said if the Aberdeen mail service were to be consolidated with the mail processing center in Huron - which has been proposed by the United States Postal Service - it would hurt the Aberdeen community and its businesses."

March 7, 2006 -- As eWeek has noted, "RFID adoption is lacking, as companies are hurdled by the technology's high tag costs and low ROI. Be the first to comment on this article The bottom line for suppliers at last week's RFID World conference in Dallas: Implementing RFID is a necessary evil, but it doesn't come cheap."

March 7, 2006 -- The Associated Press has reported that "UPS Inc. (UPS), the world's largest shipping carrier, says it is shortening the amount of time it takes to deliver ground packages to major cities across the United States. The Atlanta company said Monday it has made improvements to its ground network over the past several months that are accelerating the transit times of more than a half-million packages nationwide by one day or more. The improvements revolve around lanes between certain major metropolitan areas."

March 7, 2006 -- The Polish News Bulletin has reported that "Puls Biznesu's Friday edition, in which the daily revealed that in the next two years the controversial J&S company will supply the Poczta Polska post office with petrol, has provoked a political storm. Law and Justice (PiS) politicians demanded explanations and there were even calls for the dismissal of Poczta Polska Director General Zbigniew Niezgoda. In an interview for Puls Biznesu from Tuesday, Niezgoda defends himself, saying that he had no other choice but to sign the agreement with J&S. Otherwise he would expose his company to the risk of paying penalties for canceling a tender organised by his predecessors and paralyse the office's transport services."

March 7, 2006 -- According to FedNews Online, "Katrina-impacted postal employees may remain in their current assignments, according to an amended agreement between the U.S. Postal Service and the American Postal Workers Union. The agreement, announced by the APWU on March 3, amends "the initial agreement made in November to provide for an alternative to the original reassignment agreement," said USPS Spokesman Dave Lewin."

March 7, 2006 -- According to Globes, "The Ministry of Finance has plans to allow Israel Postal Bank to compete with its commercial rivals."

March 7, 2006 -- KFOXTV has reported that "An employee from El Paso's Postal Distribution Center talked exclusively to KFOX and said mail is piling up untouched at the main post office and some of it's been there for over a week. It's a problem also affecting all El Paso post offices. The employee adds that some of those piles have been untouched for up to eight days."

March 7, 2006 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that "State and regional officials in Ohio reached a deal for the Dayton-Montgomery County Port Authority to finance the $300 million expansion of DHL's air park in Wilmington, the carrier's principal air and ground hub in the United States."

March 7, 2006 -- According to Air Cargo World, "Domestic postal traffic carried by United States airlines plunged 21.1 percent in January in the latest sign that the air carriers are failing to win back the mail business they have sought to recover. The domestic decline was the 10th straight monthly slide in the air carriers' postal traffic measured by the Air Transport Association and the 3.1 percent slip in international business meant the airlines hauled 15.3 percent less mail in January than they reported in the same month last year. The January decline follows a 7.8 percent system-wide decline in postal traffic for the airlines in 2005 and comes as the U.S. Postal Service is revamping its network operations again to make transporting mail more efficient."

March 7, 2006 -- From Business Wire: "ATG, whose technology powers leading e-commerce sites and corresponding e-marketing and customer service, today announced that Royal Mail Group plc has purchased, and will be using more elements of the ATG Customer Experience Platform. Royal Mail is increasing efforts to improve service to its customers and provide them with relevant, and rich customer service experiences across its brands - Royal Mail, Parcelforce Worldwide, and Post Office(R). Royal Mail Group plc is a public limited company, wholly owned by the British Government, with annual sales in excess of GBP 8 billion and 196,000 employees."

March 7, 2006 -- Les Echos has reported that "The French banks Societe Generale, BNP Paribas, Credit Agricole and Groupe Banque Populaire, along with ING of the Netherlands, announced on Friday that they have filed several complaints - with the French government and the courts - against the monopoly enjoyed by two banking networks on the distribution of the French national savings account, Livret A."

March 7, 2006 -- According to Gartner, "most enterprises will be unaffected by the AOL announcement. GoodMail simply extends "whitelist" services that AOL already offers. The GoodMail service — like AOL's free Enhanced White List (EWL) service, for which inclusion is based on a sender's e-mail track record over a certain time period — ensures that: E-mail marked "trusted" passes through AOL spam filters Images and links in such e-mails can be viewed immediately. However, Goodmail, unlike EWL, also gives senders delivery confirmation. Senders should expect to pay extra for such service, as they would for enhanced postal mail delivery. There is clearly a need to demonstrate e-mail and Web site authenticity, for purposes ranging from protection against "phishing" and other types of fraud to guaranteed delivery of important e-mails. AOL is only the first of many providers planning to offer upgraded services at additional cost. Certificate authorities, including VeriSign, Entrust and GeoTrust, are also considering offering fee-based "high-assurance certificates" to Web sites that wish to prove their trustworthiness. Ultimately, users may equate a GoodMail trust mark as a synonym for "to be deleted" junk mail — in which case, AOL would have to return back to doing the e-mail policing itself."

March 7, 2006 -- There's an interesting summary of a presentation on "Towards a New Postal Economics Paradigm for Developing Countries: A Few Preliminary Results" by Mr. José Anson, Postal Economics Expert – Universal Postal Union, posted on the PostInsight web site. See also the paper by former Postal Rate Commission staffer Robert H. Cohen on "The Role of Scale Economies in the Cost Behaviour of Posts."

March 6, 2006 -- The DM Bulletin has reported that "Postwatch has slammed Royal Mail for keeping business customers in the dark on future pricing and resorting to gamesmanship in negotiations with the postal regulator Postcomm. The postal customers' body said Royal Mail's customers want the operator's pricing structure from April confirmed as soon as possible, and called on Royal Mail to accept the deal on offer in Postcomm's final proposed price control."

March 6, 2006 -- As one UPI reporter noted, "You send a crucial e-mail on a Monday morning, but it doesn't arrive in the client's mailbox, across town, until Thursday afternoon. You lose a pending deal. Exasperating? Yes, but increasingly, as a result of the profound demands placed on e-mail network servers, including spam, spyware and viruses, legitimate e-mail messages that should take seconds to get to the intended recipient may take days, experts tell United Press International's Networking. E-mail delivery, it seems, is now sometimes as slow as the U.S. Postal Service. Last week the technology developer MX ToolBox Inc. launched the first ever e-mail performance index, the first index to rate the health and performance of thousands of e-mail systems across the globe, at www.mxtoolbox.com/MXWATCH.aspx.

March 6, 2006 -- From the PR Newswire: "Pitney Bowes Inc. has announced that its French subsidiary, Secap Groupe Pitney Bowes, a company that specializes in supplying mailstream equipment and solutions, has secured a major national deal with La Poste to provide Third Party Mailing Solutions (TPMS)."

March 6, 2006 -- According to Wall Street Journal, "Despite its position as the No. 1 operator in the European express market and the world's second-largest logistics provider, the recent boom in the logistics sector hasn't shaken speculation that former Dutch mail monopoly TNT is a potential takeover target. It has achieved solid growth during the past four years, but still lacks the heft of industry giants such as FedEx Corp. or Deutsche Post AG and has been distracted by an investigation into tax liabilities."

March 6, 2006 -- The Sunday Observer has noted that "Our part of the world is changing faster in technology and there is competition everywhere. The postal service in the country has to advance with new technology to compete with the private sector, said ICT Chairman Prof. V.K. Samaranayake, the chief guest at the launch of the new digital Pitney Bowes (PB) Franking Machines of the PB Company, USA. The product was launched by Brown and Company. Prof. Samaranayake said that it is very important that the two old institutions move forward together with modern technology. " Pitney Bowes are the best products of the world and that's why I am here today and don't allow all foreign products to be dumped here, Prof. Samaranayake said."

March 6, 2006 -- According to ThisIsMoney, "Royal Mail is expected to come under fire from the Office of Fair Trading for its failure to deliver cheques promptly. The Government watchdog is investigating the cheque payments system and is understood to have identified sluggish performance by the postal service as a huge hurdle in the cheque-clearing process for businesses and individuals."

March 6, 2006 -- DMNews has reported that "A service that lets consumers request to have currently received and new catalogs forwarded after they move has drawn a 23 percent online response rate since it launched in September. The U.S. Postal Service's free Catalog Request Card lets consumers inform catalogers of their new address and sign up to have new catalogs sent to that address. It helps the USPS direct catalogs to the moving public, letting retailers stay connected with current customers and obtain new ones. The program is an expansion of the postal service's official Internet Change of Address form that consumers use to have their mail forwarded. It is available through MoversGuide Online at www.usps.com and through the printed Mover's Guide found in post offices."

March 6, 2006 -- According to Mad.co.uk, "Royal Mail is reviewing its design agency roster to look after its packaging, internal and external communications. The five agencies currently on the Royal Mail's roster are Start Design, Open, Home, Design Group and Carter Wong Tomlin. The move comes only two months after the departure of the postal service's head of design for stamps, Jane Ryan."

March 6, 2006 -- The Slovene Press Agency has noted that "The chairman of Slovenia's state-run postal service has said that the company should be privatised in two steps, with a strategic owner allowed to buy 49% of the company within seven years."

March 6, 2006 -- China Tech News has reported that "Chinese online search engine Baidu.com (BIDU) has launched a postal code search service in cooperation with the Address Information Center of the China Postal Administration. With this service users can find 37823 post codes in 354 cities across China, as well as other relevant postal information."

March 5, 2006 -- The Houston Chronicle has reported that "Continental Airlines' aggressive international expansion is triggering business opportunities that go back to the very roots of the airline industry — carrying mail. "Our focus is to grow mail internationally," said Dana Bates, Continental's manager of cargo marketing. "And that is where we are seeing the biggest growth and the biggest potential." Last year, Continental's mail business grew more than 3 percent and generated $50 million in revenue, based, in part, on one of its newest international routes, Beijing to Newark."

March 5, 2006 -- The Financial Times has reported that "Royal Mail says it is still "pushing hard" for government approval to give 20 per cent of its shares to staff, as part of its application for £2bn of state money."

If you've never attended a National Postal Forum, or haven't been to one in years, there's never been a better, or financially, more important time to attend because of the first ever Address Quality Symposium offered at this year's National Postal Forum in Orlando, Florida.

March 5, 2006 -- According to the Sun Star Baguio, "THE Philippine Postal Corporation (PhilPost) and the Universal Postal Union (UPU) based in Berne, Switzerland launched the 35th International Letter-Writing competition for young people to promote better understanding around the world through the postal service. In cooperation with the Department of Education, the competition will focus on the theme "I am writing to tell you how the postal service helps me connect with the world."

March 5, 2006 -- AMEInfo has reported that "Emirates Post and the Asia Pacific Postal College, Bangkok, have resolved to enhance mutual cooperation in training matters, following a recent visit by an Emirates Post team to Thailand."

March 5, 2006 -- NewKerala has reported that "Industry chamber CII today said Postal Amendment Bill should not be presented in Parliament in haste, as its proposal to prevent private players from carrying documents weighing less than 500 gm would distort the market. "There needs to be a wider discussion and consensus on the elements of the Postal bill, before it is presented to the Parliament," the Confederation of Indian Industry said. The draft of the Post Office (Amendment) Bill seeks to give India Post exclusive rights to carry all documents weighing below 500 gm, thereby expanding the department's monopoly, it added."

March 4, 2006 -- AMEInfo has reported that "Empost, the UAE's national courier service, recently signed an agreement with Emirates Technologies to meet all domestic and international courier requirements of the UAE based technology solution provider."

March 4, 2006 -- According to the BBC, "Sir Menzies Campbell has scored his first victory as Liberal Democrat leader after party members backed the part-privatisation of the Royal Mail."

March 4, 2006 -- The Independent has reported that "Sir Menzies Campbell nailed his colours to the cause of modernisation when he used his first speech to Liberal Democrat activists to back plans for the part-privatisation of the Royal Mail. The new Liberal Democrat leader threw his weight behind the policy to sell off a minority stake in the Royal Mail, sparking claims that he was moving the party to the right."

March 4, 2006 -- Posted here is an article by former Kappel Commission executive director Murray Comarow on "How Not To Reform Government." In this paper, Comarow takes a very critical stance on current postal reform efforts.

March 4, 2006 -- The Guernsey Press and Star has reported that "As the Guernsey Consumer Group came out in favour of their retention, Postwatch said that it had taken public opinion on board, but still believed it would be better if they went. ‘Yes – doing nothing is an option and it is quite possibly the easy answer, but it doesn't solve the problem,' said the watchdog in a statement. ‘It is important that customers understand that postal costs will need to rise even more in order to pay for that decision. ‘One of the reasons we support making changes, and that includes investigating the use of a mobile post office, is that we genuinely believe – looking at this from the perspective of all customers – that a mobile could have wider benefits, bringing postal services back to customers."

March 4, 2006 -- From the PR Newswire: "Pitney Bowes Inc. has reaffirmed its company strategy to expand in the global mailstream industry, and executives recently outlined numerous initiatives to capitalize in the especially high growth segments of this huge market. Speaking at a conference for financial analysts and institutional investors in New York on March 1, Pitney Bowes Chairman and CEO Michael J. Critelli said the company sees several trends that make the mailstream an attractive place for Pitney Bowes to continue to invest. Critelli described the mailstream as a massive market, comprising the data, software, hardware and services that enable the movement every year of more than 500 billion unique mail pieces worldwide, as well as the creation and movement of countless billions more documents within large organizations."

March 4, 2006 -- The National Postal Museum, Smithsonian Institution Washington, D.C. has issued its Call for Papers: The Winton M. Blount Symposium on Postal History Nov. 3-4, 2006. The deadline for submitting papers is July 1, 2006. The conference will open Friday evening Nov. 3 with a reception and plenary panel discussion on the topic "What is postal history?" Invited speakers include Michael Laurence, editor, "Classics Chronicle"; Richard R. John, professor, University of Illinois at Chicago; John Willis, historian, Canadian Postal Museum; and Maynard H. Benjamin, president and CEO, Envelope Manufacturers Association.

March 4, 2006 -- According to the Postalnews blog, "Beyond his cameo role the Bush 2000 ‘election' saga, USPS Board of Governors nominee Mickey Barnett is best known in New Mexico as a lobbyist and GOP power broker. One of his big clients has been the payday loan industry, which hired him to oppose regulations that could have limited such abusive practices as triple-digit interest rates. Another client is an Indian tribe which he helped in its fight against a union organizing effort."

March 4, 2006 -- The latest issue of the PostCom Bulletin is available online. In this issue:

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March 4, 2006 -- The Communication Workers Union has told its members that "An agreement between the Union and Royal Mail takes a very important step forward in developing the Unions strategy of catching national average pay and dealing with change in the industry. It has been agreed that an efficiency review will take place across the company with local negotiations in every workplace being the key to agreeing where improvements and savings can be made. In addition, crucially agreement has been reached that a share of those savings will lift the basic pay of postal workers. In addition an assurance has been achieved that Royal Mail will not seek to replace full-time jobs with part-time jobs nor will any worker be compelled to go part-time."

March 4, 2006 -- Cumbria Online has reported that "CUMBRIAN MP David Maclean has demanded that plans to abandon afternoon collection times from at least 83 post boxes in and around Carlisle are put on hold so a full public consultation can be held."

March 4, 2006 -- A paper entitled "An Economic Framework for Modeling Mail Processing Costs" Prepared for The Office of the Consumer Advocate The Postal Rate Commission By Mark J. Roberts Department of Economics The Pennsylvania State University has been posted on the PRC web site.

March 4, 2006 -- According to Fiji Times, "WHILE many postal companies around the world are struggling, Post Fiji has a different story to tell. One of the Government's blue chip companies, it recorded a $1.69million profit and paid a dividend of a little over $700,000 last year."

March 3, 2006 -- According to Traffic World, "FedEx is raising its fuel surcharges as of March 6, by a full percentage point for its Express air cargo services and by a quarter-point for its Ground shipments."

March 3, 2006 -- The National Association of Letter Carriers has informed its members that "All letter carriers will receive a contractual cost-of-living adjustment of 23 cents an hour, $18.40 per pay period and $478 annually effective the pay period beginning March 18, 2006 (pay date April 7, 2006). The $478 COLA is the seventh of eight regular COLAs provided by the 2001-2006 National Agreement between NALC and the USPS. The $478 COLA raised the total increase in annual pay for top rate carriers (CC Grade 1, Step O) to $48,428 annually, an increase of $5,793 or $222.81 per pay period since the beginning of the contract. COLAs have accounted for nearly 50 percent of the total increase in salary."

March 3, 2006 -- The American Postal Workers Union informed its members that "Members of the APWU bargaining unit at the privately-operated Mail Transportation Equipment Service Center in suburban Detroit overwhelmingly ratified a five-year contract Feb. 24; the APWU membership at the Pittsburgh MTESC approved a separate and similar agreement on Feb. 28. Both MTESC facilities are operated by Serco, which purchased Resource Consultants Inc. in March 2005. Two years earlier, RCI and APWU had negotiated the first Detroit MTESC contract, a three-year pact expiring Feb. 28 that covers 125 workers."

March 3, 2006 -- In its latest DMM Advisory, the U.S. Postal Service noted that "On October 17, 2005, we submitted a request to the Postal Rate Commission (PRC) to make Parcel Return Service a permanent service. Today, the Postal Rate Commission (PRC) issued its Opinion and Recommended Decision. The Governors will review the PRC's Opinion and Recommended Decision and, if approved, the Board of Governors will set the implementation date. The complete Opinion and Recommended Decision is available on the PRC Web site at www.prc.gov."

March 3, 2006 -- The Postal Rate Commission has issued a recommended decision accepting the stipulation and agreement to make the Parcel Return Service a permanent service.

March 3, 2006 -- 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: "Postal Conference Still Waiting for House Conferees."

March 3, 2006 -- CNET News has reported that "America Online intends to pick up the costs for nonprofit groups that wish to send e-mails to AOL members, a move that comes less than a week after a consortium spoke out against the company's plan to charge for a new bulk e-mail service. Dulles, Va.-based AOL said Friday that it will offer nonprofit organizations two new free e-mail options that possess many of the features, including images and Web links, of the company's premium service designed for commercial mass e-mail."

March 3, 2006 -- Shanghai Daily has reported that "CHINA Post is in talks to sell stakes in a savings bank to be set up in June to China Telecom and China Unicom."

March 3, 2006 -- According to the Derry Journal, "THE HEAD of the postal union in Derry last night threatened industrial action if Royal Mail force through a cost-cutting proposal to transfer its mail transport service from Derry to Belfast. Charlie Kelly of the Communication Workers' Union (CWU) hit out at the plan which he says will have a major impact on mail deliveries and postal staff in the city."

March 3, 2006 -- Business News Americas has reported that "Cuba's post office service is planning to boost digitalization in its 1,300 offices around the country in 2006, local daily Cuba Ahora reported. The company is currently digitalizing a street map guide including postal codes for the whole country, according to Correos de Cuba's vice president Luis Chaviano."

March 3, 2006 -- As the Associated Press has noted, "Wednesday after a Wall Street analyst expressed confidence that the company can deliver strong near-term results in the fierce competition with rival United Parcel Service Inc. The Memphis-based delivery company -- which also owns document services provider FedEx Kinko's -- reported in December that second-quarter profit jumped 33 percent. Edward Wolfe, an analyst with Bear Stearns, believes the company is on track to again wow investors with results in the current quarter."

March 3, 2006 -- The Palisadian-Post has noted that "Last Thursday, the Postal Service conducted a media tour of the plant, which is located about seven miles south of downtown. The L.A. center occupies 74 acres. With 1.1 million square feet under its roof, the facility is the largest of its kind, on one level, in the nation. It processes about 23 million pieces of mail daily. The Postal Service maintains that the Marina consolidation is unrelated to service problems that Palisades residents have been and still are experiencing. However, officials acknowledge internal kinks'both at the L.A. plant and here at the La Cruz station'that are affecting local mail delivery as they are being ironed out."

March 3, 2006 -- According to Newswire.co.nz, "New Zealand Post says Saturday postal deliveries are not under threat despite a proposal by the postal workers union to end them."

March 3, 2006 -- The President has nominated Mickey D. Barnett, of New Mexico, to be a Governor of the United States Postal Service for a Term Expiring December 8, 2013. He replaces Robert Rider. The White House also nominated Katherine C. Tobin, of New York, to be a Governor of the United States Postal Service for a term expiring December 8, 2012, replacing David Fineman.

March 3, 2006 -- According to The Herald, "the country's premier postal service company, Zimpost (Private) Limited said it is going to renovate and rebrand its branches around the country so as to keep in alliance with its corporate identity."

March 3, 2006 -- WGAL.com has reported that "A lot of personal information goes through your mailbox -- things like credit card numbers, checking account numbers, sometimes even your Social Security number. It's all the information an identity thief would need to become you. "There's always a chance someone may hit upon your mailbox, whether by opportunity or by targeting your mailbox," said postal inspector Tom Kochman. Kochman urges consumers to retrieve their mail as soon as it's delivered and to be especially careful with outgoing mail containing checks."

March 3, 2006 -- According to Hunts Post, "postal workers have launched a protest at the decision by Royal Mail to reduce the opening hours for parcel offices."

March 3, 2006 -- According to the San Jose Mercury News, "A computer networking glitch is causing aggravation for postal customers across the United States, including here in the Bay Area."

March 3, 2006 -- Newswire.co.nz has reported that "The union representing most postal workers says a pay increase may be more important for its members than a rival union's proposed end to Saturday deliveries. The Postal Workers Federation is seeking five day a week mail deliveries as part of its upcoming contract negotiations. The Postal Workers Federation represents about 500 posties, compared with the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union which represents 1000 posties."

March 3, 2006 -- From Market Wire: "Endicia today announced their next generation Tiger-only customized postage application, PictureItPostage for Mac V2.0. PictureItPostage lets consumers create postage using their own pictures for special mailings such as wedding and birthday invitations, holiday cards and thank you notes. PictureItPostage for Mac V2.0 seamlessly integrates with iPhoto and features iSight integration, multiple sheet discounts, and easy image editing."

March 2, 2006 -- From Business Wire, "Multi-Media Productions (USA), Inc. announces that the U.S. Postal Service is scheduled to appear on World Business Review, hosted by General Alexander Haig. As "e-advertising" continues to flourish, direct mail is considered by many advertising professionals to be one of the most effective means of reaching and influencing consumers. In this segment of World Business Review, George Hurst, Manager of Direct Mail for the U.S. Postal Service explains the many advantages and benefits associated with direct mail."

March 2, 2006 -- According to Newswire.co.nz, "Some posties will be wearing bright orange head bands this weekend in an effort to get the public behind their battle to end Saturday mail deliveries."

March 2, 2006 -- MTAC Workgroup 97 last week unveiled the culmination of its work - a 45-page document that includes 27 best practices in address quality, covering categories such as address management, information dissemination, ways policies can be improved upon, and more. PostCom urges members to review the best practices guide, which both the USPS and industry acknowledge as a tremendous foundation to help companies reduce Undeliverable As Addressed (UAA) mail throughout the industry. The USPS said it is considering using the guide for its sales force, PCCs, webinars and trade shows.

March 2, 2006 -- The U.S. Postal Service has issued a notice of upcoming mail preparation changes.

March 2, 2006 -- The Daily Yomiuri has reported that "The government has begun discussions about revising the mail delivery system to encourage increased participation by the private sector. Internal Affairs and Communications Minister Heizo Takenaka, who is in charge of postal privatization, has set up a private panel to study the possible revision of the mail delivery law on behalf of Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi. The panel plans to issue a final report by June."

March 2, 2006 -- According to AFX Asia, "China will set up a new body, to be called the State Post Group Co, this June to operate postal services. The State Post Group will take over postal services, including express delivery, logistics and savings, from the State Post Bureau of China."

March 2, 2006 -- According to Business First, "United Parcel Service Inc. is hiring about 1,500 part-time workers in Louisivlle to accommodate its growing shipping volume, particularly in heavy freight."

March 2, 2006 -- Al Bawaba has noted that "In keeping with its spirit of global volunteerism, UPS has shipped more than seven tons of relief materials to victims of the recent earthquake in Pakistan. Tents, sleeping bags, gas heaters, and clothing were collected by UPS UAE L.L.C. and delivered to the Pakistani Prime Ministers Earthquake Relief Cell."

March 2, 2006 -- Be sure to check out "Behind the Numbers: A Look at USPS Financial Performance" by the National Association of Letter Carriers.

March 2, 2006 -- Community Dispatch.com has noted that "Making it easier to mail wedding invitations, the U.S. Postal Service issued the Our Wedding stamp booklet containing two beautiful new stamps. The one-ounce stamp is intended for use on the RSVP envelope often enclosed with a wedding invitation; the two-ounce stamp will accommodate the normal weight of a wedding invitation with enclosures."

March 2, 2006 -- According to TMCNet, "A multibillion project of stateowned Philippine Postal Corp. (Philpost) yesterday received an endorsement from a National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA)-led committee for final approval by the Cabinet."

March 2, 2006 -- According to the Bedford Times-News, "Local residents have reason to be concerned about a new U.S. Postal Service study. At issue is where mail gets sorted. And if the outcome means slower service, then local postal customers will be among those paying the price."

March 2, 2006 -- KSDK-TV has reported that "An I-Team investigation has uncovered potentially serious problems at the downtown St. Louis post office. Groups impacted say these problems are affecting hundreds of St. Louisans, their churches, and their charities. The problems have been reported since October but postal officials either can't or won't tell us how many local charities and churches are impacted."

March 2, 2006 -- As one writer told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, "A recent paid advertisement, submitted by a local postal union, asks the question, "Why is the Postal Service planning to delay your mail?" Presented within this question is the false premise that consolidating first-class mail processing from Westmoreland County with existing Pittsburgh operations somehow creates a delay in mail service for Westmoreland County residents. This is simply not true."

March 2, 2006 -- KGBT-TV has reported that "With a drop in business and a growing list of competitors, the U.S. Postal Service is looking for ways to cut down on costs and increase efficiency. And, one way it's looking to do that would involve a major reorganization of the mail system of the Valley. A proposal to move the processing of the Valley's mail out of McAllen and to Corpus Christi has local postal workers like Martinez worried they'll lose their jobs."

[Mike Winn] March 2, 2006 -- Reported by DM News:

March 2, 2006 -- From the Federal Register: "Postal Rate Commissioners and advisory staff members will tour several newspaper, courier and postal facilities in Florida on March 5- 7, 2006. Sites include the Miami Herald (in Miami); the Sun-Sentinel (in Fort Lauderdale), both on March 5; DHL Global Mail (in Fort Lauderdale) on March 6; and the Postal Service's International mail facility (in Miami) on March 7. The purpose is to view and discuss the newspapers' mailing-related operations; to observe DHL's operations and discuss how it interfaces with the Postal Service; and to examine Postal Service international mail operations."

March 2, 2006 -- In the State Port Pilot's view of things: ‘Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night nor explosive population growth stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.'

March 2, 2006 -- Here's a first. "The Postal Rate Commission has designated Ms. April Boston, who currently serves as Special Assistant to Commissioner Tony Hammond, to represent the interests of the general public in this proceeding (N2006-1). The Office of the Consumer Advocate is directed to provide litigation and staff support to Ms. Boston in fulfilling her duties under this order."

March 1, 2006 -- According to the Edinburgh Evening News, "a postal service watchdog has urged Royal Mail to improve services in Edinburgh after it found that only 92 per cent of letters posted first class in the Capital were delivered the next day. Postwatch Scotland said Edinburgh was one of the worst areas in Scotland and only deliveries in Motherwell took longer."

March 1, 2006 -- From the PR Newswire: "Each week Americans move into thousands of newly constructed homes, and in the nine months that follow, they spend three times more than the average family. Recognizing this opportunity, ADVO, Inc. has introduced the nation's first mailing list of newly constructed homes, updated weekly with up to 40,000 addresses. This valuable new list enables retailers to reach these high-spending households quickly, and directly, with information and offers from their nearby stores. Consumers moving into brand-new homes typically need hardware and home improvement, electronics, furnishing, decorating, kitchen and bath, lawn and garden, and other products and services. And as they settle in, they are looking to establish relationships with restaurants and take-in services, grocers and many other local service and entertainment providers."

March 1, 2006 -- Ghana News Today has reported that "Ghana is to host a five-nation sub-regional Review Meeting on Road Transmission of Mails among Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in Accra. The review meeting was against the backdrop of delays in mail conveyance among West African countries resulting from uncertainty and unreliable time schedules of the various airlines operating along the West Coast of Africa. "

March 1, 2006 -- Globes has reported that "Prices of postal services and products will increase today by 9-12%. The price hikes follow the decision to turn the postal authority into a government company named "Israel Post", a move that requires it to add VAT to its prices."

March 1, 2006 -- CEP News (Courier-Express-Postal), published by the MRU Consultancy, has reported that:

Osterreichische Post AG is approaching its IPO with a 2.9% increase in turnover and a net profit twice as high as last year's.
Schweizerische Post confirmed the take-over of Kloten-based oneReason AG. Backdated to 1 January 2006, the acquisition will reinforce the post's scanning and archiving service range. oneReason is a spin-off from the Siemens group, founded in 2000 and specialising in efficient digital document management.
Germany's Morgenpost Briefservice intends to deal with mail from private customers, too. Last week the company announced that stamps would go on sale at news agents, as is customary in many southern European countries.
Peter Schaar, Germany's data privacy commissioner, will be investigating Deutsche Post's delivery operations. The daily "Morgenpost" had reported that postmen were using front gardens in residential areas for temporary storage of boxes full of mail. Complaints from residents were ignored.
Swiss trade unions say hiving off the parcel post and turning it into a plc is illegal. Christian Levrat, president of the union "Kommunikation", accused the post of a "unilateral breach of agreement" and said that when PTT was split up the original parliamentary consensus had foreseen an arrangement under which public law would continue to apply to the post's employees.

The MRU, founded in 1992, is the only consultancy in Europe, 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.

March 1, 2006 -- The Guardian has reported that "Royal Mail said yesterday deliveries of both first and second class mail beat performance targets in the last quarter of 2005. It said 94% of first class mail arrived the day after posting, against a target of 93%. Royal Mail said both first and second class mail had been at or above target for more than a year and 10 out of 13 categories of mail delivery hit their targets in the last quarter of 2005."

March 1, 2006 -- Handlesblatt has reported that "Deutsche Post, the German postal service operator, is now active in energy and water metering data management services for more than 70 energy suppliers. Customers are required to read their own meters, while the postal service operator is responsible for ensuring that reminders be printed and that they reach customers, as well as for address research for returned mail, resending and billing."

March 1, 2006 -- According to Reuters, Investors say a long-term growth strategy at top package delivery firm United Parcel Service Inc. to build "supply chains" with customers looks sound even if it less profitable than traditional UPS delivery services."

March 1, 2006 -- According to Tech Target, "Job scheduling software keeps the IT operations at the United Parcel Service of America, Inc. (UPS) running efficiently as its deliveries, it claims. UPS uses Cybermation Inc.'s ESP, an automation tool to schedule batch processing across mainframe and distributed systems. The company uses it to schedule jobs for payroll, ledgers, tracking packages and managing customs regulations."

March 1, 2006 -- The Belfast Daily Telegraph has reported that "A series of crunch meetings were due to be held today between Royal Mail, union officials and politicians in a bid to improve employee relations and divert threatened strike action. Management and members of the Communication Workers' Union (CWU) were due to meet to finalise the selection of an agreed independent third party to carry out a review of industrial relations within the company - a key demand of workers who staged an unofficial strike last month. Meetings will also continue in a bid to iron out postal workers' grievances which last week sparked calls for a ballot to officially strike."

March 1, 2006 -- The New York Sun has reported that "America Online's plan to start charging for e-mails has run into the opposition of an array of not-for-profit organizations, who yesterday launched a campaign to persuade the Internet giant to change its mind. More than 50 not-for-profit organizations joined together to try to convince AOL to abandon its plans to introduce a system under which some e-mail senders would pay to guarantee that their messages are delivered and not intercepted by spam filters." See also the Financial Times.

March 1, 2006 -- According to The Monitor, "Local, state and federal officials sounded an alarm Tuesday about a U.S. Postal Service study that could lead to shifting the Rio Grande Valley's outgoing mail processing operation to Corpus Christi. Union officials worry the consolidation would cost some local postal workers their jobs, delay local mail delivery, replace local postmarks with the Corpus Christi postmark and delay postmarking altogether."

March 1, 2006 -- The Associated Press has reported that "Drug traffickers are increasingly using postal services for smuggling, the U.N. drug control agency said Wednesday, urging countries to improve efforts to screen packages. Nations must enact legislation to better check international mail routes in and out of their countries, the Vienna-based International Narcotics Control Board said in its annual report released Wednesday. Such legislation should also allow the search of international mail courier companies, it said."

March 1, 2006 -- Transport Intelligence has reported that "It has been reported that German private investor Cornelius Geber and his backers, Blackstone, a US private equity group, have abandoned their plans to acquire Dutch mail, express and logistics provider TNT. Apparently the decision was made following the premature release of news of their intentions leading to a sharp increase in TNT's share price. The price was also driven up by the intervention of hedge funds which consequently made the group too expensive for the consortium. The announcement will come as a relief to TNT's management which over the past few months has started to re-focus its operations on its mail, express and freight forwarding networks."