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Postal News from May 2006:

May 31, 2006 -- Be sure to check the PostInsight web site for the presentation by EMA President Maynard Benjamin on "The Envelope – It Is More Than A Document Cover – It's Your Brand!"

May 31, 2006 -- Postal Service teamwork, attention to quality, and international mail-processing efficiencies in meeting customer needs were recognized today by the International Post Corporation (IPC). The IPC awarded its “Certificate of Excellence” in management and processing of international letter mail to the U.S. Postal Service’s New York (JFK) International Service Center (ISC). The IPC is a cooperative association of 23 national postal administrations and operators—including the U.S. Postal Service—from North America, Europe and the Pacific, whose mission is to provide assistance and expertise in developing and improving international postal services.

May 31, 2006 -- PostCom Members! Be sure to see the Open Letter to all PostCom members from PostCom board chairman Jim O'Brien concerning a recent meeting with the Postmaster General on issues of great concern to the membership.

May 31, 2006 -- BÖWE BELL + HOWELL has announced dramatic enhancements to its Enduro inserting system. EnduroÒ has been identified by many as one of the most efficient gripper arm inserters ever built, but BÖWE BELL + HOWELL pushed the technology forward once again. Effective immediately, an option to add pneumatic gripper arms on Enduro will be available. Future owners of Enduro can choose to employ either pneumatic grippers in up to 24 insert feeders or the current gripper arms, or mix the two technologies for maximum flexibility.

May 31, 2006 -- CEP News (Courier-Express-Postal), published by the MRU Consultancy, has reported that:

Schweizerische Post published quarterly figures for the first time. The core mail division suffered a marked turnover decline of more than 2% (19m CHF).
Denmark's Post Danmark increased its pre-tax profit by almost 25% (79.8m euros) during the first quarter. The net profit went up by over 41% to almost 60m euros, while the turnover increased by 4.2% to 418m euros.
Post Danmark has announced the launch of a new distribution system for unaddressed mailings together with '365 Media Scandinavia'. 'Media Scandinavia' is a subsidiary of the Icelandic media group DagsbrCm, leading publisher of free papers in Iceland.
Royal Mail ended the financial year 2005/2006 with a significant increase in profit.
Allan Leighton's plans for an employee shareholding scheme have come under heavy criticism from the Communication Workers Union.
According to the German daily "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung", an international holding company could become one of Deutsche Post's future chief partners.
Poste Italiane's CEO Massimo Sarmi puts his company's realistic market value at around 10bn euros.
German mail service provider Pin AG intends to become the country's second biggest operator after Deutsche Post when the mail monopoly is abolished.
The Spanish post Correos ended 2005 with a record result.
Belgium's La Poste is accommodating its customers with longer opening hours. From next week, 800 post offices will stay open until 7 p.m. at least once a week. The move comes in response to growing discontent among customers.
Austria's opposition party SPO has demanded a guaranteed 51% government share in Osterreichische Post AG.
The European parcel network GLS ended the 2005/2006 financial year with a definitive turnover growth, particularly from international operations.
GeoPost, which controls the DPD parcel network and the Chronopost express service, among others, increased consignment volumes by around 10% to 450 million items due to growing parcel volumes in most European markets and especially in Germany, Britain and Eastern Europe.
In response to growing competition, DHL is reducing its parcel prices in Germany. The reduced rates have brought the regulatory authority into the arena for an investigation of Deutsche Post's parcel prices.
Royal Mail is negotiating a strategic alliance on the European parcel and express market with UPS and FedEx.
DHL America and freight airline ABX Air are being targeted by the US trade union Teamsters.
TNT Post UK is entering the British private customer market via the delivery organisation of mail order firm JD Williams.
DHL plans to invest over 194m euros in the development of its Russian operations over the next four years.

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.

May 31, 2006 -- PostCom Members! The first issue of PostCom's newest member-only publication, the PostCom Postal Policy Report, has been posted on this site.

May 31, 2006 -- The May 2006 report of the Universal Postal Union's Direct Mail Advisory Board has been posted on this site.

May 31, 2006 -- According to the Sacramento Bee, "Congress should stamp out charity discounts for political mail."

May 31, 2006 -- The Natchez Democrat has reported that "Earlier this month, the United States Postal Service quietly announced plans for rate increases. The announcement left us with a funny taste on our tongues. Despite the fact that more households exist in the U.S., the number of first-class letters has declined. Theoretically, that would mean less demand that might lead to reduced overhead. Of course, that would be logical and the postal service — nor any quasi-government agency — has ever been accused of letting logic get in between their needs and your wallets. Beyond the 3-cent increase proposed for first-class stamps, the boys in blue have taken aim on another, small-town staple — small newspapers."

May 31, 2006 -- The New York Times has reported that "The FedEx drivers here were growing bitter, with some complaining that management had strained them to the breaking point by assigning them 150 home deliveries a day. Eager to improve matters, they looked to join the Teamsters. FedEx says that the union push is an anomaly and that the majority of the drivers are happy and oppose unionization."

May 31, 2006 -- The Times has reported that "GOVERNMENT departments are being told to stop sending letters via the Royal Mail because it does not offer the same value for money as its rivals, despite its huge subsidies. The Government wants to cut £30 million from the cost of delivering post and is urging departments and councils to consider using one of the eight private-sector suppliers. The commercial rivals are UK Mail, DHL, Special Mail Services, Lynx, The Mailing House, DX and TNT, formerly the Dutch state postal service."

May 31, 2006 -- AFX has reported that "Deutsche Post AG chief executive Klaus Zumwinkel told journalists last night that he has no plans to relinquish majority control of the company's Postbank AG unit in the mid-term."

May 31, 2006 -- Bloomberg has reported that "Deutsche Post AG, Europe's biggest postal service, probably won't have all its stock freely traded for another few years as KfW Group sells its stake in pieces, Chief Executive Officer Klaus Zumwinkel said."

May 31, 2006 -- The Wall Street Journal has reported that "Austria's state-owned postal service, Osterreichische Post, shrugged off a drop in Austrian shares that coincided with its initial public offering and priced its stock at the top of its proposed range."

May 31, 2006 -- KTIV-TV has reported that "In a letter to Postmaster General John Potter, Iowa Senator Tom Harkin called on the Postal Service to delay the final decision regarding the proposed consolidation of the Sioux City Mail Processing Facility until its decision making process is reviewed by the Inspector General and the Sioux City community. Senator Chuck Grassley and Congressman Steve King joined Harkin in signing the letter. Specifically, Harkin, Grassley and King called for the proposed consolidation to be put on-hold until the Postal Service develops a rational methodology for making judgments concerning the consolidation, until a solid business analysis is both conducted and fully vetted with the community, and until the Postal Service's Inspector General can comprehensively review the methodology, analysis, and business case used to justify this proposed consolidation."

May 31, 2006 -- As the Financial Times has noted, "For a microchip that measures just a few millimetres across, RFID has already caused a fair degree of controversy. The radio tags – used on anything from pharmaceutical products to sea containers – have prompted campaigns by privacy groups, street demonstrations in continental Europe, and conspiracy theories a-plenty."

May 31, 2006 -- The Moberly Monitor-Index and Evening Democrat has published a list of FAQ's about In-County Mail.

May 31, 2006 -- AM 940 Montreal has reported that "Rural residents left in the lurch by the sudden loss of home mail delivery are appealing for political help as Canada Post continues to shut down country mail routes for health and safety reasons. Some New Brunswick residents, including seniors and people with disabilities, were told by Canada Post on Tuesday they will have to make 40-kilometre round trips to get their mail. "We feel like second-class citizens," said John Moreau, who lives in a farming community about 20 kilometres from the Fredericton post office where his mail is now being held. "There has been no consultation, no public forum whatsoever. We've just been abandoned."

May 30, 2006 -- Expatica.com has reported that "Belgian Post will expand its services from 6 June following a damning report from consumer watchdog Test-Aankoop. The watchdog said a recent study revealed services offered by the postal authority have declined in recent years. In response, The Post has decided to keep 800 post offices open in future until 7pm one day a week. It also promised to reduce waiting times at its branches."

May 30, 2006 -- Stuff.co.nz has reported that "The changing housing situation in New Zealand has called for a change in the way New Zealand Post delivers our mail. More than 450,000 new addresses have been created since 1990 and New Zealand Post communications spokesman Richard MacLean said new suburbs and the lifestyle market of apartment and rural living have necessitated "zip codes". The New Zealand Herald reported New Zealand Post will announce tomorrow its new four-digit system that will divide the country into 1800 different zones."

May 30, 2006 -- The Monitor has reported that "The postal union and area business leaders are opposing a plan that would send all of the Rio Grande Valley's mail through Corpus Christi. Local union officials and business leaders 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. Postal officials have said the fears are unfounded."

May 29, 2006 -- From PR Newswire: "The U.S. Postal Service commemorates the world's largest stamp show -- the Washington 2006 World Philatelic Exhibition -- by issuing the Washington 2006 souvenir sheet on Memorial Day. The commemorative stamp sheet contains reproductions of three historic United States postage stamps originally issued in 1923 -- the $1 Lincoln Memorial, the $2 U.S. Capitol and the $5 Statue of Freedom that stands atop the Capitol's dome. They are produced from the original 1923 dies created by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing and issued in their original denominations. The sheet will only be sold on-site at the Washington 2006 World Philatelic Exhibition, at the Washington Convention Center, May 29 through the closing of the show on June 3 at 6 p.m. ET. The sheet may also be purchased by calling 800-STAMP-24."

May 29, 2006 -- The Sydney Morning Herald has reported that "Australia Post is mulling a new e-letterbox concept that may help it bridge the widening gap between snail mail and email. The new Electronic Bill Provider (EBP) currently being evaluated by the postal authority, would seek to establish an "email address for life" for anyone opting to receive bills and statements online rather than through their letterbox."

May 29, 2006 -- Canada.com has reported that "Canada Post is reviewing the way it delivers mail to rural areas as a result of a growing number of health and safety complaints from the drivers who put mail in rural boxes."

May 29, 2006 -- The Economic Times has reported that "The "humble" post office is desperate for a makeover, even though it is unclear whether financial regulators would give the go ahead. Given a choice it will convert itself into bank, and cut a strategic deal with the private player."

May 29, 2006 -- MaltaMedia has reported that "On 10 March 2006, Maltapost plc submitted an application to the Malta Communications Authority (MCA) for a revision in its current tariff structure. In its proposal Maltapost plc requested an increase of 2 cents for a local letter weighing up to 50g (also known as a standard letter), which at present is 7 cents. This meant also that each additional weight-category would increase by 2 cents. The MCA is proposing a 1 cent increase in the 0-50g weight-step, while maintaining the additional weight-categories at their current levels, after it took into account various considerations."

May 29, 2006 -- New Vision has reported that "POSTAL administrators should improve services in order to compete with the emerging technology, Wilfred Musinguzi, Posta Uganda's general manager for marketing and sales, has said. Musinguzi said in the next five years, 10%-20% of letters delivered by post in industrialised countries, would be replaced by other means of communication. However, he said the new technologies are not accessed by everybody in Africa. Musinguzi said all communication enterprises will have to contribute to content in the multimedia world."

May 28, 2006 -- National Geographic News has noted that "Some people want fresh eggs or poultry, others just want a quirky pet. Whatever the reason, just about any U.S. resident can get live young chickens in the mail." [Who needs Confirm, when you can use chick eggs to determine the timeliness of mail delivery?]

May 28, 2006 -- According to VietnamNet Bridge, "Vietnam will keep the doors closed to foreign investors in network infrastructure but will open up more opportunities in information technology and fast postal delivery as talks close with the US on major World Trade Organization (WTO) commitments. Vietnam has agreed to open its markets to 100-per cent foreign-invested fast delivery services in the next five years. A first joint-venture between Vietnam Post and Telecommunications Group (VNPT) and Germany-based DHL Vietnam is scheduled for next year with total capital of 7 million euros, 51 per cent of which is sourced from DHL. The US had made the greatest demands yet for access to the local post and telecoms market, and Vietnam will draw up a roadmap for 100-per cent foreign-owned ventures."

May 28, 2006 -- As the Jersusalem Post has noted, "The new Israel Postal Company (www.israelpost.co.il) was established a few months ago, and its director-general is a nonpolitical professional who previously worked in the Postal Authority, its Postal Bank and Bezeq. Unlike some of his eight postal service predecessors who were fired, involved in numerous scandals or targeted in State Comptroller investigations, Avi Hochman has a BA in economics and a master's degree in business administration from the Hebrew University and earned an excellent reputation in private business (the Netafim company)."

May 27, 2006 -- According to the Journal of Commerce, "DHL has opened its new service center in Tirupur in Tamil Nadu, southern India. The express unit of Germany's Deutsche Post World Net expects consistent monthly growth of around 20-25 percent from the center."

May 27, 2006 -- The Independent has reported that "Zimbabwe's government on Saturday unveiled a proposed law that would give it the authority to monitor phones and mail - both conventional and Internet - to protect national security and fight crime. Rights groups say the bill is part of a government crackdown, which has included tough policing and political intimidation, to stifle criticism over a severe economic crisis many blame on President Robert Mugabe's policies."

May 27, 2006 -- AFX has reported that "Massimo Sarmi, CEO of the Italian post office Poste Italiane SpA, said the company is ready to be privatised and that estimates of a market value of about 10 bln eur are "realistic". Sarmi added that the post office is in talks with an international logistics operator over an alliance for the transport of parcels to and from Italy, on which it expects to reach an agreement by the end of the year."

May 27, 2006 -- AllAfrica.com has reported that "HEADS of Post and Telecommunication companies in the countries that form Pan African Postal Union (PAPU) have agreed to complement on each other's services and pledged to give the best services to the citizens in the region."

May 27, 2006 -- Union Network International has reported that "The Caribbean Subregional Seminar-Workshop of the FNV-sponsored Project on Research and Organizing of DHL Workers in Latin America and the Caribbean was held between May 16 and 18 in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. This event completes the first stage of the Project primarily aimed at disseminating the contents of the project and identifying trade unions that are interested in, and more importantly, that are committed to working with UNI-Americas during the first two years of the Project (2006-07) to achieve the set objectives."

May 27, 2006 -- CityTV has reported that "A massive seizure of stolen items in the north-west community of Citadel has resulted in charges against two Canada Post employees. Dennis St. Arnault, 45, and Shannon Joy St. Arnault, 33, are accused of not making their deliveries. They've been charged with theft and possession of stolen mail after an investigation by Canada Post was brought to the attention of the police. They were arrested a second time and charged with theft over $5,000 after police found goods at a north-west Calgary store where one of the accused also worked. The recovered items include a hot tub, building materials and playground equipment."

May 27, 2006 -- The Philadelphia Inquirer has noted that "The politicians who worked to make it happen and neighbors who once fought its construction gathered yesterday to celebrate completion of Philadelphia's $300 million mail-sorting and distribution center. It is touted as the prototype for future postal operations, designed to increase efficiency and, with a cleaner, open feel, to reduce the stress of those who work there. As workers enter and leave the building, they see the city's skyline in the distance, and pictures of local scenes along the main corridor."

May 26, 2006 -- The latest issue of the PostCom Bulletin is available online. In this issue:

  • The Association for Postal Commerce takes a closer look at testimony in the R2006-1 rate case proceedings in this article from a continuing series.
  • PostCom highlights the USPS' R2006-1 proposed rate case changes for Standard Mail.
  • The Association for Postal Commerce examines the Postal Service's proposal for First-Class Mail.
  • Postal commentator Gene Del Polito talks about the complexities and burdens of the Postal Service's rate-setting process.
  • Lee Waldorf of Port Charlotte, Fla., expresses his anger and concern about the Bush Administration's mandate to make the Postal Service pay for the military benefits of its employees in this letter to the editor of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.
  • Federal Register: New preparation for Periodicals flats in Mixed Area Distribution Center bundles and sacks. Lockheed Martin wins USPS contracts. National Postal Museum's Arago website to debut May 27.
  • Strike threat looms over Royal Mail. Deutsche Post wants to expand DHL in Russia.
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May 26, 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.

May 26, 2006 -- Business First has reported that "Even before United Parcel Service Inc. completed its vast Worldport air cargo hub at Louisville International Airport in 2002, the company was hard at work on plans for handling future growth. But it wasn't until about 60 days ago that John Hindman, vice president of public affairs for UPS Airlines, contacted city and state government and economic development officials to put together specifics and inquire about incentives that would ease the way for the $1 billion expansion that UPS announced Wednesday."

May 26, 2006 -- Dow Jones has reported that "German logistics company Deutsche Post AG said Friday its subsidiary DHL will lower its package prices in Germany from Jul. 1, 2006."

May 26, 2006 -- As Military.com has noted, "On his second deployment to Iraq, Lance Cpl. Jacob A. Lamb admits that communicating with friends and family back home is easier thanks to a relatively new program: Moto Mail. ‘Moto' is short for ‘motivation,' and it's what U.S. service members like Lamb use as a means to keep contact with his friends and family back home. This roughly two-year-old program allows U.S. service members deployed overseas to receive letters via an electronic system. The letters are printed and enveloped at the military post office, and in the hands of the service member within 24 hours."

May 26, 2006 -- As the Associated Press has noted, "The most valuable single American stamp was originally worth only a penny. The 1-cent stamp, called a Z-grill, contains a picture of Benjamin Franklin. It will be featured at the Washington 2006 stamp show, which opens Saturday and runs through June 2 at the Washington Convention Center."

May 26, 2006 -- The Charlottesville Newsplex has reported that "Postal employees at the Charlottesville Processing and Distribution Plant are literally one in a million. The employees there were prestigious recognized for making their plant a safe place to work."

May 26, 2006 -- AFX has noted that "German state-owned development bank Kreditanstalt fuer Wiederaufbau (KfW)'s 41.6 pct stake in Deutsche Post World Net AG has attracted the interest of private equity and hedge funds, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported, citing financial sources."

[museum logo]

May 26, 2006 -- At the NATIONAL POSTAL MUSEUM: "Rarity Revealed: The Benjamin K. Miller Collection," Part I, from Saturday through Oct. 1. Continuing: "Networking a Nation: The Star Route Service"; "Airmail in America." Open indefinitely: "On the Road," a history of city mail vehicles; "What's in the Mail for You!"; "Moving the Mail"; "Binding the Nation"; "Customers and Communities"; "Artistic License: The Duck Stamp Story"; "The Art of Cards and Letters"; "Stamps and Stories." Open daily 10 to 5:30. 2 Massachusetts Ave. NE. 202-633-1000 (TDD: 202-633-9849).

May 26, 2006 -- Transport Intelligence has reported that "Fred Smith, Chief Executive and founder of FedEx has launched a ‘thought leadership' project of the type usually associated with the big management consultancies. Coining the word ‘Access', Mr Smith has sponsored a consultancy to survey the quality of electronic communication and physical transport in economies around the world. It has established an index of ‘Access' by country, measuring different levels of development in each economy."

May 26, 2006 -- The National Association of Major Mail Users has noted that "The January 2006 re-structuring of Canada Post introduced a reorganization based on three lines of business: Transaction Mail (bills, invoices, notices, statements); Direct Marketing; and Parcels. PERFORMANCE (March/April 2006) features a concise overview of the new structure including the Corporation's view of competitive threats and strategies to defend and/or grow each business. You can read more about it.

May 26, 2006 -- From the Federal Register: "To improve service for Periodicals mail, the Postal Service provided mailers the option to prepare origin mixed area distribution center (ADC) bundles and sacks beginning October 27, 2005. This final rule adopts our proposal to make the preparation of origin mixed ADC bundles and sacks required beginning July 6, 2006."

May 25, 2006 -- The Washington Post has reported that "President Bush appointed a longtime scholar at the American Enterprise Institute yesterday to be his top domestic policy adviser, a post that has been vacant since February, when Claude A. Allen stepped down after being charged with stealing more than $5,000 in a phony refund scheme. Karl Zinsmeister, who has worked the past 12 years as editor in chief of the American Enterprise magazine, is slated to assume his White House post June 12."

May 25, 2006 -- KFOX-TV has reported that a new "Postal Advisory Committee hopes to stamp out mail problems in Las Cruces."

May 25, 2006 -- American Postal Workers Union William Burrus has told his members that "The APWU has been notified that the proposed consolidation of "certain operations" at five postal facilities in the Northeast Area has been cancelled, because they present no substantial opportunities to improve efficiency or service. The five facilities are:

  • Utica (NY) Processing & Distribution Facility
  • Plattsburgh (NY) Post Office
  • Burlington (VT) P&DF
  • Springfield (MA) Processing & Distribution Center
  • Portsmouth (NH) P&DF

In a May 22 letter to APWU President William Burrus, the USPS wrote, "After careful and exhaustive review, it has been determined that there are currently no significant opportunities to improve efficiency or service through consolidation of mail processing operations at the locations listed above. Therefore, no significant changes will be made at this time."

May 24, 2006 -- The Business Standard has reported that "Reliance Communication Ventures (RCoVL), the CDMA-based mobile service provider, has tied up with the Department of Posts to offer tracking of mails sent through EMS Speed Post."

[museum logo]

May 24, 2006 -- Roll Call has reported that "National Postal Museum guests will soon be able to wind their way through the institution in a new wardrobe: their pajamas. The Smithsonian's National Postal Museum is set to launch Arago, a research Web site, on Saturday, allowing philatelists to enjoy the museum's vast collection from home."

May 24, 2006 -- PostCom Members!! A special notice to all PostCom members on questions regarding the Postal Service's implementation of new rates and rules has been posted on this site.

May 24, 2006 -- Be sure to check out "A Manifesto For Mail: Growth, Partnership and Innovation in A Changing Letter Mail Services Industry," a presentation by Tim Walsh Chairman FEDMA Postal Affairs Committee Vice-Chairman Postal Users' Group, which is posted on the PostInsight web site.

May 24, 2006 -- The AND Network has reported that "The Gambia Post Office has joined the list of semi-autonomous public enterprises in the country, following its transformation into the Gambia Postal Services Corporation (Gampost)."

May 24, 2006 -- Lockheed Martin has been awarded two contracts totaling $9 million from the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) to upgrade and increase the processing capability of the Remote Computer Reader (RCR) system.

May 24, 2006 -- PostCom Members!! A special notice to all PostCom members regarding USPS plans on the implementation of the 4-state barcode on September 1, 2006, for letters has been posted on this site.

May 24, 2006 -- Shippers Newswire has reported that "Deutsche Post World Net, parent company of DHL, today said it will invest $250 million over the next four years to develop its express and logistics unit's presence in Russia. "Russia is a very successful market for DHL and we see great prospects for the future," said Klaus Zumwinkel, Deutsche Post World Net's chief executive officer and chairman."

May 24, 2006 -- Traffic World has reported that "Eurinpro opened a new warehouse for DHL Exel Supply Chain in Tiel, the Netherlands. DHL Exel will rent the warehouse from Eurinpro and use it for cross-docking, storage and value-added activities for its Dutch and international fashion and apparel customers."

May 24, 2006 -- Air Cargo World has reported that:

  • The Teamsters union says it is stepping up its campaign to organize workers at DHL and at its package services provider ABX Air. Teamsters President James Hoffa led a rally with 300 ABX and DHL employees at the carrier's main Wilmington, Ohio, hub late last week and pledged to ramp up efforts to organize ABX;s 1,200 aircraft mechanics and 5,000 workers at the largest hub in the DHL network.
  • FedEx is preparing to buy Watkins Motor Lines, the largest privately held LTL carrier in the country.

May 24, 2006 -- CCNMatthews has reported that "On May 28, 2006, Canada Post and the United States Postal Service will release a joint stamp issue that celebrates the 400th anniversary of French explorer Samuel de Champlain's 1606 voyage along the coast of New England to Cape Cod."

May 24, 2006 -- According to The Times, "THE main postal union is preparing for its biggest confrontation with Royal Mail in a decade, raising the prospect of a national strike within weeks." See also the Financial Times.

May 24, 2006 -- The Bahama Journal has reported that "Government is in the process of designing a number of initiatives which it hopes to introduce over the ensuing months as part of its government-online project, a programme aimed ultimately at improving the efficiency of various services offered by the government and accessibility to those services, legal advisor to the Ministry of Finance Rowena Bethel said Monday. One of the projects: a system that's going to permit persons to track online packages and registered mail that are sent through the Bahamas postal system."

May 24, 2006 -- The Haveeru Daily has reported that "President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom has ratified the Post Services Act, which was passed by the People's Majlis at its 17th sitting of this year's first session. The Act was drafted to strengthen and increase efficiency of domestic and international postal services in the country. Among the objectives of the Act are making postal services more affordable and promoting competition in the sector."

May 24, 2006 -- As the Washington Post has noted, "Advertising might soon be pushing the envelope. The U.S. Postal Service is allowing companies to create their own branded stamps for first-class mail. Instead of flags, you can expect to see a company logo; instead of photos of famous Americans, you might see pictures of your local real estate agent."

May 24, 2006 -- The DM Bulletin has reported that "The Greater London Authority is to continue its contract with TNT Post for the door-drop distribution rights for free newspaper The Londoner for the third consecutive year, in a deal worth £1.3m."

May 23, 2006 -- Harte-Hanks, a global direct and targeted marketing solutions provider, announced today that it has expanded and enhanced its digital printing capabilities by acquiring certain assets of PrintSmart, Inc., a full-service print-on-demand (POD) provider, located here.

May 23, 2006 -- According to the Gainesville Sun, "It's time the White House ended this budgetary shell game."

May 23, 2006 -- According to The Guardian, "The threat of a national postal strike is set to come a step nearer when workers decide whether to set a deadline for resolving bitter disputes over pay and the future of the Royal Mail." See also the Financial Times

May 23, 2006 -- Scoop.co.nz has reported that "Postal workers campaigning for a decent wage rise are about to consider a new pay offer. Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union national secretary Andrew Little said that details of the offer, made on Friday night, were now being reported back to the union's 5000 members at New Zealand Post."

May 23, 2006 -- NBC-2 has reported that "After going two weeks without receiving any mail, some Lee County business owners along Youngquist Road want answers. Frank Higginbotham of Impact Glass, as well as other business owners, explained he has not seen their mail carrier in a couple of weeks."

May 23, 2006 -- The Mainichi Daily News has reported that "The fiscal 2006 net profit of Japan Post, the public corporation that runs the nation's postal services, is estimated to be over 1.9 trillion yen, far surpassing those of Toyota Motor Corp. and other major private companies, corporation officials said."

May 23, 2006 -- The Chicago Tribune has reported that "After months of straddling organized labor's two deeply divided sides, the Laborers Union on Monday said it was quitting the AFL-CIO, effective June 1."

May 23, 2006 -- News Today has reported that "Postal staff in the Chennai South division today began a protest against the decision of the department in not appointing temporary staff in place of those postmen who go on long leave. About fifty staff of the department gathered front of the regional post office in T Nagar and sat on a huger strike. They raised slogans against the management of postal department and the Union government."

May 23, 2006 -- Transport Intelligence has reported that "UK express and mail group Business Post has announced its results for the last financial year. There was a collapse in profits in its Express division, but Mail performed strongly."

May 23, 2006 -- CBS 5 (San Francisco) has noted that "Most of us are familiar with the post office thanks to our mail carriers. But the post office also has a law enforcement branch that protects consumers from fraud and scams. The U.S. Postal Inspection Service spent $4.3 million to produce a series of DVDs that showcase none other than the postal inspectors themselves."

May 23, 2006 -- The Utica Observer Dispatch has reported that "The U.S. Postal Service has decided not to transfer any local mail-processing functions to Syracuse."

May 23, 2006 -- The Bay of Plenty Times has reported that "Bay people will be given area postcodes but 75 Tauranga mail sorters face losing their jobs under a technology revamp at New Zealand Post. A gradual roll out of new mail sorting technology will be introduced in the Bay in early 2007 - replacing the speedy flick of fingers with state-of-the art barcoding and sorting machines. Everyone with an address will also be given a postcode."

May 23, 2006 -- According to APWU President William Burrus, "On May 3, 2006, the Postal Service announced its intent to increase postage rates in 2007. This public announcement focused on the 3-cent increase in price of a First-Class stamp, to 42 cents, and the introduction of a new "forever" stamp. These public announcements and the analyses that followed all missed the most important story. That story is not the three-cent increase; how frequently rate increases have occurred; or the impact of computerization, e-mail, and cell phones on hard-copy communications. The real story is that this rate increase will begin the final chapter of transforming the United States Postal Service from a government service designed to foster communications among all the people into a tax-free entity intended to serve first and foremost as an extension of corporate advertising mailers."

May 22, 2006 -- Business Week has reported that "Germany's regulator will probe Deutsche Post's (-3.2%) package pricing as Hermes Logistik has claimed Europe's biggest postal service hampers fair competition with low prices."

May 22, 2006 -- From Business Wire: "GrayHair Software, Inc., a pioneer in the mail industry, announces a new United States Postal Service(R) rate comparison service called the GrayHair R2006 Calculator. The new R2006 Calculator reads in mail.dat files and computes postage at the current rates. It then applies complex algorithms to approximate the R2006 proposed framework rules and re-computes postage based on the proposed R2006 rates. The results are output in both detailed and/or summary formats and available via email, text or spreadsheet formats. GrayHair Software also can include a PostalOne! mail.dat validation report."

May 22, 2006 -- The Guernsey Press and Star has reported that "Bulk Mailers' Association chairman Rodney Brouard said that new Guernsey Post charges, sanctioned by the Office of Utility Regulation last week, could see island-based mail-order companies relocate to other more-affordable locations. Mr Brouard said that if bulk mailers pulled out of Guernsey, it would have a negative impact on the island economy. He said the industry was the biggest contributor to Guernsey Post and that it also supported freight companies and was a source of employment."

May 22, 2006 -- icWales has reported that "A Cabinet minister spoke out today against the prospect of privatising the Royal Mail as the issue threatened to spark a national industrial dispute and conflict within the Labour Party."

May 22, 2006 -- According to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, "The U.S. Postal Service and the bulk-mail industry are using new technology to lower costs and improve responses to mailed solicitations for sales, memberships, sales coupons and surveys."

May 22, 2006 -- According to UzReport, "Uzbekistan has invited Russian investors to take part in the privatization of the national post office Uzbekiston Pochtasi and Aloqa Bank."

May 22, 2006 -- According to the Progress Report, "When government does something right, we should celebrate and give it credit. The United States Postal Service seeks to increase the postage for the first ounce of first class mail to 42 cents in 2007, with increases also for postal cards, express mail, and other mailings. So that users may purchase stamps at the new rate in advance, the USPS has announced that it will issue "forever stamps" which will always pay for one ounce of first-class postage."

May 22, 2006 -- The Guardian has reported that "The Sunday Times reported Royal Mail was in talks with the two US companies over what it described as a ground-breaking European alliance. It said chairman Allan Leighton was still undecided which of the two companies to choose but was keen to use GLS to break into the postal markets in France and Germany."

May 22, 2006 -- Transport Intelligence has reported that "According to the US Teamsters Union, approximately 300 DHL and ABX Air, Inc. employees demonstrated with Teamsters General President James P. Hoffa and other union leaders, to show support for ABX Air employees trying to build unions at their workplace. The 1,200 ABX Air aircraft mechanics and 5,000 workers in ABX Air's sort centre are attempting to join the Teamsters. The union's goal is to include all workers who deliver for DHL, including employees at ABX Air, DHL's major cargo carrier, under Teamster contracts. Already, around 12,000 workers in the DHL system are Teamsters."

May 21, 2006 -- As postal commentator Gene Del Polito has noted, "the 2006 postal rate case is underway. That means that sometime in late Spring or very early Summer, new, higher postal rates will go into effect. The Postal Service already has started making the "sooner rather than later" noises that have long bothered the business mailing industry. It's not that they can't understand why rising costs eventually must be reflected as higher prices. Rather, it's just that they find exasperating that after 35 years under postal reorganization the Postal Service still doesn't understand the dynamics that drive its customers' businesses."

May 21, 2006 -- The Times has reported that "TWO of the world's biggest postal groups, Fedex Corporation and UPS, are in advanced negotiations to set up a groundbreaking European strategic alliance with Royal Mail. The Mail's CEO wants the European operations of Fedex or UPS to team up with Royal Mail's General Logistics Systems. GLS runs a pan-European parcels business and is Royal Mail's most profitable operation. Fedex already has an alliance with Geopost, the parcel and logistics company owned by La Poste, the French operator. This enables it to provide services in France and Belgium."

May 21, 2006 -- According to the Telegraph, "Royal Mail's chairman is close to winning approval for workers to get shares in the state-owned business."

May 21, 2006 -- From PR Web: "US-based global leader in Email to Postal address delivery services, ePOSTIT, announced the official opening of its Premium Paid services. These Premium Paid services are in addition to ePOSTIT's Free mailing service & can be used for customized bulk and business printing & mailing. ePOSTIT's Premium paid services provide an innovative tool to effectively utilize modern resources available globally through printing & mailing services. Launched in July 2005, ePOSTIT's free email to postal mailing service is the fastest growing non-traditional mailing service in the world. ePOSTIT is the first company to launch a global level free email to postal address delivery service which connects people in more than 15 countries. For more information about ePOSTIT's free mailing service, please visit the website at www.freepostit.com."

May 21, 2006 -- The Dallas Morning News has reported that "Nearly all of the U.S. Postal Service's mail finds its way to destinations with help from machines designed and produced in North Texas. The machines are built by Siemens Energy & Automation Inc., a unit of the German technology giant. Headquartered in a gleaming facility near Ameriquest Field, the company supplies the Postal Service with most of the machines it uses to digitally read addresses, slap bar codes on mail and sort letters to send them to the right place."

May 20, 2006 -- According to ATM Marketplace, "NCR Corp. and Poste Italiane, the national Italian post office, struck a multimillion euro deal for the deployment of 1,000 NCR Personas M ATMs. According to a news release, the new units dispense cash and provide bill-payment services. To pay bills, customers insert a giro payment slip into a special image reader that's integrated within the ATM. The image reader is called Postamat by Poste Italiane. Once decoded by the system, customers use an ATM or bank debit card to complete the transaction. The new ATMs are expected to be deployed across Italy this fall."

May 20, 2006 -- KCAU has reported that "Sioux City leaders and state postal officials stamped out the details should the Mail Distribution Center actually relocate to Sioux Falls."

May 20, 2006 -- AMEInfo has rerported that:

Emirates Post presented the Innovation award to Estonian Post at the prestigious World Mail Awards 2006 which were announced at a gala dinner in Paris recently, in the presence of over 250 senior postal industry executives.
The GCC Ministerial Committee for Post, telecom and IT has concluded its meeting, which was last Wednesday and issued its final recommendations. The meeting was chaired by HE Sultan Al Mansoori, Minister of Governmental Sector Development, Chairman of UAE Telecom Supreme Committee and Chairman of UAE Post Board of Directors.

May 20, 2006 -- The latest issue of the PostCom Bulletin is available online. In this issue:

  • USPS Senior Vice President Tom Day told this week's MTAC meeting a lot can happen in three months including passage of a postal reform bill.
  • Next summer the Postal Service will require all CASS/MASS certified ZIP+4 software incorporate Delivery Point Validation primary number confirmation as a standard process. Effective Aug. 1, 2007, this means that CASS or MASS software will check addresses to make sure that the primary number of an address matches to a valid delivery point. Mailers are concerned about this DPV requirement, worrying that as much as four percent to five percent of their addresses could lose the automation rate.
  • Mailers attending the MTAC meeting this week urged postal officials to provide more information on the proposed mailing standards that will accompany the USPS' R2006-1 rate case.
  • PostCom last week electronically distributed the Postal Service's Flats Address Placement surveys for Periodicals, Standard and Bound Printed Matter mail to its members. All members are encouraged to complete and return the surveys as soon as possible.
  • PostCom Chairman James O'Brien last week presented the prestigious J. Edward Day Award to Timothy May for his extraordinary service on behalf of the American mailing industry and the nation.
  • Postal commentator Murray Comarow takes a look at the idea behind the ‘forever stamp' in this perspective.
  • An interesting read on the author's vision of the future of the postmark.
  • Priority Mail, Express Mail show steady growth over two years. Postal Service unveils hybrid van in Boston. USPS expands customized postage program. More MTAC news from PostCom. State Department updates ETOES statement. EMA publishes paper on postal reform, budget scoring and military service. Mediator calls UPS pilots' group ‘dysfunctional'; contract talks in ‘indefinite' recess. Fourth Petersberg conference on future of postal outlets set for June in Germany.
  • It's financial reporting season and the European results are good. Government promises billions in bailout for Royal Mail. Royal Mail employee stock plan remains contentious. Algeria, France to cooperate on postal issues. Belgium puts postal closings on hold. Think tanks line up to bid on Postal Romana restructure. Swiss government studies abolishing letter monopoly. Zumwinkel threatens retaliation against publishers.

Who handles the distribution of the PostCom Bulletin?
 Why, it's
NETGRAM, of course. Read more about it.

May 20, 2006 -- The latest issue of PostCom's PostOps Update has been posted on this site. In this issue:

  • Further definition of new flats categories needed
  • Dropship workgroup continues improvements
  • New fast sub-system for drop ship entry point information
  • Streamlined acceptance concepts tested
  • USPS/industry continue to explore co-mailing initiatives
  • New workgroup to look at firstclass mail acceptance/visibility
  • New workgroup on service performance reporting
  • Workgroup looks at postalone periodicals postage payment
  • Seamless acceptance for MLOCR environment
  • Workgroup looks at PostalOne periodicals postage payment
  • Upcoming postal rule changes

May 20, 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.

May 20, 2006 -- According to UTV, "The performance of Royal Mail in Northern Ireland was tonight branded the second worst in the United Kingdom."

May 19, 2006 -- From Business Wire: "Research and Markets (http://www.researchandmarkets.com/reports/c37258) has announced the addition of Postal Services in Australia to their offering. The Postal Services in Australia report is an in depth study containing statistics, trends, forecasts and competitor information. This class consists of units mainly engaged in picking up, transport, and delivery (domestic or international) of addressed or unaddressed mail, packages and parcels. The activity includes the sale of postage stamps, collection of mail from public letter boxes or from post offices, sorting of mail, and distribution and delivery. It includes the activities of post office agencies."

May 19, 2006 -- The Guardian has reported that "Royal Mail and the government unveiled details yesterday of a framework agreement on an investment package aimed at allowing the company to modernise its postal sorting operations, restructure the Post Office network and tackle its £5bn- plus pension fund deficit. However, the agreement came in for sharp criticism from TNT Post UK, one of Royal Mail's rivals in the postal market, which was opened to full competition at the beginning of the year. TNT is threatening to refer the agreement to Brussels under European Union rules on state aid."

May 19, 2006 -- Edie.net has reported that "Millions of envelopes are asking to be recycled thanks to a new partnership between Royal Mail and Recycle Now."

May 19, 2006 -- Belfast Today has reported that "Royal Mail workers in Northern Ireland will each receive a bonus payment of more than £400 as a result of the organisation increasing its profits by 17.5 per cent last year."

May 19, 2006 -- According to the Financial Times:

  • Royal Mail's plans to hand its 200,000 workers a stake in the business are to be pushed into the legislative long grass, with ministers unlikely to make any changes in the postal operator's ownership structure for at least two years. Alistair Darling, trade and industry secretary, plans to decide soon on whether to support in principle contentious proposals by Allan Leighton, Royal Mail chairman, for an employee share ownership scheme.
  • The long-awaited postal package is unwrapped

May 19, 2006 -- The Mirror has noted that "THE boss who imposed a measly £9-a-week wage rise on postal workers has seen his own salary soar by £900 a week. Royal Mail chief Adam Crozier's £47,000 increase lifts his basic pay to £615,000. He is also one of three Royal Mail directors who shared bonuses of more than £1million in the past year for helping deliver record profits."

May 19, 2006 -- The March financial reports have been posted on the USPS web site.

May 19, 2006 -- The San Leandro Times has noted that "Approximately 30 "underutilized" neighborhood mailboxes will be removed from San Leandro next week by the United States Postal Service (USPS), mostly in residential areas. This will leave approximately 70 mailboxes still available around the city."

May 19, 2006 -- The Economic Times has reported that "India Post has decided to deduct tax on interest on senior citizen savings scheme (SCSS) at source. The department has recently directed its regional offices across the country to this effect. The tax would be deducted on retrospective basis. The scheme is in vogue since August ‘04 and therefore, post offices will deduct tax from this period, if applicable."

May 18, 2006 -- The Times has reported that "The Government sparked fresh controversy today as it promised a massive £3 billion cash injection to help Royal Mail modernise and tackle its pensions deficit - on the same day that the postal organisation reported a surge in profits for last year on record turnover of more than £9 billion."

May 18, 2006 -- DM News has reported that "The express delivery industry garnered the top customer satisfaction rating among many industry categories in first-quarter 2006, the latest American Customer Satisfaction Index survey found. Despite rising fuel prices, express delivery improved to a 10-year high of 83 on a 100-point scale, up 3 points from last year. FedEx, UPS and the U.S. Postal Service all registered modest increases. But the biggest gain was made by the aggregate of smaller express delivery companies, including carriers like DHL, whose score rose 5 points to 82."

May 18, 2006 -- Conservative.com has reported that "Responding to the news that Royal Mail will receive a £1.75bn package from the Government to help plug its pension fund deficit and pay for modernisation, Shadow Trade & Industry Minister, Charles Hendry said: "We will be questioning the Government in detail about this package. Before making this announcement, the Government should have established its vision for the future of the Royal Mail and the Post Office. "The Royal Mail has made major progress in recent years, for which the management and workforce deserve great credit, but it faces two particular challenges. "The Government needs to make a clearer case why the Royal Mail pension fund should be bailed out, when others have been left to sink or swim."

May 18, 2006 -- Kyodo News Service has reported that "Japan Post said Thursday that its president, Masaharu Ikuta, and six other executives will return part of their pay, staring in June, to take responsibility for unauthorized discounts carried out by the Nagaoka post office in Nagaoka."

May 18, 2006 -- From Business Wire: "Escher Group, Ltd., the leading provider of counter automation and business applications to the postal industry, today announced that Zimbabwe Posts (Pvt) Limited (trading as Zimpost) has selected RiposteEssential(TM) to automate its post office counter network. Zimbabwe is the fifth African country to select the Riposte(R) family of products to support a full range of postal, retail, government and financial services."

May 18, 2006 -- Traffic World has reported that "The contract negotiations between UPS and its pilots, which have been on hold since December, will shift to an informal process for now, said the Independent Pilots Association. IPA told its members that the National Mediation Board official overseeing their talks told the union she had decided "to not formally reconvene negotiations at this time."

May 18, 2006 -- From the Postal Rate Commission: The Postal Service has moved to suspend C2004-3 pending conclusion of litigation in Docket No. R2006-1. It claims that suspension will benefit participants and that delay will cause no harm. Participants dispute both claims. The motion is denied.

May 18, 2006 -- The latest DMM Update has been posted on this site.

May 18, 2006 -- The Association for Postal Commerce welcomes its newest member:

ALG Worldwide.Com represented by Dave Tanis Executive Managing Director

May 18, 2006 -- From the PR Newswire: "CheckFree Corporation has announced the most recent results of its survey, "The Latest Consumer Billing and Payment Trends," conducted every nine months by CheckFree Research Services with The Marketing Workshop, Inc. and Harris Interactive. The survey, which tracks bill payment behavior, revealed that 69 percent of U.S. online households say they are paying at least one bill online, up from 56 percent in March 2005. This includes consumers who pay any bill from a single "consolidated" website, such as a bank, and those who pay individual bills at a "biller direct" website, such as a telecommunications or credit card company. Online payments are steadily replacing check writing as the way to pay bills among those surveyed -- with paper checks used for 37.5 percent of all bill payments and online payments used for 35 percent."

May 18, 2006 -- Is your marketing relevant in a global economy? Attend the DMA International Council at International Day 2006 to learn the best tools and strategies used by US companies expanding globally. Leading international marketers will discuss ways to enhance your current marketing mix through various formats and technologies. This daylong event will feature roundtable discussions, case studies and the opportunity to network with professionals who share your interests. For questions/inquiries, call DMA Customer Service at 212.790.1500 or e-mail customerservice@the-dma.org.

May 18, 2006 -- Innovation and strategy have been chosen as the main theme of the Asia Pacific Mail and Express Conference 2006 in Singapore from 3 to 5 Oct 2006. The Conference is an in-depth knowledge update and cross-industry information exchange experience among practitioners from the mail, express and logistics sectors, for generating new concepts and ideas. Check www.terrapinn.com/2006/mailexp for more details, or call Anna Lee @ +65 6322 2712 or mail to anna.lee@terrapinn.com for more information.

May 18, 2006 -- Need to know what's going on in the R2006 postal rate case? Check the Postal Rate Commission web site daily.

May 18, 2006 -- Logistics Management has reported that "United Parcel Service Inc., the world's largest package delivery company, said high fuel prices are forcing it to end a cap on the surcharge added to air shipments. UPS will remove its 12.5 percent cap on the fuel surcharge June 5, spokesman Norman Black said Tuesday. The company also will adjust a fuel-price index it uses, so customers aren't hit with the full effect, he said. Together, the changes raise the June fuel surcharge for air shipments to 16 percent, UPS said. Atlanta-based UPS and rival shipper FedEx Corp. use surcharges on worldwide air shipments to reduce the impact of fuel-price swings."

May 18, 2006 -- As Air Cargo World has noted, "Aviation officials in China say they will use air cargo services as the priority for opening the country to foreign competition, but the express cargo carriers appear to be making the country a priority on their own. Within days of each other last month, FedEx, DHL and UPS announced new initiatives on the ground and in the air in China, making their case that growth in the world's fastest-growing air trade market will only accelerate in coming years."

May 18, 2006 -- Politics.co.uk has reported that "Postal firm TNT, a rival of Royal Mail, has said it is "unfair" the government is investing £1.75 billion in the Royal Mail. A spokeswoman she was alarmed at the decision, which would damage new competition following the full liberalisation of the postal market on January 1st this year. It was unacceptable that competition is "distorted" by VAT and barriers such as this, she said, adding that this amounted to £77 per household, more than three times what the average family spent on postage in a year, and equivalent to one pence on every letter Royal Mail would carry for the next ten years."

May 18, 2006 -- The Communications Workers Union has warned its members of "Sting In The Tail" of Royal Mail investment.

May 18, 2006 -- Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung has reported that "The German government has revealed that the letter monopoly of Deutsche Post, the German postal service operator, will end on 1 January 2008, irrespective of developments in other EU member states."

May 18, 2006 -- According to the Kodiak Daily Mirror, "A tug-of-war of sorts between the post office and patrons is erupting with tossed mail stacking up on lobby counters, then being put back in the same mailboxes where it originated."

May 18, 2006 -- Eyefortransport has reported that "Alitalia's cargo division has extended its contract with Traxon to include the company's Air Mail service. This value added product provides secure global electronic communication between postal services and carriers by the transmission of CARDIT and RESDIT messages via the neutral Traxon network."

May 18, 2006 -- Business World has reported that "The government's chief privatization officer quit on Tuesday "to pursue other interests in the private sector," leaving behind a long list of state assets and firms up for sale this year. Mr. Bengzon was able to sell one state asset, the four-hectare Manila Gas property in Paco, Manila, for P573 million to Robinsons Land Corp. He left behind the sale of the 48,832-square meter Makati property formerly occupied by the International School, the privatization of the Philippine Postal Corp., government television networks RPN and IBC, and the Al-Amanah Islamic Investment Bank of the Philippines, among other major items."

May 18, 2006 -- Supply Chain Review has reported that "The Asia-Pacific express and delivery market is the fastest-growing in the world, according to a new report by independent market analyst, Datamonitor. What's more China, the fastest growing market in the Asia-Pacific express and parcels delivery sector, is set to become the sixth largest express market in the world by 2010, provided it continues growing at an average 20 percent per year. China's express delivery market value to be US$3.5 billion (2005). According to Datamonitor, the driving factor behind China's growth is its increasing export activity with Europe and the US. Datamonitor express analyst Emilio Pedrinaci says China is increasingly being seen as the manufacturing centre of the world."

May 18, 2006 -- As one letter to the editor of the Herald Tribune put it: "have supported George W. Bush and his administration since he was first named as a candidate for president. Through 9/11, Afghanistan, Iraq and his war on terror, I have been behind him 100 percent. That changed when I learned that he has snookered me and the American public by forcing the U.S. Postal Service to pay the military retirement benefits to its employees who happen to be retired military. We, the public, will soon be paying for his war through escalating postal rates. This is totally unacceptable. Why didn't he just ask for a tax increase to pay for his war, rather than hiding the cost in postage stamps? It's time for Bush to come clean."

May 17, 2006 -- Unison.ie has reported that "The Minister for Environment has said An Post could be used in helping to update the Electoral register."

May 17, 2006 -- Multichannel News has reported that "The U.S. Commerce Department is several weeks away from soliciting public comment on a $1.5 billion subsidy program to help consumers purchase converter boxes to run analog-television sets after the cessation of analog-TV broadcasting in early 2009. Congress also established a converter-subsidy program in an effort to mitigate the effects of the digital transition on millions of consumers who, according to the National Association of Broadcasters, possess 73 million analog-TV sets not connected to cable or satellite. With regard to subsidy eligibility, the law is broad, stating that "a household may obtain" two $40 coupons for the purchase of converter boxes, except that two coupons may not be combined to buy just one box." The NTIA is to deliver the coupons via the U.S. Postal Service. Coupons -- which must be obtained from Jan. 1, 2008-March 31, 2009 -- expire three months after issuance.

May 17, 2006 -- According to BetaNews, "Through a deal with Stamps.com, Adobe users will now be able to design print 'PhotoStamps' through a variety of the company's applications. The option would be included in Adobe Photoshop Album Starter Edition and Photoshop Elements 3.0 for Windows, as well as both Photoshop Elements and Photoshop CS2 for Windows and Mac OS X."

May 17, 2006 -- The Petaluma Argus Courier has reported that "The Petaluma Area Chamber of Commerce doesn't know how many copies of its "Petaluma Business" newsletter arrived late to members last week. But the group does know it's not the first time. "We've been having problems with the bulk mail facility of the post office for a few months now," said Onita Pellegrini, executive director of the Petaluma Area Chamber of Commerce."

May 17, 2006 -- The BBC has reported that "The Royal Mail is to get a £1.75bn cash injection from the government to help plug its pension fund deficit and pay for much needed modernisation. But the package will be less generous than the deal suggested by Royal Mail chairman Allan Leighton. About £900m will be in the form of a loan with commercial rates of interest, which must be repaid by 2013. The other £850m is already on its books and the Royal Mail will be allowed to use it to shore up its pension scheme." See also the Daily Mail and The Guardian.

May 17, 2006 -- The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation has reported that "An alleged case of mail theft by a postal worker in Winnipeg – one of the largest cases in the country's history – illustrates the increasing burdens and stresses of the job, her former union says." Gimme a break!

May 17, 2006 -- The Postal Service™ measures timely, reliable delivery for different products. Check out what it has to say.

May 17, 2006 -- Four years after opening the most technologically advanced air package sorting hub in the world, UPS today announced a dramatic expansion that will increase sorting capacity over the next five years by 60 percent to 487,000 packages per hour. The expansion plan for UPS WorldportSM, the sophisticated mega hub at the heart of the company's global transportation network, calls for the addition of three aircraft load/unload "wings" to the hub building followed by the installation of high-speed conveyor and computer control systems.

May 17, 2006 -- The Kyodo News Service has reported that "The Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry plans to inspect Japan Post branches after an unfair bulk mail service deal was found at the Nagaoka post office in Niigata Prefecture."

May 17, 2006 -- CEP News (Courier-Express-Postal), published by the MRU Consultancy, has reported that:

Austria's Osterreichische Post established the details of its forthcoming IPO....
Kurt Eder, transport spokesman for Austria's opposition party SPO, has criticised "the hasty sell-off of Osterreichische Post AG"....
Deutsche Post obviously got off to a good start in the new financial year....
At last week's AGM, shareholder representatives were fiercely critical of Deutsche Post's business operations in the US....
The higher the profit, the poorer the service. This headline appeared in the French left-wing internet journal "lutte ouvriêre" (12.05.) and refers to the decline in La Poste's service quality....
Unanimous press reports claim the Royal Mail is about to announce a record profit this week....
Two Spanish stamp firms are under suspicion of defrauding investors of at least 1bn euros....
The Greek post bank is offering 34.6% of its shares on the stock exchange....
After a 17-hour negotiation marathon, Deutsche Post has managed to avert the threat of warning strikes....
ErgoGroup AS, a subsidiary of Norway's Posten Norge AS, has taken over 55.7% of quoted Allianse ASA....
TNT has strengthened its position in the Italian mail market through a "minor takeover"....
La Poste's parcel service ColiPoste, which operates on the French market, will set up a nationwide network of parcel collection points over the next two years....
Japan's leading parcel service Yamato signed an extensive co-operation contract with the NYK Group....
According to reliable information gleaned by the CEP News, Basel-based Panalpina (2005 turnover: 5.35bn euros; +11.3%) is interested in acquiring TNTs logistics operations....

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.

May 17, 2006 -- From MarketWire: "Endicia has announced that the Company has been authorized by the United States Postal Service (USPS) to allow businesses to create customized postage. Using PictureItPostage for Business, companies can easily create postage depicting their logo, new product, or advertising message."

May 17, 2006 -- From PR Newswire:

  • Stamps.com, a leading provider of Internet-based postage services, today announced the availability of PhotoStamps® from within Adobe® Photoshop® CS2, Photoshop Elements and Photoshop Album Starter Edition software. The launch of PhotoStamps for Business, also announced today, will now allow users of the Photoshop family of products to easily design and use PhotoStamps to create awareness for their products or services, to build their brand, or for other commercial uses.
  • Zazzle (www.zazzle.com), the Internet's customized products marketplace, today announced the immediate availability of ZazzleStamps customized postage for business use. The United States Postal Service has authorized Zazzle to allow businesses to use ZazzleStamps to make an impression with their mailings by adding their company logo, website URL, or address to authentic U.S. postage. ZazzleStamps now provide businesses with a unique opportunity to market their brand and communicate with customers in a more creative manner.

May 17, 2006 -- Noticias.info has reported that "TNT Post UK, the leading competitor to Royal Mail in the UK postal market, today announces the acquisition of the JD Williams courier network. This development provides an entry for TNT Post UK to Business to Consumer (B2C) and Consumer to Consumer (C2C) parcel and packet delivery markets, providing 80 per cent coverage in the United Kingdom."

May 17, 2006 -- Reuters has reported that "Dutch mail firm TNT NV said on Wednesday that its TNT Post UK subsidiary is acquiring the JD Williams courier network to offer consumer parcel delivery services in Britain. TNT, which competes with Royal Mail in the British postal market, did not disclose details of the transaction. JD Williams has 194 employees and more than 2,200 self-employed couriers that deliver 12 million parcels and packets per year to consumers in Britain."

May 17, 2006 -- Gulf Times has reported that:

  • Q-POST has been chosen for the Quality award of the prestigious World Mail Awards. Announcing this yesterday at a ceremony held at the General Post Office, Q-Post Chairman Ali Mohamed al-Ali said Qatar's postal corporation was the first in the entire Arab region to have been bestowed with the honour. Terming the award as a "great honour" for the corporation, al-Ali said Q-Post was chosen in face of fierce competition by several postal corporations from all over the world. In the ultimate race, postal corporations of Saudi Arabia and Portugal turned out to be Qatar's immediate competitors, revealed the chairman.
  • Q-Post is planning to open post office branches at some major consumer co-operative societies, Q-Post Chairman Ali Mohamed al-Ali revealed yesterday.

May 17, 2006 -- The Taipei Times has reported that "The United States Postal Service (USPS) has agreed to revise all references to the nation on its Web site from "a province of China" to "Taiwan" as requested by the Formosan Association for Public Affairs (FAPA), the Washington-based pro-Taiwan independence group said. The postal service also issued an apology for having referred to Taiwan as a Chinese province, it added."

May 17, 2006 -- Transport Intelligence has reported that "Dutch mail operator TNT Post, also the first Italian private mail provider, has acquired TMW Italia in order to strengthen its advertising mail offering. TWM Italia is a player in the distribution of "door to door" or unaddressed advertising material."

May 17, 2006 -- The Envelope Manufacturers Association Foundation has produced a white paper on "The Effect of the Military Service Obligation on the Budget Scoring of H.R. 22."

May 16, 2006 -- From the U.S. Postal Service:

  • Businesses across the country now have one more way to literally send a message about their company and products with the expansion of the U.S. Postal Service’s popular customized postage program. Customized postage allows a customer to personalize postage with pictures or images using Customized PC Postage® technology. The Postal Service today signed contracts with three qualified PC Postage® vendors able to produce customized postage to be used on First-Class Mail, Priority Mail and Express Mail for personal and commercial use.
  • For more than 200 years, the U.S. Postal Service has been on the cutting edge in the development of every new mode of transportation in the United States. From the dash of the Pony Express rider, the daring of the early airmail pilot, or the rumble of the postal railway car, the Postal Service has been instrumental in the birth, growth, and development of a variety of transportation industries. And this year is no different. At a ceremony today at the Boston General Mail facility, the Postal Service launched the first conversion of a mail-delivery van into a hybrid-electric vehicle.

May 16, 2006 -- According to postal commentator Murray Comarow, "Some suggest that the forever stamp announcement was a public relations ploy to deflect attention from pending substantial rate increases. If so, it worked. The media focused on the forever stamp, true to its general lack of attention to larger issues. Postal staff and consultants must now seek to justify the decision, after the fact. I have a hunch they will find such justification. Sound business practice, however, would have had the Board do its homework first. This is one I can’t lay at the feet of Congress."

May 16, 2006 -- The Financial Times has reported that "Europe's third postal service privatisation sets off today with the 49 per cent sale of Austria's Österreichische Post."

May 16, 2006 -- From Canada NewsWire: "R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company announced today that it has expanded its North American print logistics operations with the opening of a new mail consolidation facility -- featuring complete distribution management services -- in suburban Dallas, Texas."

May 16, 2006 -- The Associated Press has reported that "The Supreme Court has decided not to revive lawsuits by former employees of Washington mail center who were exposed to anthrax."

May 16, 2006 -- From the PR Newswire: "A team of students from Montclair State University (New Jersey) have won the chance to give several Postal Service products a young, fresh image. Montclair State's team, "P.R. Factor" was selected from among six tri-state universities to take home the Grand Prize in the U.S. Postal Service's first public relations contest, 'The P.R. Professional Experience.'" Carpe diem.

May 16, 2006 -- The Insurance Business Review has noted that "UK postal company Royal Mail is believed to be poised to report the positive news that its profits have increased to nearly GBP600 million for 2006. However, over the same timeframe the company's pension liability has increased by GBP1.1 billion."

May 16, 2006 -- According to The Mirror, "ROYAL Mail is planning to axe up to 40,000 jobs, union leaders claimed last night. The warning comes as a pay dispute threatens to wreck improvements to the postal service." See also The Guardian.

May 16, 2006 -- As DM News has noted, "Washington Mutual Bank and the U.S. Postal Service have temporarily suspended their Negotiated Service Agreement proceedings until May 25, according to a document filed with the Postal Rate Commission yesterday. The parties said they want to review two recent PRC filings regarding NSAs, as well as to make some revisions."

May 16, 2006 -- Mainichi Daily News has reported that "The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications has decided to conduct nationwide emergency on-site inspections at local branches of Japan Post, following an incident in which a post office lost 2.7 billion yen through improper business practices."

May 16, 2006 -- Gulf Times has reported that "POSTAL employees should put in more efforts to improve the quality of their services, said Q-Post chairman Ali Mohamed al-Ali, addressing the opening session of the training of the 71st batch of employees at the Q-Post Training Centre yesterday."

May 16, 2006 -- Bloomberg has noted that "Deutsche Post AG, Europe's biggest postal service, said first-quarter profit rose a less-than- expected 5 percent as the DHL express delivery unit struggled to integrate a U.S. acquisition."

May 16, 2006 -- WCSH6 has reported that "The U.S. Postal Service is hoping to fight back against skyrocketing gas prices. They're unveiling the first hybrid postal vehicle in the nation today in Boston."

May 16, 2006 -- The Pittsburgh Business Times has reported that "Shipping giant United Parcel Service has been named the country's top business brand in the American Brand Excellence Awards 2006. Respondents said they ranked UPS highly for being an industry leader, forward- thinking, easy to use, ethical, popular and a growing company."

May 16, 2006 -- GovExec.com has reported that "A small provision in the House version of the postal overhaul bill would raise rates for customers sending single-piece parcel packages, effectively giving a big payoff to U.S. Postal Service competitors."

May 16, 2006 -- According to NDTV, "In probably the first move of its kind one government department will be imposing a tax on another. The department of revenue which falls under the finance ministry is going ahead with its plans to levy service tax on the Department of Post which is under the IT ministry."

May 15, 2006 -- The Financial Times has reported that "It has been a long time coming, but Allan Leighton, the chairman of Royal Mail, is hoping for good news from the government when the group unveils its results on Thursday. Ministers are expected to give the go-ahead in principle for public investment to put the former monopoly on a firmer financial foundation in the newly liberalised postal market."

May 15, 2006 -- The Associated Press has reported that "Austrian postal service Oesterreichische Post AG said Monday it will sell off 49 percent of its shares in an initial public offering to start Tuesday and run through May 30. The state will retain a 51 percent stake in the postal service."

May 15, 2006 -- The Yomiuri Shimbun has reported that "Nagaoka Post Office in Niigata Prefecture, which undercharged its clients, resulting in a loss of at least 2.7 billion yen, used a sloppy calculation method to check the amount of mail brought to the office to be delivered under the separate postage payment system."

May 14, 2006 -- Be sure to check out “The Changing Boundaries Between Postal Operators and Postal Suppliers” Michael J. Critelli Chairman and CEO, Pitney Bowes Inc. World Mail & Express Europe Conference May 11, 2006 on the PostInsight web site.

May 14, 2006 -- ThisIsMoney has reported that "ROYAL Mail will unveil record profits of nearly £600m - £1.6m a day - this week, triggering an incentive scheme that will give its 180,000 employees a minimum bonus of £400 each. At the same time, the Government is expected to give its support in principle to a radical restructuring plan that would give workers shares in the business and about £1.3bn to inject in the pension scheme."

May 14, 2006 -- The Guardian has reported that "Postal unions say they will hold a national strike ballot unless Royal Mail agrees to talks on plans for an overhaul of the business that involves issuing shares to staff. Union officials are also threatening industrial action over a pay claim."

May 14, 2006 -- The Lakeland Ledger has noted that "The White House is insisting the Postal Service pay military pensions, which the service must pass on through postage rates, for those current and former employees. The dispute is a striking example of buck-passing in Washington, and shows how the ballooning deficit can trickle down to the everyday lives of Americans. Legislation before Congress to reform the postal system would ease financial strains on the Postal Service and cut future rate hikes, experts say, but President Bush has threatened to veto it. A major reason is that the reforms would return postal workers' military pensions to the Treasury."

May 14, 2006 -- According to Air Cargo World, "A split within union leadership ranks has put contract talks between UPS and its pilots back into an indefinite recess, just as formal bargaining sessions were set to resume in the coming week, said a key union official."

May 14, 2006 -- The Financial Times has reported that "Ministers are expected to give the go-ahead for public investment in Royal Mail, the state-owned postal operator, after being convinced by executives of the need for new technology and equipment."

May 13, 2006 -- According to the Atlanta Business Chronicle, "United Parcel Service Inc. on Friday responded to a disability discrimination claim, saying the employee it let go "posed a safety risk to himself and others" and was "unable to safely perform the essential work functions of his job."

May 13, 2006 -- According to the Bucks County Courier Times, "When Lorie and Rich Walsh sold their Warminster house to Katina D. Joyce they filed a change-of-address form with the post office and moved on. But more than five years later, solicitations for credit cards kept coming for them at their old address, and according to police, Joyce took advantage of the situation. She used the junk mail credit offers to open an account in Lorie Walsh's name earlier this year, police said. Using Walsh's Social Security number and date of birth, she had access to the credit and the checks that came with it, according to court records. In the span of about one week in March, Joyce is accused of cashing checks totaling $4,550."

May 13, 2006 -- From PR Web: "“When over 64 million American households registered with the Federal Trade Commission’s National Do-Not-Call Registry, companies that relied heavily on telemarketing have had to scramble to find a way to reach their potential customers,” said Lou Pine, Co-Founder and Senior Vice President of Business Development for Permission Data (www.permissiondata.com). “This has led to explosive growth in the online lead generation industry.”

May 13, 2006 -- The latest issue of the PostCom Bulletin is available online. In this issue:

  • The Postal Rate Commission recommended approval of the Bookspan negotiated service agreement, the first-ever NSA for Standard Mail. The deal, the first NSA proposed without a cost-based proponent, is a pure volume-based agreement with Bookspan to encourage the company to send more Standard Mail letters.
  • Nineteen members of the U.S. Congress detailed their concerns over the Postal Service's strategic plan to realign its processing, distribution and bulk mail centers. The letter cited the Postal Service's failure to implement recommendations on transparency, accountability and others.
  • Having mailers submit postage statements electronically to the USPS benefits both industry and the Postal Service. Postal Service VP Susan Plonkey told the IDEAlliance conference last week that much time currently is spent in Business Mail Entry Units manually entering information from postage statements into the USPS' PostalOne! system. "If we have an adoption rate of even ten percent to electronic postage statement submission, then that workload goes away and those BMEU technicians are available to do other kinds of work they can not focus on now," Plonkey said.
  • Lawmakers concerned by USPS request for rate increase. Clarification. PostCom rate chart corrections. Potter selected for industry leadership award. APWU renews its opposition to USPS realignment plan. USPS ‘unwraps' new Priority Mail shoe box.
  • Deutsche Post, Ver di squabbling over pay increases. British union calls vote block ‘heavy-handed.' Slovene Post preparing for open market. Deutsche Post eyes Chinese letter delivery market.
  • The Association for Postal Commerce has given its highest honor, the J. Edward Day Award, to Timothy May, Esq. of the law firm of Patton Boggs LLP.

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May 13, 2006 -- The Associated Press has reported that "A metro Atlanta man trying to send thousands of bricks to Congress as part of a protest against illegal immigration says he's struck a brick wall in getting the Capitol's post offices to deliver them to Congressmen."

May 13, 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: Revised CBO Estimate Projects Five-Year Savings for Postal Reform; Bookspan NSA and Postal Reform; Congressional Budget Mess.

May 12, 2006 -- According to Louisville Business First, "On May 11, the EEOC filed a lawsuit against Atlanta-based UPS alleging the shipping company fired a veteran employee with a degenerative eye condition because of the disability."

May 12, 2006 -- The Korea Herald has reported that "Korea Post was selected as one of the winners of the World Mail Awards on May 10, for its integrated logistics system and Internet Shopping Mall."

May 12, 2006 -- icSouthLondon has reported that "ROYAL MAIL does not always get the best press but diligent posties have been praised after tracking down a Sandersted couple to deliver a letter from Australia which had been wrongly addressed."

May 12, 2006 -- Air Cargo World has reported that "Kitty Hawk, the company that runs the only domestic freighter airline but recently branched out into air freight trucking, said it will pay $5 million to acquire another airport-to-airport trucking firm that operates in the western United States. The new Kitty Hawk Ground subsidiary is acquiring "substantially all of the operating assets" of San Francisco-based Air Container Transport, which operates less-than-truckload air freight service mainly in California, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, Colorado, Utah, Illinois and Texas."

May 12, 2006 -- The Financial Times has reported that "Deutsche Post is considering a share buy-back and is increasing its dividend in an attempt to boost the performance of stock in the German postal group."

May 12, 2006 -- The Guardian has reported that "Employees balk at taking their share as Leighton's Royal Mail struggles for success. The business is starting to make a profit, but workers fear back-door privatisation."

May 12, 2006 -- Reuters has reported that "Package delivery company FedEx Corp. is hopeful of a successful conclusion to talks with its pilots' union after more than two years without a deal."

May 12, 2006 -- The Association for Postal Commerce has given its highest honor, the J. Edward Day Award, to Timothy May, Esq. of the law firm of Patton Boggs LLP. (Click on the picture to gain a larger view and for additional details on J. Edward Day and Timothy May.)

May 12, 2006 -- From the PR Newswire: "John E. Potter, Postmaster General and Chief Executive Officer, United States Postal Service, was honored with the Industry Leadership Award at the 2006 World Mail Awards in Paris on May 10th. The award, which is sponsored by Pitney Bowes, was presented by Michael J. Critelli, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Pitney Bowes."

May 12, 2006 -- Scoop.co.nz has reported that "Talks to renew the New Zealand Post collective agreement – one of New Zealand’s largest private-sector industrial agreements – have adjourned with workers strong in their resolve for a decent pay rise."

May 12, 2006 -- The Times has reported that "MINISTERS are set to back Royal Mail’s plans for employee share ownership next week in a move that will trigger a showdown with Labour backbenchers and unions who have condemned the scheme as a partprivatisation of the service. The Times has learnt that Gordon Brown, the Chancellor, and Alistair Darling, the Trade and Industry Secretary, are preparing to endorse the controversial plan as they sanction up to £2 billion in state cash for the organisation next Thursday when Royal Mail reports profits of more than £600 million."

May 12, 2006 -- The latest report from the U.S. Postal Service Inspector General on Internal Control Group (Report Number FT-MA-06-001) http://www.uspsoig.gov/foia_files/FT-MA-06-001.pdf has been posted on the USPS IG web site.

May 12, 2006 -- The latest National Association of Postal Supervisors Legislative Update has been posted on this site.

May 12, 2006 -- The latest USPS DMM Advisory has been posted on this site.

May 12, 2006 -- According to the Jackson Clarion Ledger, "just when you thought it was safe to go back to the post office, the United States Postal Service has begun the process of raising rates again. The Postal Service says that this time, it's because gas prices are rising. Like the excuses it has trotted out in previous rate hikes, this one ignores the real problem."

May 11, 2006 -- The Prague Daily Monitor has reported that "Czech postal service operator Ceska posta raised net earnings by 50 percent to CZK 667 million last year, the second best result in the company's history, and turnover was 8.3 percent higher at CZK 17.7 billion."

May 11, 2006 -- Lakeland Radio has reported that "Postwatch Northern England, the consumer watchdog for postal services, has released details of its Rural Villages study. The results indicate that rural communities think a post office is the most vital facility for village life, which explains why so many people fight to save them, when they are under threat of closure."

May 11, 2006 -- Macauhub has reported that "The government of Sao Tome and Principe wants to privatize the state Postal company as it is considered to be “technically bankrupt.”

May 11, 2006 -- AccountingWeb has noted that "Being able to compete is important to any business, especially to the Postal Service. Language in both Senate and House versions of a bill designed to overhaul the Postal Service includes changes to the accounting method used to price shipping products, according to GovExec.com. The recommendations in the Treasury report takes the Postal Service out the loop in determining its own rates and the Postal Service is seeking a more equal role. The White House threatens to veto the bill with its current language."

May 11, 2006 -- Transport Intelligence has reported that "At its Annual General Meeting in Cologne, Deutsche Post World Net has given an update on its prospects for 2006 whilst also announcing that it has increased its dividend by 40%. In its Express Americas division, integrating two airports impacted on DHL’s service quality in the fourth quarter of 2005, resulting in customer fall-off. This led to a loss in the U.S. business and the financial effects of integration are still in evidence in 2006. Management expects that Express Americas will make a positive contribution to earnings in 2009."

May 11, 2006 -- The agenda for the May meeting of the Mailers Technical Advisory Committee has been posted on this site.

May 11, 2006 -- The Japan Times has reported that "Incidents of remittance fraud committed through postal services, including registered mail, rose by 2 1/2 times last year to 482, up from 189 incidents in 2004, according to the National Police Agency."

May 11, 2006 -- The Postal Rate Commission has issued to the postal Governors a favorable decision (3-1) in the matter of the Postal Service's request for a negotiated service agreement (NSA) with Bookspan. Commissioner Goldway dissented.

May 10, 2006 -- The Financial Times has published a brief background guide to the Spanish investigation of Forum Filatelico and Afinsa which invest depositors’ money in postage stamps, on possible fraud charges. The Financial Times also has reported that "José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, the Spanish prime minister, on Wednesday promised to protect the “rights, interests and expectations” of hundreds of thousands of small investors caught up in the biggest suspected fraud scandal in his country’s history."

May 10, 2006 -- Shippers Newswire has reported that "The U.S. Postal Service gained share of the U.S. domestic air cargo market during the first six months in 2005, a phenomenon that hasn’t occurred for many years, The Colography Group Inc. said Tuesday in releasing its mid-year 2005 Domestic Air Cargo Trends report."

May 10, 2006 -- The Norwich Evening News has reported that "The city's main post office has come under the spotlight after watchdogs launched a probe into customers' queueing times. The investigation by postal watchdog Postwatch, found that not enough counter positions were open to meet demand at the Castle Mall branch office."

May 10, 2006 -- From Business Wire: "BOWE BELL + HOWELL COMPANY, one of the largest automated mail processing systems manufacturers in the world, is using SolidWorks(R) software to customize the systems that help organizations like the United States Postal Service, presort customers for the commercial mailing industry, and private institutions such as Duke University sort and handle mail quickly, efficiently, and affordably."

May 10, 2006 -- CEP News (Courier-Express-Postal), published by the MRU Consultancy, has reported that:

Last year the French La Poste achieved an exponential increase in net profit....
The Dutch TNT group closed the first quarter with definite growth figures....
Deutsche Post's CEO Klaus Zumwinkel considers his company attractive to financial investors....
Osterreichische Post's subsidiary feibra holds a stake in the publishing house, which produces one of Vienna's three biggest free newspapers....
The Norwegian post's first quarter was marked by growing turnover figures (due mainly to acquisitions) as well as an improved result....
TNTs CEO Peter Bakker is highly critical of Deutsche Post AG and believes that the German mail market holds great growth potential....
The Swiss government has spoken against a rapid opening of the domestic postal market to competition. The association of private postal service providers in Switzerland, KEP&Mail, was satisfied that the current Postal Act would be replaced by a comprehensive Postal Market Act that would create equal opportunities for all players....
Algtrie Poste and the French La Poste announced the conclusion of a co-operation agreement....
Property owners in Austria will not be forced to pay for the new letterboxes introduced by regulation....
Five business consultants have submitted bids for the pending restructuring of Posta Romana....
The Belgian post has decided not to close any more post offices during the second half of 2006. The originally intended closure of 45 La Poste branches has been postponed until 2007....
A master plan has been drawn up with the aim of turning Germany into Europe's logistical centre....
The Polish post is investing over 22m euros in a new express hub in Breslau....
Sweden's Posten AB intends to strengthen its Finnish in-night and system transport network through the takeover of Sal-Trans Oy....
TNT Express has launched its first trademark campaign in more than seven years in order to demonstrate commitment to the express market....
La Poste has been too liberal in its handling of temping contracts, causing the French post to loose two recent lawsuits....

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.

May 10, 2006 -- As the New York Sun has noted, "With little fanfare, the postmark Americans have been accustomed to for more than a century is quickly going the way of the telegram and the rotary dial telephone. Last month, the postal service finished deploying new equipment nationwide that replaces the traditional circle-and-bars postage cancellation with a computer-generated city, state, and date, slapped onto mail by a high-speed ink-jet printer."

May 10, 2006 -- Washington 2006, the world philatelic exhibition scheduled for May 27 to June 3 at the Washington, DC Convention Center, has issued its 15th Member Update. It may be viewed and downloaded on the show's web site at http://www.washington-2006.org. The complete schedule of activities and events takes up nine of its ten pages. It contains many new listings and several date, time, and room number changes.

May 10, 2006 -- From PR Newswire: "Pitney Bowes Inc., provider of the world's most advanced mailstream solutions, will showcase a comprehensive portfolio of its mail and document management solutions for organizations of all sizes at the AIIM/ON DEMAND Conference and Exposition, to be held May 16-18 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania."

May 10, 2006 -- The Daily Nexus has reported that "Deputies from the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Dept. are currently investigating the connection between the recent discovery of over 300 items of stolen mail in a Santa Barbara hotel room and a string of mail thefts from residential mailboxes and U.S. Postal Service vehicles in Santa Barbara County."

May 10, 2006 -- The Times has reported that "ROYAL MAIL was on a collision course with its main union last night after it imposed a 2.9 per cent pay rise on staff that had already been rejected by the Communication Workers’ Union (CWU). The move was described as “a blatantly hostile act” by the CWU and could provoke a national strike." See also The Guardian and the Financial Times.

May 10, 2006 -- GovExec.com has reported that "The Postal Service is contesting language in both the House and Senate versions of a postal overhaul bill the agency contends would damage its ability to compete with private companies such as UPS. At issue is how the agency's general accounting practices will be determined once the overhaul legislation is enacted. Both versions say the Treasury secretary -- "in consultation with" the Postal Service -- will recommend the accounting method the agency should use in pricing products such as overnight mail and parcel shipping that compete in an open market alongside UPS and FedEx."

May 9, 2006 -- President George W. Bush has announced his intention to nominate Ellen C. Williams, of Kentucky, to be a Governor of the Board of Governors of the United States Postal Service, for the remainder of a nine-year term expiring December 8, 2007. Ellen C. Williams has served on the Kentucky Public Service Commission. She also has served as chairman and executive director of the Republican Party of Kentucky. She will take the seat currently held by Mr. Gardner, whose recess appointment would be terminated.

May 9, 2006 -- From PR Newswire:

  • Nearly 71 years after Greta Garbo (1905-1990) won her first award, she is still a worldwide sensation. The International Philatelic Society of Joint Stamp Issues Collectors voted the Greta Garbo commemorative stamp the "Best Overall Joint Issue of 2005." This joint issuance by the U.S. Postal Service and Sweden Posten was among a selection of 31 joint issues released in 2005.

  • The U.S. Postal Service announced today that the Breast Cancer Research semipostal stamp has raised over $50.3 million for research. With Mother's Day just around the corner, the Postal Service encourages consumers to use this stamp on Mother's Day cards to further increase funding for research.

May 9, 2006 -- The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung has reported that "A heated dispute is expected between German postal service operator Deutsche Post and trade union Ver.di over pay for employees of the company. Ver.di has demanded 4.5 per cent more pay for around 124,000 salaried staff of Deutsche Post in Germany; the company has not yet responded, but has indicated that any increase is likely to be in line with inflation rates."

May 9, 2006 -- Antara News has reported that "The Universal Postal Union (UPU) and the Asian -Pacific Postal Union (APPU) will work together to further promote remittance services which can offer huge opportunities for the postal industry."

May 9, 2006 -- According to the Daily News, "The Post-Master General and the Postal Superintendent (Southern) Province, Galle have neglected to arrange postal delivery facilities for Galagodawatta tsunami housing scheme in Ambalangoda division. Thousands of tsunami displaced families who were living in coastal areas are now living in beneficiary houses since August 2005. According to those families they are facing inconveniences without postal facilities."

May 9, 2006 -- According to the Wall Street Journal, "the generic mail-order business is booming."

May 9, 2006 -- The Atlanta Business Journal has reported that "United Parcel Service Inc. will begin a project at its air package hub in Rockford, Ill., to increase sorting capacity by about 50 percent. The package sorting hub in Rockford is used to support UPS' Next Day Air network and is one of its six regional air hubs in the United States."

May 9, 2006 -- According to The Hill, "The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is in bad shape, having suffered more than $101 billion in real economic losses over the past 30 years. Even though the USPS is exempt from most taxes and regulations that burden truly commercial firms, the organization suffers from a bloated work force, negligible productivity gains and heavy costs associated with operating a gaggle of redundant or inefficient locations. Streamlining the bricks-and-mortar postal structure is a vital step in reversing the Postal Service’s decline, which if left unchecked could strand taxpayers with billions in liabilities. But as long as members of Congress have the right to name these facilities, the political will to close unnecessary post offices will never be exercised. So it is no surprise that postal-reform legislation currently before the Congress (H.R. 22 and S. 662, in the conference stage) does not include any substantive process for efficiently consolidating facilities. At the end of the day, designations of post offices are just another form of pork to bring home to local constituents. Congress’s prerogative of naming post offices should also be curtailed, for the good of our political system as well as the Postal Service."

May 9, 2006 -- According to the Online Journal, "According to US Postal Service insiders, the Bush administration, which has prided itself on tax cuts, has imposed a stealth war tax on the American people."

May 9, 2006 -- The Newspaper Association of America has noted that "the total combined circulation of the top 50 newspapers represents only about one-third (36 percent) of the total daily newspaper print audience, and about 37 percent of the total Sunday print audience."

May 9, 2006 -- The Times has reported that "ROYAL MAIL was accused last night of appearing undemocratic and heavy-handed after banning unions from conducting a ballot at work on employee share ownership. The Times has learnt that all mail managers have been told to prohibit the Communication Workers’ Union (CWU) from holding a consultative ballot in mail centres on the controversial plans for share ownership. Managers were also told to tear down union posters that are not on designated notice boards."

May 9, 2006 -- The Denver Business Journal has reported that "The Colorado and Wyoming Postal District has again bested the national average for on-time delivery of local first class mail."

May 8, 2006 -- B2B has reported that "One way to promote a product is to not take it too seriously. Try a wink and a nod with a little self-deprecation thrown in for good measure. The U.S. Postal Service did just that, in a direct-mail campaign portraying its core product-direct mail-as tragically unhip. The result? The mailing ended up positioning the stodgy, quasi-government agency's mainstay product as quite the opposite. The direct-mail campaign, launched in January, was designed to remind advertising and marketing executives, often a jaded bunch, that direct mail can be an effective marketing channel. The "When Pigs Can Fly!" mailer, created by agency Campbell-Ewald, targeted 150,000 marketing and advertising executives."

May 8, 2006 -- The Telegraph has reported that "Sub-postmasters in the Isle of Wight are considering running their own mail service, with their own stamps and franking, to try to stave off the closure of their rural post offices. They believe that 35 of the island's 52 post offices are under threat and claim that their future may depend on declaring independence from the Royal Mail for local collections and deliveries."

May 8, 2006 -- AFX Europe has reported that "Deutsche Post AG is eyeing a move into the Chinese letter delivery market, board member Klaus Knappik told Die Welt, without providing further details."

May 8, 2006 -- The Asahi Shimbun has reported that "In a move likely to provoke criticism at home and abroad, Japan Post Co. plans to expand its range of insurance products, offering nursing care and cancer insurance along with life insurance as part of the company's move toward privatization."

May 8, 2006 -- Letter carriers across the country are collecting food for the hungry. This is an annual program sponsored by the National Association of Letter Carriers. Kudos!

May 8, 2006 -- Slovenia Business Week has reported that "Slovenia's state-run postal service is still preparing its privatisation strategy, which is to be decided on by the government after it is confirmed by the company's supervisors, the chairman of the Post of Slovenia Ales Hauc said in an interview for STA. According to Hauc, the Post is well prepared for the liberalisation of postal services market, which is to take place by 2009."

May 8, 2006 -- DM News has reported that:

  • If some mailers attending this week’s catalog-focused ACCM 2006 conference in Chicago look glum, don’t blame them: the United States Postal Service’s proposed 8.5 percent average rate increase is stiff. Large business mailers like banks, credit card issuers, telecommunications companies, catalogers and retailers as well as magazines, newspapers and nonprofits are most affected by this planned increase. So what are the likely implications for the mail channel and the USPS? “People are going to look at e-mail."
  • Faced with possible continued price increases that exceed the inflation rate, the DMA warned that many business and nonprofit mailers will be forced to limit mailing campaigns and seek cheaper ways to communicate with current and potential customers. Cutting back on mailings will affect not only downstream industries such as paper and printing, but also reduce USPS revenue, necessitating additional rate increases or even service cuts to keep the postal service afloat.

May 8, 2006 -- Transport Intelligence has reported that "DHL has recently announced a partnership with Transmile, a regional air express operator, to provide customers in South India with quicker delivery times to the USA. DHL will deliver consignments from Bangalore, Chennai (Madras) and other key south Indian markets in two days using Transmile, which is a part of DHL’s regional AirAsia network."

May 7, 2006 -- The American Bankers Association has urged Congress to pass the postal reform bill.

May 7, 2006 -- What are the chances that the Postal Service's "forever" stamp might turn into an investment vehicle...a sort of postal rate futures as a hedge against future price increases? If you're interested in this subject, one of our correspondents has suggested you might want to read: "The economics of forever stamps" and the "Economist's View on The Forever Stamp." See also "A hedge against postal increases." Bottom line? Stick with stocks or real estate.

May 7, 2006 -- The Wall Street Journal has noted that "When United Parcel Service Inc. announced it was acquiring the Mail Boxes Etc. shipping chain five years ago, franchisee Dana Houser thought his entrepreneurial dreams were finally coming true. But today Mr. Houser is wondering how much longer he can keep the doors open at his shop, now doing business as the UPS Store. His anticipated volume increase never arrived, while profit margins vanished as UPS cut the fees he got for handling packages. And the company opened another store nearby, which siphoned customers, the 34-year-old franchisee says. Mr. Houser says that when he sees UPS ads that ask "What can Brown do for you?" his response is: "Stop competing with me."

May 7, 2006 -- The Ventura County Star has asked if you're "tired of scrounging up 2-cent stamps to add to your old 37-cent stamps? Help could be on the way if the U.S. Postal Service gets its wish for a "forever stamp." It's a terrific idea, one we hope the independent U.S. Postal Rate Commission approves."

May 7, 2006 -- AMEInfo has reported that "Emirates Post has recorded 59 per cent increase in profits and 31 per cent in revenues in the first four months of 2006."

May 7, 2006 -- NewIndPress has reported that "The Courier Welfare Association (CWA) has alleged that many employees of the courier firms are on the verge of losing their jobs with the Government’s decision to amend the Indian Post Office Act, 1898."

May 7, 2006 -- The Independent has reporte that "The Royal Mail is set to unveil a surge in profits to £600m later this month, but is in danger of being overtaken by a row over pay after unions turned down its latest offer. The Communication Workers Union has rejected a proposed 2.9 per cent pay increase and is seeking further talks with chief executive Adam Crozier."

May 6, 2006 -- The latest issue of the PostCom Bulletin is available online. In this issue:

  • The U.S. Postal Service reported better-than-expected revenue in the second quarter at the May Board of Governors meeting. However, volume growth in the major classes of mail remained sluggish.
  • Postal scholar Elisabeth Eaves says citizens of the U.K. and other postal progressive nations will enjoy lower postage prices and better mail service – the fruits of early privatization – long before citizens of other European nations who are being dragged, kicking and screaming, into liberalization by the EU directive to open postal markets by 2009.
  • Publishers and mailing industry representatives called for action in response to the U.S. Postal Service's rate case filing this week.
  • A new paper published by the Institute for Research on the Economics of Taxation examines the many non-postal uses of Bolger Center, the U.S. Postal Service's conference and management training facility in the exclusive Washington, D.C., suburb of Potomac, Maryland.
  • Governors meet, okay money for new hardware, regional processing center. Drawn out Bookspan NSA deal causing concern among mailers. Conference committee still facing delays on consideration of postal reform bill. Joel Quadracci named Quad/Graphics president & CEO, will succeed Tom Quadracci. Historic U.N. stamp collection sold without approval.
  • Report gives European posts continuing high scores for cross-border mail delivery. TNT sees rise in earnings, profits; German court rules for Dutch firm. Switzerland to privatize postal services. EU begins investigation into Czech postal service. DHL plans new research center.

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 Why, it's NETGRAM, of course. Read more about it.

May 6, 2006 -- The Monitor has reported that "On her way to deliver a package to the Post Office on the corner of Pecan Avenue and McColl Street, McAllen resident Olga Molina said she was surprised at this week’s proposal by the U.S. Postal Service to raise the price of stamps by another three cents to 42 cents next spring and create a new "forever" stamp. "It’s too soon," Molina said. "They just raised it to 39 cents from 37 cents."

May 6, 2006 -- As the Journal Times has asked: "When is a book not a book? If the book has advertisements in it, it's not a book, not for the post office. At least that's the impression Jerry Karwowski got when he tried to mail a few things from the Union Grove Post Office."

May 6, 2006 -- Mid-Day has reported that "Almost 65,000 Mumbai University graduates are yet to receive their degree certificates. Though the certificates were handed over to a courier company in February this year, the company failed to deliver them. And much to the embarrassment of the university, the company has now returned the parcels, claiming lack of manpower to execute the order. The students are from the 2002 to the 2005 batches."

May 6, 2006 -- The Association for Postal Commerce welcomes its newest member:

Bertelsmann, Inc. represented by Christopher Davis, Director, Strategic Sourcing

May 6, 2006 -- For those who follow the work of the Postal Service's Inspector General, you might want to check out the following reports that are available on the USPS IG web site:

May 5, 2006 -- PostCom Members!! The Postal Service has proposed significant changes in the structure of Standard Mail Rates in the case it has just filed. This means that when you look at the class averages USPS has put out, they are useless in telling you how these rates will affect your business. Here's what you need to do: Take some live mailings--more than just one or two--and bump them up against the proposed rates. Then, let PostCom know what you've discovered. Send this information to: info@postcom.org.

May 5, 2006 -- Investments and Pensions Europe has reported that "Walter Kohler, managing director of Pensionskasse Post, a CHF12.2bn (€7.8bn) fund for Swiss postal employees, has quit his post with immediate effect. Pensionskasse Post said Kohler’s resignation was prompted by “differences on future strategy” between him and the fund’s other executives. These executives include Yves-André Jeandupeux, who is president of Pensionskasse Post’s supervisory board.Kohler’s abrupt resignation comes at a turbulent time for the fund. Although the Swiss government privatised it in 2002, it did not, from an actuarial standpoint, fully capitalise it."

May 5, 2006 -- Daily News & Analysis has reported that "Express Industry Council of India (EICI) chairman R K Saboo on Friday criticised the draft Indian Post Office Amendment Bill, saying it “is detrimental to India’s global competitiveness.”

May 5, 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: "Will Rate Case Jump Start Postal Conference?"

May 5, 2006 -- Business Mailers Review has reported that:

  • USPS Seeks 8.5% Rate Increase....Prices change for all products and services....
  • Add “PIP” to the long list of acronyms for the mailing industry. PIP stands for “public input process"....
  • Repackaging or reconfiguring a product to move from a small parcel to a flat or a flat to a letter is not always practical, or cost-effective....
  • The Supreme Court recently added a footnote to one of the U.S. Postal Service’s biggest scandals....
  • The American Postal Workers Union (APWU) has gone to court to try to block the Postal Service’s efforts to realign the transportation and processing networks, a move that could further bog down the realignment effort following the Postal Rate Commission’s decision to reject expedited consideration of the plan....
  • Lawmakers with jurisdiction over the Postal Service are also concerned about the way the agency is going about its plans to make the network more efficient....
  • The USPS is proposing changes to encourage use of the electronic address correction service (ACS)....
     

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.

May 5, 2006 -- According to the Courier Post, "The lesson appears to be "switch to direct deposit." For the second time in a week, some area retirees have been left in the lurch by unexpected and unexplained delays in the delivery of government checks."

May 5, 2006 -- From the Washington Post: "The Senate easily passes a $109 billion emergency spending bill for war and hurricane recovery costs, and also includes targeted spending for pet projects in an election year. [And we're still debating whether a few billion more can be used to put the Postal Service in a better fiscal position? Is this nation nuts, or what? Hey President and Congress: Enact postal reform!!]

May 5, 2006 -- The Financial Times has noted that "First BT, now the Royal Mail. The list of supposedly-independent, profitable bodies queuing up for help with their pension deficits must make the Treasury feel like a parent whose grown-up children never stop asking for pocket money. The obvious retort should be: if we give you some, they will all want some. But Allan Leighton, the Royal Mail chairman, is smarter than that and has dressed up his request for help (he needs £2bn for pensions and modernising sorting equipment) in the language of grown-up finance. Calling for a "rights issue" from your sole shareholder might look cheeky, but reflects the need to justify the money as genuine investment rather than a subsidy that would break European state-aid rules."

May 5, 2006 -- According to the Daily Texan, "A plug-in, gas-electric hybrid vehicle advocacy group called for congressional action Thursday at the World Congress on Information Technology in Austin to transition the U.S. Postal Service fleet to plug-in hybrid vehicles in order to save money and gasoline. Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles would provide 30-percent to 50-percent better fuel economy than a standard hybrid car, according to a Plug-In Partners Web site, the group presenting at the technology congress. With larger batteries than today's gas-electric hybrids, the plug-ins would be an upgrade on current technology, resulting in a vehicle capable of reaching 80 miles per gallon."

May 5, 2006 -- The Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin has reported that "The U.S. Postal Service said it is considering consolidating outgoing-mail processes at its offices on Henry Street in Binghamton and East Taft Road in Syracuse to cut costs and increase operating efficiencies. All outgoing mail collected at the Binghamton facility would be transported to Syracuse and then redistributed to reach their final destinations if the proposal is approved by Postal Service headquarters in Washington, D.C., said Maureen Marion, a Postal Service spokeswoman in Syracuse."

May 5, 2006 -- Printing Talk has reported that "Pitney Bowes Management Services (PBMS) - the outsourcing arm of mail and messaging systems company Pitney Bowes - has appointed Richard Thompson as managing director of its UK operation."

May 5, 2006 -- If you're in DC this week and next, here's something you might want to check out. NATIONAL POSTAL MUNational Postal MuseumSEUM "Networking a Nation: The Star Route Service"; "Airmail in America." Open indefinitely: "On the Road," a history of city mail vehicles; "What's in the Mail for You!"; "Moving the Mail"; "Binding the Nation"; "Customers and Communities"; "Artistic License: The Duck Stamp Story"; "The Art of Cards and Letters"; "Stamps and Stories." Open daily 10 to 5:30. 2 Massachusetts Ave. NE. 202-633-1000 (TDD: 202-633-9849).

May 5, 2006 -- The BBC has reported that "First class post to and from Scotland faces disruption after a major carrier was forced to suspend flights."

May 5, 2006 -- The American Postal Workers Union (APWU) has reported that "At the urging of the APWU, 19 members of Congress whose constituents would be affected by USPS “network realignment” plans expressed concern about the program in a May 1, 2006, letter to U.S. Comptroller General David M. Walker. The congressmen reiterated complaints lodged in March by the chairmen and ranking minority members of Senate and House committees with jurisdiction over postal matters, and by Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA). The letter [PDF] urged the GAO to follow up on its 2005 report on the USPS realignment strategy, which the agency concluded, “lacks sufficient transparency and accountability, excludes stakeholder input, and lacks performance measures for results.”

May 5, 2006 -- Scoop.co.nz has reported that "Thousands of postal workers have today launched a campaign for a five per cent pay rise with a rally outside the Auckland Mail Centre. Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union national secretary Andrew Little said that the workers had a strong case. “Most of these people are earning $12 to $14 an hour,” he said."

May 5, 2006 -- The International Society of Worldwide Stamp Collectors in on the verge of adding our 2500th member since 1983. It hopes to find that person and several dozen more at Washington 2006 and other philatelic events over the next few months. John Seidl, Vice President of Public Relations has stated "We are very excited about the continued growth of the International Society of Worldwide Stamp Collectors. In a time where many philatelic groups are fighting to maintain members the ISWSC continues to expand around the world." The ISWSC was formed in 1983 as an organization for worldwide stamp collectors to join together, share experiences and exchange material. Its current members are beginners through highly advanced collectors residing in 18 countries. Regional secretaries in seven countries from Australia to Poland assist in recruiting and supporting local members. A membership brochure from ISWSC has been posted on this site.

May 5, 2006 -- The Rockford Register Star has reported that "The American Postal Workers Union will hold an informational picket Friday in front of the Rockford main post office on Harrison Avenue over talk of the U.S. Postal Service moving some operations from that post office to the processing and distribution center in Palatine."

May 5, 2006 -- According to Business Week, "U.S. workers raised their productivity in the opening quarter of this year. Their compensation went up briskly, too. From a worker perspective more generous compensation -- wages and benefits -- is a good thing. But economists worry that big gains -- if sustained for a long period -- could cause inflation to take off."

May 5, 2006 -- According to Traffic World, "Cargo traffic on U.S. airlines increased 6 percent in March to 2.357 billion ton miles. The increase in traffic was nearly three times as rapid as the 2.1 percent growth in February. Growth for the first quarter was 3.2 percent to 6.255 billion ton miles, said the Air Transport Association."

May 5, 2006 -- The Journal of Commerce has reported that "FedEx Corp. said Thursday it is launching a major expansion of its FedEx Express hub at Indianapolis International Airport. The expansion will increase package processing capacity by more than 30 percent, from 75,000 packages per hour to 99,000 packages per hour. The expansion will include a 400,000-square-foot addition to the hub's existing sorting facility and the construction of another 175,000-square-foot sorting building, a 40,000-square-foot aircraft maintenance facility and an 8,000-square-foot building to hold ground support equipment. The hub will hire up to 800 employees, bringing total employment to about 5,000."

May 5, 2006 -- The Sioux City Journal has reported that "After a meeting early Thursday afternoon with the director of the U.S. Postal Service, a contingent of Sioux City leaders came away hopeful. Meeting with Postmaster General John Potter, U.S. Sens. Tom Harkin and Charles Grassley and Congressman Steve King and four Sioux Cityans pushed the postal chief to maintain the city's mail processing and distribution center."

May 5, 2006 -- From Business Wire: "GiftCertificates.com(TM), a leading provider of comprehensive incentive solutions, today announced that it was approved by the United States Postal Service ("USPS") to take an active role in developing recognition and award campaigns to support the Postal Service's eAwards system. The eAwards system is an online tool that provides Postal Service managers the flexibility to engage with and increase morale of employees by recognizing their excellence in performance. While not replacing the Postal Service performance appraisal process, eAwards will allow managers to reward employees based upon positive behaviors that are aligned with the Service's organizational goals. eAwards is scheduled to launch nationwide over the next 18 months and is an integral component of the USPS Strategic Transformation Plan 2006."

May 5, 2006 -- The Lexington Herald-Leader has reported that "Urban County Council candidate George Brown can't use "Brown" -- the nickname for United Parcel Service -- to promote his run for an at-large seat, according to UPS. Brown, the current District 1 council member, has been using the slogan "What can George Brown do for YOU?" on yard signs and in campaign mailings. UPS' slogan is "What can Brown do for you?"

May 5, 2006 -- GovExec.com has reported that "The Postal Service's rate increase proposal, announced Wednesday, drew grim reactions from the lawmakers working to overhaul the agency. "I am disappointed the Board of Governors did not see fit to wait until comprehensive postal reform legislation becomes law before making a decision on whether to seek rate increases," House Government Reform Chairman Tom Davis, R-Va., said in a release. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Chairwoman Susan Collins, R-Maine, hinted that the agency's rate increase, which would raise first-class stamp prices from 39 to 42 cents, heightens the urgency to push the overhaul legislation."

May 5, 2006 -- Reliable Plant has reported that "The National Association of Manufacturers has joined with other members of the Coalition for a 21st Century Postal Service in calling on Congress to enact the first major overhaul of the postal law in 26 years. “The recently announced postal rate increases underscore the need for Congress to finish its work and get a bill to the President’s desk,” said Lawrence Fineran, NAM vice president for Legal and Regulatory Reform Policy."

May 5, 2006 -- From Canada NewsWire: "Canada Post's annual report announced record volumes and $199 million in net profits in 2005, its eleventh consecutive year of making millions and its twenty-fifth year of providing universal, affordable public postal service, said the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW)."

May 5, 2006 -- From the PR Newswire: "The U.S. Postal Service is making it easy now for retailers and customers shipping footwear to "strut their stuff" this summer, with the introduction of a new Priority Mail Shoe Box that will accommodate almost any brand and size shoe. Designed to meet the needs of footwear and clothing retailers, along with direct-to-customer businesses, the new Priority Mail box allows shippers to simply slide in a boxed pair of shoes for easy shipping. The box measures 7-1/2 inches by 5-1/8 inches by 14-3/8 inches, is self sealing, and -- as with all Priority Mail packaging -- is available at no additional cost to Priority Mail shippers."

May 4, 2006 -- The R2006 issue of the PostCom Bulletin is available online. This issue contains the charts prepared by PostCom which compare present and proposed rates. 


Who handles the distribution of the PostCom Bulletin?
 Why, it's NETGRAM, of course. Read more about it.

May 4, 2006 -- Editor & Publisher has reported that "Postal rates could rise nearly 25% for in-county newspapers in May 2007 if the United States Postal Service has its way, and further annual increases are in store, the National Newspaper Association (NNA) revealed today."

May 4, 2006 -- The presentation by Chief Financial Officer & Executive Vice President Robert J. Pedersen to the Board of Governors on May 3, 2006 regarding the USPS' FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE for QUARTER 2, FY 2006 has been posted on this site.

May 4, 2006 -- Les Echos has reported that "La Poste, the French national postal services group, has announced an increase of nearly 50 per cent in its net profit for 2005, to 557m euros, for a 3.5 per cent increase in turnover, to 19.3bn euros. This positive performance comes on the back of an improvement in the group's operating margin, which increased from 1.7 per cent in 2003 to 3.9 per cent in 2005. The group is facing the challenge of the complete liberalisation of the postal services market in 2009. Some 65 per cent of its turnover is already generated on markets open to competition, and 15 per cent of it is generated abroad. In financial services, La Poste has created a postal bank which will compete on a very open market. Although the bank is relatively well off in terms of the structure it already has in place, it is handicapped by a limited range of services, any extension of which has to be negotiated with the government."

May 4, 2006 -- The Financial Times has reported that "Royal Mail's request to the government for finance of up to £2bn and approval for giving 20 per cent of its shares to staff has come under fire from a leading private sector competitor and a union. TNT Mail, the British subsidiary of the privatised Dutch postal operator, wrote to Gordon Brown yesterday saying any payment from the government would count as state aid, in contravention of European Union rules."

May 4, 2006 -- The Wall Street Journal has reported that "a wide array of businesses are using extra fees and fuel surcharges to shift some of their rising energy costs to consumers, who already pay an average of nearly $3 a gallon at the pump. A 36% rise in retail gas prices since early December is causing delivery companies, cruise lines, taxis, electric utilities, garbage collectors, landscapers, pizza chains and numerous other businesses nationwide to either tack on extra fees to the basic consumer price or to increase existing fuel surcharges."

May 4, 2006 -- Once again the US Postal Service has filed a request to raise postage rates for the nation’s consumer, business and nonprofit mailers. The proposed 8.5 percent average increase (9.0 percent for standard mail) comes on top of the 5.4 percent increase that went into effect in January. “Postal rate increases are never good news for organizations that rely on the mail to get their messages and packages out, and this latest increase would mean millions of extra dollars in costs for commercial mailers and nonprofit organizations,” said Jerry Cerasale, DMA’s Senior Vice President for Government Affairs.

May 4, 2006 -- In case you missed them, we've posted the Library and Media Mail rates on this site. The USPS had inadvertently left these charts out of its filing with the Postal Rate Commission.

May 4, 2006 -- NewIndPress has reported that "Andhra Pradesh Couriers’ Association (APCA), Visakhapatnam chapter on Wednesday organised a mega rally protesting the Courier Service Revised Bill-06, which is proposed to submit in the Parliament in the next sessions."

May 4, 2006 -- The Standard has noted that "Hongkong Post is a labor-intensive business operation with public service obligations. Its main goal is to maintain financial growth in the face of international competition. But banking services at local post offices are unlikely to get the stamp of approval unless the Post Office Ordinance is amended, something which is unlikely in the near future."

May 4, 2006 -- The Communication Workers Union is this week balloting its members to confirm the priorities of the Royal Mail workforce. Core values of proper pay, safe pensions and job security in a successful publicly owned company which values its employees are expected to be heavily endorsed by members.

May 4, 2006 -- According to the Associated Press, the "forever" stamp should enjoy smooth sailing at the Postal Rate Commission, since it was Commissioner Ruth Goldway who had made this proposal a year ago.

May 4, 2006 -- MediaWeek has reported that "Publishers reacted harshly to the new filing and called for federal government to move forward on postal reform actions. “Today’s announcement by the United States Postal Service of yet another increase in postage rates, and the prediction of further increases beyond that, illustrates the need to enact postal reform legislation currently pending in the United States Congress,” said American Business Media president/CEO Gordon Hughes. “This legislation has passed both chambers of Congress by huge margins, and the steps necessary to get the bill to the President's desk for signature must be completed without delay.”

May 4, 2006 -- The BBC has reported that "The Royal Mail has won the backing of the Department of Trade and Industry in its bid to secure cash to modernise the firm and help plug its pension deficit. The Royal Mail has made a formal request to the UK Treasury for a cash injection of £1.25bn, and greater access to £750m it has on its books."

May 4, 2006 -- From Business Wire: "The Coalition for a 21st Century Postal Service will hold a media briefing teleconference on the postage rate increase the United States."

May 4, 2006 -- According to Advertising Age, "The U.S. Postal Service delivered a double dose of bad news to media companies and direct marketers today: It is seeking a major rate increase to take effect next year, and it expects to file annual rate increases in the future. Then the news got worse: The Postal Service is seeking to boost rates as much as 11.4% on magazines and 24.2% on newspapers (though the increase for out-of-county rates, which is the most widely used newspaper rate, would be 11.2%); mailers of CDs and samples could also face big hikes."

May 4, 2006 -- The New Zealand Herald has  reported that "New Zealand Post says it will cut 60 jobs as it restructures its core postal services business and slashes costs."

May 4, 2006 -- The Association for Postal Commerce welcomes its newest member:

Zip Sort, 63 Saint Anthony Parkway Minneapolis, MN 55418-1014 represented by Don Berry President & CEO.

May 3, 2006 -- The Postal Service's proposed rates for R2006 are posted on the Postal Rate Commission web site. Please note that Postal Service failed to include its Bound Printed Matter rate chart in its initial filing. You can find those charts on the USPS web site.

May 3, 2006 -- Rep. John McHugh (R-NY) went on record saying that "The news today of the U.S. Postal Service's proposal to increase postage rates is not surprising given the rising energy costs and the agency's costs of doing business. However, a 13.5 percent hike in just over two years borders on the excessive - and that's just the increase in first class postage. Other products would go up by more than 25 percent. Postal reform legislation that Congress is poised to enact would limit such extreme rate hikes, instead linking them to the Consumer Price Index, while also providing tools to ensure the future solvency of the Postal Service."

May 3, 2006 -- The Coalition for a 21st Century Postal Service representing the companies and organizations in a mailing industry approaching $1 trillion in value called today for immediate action on postal reform. Ben Cooper, who chairs the coalition, said the announcement by the Postal Service of a significant rate increase for next year is clear evidence that the current law does not provide a framework for the future.

May 3, 2006 -- In response to the Postal Service's filing for an 8.5% average postal rate increase, PostCom President Gene Del Polito noted that "those who will be most adversely affected represent a segment of society that is responsible for generating some $900 billion economic activity (or about nine percent of the nation's Gross Domestic Product) and for the existence of some nine million American jobs nationwide. "While mailers understand that postage rates eventually must go up to pay for increases in operating expenses, the current system provides for no predictability and no opportunity for mailers to budget for the higher rates. It's essential, " the PostCom President said, "that Congress complete its postal reform work with dispatch. Without reform, he emphasized, our nation will continue to suffer a fiscal burden that has nothing to do with improving the quality of the mail services we receive."

May 3, 2006 -- Reacting to the Postal Service’s announced plan to raise postage rates for magazines by an average of 11.4%, Magazine Publishers of America (MPA) today urged Congress to move quickly to complete action on postal reform legislation.

May 3, 2006 -- Since the 2006 rate case has started, you might want to familiarize yourself with rate case procedure by taking a look at the Anatomy of a Postal Rate Case.

May 3, 2006 -- Regarding the rate case, you might want to take a look at these materials that the Postal Service has prepared.

May 3, 2006 -- The USPS announced this morning that it will file its rate case at the Postal Rate Commission (PRC) later today (likely late afternoon). PostCom will be bringing you more details as the information becomes available, but here are some highlights from the USPS' press briefing held this morning following the Board of Governors meeting.

Overall average percent increases:

    7.1%    First-Class Mail
    9.0%    Standard Mail
    13.8%  Priority Mail
    12.5%  Express Mail
    13.4%  Package Servies
    11.2%  Special Services

The USPS stressed that mailers need look at individual rate cell changes to really see the impact of the proposed rates. The USPS implied that increases in some discounts will actually result in some rate reductions, but in other cases where mailers choose less efficient options, the rate increases can range from low to moderate to large.

Contingency Rate. The case will contain an historically low 1% contingency rate.

Confirm. The USPS will propose changes to the Confirm rate structure that charges an upfront registration fee for the first 1 million scans and then charges declining block rates for additional scans above the first 1 million.

Address Quality incentives -- ACS.  The USPS will propose that the existing electronic ACS option will continue to exist, but the proposed rate for First-Class Mail will go from the current 21-cents to 6-cents and for Standard Mail it is proposed to go from the current 21 cents to 25 cents. For OneCode ACS, which is based on use of the 4-state barcode, the USPS will propose that for First-Class Mail and Standard Mail, the 1st two corrections for an address will be free, then the per correction fee for the same address after that will be 5-cents for First-Class Mail and 15-cents for Standard Mail.

First-Class Mail.  First-Class letters, flats, and parcels will be split to different rates, as a result of letters being much lower cost to the USPS to process, said postal officials.  For example, the 2 ounce letter rate proposed is  $ 0.62 and the proposed 2 ounce flat rate is $ 0.82, a 30% increase. The USPS said the mailer could mitigate that rate impact by re-packaging the 2 ounce flat to become a 2 ounce letter. A 2 ounce parcel in First-Class would be one of the most increased rates proposed, the USPS said, going from $ 0.63 to $ 1.20 (a 90% increase). The USPS stressed that many of the rate cells will actually reduce, but some will contain significant increases.

Priority Mail.  The USPS will propose a dimensional pricing element for Priority Mail sent to Zones 5-8 and larger than 1 cubic foot.  The USPS said its competitors already use dimensional charges. 

Express Mail.  The USPS said it will propose a new 1 pound Express Mail flat rate at $19.50 (vs. the current 2 lb rate of $18.80).

Standard Mail flats/parcels.  The USPS said that smaller parcels are costly and inefficient for it to handle, and its proposed rates will reflect that.  For example, an 8 ounce Standard Mail parcel rate currently 79.4 cents is proposed to go to $1.30, a 64% increase.  The USPS said mailers could do 2 things to mitigate the impact:  use drop ship discounts, which it said will be increased to provide greater incentive; or redesign the parcel to become a flat and drop ship. The USPS said that Standard Mail "flats" such as CDs/DVDs currently mailed in jewel cases would be defined as a processing category in between flats and parcels in the proposed structure, with a 78% increase in rate for a jewel box mailed at Standard Mail rates. The mailer should look at redesigning the piece to be more flexible and qualify as a true automation flat, the USPS said, or continue to mail as a jewel box and pay the higher postage.

Periodicals.  The USPS said it will focus on increased efficiency for Periodicals, including a proposed container fee of 85-cents per container (either per sack or per pallet) to incent Periodicals mailers to prepare more mail on pallets than in sacks.  The USPS also said it is proposing enhanced drop ship discounts for Periodicals.

Standard Mail saturation DAL.  The USPS will propose a new 1.5-cent per piece charge for Standard Mail saturation pieces prepared with a separate Detached Address Label (DAL) piece. The USPS said the separate additional piece adds more cost than benefit in its automation program. 

Processing categories.  The USPS said that it will be pursuing separate to its filing an effort to make its mailing standards in sync with the proposed rate structure and changes, by clarifying and better defining processing categories based on its processing equipment and methods.

Be sure to check the two USPS press releases: Postal Service Proposes New Approach To Shape A More Efficient Future and Postal Service Seeks Price Adjustments. Also check the Postal Service's Pricing and Classification Weekly. Check also the Washington Post.

May 3, 2006 -- The slides used by the U.S. Postal Service in technical conference on the Evolutionary Network Development (END) program has been posted on the Postal Rate Commission web site.

May 3, 2006 -- Tempo has reported that "President Arroyo and the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) has approved a proposal to modernize the country’s postal system through a P5.7-billion build-lease-transfer project for the Philippine Postal Corp. (Philpost)."

May 3, 2006 -- AFX has reported that "The Swiss government announced plans to privatise the Swiss Post as part of its efforts to liberalise the country's postal services. The government said it wants to create a level playing field for private competition. Therefore it has ordered the Communications Department to draft a bill making the necessary amendments to Swiss postal legislation."

May 3, 2006 -- CEP News (Courier-Express-Postal), published by the MRU Consultancy, has reported that:

Germany's mail market will be fully open to competition from 1 January 2008.
Osterreichische Post announced the acquisition of Kolos, a leaflet distributor in Slovakia. The post said the reason for the takeover was the expansion of Austrian customers into Eastern Europe.
La Poste has reached an agreement with the French Ministry of Finance involving long-term easing of the burden of pension contributions for civil servants.
The Swiss government - the Federal Council - is expected to decide on further postal market liberalisation steps this week.
Suomen Posti Oy noted an increase in both turnover and profit during the first quarter of 2006. The Finnish post increased its operating result by 15.3% to 37.7m euros. Standard letter volumes have declined significantly.
Last Friday rumours circulated that the subscription period for Osterreichische Post's IPO would begin in mid-May.
EP Europost, a TNT subsidiary operating in the German mail market, is undergoing rebranding to TNT Post.
"We've been able to continue and strengthen last year's positive development during the first quarter", said CEO Erik Olsson last Thursday at the presentation of Posten AB's first-quarter figures. Mr Olsson said strong volume growth throughout the service range had brought about higher earnings.
The European Commission has launched an investigation against Ceska Posta. The investigation focuses on the question whether the Czech post abuses its market dominating position in the direct mail segment.
Singapore Post Pte Ltd, one of the world's most profitable post companies, achieved excellent results in 2005.
Private Spanish mail service Unipost achieved a 76.8m euros turnover last year (+15.7%). Consignment volumes increased by 9% to 460 million items. Early in 2005, Deutsche Post acquired a 38% stake in Unipost, considered the main rival of Spain's national post Correos with a 7% market share.
Schweizerische Post has been prevented from transferring staff from PaketPost to the new PostLogistics AG. An official report commissioned by the Swiss Federal Bureau of Justice established the transfer as unlawful under current legislation.
The management of DHL in Morocco has complained about excessive charges for the import and export of consignments. A company spokesperson said the charges represented 15% of the overall turnover in Morocco.
Special speed services specialist World Courier announced the opening of a branch in Ljubljana in Slovenia last week. The World Courier network now comprises 137 branches in 50 countries.
Royal Mail's most urgent problem is the pension fund deficit, which gives the post a formally debt-ridden appearance. Chairman Allan Leighton has proposed a rights issue, under which additional shares worth 2.2bn euros could be sold to the government. Mr Leighton wants to use most of the proceeds to cover the deficit and to replace outdated sorting machinery.
Pierre Winand is the new Chief Financial Officer of Belgium's La Poste.

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.

May 3, 2006 -- The Associated Press has reported that "TNT NV, the Dutch postal company, reported a 6.2 percent increase in first-quarter earnings Wednesday, due mainly to growth at the company's express mail division."

May 3, 2006 -- The Times has reported that "Allan Leighton, Royal Mail's chairman, has raised the stakes in the controversy over employee share ownership by asking for support from the 180,000 workforce."

May 3, 2006 -- The Irish Times has reported that "The survival of the country's remaining sub-post offices could be reliant on them continuing to process social welfare payments, according to the president of the Irish Postmasters' Union (IPU)."

May 3, 2006 -- Les Echos has reported that "The French post office, La Poste, is set to announce a 49 per cent rise in its net profits for 2005, to 557m euros, having been expecting just over 400m euros. An operating margin of 3.6 per cent is forecast (up from 2.8 per cent in 2004), broadly in line with the 3.5 per cent predicted in December."

May 3, 2006 -- The Associated Press has reported that "The Postal Service's governing board is considering issuing the "forever" stamp - and seeking an increase of 3 cents in the first-class rate probably to take effect in the spring of 2007. The forever stamp would help soften the blow of a rate increase by allowing customers to stock up. As originally proposed it would sell for the first class rate and, once purchased, the special stamp would remain valid for whatever the first-class rate is when it is used, regardless of future increases.

May 3, 2006 -- Caribbean Net News has reported that "The United States Postal Service (USPS) has agreed to partner with the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) to make applying for a U.S. passport at CTO-organized events quick and convenient. CTO has taken this necessary leadership role in approaching the USPS to establish a partnership to ensure that prospective Caribbean vacationers are not left stranded because they do not possess the required documentation to travel to paradise starting in January 2007. The partnership helps to address the new U.S. regulation requiring all travelers entering or re-entering the United States starting December 31, 2006 to be in possession of a valid passport."

May 3, 2006 -- The Atlanta Business Chronicle has reported that "Mail Boxes Etc. and The UPS Store franchisees plan to picket at the United Parcel Service Inc. shareholder meeting in Wilmington, Del., on May 4. The group said it will demonstrate over issues related to multiple lawsuits filed against Atlanta-based UPS. The store owners' chief complaint is that UPS, which sets the rates that more than 4,100 UPS Stores in the United States can charge customers for shipping, offers cheaper rates to its direct-pickup customers and imposes requirements burdensome on the store owners."

May 3, 2006 -- Dow Jones has reported that "Dutch postal and express company TNT NV will reduce staff at its headquarters in Hoofddorp by around 65 people, Chief Financial Officer Henk van Dalen said Wednesday. The job restructuring -about 15% to 20% of its total workforce at headquarters -forms part of a plan to cut overhead costs by around EUR75 million over the next two years.

May 3, 2006 -- As RFID Watch Weekly has put it: "Got an extra $5 million in your IT budget for your next purchase of Gen 2 RFID tags? If so, Israeli RFID systems provider SmartCode has a deal for you. The firm announced a pricing breakthrough this week, making its RFID inlays available at the milestone price of five cents per tag. However, you'll need to buy 100 million of 'em to capitalize on that price."

May 3, 2006 -- Transport Intelligence has reported that "TNT N.V. and WE International B.V. (WE) have announced that they have completed the sale of ID Company Fashion B.V. (IDCF). TNT decided to divest IDCF as the company's activities were non-core to TNT. IDCF is one of the leading suppliers of corporate wear in the Netherlands."

May 2, 2006 -- According to UPI, "Hungary's national post office has begun checking women for cervical cancer for free in a specially designed mobile laboratory in a truck."

May 2, 2006 -- Logistics Management has reported that "UPS and DHL, which along with FedEx Express comprise the "Big Three" air express carriers in the U.S. market, have unveiled service improvements designed to lure shippers who want the speed, reliability, and convenience of airfreight service—but at ground freight prices."

May 2, 2006 -- Traffic World has reported that:

  • Package carriers DHL and FedEx raised their fuel surcharges for both air and ground services in May as fuel prices rose significantly. Effective April 30 through June 3, the new rate for DHL Air Express and international freight is 14.5 percent, up from 14 percent in April. For ground delivery services, the new rate is 3.8 percent, up from 3.5 percent in April.
  • UPS showed in its earnings report for the first quarter what can go right when a company builds on its specialty and what can go wrong when it integrates a new line of business. The division now labeled "Supply Chain and Freight," which includes the long-standing logistics business along with Menlo Forwarding and the former Overnite Transportation LTL business called UPS Freight, posted a $25 million operating loss, a rare splash of red ink on Brown's finances.

May 2, 2006 -- Last year, three small businesses providing those products were rewarded for their "outside-the-box" thinking. Now, UPS is searching once again for pioneering and innovative small businesses through its second annual UPS Best "Out-of-the-Box" Small Business Contest. The national contest will honor the most innovative U.S. small businesses and is designed for U.S. companies with annual 2005 revenues of at least $250,000 but not more than $10 million. Eligible businesses are asked to submit a 500-word essay explaining how they are original and "out-of-the-box."

May 2, 2006 -- The latest eView from the National Association of Major Mail Users has been posted on this site.

May 2, 2006 -- According to John C. Dvorak, "The newspaper industry is losing readership. So let's blame the Internet, right? In fact, circulation began to decline around 1970, with the fading of the once powerful evening newspapers. It is hard to blame these declines, especially those from 1970 to 1990, on the Internet. There are other factors involved that nobody seems willing to discuss."

May 2, 2006 -- PC World has reported that "The U.S. Postal Inspection Service is conducting a review of Listing Corp., a company whose mailed marketing pitches look like domain-name invoices."

May 2, 2006 -- The Caymanian Compass has reported that "The Cayman Islands Post Office is offering its postal survey to customers online as well as through the post. Through the help of the Computer Services Department, the 12–question survey has a link to www.gov.ky, said a press release from the Post Office."

May 2, 2006 -- The Guernsey Press and Star has reported that "Watchdog Postwatch has backed the closure of up to five sub-offices and the introduction of a mobile one, but in its report on postal services, the Office of Utility Regulation has recommended keeping the status quo. Other recommendations include reducing deliveries from six days to five and minor extensions to the universal service obligation."

May 2, 2006 -- From PR Web: "Varsity Logistics, Inc., the leader in integrated shipping solutions for the IBM iSeries, has announced the successful completion of the United States Postal Service Manifest Analysis and Certification, also known as MAC™, for 2006."

May 2, 2006 -- From UNI-Postal:

  • The Uni-Europa Postal Committee strongly opposes the CTT's proposals to remove the social and health benefits and other working conditions from the collective agreement. This will only deteriorate the postal workers rights in Portugal. We totally support the Portuguese unions 24 hour strike to protect workers rights.
  • The UNI-Europa Postal Committee meeting in Luxembourg 26 April 2006, were informed about the rapid changes in Hellenic Post. The Committee strongly opposes the Government's proposals which will lead to indirect privatisation and will cause reductions in the workforce. We also understand that these proposals could also have a negative impact on the Collective Bargaining Agreement if Hellenic Post makes a deficit. The UNI-Europa Postal Committee and UNI Postal unions around the world totally support the Panhellenic Federation of Postal Trade Union Associations decision to hold a 24-hour strike to protect postal workers rights on 4th May 2006.

May 2, 2006 -- The Kyodo news service has reported that "Japan Post Corp. came up with a draft postal system privatization plan Tuesday calling for increasing the number of employees in defiance of the rationalization as a key goal of the privatization starting in October 2007."

May 2, 2006 -- Thanh Nien has reported that "A top postal executive in Vietnam, accused of inflating procurement prices to pocket the difference, has denied the allegations and claims he was framed despite strictly following tender rules."

May 2, 2006 -- GovExec.com has reported that "House members working to advance a Postal Service overhaul bill continue to put off naming conferees to negotiate a compromise that will meet the White House's approval."

May 2, 2006 -- From the PR Newswire: "R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company has announced that it has deployed new tracking and tracing capabilities for magazines and catalogs processed through its co-mailing operations. Co-mailing, designed to maximize postal discounts, uses sophisticated programming and material-handling systems to combine multiple magazine and catalog publications into a single, carrier-route sequenced mail stream. The combined mail stream provides discounts to mailers and requires less handling by the USPS, which improves the quality of delivered magazines and catalogs. Once blended however, the many publications become part of a single mailing, making tracking and tracing the individual titles a challenge."

May 1, 2006 -- PostCom members! Be sure to check the postal operations alert that has been posted for you.

May 1, 2006 -- According to Air Cargo World, "China will remain a dominant force in air freight growth as it takes advantage of strong exports created by World Trade Organization membership, favorable monetary policies, and an ongoing relocation of multi-national manufacturing. However, beyond China, we see Japan as a significant contributor to Asian growth as recent macroeconomic indicators suggest Japan is on the brink of pulling out of its decade-long recession."

May 1, 2006 -- The Irish Times has reported that "An Post has made a pretax profit of 41 million for 2005 but sales at the company remain static as mail volumes continue to fall."

May 1, 2006 -- One writer in DMNews has the right idea by suggesting: "I have a simple idea that should make the U.S. Postal Service millions and save the direct mail industry millions. Post offices already have postcards for people who move to fill out called the change of address card. These cards become the National Change of Address cards, or NCOA, which go to the 20 or so vendors that pay the postal service, I believe, $100,000 to $200,000 a year to then run these tapes at a profit to companies like Rich List so that we can update the addresses on our database. I am asking that another card be available at post offices called the recently deceased card, which also could be given to vendors to then sell to databases to remove deceased names."

May 1, 2006 -- Trade Arabia has reported that "Empost, the UAE's national courier company, continues to expand its international operations into new markets with its recent entry into Europe, by positioning itself as a quality provider of customised courier services."

May 1, 2006 -- One of our correspondents passed along a link on a nice historical piece on the colonial postal system.