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Postal News from January 2008:

January 31, 2008

The latest report from the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General has been posted on the IG website (http://www.uspsoig.gov/) today. If you have additional questions concerning the report, please contact Agapi Doulaveris at 703.248.2286.

As Reuters has noted, "The European Union's 88 billion euro ($130.8 billion) mail markets will be opened up to full competition from the start of 2011 under plans adopted by the bloc's assembly on Thursday. The European Parliament sealed a 15-year long process of injecting competition into national postal services by prising open the final protected sector -- letters weighing up to 50 grams. Mail above that weight is fully liberalised." See also EUBusiness and the EU Parliament Press Release.

The Washington Post has reported that "U.S. Rep. Thomas M. Davis III said yesterday that he will retire from Congress at the end of the year, closing a 14-year stint in the House during which he rose rapidly through the Republican leadership ranks and used his clout to champion local issues [and postal reform]."

The News & Observer has reported that "United Parcel Service is closing the Raleigh office it has leased for the past 20 years and is cutting 60 local jobs as the package-delivery company consolidates its operating districts" [EdNote: And there will be no strikes, no informational pickets, and no congressional hearings. Imagine that.]

The Los Angeles Times has reported that "Mailings of a suspicious white powder to 10 Church of Scientology addresses prompted the evacuation of dozens of people and the closure of a major thoroughfare Wednesday as hazmat teams were called to examine the packages. The letters were sent via the Postal Service to Scientology properties in Hollywood, the San Fernando Valley, Santa Monica, Glendale and Tustin. Police shut part of Glendale's busy Brand Boulevard for two hours before sounding the all-clear, while 60 people were cleared from buildings in Tustin, authorities said. The incidents appeared to be part of a hoax. Preliminary tests showed the powder to be cornstarch and wheat germ."

The Malta Independent has reported that "Competitiveness and Communications Minister Censu Galea yesterday inaugurated a crucial Task Force meeting of the CEPT (European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations) which is currently discussing reforms within this organisation. The CEPT is a body of policy-makers and regulators comprising 48 members from almost the entire geographical area of Europe. The scope of this meeting is to provide a platform for CEPT members, observers and other interested parties to discuss initiatives aimed at developing a strategic plan for the development of this organisation. Two other Task Force meetings were held in Berlin and Copenhagen."

According to Print Week, "Financial constraints on printers will increase in 2008 as Royal Mail has announced price hikes for its business-to-business mailing. However, according to postal price comparison website Post-Switch, the price increases are more likely to affect upstream mailing providers such as TNT and DHL."

The Chicago Sun-Times has reported that "Mail delivery in Chicago improved during the last three months of 2007, but it still has the worst in-town delivery rate in the nation, according to an audit released Wednesday by the U.S. Postal Service."

According to Transport Intelligence, "A fall in profits disguised a rise in UPS's operational results during the fourth quarter of 2007, indicating a surprising strength in a company whose business is dominated by the US economy. UPS was pushed into loss over the latest quarter by an agreement with the Teamsters union to fund worker pensions." See also Reuters and Bloomberg.

As the Federal Times has noted, "The U.S. Postal Service is delivering its best service ever, but the slowing economy kept the agency short of its expected revenue by almost a half-billion dollars last quarter. A new pricing structure was expected to boost revenues, but the nation’s slowing economy has meant less mail. The Postal Service’s first-quarter volume dropped by 1.7 billion pieces, almost 3 percent, from the same period in 2007. The first quarter runs from October through December. The decrease affected virtually all categories of mail. The steepest decline was in Express Mail, which lost nearly 11 percent of its volume."

According to Gulf Times, "Qatar will make efforts to host the Universal Postal Union’s World Postal Congress in 2012, chairman and chief executive of Q-Post Ali Mohamed al-Ali said yesterday."

On Sig Guthman . . . .
It is with sadness that we note the passing of Sig Guthman, a former president of the Envelope Manufacturers Association (EMA) and former chairman of the EMA Postal Affairs Committee. He was 78 years old. Sig was a former president of the AECO Products Division of Atlantic Envelope Company (Now National Envelope) and spent a lifetime in the envelope and direct mailing industry, 37 years. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.

Press Notice: The formation and launch of The Arvonio Group, LLC global consulting services has been announced. The Arvonio Group is comprised of a growing team of 24 executives and professionals with over 500 years combined Postal Service and related private sector experience and success. What truly distinguishes our team is not just the breadth of its experience but also the depth of its expertise. For additional information email TheArvonioGroup@aol.com or call (703) 719-5677.

January 30, 2008

The Associated Press has reported that "The European Parliament is expected to approve a plan Thursday to dismantle remaining national monopolies for postal delivery by 2011, allowing cross-border competition in a sector that has until now been jealously guarded by national operators."

A key feature of the new postal law is the direction by Congress as to which reports on which topics were to be written by whom, received by whom, and reviewed by whom. Posted on this site is a neat chart from the Congressional Research Service that lays out all the details.

A copy of the financial update provided by the U.S. Postal Service's chief financial officer, Glen Walker, has been posted on this site. It was not all good news. Mail volume is declining. Walker told the Board that he attributed the declining mail volume to “disturbing trends” in the overall U.S. economy. “Unfortunately, two key sectors of the economy — finance and housing — suffered a downturn in the first quarter, and they’re both heavy users of the mail,” said Postmaster General John Potter. Net income for the first quarter is estimated at $672 million on revenue of $20.4 billion. “Although revenue is higher than in the same quarter last year, due to the price increase last May, it is $500 million less than expected,” Potter said. “We’re working to offset the disappointing revenue with cost reductions and new strategies for growth.” Other news: At today’s open session of the USPS Board of Governors meeting, the following officers were elected: as Chairman Allen Kessler, and as Vice Chairman Carolyn Gallagher. Both will serve for one year.

Somebody must really have it in for catalogers. Here's another: Catalog End....and another...ProQuo.

According to The Province, "CBC should go after bad drivers, not people with bad postal codes."

Gulf News has reported that "Emirates Post holding group and Emirates Nationals Development Programme (ENDP) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to boost emiratisation in the mail sector through a series of measures, including a three-month postal diploma programme, to be conducted by the Emirates Post training development centre, Dubai. According to the MoU, the postal diploma programme will be for three months, at the end of which the candidate will receive a diploma endorsed by Emirates post holding group."

As Business Week has reported, under the principle that "We should not compete when it comes to saving lives...at the Davos Forum in January, 2005, the Logistics and Transportation Industry Humanitarian Workstream was born—an alliance of some of the world's major logistics and transportation companies, including United Parcel Service (UPS), TNT, Agility Logistics, and Deutsche Post World Net, the parent of DHL."

Forbes has reported that "Oesterreichische Post AG has dismissed as 'rumours' media reports that it plans to launch a joint venture with the Deutsche Post AG unit DHL Express Austria. Chief executive Anton Wais told APA that the Austrian postal services group's logistics unit trans-o-flex will launch its own same-day delivery service in September."

In Search Of . . . .
Goal-oriented sales professional with proven sales performance history, seeking mutually beneficial senior level sales opportunity within printing/direct marketing industry. Strong ‘hunting’ skills ability combined with documented territory development and account retention. Interested parties should contact goodmatch@postcom.org

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

Despite a depreciation charge amounting to around 600m euros, Deutsche Post achieved its profit target for 2007.
Chinese news agency »Xinhua« (25.1) reports that China Post enjoyed a 16% increase in turnover to around 8.8bn euros in 2007.
Dutch post group TNT is also taking legal action against the minimum wage for mail delivery workers in Germany.
Alongside the controversy over the minimum wage in Germany, Deutsche Post’s VAT exemption is the main current topic of discussion.
Switzerland’s post minister Moritz Leuenberger has pronounced himself in favour of maintaining uniform pricing.
According to German news magazine »Focus« (28.1), three US investment companies are involved in takeover talks with ailing Pin Group. The firms are named as Blackstone, KKR and Advent International.
DHL Austria intends to co-operate with Österreichische Post for domestic business purposes in future.
On Monday, tax inspectors and police carried out a raid at a depot of Austrian Hermes parcel service.
A class-action lawsuit for damages as a result of price rigging has been filed in the USA against five of Europe’s biggest air carriers.
2007 was not a prosperous year for YRC Worldwide Inc., one of the biggest US trucking companies with 60,000 employees.
Schweizerische Post has continued its niche strategy abroad with an acquisition in Sweden.
The Japanese post wants to increase its presence in the advertising market.

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. (We appreciate the courtesy extended by CEP News to help whet your appetite for more of what CEP offers.)

According to Mike Causey at Federal News Radio, "Well, if you gotta work, and you gotta work for the government, make sure you pick an agency that isn't constrained by pesky regulations that keep a lid on the value of pay and perks. Although many rank-and-file feds don't know it, employees at a number of agencies -- especially those that regulate banks -- march to a different drummer. That drummer, in most cases, pays better than regular federal agencies. The biggest independent of all, and the one agency that touches nearly all our lives, is the U.S. Postal Service. And while the USPS is composed mainly of relatively low-paid clerks and letter carriers, its officer corps does fine. The USPS is run by a Board of Governors. Last year the Board (which tends to do things quietly) quietly voted for substantial raises for its top officers, including a nearly 39 percent increase for the Postmaster General. His pay went from $186,600 to $258,840. The raise was approved last May and made retroactive to January, 2007."

The Daily Post has reported that "the Royal Mail intends to close one of its rural letter delivery offices, putting a question mark over the jobs of workers employed there."

Telecoms Korea has reported that "Korea's state-run post office said Tuesday that it will invest 175.4 billion won (US$185.5 million) in 2008 mostly to improve its mailing system. Korea Post said the investment earmarked for this year includes 37.4 billion won for procuring necessary hardware and software, 6.5 billion won for better IT systems and 57.3 billion won for system maintenance. It also plans to spend some of the money to purchase around 40,000 radio frequency identification (RFID) tags and 600 tag readers for improving the speed at which its mailing work is carried out, the company said in a statement."

January 29, 2008

From eMediawire: "Pitney Bowes Inc., the world's leading mailstream solutions company, announced today new features and products to its SendSuite' distribution solutions portfolio. The enhanced suite of solutions expands Pitney Bowes' line of products and services to offer more powerful and efficient mailstream and package management."

From Canada NewsWire: "Postal workers and Bloc Québécois MP, Thierry St-Cyr, will deliver a gigantic post card to Lawrence Cannon, Minister responsible for Canada Post, in an attempt to save a Montreal post office. The post card demands the Conservative government reverse the decision to close a community post office and reopen another one elsewhere."

Paid, Inc.’s Patent #7324968 from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) becomes “effective,” providing Paid with all the rights granted to patent holders, including the ability to seek licenses for patent use and to protect the patent from infringement. Paid’ s patent is for the real-time calculation of shipping costs for items purchased online using a zip code as a destination location indicator. It includes shipping charge calculations across multiple carriers such as the US Postal Service, FedEx, UPS and DHL (Airborne), and accounts for additional characteristics of the item being shipped, such as weight, special packaging or handling, and insurance costs. A key component of Paid’ s patent is the use of a zip code as a location identifier for the purposes of calculating real-time shipping costs in online purchases since many shippers’ rates vary according to distance shipped.

Motley Fool takes a gander at movie distribution in the near future.

Federal Times has reported that "The president of the National Association of Letter Carriers thinks the U.S. Postal Service’s inspector general is getting too personal in his investigations, but the IG says he’s just doing his job."

Join PostCom member and Mystic Stamp Company president Don Sundman and American Philatelic Society past president Janet Klug at the National Postal Museum as they talk about their new book, 100 Greatest American Stamps. In this lively, illustrated talk, the authors will discuss how they selected the hundred greatest stamps, highlight their favorites, and spotlight some stamps that didn’t make the cut. A book signing and reception will follow the lecture.

MAILCOM '08 will be held April 29-May 2 at the Atlantic City Convention Center. The Big Show will feature over 140 educational seminars, seven certificate programs, and 150 exhibiting companies. Presentations from Dan Blair, Chairman, Postal Regulatory Commission and Alan Beam, Apollo 12 Astronaut and Moonwalker are two of the 200 speakers you can hear from. Complete details on speakers and seminars are online. Registration is now open at www.mailcom.org. Register by February 29 and save $100!

From the Federal Register: "This notice sets forth the changes to the Domestic Mail Classification Schedule to be implemented as a result of the Decision of the Governors of the United States Postal Service on the Opinion and Recommended Decision of the Postal Regulatory Commission Approving Negotiated Service Agreement with Bank of America Corporation, Docket No. MC2007-1."

Army Times has reported that "The Military Postal Service Agency has launched a new service that allows service members to track down lost and late-arriving packages and mail with an e-mail inquiry."

The Wall Street Journal has reported that "In an interview, Chief Financial Officer John Allan said Deutsche Post intends to retain "a significant presence in the U.S.," but he wouldn't rule out any other scenarios, such as giving up a controlling stake in its U.S. express business. "We've got a very open mind," he said. Analysts speculate management could seek extreme steps such as rolling back or even selling its ground network and other parts of the U.S. business. But some industry insiders question whether large rivals such as FedEx, UPS and the U.S. Postal Service would be interested. Deutsche Post, UPS and FedEx declined to comment on possible talks. A postal-service spokesman said he was unaware of any discussions. "

Art Daily has noted that "When America's sons and daughters are stationed overseas, especially during wartime, contact with loved ones back home becomes an essential part of life. During World War II, a new mail processing method was introduced to increase the amount of mail that could be exchanged overseas. "Victory Mail," a new temporary exhibition opening March 6 at the National Postal Museum, showcases the museum's collection of World War II V-Mail correspondence. "V" for "Victory," a popular WW II symbol, was the inspiration for the name of this new-fangled correspondence style.

DM News has provided an interesting point-counterpoint on the direction the USPS is heading under the new postal law. Its conclusion: One author's "praise of the PAEA and its expected efficiency comes optimistically early." The other "points out the USPS reacts as a government agency and not with the speed of an accountable business. His argument that the agency should be working with and listening to mailers as strategic business partners and not constituents, sounds like sage advice to any organization which relies on its customers." [EdNote: And I can hear Dan Aykroyd say to Jane Curtin: "Jane, you ....!"]

The Financial Times has noted that "Launched barely two years ago, the Banque Postale - the new banking subsidiary of the French post office - has been actively looking for partners to help it become a fully-fledged retail bank and in due course be partially privatised. And by an odd coincidence, only a couple of weeks ago it forged its first partnership with a big French commercial bank forming a joint electronic payments venture with none other than SocGen."

Emirates Business 24/7 has reported that "Emirates Post Holding Group will apply for a banking licence to create a postal Islamic bank this year, its top executive said. “We will apply for a licence in the next six months,” Emirates Post Holding Group President Abdulla Al Daboos told Emirates Business."

Xinhua has reported that "The United Nations and Israel jointly launched on Monday stamps in observance of the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust."

The Gazette has reported that "postmasters whose branches could be under threat of closure are keeping tight-lipped about their future. Post Office staff in villages and towns across Gloucestershire have been sent letters telling them if they are to shut or not. Last year the Post Office announced that it would be closing 2,500 of its branches across the country."

WATE has reported on "How to stop unwanted magazine subscriptions in the mail."

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC News) has reported that "The Communications Union is calling on Australia Post to explain why it is tendering out mail delivery services in Deloraine, at least four months ahead of schedule. Australia Post had confirmed the services at George Town, Deloraine and Wynyard would switch to a private operator in the middle of the year."

The Postal Service has announced that Premium Forwarding Service (PFS) now is a permanent offering. With PFS, all mail is forwarded, including magazines and catalogs. Mail is reshipped once a week to a customer’s temporary location for a fee. Expedited services mail, such as Express Mail and Priority Mail, as well as Registered Mail, are forwarded separately at no extra charge. Customers can enroll at the Post Office serving their permanent address (a government issued photo ID and proof of permanent address are required). There is a one-time application fee of $10, and the weekly forwarding fee is $11.95. Temporary Change-of-Address and Hold Mail services remain available at no charge.

The Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) is initiating a docket (Docket No. PI2008-2) soliciting comments on both Treasury’s recommendations for accounting practices and principles that will govern the operation of the Competitive Products Fund (CPF) and the determination of an assumed Federal income tax to be imposed on competitive products income., and specific questions posed by the Commission in response to the Report. Initial comments are due 60 days after publication of this Notice in the Federal Register. Reply comments are due 90 days after publication of this Notice in the Federal Register."

The following reports have been posted on the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General website (http://www.uspsoig.gov/) today. If you have additional questions concerning the report, please contact Agapi Doulaveris at 703.248.2286.

January 28, 2008

The Daily Star has reported that "Western Union, an international money transferring company, has teamed up with Bangladesh Postal Department for delivering the money remitted by expatriate Bangladeshis to the villagers easily."
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PostCom welcomes its newest member: Premier Logistics Services, Inc. 135 Day Street Newington, CT 06111-1244 represented by  David Francis Vice President, Sales & Marketing

Federal Times has reported that "A new survey of American attitudes toward government finds the U.S. Postal Service as the most popular agency in government."

David A. Weaver, President and CEO of the Mailing & Fulfillment Service Association, has announced his retirement date (July 31, 2008) at the recent MFSA Mid-Winter Executive Conference in Maui. Weaver has served as the association’s chief staff officer for twenty years.

AllAfrica.com has reported that "Members of the Senior Staff Association of Nigeria's Communications, Transportation and Corporation (SSACTAC) have criticised the proposed postal reform bill currently with the National Assembly, saying federal government should concentrate with the manpower development and deployment of ICT based facilities before embarking on any reform."

Cargonews Asia has reported that "UPS and FedEx have expanded their air freight services, predominantly in Asia. Rival DHL, meanwhile, is facing calls for a retreat from the US."

According to Precision Marketing, "While Postcomm's measures to simplify its licensing procedures to make it easier for smaller businesses to enter the postal market might be encouraging, is it enough to increase competition in, what many still consider, a monopolised market? Or is Postcomm simply going through the motions?"

The Kane County Chronicle has noted that "The U. S. Postal Service as a whole handles 703 million pieces of mail daily. For two decades, certain classes of mail that come back to the office have been recycled instead of destroyed. The office also has looked to alternative-fuel vehicles, green building techniques, and programs with mailing agencies to cut waste."

Transport Intelligence has reported that "TNT applies for new EU customs security standard 28/Jan/2008 TNT is to apply for Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) status for all its customs-related express service operations in the 27 EU countries. Working with an AEO accreditation, a new security standard created by the European Commission, would benefit customers in several ways. TNT and its clients would thereby benefit from fewer delayed shipments, reduced theft or vandalism, and improved communication between supply chain partners."

January 27, 2008

The Associated Press has reported that "Complaints about free home-delivery newspapers in Maryland have inspired State Del. Tanya Shewell to propose a "Do Not Deliver" registry that would work similarly to the "Do Not Call" registry for telemarketers. If approved, would be the first of its kind in the nation. Shewell said her constituents complain that they're just ignored when they call a newspaper asking that delivery be stopped. She said people can't stop deliveries even when they leave town, meaning papers are left around as an invitation to burglars. The newspapers often litter roadsides and storm drains. "I love free newspapers. We're not trying to hurt the business of the newspapers," Shewell said. "All we're asking is for them to stop delivering to people who ask them to stop. People don't know where to call. They don't know how to stop it."

January 26, 2008

The Cincinnati Business Courier has reported that "A DHL spokesman says parent company Deutsche Post World Net has no plans to sell its U.S. Express delivery service to its Memphis-based rival FedEx Corp. "There is no question about our exiting the U.S. business, a withdrawal can be completely ruled out," DHL spokesman Jonathan Baker said in a phone interview with Memphis Business Journal."

Air Cargo World has reported that "Deutsche Post World Net said Friday it is not withdrawing from the United States express market but the company refused to comment on reports that it is in talks to sell part of the DHL Americas business to FedEx. The DHL parent released a statement from Chief Financial Officer John Allan saying "there can be no question of exiting the U.S. business. Any options which include a withdrawal can be completely ruled out."

The Globe and Mail has reported that "Canada Post is apologizing to all of its Quebec employees and Quebeckers for omitting the Fête Nationale holiday from its 2008 employee calendar. Canada Post has decided to reprint the calendar to include the June 24 holiday along with other provincial holidays. The new calendar should be available at the end of February."

January 25, 2008
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The January 25, 2008 issue of the National Association of Postal Supervisors Legislative and Regulatory Update has been posted on this site.

Press Release: "BCC Software, a BÖWE BELL + HOWELL company and a leading developer of highperformance solutions for professional mailers, will launch a new series of informational Webinars beginning in February 2008. The series, collectively known as Postal Education and Knowledge (PEAK), will be hosted by BCC Executive Vice President Chris Lien and cohosted by many wellknown and recognized mailing industry experts."

Xinhua has reported that "China's post service business revenue stood at 93 billion yuan (12.9 billion U.S. dollars) in 2007, up 16 percent year on year. "The year of 2007 was the fastest growing year of the country's post industry and the China Post Group saw robust growth of postal, financial and express services," said Ma Junsheng, director of the bureau at the conference."

Those who are interested in postal developments worldwide might want to take a gander at the "Liberalisation, privatisation and regulation of postal services in Europe – First international experiences in the run-up to new European regulations."

According to the Sun-Sentinel, "Tens of thousands of civil servants demonstrated around France on Thursday to protest job cuts and press for higher salaries in what the government dismissed as a "labor union ritual." Teachers, hospital workers, firefighters and postal workers were among those who answered the call from seven of eight public servants' union to strike and march."

SearchDataCenter has noted that "the facilities department at the United Parcel Service of America Inc.'s Alpharetta, Ga., site are about to save you a lot of money on your data center air-conditioning bill today. Joe Parrino, data center manager at UPS' Windward data center also explains his organization's load-shedding process and proves that using outside air to cool a data center can work—even in the hot temperatures of the southeastern U.S."

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer has reported that "Al Green, who lives in Winthrop, sent a package via parcel post to Alabama five days before Christmas. More than a month later, it still hasn't arrived. Lucky for Green, he paid for delivery confirmation. It's allowed him at least some amusement -- and the ability to track his package as it traveled all over the country except where it needs to go."

The Eden Daily News has reported that "A large amount of undelivered mail was found in an abandoned house Thursday morning, said a report by the Rockingham County Sheriff's Office. Carl Walton, spokesman for the U.S. Mail, said it is unclear how the mail got onto the porch of an abandoned house, but inspector generals for the postal service are investigating."

The Winnepeg Sun has reported that "Postal workers are fuming after Canada Post left Quebec's annual Fete nationale holiday off its 2008 staff calendar. About 60,000 copies were delivered across the country, including 15,000 in Quebec. Its French version, which Quebec employees started to receive over the past few weeks, identifies about 30 holidays and commemorative days, such as Rosh Hashanah, Ramadan and St. Patrick's Day. But Canada Post deliberately left out the Fete nationale or St. Jean Baptiste Day, June 24. Canada Post spokesperson Francois Legault said the corporation had justified the decision based on the fact that June 24 is a provincial holiday."

Transport Intelligence has reported that "Rumours about the future of DHL's express unit in the US are presently circulating in the global press. Media reports are suggesting that Deutsche Post World Net's (DPWN) senior management is in talks with rival US parcels operator FedEx concerning the disposal of its domestic parcels business. There is also talk that some sort of business swap could be achieved, with DHL taking over FedEx's European operations." See also the Commercial Appeal and Bloomberg.

The Vanguard has reported that "The Post Master General and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Postal Service, Alhaji Ibrahim Mori Baba has said that the agency would continue to clamp down on unregistered courier companies in the country."

January 24, 2008

The Associated Press has reported that "U.S. newspapers' online audiences grew about 6 percent last year, an industry group reported Thursday, a rare bit of good news for an industry struggling to adapt as readers and advertising dollars continue to migrate online."

Air Cargo World has reported that "DHL may lay off up to 200 workers in Germany because cell phone manufacturer Nokia is closing a plant in the country. A DHL spokesman told the German newspaper Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung the carrier is considering the cutbacks in its express operation. Finland-based Nokia, the world's largest mobile phone company, says it plans to close the plant in Bochum, Germany, by the middle of the year, eliminating some 2,300 jobs. That prompted protests in Germany, but Nokia is cutting back there as it is expanding production at a new factory in Romania, which became part of the European Union a year ago."

Transport Intelligence is pleased to announce the launch of a new concept in logistics conferences: Global Distribution Strategies 2008. The conference will be held on 13-15 May 2008 at the Marriott Hotel, Amsterdam. You can find further details about Global Distribution Strategies 2008 on www.ticonferences.com where you will also be able to reserve your delegate place at an Early Bird discounted rate.

According to Reuters, "It's official. Postal delivery is as slow as snails, at least in Poland."

Tech Journal South has noted that "Traditional software delivery methods are changing and some business models, and businesses, are being left behind. From the viewpoint of pre-Internet days where applications were delivered on CD by the postal service, website based application downloads seemed like a no-brainer.

The Plain Dealer has reported that "Fresh, vibrant annuals, perennials, shrubs, vines, trees and ground covers are alive and well these days, though not in our muddy, cruddy gardens, of course. Robust roses, petite pansies and bold, black-eyed Susans are in full bloom between the pages of the gardening catalogs pouring into mailboxes across the country. But catalog gardening isn't the same in 2008 as in years past. For the first time, Internet orders of flowers, seeds and other gardening supplies will equal or outnumber orders from printed catalogs, according to industry watchers."

The Indianapolis Star has reported that "When John Kerr opened an Edward Jones office in Westfield 10 years ago, he wanted to send a promotional mailer to all residents. He soon realized the difficulty of identifying them. Within the city boundaries are six ZIP codes. While the Postal Service delivers mail to about 8,600 locations with Westfield addresses, many of Westfield's 24,000 residents, as well as businesses, have addresses listed as Carmel, Noblesville Sheridan and Zionsville.

As The Independent has noted, "For a service provider that was on its knees just a few years ago, An Post has engineered a remarkable reversal of its financial fortunes."

From  Business Wire: "Research and Markets (http://www.researchandmarkets.com/reports/c80659) has announced the addition of “Express in Europe” to their offering. Our Express in Europe industry profile is an essential resource for top-level data and analysis covering the express industry. It includes detailed data on market size and segmentation, plus textual and graphical analysis of the key trends and competitive landscape, leading companies and demographic information."

Precision Marketing has noted that "Royal Mail has ramped up its commitment to improving the effectiveness of direct mail campaigns by recruiting a panel of expert data partners."

Bloomberg has reported that "Deutsche Post AG, Europe's biggest mail carrier, will transfer 2,500 computer-operations employees to Hewlett-Packard Co. to reduce spending. Hewlett-Packard, the world's biggest maker of printers, will take over data- and network-management centers in Europe, the U.S. and Asia, Deutsche Post said in a statement today. The agreement, which may be completed in the next six months, will allow the postal service to save at least 1 billion euros ($1.46 billion) in costs over seven years."

According to the Post Notes blog, "The PAEA permits the Postal Service to escape the law's inflation-linked limit on its shipping prices if "extraordinary or exceptional circumstances" come about -- but that would take something nearly cataclysmic, like a dramatic and unexpected surge in fuel prices, perhaps brought about by a geopolitical crisis in the Middle East. The drip-drip-drip in incremental hikes in prices at the pump, on the other hand, won't give the USPS an extra reprieve."

January 23, 2008

Hemscott has reported that "PIN Group, the troubled German mail delivery company that has put itself up for sale, is to pay the statutory postal minimum wage to its employees."

Bloomberg has reported that "Deutsche Post AG, Europe's biggest mail carrier, said it will write down the value of its DHL Express unit's Americas division by 600 million euros ($874 million) as the business struggles to make a profit."

Postmaster General John Potter has announced the appointment of Fordham University professor Clara Rodriguez to serve on the Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee (CSAC), which recommends subjects to appear on U.S. postage stamps.
[PostCom logo

The Association for Postal Commerce has filed its initial comments on the Postal Service's proposed service performance measurement systems and standards. PostCom was joined in this brief by the Direct Marketing Association.

According to Precision Marketing, "Royal Mail is unlikely to take Postcomm’s decision to reject zonal pricing lying down. Anyone whose gaze has already been averted by the term ‘zonal pricing’, beware, its introduction will have a major impact on how you conduct your direct mail campaigns."

From the U.S. Postal Service: "Scott Davis has been appointed Manager, Policy Strategies, at Headquarters in Washington, DC. Davis began his career in 1998 as an economist in Washington, DC. During the past nine years, he has worked in USPS Finance, Information Technology, Strategic Planning and Operations. Davis most recently served in the Flats Sequencing System project office. He also helped coordinate the Strategic Transformation Plan: 2006-2010 and has testified before the former Postal Rate Commission."

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

German weekly »Die Zeit« (21.1) claims that postal confidentiality for letters and parcels between Europe and the USA has been called into question. The paper reports on secret negotiations concerning the exchange of postal data which are currently taking place. The USA are demanding that information regarding sender and addressee and content - if possible - is made available in advance for parcels, small packets and letters. The aim is to prevent consignments with hazardous contents from entering the USA.
The record 2007 result expected by Schweizerische Post (CEP News 02/08) has rekindled the public debate on the postage rate.
The liberalisation of the Danish postal market scheduled for 2009 is likely to be postponed.
While Massimo Sarmi, CEO of Poste Italiane, beats the drum for privatisation of the post, daily »La Repubblica« (21.1) reports mounds of unsorted mail. According to the paper, "hundreds of tons of letters and parcels" had built up during November and December and were still awaiting delivery.
On Monday, leading Swiss publishing houses NZZ and Tamedia announced that they would "jointly explore the development of the delivery segment".
"We need to turn the Polish post into a dynamic enterprise", said deputy Minister of Infrastructure Maciej Jankowski in an interview with Polish radio station »TVN24« (18.1), thus confirming long-term privatisation plans for Poczta Polska.
The sluggish US economy could be feeding through to the Chinese express market.
In France, La Poste’s parcel customers can now prepay their consignments online.
Feibra, since 2002 a subsidiary of Austria’s Österreichische Post specialising in the distribution of brochures, is facing several court trials after being accused of illegally employing immigrants.
Finland’s post Itella has gained a foothold in Poland through the takeover of BusinessPoint S.A.
Norcorreo S.L., which operates in the Greater Madrid area, is the second Spanish private mail service to gain access to the post Correos’ network.
TNT’s refusal to pay the legal minimum wage for delivery staff in Germany has brought global trade union umbrella organisation UNI (Union Network International) into the arena.

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. (We appreciate the courtesy extended by CEP News to help whet your appetite for more of what CEP offers.)

Thompson Financial has reported that "FedEx Corp. unit FedEx Ground was denied its appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit concerning a class certification decision in the Kansas case pending before the U.S. District Court in Indiana."

From Business Wire: "ecoEnvelopes, (www.ecoEnvelopes.com) the developer of an innovative, new line of eco-friendly reusable envelopes announced today they have received an investment from the Twin Cities Angels (TCAngels) (www.TCAngels.com). The TCAngels’ investment of $570,000 is the single largest investment to date by the group. ecoEnvelopes conserve natural resources and reduce mail costs by eliminating the need for reply envelopes. Ideal for statement mailings and direct mail solicitations, ecoEnvelopes reduce mail costs and provide a highly visible way for companies and organizations to demonstrate a commitment to a greener environment."

The Post Notes blog has noted that "As the U.S. economy continues to unravel, the looming question for the U.S. Postal Service is how significantly a recession could rock mailer spending -- and ultimately the state of USPS finances."

From Bill McAllister and Linn's Stamp News:

The Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) has established Docket No. CP2008-1 and Docket CP2008-2 to receive comments on changes in rates of general applicability for two competitive products filed by the U.S. Postal Service on January 17, 2008. Both rate changes will also result in changes to the Mail Classification Schedule. Docket CP2008-1 concerns the Postal Service's filing to have a new Priority Mail large-sized Flat Rate Box, and Docket CP2008-2 concerns the establishment of a premium for guaranteed delivery of Express Mail on Sunday and holidays. Comments from interested parties are due February 19, 2008, and rates will become effective March 3, 2008.

January 22, 2008

Logistics Management has reported that according to National Retail Federation President and CEO Tracy Mullin  said that "U.S. retailers, who are a bellwether for our nation’s changing economic climate, are greatly concerned about the softening of the U.S. economy.”  “2007 holiday sales were the weakest since 2002, and as the New Year begins, consumer spending remains sluggish. Consumer spending represents 70 percent of the U.S. economy and has fueled our economy for the past decade. We agree with economists who say the fastest way for a stimulus to enter the economy is through the consumer.”

As the Courier, Express, and Postal Observer has noted, "Last week, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued the report "Accounting for Laws that Apply Differently to the United States Postal Service and its Private Competitors." The report concluded that "from the USPS's perspective, its unique legal status likely provides it with a net competitive disadvantage versus private carriers." This conclusion runs counter to the arguments made by the USPS's competitors and could put to rest arguments that private sector firms need protection from the USPS." A reference piece has been made available on this site with the permission of the author.

DutchNews.nl has reported that "TNT boss Peter Bakker should be removed as chairman of a government committee set up to get more people back to work, say Socialist Party MPs. They say Bakker has no credibility because his company is sacking thousands of postal delivery workers and replacing them with freelancers paid by the hour. Postal unions claim Bakker is also trying to undermine German minimum wage legislation."

TypicallySpanish has reported that "The Spanish post office, Correos, is to stop home deliveries in isolated areas. In a little publicised move, a decree from the Ministry for Development now allows Correos to cancel the delivery of letters and packages to homes where there is a low density of housing or to isolated homes. Under the new regulations Correos will no longer be obliged to deliver to houses that are more than 250 metres from a main road."

Hemscott has reported that "TNT NV has lodged a lawsuit with a Berlin commercial court in a bid to have the alternative minimum wage it is paying its German-based workers to be declared valid in a dispute the Dutch postal company is locked in around the liberalisation of the German postal market."

As one writer for the Huntington News put it: "For years I have complained about getting too much mail I didn’t want. Especially catalogs. Some companies even sent me two or three identical copies. And, even when I moved to another city they still found a way to catch up with me and clutter my mailbox. For years I have advocated what I call a “No Junk Mail Registry.” But now, thanks to the Direct Marketing Association, you and I can now decide what catalogs and other mail we want or do not want to receive. I congratulate the leadership and membership for its DMA Choice which allows us to decide what we want in our mailbox. Equally as important is the fact that the trade organization, which represents businesses and nonprofits that use direct marketing tools, took the initiative rather than being forced to do so by the federal government."

From the Federal Register:  The agenda for the open and closed session of the January meeting of the U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors has been posted.

Afriquenligne has reported that "The Congolese government plans to disburse six billion CFA francs to finance the recovery plan of the Congolese Posts and Savings Company (SOPECO)."

Mailers Council executive director Robert McLean has reported that "The Postal Service has notified the APWU that it intends to issue a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the outsourcing of some Bulk Mail Center activities. At a January 9 meeting with APWU national officers, postal officials presented a “pre-decisional briefing” on its Request for Information (RFI) Concerning a Time-Definite Surface Network. The briefing was a follow-up to a September 11, 2007, meeting. Through the RFI, issued on July 24, 2007, the USPS sought to gather market research and to identify interested private companies with the ability to sort and transport parcels and standard mail, duties that are currently performed in the BMC network. At the January 9 briefing, the USPS indicated that it intends to proceed to the next step of issuing a RFP designed to outsource some BMC activities."

Gulf Times has reported that "rising inflation badly hit the country’s postal sector last year, said Q-Post chairman Ali Mohamed al-Ali yesterday. The chairman said the country’s postal corporation suffered heavily in 2007 because of the unprecedented inflation witnessed by Qatar. “Owing to the huge rise in prices, the postal corporation could not carry out its expansion to the desired levels in 2007,” he said."

January 21, 2008

From Canada NewsWire: "The Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) is hosting a public forum on the future of public postal services in light of Canada Post's recent announcement to invest 1.9 billion dollars in capital expenditures to modernize the post office."

From Business Wire: "Research and Markets (http://www.researchandmarkets.com/reports/c79950) has announced the addition of Couriers in the US to their offering. This industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in providing air, surface, or combined courier delivery services of parcels generally between metropolitan areas or urban centers. The establishments of this industry form a network including courier local pick-up and delivery to serve their customers needs. This report covers the scope, size, disposition and growth of the industry including the key sensitivities and success factors. Also included are five year industry forecasts, growth rates and an analysis of the industry key players and their market shares.

From Marketwire: "Harte-Hanks Shoppers, a division of Harte-Hanks, Inc., has announced the re-naming of its print publication the PennySaver, the largest direct mail shopper publication in the United States with nearly 10 million weekly circulation in California, to PennySaverUSA.com, matching the name of its nationwide local advertising Web site portal."

DMNews talks with Dan G. Blair, chairman, Postal Regulatory Commission, an interview.

Vanguard has noted that "Along with the internet, with which it is rapidly merging, the wireless mobile telephone network is the most astonishing technology story of our time, and one that has the power to revolutionise access to information across the developing world. Unfortunately, rich country biases limit understanding of this amazing phenomenon: for those in North America or Western Europe the cell phone is primarily or uniquely a phone designed to make voice calls."

The Accra Daily Mail has reported that "The Ghana Post Company Limited has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Manpower Development under which monies would be disbursed free of charge to the vulnerable in society as a form of social welfare. The disbursement would be done on quarterly basis in the districts where social welfare personnel would help identify those in need to enable personnel of Ghana Post to allocate monies to such individuals."

The News.pl has reported that "The Polish postal service is to be turned from state-owned enterprise into a sole shareholder company of the State Treasury, which would allow for further privatisation in the future."

The Times of Malta has published a list of milestones in Malta Post history.

January 20, 2008

Trade Arabia has reported that "Emirates Post, the state-owned UAE monopoly postal service, said it is in talks to spend as much as 1.5 billion dirhams ($408.4 million) on acquisitions in Asia, including Malaysia and Singapore."

Al Bawaba has reported that "Noor Islamic Bank PJSC (“Noor”) and Emirates Post Holding Group have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish a company that will offer banking services to the low income segment of the UAE population. The new venture is in line with recent Federal Government initiatives aimed at the low income segment, and will develop specific products and services to cater to their needs.

Scotland on Sunday has reported that "a fleet of orange-uniformed TNT postmen will soon take on the Royal Mail on the streets of Scotland. It is understood that TNT Post is planning to launch its own end-to-end service early this year in order to reduce the amount of business it hands back to its rival."

January 19, 2008
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As the Associated Press has noted, "After listening to complaints that being part of government gives the Postal Service a competitive advantage, Congress directed the Federal Trade Commission to investigate. Turns out, just the opposite is true. Yes, there are advantages to being part of the government, but they are outweighed by limitations and restrictions on government agencies, the FTC found."

Postalnews.com  has reported that:

January 18, 2008

The Postal Regulatory Commission has posted comments on the rulemaking governing mail service performance standards on its web site.

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

The Rochester Democrat & Chronicle has reported that "Postal Service officials on Thursday outlined plans that would close some offices in the Rochester area and consolidate some carrier services. Five of the six affected branches are in the city, and the other is in Greece. The changes are needed to streamline operations and to save money, said Rochester Postmaster Karl Anderson."

As the Postal Service's Joanne Giordano told the Concord Monitor, "The opinion piece titled "Make it easy to end flood of junk mail" (Steven Krieger and George DeWolf, Monitor Forum, Jan. 11) contains a number of inaccurate, misleading and misinformed statements that need to be addressed and corrected. Primary among them is the fact that consumers have several options to help manage the amount and type of mail that enters their home. And, they're all free." [EdNote: Joanne....kudos!]

Traffic World has reported that:

The Armenian News Network has reported that "During the PostEurop Plenary Assembly which took place on January 16-17, in Krakow, Poland, members of PostEurop elected HayPost as their 45th member, and its first member from the South Caucasus. PostEurop is the Association of now 44 European public postal operators and was created to optimize postal operations and postal services in Europe, and foster greater cooperation between its Members. It is working towards representing the entire European postal industry.S"

The United States Postal Service has given notice of a change in rates of general applicability for a competitive product.

As The Scotsman has noted, "it is not just commercial struggles which have plagued the postal service. The darling of both the British public and commercial businesses since Victorian times, it saw customers from all walks of life forced to find alternative methods of communication during a series of strikes at the end of last year. An agreement was finally reached in late November, but not before Britain had suffered delays to millions of items of mail. Now the company fears customers may have turned to electronic methods of communication, or to rivals, who are stealthily siphoning off business as a result of the Royal Mail's industrial action."

The Financial Times has claimed that:

Mr Zumwinkel's "preoccupation has been to preserve Deutsche Post's letter monopoly, which is threatened by the European Union's decision to open up all national postal markets by 2011. His wheeze was to propose a high minimum wage for all postal workers to undermine his private sector competitors. Left-wing politicians in the grand coalition and unions were delighted, and have adopted the minimum wage idea as their own. The wages move drove up his company's share price. The trouble is that Mr Zumwinkel chose this moment to sell some of his options, picking up a windfall. This provoked an outcry; the politicians were not amused. Mr Zumwinkel had to apologise publicly. He no longer looks so secure at the helm of the post office in spite of his clever ploy.
Business Post, the parcel and mail delivery group, is now handling one in 10 mail items posted in the UK after winning contracts to deal with letters and packages for large business mailers.

KCCI.com has reported that "Opting out of catalogs is a better choice than recycling, according to Catalog Choice, because of the sheer environmental cost of producing them." [EdNote: Is this truly how the catalogs who have signed up for Catalog Choice feel about their businesses?]

January 17, 2008

The Postal Service's Office of the Inspector General has shared with its staff a rebuttal of the charges leveled by National Association of Letter Carriers president William Young.

Adotas has reported that "Acxiom Corporation has announced that its Board of Directors has named John Meyer as the new CEO and president. Meyer has been president of the Global Services group of Alcatel-Lucent since 2003. Before that venture, he spent about 20 years in various high-profile positions at EDS."

The Board of Governors of the U.S. Postal Service will meet in Washington, DC, at Postal Service Headquarters, 475 L’Enfant Plaza, SW, on Jan. 29-30, 2008. The public is welcome to observe the Board’s open session, scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m. on Jan. 30 in the Ben Franklin Room on the 11th floor.

According to the Ottawa Business Journal, "Commercial printing company Quebecor World Inc. has managed to extend its deadline for locating funding to reduce its credit facility, and is now scrambling to wrap up a previously announced rescue financing deal. Quebecor World, which was supposed to find US$125 million in funding by 9 p.m. Wednesday as it faces bankruptcy protection, now has until 9 a.m. on Jan. 20 to satisfy "certain conditions" that would allow it to go ahead with a C$400-million bailout plan with Tricap Partners Ltd. Tricap and the printing company's parent Quebecor Inc. said in a press release they "have made progress on the satisfaction of these conditions and have requested additional time to attempt to satisfy them." See also the Merced Sun-Star, the Globe and Mail, and the Jonesboro Sun.

Hongkong Post and China Post-Shenzhen Post Bureau have jointly launched the Hong Kong-Shenzhen Direct Mail Service. The service has been introduced in response to market demand for more efficient communication between Hong Kong and Shenzhen as a result of the increasingly prosperous social and economic interaction between the two places. Business enterprises of both regions can use the new service to develop cross-border business opportunities. To introduce the new service, Hongkong Post and China Post-Shenzhen Post Bureau today jointly held a seminar on "How Direct Mail Can Help Companies Grasp the Cross-border Business Opportunities with Mainland China" at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre followed by the Agreement Signing Ceremony. 

From Mailing Systems Technology: "January 2009, the USPS' scheduled date for IMB compliance, is coming fast. And like many, your organization may still be undecided about the best IMB strategy for your organization — both in the short and long term. During the first half of the Webcast, we will examine the latest information on IMB, and then we will open the forum to answer questions and concerns from you, the audience. Visit MAST's website for more information or register today!

From PR Newswire: "The New Law passed in FY07 is affecting the shipping industry. Use this law to your advantage. Find out the intricacies of the law. And then learn the answers to: what are the best opportunities for growth, and where will the best opportunities be for shippers to get the most value for their shipping dollars? "

The U.S. Postal Service has told the Postal Regulatory Commission:

In response to expressions of interest in the results of demand analyses which incorporate volume and price data from FY 2007, the Postal Service is providing the enclosed two CD-ROMs. The contents of these CD-ROMs update the demand analyses for categories of domestic mail and services presented by postal witnesses in Docket No. R2006-1, using the more recent (i.e., through Quarter 4 of FY 2007) volume and price data. In addition, demand analyses relating to certain international mail services are also included. The international materials have no direct counterpart in the Docket No. R2006-1 testimonies, as demand analyses for international mail categories were never provided by postal witnesses in omnibus rate cases.

The first CD-ROM provides materials relating to mail categories which fall into the Market Dominant domain, while the second CD-ROM provides materials relating to mail categories in the Competitive domain. In general, the Postal Service maintains its position that materials relating to Competitive categories of mail are internal documents of a commercially sensitive nature that under good business practices should not be disclosed publicly. Accordingly, the Postal Service requests that the Commission withhold all of the materials within the Competitive CD-ROM from public disclosure. On the other hand, the materials presented within the Market Dominant CD-ROM are appropriate for public disclosure.

From PR Newswire: "As of January 2008, FedEx, UPS and DHL all increased their net average shipping rates for express services by 4.9 percent. The carriers are justifying the increase as a necessity to provide enhanced levels of service to their customers. The U.S. Postal Service did not increase its rates for 2008. Even though shipping rate increases are typically an annual event, merchants with small profit margins are affected the most, obliged to pass the increased costs to their customers."

Media Daily News has reported that "magazines are well-positioned to compete in today's media landscape, but must adapt quickly or face losing ground to new types of content publishers--be it the Internet or elsewhere. That's according to John Griffin, the president of the National Geographic Group and the new chairman of the Magazine Publishers of America."

BrandRepublic has reorted that "UK postal watchdog Postcomm is to simplify licensing procedures for non-universal service operators, allowing smaller postal and communication companies to gain a better foothold in the market."

With a little tongue in cheek, the Daily Telegraph has set out a "welcome to the post office of the future, where you can pick up a package, a pint and a pack of chips - and the mailman pulls beers. That is the apparent vision of Australia Post, which has sold a community's post office to a contractor who runs it out of his pub. This caused some difficulties among Kariong local youths, on the Central Coast, who were for a long time unable to buy a stamp until they turned 18." [EdNote: Just think. A Sam Adams and a Forever Stamp. It's got my vote.]

Canadian Transportation and Logistics has reported that "UPS has been boosting international revenue at a faster rate than in the US, where the economic expansion is waning, according to the Toronto Star. The report said UPS international operations accounted for 28% of the company's total revenue in 2006."

The Financial Times has reported that "Royal Mail’s postal operation could be split in two under proposals put forward by the postal regulator to increase competition and reduce the burden of regulation. Postcomm has written to all postal operators, organisations representing mail users and Postwatch, the consumer watchdog, asking them for their views on five options for regulating the industry from 2010. Royal Mail said: “Raising the issue of separation is a pointless distraction when the debate should focus on how to protect the one-price-goes-anywhere universal service in a competitive market."

According to the Philippine Information Agency, "Residents of Northern Samar will now enjoy a speedy postal service delivery for their mails sent to and from Catarman, Northern Samar and Manila. Postmaster General & CEO Hector R. Villanueva of the Philippine Postal Corporation or PhilPost recently approved the request of PhilPost-8 Regional Director Fabioleta P. Ferraris for a two-way Catarman-Manila route mail dispatch via Air Philippines effective January 14, 2008."

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

DHL appears to be experiencing greater difficulties in the USA than generally thought. A report made available to the CEP News editors states that a quick and radical decision is needed urgently.
The German Association of Courier, Express and Postal Service Providers (BdKEP e.V.) has filed a complaint with the EU Commission against alleged illegal government subsidies for Deutsche Post.
UPS CEO Scott Davis sees a growing risk of an economic recession in the USA.
Germany’s Pin-Group is launching a sales campaign in an attempt to limit the damage caused by loss of custom.
An expert report commissioned by the German employers’ organisation AGV Postdienste, which maintains links to Deutsche Post, has found that the minimum wage agreement concluded between AGV and trade union ver.di must apply to all mail service providers in Germany.
Pick up mail from the customer, scan it and send it to the addressee via e-mail - a business concept which obviously works in the USA. At least for Earth Class Mail, a new company based in Seattle, which is now snowed under with orders and now operates 19 branches all over the country, German daily »Die Welt« (10.1) reported.
Thailand Post Co intends to hand over 20 branches to franchisees under the name of Thailand Post Shops.
time:matters, which claims to be in pole position in the German Special Speed market, took over Dutch express operator JNE on 1 January.
"We would like to bring everything that is currently transported by air over night across Europe onto high-speed rail", said Guillaume Pepy, CEO of France’s railway company SNCF, as he was again announcing plans for a super-fast freight train across Europe.
According to media reports, 10 companies have so far submitted bids for a 60-% share in Korea Express.
Up to 40% of the shares in Emirates Post (Empost) are to be sold at the stock exchange during the second half of 2008.
Spain’s Correos has introduced electric vehicles into its fleet.
German CEP service provider GO! has completed construction of a sorting centre in Niederaula, Germany.
By this summer, Deutsche Post intends to put up around 1,000 parcel boxes throughout Germany.
From 1 March US carrier Alpine Air Express will carry cargo for UPS to 11 locations in Montana, Wyoming and Colorado.

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. (We appreciate the courtesy extended by CEP News to help whet your appetite for more of what CEP offers.)

Hemscott has reported that "Otto's logistics group Hermes, which specializes in package delivery, is demanding that the German government exempt it from paying value-added tax, Financial Times Deutschland reported, citing chief executive Hanjo Schneider. 'We want to be exempt from value-added tax, just like Deutsche Post,' he said."

According to KGMB.com, "Of all that was lost, the pilot 38-year-old Paul Akita will be missed most. His body still lost in the ocean. But also gone: the majority of 4,200 pounds of mail. Only a fraction was recovered from the downed Alpine Air flight, subcontracted by the U.S. Postal Service."

As Reuters has noted, "The U.S. Postal Service is hurt more than it is helped by its status as a government entity, the Federal Trade Commission said in a study released on Wednesday. Federal constraints, such as restrictions on the postal service's ability to manage its labor force and configure its network, increase its costs by an estimated $330 million to $782 million a year, the FTC found. The FTC report recommended that Congress reduce constraints on the postal service, narrow the scope of its monopoly, and make the postal service's competitive products division a separate corporate entity."

The Globe and Mail has reported that "Quebecor World Inc. shares plummeted yesterday on the prospect that the beleaguered printing giant's banks might not grant the financial breathing room it needs, which could force it to seek court protection from its creditors."
[PostCom logo

PostCom welcomes its newest member: Taylor Gifts, Inc. 600 Cedar Hollow Road Paoli, PA 19301-1753 represented by  Frank Ruthkosky Vice President, Marketing

January 16, 2008

AMEInfo has reported that "The DHL-supported initiative, Connecting Cultures, was in the spotlight at the first United Nations Alliance of Civilisations Forum, which brought together political leaders, international organisations and members of civil society to discuss cultural-related initiatives."

Javno has reported that "Romania's president on Wednesday approved criminal inquiries into corruption allegations against former Prime Minister Adrian Nastase and seven other present and former government ministers. The European Union has told Romania, which joined the bloc last year, that it must step up the fight against widespread fraud or face sanctions. Bucharest is attempting to convince the EU it taking steps to strengthen its judicial system and fight corruption ahead of a progress report later this month. Former Justice minister Chiuariu is suspected of abusing his position to approve the transfer of real estate owned by the state postal company as a contribution in kind to the capital of a private enterprise."

From the U.S. Postal Service DMM Advisory: "The Consumer Price Index (CPI) was updated today. The latest price cap for market dominant products is available on the Postal Regulatory Commission’s Web site (prc.gov). Customers who would like an indication of the potential average price change for each market dominant class can refer to the Commission’s Web site." The Price Cap for Market Dominant Products is 2.9%

From Business Wire: "ABB Robotics has been selected by the United States Postal Service (USPS) as a pre-qualified integrator for general material handling systems, expanding the company’s scope of supply beyond robotic containerization systems (RCS), which ABB has been providing to the USPS since 1999."

The San Antonio Business Journal has reported that "AT&T Government Solutions, a business unit of AT&T Inc., won a $20 million task order to provide software verification and validation services for the U.S. Postal Service's automated mail-processing and sorting systems. AT&T's software engineering teams will test the Postal Service's systems that help process more than 200 billion pieces of mail each year. "
[PostCom logo

PostCom welcomes its newest member: LENSER 899 Northgate Drive, Suite 530 San Rafael, CA 94903-3667 represented by John F. Lenser President.

For a quick read on what the FTC had so say in its report on the Postal Service, check the Post Notes blog.

UNI-Postal has reported that "UNI is urging affiliates to join the protests against Dutch-based post and logistics giant TNT for undermining laws in Germany to protect postal workers as the sector is de-regulated."

Forbes has noted that "Finance Minister Peer Steinbrueck plans to maintain Deutsche Post AG's exemption from Germany's general sales tax, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported, citing draft documents it obtained. The move would rebuff economy minister Michael Glos, who is seeking to limit Deutsche Post's existing tax break to services to households and small businesses, the newspaper said."

Precision Marketing has reported that "Royal Mail is stepping up its efforts to get companies to use direct mail by creating a new personalised mailpack made entirely of chocolate. The pack aims to demonstrate to businesses the benefits of enhancing brand communications by engaging more senses through direct mail initiatives with its own chocolate mailing."

The Peninsula has reported that "Qatar is leading an initiative in collaboration with the Universal Postal Union (UPU) to ensure that payments between countries are made on time. The General Postal Corporation (Q-Post) is hosting a meeting at the General Post Office to determine which company would be best suited to provide the Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology."

Hemscott has reported that "Parcel carrier Business Post Group PLC said third-quarter revenues in its growing mail business lifted 60 pct over a year earlier as it announced group trading in line with expectations. Business Post, which is challenging state-owned postal carrier Royal Mail, said its mail operation, UK Mail, won significant contracts with new customers including MBNA and Norwich Union in the period." See also the Financial Times.

January 15, 2008

The Federal Trade Commission has issued its report on "Accounting For Laws That Apply Differently To The United States Postal Service And Its Private Competitors." On this site, you also can find the "Statement Of Commissioners Pamela Jones Harbour And Jon Leibowitz Concurring In Part" to the Congressional Postal Study.

And this from Infoworld: "A partnership unveiled this week between Microsoft, MediaCart Holdings, and Wakefern Food will deliver personalized ads to grocery shoppers through computerized carts."

The Macomb Journal has told its readers that "Beginning Tuesday, Jan. 22, the Journal will begin delivering newspapers to our rural readers through the U.S. Postal Service. In the past, motor route carriers have driven county roads to deliver the daily newspaper. Several of our motor route drivers now will be dropping off papers at area post offices early every morning to ensure prompt delivery by your rural carrier - the same day. By using the Postal Service, we hope to provide dependable service six days a week."

The Fifth conference on “Regulation, Competition and Universal Service in the Postal Sector” will be held in Toulouse on March 13-14, 2008. On-line registration for conference attendance is now available. The deadline for the registration is February 15th, 2008. All information about the conference is available on the web site at http://idei.fr/conference/postal_fifth.html.

OnRec.com has reported that "Woodland conservation charity The Woodland Trust is challenging businesses to follow Royal Mail Group’s example in enabling its people to offset their carbon emissions by planting trees. Already 130 employees from Royal Mail, Post Office Ltd and Parcelforce Worldwide have signed up to the newly launched scheme to give money direct from their wage packets to the Woodland Trust, which will enable the charity to plant and look after 2,500 trees in its 1,000 UK woods."

From Marketwire: "Canada Post Corporation would like to firmly dispel any misconceptions that might have arisen, from recent media reports or other sources, about the future of rural mail delivery. We would like to reiterate our commitment to rural mail delivery and to assure our customers that the ongoing Rural Mail Safety Review is NOT an attempt to reduce service in rural Canada. It is aimed at providing our Rural and Suburban Mail Carriers (RSMC) a workplace free of undue risk."

The Pakistan Post (PP) has increased its service charges with the start of 2008, according to an official notification made available to Daily Times.

The Pacific News Center has reported that "The United States Postal Service may put on hold its plan to stop home delivery to some routes on Guam after local postal employees filed a grievance with the agency. The US Postal Service recently ordered home delivery stopped on some routes because the condition of the roads on the island were not acceptable to federal standards."

The Sydney Morning Herald has noted that "The Postal and Telecommunications Union has called for a government inquiry into Australia Post following revelations that a NSW Central Coast post office is being run out of a pub.  Central NSW Branch Secretary of the CEPU Postal and Telecommunications Union Jim Metcher said an inquiry should be held to examine the impact on Australian postal services after the sell-off of post offices." 

Supply Chain Review has reported that "FedEx Express has the expansion of its customer portfolio of services with the launch of FedEx International Economy service in Australia and New Zealand and eight other Asia-Pacific markets. FedEx International Economy is described as an economical, day-definite, customs-cleared, door-to-door service that features a transit time typically one to two days longer than premium FedEx International Priority service, which is designed for more time-sensitive shipments. The new service effectively addresses the needs of customers who look for reliability and cost efficiency as a top priority in shipping."

From PR Web: Window Book has posted a web page designed to help mailers prepare for the USPS® Intelligent Mail barcode mandates. The USPS® Intelligent Mail Barcodes is an electronic system designed for real-time data exchange by the mailers and USPS to communicate info on address quality, presort data accuracy, and postage payment. By combining POSTNET barcode & Planet Code barcode into one Intelligent barcode, it is designed to sort and track mailpieces faster and more efficiently.

The Honolulu Advertiser has reported that "Coast Guard crews continued their search overnight for the missing pilot of a mail cargo plane that crashed into the ocean yesterday about seven miles southeast of Lihu'e."

The U.S. Postal Service continually aims to increase its quality of service, to reduce delivery times, to pinpoint logistical inefficiencies, to save costs and to eliminate waste. To support this challenging task, the USPS commissioned TrackingTheWorld Inc., a leading global positioning technology firm, to develop a letter-tracking GPS device that would meet the agency’s precise needs. These needs include reporting the positioning of letter mail from anywhere on the planet at customizable time intervals, interfacing with Google Earth, and recording down time, all fitted in a device conveniently and completely unnoticed within a standard size envelope. For more information about the G.P.S. Letter Logger letter tracking device or TrackingTheWorld, please visit www.TrackingTheWorld.com. Scheduled release date 02-01-08.

January 14, 2008

The Postal Regulatory Commission has posted the most recent version of the Domestic Mail Classification Schedule on its web site.

Transport Intelligence has reported that "UPS has generated a note of ambiguity concerning its future corporate strategy with the announcement this week of a change in financial policy. In the past, UPS has been known for its conservative accounts, opting to maintain low levels of debt despite a strong cash-flow position. However, recently-appointed chairman and CEO Scott Davis has announced a new and apparently more aggressive position which involves deciding to increase the "debt component" of the company's balance sheet. The new policy will state a target debt ratio in the "range of 50-60% funds-from-operations-from-operations-to-total-debt". The reason behind that move, stated UPS chief financial officer Kurt Kuehn, was to enable the company to make "increased investments in the business, pursue selective acquisitions and undertake larger share repurchases".

According to the Associated Press, "Girding for a potential threat from Apple Inc., online DVD rental service Netflix Inc. is lifting its limits on how long most subscribers can watch movies and television shows over high-speed Internet connections. Netflix is gearing up for the increased competition by expanding a year-old feature that streams movies over the Internet instead of making customers wait for their online rental requests to be delivered through the mail."

From the Federal Register:

Cargonews Asia has reported that "The shifting express landscape in Japan is producing some unusual alliances. Concern about the international integrators encroaching on their turf has induced domestic rivals to form pacts with one another."

Data Collection Online has reported that "Microscan Systems, a global leader in the development of advanced bar code products, announces the release of the world’s fastest mini imager. The Quadrus MINI Velocity autofocus imager consistently reads linear and 2D codes moving as fast as 100 inches per second. Andrew Zosel, Director of Product Management said "We’ve also included enhanced Q-Mode algorithms for aggressive decoding of 1D, QR, Micro QR, and a wide range of postal codes."

Trade Arabia has reported that "Postal administrators from Arab countries discussed the Arab stand on postal issues at the 15th meeting of the Arab Permanent Postal Council at the General Secretariat of Arab League, Cairo. Emirates Post was appointed head of a special committee to prepare the Arab approach for the UPU Congress which will be held in Nairobi from August 13 to September 3, 2008."

The Canadian Press has reported that "The old adage about snow, sleet and rain never stopping mail delivery is being rewritten by Canada Post for its rural and suburban customers. It turns out snowfall is one of the factors the Crown corporation is considering as it moves ahead with its Canada-wide assessment of the safety of rural mailboxes - one of the traditional icons of country life."

The Financial Times has reported that "With the grudging approval of Angela Merkel, chancellor, and her Christian Democratic Union, Mr Beck managed to have jobless benefits raised last year and a minimum wage imposed on the postal sector. The postal minimum wage, Wolfgang Clement, a former economics minister and SPD grandee, said, had been "a huge mistake". The decision had benefited Deutsche Post, the former state monopoly, against private competitors. "Politicians let themselves be used by vested interests," he added. "The ability of employers and employees to set wages without outside interference is precisely what allowed the period of wage restraint that gave us back our competitiveness [over the past five years]. Politicians should always keep their hands off wages."

Emirates Business has reported that "Competition in the money transfer business is heating up after Emirates Post and India Post agreed to jointly launch a service that will deliver payments to customers’ doorsteps. The alliance will offer an electronic money order service using the United Postal Union’s secure International Financial System (IFS) – a global network of 660,000 post offices. The partners hope the scale of the operation will enable them to challenge Western Union Money Transfer, which dominates the remittance market globally."

January 13, 2008

There's another postal blog out there: "Post Notes -- Analysis of postal news and trends from Washington to your mailbox and around the world." Check it out.

Well, the rumor mill is cranking, and it says that the Postal Service will be announcing soon its intention to raise postal rates by 2.9% when calculated at the class level.

As Ben Stein noted in the New York Times, "Clearly, the economy is slowing. The immense drop in home construction, the slowdown in lending, the falloff in retail sales, the general mood of the nation — fanned by endless fear-mongering in the news media — are taking their toll. There has been a noticeable gain in joblessness, although employment is still very strong by historical standards. Foreclosures are way up, though they still form a tiny percentage of all homes with mortgages. Banks have sometimes been reluctant to lend, and this is scaring markets plenty. The stock market is down sharply from six months ago. It is still at a high price-to-earnings multiple by historical measures, but it has fallen." [EdNote: As if you didn't already know.]

According to the Raleigh News & Observer, "The U.S. Postal Service is probably the last place consumers think they have to be on guard against aggressive pricing and overcharging. That's what Jason Savage, a Raleigh entrepreneur, thought until a recent trip to a Willow Spring post office."

One writer at the Milwaukee Sentinel-Journal has marveled: "It's amazing how many of you figured out the same deviously clever way to go postal in your fight against junk mailers like Capital One."

The Malta Independent has reported that "The government’s 40 per cent shareholding in MaltaPost is being offered for sale via an Initial Public Offering (IPO) and MaltaPost shares will be quoted on the Malta Stock Exchange later this month. At a news conference held at the Mediterranean Conference Centre early last week to announce the sale, Minister Austin Gatt succinctly explained, “The government’s business is government and not business.” “This should allow the government to pursue continued economic growth. At present, 70 per cent of the country’s labour force is employed by the private sector.”

January 12, 2008

According to Computerworld, "Forget all the red ink in the federal budget. The White House is going green on this year's budget. In a move that the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) says will save roughly 20 tons of paper, or about 480 trees, the Bush administration will release the government's first-ever paperless budget on Feb. 4. The plan to issue a so-called e-budget means that the White House won't order any hard-copy versions of the budget for the government's 2009 fiscal year, which starts in October. Instead, the OMB will post a fully downloadable and searchable electronic copy on its Web site and make the document accessible to anyone who wants to read it."

Dow Jones has reported that "The Teamsters criticized FedEx Corp. (FDX) for announcing plans to continue classifying its drivers as independent contractors although the California Supreme Court has declared workers there to be employees."

eTrucker.com has reported that "FedEx Corp. reiterated its confidence Jan. 10 as it responds to a tentative assessment by the Internal Revenue Service that its FedEx Ground owner-operators are employees and not general contractors. "FedEx recognizes its ground-contractor model faces challenges on several fronts," said Frederick W. Smith, chairman, president and chief executive officer of the company, based in Memphis, Tenn. "We continue to aggressively address these issues, and we have strong defenses to these challenges." FedEx is preparing to meet with the IRS audit team to review the Dec. 20 IRS assessment and to provide an initial response. FedEx expects the meeting to occur in the spring and says a final resolution will not occur for some time."

Analytiqa has reported that "DHL will become the official express and logistics partner for IMG’s Fashion Weeks around the world, a series of prestigious shows produced and/or represented by IMG Fashion in ten countries spanning four continents each year. Following a successful year working with IMG Fashion in the US market, DHL is now increasing its relationship as the official international express and logistics partner of these events."

Women in Logistics & Delivery Services (WILDS) is a nonprofit organization created to promote women's leadership in the postal and delivery industries. The organization provides networking, mentoring and training opportunities to address issues that women in these industries regularly face. The WILDS web site is up. Check it out at: http://www.shedelivers.org.

January 11, 2008
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Environmental Leader has reported that "Earth Class Mail has closed $13.3 million in Series A funding, according to CNET. Ignition Partners of Bellevue, Washington, led the round, and more than half of the money was raised by Keiretsu Forum.Earth Class Mail customers have their mail sent to the company rather than a personal address. Then letter openers, staffed with disabled veterans with Department of Defense security clearance, scan the envelopes and upload images to the Web. Customers then decide which items to have opened and read, recycled, or forwarded."

PostCom Members!! If you mistakenly deleted the emailing we did to provide you a copy of our Special PostCom Bulletin Compendium on Intelligent Mail, you can get your copy here.

The January 11, 2008 issue of the National Association of Postal Supervisors Legislative and Regulatory Update has been posted on this site.

UPS Freight, the nation's fourth-largest less-than-truckload (LTL) carrier, has announced a general rate increase averaging 5.4 percent covering non-contractual shipments in the United States and Canada.

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

Union Network International has reported that "An extraordinary meeting of UNI Post & Logistics global union has given the go ahead to step up campaigning across the sector. A key target is DHL - the logistics giant that operates in 220 countries with almost 200,000 employees and is owned by Deutsche Post World Net. A global alliance of DHL trade unions is being launched to build union membership and to win a global agreement that recognises labour rights wherever DHL operates around the world. UNI - which already has DHL organising projects in Hong Kong and Latin America - will direct the campaign and help develop the research on which specific activities will be based. Verdi, which is the home union for Deutsche Post, will also play a key role."

According to Forbes, "PIN Group, the troubled German mail delivery company that has put itself up for sale, has attracted interest from French, Austrian and Swiss postal services companies as well as from buyout firm CVC Capital, Handelsblatt said, citing unnamed consultants."

Postcomm, the independent UK regulator for postal services, has published a decision document confirming its proposals made in August 2007 that Royal Mail should be given extra flexibility to increase some retail prices and that access margins should be left unchanged.

The Belfast Telegraph asked its readers: "When is an address not an address? That's the question residents of parts of Co Fermanagh have been asking themselves for years. An ongoing problem over the system used for addressing homes in rural townlands in the lakeland county has led to the peculiar situation of many houses and properties seemingly not existing in certain postal databases."

Press Release: "The postal world will unite in Budapest, Hungary for the 9th annual World Mail Awards on Monday 19th May 2008 to reward excellence and best practice in the industry. The applications opened on the 3rd January 2008 and will close on 29th February 2008, don't miss the opportunity to gain the recognition that you have earned. Entries are free of costs and participants can apply to as many categories as they wish. Award Categories and application forms are now available online at World Mail Awards."

The Postalnews blog has noted that "US Postal Service employment statistics showed a continuing decline in the career workforce at the end of 2007. The USPS ended the year with 681,013 career employees, down 1.9% from the prior year. The decrease of 13,329 career jobs was more than made up for by 21,537 added casual workers, and 11,801 transitional employees. By craft, clerks and nurses saw the largest decline, down 4.5%, for a loss of 9,515 jobs."

The Fort Wayne Daily News has asked: "have you seen the design for the Indiana stamp? In addition to the blue and gold state flag, there will be, in the words of the USPS, “an everyday scene or activity.” And what is that “everyday scene or activity” for the Indiana stamp? It is a farm tractor pulling a chisel plow through a field with a cityscape in the distance. How did this happen? Did the governor’s office sign off on this? Which of our U.S. senators or representatives let this get through committee? Or does the USPS do these things without consultation with the states involved? Does Arizona want to be represented by a cactus? Is Illinois best depicted by an old-fashioned windmill? Maybe Iowa still wants to be known for its corn and Kansas for its barns. But should Hoosiers feel comfortable with a farm scene? How long will it take to escape the myth that Indiana is a farm state?"

The Hindu has reported that "As part of modernisation drive, the Department of Posts (DoP) will mechanise its sorting system in metros and other cities, set up national mail grid and take four aircraft on lease to deliver mails in the quickest possible time."

According to the Bihar Times, "It can be termed by many as the propaganda overdrive. The Bihar government has decided to come out with special postcards priced at 25 paise––half the price of usual post cards, with the photograph of chief minister alongside his government’s achievements adjacent to the space earmarked for writing the address of the recipient."

From the U.S. Postal Service: The following reports have been posted on the U.S. Postal Service web site:

According to one writer for the Manila Bulletin, "Notwithstanding the drastic decline in the total volume of mails and letters in all postal administrations throughout the world due principally, but not wholly, to the advent of the cellular phone, e-commerce, e-mail, and Internet, nevertheless postal systems all over the world have surprisingly survived by deftly adjusting to the times and by diversifying their services with new products. Contrary to popular perception, the post office is neither dead or dying but alive and kicking. Neither is the postal business a "sunset" industry. On the contrary, it is considered a "sunshine" industry and flourishing."

Reuters has reported that "Package delivery company FedExCorp said on Thursday it remains confident in the strength of its beleaguered ground delivery unit, FedEx Ground."

The Associated Press has reported that "Shares of package delivery company United Parcel Service Inc. rose Thursday after a Bear Stearns analyst upgraded the stock, citing a slew of catalysts for long-term growth including current troubles at rival FedEx Corp."

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram has claimed that "the Downtown Fort Worth Station at 251 W. Lancaster Ave. The building, valued at $5,310,520 by the Tarrant Appraisal District, houses obsolete mail-sorting equipment, and its 99,000 square feet of space is mostly empty -- only the main floor of the three-story building is routinely used, according to a December report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office. Nevertheless, a U.S. Postal Service facility database says there's no "vacant leasable space" there. That's because the database has unreliable, duplicative and contradictory information. Post offices in Denton and Dallas also list no vacant leasable space, despite entire unused floors. As for the $1 million spent in 2006 to repair the Fort Worth post office -- it's the cost of indecisiveness."

[Editor's Note: If you ever wanted to know the kind of untruths (although my preference would be for some stronger expression) about advertising mail that are being preached to state legislators around the nation, read this piece from the Concord Monitor.]

Cox News Service has reported that "UPS's shipping volumes used to be a good indicator of how the economy would be doing down the road — but no longer thanks to changes in how its business customers operate, the package shipper's top executive said Wednesday. D. Scott Davis, who became CEO and chairman of the package shipper on Jan. 1, told attendees of a Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce breakfast that fluctuations in the company's fortunes once foreshadowed the economy's direction. But its volume has become more of a real-time indicator in recent years as many retailers and other shippers have switched to so-called "just-in-time" operations to reduce their inventory levels, said Davis, who is also vice chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta."

January 10, 2008

The Financial Express has reported that "Negotiations in the World Trade Organisation over opening Markets to banks, insurance Companies and express delivery are faltering, the Bush administration and lawmakers said. The WTO papers, distributed in Geneva last month and since posted on the website of the Coalition of Service Industries, recap the progress in the talks. The US and EU pressed the large developing nations countries to allow more investments from US banks such as Citigroup Inc., permit operations of express delivery Companies such as United Parcel Service Inc. and open up tourism, telecommunications and energy services to foreign Companies. The responses were limited, the papers show."

Air Cargo World has reported that:

The DM Bulletin has reported that "The Direct Marketing Association (UK) has welcomed new legislation that will allow death registration data to be used in the battle against fraud and identity theft."
[PostCom logo

PostCom welcomes its newest member: American Catalog Mailers Association 2001 K Street, NW, Suite 206 Washington, DC 20006-1039 represented by Hamilton Davison, Executive Director

The Financial Times has reported that "United Parcel Service plans to borrow about $10bn to buy back stock and expand through acquisitions in its latest bid to boost a flagging share price and shake its image as a conservative company that valued a sterling credit rating above growth."

APWU President William Burrus has asked the union’s state and local presidents to encourage APWU members to write to their U.S. representatives and ask them to co-sponsor and support the Mail Network Protection Act (H.R. 4236). The bill, introduced by Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA) on Nov. 15, 2007, would require the Postal Service to bargain with postal unions before it engages in significant subcontracting. Seven U.S. Representatives have signed on as co-sponsors. They are: Yvette Clark (D-NY), Al Green (D-TX), Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), Patrick Murphy (D-PA), Laura Richardson (D-CA), Christopher Smith (R-NJ), and John Tierney (D-MA).

The Bangkok Post has reported that "Thailand Post Co is preparing to franchise 20 postal counters under the commercial name Thailand Post Shop, according to Arnusa Chitmittrapab, senior executive vice-president for marketing and business development. Ms Arunsa said franchisees would earn money from postal as well as financial services including online postal drafts and Pay at Post bill payments. In addition, they can distribute postal products, souvenirs and other goods, and also run other businesses suited to the company's image such as book and stationery sales and Internet services."

Logistics Management has reported that "Express delivery and logistics services company DHL and Walgreens, the largest drugstore chain in the United States, announced today they have entered into a strategic agreement that will more than double the number of Walgreens retail locations offering DHL Express shipping services to more than 6,500 locations by the end of this year, with more than 1,600 of these locations open 24 hours a day."

  eGov Monitor has reported that "In 2007, the Quality of Service Fund (QSF) financed 75 projects, totalling 15.8 million USD, in more than 50 countries. This was the first time that the Fund, created in 2001, actually spent more money than it received. At its last meeting, in October, the QSF Board of Trustees adopted projects in China (system for translating and improving the delivery of international mail), Bangladesh (installation of X-ray detectors to improve mail security), Romania (mobile offices set up in rural areas) and other countries. A total of 21 very diverse projects amounting to 8.4 million USD were approved recently, including a regional project that will enable nine Latin American countries to set up a cost accounting programme."

January 9, 2008

Press.co.nz has reported that "New Zealand Post may stop delivering a Christchurch woman's mail unless she prunes lavender around her letterbox that is attracting bees and creating a "hazard"."

Korea.net has reported that "Mongolians workers in Korea can now send money to their home country much faster than before. The Korea Post launched Monday(Jan.7) the so-called Eurogiro service with Mongolia, which enables people in Korea to wire money to Mongolia within three to five days using an electronic money transfer system. Eurogiro is a fast and cost-effective electronic transaction system that easily allows cross-border transfers of funds. Users can directly send money to the recipient’s home address through the system or deposit money into an account issued by a postal office to transfer funds."

The Philippines Information Agency has reported that "The Philippine Postal Corporation (PhilPost), Region 8 has announced that their office now accepts transport of cargoes from one city or municipality to another for a minimal fee. Interested parties who want to avail of this cargo service, known as Priority Express or PREX, are required to inform the consignee to pick up said cargo at the post office destination point. Bioco said that Philpost guarantee's a same day delivery of items posted within the specified cut-off time."

According to Hemscott, "The minimum wage to be brought into the postal industry, which was approved by Germany's upper house in December, will cost PIN Group up to 45 mln eur in 2008, chief executive Horst Piepenburg told Die Zeit."

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

Switzerland’s Schweizerische Post is going to show a record result for 2007. CEO Gygi announced a profit in excess of 900m CHF (over 548m euros).
The French La Poste intends to increase its turnover by 2.9% this year. In a profit and turnover forecast for 2008 (21.12), the post said it was expecting a 1% growth for the mail segment, while the parcel and express segment would enjoy an organic growth of over 6%. La Banque Postale is expecting a 4% increase in net income. The operating profit margin for La Poste is expected to be 6.1% in 2008.
A decision by the Court of Justice in Ottawa could lead to Canada Post having to pay back an eight-digit sum.
Last month, ten subsidiaries of the German Pin Group filed for insolvency.
The board of Austria’s Österreichische Post AG and the union of postal and telecommunications workers reached an agreement for a 3% wage increase in 2008.
Germany has already abolished the mail monopoly and the other EU member countries are due to follow on 1 January 2011. The transport committee of the European Parliament - the mastermind behind the scheme - endorsed this compromise after negotiations with the EU Council of Ministers just before Christmas.
Last year, the Bulgarian CEP market grew by more than 20%.
The German Association of Courier, Express and Postal Service Providers (BdKEP e.V.) has brought an action before the Hamburg Administrative Court against the "Decree Concerning Mandatory Working Conditions for the Mail Services Industry". The decree would make the minimum wage agreement reached between trade union ver.di and the employers’ organisation (Arbeitgeberverband Postdienste) binding for all mail service providers.
Deutsche Post has confirmed its 4.2bn euros operating profit target for 2008.
Mexico’s post has ambitious turnover targets. In a press release, Sepomex says its "Plan de Transformación a 2012" will bring the turnover up to 624.4m euros by 2012.
FedEx plans to meet with representatives of the American tax authority IRS (Internal Revenue Service) in order to look for solutions to the IRS’s substantial demand for back pay.
Specialised Dutch CEP operator Roberts Europe, which offers express and direct courier services, is moving into the German market.
Hanjo Schneider, head of the German Hermes Logistik, has confirmed his plans to expand to Spain.
Mail volumes in the UK are expected to decrease over the next few years.
Plans to privatise the Polish post Poczta Polska (CEP News 14/07) are becoming increasingly obvious. Large parts of the shares still owned by the government will be offered at the stock exchange.
Ceská Pota (CP) plans to operate its own pharmacies in the future.
Alhaji Ibrahim Mori Baba, Post Master General und CEO des Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST), has announced that the Agency would continue to clamp down on non-registered courier operators.
Johnny Thijs, CEO of La Poste in Belgium, has been confirmed in his office for a further six 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. (We appreciate the courtesy extended by CEP News to help whet your appetite for more of what CEP offers.)

According to Multichannel Merchant, "It's time to cheer up. Yes, catalog mailers were slammed again in the May 2007 rate increase. But there’s a way to maintain current circulation levels at only a portion of that new cost. What many people forget is that the USPS also increased the number of postage tiers. The goal was to reward mailers preparing their mailings just the way the postal service likes them. What’s this mean to you? First, you can improve your return on investment by keeping or adding names that receive the maximum discount. Or, you can drop names when postage costs make those records unprofitable to mail."

January 8, 2008

The Malta Star has reported that "Maltapost is to be completely privatised as government announced that it will be selling its 40 per cent shareholding in the company. The major shareholder after the privatisation of the postal services is complete will be Lombard Bank. Government will be selling 11 million, two hundred thousand shares at a nominal prices of EUR 0.25 cents each."

Federal Times has noted that "The U.S. Postal Service starts 2008 with ambitious goals for cost-cutting and modernization. The agency last month unveiled a series of changes to its “road map,” the plan aimed at boosting its revenues over the next few years. The changes are driven, in part, by the 2006 Postal Accountability Enhancement Act, the first postal reform law in 36 years. The plan sets an annual goal of $1 billion in cost reductions that the agency plans to achieve primarily by increasing automation. The cost reductions are necessary, said postal executive Linda Kingsley, even though the new law gives the Postal Service the flexibility to raise revenue by developing new products and raising prices for competitive services, such as package delivery."

The following reports have posted on the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General website (www.uspsoig.gov/) today. If you have additional questions concerning the report, please contact Agapi Doulaveris at 703.248.2286.

From PR Newswire: "The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) today announced plans to enhance DMAChoice, with the latest evolution of DMA's Mail Preference Service (MPS), and remove the $1 verification fee online, to help consumers decide what catalogs they receive in their mailbox. The $1 charge had been an integral part of the MPS validation process. For the first time, DMA will allow consumers to opt out of mailing lists by individual brands for free online through DMAChoice, accessible to consumers at http://www.dmachoice.org. In addition, consumers will be able to select the catalogs they do wish to receive. DMAChoice has been enhanced to provide consumers greater choice and will assure the catalog community with the most reliability, security, authenticity, and control."

From Business Wire: "Recent years have seen profound changes sweeping through the mailing industry: postal reform, shape-based pricing, and a host of other initiatives that have forced mailers to rethink every aspect of their strategies and operations. This pace of change will not let up in 2008 as the industry prepares for the next major shift: widespread deployment of the Intelligent Mail(R) barcode requirement, a change that will be largely invisible to consumers but that has vast implications for mailers of all sizes. To help these organizations learn more about the Intelligent Mail(R) barcode and other initiatives, Pitney Bowes maintains a web site dedicated to providing information on such major initiatives and has now added the latest information about the Intelligent Mail(R) barcode. The site (www.pbpostalinfo.com) contains a basic overview of the subject, with links to a new Pitney Bowes white paper about the barcode, and to other useful background information and contacts."

The News-Times has reported that "Advancements in technology are zooming through the mailing industry, and government regulations are changing almost as quickly. That's why Pitney Bowes Management Services Inc., a subsidiary of Stamford-based Pitney Bowes Inc., has launched Pitney Bowes Mailstream Consulting Services to help customers manage rising postal costs. Mailstream Consulting Services is a follow-up to Pitney Bowes MailWorks, a bundled offering of technology and Six Sigma processes that the company launched in April 2006."

According to the American Postal Workers Union, "Postal Points, a mailing industry newsletter, has enjoyed taking potshots at the APWU for quite a while, but the vitriol seems to have increased lately. In a Dec. 21, 2007, article about the Omnibus Appropriations Bill that passed Congress late last year, the publication also blasted legislators who added a provision to the spending bill that directed the Postal Service to postpone any facility consolidations until further review has been made by the Government Accountability Office. The newsletter of the Mailing and Fulfillment Service Association [PDF] said the measure “represents an unacceptable level of micromanagement by shortsighted and self-serving legislators who continue to meddle in postal operations to satisfy narrow and parochial interests of major political supporters.” That would be us."

The BBC has reported that "plans to cut or downgrade almost 30 post offices in some of Scotland's most rural areas have been announced. Proposals for the Highlands would see 18 branches closed and 11 replaced by reduced services. The Post office said most residents in the area would see no change to their current service, or would be within a mile from an alternative branch."

From PR Web: "Window Book proudly announced the launch of new functionality in both Postal Package Partner™ and DAT-MAIL™ for providing best practice for handling Priority Mail Open and Distribute. The USPS® Priority Mail Open and Distribute service allows you to send sacks or trays of presorted mail pieces to postal facilities located closer to where the item will be delivered. The mail gets to the recipient faster, on a more predictable date and, in many cases, for less money. Postal Package Partner's Open and Distribute Module provides a perfect solution for mailers for generating labels, manifesting and tracking Open and Distribute items with Delivery Confirmation. The Open and Distribute Module is designed to automate the process of importing the data, print Delivery Confirmation barcoded labels, generate manifest and postal statements, track delivery, and keep a database of all drop shipments.

The Postal Regulatory Commission has issued its opinion and final decision in the matter of Docket No. MC2007-3. In its decision it said: "The Commission adopts an unopposed settlement agreement as the basis for a favorable opinion and recommended decision on the United States Postal Service’s Request to change the status of Premium Forwarding Service (PFS) from experimental to permanent. If PFS is approved as recommended, residential delivery customers — as well as many post office box customers — will continue to have the option of having the Postal Service reship their mail from a permanent address to a temporary address once a week via prepaid Priority Mail."

In his latest post on the Courier, Express, and Postal Observer blogspot, Alan Robinson notes that "Currently eight states now will have "do not mail" legislation to consider in 2008. Such legislation will likely be introduced in many more states as legislative sessions begin in the next few months. Given the precarious state of an economy on the brink of recession, opponents of such legislation need to carefully document how such legislation could hurt the economy of states where legislation is proposed."

The Associated Press has reported that "A utility company's shipment of compact fluorescent light bulbs to its 220,000 Maryland customers caused headaches for small-town postal workers who had to deal with thousands of unexpected packages during the peak holiday season. Allegheny Power sent the two-bulb parcels to its western Maryland customers to promote energy efficiency. Spokesman Todd Meyers said Monday that the bulbs were supposed to arrive by late November. But a supplier glitch, combined with the company's ignorance about the workings of some post offices, generated resentment instead of goodwill — at least among postal employees."

Press Release: "Quad/Graphics, the hemisphere's largest privately held commercial printer, has registered all 10 of its core U.S. printing plants for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). The accomplishment puts Quad/Graphics on target to be the first printer of its kind to have all its major manufacturing sites designated as green buildings."

January 7, 2008

If you're qualified and in the market, check out the executive employment opportunities at the Postal Regulatory Commission.

The Institute of Economic Affairs will present its 11th annual conference on European Postal Services on the 11th, 12th & 13th March 2008 at the Berlin Intercontinental Hotel. Among those speaking is U.S. Postmaster General John Potter.
[PostCom logo

PostCom welcomes its newest member: Kantar Operations 8800 N. 22nd Avenue Phoenix, AZ 85021-4258 represented by Sonja K. Streich Senior Manager of Fulfillment Operations

UPS is launching a simplified global portfolio for shipping air freight, including a substantially expanded express freight option with guaranteed door-to-door service.

From the Federal Register:

The DM Bulletin has reported that U.K. "Environment minister Joan Ruddock has warned the direct marketing industry that it needs to improve its environmental record if it is to avoid legislation such as a mandatory opt-in for direct mail."

From Business Wire: "Research and Markets (www.researchandmarkets.com/reports/c78515) has announced the addition of Snapshots Hong Kong Postal Services 2007 to their offering. Snapdatas Snapshots Hong Kong Postal Services 2007 provides 2005 year-end market size data, with 2006 estimates, 4 years of historical data and five-year forecasts. The Snapshots report gives an instant overview of the Hong Kong postal service market, and covers letters and parcels. Market volume is based on number of units handled. It does not include courier services. The data is supplied in both graphical and tabular format for ease of interpretation and analysis. The Snapshots Hong Kong Postal Services 2007 forms part of Snapdatas Business Services industry coverage."

The Hindu has reported that "Lakhs of Indians living abroad, particularly Hindus, would be able to receive the holy ‘Gangajal’ at their doorsteps if plans being worked out by the Department of Posts (DoP) materialise. The idea is to courier small bottles filled with “Gangajal” to people across the globe for which talks are on with the postal departments of various nations, reputed couriers companies and some temple trusts to make the venture a success, said sources in the DoP. Before starting the service, the DoP wants to develop a supply and delivery network for the holy water , while its role would mainly be to collect payments and monitor coordination. “We are thinking of starting the e-payment system at our website — India Post — so that a non-resident Indian or any other person can make a payment and place an order with us."

January 6, 2008

The Postalnewsblog has noted that "The Postal Service doesn’t like the term “junk mail”, and for obvious reasons, neither do the people who use direct mailings to sell their products. So it might come as a surprise to find that the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) uses the term in advertisements for its “dmachoice.org” web site. One ad says “Postal service junk mail Choose Only The Catalogs You Want! Free Service Supported by the USPS”. Another reads “Stop Paper Junk Mail” Reduce Mailbox Clutter- Sign Up for DMA’s Mail Preference Service!” Interestingly enough, the term “junk mail” doesn’t appear on the dmachoice site itself, although it is included in the keyword code for several pages. Keywords are embedded in the HTML code of web pages, and can be used by search engines, but aren’t visible to a person viewing the page."

Douglas F. Carlson has filed a complaint with the Postal Regulatory Commission (Docket No. C2008-2) in which he charged that "The Postal Service’s decision not to offer Bound Printed Matter at retail windows unduly and unreasonably discriminates against individual and smallbusiness mailers, in a manner not specifically authorized by title 39. Compared to large mailers, individual and small-business mailers are less likely to know about services that window clerks do not offer, that Automated Postal Centers do not offer, and that the Postage Rate Calculator at www.usps.gov does not mention." [You also might want to check out BookofJoe.]

According to the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, "Junk mail. We’ve all gotten it, and as a small-business owner, you might even have sent some in an effort to drum up new clients. Of course, as the sender, you don’t consider it junk mail. But unless it’s done right and hits a chord with the recipient, it’s nothing more than just that. So how do you create a direct mail piece that stands a chance of being read?"

The Hindustan Times has noted that "Sonia Gandhi is the Neta No 1, if the number of mail she gets every month is used to measure her popularity. The Congress chief gets over 50,000 letters, both registered and post cards, every month, way ahead of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh or senior BJP leader LK Advani."

AMEInfo has reported that "India Post and Emirates Post launch 'International Express Money Order' through postal network."

January 5, 2008

According to the Ottawa Citizen, "Canada Post could be required to return tens of millions of dollars in shipping charges to thousands of businesses as a result of a recent Ontario court ruling."

The San Francisco Chronicle has reported that "Victories by Democratic Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois and Republican former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee in the Iowa caucuses mean there's a better chance that Californians will cast a ballot that matters in their Feb. 5 primary - and they could see campaign TV commercials and mailers within days. What's helping to keep California relevant among two dozen other states holding Feb. 5 primaries is that more than 44 percent of California's 16 million registered voters are expected to mail in their ballots, which are scheduled to arrive in voters mailboxes early next week. Most mail-in voters submit their ballots in either the first week after they receive them or the week before the election, analysts say, so a victory in Iowa and the next few days of media buzz will be a boon in California, too."

The Richmond Times-Dispatch has reported that "Workers at a longtime provider of help for children with hearing and speech difficulties in Richmond say they fear that thousands of dollars in donations may have been lost over the holidays. Mail that was put on hold for a week and apparently stacked up at a North Richmond post office seems to have disappeared. U.S. Postal Service officials said yesterday that the matter is under investigation."

Air Cargo World has reported that "FedEx will meet with the Internal Revenue Service audit team in the spring to discuss a tax assessment regarding the classification of owner-operators at FedEx Ground."

The Bicester Advertiser has reported that "postal workers in Oxfordshire returned to work this morning but union leaders are warning it could be Friday before any mail is delivered. Communication Workers Union representative Bob Cullen said there was a backlog of "millions and millions" of letters and parcels at the Oxford Mail Centre in Cowley. As a result, staff who would normally be delivering mail have been called in to help with the mass sorting operation."

January 4, 2008
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A new report has posted on the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General website (www.uspsoig.gov). If you have additional questions concerning the report, please contact Wally Olihovik at 703.248. 2201, or Agapi Doulaveris at 703.248.2286.
Voyager Card Program – California Post Offices (Report Number CAAR08003) http://www.uspsoig.gov/foia_files/CA-AR-08-003.pdf

PrintWeek has reported that "Global delivery services giant TNT Post is offering print management services to its clients after signing a 12-month agreement with TDG Group. The private-sector rival to Royal Mail will use the tie-up with the London-based firm to offer end-to-end print management services, a creative review process and environmental consultancy to direct mail clients. It will also use TDG’s services for its own print."

Reuters has reported that "The European Commission will make proposals by mid-2008 aimed at creating a single European market in the burgeoning sector of online music, films and games, it said on Thursday. "Europe's content sector is suffering under its regulatory fragmentation, under its lack of clear, consumer-friendly rules for accessing copyright-protected online content and serious disagreements between stakeholders about fundamental issues such as levies and private copying," EU Telecoms Commissioner Viviane Reding said in a statement." [Here's hopin' they do a better job of creating a single market than they've done with postal.]

According to E-Commerce Times, "Of the Web's many attractions, the potential to tap into a global marketplace, has perhaps been first and foremost for businesses. If you are a manufacturer, distributor or merchant, designing and launching a Web site is but one piece of putting together and solving the e-commerce puzzle, however. Before you start taking orders, you'd best be sure that you can deliver -- literally. We've grown accustomed to the convenience of express delivery services so quickly that we tend to take them for granted. However, if you've ever tried to send a parcel to an off-the-beaten-path destination, you know that what at first glance appeared simple was deceptively so, and that shipping costs can far exceed the value of what you are shipping."

As Reuters noted, "Now might not be a great time to launch a financial services stock, but Italy's national postal service -- led by its booming banking unit -- is gearing up for a float. Key to Poste Italiane's business model has been a strategy of using its 14,000 outlets across Italy to offer bank accounts and loans, exploiting its reputation as a conservative player that has catered to pensioners and families for decades. From tiny Sicilian villages to northern ski resorts, thousands of Italians daily walk into Poste Italiane's slick, yellow-themed outlets to pick up their pension checks or pay utility bills. Poste has used that relationship as a springboard to sell other services, and grown into Italy's de facto largest retail bank, measured by outlets and number of current accounts." See also the International Herald Tribune.

There's a nice piece on Tom Tully in the Courier-News.

The Virginian-Pilot has reported that "The December layoffs at Lillian Vernon Corp. stemmed from rising postal costs, the falling U.S. dollar and lower-than-expected holiday sales, its chief executive told a trade publication. "The most damaging was the postal rate increase of 20 percent," said Michael D. Muoio, who also cited the parcel carrier rate increase of 25 percent, according to a story posted Wednesday evening on the Web site of Multichannel Merchant magazine. "Basically, FedEx and the U.S. Postal Service reached down into our pocket and took out $8 million," Muoio said. "For us, there was no choice." Two executive vice presidents lost their jobs, as did many order processors and sales representatives, according to documents provided by the company to terminated employees. Even the company's spokesman lost his job. Roughly 374 employees remain after the terminations, the documents show; however, the trade magazine said about 500 are left."

January 3, 2008

The Daily Observer has reported that "A total of 11 persons including key officials have been fired from their jobs at the Liberian Ministry of Post and Telecommunications for their alleged involvement in mail smuggling which occurred on September 30, 2007."

The U.S. Postal Service has issued a DMM Advisory, which updates certain mailing standards.

PostCom Members: Be sure to review our posting of Important USPS and PAEA-Related Reports noted in the blue links navigation panel located on the right side of this page.

The New York Times has reported that "Netflix, the DVD-by-mail company with more than seven million customers, has a new strategy that may one day make those red envelopes obsolete. The company wants to strike deals with electronics companies that will let it send movies straight to TV screens over the Internet. Its first partnership, announced Wednesday night, is with the South Korean manufacturer LG Electronics to stream movies and other programming to LG’s high-definition televisions. The partnership will extend a novel feature from Netflix, announced a year ago, that allows paying subscribers to watch any of 6,000 movies and television shows on its Web site free. But that service can be accessed only with a personal computer. The move could help transform Netflix from a successful company with a cumbersome dependence on physical media and the Postal Service into an important player in a rapidly emerging digital media landscape."

PR Web has reported that "Post Master General and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST), Alhaji Ibrahim Mori Baba, has said the Agency would continue to clamp down on unregistered courier companies."

This Day has reported that "Post Master General and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST), Alhaji Ibrahim Mori Baba, has said the Agency would continue to clamp down on unregistered courier companies."

January 2, 2008

According to the Financial Times, "Massimo Sarmi, who says he is running Europe’s most profitable postal service, does not want to crow too much but he is amazed at how the UK tax authorities lost two computer discs with data on 25m people through the mail."

According to the Prince George Citizen, "The price of a stamp for a regular letter up to 30 grams for delivery within Canada will stay the same this year at 52 cents, says Canada Post. A stamp for a standard letter of up to 30 g for a U.S. address rises Jan. 14 to 96 cents from 93 cents currently. If the letter is bulkier and weighs between 30 g and 50 g, the cost of postage will be $1.15, up from $1.10 at present."

The Stowe Reporter has reported that "Stowe police have made an arrest in a wave of mail thefts in Stowe and Morrisville. Police allege Ray Crickard, 48, of North Troy he stole about 25 checks and two-dozen Netflix videos from at least 16 mailboxes, most of those in Stowe. Crickard is charged with multiple counts of larceny, false pretenses, forgery and computer crimes."

For those who are interested, you can find the National Postal Forum 2008 Workshop Synopses as of December 17, 2007 posted on the NPF web site. By the way, attendee registration for the spring National Postal Forum happening May 18-21, 2008 in Anaheim, CA is now open!

Traffic World has reported that "ABX Air agreed to add two 767-200 freighter aircraft to the 29 already supporting DHL's U.S. air network during 2008."

From Business Wire: "Pitney Bowes Management Services, Inc. (PBMS), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Pitney Bowes Inc. (NYSE: PBI), has formally launched Critical Communications Solutions (CCS), an integrated print and distribution solution for business critical communications that require a high degree of coordination, customization, accuracy and control."

The Polish Outlook has reported that "Because of a large labor shortage of letter carriers and staff in the post offices sorting mail, the Polish post office is still delivering mail from the year 2007 Christmas season. It hopes to have all the pre-Christmas delivered in Poland by January 15, 2008. The exodus of Polish workers to western Europe is having a significant impact on many services provided in Poland. And one of the basic services suffering under an uncontrollable burden is the Polish postal system. In spite of between 1.5 and 2 million being unemployed, there is a significant shortage of workers and lack of applicants to fill the jobs in the postal system."

Gulf Times has reported that "Q-POST was “less productive” during 2007 in comparison with previous years, Q-Post chairman Ali Mohamed al-Ali has said. In an interview with Qatar Radio on Monday Al-Ali said that “high inflation” had its negative influence also on the postal sector and “it was the reason behind the drop in the corporation’s performance.” “Our services to the public were much less than our ambitions,” the official said."

According to Portfolio.hu, "The Hungarian Postal Service (Magyar Posta) is to spend HUF 1.1 billion (EUR 4.34 m) to buy nearly 4,800 bicycles and 30 bicycle trailers, mfor.hu has reported on Wednesday. The price includes maintenance services and also occasional repair jobs for five years."

The Economic Times has reported that "the postal department would launch beneficial schemes to be competitive. A new bill would be introduced in Parliament in the next session to streamline courier services in India."

January 1, 2008

NewIndPress has reported that "The Indian Postal Department, Tamil Nadu, is seriously exploring the commercial and technical viability of starting airport-to-airport mail and cargo transport via road to address the international mail delivery across India. According to Indira Krishnakumar, Chief Post Master General, Tamil Nadu, the idea was to connect airports and take care of collection, delivery of mail and cargo between airports."

Kyodo News has reported that "Post offices across Japan started delivering New Year's greeting cards the morning of New Year's Day on Tuesday for the first time since the privatization of the country's postal system in October."

According to The Herald, "Campaigners yesterday warned communities across Scotland will face a "devastating" blow in the new year with the closure of hundreds of post offices. Details of around 40 post offices likely to close in the Highlands and Islands will be announced on January 8, with the list of the 44 to be axed in Glasgow, Central Scotland and Argyll and Bute published the following day. Announcements on further closures elsewhere in the country will be made throughout the year as part of the UK Government's plans to shut 2500 post offices to help tackle rising losses. Postal bosses insist "the status quo is not an option" and that the large-scale closures will guarantee the service's long-term future."