Association for Postal Commerce

"Representing those who use or support the use of mail for Business Communication and Commerce"
"You will be able to enjoy only those postal rights you are willing to defend."

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Postal News and Information from Around the World

September 15, 2014 

BoSacks: There is an odd form of delusion in the publishing world, characterized by a resistance to reason in the face of actual facts. This inability to recognize modern business trends is easy for most Millennials to understand, but hard for many magazine traditionalists to reconcile. It is the concept of print's current and future position in the grand scheme of revenue production in the information distribution industry. You see, the cause of this misunderstanding is that print is still the major source of revenue for most traditional publishers and that colors their thinking, even as paper-produced revenues on the whole continue to steadily decline. To be very clear, the future of our industry and our ability to make an honest living is digital. The only real question on that subject is when the watershed moment of digital supremacy will arrive.

Los Angeles Daily News: Same-day delivery has cropped up in metropolitan areas as online retailers look for ways to keep customers from the nearest big box store. L.A. County’s more than 10 million residents and high density make it ideal for same-day delivery. Giants, like Amazon and Google, already offer same-day delivery locally, while half a dozen grocery and food delivery services cover the city and neighboring communities. Small companies will need partnerships, like those offered by USPS, Google or Ebay, to avoid hurting their bottom line

Wall Street Journal: All eyes will be on FedEx Corp. Wednesday, when Chairman and Chief Executive Fred Smith unveils first-quarter earnings that will give a first glimpse into whether the company will be able to meet the ambitious annual profit target it has set for itself. Wall Street is hoping this will be a turnaround year for the package-delivery giant, and many factors are working in the company's favor. Demand for both airfreight and truck space have been strong in recent months, boding well for both FedEx's air express and freight businesses. The express-delivery giant should also benefit from lower fuel prices, booming e-commerce sales and the restructuring of the company's express unit. FedEx does face challenges this year. Global trade still isn't as strong as executives were originally hoping.With instability in the Middle East, fuel prices could increase again. And competition is picking up. The U.S. Postal Service this month cut rates on some Priority Mail packages to compete more effectively with both FedEx and rival United Parcel Service Inc. Tech companies ranging from Google Inc. to Uber Technologies Inc. to Inc. are trying out deliveries themselves. FedEx said in its fourth quarter that a large customer left and caused the package volume at its no-frills Smartpost business to fall by 8%. Analysts say it was Amazon, and that it moved an estimated 50 million to 60 million packages annually to a mixture of UPS, the USPS and smaller regional delivery companies.

Linns: In late October 2013, Linn’s Stamp News filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the United States Postal Service. The request specifically asked for sales figures for the $2 Jenny Invert pane during the first 30 days after its Sept. 22, 2013, issue date. Our request was denied in November 2013 (written documentation of the denial was received in late December), and we appealed in January. In late August, we received a letter from the Ethics & Compliance branch of the Postal Service’s Office of the General Counsel, stating that the denial of our request had been overturned. Included with the letter were the sales figures initially requested, along with sales figures for the Jenny Invert collector’s set during that item’s limited sales period, Aug. 9, 2013, through Oct. 15, 2013. During the initial 30-day sales period, the Postal Service sold a total of 112,605 Jenny Invert panes of six $2 stamps. This represents slightly more than 5 percent of the 2.2 million panes of six that were printed. Although the Postal Service produced 1,900 Jenny Invert collector’s sets, only 1,464 were actually sold.

KUNA: The Kuwaiti postal service will be turned into a joint stock company as part of the state development plan, said Minister of State for Municipal Affairs and Minister of Communications Essa Al-Kandari on Sunday. The Ministry is studying a project for turning the postal service into a joint stock company, under Commercial Companies Law, to be fully-owned by the state, the Minister said in a statement. The new entity will be managed on commercial basis. Ministry officials are working on a draft bill for the project, Al-Kandari said.

Arutz Sheva: For nearly two weeks, there has been no mail delivery in most of Judea and Samaria – and residents of Gush Etzion have had enough, Gush Etzion Regional Council head Davidi Perl said Sunday. The lack of mail delivery is the result of an ongoing strike by postal workers in the “Doar-Na” service, which serves most of the smaller towns in Judea and Samaria where there is no post office. Despite the popularity of e-mail and electronic money transfers, many people still depend on the mail for checks, medical documentation for tests and treatment, invitations to events and more. Protesting the ongoing strike, Perl dashed off a letter to the Minister of Communications, Gilad Erdan, attacking him for his failing to more aggressively deal with the situation, which has caused problems for tens of thousands of families across the country.

Financial Times: Business has finally entered the Scottish independence debate, kicked off the fence by narrowing opinion polls and panicked investors. A growing chorus of bosses is now urging the Scots to vote No. The future of Scottish business has become a battleground of the campaign. Shocked into finding their voices, businesses have started explaining the cost of Mr Salmond’s dream. They should be still more explicit: pricier postage stamps, kettles or baked beans are not abstractions: they hurt. High quality global journalism requires investment. Please share this article with others using the link below, do not cut & paste the article. See our Ts&Cs and Copyright Policy for more detail. A new border will affect those who never stray over it. Take Royal Mail. Scotland is covered by the universal service provision that obliges the postal service to make deliveries at the same cost across the UK. With independence, this will go: meaning increased costs for businesses that use the post and a sting in the wallet for anyone mailing birthday cards to relatives down south.

Irish Times: Minister for Communications Alex White says the new national postcode system – known as Eircode – will be introduced in early 2015. Mr White has told The Irish Times legislation may need to be introduced to address some concerns that the new codes may compromise the personal data of individuals. However he said that notwithstanding the need for a new law, the long-awaited project could be delivered early next year “and I would hope to do that”. “It’s one of those things we have been talking about for a long time and we are now at the point that is capable of delivery.” Understanding the Effectiveness of Physical Communications Solicitation Number: 6HQOIG-14-A-0040 Agency: United States Postal Service Office: Supplies and Services Purchasing Location: OIG. This RFI solicits suggested methodologies for conducting neuroscience research to understand the human response to and effectiveness of physical communications. Contracting Office Address: US Postal Service - Office of the Inspector General 1735 N Lynn St Arlington, Virginia 22209-2020 Primary Point of Contact.: Millie Abdi Phone: 703-526-5921

"This RFI solicits suggested methodologies for conducting neuroscience research to understand the human response to and effectiveness of physical communications. Specifically, the USPS OIG seeks to identify possible Suppliers that could propose and conduct neuroscience research based on the following objectives: (1) To understand the human response to physical and digital media; specifically how the brain responds to marketing stimuli and the associated downstream behaviors. (2) To assess the role direct mail can most effectively play in different phases in the relationship with a consumer or elements of the buying process. Companies are concerned with increasing the effectiveness of their marketing activities. No one channel can do all things to build a relationship with a customer, and the task of understanding how they work together is exceedingly complex. Many postal customers, especially small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), may not be able to track the success of a specific channel and do not know the most effective mix of physical and digital communications to best convey their message.

The USPS OIG has reviewed studies related to the impact of the different communications medium on the human brain. For example, in 2010, Royal Mail commissioned a study which found that physical media left a "deeper footprint" in the brain than digital messages, even after controlling for the increase in sensory processing for tangible items. The study results seem to reveal that all other effects being equal, direct mail-based materials are more concrete and "real" for the brain, internalized more, facilitate emotional processing, and result in more fluent decision-making. The Royal Mail study indicated that direct mail elicited deeper levels of processing like vivid memory creation and emotional responses and often increased the likelihood of sales. However, work remains to be done to translate the human response to concrete behaviors (i.e., retention/recall, response rate, or intent to purchase), which illustrate the success of a marketing campaign.

The USPS OIG intends to identify and work with a supplier to use neuroscience to help companies understand where, in their relationship with a customer, that direct mail is an optimal choice of media. The USPS OIG expects the Postal Service could use this information in its ongoing efforts to assist its customers, including SMEs, through its "concierge services" pilot program and other outreach activities such as webinars and communication collateral to help create effective marketing strategies. If a RFP is issued, the Potential Supplier is expected to have capability to: a. Develop a neurophysiological study that illustrates the different human response to hard copy and digital advertising."

September 14, 2014 

Arutz Sheva: The Israel postal workers' strike which has been going on for over a week and a half, is entering new territory tomorrow (Monday). As of tomorrow, post offices will no longer avail the public the ability of paying fines issued by police, the courts, or local authorities. This, in addition to refusal to handling the mail for government offices.

Washington Post: Here in the Senate battleground of Colorado, the latest front in the voting wars is the mailbox. In other states, that fight has generally centered on laws that opponents say restrict voter access – measures, largely passed by Republican legislatures, that require voter identification or reduce the number of days for early voting. But Colorado is operating under a new system designed to do the opposite: For the first time this year, every registered voter will get a ballot delivered to them through the mail, weeks before Nov. 4.

Wall Street Journal: Squeezed by high prices at home, Brazilian consumers in search of bargains are flocking to the Chinese e-commerce giant. Making e-commerce inroads in Brazil has its twists and turns. By regulation, the many packages arriving in the country from overseas can be charged up to 60% in customs taxes if they are valued at more than $50. Many merchants know to ship orders there that have been broken up so that each package falls below the threshold. Even so, buyers say, the threshold is inconsistently enforced: Some customers aren't charged at all, while others say they have been arbitrarily fined as much as full value. With so many packages now arriving from abroad, Correios said the volume of international orders has increased nearly fourfold over the last four years. It now charges 12 reais ($5.16) per package to recipients as a processing fee even when the packages are valued below the maximum. The Correios spokeswoman added that the company is working with Brazil's tax authorities to test new systems that would make clearing customs faster, such as allowing the payment of customs taxes online.

The Independent: MPs are privately warning that Royal Mail could be “fatally wounded” by increased competition, as they prepare to launch an inquiry into the actions of the postal service’s rivals. In what Royal Mail executives claim is a threat to the UK’s universal service, TNT Post has started to deliver letters and parcels directly. TNT has been accused of “cherry picking” densely populated areas where it can make a profit, such as London and Manchester, and avoiding rural locations. Royal Mail opened itself up to greater competition when it was privatised last year, but had to commit to keeping the universal service until 2021. Chief executive Moya Greene believes this means rivals have unfair advantages as they attempt to grow direct-delivery services, and wants regulator Ofcom to launch an immediate investigation.

September 13, 2014 

Dead Tree Edition:The Postal Service’s recent price cuts for big businesses that ship packages are already trickling down to the small fry, like eBay seller Joe Strader. And based on Strader’s reaction to the rates that took effect on Sunday (Sept. 7), a lot of other small shippers will be switching their business to the U.S. Postal Service as well.

Office of the Inspector General:

  • Efficiency Review of the Cincinnati,OH, Network Distribution Center – Operations and Transportation

    What the OIG Found. Opportunities exist to improve the efficiency of some operations at the Cincinnati NDC by better managing workhours and processing more mailpieces per hour. The Cincinnati NDC had an average piece per hour productivity of 112 for its distribution operations, while comparable NDCs had an average piece per hour productivity of 186. In addition, the Cincinnati NDC used a higher percentage of workhours for other operations than comparable NDCs. Consequently, the Cincinnati NDC used 51,352 more workhours than necessary. We also found some mail being unnecessarily transported from the Cincinnati NDC and unused space in some mail transport containers. In addition, some trailers transporting mail between the Cincinnati and Des Moines NDCs were not filled to capacity. These conditions occurred because officials did not use best practices to benchmark efficiency against other NDCs; did not always follow NDC guidelines for properly sorting, labeling, and consolidating mail; and did not fully analyze existing transportation as required. If the Postal Service eliminated unnecessary workhours, it could save an average of about $2 million in labor costs annually. In addition, it could save about $473,000 annually in transportation costs by complying with NDC guidelines and eliminating a daily round trip. Finally, we observed that mail transport equipment was not always properly restrained for transport to and from the NDCs as required.
    What the OIG Recommended. We recommended the vice president, Eastern Area, improve the efficiency of the Cincinnati NDC’s manual operations and reduce workhours in other operations to achieve the productivity of comparable NDCs. We also recommended the vice presidents, Eastern and Western areas, reinforce compliance with NDC guidelines, remove an unnecessary highway contract round trip, and reinforce existing safety procedures for restraining mail transport equipment.
  • Monitoring Post Office Operational Risk in the Southern Area

    What the OIG Found. The Southern Area is effectively monitoring 12 of the 13 risk elements we reviewed. However, we found area and district managers did not continuously monitor refunds. We found that for calendar years 2011 through 2013, refunds increased by $3.6 million (from $9.9 million to $13.5 million, or 36.6 percent), while associated revenue increased by about $7.7 million (from $838.4 million to $846.1 million, or 0.9 percent). Area and district personnel were not continuously monitoring refunds because they are not required to do so under current Postal Service policy and they consider the financial risk from errors to be low. Without refund monitoring, there is an increased opportunity for refund fraud against the Postal Service. Specifically, the Postal Service issues refunds when labels or meter strips are damaged or printed in error and voided. Falsifying refunds would provide employees the opportunity to convert Postal Service funds for personal use.
    What the OIG Recommended. During the audit, the Southern Area Controller established a quarterly variance report to identify units with a high percentage of refunds to total revenue. As a result of this process, from January through June in calendar years 2013 and 2014, the Southern Area’s refunds decreased by $1.1 million (from $6.9 million to $5.8 million, or about 15.9 percent). Therefore, we will not be making a recommendation.

Chicago Tribune: A man who the FBI says admitted to being the “Hooded Bandit,” responsible for eight northwest suburban bank robberies since 2011 served time in federal prison a decade ago for embezzling $122,000 from the U.S. Postal Service, according to records.

ITV: The Scottish Government opposed the privatisation of Royal Mail last year and has pledged to renationalise the Scottish service if the country votes in favour of independence. By doing so it promises the Scottish people that the mail service they receive will be the same or even better than the one they currently receive. They haven't disclosed and don't appear to know the costs of enacting this promise. Scotland is more sparsely populated than much of the rest of the UK - the country accounts for around one tenth of the British population and one third of its land mass and it is therefore more expensive to deliver mail there.

September 12, 2014 

 At the Postal Regulatory Commission:

PrintWeek: UK Mail's hybrid mailing service, imail, has launched a new personalised greetings card app SWALK (Sealed With a Loving Kiss). The app enables consumers to use pictures from their iPhones to create low-cost greetings cards that are then printed and sent by imail. The app is integrated with Facebook so that senders can request postal addresses from intended recipients. The recipient is notified of the request via Facebook and inputs their address without the sender seeing it.

WHAV: “Boss,” spelled backwards, is double-S-O-B, and that’s how most of the employees of the US Postal Service feel about their top boss. America’s postal employees – from mail clerks to letter carriers – take great pride in moving millions of pieces of mail to us every day, whether we live in inner cities or way down at the bottom of the Grand Canyon, where mail is delivered by mule-riding letter carriers to a Native American tribe living there. But USPS bossman, Postmaster General Pat Donahoe, definitely does not make postal workers proud, for he’s been deliberately monkeywrenching our mail system by slowing delivery, reducing staff and hours of service, closing neighborhood and historic post offices, shutting processing centers, trying to end Saturday delivery, badmouthing his own agency’s performance, steadily corporatizing public functions, and transforming decent, union-scale jobs into the low-wage retail economy.

National Review: The National Association of Letter Carriers apparently has a retirement community for former mail carriers—and a hypocritical one at that. The union has long opposed phasing out door-to-door delivery, even though in many instances, delivering mail to a centralized location would make the Postal Service more efficient and less wasteful. “Ending door-to-door for tens of millions of Americans would particularly harm small businesses, as well as the elderly and people who live in areas with extreme weather,” the union’s president said last year. But at the union’s retirement community—which is in hurricane-prone Florida, and which serves aging retirees– mail is delivered to a centralized location.

The Moscow Times: Not getting in to the college of your choice is never nice — but it's even worse if it happens because the postal service delayed your application and reimbursed you 50 cents for a wasted year of your life. A young woman in Siberia's Kemerovo region failed to get into college because the state-run postal monopoly Russian Post did not deliver her entry application on time, a local court reported Thursday. The unidentified woman had applied to two colleges in Moscow, but both denied her a place because the applications arrived too late, contrary to the post office's assurances, the court said on its website. When she complained, the postal company paid her back 20.20 rubles ($0.53) for the mail shipping costs. And when she sued, Russian Post refused to pay up, saying she had presented no proof of suffering moral damages over the incident. Russian Post has a dismal reputation for delays and other shipping problems, ranking among the world's worst in a 2012 study of 159 postal systems worldwide. Though it has reported investing considerable effort and money into improvement in recent years, it remains plagued by incidents and mismanagement.

Washington Post: The Postal Service is losing millions a year to help you buy cheap stuff from China. An international treaty that makes it possible for an individual to send a pound of stuff from Hong Kong to D.C. for less than it would cost to send the same package from, say, Seattle. This strange consequence of postal law was less significant when the mail was mostly personal correspondence. But as Chinese companies began logging on to Web marketplaces like eBay, Amazon, and Alibaba, they started taking advantage of the shipping deal to sell directly to American consumers. And so it’s never been easier to get something cheap and Chinese delivered to your door for a startlingly low price: $4.64 for a digital alarm clock; $2.50 for a folding knife; $1.88 for an iPhone cable—all with shipping included. According to the terms set out in Universal Postal Union treaty, the USPS in 2014 gets paid no more than about $1.50 for delivering a one pound package from a foreign carrier, which makes it hard to cover costs. [1] The USPS inspector general’s office estimated that the USPS lost $79 million in fiscal year 2013 delivering this foreign treaty mail. (The Postal Service itself declined to provide specific figures.)

The Association for Postal Commerce has expressed concerns with the Postal Service's planned implmentation of the Census Method of assessing compliance with the Postal Service's Move Update Rules and policies.

Office of the Inspector General: Post Office Relocation Process 

  • What the OIG Found: The process for relocating facilities was not always transparent. Further, the vice president, Facilities, has conflicting responsibilities for approving funding and adjudicating relocation appeals. We reviewed 33 of the 114 relocation projects we identified for fiscal years 2011 through 2013, and found 25 new site selections were not announced until after the public comment and appeal periods ended, and two had undetermined announcement dates. We found that only one of the 25 appeals filed for the 114 projects was upheld, leading management to halt the relocation. Further, the Postal Service could not readily identify the number of relocations and officials did not always efficiently manage the public notification and documentation process. These conditions occurred because some procedures were unclear and the vice president, Facilities, was authorized to approve funding and adjudicate appeals. Further, there were no requirements to track all relocations and officials did not always know the specific guidelines and processes. Consequently, the public and local officials may not have had the information they needed to make informed comments and determine the impact of a relocation, potentially harming the Postal Service’s relationship with the public.
  • What the OIG Recommended: We recommended the vice president, Facilities, revise regulations and guidelines to enhance transparency and public input for potential alternative site selections. We also recommended modifying the guidance to remove the official’s dual funding and adjudicating responsibilities; establishing a method to track and monitor relocations and documentation requirements and retention periods for relocation files; and training real estate specialists.

Office of the Inspector General: U.S. Postal Service’s Delivering Results, Innovation, Value, and Efficiency Initiative 42 – Market New and Existing Services

  • What the OIG Found: DRIVE 42 managers did not follow DRIVE project management processes when planning and evaluating overall project metrics and revenue goals. For example, management established a revenue goal of $5.2 billion for the shipping revenue and profitable mail projects without a system to accurately measure achievement. Also, the goal for increasing online revenue is not aggressive, as it calls for growth that is 50 percent less, on average, than that of the 3 years prior to DRIVE 42. Further, the cumulative goal of DRIVE 42 was $8 billion less than the combined goals of the five underlying projects. Consequently, management and evaluation of DRIVE 42 are based on inaccurate information. We also identified $3.4 billion in unsupported increased revenue which management claimed for the shipping revenue and profitable mail projects. These issues occurred in DRIVE 42 because there is no independent audit process in DRIVE to promote accountability and ensure that goals are measurable, realistic, and accurate.
  • What the OIG Recommended: We recommended management include goals that can be accurately measured and that reflect the $24.6 billion total of the projects. We also recommended requiring that initiative leads follow established criteria to set bold and aggressive roadmap goals beyond past performance.

Postal Technology International: DHL Express has launched a pilot scheme to use bicycle couriers for the express delivery of documents and smaller parcels in Frankfurt and Berlin. There will be two different types of delivery models on trial, the first of which will be the 'DHL Parcycle' that has a sealable transport box with a capacity of 140 liters. The second will use the DHL Touring Bike in conjunction with a courier backpack. The trial will run until the end of September. Other news:

usps logo Attention Postal One! Users:   Program Registration Release — will be deployed to Production on Sunday, September 21, 2014 from 4:00 am to 9:00 am CDT. There will be an outage and the Online Enrollment and Incentives Program accessible via the Business Customer Gateway will be unavailable during that time. Program Registration Release will implement the following enhancements. (1) Incentives: Fixes a defect: A few customers are unable to view their MSP Activity and MO Activity reports on the incentives module in BCG. (2) Shipping: Improving performance for mailers with a large number of CRIDs when logging into Incentives and Online Enrollment via the BCG.

This Is Money: An independent Scotland will face soaring stamp prices and could lose Royal Mail services altogether, a leading expert warned last night. Royal Mail currently delivers anywhere in Britain for a single price, under what is called the ‘universal service obligation’. But an independent Scotland would be forced by EU law to establish its own postal service.

From the Federal Register: Advisory Committee on International Postal and Delivery Services Department of State. FACA committee meeting announcement. The agenda of the meeting will include: An update on developments in and upcoming meetings of the Universal Postal Union (UPU) and an examination of issues arising from discussions that are underway in the UPU and elsewhere on ways to increase the volume of ecommerce shipments in international mail. Among the issues to be considered are current constraints on the use of the mail for international merchandise shipment and possible competiveness concerns arising from the customs treatment of mail and other aspects of the prevailing international postal regime. A full agenda and meeting documents will be posted on the Committee Web site at io/ipp/mtgs/index.htm as they become available. For further information, please contact Ms. Shereece Robinson of the Office of Specialized and Technical Agencies (IO/STA), Bureau of International Organization Affairs, U.S. Department of State, at tel. (202) 647– 1044, FAX (202) 647–8902, by email at or by mail at IO/STA, Room 5333 HST; U.S. Department of State; Washington, DC 20520–6319.

Canada NewsWire: On the day that the Canadian Postal Service Charter opens up for review, representatives from the Canadian Union of Postal Workers and other concerned groups are rallying at Minister Lisa Raitt's office in Milton to send a strong message to the federal Conservatives that they should be talking to the public about postal service.

Recruiter: Logistics group DHL has teamed up with the Military of Defence to offer work placements to members of the armed forces shortly before they end their careers in military service. The programme, which will run across the firm’s 400 operations in the UK, will include commercial driver training and developing employability skills. It will target members of the forces who have six months or less service to run.

Spend Matters: Over the last five years, the USPS has grown its parcel business by 20 percent, earning status as a viable option. While UPS and FedEx continue to increase margins with price increases and high fuel surcharges, the USPS is playing the game differently. It will continue to price by weight, rather than dimension, and forgo fuel surcharges altogether. While UPS and FedEx do offer a wide range of discounts to volume customers, the carriers’ long lists of accessorial fees and complicated contractual terms have made it more difficult to predict and control costs. USPS customers can expect to see the highest savings on heavier parcels, which have historically been overpriced compared to UPS and FedEx pricing. The USPS continues to surprise the industry. Taking market share away from large players is no small feat. Still, a few questions remain: How will these changes impact the long-term partnerships between the USPS and FedEx and UPS for last mile delivery? Is this strategy sustainable for the USPS, which has operated at a loss for the last 21 out of 23 quarters? Finally, how will this impact capacity and service? Is the USPS prepared to handle the volume given a $10 billion need for new trucks and sorting equipment?

American Postal Workers Union: If Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe thought his speech to a group of business mailers in Salt Lake City on Sept. 10 was going to be a quiet, uneventful affair, he was mistaken. A coalition of unions and postal customers showed up outside the Grand America Hotel, the site of the speech, to protest the PMG’s plans to privatize postal operations and cut service to the people.

Banking Services Review: The Western Union Company, a leader in global payment services, extended its exclusive agreement with Eurogiro, with scope to allow its members greater access to the full range of Western Union Money Transfer services including digital offerings.

News AsiaOne: From 2013 to 2014, it is reported that customer satisfaction for the Transport and Logistics sector fell 0.6 per cent to 72.1 per cent (on a 0 to 100 scale) while the Public Education sector's score has no significant change from last year. The Transport & Logistics sector consists of eight measured sub-sectors. In Logistics, the Courier Services sub-sector posted a lower score of 71.2 per cent, a 1.7 per cent decrease from 2013. However, the Postal Services sub-sector, essentially SingPost, marked the only significant improvement in the Transport & Logistics sector, increasing 3.8 per cent from last year to also score 71.2 per cent, according to ISES.

The Wall Street Journal: When United Parcel Service Inc. Chief Executive David Abney bought his first book from Inc. about 15 years ago, e-commerce seemed no more complicated than ordering from a catalog. "Pretty basic," he says. Online sales have mushroomed since then into a huge business for the package-delivery company—and a big problem. Because of the ubiquity of free shipping, fierce competition from other delivery services and Amazon's power to drive down shipping costs as it gets even more enormous, UPS's average revenue on each Internet-related package it handles is dropping. According to shipment-tracking software developer ShipMatrix Inc., UPS delivers about 42% of e-commerce goods, down from the company's estimate of 55% in 1999.

September 11, 2014 

Simplifying volume requirements for USPS™ Return Services. The United States Postal Service® continues to take steps to make it easier to ship return packages. Effective Sept. 15, 2014, USPS™ introduces a single annual volume threshold for USPS Return Services products to qualify for Commercial Plus® pricing (CPP). In a Federal Register Notice published Sept. 11, 2014, the Postal Service aligns the minimum volume of 50,000 pieces annually, for USPS Return Services products across the board, to minimize confusion and provide consistency for customers. Currently there are different annual volume threshold requirements to qualify for CPP for products under the USPS Return Services umbrella. These products are Priority Mail® Return Service, First-Class Package Return® Service and Ground Return Service. Additionally, this change better aligns with the current 50,000 piece thresholds for Priority Mail CPP-Cubic and outbound Priority Mail CPP. Look here for more details or contact your USPS sales representative.

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From the Federal Register:

Postal Regulatory Commission
Markets Tests of Experimental Products ,
54552–54565 [2014–21689] [TEXT]  [PDF]
New Postal Products ,
54305–54306 [2014–21588] [TEXT]  [PDF]
Postal Service
Simplifying Threshold Volume Requirements for USPS Return Services ,
54188–54190 [2014–21510] [TEXT]  [PDF]

Post Register: Rep. Richard Stallings -- "Leave it to Congress to botch the operation of a government entity that seeks no federal funds or taxpayer dollars. And leave it to members of Congress to ignore a solution that is right in front of them. "Nutty" is the new normal in our nation's capital and Exhibit A is how Republicans in Congress - with their zest for privatization at any cost - helped create a financial disaster with the U.S. Postal Service. That's what is behind the scenes as the Postal Service continues to displace workers, cut operations to the bone and provide lesser quality service to rural customers in Idaho. Meanwhile, Congress refuses to enact legislation that can provide a fix. We're seeing the effects in Pocatello with the announcement that the mail processing center will be closed in April of next year and operations will be moved to Salt Lake City. It's one more step on the path to privatization of the Postal Service, which appears to be a litmus test for the Republican Party."

: A Virginia federal judge has agreed to dismiss a False Claims Act suit accusing Northrop Grumman Systems Corp. of misleading the U.S. Postal Service and failing to meet benchmarks in delivering mail-sorting machines worth $874 million. U.S. Judge T. S. Ellis III agreed with Northrop's memorandum that no evidence exists that the company made false statements or omitted material facts, had any intention to mislead the federal government or caused the USPS to pay improper or false invoices.

Direct Marketing News: "It doesn't really matter if you're the chief marketing officer of a national retailer or the owner of a pizza shop in a college town—you're a marketer who is making decisions about how to reach customers and drive traffic to your business. And every marketer should be taking a fresh look at mail." The name of the man who delivered that remark today at the National Postal Customer Council (PCC) conference in Salt Lake City won't surprise you. It was none other than Postmaster General Pat Donahoe (above), the Don Draper of the United States Postal Service, whose job it is to question the sanity of anyone who questions the continuing value of direct mail campaigns. But Donahoe's remark brought back to mind a conversation I had just yesterday with a Silicon Valley veteran who let on to me that the seeders of the marketing clouds, the progenitors of programmatic buying, the machine-learned masters of data analytics had themselves discovered a new marketing tool. Yes, direct mail, among other quaint offline methods.

Office of the Inspector General: Revenue Plan and Sales Targets

  • What the OIG Found Based on our review and research of best practices, the Postal Service can improve how it determines, distributes, and monitors its revenue plan and sales targets to drive greater revenue performance and promote a focus on revenue generation. Specifically: ■ The Postal Service revenue plan could be more aggressive to better promote growth and reflect increases in sales targets. While the FY 2014 revenue plan reflected higher revenue growth, the revenue plans for FYs 2012 and 2013 were below the prior year's actual revenue. The Postal Service has aggressively cut expenses, but continuing to set bolder and more aggressive revenue plans could improve revenue performance. ■ Not all Postal Service employees have a specific revenue goal in their individual pay for performance measures. Leading organizations distribute revenue goals to all operational employees. ■ Targets for individual sales staff do not reflect local conditions such as the type of customers and local economy. Instead, the Postal Service's sales targets are distributed equally based on the position held by the salesperson. For example, the FY 2014 sales target for all shipping solutions specialists is , regardless of any other factors — either internal or external — that might affect sales opportunities. Best practices of leading organizations include a robust account management and territory segmentation process that considers a variety of internal and external factors. ■ The Postal Service does not have a system to reconcile the estimated revenues recorded by the Sales organization with actual realized revenues. Best-in-class organizations have information systems that allow them to track revenue associated with customer accounts from initiation of the sales cycle to realization of revenue.
  • What the OIG Recommended We recommended the Postal Service develop a strategy that emphasizes revenue generation throughout the organization by creating more aggressive revenue plans that integrate forecasted sales growth. We also recommended management establish individual revenue-related performance measure for operational employees covered by the pay for performance program. Finally, we recommended management develop strategies for determining and distributing customized sales targets as well as reconciling estimated sales revenue with actual realized revenue.

 At the Postal Regulatory Commission: Recording of the September 10 public meeting of the Postal Regulatory Commission.

Post & Parcel: The US Postal Service will maintain overnight delivery for about 66% of the current overnight delivery volumes following the next phase of its network consolidation. That's according to chief operating officer and executive vice president Megan Brennan, who was speaking to major customers in Salt Lake City this week at the annual National Postal Customer Council Week event. USPS is planning to consolidate processing operations from 82 mail plants across the United States from January 2015, with plant closures due to be completed by the autumn.

Businessweek: The U.S. Postal Service has announced that it will deliver groceries on a test basis for Amazon. In doing so, the world's largest mail delivery service is deepening its relationship with the influential e-commerce provider. So much for drone delivery. Amazon's Jeff Bezos has the USPS, which handles 40 percent of the world's mail and visits every address in America six days a week, now delivering packages for the Everything Store on Sundays, too. The news comes just as the USPS is entering a new period of tension with its chief competitors in the parcel space, UPS and FedEx . The USPS is lowering its parcel delivery prices at a time when the private guys are preparing to raise theirs. Clearly, UPS and FedEx fear that the USPS will siphon away their customers. The deepening relationship with Amazon virtually guarantees that. The e-commerce giant was miffed last December when UPS and FedEx misjudged the volume of holiday packages and ended up getting many of them to customers after Christmas.

Financial Post: To avoid dealing with mountains of paper and in some cases paying $2 to $3 every month to receive bills and statements in the mail, more Canadians are opting for online statements. But what are we giving up when the paper stops coming to our homes? Even though Chi-Hung Ta pays all of his bills electronically, he still prefers to receive paper statements. "You get it in the mail," says Mr. Ta, a 36-year-old web developer and quality assurance analyst at a Toronto information services company. "You know how much you owe. You don't have to remember any account passwords. You don't have to find your way through clunky [websites]." He once signed up to receive online statements with his credit card company. "I couldn't figure out how much I owed for that month. It was a bit of a nightmare. In the end, I switched back to paper." He opens his mail in the evenings and looks over the statements with his wife before filing them in marked folders in a blue bin. He also keeps a calendar of payment due dates.

usps logo Attention Postal One! Users:   PostalOne!® Release 38 Known Issue Identified Incentive Programs **Earned Value Reply Mail Promotion also Affected** An issue has been identified affecting Mail.dat submitted mailings which claim the incentive programs, Emerging Technology 2014, Color Print in First-Class Mail and Earned Value Reply Mail Promotion. Specifically, the PostalOne! system is not receiving the incentive discount for CAPS accounts since the Release 38 deployment on August 24, 2014. Customers are not receiving the discount which is causing them to be overcharged.

Final Status:
The code change for defect 4985 was implemented as part of Sunday, September 7th deployment. The code fix is applied for any Mail.dat postage statement submitted/created after the 9/7/201deployment. For any statement finalized or submitted prior to the 9/7 deployment will require the data repair to refund the incentive amount to the customer. The data repair on September 12th will automatically credit customer accounts for a one-time electronic refund to the customer permit accounts. If a statement is in UPD status when the data repair runs the total postage will be recalculated to provide the customer the correct incentive amount.

(1) The postage statements which display on the Business Mail Acceptance Unit dashboard reflect that the incentive discount was applied correctly. However, when the PostalOne! system attempts to perform the transaction to the customer's CAPS account, the transaction for the incentive amount does not transmit to CAPS. The total postage minus the incentive is transacted to the CAPS account and the customer is overcharged for the postage by the amount of the incentive discount. (2) This issue will be resolved on September 7, 2014 in the PostalOne! Release 38.1.1. Workaround (3) Immediate Workaround: Acceptance employees should process postage statements for impacted eDoc mailings/CAPSs accounts even though it will put the account in a negative balance. (4) Refund Process: A refund procedure through an IT data repair has been established to automatically credit customer accounts for a one-time electronic refund to the customer permit accounts on September 9, 2014. Refunds will automatically be generated by the PostalOne! system and reflected in customer CAPS accounts using a Refund to Trust (USPS Error), automated procedure. For each PostalOne! transaction a corresponding transaction will occur in the CAPS customer account.

Refunds will be granted to customers who meet the following criteria: (1) Mailpiece meets all promotion requirements (2) Mailer is enrolled in the Incentive Programs Services during the outage period (3 Reason for discount not applied due to ALM 4985 (4) Customers are not required to contact the Postal Service during this process. If customers do not receive a refund by September 12, 2014, and believe they were entitled to one, they are instructed to contact the Program Office at The Program Office will assist such customers for resolution.

New York Daily News: U.S. Postal Service officials agreed to resume delivery in the Brooklyn neighborhood, where dozens of residents were threatened with the permanent loss of home delivery and ordered to install mail boxes that were easier for the carrier to reach, Assemblyman Dov Hikind said.

Press Release: In a state of the business address to postal customers, Postmaster General and CEO Patrick R. Donahoe gave an upbeat assessment of the opportunities facing the mailing industry. (To view the Postmaster General's PCC Day video, or read a transcript, go to

Congratulations to Lucie Jameson, Assistant Director of Direct Marketing Programs at The Hartford, on her receiving the Gold Award for being PCC Member of the Year. Jameson also serves as a member of the PostCom Board of Directors.

September 10, 2014 

 At the Postal Regulatory Commission:

Need a succinct write-up of the recent oral argument on the USPS exigency case before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia? Then ask Steve Kearney, Executive Director of the Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers, for a courtesy copy of the one he just distributed to his members. Yes . . . the very same Steve Kearney you once knew as one of the officers of the Postal Service.

Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs: Hearing on the nomination of the Hon. Mickey D. Barnett to be a Governor, U.S. Postal Service, September 16, 2014 10:30AM SD-342, Dirksen Senate Office Building.

KUTV: Patrick R. Donahoe, the 73rd Postmaster General of the United States, is the Chief Executive Officer of the world's largest postal organization and a lifelong postal employee. Working closely with the organization's stakeholders, Mr. Donahoe is reshaping the U.S. Postal Service to better meet the evolving mailing and shipping needs of its customers. Shortly after he became PMG, Mr. Donahoe announced his vision for USPS - to strengthen the business-to-consumer channel, improve the customer experience, compete for the package business and become a leaner, faster and smarter organization. Mr. Donahoe is implementing a comprehensive plan that will ensure a responsive and self-sufficient organization that continues to offer secure, reliable and universal mailing and shipping services. He has mobilized the public and the organization's employees - a key element of his plan - to help him improve the organization's management, technology and operations. Under PMG Donahoe's leadership, USPS has increased its presence in the fast-growing international shipping market and is offering innovative solutions to small and large businesses that improve the value of the mail. USPS also is exploring ways to more closely integrate the mail with digital communications.

The Cap Times: The USPS is a treasure. That treasure needs to be preserved, and ultimately extended. Fighting Bob La Follette knew that, and so do Bernie Sanders and Tammy Baldwin. We should join this fight for the future of the Postal Service.

News7Jax: The parents of 14-year-old Dakota Dyer said their son's suicide is connected to synthetic marijuana, and U.S. Postal Inspectors warn that children are buying the drug online. The so-called fake pot is created with various chemical compounds and is designed to mimic the effects of marijuana. Officials said it is commonly marketed under names like K2 or Bob's Bud. Authorities warn the drugs, marketed over the Internet and social media, come in colorful packaging adorned with cartoons and sometime labeled as incense. Many parents have no idea what their kids are buying. Postal inspectors said they are seeing more of these cases as children purchase the drugs over the Internet and receive them in the mail.

The Cherokee Ledger-News: Carolyn Cosby's alleged method of distributing campaign mailers is now the subject of an open investigation by the Postal Inspection Service, the law enforcement arm of the United States Postal Service (USPS). "They are investigating," said Michael Miles, communications manager for the Atlanta district of the USPS, on Monday. "Putting flyers on or in a mailbox is illegal." Several Cherokee County residents have contacted both local and federal postal officials to complain about unstamped Cosby push cards attached to mailboxes, enclosing photographs of the violations with their complaints. The fliers advocate the election of Cosby as county commission chair on Nov. 4.

Compass Cayman: The potential sale of $65 million worth of government land and the outsourcing of all public sector medical operations were among the recommendations made for the short-to-medium term in a government consultant's report released Tuesday afternoon. The report, completed by "big four" accounting firm Ernst & Young at the request of the Cayman Islands government, generally seeks to trim public sector costs through a variety of means – not only sale of assets or outsourcing, but by way of management reviews, public-private partnerships and department restructuring. The EY report recommends exploration of a joint partnership with a private sector vendor to allow the postal service to reduce its government subsidy and provide more parcel-related services than it does currently. This would be a significant "cultural change" in the postal service and would require government to "up skill" its operations and employees, the EY report noted.

Zawya: The National Postal Authority - Egypt Post will discuss in its upcoming board meeting this week the size of investments planned to buy the Suez Canal Certificates, dedicated to fund the new waterway along the Suez Canal. The sources also told Amwal Al Ghad that the certificates are good investment opportunities for the private economic entities with a high interest rate by value of 12%, which is higher than the rate of all saving pools existing in the local market. Egypt post's investments reached around EGP 135 billion, including EGP90 billion in the National Investment bank and EGP45 billion in other instruments with 13.8% average return.

Arutz Sheva: Authority leaders in the periphery turned to Finance Minister Yair Lapid in a request to end the striking of the mobile postal service. The leaders maintained that due to the strike, bills are not being paid, important summonses are not reaching the locals, and more, causing residents of the periphery to collapse in the face of the burden of the strike.

The Guardian: People of America, unite your phones! Why Apple Pay should be for everyone Apple's new payments system seems promising, but why is it limited only to the elite? The postal service can serve everyone. There are compelling public policy reasons to open up this kind of mobile payment to everyone. Mobile payments can and should be universal. At their best, they increase access to the banking system for everyone by making payments easier. They improve commerce by making transactions quicker and more efficient, lowering costs. Countries like Kenya have integrated systems that allow consumers to pay for virtually anything by mobile phone, leaping past the US in offering that technological promise to virtually everyone. What's the best way? Don't look to Apple's rivals. Look to using the US postal service as a financial services provider with mobile payment options. It may sound far-fetched to choose the postal service, but it's not as strange as you may think. The postal service has something most companies don't: access to almost every American. That includes those who don't have bank accounts

Office of the Inspector General: Equipment Transfer From the Lansing, MI, Processing and Distribution Center to the Grand Rapids, MI, Processing and Distribution Center -- What The OIG Found A business case exists to support moving the APBS from the Lansing P&DC to the Grand Rapids P&DC. The overall cost savings will be about $1.8 million in the first year, and about $1.9 million annually in subsequent years. The Lansing P&DC is not fully utilizing the APBS and transferring it will give the Grand Rapids P&DC more machine capacity to process the large volume of mail being processed manually. In addition, the Grand Rapids P&DC needs an additional APBS due to increased volume. For the period October 1, 2013, through March 31, 2014, the Lansing P&DC APBS mail volume declined 20 percent compared to the same period last year. Conversely, the APBS mail volume at the Grand Rapids P&DC increased 54 percent compared to the same period last year. In addition, if the APBS is transferred, the Lansing P&DC plans to reassign the 25 employees working on the APBS to other mail processing operations within its facility.

WINK News: A Lee County man has been indicted on federal charges related to tampering with hundreds of articles of mail. The former United States Postal Service employee, indentified in court records as Michael Marquez, appeared in court last week and was released on his own recognizance. Prosecutors allege he "destroyed, detained, and delayed" more than 400 pieces of first class mail on at least two occasions in February.

CBSNew York: Some Brooklyn residents with mail slots in their doors are not getting their mail. Hundreds of Borough Park residents were first told by their local carrier that their mail slots are too low and later received letters from their local post office saying that their mailboxes are not in compliance and need to be relocated. Residents were told their mail won't be delivered until the mailboxes are fixed. Many residents said they've had to wait in hour-long lines at the post office and some were warned that if they don't correct the doors, their mail will be returned to the sender.

September 9, 2014 

  Audio recording of proceedings before the DC Court of Appeals in the case of the USPS exigency case.

Attention PostalOne!® Users Release 38.1.1 Price Change Statement Mailing Date Reminder. For all Postage Statements submitted for all submission types, an error message will occur when the Statement Mailing Dates within a job cross the price change date when the mailing dates are not all before or not all after the Price Change date. For example, with the September 7, 2014 Price Change,  the Postage Statement Mailing date for each postage statement within the job must all be before or after the price change of September 7, 2014. When an error is observed: 1)      For a Mail.dat or Mail.XML user, the mailer must send an update to their EST or UPD  job to change the mailing date 2)      For a Postal Wizard user, the mailer or the BMEU acceptance employee must cancel the original job and the mailer must resubmit a new job with a mailing date of before or after September 7, 2014. 


Political and Election Mailing Information Resources. Leading up to 2014 elections, millions will use the mail to vote for their chosen elected officials. From digitally optimized campaign mailers to voter mobilization leaflets or sample ballots and registration cards — the mail plays an increasingly important part in our democratic electoral process. The Postal Service is committed to generating additional awareness and educating the public about the use of mail in elections. In order to inform the public on proper mail preparation, key dates, and general election mailing tips, we have developed resources to provide complete mailing information. For information on Political Mail, please go to our Political Mailing Webpage at: To find information related to Election Mail, please view our Election Mail Webpage at: "One Map to Show Where USPS Will Cut 7,000 Jobs"

L'Express: Current abroad, postcode comes to our shores. But do you know what it is and why you need to use it?  IT is useless to put you in mind Martel, the ZIP code is neither more nor less than a "complement to your address." Composed of five figures, the ZIP code is an identifier used to locate you more precision. This system is implemented by the Mauritius Post since last year. "However, this has been a long process. We decided to put this system already exists abroad up because we have received many requests from the public, " argues Jayraj Ittoo, Sales and Marketing Manager at the Mauritius Post. In fact this code is required, among other transactions via the Internet, including online purchases.

Lloyds Loading List: E-commerce is giving a spectacular boost to exports from one of the world's most isolated markets, according to a new report from DHL. A survey by the logistics giant found that online commerce had boosted business for 73% of exporters in New Zealand. 27% of exporters generated at least 50% of their orders through online channels, while 40% of exporters said an enhanced website/online presence had successfully been used to increase export orders in the last 12 months.

BikeBiz: EU study says half of goods shipments made in European cities could be carried out by cargo bike While they're still relatively thin on the ground here in the UK, Eurobike had a sizable selection of cargo bikes on show, a category for which the electric drive is particularly well suited, with some bikes capable of holding a thigh-shattering load of 200kg. According to the team behind Eurobike, electric drives are being installed to increasing numbers of cargo bikes, including the Bullit model from the Danish cult brand Larry vs. Harry in an e-bike version with a powerful Bronx drive system. Meanwhile the Dutch cargo bike specialists at Urban Arrow use a Bosch system and the Loan Hybrid model from Riese und Müller, the Darmstadt manufacturer of folding bikes and e-bikes.

Arutz Shiva: As part of the protest by postal workers against the lay-offs of 1,500 employees, today (Tuesday) Jerusalem branches will be closed between the hours of 9:30 a.m.- 2:00 p.m. The stoppage of mobile post delivery throughout the country will also be continue to be in place, excepting in the Gaza periphery communities. This morning postal workers will be demonstrating in front of the Ministry of Finance in Jerusalem. They are protesting the Ministry's plans to fire 1,500 workers and to replace them with temps in order to save money.

Empire State News: First class mail processed and delivered by the US Postal Service in the last 10 years is down more than 50 percent, because more and more people are paying their bills and corresponding by e-mail. Conversely, package shipments by the post office are up by double-digits. Those figures come from USPS Chief Operating Officer Megan Brennan on Monday. She was flying to New York for a meeting with postal service commercial customer in White Plains on Tuesday. She told by phone that they are trying to reinvent themselves, to develop "a more adaptive business model. "The postal service needs congressional approval, though, and to date, lawmakers have been unwilling to allow it to reduce first class mail delivery from six to five days per week. Brennan said the post office need that ability to change with the times. "To give us the flexibility in terms of to determine the delivery frequency, to move to a five-day mail delivery environment, and six, and in some locations, seven-day package delivery market," she said. As for the downsizing of mail services at the regional sorting center at Stewart Airport a few years ago, Brennan said that is part of the effort to reinvent the post office and in the long haul, take it from a deep deficit operation to one of profitability. She said the Stewart sorting center has been transformed into a transfer port while the retail operation and mailbox center have remained intact.

Business Review: The first franchise of the Romanian Post was opened by Domino Plaza, the national postal services operator announced in a press release. The estimated investment made by Domino Servicii Diverse into the franchise was approximately RON 40,000 (EUR 9,000).The unit, which offers all the products and services of the Romanian Post with the exception of pension delivery, will employ 3 people, and has program with the public Monday to Saturday, between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m., and Sunday between 9 am and 5.30 pm. "With this partnership, the Romanian Post as franchisor, will optimize its portfolio of products and services, but also the operational costs, reported to their added value," said Alexandru Petrescu, general manager of the Romanian Post.

The Motley Fool: The coming rate hikes at UPS and FedEx represent a threat to the free shipping policies we've seen retailers expand exponentially, but a rate cut the U.S. Postal Service just won might give it a competitive advantage the delivery giants won't be able to overcome. The postal service will drop rates between 30% and 50% in weight categories that are used the most by e-commerce sites, a move FedEx called a bald-face attempt to aggressively gain market share among Internet retailers, and the Postal Rate Commission's acquiescence means it can no longer be trusted to ensure equity. "The time has come to reinforce, indeed to rethink, the Commission's role in protecting fair competition in package distribution services," FedEx said in its comments to the PRC on the USPS's proposal. UPS essentially agreed, saying the post office was hiking rates where it had a monopoly on delivery -- namely, first-class mail -- to be able to cut them where there was competition, effectively using the one to subsidize the other.

Daily Journal: A Gulfport father and son have admitted stealing aluminum carts from the U.S. Postal Service and selling them as scrap for a period of two years.

Office of the Inspector General:

  • Calling All Revenue-Generation Ideas You can't cut your way to prosperity. That seems to be the message coming out of many of the comments we received on our recent blog about the next phase of network consolidation. So, if cutting alone isn't the answer, what are your ideas for revenue growth? Five years ago, we ran a blog post asking stakeholders for their best brainstorming ideas to help the U.S. Postal Service improve its net income. Interestingly, the suggestions seemed split about evenly between cutting costs and generating revenue. So, this time, we want to ask just about revenue-generation ideas. Of course, we welcome any thoughts you have on ensuring a viable Postal Service. That's what this forum for stakeholder feedback is all about.
  • Management of Cloud Computing Contracts and Environment What the OIG Found The Postal Service's cloud computing contracts did not comply with all applicable Postal Service's standards. Specifically, the Postal Service has not defined "cloud computing" and "hosted services," established an enterprise-wide inventory of cloud computing services, required suppliers and their employees to sign non-disclosure agreements, or included all required information security clauses in its contracts. In addition, management did not appropriately monitor applications to ensure system availability. Management also did not complete the required security analysis process for three cloud services reviewed and did not follow Postal Service policy requiring cloud service providers to meet federal government guidelines. This occurred because no group is responsible for managing cloud services, and personnel were not aware of all policy and contractual obligations. Without proper knowledge of and control over applications in the cloud environment, the Postal Service cannot properly secure cloud computing technologies and is at increased risk of unauthorized access and disclosure of sensitive data. We claimed $33,517,151 in contractual costs for the Postal Service not following their policy and contract requirements.

The Hill: There's no "fiscal cliff" or global financial crisis for this year's post-election lame-duck session, but that doesn't mean it will be easy. Lawmakers will be faced with a couple of old favorites: another extension of government funding and the menagerie of lapsed tax breaks that comprise the "extenders" package. A continuing resolution that will need to be adopted before Sept. 30 is widely expected to run until around Dec. 11. And just about everyone in Washington has a favorite bill they'd like to get across the desk after the most do-nothingest Congress ever. But should the election winds blow in favor of Republicans on both sides of the Rotunda, they would likely be eager to punt to 2015, when a GOP-led Senate could work together with its House counterparts on advancing an agenda designed to blunt the effects of the last two years of President Barack Obama's administration. Regardless of which party has the gavels in 2015, the lame duck will be the last chance for a handful of retiring Democratic chairmen to advance their priorities.

usps logo Attention Postal One! Users:   Program Registration Known Issue. Some mailers are experiencing performance degradation when accessing the Business Customer Gateway (BCG) to utilize the Incentives and Online Enrollment functions. Users with a large number of CRIDs associated to their BCG login account are frequently experiencing a time-out due to latency while the system makes API calls to process each individual CRID. We have identified the root cause of the performance issue and are working to resolve it as quickly as possible. We apologize for the inconvenience this may have caused. Updates will be provided periodically as we make progress in addressing this important performance issue. For further support on this and all other issues related to Online Enrollment, please contact the Confirmation Services Help Desk at 1-877-264-9693 option 1. For all Incentives performance issues and questions, please contact the PostalOne! Help Desk at 1-800-522-9085 option 3 then option 6 RIBBS Known Issues Reference For a comprehensive list of "Known Issues" please refer to RIBBS at the link below:

Press Release: Chairman Carper, Ranking Member Coburn Call on Senate Appropriations Committee to Oppose Proposed Moratorium; Support Comprehensive Postal Reform  --

"Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Tom Carper (D-Del.) and Ranking Member Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) sent a letter to Senate Appropriations Committee late Friday to caution the Members about implementing a moratorium on postal facility closures and urge support for the bipartisan, comprehensive the Postal Reform Act of 2014, which was passed out of committee earlier this year.

"We understand that a number of senators have asked that you include language in appropriations legislation this fall that would prevent the U. S. Postal Service from closing or consolidating any mail processing facilities in 2015. We strongly disagree with that request and urge you to reject it. Instead of actually fixing the problem and providing a roadmap to a strong and vital Postal Service in the 21st Century, that approach will further undermine customer confidence and ensure that the Postal Service continues to twist in the wind, facing an uncertain future that could ultimately hasten its demise."

"This is not the time for more kicking the can down the road. This is not the time for more wing and a prayer. Instead, we urge you to work with us to pass the thoughtful and comprehensive reforms that are embodied in S. 1486. They will not only preserve mail delivery standards and delay or prevent plant closures, they will serve to modernize the Postal Service and ensure that it has the tools and resources to thrive in the Digital Age of this 21st Century."

In the letter, Senators Carper and Coburn urge their colleagues to support the bipartisan Postal Reform Act in order to ensure a better future for the United States Postal Service (USPS), which has been struggling financially for years and will continue to do so without comprehensive reform from Congress. The Postal Reform Act is a balanced solution to the Postal Service's financial crisis that would keep postal operations and service standards, protect millions of mailing industry jobs, and enable USPS to serve the American public for years to come"

September 8, 2014 

usps logo DMM Advisory: September DMM Update.  Postal Explorer® ( is your source for up-to-date mailing standards. The Domestic Mail Manual (DMM®) is fully searchable on Postal Explorer and features fly-out menus, cross-reference links, and an extensive subject index. Today we updated our mailing standards to include the following changes:

  • Domestic Competitive Products Pricing and Mailing Standards Changes We revised various sections of the DMM to reflect changes to some of the prices for Priority Mail® and the mailing standards for Premium Forwarding Service Commercial™ competitive products. We published this information in the August 7, 2014, Postal Bulletin.
  • eDoc Volume Criteria for Single-Piece First-Class Mail We revised 604.5.1 to correct the DMM language permitting less than the current minimum volume for permit imprint mailings when mailers submit electronic postage statements and piece-level barcode information for single-piece First-Class Mail® letters. We published this information in the August 21, 2014, Postal Bulletin.
  • New Mailing Standards for Domestic Mailing Services Products We revised various sections to introduce new or enhanced service features. We published this information in the August 21, 2014, Postal Bulletin.

DC Velocity: The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) will face various tests on its path toward true parcel delivery legitimacy. One of its most important tests has already commenced. On Aug. 15, the Postal Regulatory Commission, the body that rules on the agency's pricing actions, approved a USPS proposal to radically reduce rates on two of its "Priority Mail" one- to three-day delivery products for high-volume customers. The program rolled out on Sept. 7. The rate cuts affect two Priority Mail services: Commercial Base, which carries no volume requirements and is available to customers that give parcels to USPS using specific methods of tender, and Commercial Plus, which requires that users have shipped at least 50,000 Priority Mail pieces in the prior year. The latter service is geared toward high-volume users like e-tailers, big business-to-business (B2B) shippers, and parcel consolidators that aggregate packages from multiple shippers and induct them deep into the USPS distribution network to get sizable bulk discounts. At the same time it was rolling back rates, USPS said it would not implement any new dimensional weight pricing on its parcel shipments. By contrast, UPS and FedEx will soon begin assessing so-called dim weight charges on ground parcels measuring less than three cubic feet.

Dynamic Business: Australia Post is seeking to charge customers extra to deliver letters within a designated time, such as the next day. The government-owned corporation money struggles have been well documented, and AusPost says its losses in its letter business could well overwhelm the entire company if changes aren't made. A tiered postal system is being considered, which would involve customers paying a premium based on the delivery time. Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the government is yet to approve the changes, but is reviewing the request.

Post & Parcel: UKP Worldwide has launched a Global Direct Entry (GDE) service – helping businesses deliver eCommerce goods to their U.S. customers. As an approved Global Direct Entry Wholesaler for the United States Postal Service (USPS), it allows companies to ship directly to their U.S. customers' from many destinations around the world quickly. Specialising in international mailing, distribution and eCommerce logistics, UKP Worldwide has been sending goods to the U.S. on behalf of its customers for more than 14 years. In 2010, the company set up a subsidiary in New Jersey, where the company has been working directly with the United States Postal Service. As a result, the company has been providing parcel and address sortation services to their customers, allowing them to benefit from postal sortation discounts.

Washington Post: House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) told Republicans that they would make a "closing argument" to midterm election voters in the session of Congress that begins today. It's shaping up to be a lousy one. On the other hand, the Democrat-controlled Senate is not likely to do much better. Operating on the notion that the public prefers political theater to authentic accomplishments, the House and Senate are preparing to achieve almost nothing when they reconvene. Instead of passing bills into law and allowing voters to judge their work, the legislators appear to be pushing hopes of any serious lawmaking off into the safety of a post-election, lame-duck session — and that's if they move relatively quickly.

September 7, 2014 

Sydney Morning Herald: We must have some wonderful gurus in charge at Australia Post. They are predicting future losses in mail delivery. These financial wizards morphed our postal service into some form of corporate animal but need to be reminded that post is an essential service. If they make a profit well and good, if not, tough luck. Sure, there are changes in communications but they have strayed from their core business. Nowadays a post office is like some sort of supermarket, two-dollar shop, electrical retailer plus government office. The queues are mind-boggling, especially if all you want is a stamp. You can get everything from a birthday card to a beauty treatment at the front counter. If all Australia Post did was to deliver a few letters and the occasional parcel the way it did previously, albeit in its own clumsy and maybe inefficient way, then the world might be a better and more profitable place.

Twin Falls Times-News: Leave it to Congress to botch the operation of a government entity that seeks no federal funds or taxpayer dollars. And leave it to members of Congress to ignore a solution that is right in front of them. "Nutty" is the new normal in our nation's capital and Exhibit A is how Congress — with its union-busting mentality — helped create a financial disaster with the U.S. Postal Service and refuses to enact legislation that can provide a fix. Instead, Congress allows the post office to displace workers, cut operations to the bone and provide a lesser quality service to rural customers in Idaho and other states.

Independent: The volume of small parcels - most commonly associated with online purchases - had been rising by a steady 14pc per year until 2013. Parcel volumes spiked in 2013, rising 22pc, with the increase continuing in 2014. An Post now handles 2.5m items of mail per day, split between letters and parcels. Core letter mail has dropped by 30pc since the 2007 peak. Faced with this change in demand, An Post has been retooling its business with new technology and distribution centres. There are now 800 collections points around the country, with 400 in post offices.

September 6, 2014 

Financial Times: The growth in internet banking is a "seismic change" in the way we manage our finances, help people keep track of their money and save them the time and hassle of queuing in their local branch. Yet fears are growing that some sections of society are at a serious disadvantage by the relentless migration of financial services to the internet. Some 6.4m adults in the UK have never used the internet and only 37 per cent of elderly people have used the web, according to the Office for National Statistics. Just over a year ago, the misgivings about the loss of paper-based access to financial services were brought together under the aegis of a new campaign, Keep Me Posted. The campaigning organisation presses companies to commit to providing paper statements and bills to customers – and never to charge them for the privilege.

Internet Retailer: The leading shipping service for top online retailers in North America plans to introduce a service that will allow consumers to pick up their online orders from lockers in retail locations. United Parcel Service of North America Inc. began testing the service, called the UPS Access Point network, in July in New York City and Chicago, and plans to roll it out early next year, Alan Gershenhorn, chief commercial officer, told reporters today at a briefing in Louisville, KY. "Consumers don't want to wait around for a delivery," Gershenhorn said. "It's easier to go to access points to pick up an item or make a return." 26% of U.S. online shoppers say they want to receive deliveries somewhere other than their home, Gershenhorn added, citing data from a comScore Inc. study. The tests are taking place in highly populated areas, including neighborhoods with many apartment buildings, a spokeswoman says. Consumers who live in multi-unit buildings without doormen frequently do not feel it is secure to have an online order left in the building lobby. The locations in Chicago are in the north and western sections of the city and nearby suburbs; in New York, they are in Bronx, with the test moving into Brooklyn, the spokeswoman says. She says the lockers are located in stores that are open early in the morning, late at night or on weekends.

From the Federal Register:

Postal Regulatory Commission
Product Lists; Updates ,
53139–53143 [2014–21228] [TEXT]  [PDF]
New Postal Products ,
53222 [2014–21200] [TEXT]  [PDF]

BBC: Costa Rica has begun to reform its postal address system, which uses landmarks and directions instead of street names and numbers. According to a study from the Inter-American Development Bank, the country loses an estimated $720m (£440m) a year in revenue associated with lost and undelivered mail. The current system also causes problems for delivery workers.

Washington Times: Membership in labor unions continues a steady decline. Right-to-work laws in many states guarantee Americans the right to choose whether to join a union or not. The latest strategem by the American Postal Workers Union offers a perfect example of why so many want so little to do with the vanishing few. The postal union could be working to improve mail-delivery service or find other ways to make the postman relevant in the digital age, but it's less tiring to promote a boycott of Staples for exploring the idea of working with the U.S. Postal Service to sell stamps and collect packages for shipping. This would make it more convenient for customers to do business with the post office. Customers rarely look forward to waiting in line at the post office only to get service ranging from indifferent to lousy. The union would better serve its members by finding ways to make a trip to the post office pleasant and productive.

September 5, 2014  

usps logo Attention Postal One! Users:   Microstrategy/Mailer Scorecard Reports System issues that impact the data in the Microstrategy/Mailer Scorecard Reports have been identified since the PostalOne! Release 38.0 was completed on August 24, 2014. We are working to address these issues as soon as possible. We will advise you when these have been deployed and when the reports have been fixed to the point that you can use them. · Metrics on all tabs of the Mailer Scorecard may be inflated. Drilling to job reports will show correct data at the job level. · The Mailer Scorecard provides a dashboard view of the results of the letter and flat mailing activity with the Postal Service over a calendar month. The customer provided mailing date, provided in the electronic documentation is used to determine which monthly report the data should be displayed. In cases where the mailer supplied mailing date is in one month (Example: August) and the Postal mailing date is in another (Example: September) the system is incorrectly assigning the data to the monthly report associated to the Postal mailing date (Example: September) · Undocumented mail pieces identified through the manual sampling process and collected after 8/24 are not being reported on the Mailer Scorecard or Undocumented Summary Report. In the interim, please report any issues to the PostalOne! Help Desk.

Press Release: UPS gas announced intentions to establish two new facilities in Poland representing a combined 25 million (USD) investment. The first is a new parcel sorting hub and center in the town of Strykow. The investment in this facility is the largest of its kind for the company in Poland and construction is scheduled to begin this September. The second facility will house a UPS Global Business Services (GBS) center in the city of Lodz - the second of its kind in the country. Both are scheduled to be operational in the first half of 2015 and will create more than 300 new UPS jobs in Poland.

Quad Graphics: Since the Postal Service announced their plan to move forward with Phase II of Network Consolidation, how will it impact the delivery of mail (Market Dominant Products)?  Depending on what you mail and how time critical the delivery is, this could be a non-issue as long as there is predictability and consistency. On the other hand, if delivery is time/day critical, it could lead you to consider non-mail alternatives. The Postal Service on Sept. 7, 2014, will expand the range of products eligible for free Package Pickup, which enables customers to request that USPS carriers pick up shipments during regular delivery when the request is made by 2 a.m. CT.

BaltimoreCBSLocal: A Baltimore man pleaded guilty in federal court Friday for a money scheme involving the U.S. Postal Service. Richard Lewis Wright III, 47, formerly the Waverly station manager for USPS, pleaded guilty to bribery for his involvement in a contract scheme. Two others from Baltimore — USPS Station Manager Kimberly A. Parnell, 43, and contractor Shane Anderson, 37, — were previously charged for the same scheme. According to their plea agreements, Wright and Parnell were authorized to contract landscapers, snow removers and cleaning services for the post offices they managed in Baltimore and Pikesville, respectively. They admitted to creating, approving and submitting false invoices with inflated totals for maintenance work and taking a cut of the profits — splitting them with contractors like Anderson. Wright started falsifying invoices in 2007 and Parnell began in 2010 until July 2013. In total, Wright submitted $591,791 in invoices, while Parnell submitted a total of $50,470.

Williston Herald: The U.S. Postal Service has confirmed it will maintain current service hours at 30 post offices, adhering to an earlier commitment. Thirty post offices in the Bakken region were facing reduced hours. North Dakota's congressional delegation pressed USPS after data released last week suggested some of the largely rural post offices warranted such action. U.S. Sen. John Hoeven said he received a confirmation from Deputy Postmaster General Ronald A. Stroman on the matter, following up on a strong letter from U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp blasting USPS for backing out of an agreement not to cut hours.

Businessweek: Undeterred by snow, rain, heat, gloom of night—and cheaper than ever. The U.S. Postal Service is slashing prices for big retailers in a bid to wrest a pile of holiday shipments from FedEx (FDX) and UPS (UPS). For customers shipping at least 50,000 packages a year, Uncle Sam's mailing service will charge up to 58 percent less for its accelerating "Priority" service, in some cases undercutting its for-profit rivals. The Wall Street Journal has a nifty graphic showing how the new prices will stack up. FedEx and UPS are none too happy about this. The Postal Service has a monopoly on letters, they argue, and is raising prices on some customers unfairly to subsidize big retailers. The Postal Service, however, has another huge advantage they are past griping about: It doesn't have to pay traffic tickets.

usps logo Attention Postal One! Users:   This release repairs known issues in PostalOne!® and also includes database maintenance activities. The deployment will occur during the scheduled maintenance window of 4:00 a.m. CT through 8:00 a.m. CT on Sunday, September 7, 2014.  There will be an outage during the maintenance release, i.e. the application will be unavailable. There is no mandatory Mail.dat® client download required. Release notes for PostalOne! Release 38.1.1 can be found on  PostalOne!® Release 38.1.1 Deployment to Test Environment for Mailers (TEM) will occur also on Sunday, September 7, 2014, TEM will be unavailable from 4:00 a.m. CT thru 10:00 a.m. CT. 

Dear MTAC Membership, Just a gentle reminder ~ Don't forget…you still have time to complete the Member survey! Thank you to everyone who has participated so far. Your feedback is extremely important to us and will be used to design a better MTAC experience for you. If you haven't responded yet, please go to and give us your feedback on MTAC and how you would like us to make these meetings more rewarding for you. The survey will close on Tuesday, September 9 at midnight ET.

Wall Street Journal: Now the letter carrier will deliver groceries. Inc. and the U.S. Postal Service, already partners in Sunday deliveries, have launched a trial to shuttle insulated containers of meat, dairy, produce and other groceries to San Francisco customers' doorsteps. The test could presage a broader national rollout, giving Amazon's grocery drop-off service a much wider reach.

Macauhub: The Portuguese government plans to sell the 31.5 percent stake that the state still holds in Portuguese postal company CTT – Correios de Portugal, state shareholdings company Parpública said in a statement issued via the market regulator.

Wall Street Journal: The U.S. Postal Service is aggressively slashing prices to attract big e-commerce companies in time for the holidays, aiming to steal business from both FedEx Corp.  and United Parcel Service Inc. Over loud protests from its rival delivery giants, the Postal Service won approval from its regulators in August to lower prices by as much as 58% on certain Priority Mail packages for customers shipping at least 50,000 parcels a year. The Postal Service says its prices were too high to be competitive. But in documents filed with the Postal Regulatory Commission, both UPS and FedEx say the agency is taking advantage of its status as a near monopoly to unfairly snag a bigger piece of the e-commerce pie.

From the Federal Register:

Postal Regulatory Commission
New Postal Products ,
53088–53089 [2014–21105] [TEXT]  [PDF]
Postal Service
Product Changes:
  First-Class Package Service Negotiated Service Agreements ,
  53089 [2014–21196] [TEXT]  [PDF]
  Priority Mail Express Negotiated Service Agreements ,
  53089 [2014–21199] [TEXT]  [PDF]

The Republic: Thirty post offices in North Dakota's oil country that were scheduled to have their workdays reduced will maintain their hours of operation. U.S. Sen. John Hoven on Thursday said the U.S. Postal Service has formally agreed to not disrupt service at the 30 locations in the growing region.

September 4, 2014 

Roll Call: A bill to fund the government, a resolution condemning the president for not notifying Congress about a prisoner swap and a package of jobs and energy bills are all on House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy's latest memo to House Republicans. But notably absent is word on whether the House will vote to authorize military actions in the Middle East or extend the Export-Import Bank. McCarthy also put together a list of 14 bills that will comprise a jobs package and another 13 bills intended to lower energy costs. In his memo, McCarthy also mentions a bill that would allow health insurers to continue to offer health care plans that were cancelled because they do not meet minimum health coverage criteria under Obamacare, and a bill that would authorize the treasury secretary to disclose information about investigations regarding leaked taxpayer information.

Ballard Spahr: In a precedential opinion rendered last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit held that the disclosure of a consumer's account number through the transparent window of a debt collector's envelope violates Section 1692f(8) of the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), 15 U.S.C. § 1692, et seq. In so holding, the Third Circuit initially concluded that information visible through the window of a debt collector's envelope is covered by Section 1692f(8), and the court then rejected the contention that the account number that could be seen through the window fell within any "benign language" exception to Section 1692f(8).

Bernews: The Bermuda Post Office has announced that Bermuda will host the 17th Annual Caribbean Postal Union [CPU] Conference which will take place at the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute from the September 8th to 11th, 2014.

 PostCom Members !! The latest issue of the PostCom Bulletin is available online.  Hey! You've not been getting the weekly PostCom Bulletin--the best postal newsletter none?  Send us by email your name, company, company title, postal and email address. Get a chance to see what you've been missing.

Bookseller Association: Many saw Print On Demand (POD) as the ultimate ‘just in time' production solution to book publishing, which would wipe out all the inefficiencies of the ‘just in case' approach that plagues the book supply chain. So why didn't it happen, or did it happen for some and not for others? Is there a new dawn, or just a new set of people who have been sold a pup and not looked hard at the facts? The challenge is not the technology, it's with its adaption and adoption, subsequent return on investment for all and perceived added consumer value.

usps logo DMM Advisory: IMb™ Services Update. PostalOne! ® Release 38.0.0 Webinar – An additional webinar has been scheduled to review the new changes from PostalOne!® Release 38.0.0 related to Full-Service Intelligent Mail and Seamless Acceptance. This session will provide a review of the programs, the timeline of upcoming enhancements and Release 38 enhancements to program elements such as the Mailer Scorecard. When: Friday, September 5, 2014, from 3 to 5 pm EDT Meeting Number: 747 170 710 Log On:

Reuters: U.S. companies hired fewer workers than expected in August, but an acceleration in services sector activity to a nine-year high offered assurance that the economy remained on track for a sturdy rate of growth in the third quarter.

Politico: Some $400 million has already been spent in the battle for the Senate. Yet the record-shattering early money has hardly budged the half-dozen races that will decide the fate of the upper chamber, and two months out from Election Day, top officials from both parties say the election truly could go either way.

Korea JoongAng Daily: Korea Post and post officials from nine other nations that are part of the Kahala Posts Group yesterday at a CEO board meeting in Xian, China, agreed to improve their delivery notification systems and to ship to more countries. The CEOs discussed better ways to deliver packages ordered online in China due to its burgeoning e-commerce market. Alibaba, China's biggest e-commerce website and a parent company of Tabao, a Chinese online shopping company, saw explosive growth in recent years as the country's middle class has grown. The website accounts for about 80 percent of China's e-commerce market with about 50,000 items traded per minute.

Bernama: Pos Malaysia Bhd is expected to maintain its growth momentum this year on strong courier and transhipment businesses. "We are on track to sustain the growth we achieved in the financial year 2014 (FY14)," said group chief executive officer, Datuk Iskandar Mizal. Pos Malaysia posted a 4.2 per cent growth in net profit to RM157.7 million for FY14 ended March 31, 2014. Revenue jumped 12.4 per cent to RM1.43 billion. Iskandar said the courier and transhipment businesses would drive the postal service provider's growth for FY15.

Novinite: Stanislav Dochev, CEO of State-owned postal operator Bulgarian Posts, has vowed that there will be no staff cuts at the company. In a Thursday interview for the Bulgarian National Radio, he said that the total headcount of the company amounted to slightly over 11 000 people. Dochev suggested that the efforts of the management of Bulgarian Posts had to focus on improving the efficiency of its financial management and its administrative staff. He said that the main ambition of the company's management was to improve its economic performance.

eContent: The results of a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Conversant were announced. The study, entitled "The Personalization Imperative," found that marketers have great belief in the power and benefits of personalized marketing but need additional help to overcome internal challenges as they work to deliver on their visions.

The Hill: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has joined an effort to block the U.S. Postal Service from closing dozens of processing centers, increasing the odds of a congressional debate over postal operations this month.

Postal Technology International: Customs procedures differ greatly around the world and trying to understand the many rules and regulations in place can often be confusing. Add to this the different types of parcels, packets and goods being transported and delivered, and the whole process of collecting taxes and duties becomes a complicated and time-consuming task. A more transparent approach to customs will help improve cross-border trade, with postal operators in the European Union (EU) already expecting new legislation demanding greater transparency in just a few years time.

Postal Technology International: A white paper released by international market research and consulting firm Pierre Audoin Consultants (PAC) on behalf of Wincor Nixdorf has revealed that postal operators will invest €20bn (US$27bn) globally in IT systems in 2015. According to the report, entitled Upheaval in the global postal market: Managing a substantial shift in business models, privatization, the internet, new market players and customer demands for greater convenience and innovative services are forcing posts to diversify into new fields and invest in IT, with a total of €3.1bn (US$4.1bn) expected to be spent on transforming branch operations next year. The white paper suggests that traditional posts will need to create new services in areas such as finance and retail to generate additional revenue streams, and invest in new technology channels such as mobile and self-service to interface with customers more conveniently and cost-effectively. Operators will also invest in transforming their branch operations to expand the scope of their overall activities and enhance the customer experience these outlets provide.

Postal Technology International: They used to exist as totally separate entities, but increasingly postal operators and e-retailers are partnering and reaping the benefits that such collaborations can bring. If you look at the current state of the market it seems to be an increasingly popular trend, so is this truly the way forward? Must postal operators partner with large e-retailers to survive and thrive in an otherwise declining market of traditional postal services? "There are great benefits to e-retailer/postal partnerships," says Brody Buhler, global postal industry lead at Accenture. "Posts get tighter integration with key partners and better insight into volumes and workload. This insight drives efficiencies and the ability to communicate with consumers to create a seamless experience. To truly grow market share, posts will have to continue to evolve their offerings to address the demands of e-retailers. This type of collaboration accelerates that evolution as they develop tailored solutions that can then be applied to other customers."

eCommerceBytes: Amazon told its third-party merchants, "We want sellers to think seriously about offering free shipping for all their products" - but is it feasible?

Economic Times: Communication and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad today said India Post with the world's largest postal network is best suited to offer delivery services to e-commerce firms. Prasad, who today met Probationers of the 2013 batch of the Indian Postal Service here, said there is a need to expose young officers to the latest developments and emerging trends in the postal and logistics sectors.

usps logo Attention Postal One! Users:  

  • Issue: Manually entering permit number and type into Postal Wizard account search on the permit entry page, yields an error message stating that permit number in question is not found within finance number. Workaround: Use the search link to search for the permit. The error is not presented when the search link is used to select a permit. This issue is scheduled for R 38.1.1, September 7. 2014
  • Program Registration Release will be deployed to Production on Sunday, September 7, 2014 during the scheduled maintenance window from 4:00 am to 8:00 am CDT. There will be an outage and the Online Enrollment and Incentives Program accessible via the Business Customer Gateway will be unavailable during that time. The Program Registration Release implements the following enhancements. Incentives: · Fixes a defect due to which a released amount for a transaction is displayed in two programs Shipping: · Performance enhancements for View/Edit functionality for the MID Certification task on Internal module · Data updates to correct the data in the new MID User CRID field · Data updates to support data previously updated manually in PTR · Update MQ triggers so that only updated MIDs with all valid data are sent to downstream systems.

Foster's Daily Democrat: Should Republicans win control of the U.S. Senate in November, we expect Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, to play a substantive roll in returning that group of elected officials to what it once was: the world's greatest deliberative body. Under Democratic control, the Senate has become as childish as the House. Collins tells us that Reid has even made life miserable for some from his own party. With the inability to offer amendments to Reid-favored bills, freshman senators from both parties find themselves unable to brag of legislative accomplishments to voters back home as Election Day in November nears. Collins, on the other hand, has worked hard to forge bipartisan cooperation. Time and time again, she has pulled together coalitions in an attempt to advance bipartisan legislation. It was one of these efforts that has been credited with helping to end last fall's government shutdown. Should Republicans be put in charge, Collins says that she will push for rule changes to protect the Democratic minority, that she will urge her party to take the high road and to not retaliate as Reid has done. This means a Senate that will seek solutions, not confrontation — and a return to greatness.

Hispanic Business: Rep. Jose E. Serrano, D-N.Y. (15th CD), issued the following news release: "The United States Postal Service has sold one of the Bronx's most important community and historic treasures in a completely irresponsible manner-- ignoring historic preservation law, without considering other options, and without properly consulting the community and listening to its concerns. The USPS has disregarded the voices of the Bronx community, elected officials, historic preservationists, and their own employees- all of whom opposed this process and this sale. Moreover, they have failed to formally announce the sale and provide details to the community. "The leadership of the Postal Service has clearly lost all perspective regarding their responsibility to the public that they are supposed to serve, and their efforts to sell the Bronx GPO are emblematic of their flawed attitude."

ZDNet: Australia Post has said it will continue to focus on providing e-commerce-driven logistics and delivery solutions to cope with the decrease in traditional letter deliveries. Australia Post said despite the company seeing a brief three month benefit from its AU$0.10 increase to the basic postage rate, the profits from its parcels businesses were overwhelmed by losses in its reserved mail business. The pressure has been so great for the government-owned business that during the financial year it was confirmed that up to 900 jobs will go over the next 12 months as part of the company's plans to restructure. The roles expected to be affected include managerial, administrative, and support from its Melbourne head office and a number of smaller offices in other states. The union representing postal workers said the losses from Australia Post's letter delivery business should not be used as a reason to sack more Australia Post employees.

Herald Sun: Australia Post says its existing letter delivery service is losing so much money that it could eventually overwhelm the entire group, so it needs to be overhauled. Until now, Australia Post's growing parcel delivery service has been able to cover the losses in the mail business, but that may have happened for the last time. To help stem mail's losses, chief executive Ahmed Fahour is advocating a "priority" letter delivery service to be introduced alongside "regular" deliveries. Under the priority service, customers would pay extra to ensure their letter is delivered within a set time, in a similar fashion to Britain's Royal Mail which offers a "first" and "second" class delivery service. The price of the priority stamp has not been determined yet. Under the regular service, mail would still be delivered five days a week, but letters may take longer to get to their destination.

Merced Sun-Star: The U.S. Postal Service will start Sunday home deliveries this week throughout Northern California, thanks to a special deal with Amazon. The online retailer, which has massive distribution centers in Patterson and Tracy, began testing Sunday deliveries in several big cities earlier this year. Apparently Amazon liked the result, because it's expanding the service to most of California. At least that's what Postal Service spokesman Augustine Ruiz revealed Wednesday. Amazon is staying mum on the deal.

Yale Daily News: Recent changes in the postal system at Yale will likely have mixed results for students. In an effort to improve the campus-wide system for picking up mail, Yale Station — the central post office for most students — has opened up delivery truck stations outside of Old Campus. Yale Station's new delivery trucks outside of Old Campus are being used to process the purchasing of stamps, rent out P.O. boxes and to hand out keys for those who purchased their P.O. boxes online. The United States Postal Service (USPS) station offered two delivery trucks during the move-in period when new freshmen were arriving on campus, but is now offering only one truck since the initial rush for P.O. box service is over. With the addition of the delivery truck, Dugas said that the station hopes to cut down on the time it takes for students to rent a P.O. box by providing extra personnel to help with the applications. According to Dugas, the P.O. box renting process this year is more organized than it was before, and the extra personnel at the station have made the process more efficient. But not all students have felt the effects of these changes. Many still described their experiences at Yale Station as lengthy and confusing. In past years, students have experienced delays in parcel-sorting at the station, which has led to long lines waiting for package pick-up. This is especially the case during the busy opening weeks of school as students receive a spiked number of packages with course materials.

IOL News: Public Protector Thuli Madonsela has completed her investigation into alleged corruption at the SA Post Office (Sapo). Her office did not, however, say when the report would be released. At the same time, The Star has reliably learnt that Telecommunications and Postal Services Minister Siyabonga Cwele had summoned the Post Office board to a meeting scheduled for Thursday to account for the string of alleged irregularities and corruption, and the ongoing strike.

The Age: Australian Post has refused to reveal how much managing director Ahmed Fahour was paid last financial year, as it reported a 35 per cent slide profit from its crumbling letters delivery sector. Mr Fahour was last year paid $4.8 million, which is believed to be a record for an Australia public servant. In comparison, the chief of the US Postal Service earned $384,229 in 2012.

The Rakyat Post: Pos Malaysia Bhd expects to spend more than RM150 million in capital expenditure (capex) for its financial year ending March 31, 2015 (FY175), said group chief executive officer Datuk Iskandar Mizal Mahmood. The FY15 capex will be partly used to launch parcel lockers later this year, he said. Parcel recipients will be able to use a quick response code on their smartphones to open the locker to retrieve their parcel, making it a 24-hour service. The lockers will be placed in selected shopping malls and post offices, said Iskandar Mizal. .

Business Recorder: Pakistan Post is providing an extensive range of postal services to cater 7personals 7business needs of various segments of society. An official of Pakistan Post told APP here on Thursday that these traditional services constitute the core business of the department.

Herald Sun: Australia Post chief Ahmed Fahour has vowed the postal authority "will not be the next Kodak" and says he can increase its burgeoning parcel business further still. But Mr Fahour has warned the parcel -division, which raked in $337.5 million in the past year, can no longer paper over the huge losses in the declining letter -business. The venerable institution revealed yesterday it had suffered a 34.5 per cent slump in its profit to $116.2 million for the year to June.

Office of the Inspector General: "Toledo, OH, Processing and Distribution Center Mail Consolidation" -- What the OIG Found A business case existed to support mail consolidation from the Toledo P&DC into the Columbus and Michigan Metroplex P&DCs. The overall cost savings was $9.3 million annually, which was about $100,000 more than the Postal Service estimated. Following the consolidations productivity increased at both receiving plants, delayed mail decreased at the Michigan Metroplex P&DC but increased at the Columbus P&DC, and service scores initially decreased at both plants but have begun to rebound. Also, no career employees were laid off. The consolidations did have a negative impact on carriers, with about 28 percent more carriers returning after 5 p.m. This resulted in customers receiving their mail later, as well as an increased risk to carriers' safety. While the Postal Service generally followed AMP guidelines, the AMP worksheets had errors because maintenance and transportation costs were underestimated.

Northumberland View: NDP Canada Post critic Alexandre Boulerice (Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie) has called on the Conservative government to place a moratorium on building post office boxes that are set to replace home mail delivery across the country. Over the last several months, New Democrats have visited several communities to get a sense of where citizens stand on the cuts to Canada Post and the Conservative government's decision to end home mail delivery. The response has been clear: people are committed to maintaining their postal services and concerns quickly turn to anger when informed about the Conservatives' plan.

September 3, 2014 

Direct Marketing News: The U.S. Postal Service has installed 17 "Gopost" postal lockers at 17 locations—mostly Post Offices—in New York and Washington, D.C. The urban area program is currently in pilot phase and no further national roll out is currently planned.

The Jamestown Sun: U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp accused the U.S. Postal Service on Tuesday of backtracking on its promise not to cut hours at 30 rural post offices in central and western North Dakota.

The Motley Fool: When Royal Mail went public at the end of last year, a key selling point of the company was the group's exposure to the UK parcel delivery market. As more and more consumers do their shopping online, Royal Mail boasted that it was set to benefit from the rising number of parcels being sent around the UK. However, nearly twelve months on from Royal Mail's IPO, the company is struggling as growth in the key parcel delivery business has failed to materialise. As Royal Mail struggles, UK Mail has reported a solid start to the current financial year. This growth was driven by, you guessed it, an increasing number of parcel deliveries.

Post & Parcel: Itella reveals plans to restructure domestic mail and parcels business Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014 Finland's national postal operator Itella has revealed plans to restructure its domestic business to make the company more customer-focussed. The move follows existing measures announced earlier this year to help the business adapt to the rapidly declining letter volumes in Finland and a "difficult" logistics market. Itella is already preparing to change its branding back to the more traditional Posti name as part of its effort to build a more sustainable business model. Now, it has said it will structure operations in Finland with a single production division, Operations, handling the sorting and transport activities for mail, parcels and freight. On the customer-facing side of the business, two divisions will be created to handle the marketing and delivery of services — the Postal Services unit will handle letters, publications and direct mail, while the Parcel and Logistics Services unit will operate parcel, transport and warehouse logistics activities.

Office of the Inspector General: Paper With That Statement? The Social Security Administration (SSA) is going back to the mail, bucking the digital trend it embraced just 3 years ago. This month, SSA will again start mailing paper benefit statements to people at 5-year intervals.

The Hill: With just a handful of big economic reports left before Election Day, the economic picture is largely in place. And while the outlook is bright, voters continue to hold a dim view of their own financial prospects. Broadly speaking, the economy has made gains in the last several months. The unemployment rate has held steady or dropped every month for over a year, and new data show the economy grew this spring at its fastest rate in more than 12 months. But the good news isn't resonating with the public. Roughly half of voters believe the economy is still in a recession, even though the economic decline ended in June 2009. Some researchers argue the economic recovery has not been felt widely, with the majority of the gains going to people on the top of the income scale.

Politico: Tepid fundraising, underperforming candidates and a lousy party brand are threatening to deprive House Republicans of the sweeping 2014 gains that some top party officials have been predicting this year. POLITICO interviewed more than a dozen top strategists from both parties about their outlook for the House in the midterms, and their assessment was nearly unanimous: Republicans are on track to expand their majority by only five or six seats, or roughly half their goal. The conversations covered everything from advertising strategies to fundraising to polling. A small gain would again leave Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) largely beholden to the tea party wing of the party, with little room to maneuver on a governing agenda.

The Independent: Many of the "priority investors" in Royal Mail, brought in supposedly to remain long term, stable holders of the privatised service, quietly sold millions of their shares over the summer. The 16 investors caused controversy for the Business Secretary Vince Cable earlier this year, as many of them were precisely the kind of short-termist hedge funds the minister had pledged would not make a fast profit from the sale of the public-owned postal system. All priority shareholders were given big stakes in the company at the flotation price of 330p a share – a valuation that came under huge criticism as the share price rocketed from the first day they began trading. Since their peak at 618p, they have come down to about 440p amid concerns about competition eating away at its lucrative urban deliveries business and a regulatory inquiry in France.

NWLaborPress: Deputy Postmaster General (DPMG) Ron Stroman drew the ire of dozens of postal workers and community allies when he visited Vancouver, Wash., Aug. 21. Carrying signs and chanting, the protesters massed at the entrance to the 2014 Mailers Conference at the Vancouver Convention Center Hilton. "No closures, no cuts, no contracting-out" blared from a bullhorn heard inside by conference-goers, gathered to hear Stroman speak. A flier with "Nine Questions" for the DPMG was distributed to attendees. Stroman is the second-highest ranking postal executive. He serves on the Postal Service Board of Governors. According to promotional materials, he "also has the lead role in working with Congress to …adjust delivery frequency and gain greater flexibility in aligning the Postal Service processing, distribution and retail networks…" In plain language, the Deputy PMG is pushing to eliminate Saturday and at-the-door delivery, as well as continue the massive cuts and closures to mail processing plants and post offices across the nation. In addition, Stroman is a leader in the outsourcing of postal work to private corporations such as Staples, Pitney Bowes, Amazon, and Dill's Star Route trucking. Of immediate concern to the protesters is the projected closure of 82 mail processing facilities — including those in Bend, Pendleton, and Eugene, Oregon, and Tacoma and Wenatchee, Wash., beginning in January. "Fifteen thousand family wage, union jobs will be lost and delivery standards will be relaxed to delay mail two to three days," protesters said.

September 2, 2014 

Target Marketing Magazine: Marketers put hours, weeks and years into direct mail programs. Elaborate arrangements with the U.S. Postal Service are the norm. Questions arise based on an Aug. 28 article in FedScoop titled, "USPS Loses Database and Backup in Hardware Failure." How worried should marketers be about USPS losing necessary data? What contingency plans do marketers have in case this happens?

CBROnline: Royal Mail has launched a new parcels shipping and tracking platform, which it claims will help e-retailers to improve integration between their IT systems and Royal Mail's software. E-retailers and other parcel customers using the postal service's latest application programming interface (API) are set to have access to all of its parcel services both for UK and international destinations. They'll also be able to track the process of their orders, check the track status of an item and retrieve the tracking history of their shipment.

The Straits Times: Both local and international postage rates are set to rise from October, SingPost said on Tuesday. Local rates will increase between four cents and 20 cents while international rates will move up between five cents and 25 cents depending on the weight. The revised rates come amid a challenging postal business environment, said group chief executive Dr Wolfgang Baier, where domestic mail volumes are on a decline for the second consecutive year and costs are escalating. SingPost's postage rates have not seen any adjustments since eight years ago.

Post & Parcel: Royal Mail launches its new trial Sunday delivery service this weekend, for addresses in and around London. The move aims to make it easier for online shoppers to receive their parcels if they're working during the week. The privatised postal service will also be piloting new Sunday opening hours for 100 of its delivery offices across the UK, allowing customers to pick up undelivered parcels seven days per week. Last month, Royal Mail revealed plans to make its click and collect service, Local Collect, available through Post Offices for its 20,000 SME contract customers. This will see customers shopping from small and medium-sized e-retailers able to collect items from and of the 10,500 Post Office branches taking part.

Philadelphia CBSLocal: When the US Senate returns for its fall session, a Delaware senator plans to press legislation to reform the Postal Service. The Postal Reform Act of 2014 co-sponsored by Sen. Tom Carper and Republican colleague, Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, already has been passed out of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. But, Carper says the Senate's leadership has failed to schedule it for a debate and a floor vote. Carper says if nothing is done before year's end, postal management already has told Congress it will be forced to close another 80 to 85 mail processing centers across the country.

Outlook India: World's largest postal service, India Post has tied up with online marketplace major Snapdeal to sell stamps to reach out to larger audiences. Under the partnership, targeted especially at philately enthusiasts, Snapdeal will sell stamps and collections priced between Rs 300-5,500. "While stamp collection has been a popular hobby, we found consumers who said they found it difficult to buy stamps. India Post has an amazing collection of stamps that we feel we our consumers will be delighted to have," Snapdeal co-founder and COO Rohit Bansal told PTI. Also, with Snapdeal's extensive reach, India Post will be able to reach a large number of customers, he added.

Portugal News: Packages made up a record 4.6% of total postal traffic in the second quarter of this year even while overall deliveries fell, the sector's regulator ANACOM has announced. Parcels and packages not only hit a peak with their 4.6% of total traffic but were also the only portion of postal traffic to register growth, up 5.6% on the first quarter and 7.2% year-on-year. Total traffic in the second quarter slipped by 7.3% on the first and was 3.8% lower than the same period of last year with the three-month average of 20.6 objects per person "the lowest level ever registered" explained the ANACOM statement. In overall, terms 80% of postal traffic is made up of correspondence, 7.8% personally addressed publicity with a further 7.5% involving the delivery of magazines and other publications. The revenues generated by the postal sector in this quarter amounted to €171.4 million, down 1.2% on the first quarter and down 2.4% year-on-year with the recently privatised CTT holding a 94.5% market share. Of the post handled, 96.2% was addressed to national destinations with the remainder heading off internationally.

Dead Tree Edition: After years of massive downsizing, the U.S. Postal Service's workforce has stopped shrinking, at least temporarily. USPS recently reported having 616,025 active employees, just 362 fewer than a year ago. The number of full-timers actually inched up by 1,464, to 467,844. That's a far cry from the previous six years, when the annual workforce reductions ranged from 13,000 to nearly 53,000. Automation, facility closures, declining mail volumes, and a series of early-retirement offers reduced the number of postal workers by 183,000 from 2005 to 2013.

September 1, 2014 

Evening Echo: The EU says it cannot intervene to stop Ireland from closing rural post offices. Authorities in Brussels say it is entirely up to individual countries to decide how to run their postal systems, as long as they run for five days a week.

Tribune242: A Bahamian freight forwarding start-up is aiming to differentiate itself from a crowded market by offering value-added services and prices it says are almost one-third below the industry average. #Jurelle Nairn, managing director of, which opens its doors today on Palmdale's Rosetta Street, said the inspiration for the business came from her five-year personal experience in trying to ship goods from the US to the Bahamas. Consolidated shipping, allowing goods to be shipped together at a lower rate, will also be offered. And clients will also be given a free US postal address, with charges only levied when goods are bought or shipped.

Philadelphia Inquirer: The T-shirted battalions of union members showed up, as usual, for the annual Labor Day parade along the Delaware River waterfront. The chartreuse shirts belonged to the American Postal Workers Union, U.S. Postal Service employees who work inside post offices. Their beef is a move by the post office to offer some postal services, such as certified mail and stamp purchases, at Staples.

Jerusalem Post: Workers from the Israel Postal Service will expand a strike covering the country's periphery to include Tel Aviv on Tuesday morning from 8:00-11:00, as negotiations between management and workers collapsed. The latest issue is anger at the Finance Ministry for refusing to absorb 1,500 workers who have worked for five years or more on a temporary basis. The union accuses the ministry of trying to oust permanent workers and hire the temporary ones for lower wages.

Radio Prague: The state-owned postal firm Czech Post is seeking 1.7 billion crowns in state compensation for losses incurred through unprofitable services it is required to provide by law, the daily Hospodářské noviny reports. Part of the compensation should be covered with contributions from Czech Post's competitors according to existing law. But they complain the sum is exaggerated, and say the payments would put their businesses at risk.

Daily Republic: Like most modern folk, I sometimes communicate via text, email and other digital methods. However, lately I have been reminded about how important the good ol' fashioned United States Postal Service is.

Smart Company: The Post Office Agents Association, which represents LPO franchisees, noted in its inquiry submission the steady decline in traditional revenue from the sale of stamps and post office boxes, and the steady increase in packages ordered online. The growth in e-commerce and online auction purchasing in outer urban and regional areas has been strong, in part because of the lack of traditional retail and department store options in these areas. Importantly, the remuneration paid to LPOs for delivering and managing these packages is scant, often not reflecting the significant costs involved in attempting delivery and then storing goods for later collection when addressees are not home. Franchisees also feel the deal for non-postal retail goods sourced from Post is low – especially compared with what would be available from other wholesalers. The move to internet banking, and away from paying bills in LPOs, is also squeezing incomes. While Post has promised, in the shadow of the inquiry, to increase remuneration to LPOs, this is seen by many as too little, too late.

PrintWeek: On the face of it, last month's annual Ofcom Communications Market Report would have made pretty grim reading for the print industry: volumes are down, direct mail spend is down and the CWU is issuing dire predictions about the future of the universal service. However, on closer inspection things may not be as bad as they first appear. Part of the problem is that there is a tendency to oversimplify the decline of DM as being purely the result of the rise of cheaper electronic communications and by extension to view the massive decline in addressed DM volumes (down almost a third since 2008) as a death knell for the sector.

Linn's: The news appearing on Indian websites over the Labor Day weekend surely must have excited many of Bollywood's fans, although the rumor turned out to be false. According to the website, the United States Postal Service was to issue a stamp honoring the late Indian film star Akkineni Nageswarara Rao by issuing a postage stamp on the his birthday. Unfortunately for the son and Indian movie fans, A Postal Service spokesman told Linn's that USPS has no plans for any such stamp. Worse still, the USPS is having difficulty trying to contact the American foundation that apparently triggered the news with a press release.

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