Associationfor Postal Commerce
"Representing those who use or support the use of postal servicesfor Business Communication and Commerce"
"You will be able to enjoy only those postal rights you are willing to defend."
December 1, 2015
USPS Industry Alert: The Postal Service has several key initiatives to streamline the acceptance, induction, and verification of commercial card, letter, and flat mailings: Full-Service Intelligent Mail, Move Update, eInduction, and Seamless Acceptance. A new publication, Streamlined Mail Entry for Letters and Flats, provides the policies and procedures for these initiatives. An initial draft of the document is posted on RIBBS. The mailing industry is encouraged to review and provide feedback on the document by December 24, 2015. Feedback should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
USPS Office of the Inspector General: Our Semiannual Report to Congress – and You
Bloomberg: At the moment, [delivery] drones are more fiction than fact. Delivery by drones isn’t likely to be legal in the U.S. for the foreseeable future, and such package drop-offs are not technically feasible now.Every time you see a headline about Amazon’s drones, then, think about the business strategy behind the company’s well-timed reveals aimed at customers, regulators and the shipping companies on which Amazon is reluctantly dependent.
MALAYSIA: Nikkei: Pos Malaysia, a listed subsidiary of Malaysian conglomerate DRB-Hicom has started a new vehicle shipping service and enhanced its pawn broking services using gold, as earnings growth from its traditional mail services has weakened.
NORWAY: Clean Technica: The postal service of Norway, the Posten, will soon possess an electric vehicle fleet enriched by the purchase of an additional 240 new Renault Kangoo Maxi ZEs, according to recent reports. The Norwegian postal service already possesses a fleet of 900 electric vehicles — this includes electric cars as well as bikes, quadricycles, etc. norway postal service electric Kangoo The Posten is currently working to achieve a 40% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions by 2020 — hence the decision to purchase more electric vehicles (EVs).
UNITED KINGDOM: CreditToday: Collections trade body the Credit Services Association (CSA) and direct mail services provider Critiqom are close to agreeing a postal discount scheme with Royal Mail for CSA members. A spokesperson for Royal Mail confirmed talks were now well advanced, saying the organisation was “keen to support all sectors” and was “developing a long-term incentive scheme that will reward clients for real year-on-year mail growth with potential postal discounts in the region of 15 percent.” The CSA and Critiqom have met with Royal Mail to discuss how the incentive could be applied to collections businesses, and Royal Mail confirms that “work on this is progressing.”
CHINA: Global Times: Postal services should compensate their clients for lost and damaged parcels within seven days, according to a new regulation that takes effect on Tuesday. People can file complaints to administrative organs if postal services fail to provide compensation on time, said the newly revised regulation on the administration of postal services.
November 30, 2015
Wall Street Journal: Shopping trends shaping up this holiday season mean logistics investment in the retail world will rush more rapidly toward e-commerce distribution. That’s sure to include new efforts to bulk up online capabilities and inventory and delivery networks aimed at fulfilling online sales. A National Retail Federation survey showed more people shopped online over the weekend, showing how rapidly the retail landscape has changed in the face of new technology, reports the WSJ’s Sarah Nassauer. Internet scorekeepers said online sales traffic grew at a double-digit pace over the weekend and mobile devices exceeded desktop traffic for the first time ever. That should be a wake-up call for retailers that rely mostly on physical stores that fundamental changes in shopping will require them to transform their models to compete, experts say. Expect more spending on online sales—and the distribution infrastructure to get goods to the right place.
e-CommerceBytes: The US Postal Service updated its iPhone app on November 20th, and users are complaining about problems with the new version. One of the biggest complaints - users say the process of scheduling a pickup is now so laborious that they're giving up on using that feature on the app.
UNITED KINGDOM: Post & Parcel: In its annual monitoring update on the UK postal market, the regulator Ofcom has reported that “the vast majority of consumers are satisfied with their postal services and that prices remain affordable for almost all consumers”. The regulator also found that: “Royal Mail continued to meet or exceeded the majority of its quality of service targets for the second sequential year.” The Ofcom report, which was published on Friday (27 November), added that First and Second Class national targets were met, as were the Postcode Area (PCA) results (with a small number within the margin of error). Looking at the ongoing trends in the postal sector, Ofcom noted that total addressed letters volumes continued to fall in 2014-15, declining by 1.1% to 12.6bn items.
NEW ZEALAND: ChannelLifeNZ: New Zealand Post has partnered with MuleSoft to fuel its growth strategy. The postal service has launched a new Developer Resource Centre, which will powered by MuleSoft’s Anypoint Platform. The developer portal provides a set of application development resources that enable customers and partners to implement e-commerce solutions, improve addressing accuracy and securely share documents by integrating their websites and mobile applications with New Zealand Post's APIs. The organisation says APIs are aiding the NZ Post’s transition from a traditional postal services provider to a new business model focused on its parcels and logistics business. New Zealand Post Group manages an extensive mail network comprising of 1730 post offices, 884 retail points of presence, 414 properties, 542 couriers and 1.93 million delivery points. In addition to its physical mail business, New Zealand Post provides financial services through Kiwibank, parcel and courier services, printing and a range of emerging, ‘digital first’ services.
November 29, 2015
UNITED KINGDOM:Daily Mail: Postmen are to be equipped with miniature cameras so they can prove they have safely delivered packages. Royal Mail is beginning a trial of the devices, which are installed in the hand-held computers carried by postal workers on their rounds. If there is no one in when they call – and the householder has made no arrangement for mail to be left with a neighbour – postmen will be able to take a picture of the package in a designated ‘safe place’ such as the porch or behind a rubbish bin.
November 28, 2015
USPS Office of the Inspector General: The USPS OIG is seeking a highly qualified applicant to fill our Deputy Assistant Inspector General, Mission Operations position in the Office of Audit located in Arlington, VA. The successful candidate must be highly motivated and demonstrate experience in planning and performing complex audits/evaluations.
Breaking Finance News: You Tuber Luanga Nuwame has recently launched a public service announcement video on his Homemade Game Guru channel to expose how his tracked USPS package of comic books was tampered with. He wants his experience to serve as a warning to fellow consumers looking to ship expensive items though the USPS this Christmas season. His 10-minute video entitled ‘How USPS Employees Can Steal Your Package’s Contents this Christmas’ outlines the 3-month ordeal Nuwame has endured to find out how postal employees opened his package and substituted its contents with a stack of paper without detection. The stolen comics were meant to be showcased in a review video on his channel.
November 27, 2015
SWEDEN:Postal Technology International: Swedish car manufacturer Volvo has launched the world’s first commercially available in-car parcel delivery service for customers based in Gothenburg, Sweden. The service is available for Volvo drivers who live or work in the city and who have signed up for the Volvo On Call (VOC) service – an app that allows customers to remotely lock or unlock the car as well as check the instrument panel. The delivery service is only available for products purchased online at baby goods and toy store Lekmer.com or grocery retailer Mat.se. PostNord delivery drivers deposit the packages in the customer’s car using a one-time digital key to gain access to the vehicle.
AUSTRALIA:The New Daily: Australia Post has come under pressure from retiree advocates to raise public awareness of postage discounts available to pensioners after an investigation by The New Daily found that Australian health card holders are set to forego up to $74 million of stamp concessions in 2016. However, most of these people are not aware that they can get free and discounted stamps from Australia Post if they open a special ‘MyPost Concession Account’ at any post office. Australia Post revealed on Friday that less than half of the 5.7 million Australians eligible for concessions have applied to get the discounts. Only two million accounts have been opened with AusPost since the concession scheme was introduced in March 2014. Under the scheme, all health card holders who take out a MyPost concession account can get five free stamps and a 40 cent discount on the new $1 standard postal rate for 50 stamps each year. That means 3.7 million pensioners will potentially miss out on up to $74 million worth of discounts when the new pricing regime takes effect early next year.
November 26, 2015
The Hill: Congressional leaders face several hurdles to getting a budget deal done by the Dec. 11 deadline, including a fight over health funding that is holding up the omnibus spending package. There’s also a battle brewing over dozens of policy riders aimed at Wall Street and environmental regulations that Republicans insist should be included in the legislation but Democrats warn could lead to a government shutdown. Republicans counter that riders are included in every annual spending package. “Riders on appropriations bills are as common as the sun rising in the morning and setting in the evening,” said a Senate Republican leadership aide, who noted that Democrats are pushing some of their own riders.
Mashable: "10 biggest game changers in digital marketing of 2015"
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: The holiday season is filled with traditions that might seem to be meaningless. But one tradition, in my mind, is a keeper — the sending of Christmas cards. If one sends cards, one needs to receive them. We eagerly anticipated the holiday mail and were in awe and admiration of those who had their names printed on their cards rather than handwritten. They must have been pretty important, we thought, since they were too busy to sign themselves. Just signing my name inside the card is not sufficient. I also write a brief personal note to each recipient. Christmas cards and their senders are long cherished. There is no doubt that although keeping in touch is so much easier today than in 1945, one might see how this quaint custom might fall by the wayside. When you send someone a Christmas card, you are also sending a piece of yourself.
Hyperallergic: A Photographic Index of Illicit Objects Seized at the US Border. Each of the photographs presents the item quietly against a white backdrop, underlying the intense 24-hour effort of Simon’s time at JFK where she had a simple studio set up at the airport. All items were taken from airline passengers or express mail by the US Customs and Border Protection Federal Inspection Site and the US Postal Service International Mail Facility. While the objects, whether the obviously questionable gun-shaped belt buckle that is also a lighter or the more banal counterfeit Chanel, never entered the country, they continued their journey beyond the border through the photographs.
Techspot: Amazon is reportedly the entity behind a secretive air cargo operation launched this past September codenamed “Aerosmith.” According to an investigative report from Motherboard, the project is being run by holding company Air Transport Services Group (ATSG) out of the Wilmington Air Park in Wilmington, Ohio. The facility, described as a non-passenger airport with two runways and major sorting / cargo capabilities, was once used by DHL. The airport has been largely underutilized ever since the courier moved its operations elsewhere in 2008. DHL, FedEx and UPS all confirmed that they weren’t behind the operation. In a statement from Amazon, the company simply said that it has long utilized air capacity through a variety of great partners to transport packages and they expect that to continue. Last month, a person reportedly familiar with Amazon’s plans told DC Velocity that the e-commerce giant was assembling a team of high-level executives to lead its push in developing its own transportation network. If true, the move makes a lot of sense at it would allow Amazon to decrease its dependence on major couriers like FedEx, UPS and the US Postal Service. Doing may also help Amazon offset shipping costs and boost profits, no doubt good news for the company and its investors given its thin margins.
ISLE OF MAN:Isle of Man.com: For the first time in postal history, 27 postal administrations within the Commonwealth have come together for a genuine postage purpose to produce a unique stamp sheet to mark the 50th anniversary of the Commonwealth Secretariat and the role as HM The Queen as Head of the Commonwealth.
GERMANY:Post & Parcel: Deutsche Post has submitted its request to Germany’s Federal Network Agency for approval of new postal rates that are scheduled to take effect on 1 January. In addition to the price adjustment to 70 euro cents for standard letters within Germany, the price for Maxibrief national items up to 1000 grams will also go up, from €2.40 to €2.60. International standard letters and postcards will cost 90 euro cents starting in 2016, up from 80 euro cents. The price for large international letters (Grossbrief) up to 500 grams will be increased from €3.45 to €3.70. Prices for other individual letter mail formats, whether national or international, will remain unchanged. The new price for transporting standard letters within Germany must also be paid by business customers, but here the company has plans to increase the discount for downstream access for standard letters by 5 percentage points. Deutsche Post has also requested approval to raise the rates for some special services. In the future, items such as domestic or international registered mail (Einschreiben) will cost €2.50. Some special services – registered mail to addressee’s mailbox (Einschreiben Einwurf), delivery to addressee only (Eigenhändig) and/or with advice on delivery (Rückschein) – will each cost €2.15.
EUROPE:Virtual-Strategy: The Global Parcel Delivery Market Insight Report 2015 is intended to provide an analysis of the market and the trends which are driving it - in particular the growth of online retailing and the delivery challenges it raises - and evaulate the world's largest carriers. Industry concentration varies by segment with international air express being the most concentrated. Concentration of domestic (national) parcel delivery services varies from country to country. Even after recent waves of consolidation in the global parcels market, there are still smaller players operating within most domestic and even regional markets. The global parcels industry is witnessing seismic changes from technological innovation, shifts in economic activity, and the booming trend in online retailing. E-commerce growth has driven a huge growth in B2C parcel market volumes and consumers are now demanding more convenient methods of collecting their parcels as well as more efficient methods of returns. This report highlights the role that national postal operators have played in the parcels market. Traditionally focused on letter mail (now suffering a slow volume decline, largely as a result of e-substitution), postal operators now find themselves in a strong position to benefit from the growth in B2C parcel deliveries. Many national post offices have expanded significantly in the global parcels market via acquisition. Royal Mail made a number of targeted acquisitions to build a pan-European parcels network, General Logistics Systems. La Poste also followed a similar strategy to build its European network, DPD.
EUROPEAN COMMISSION - POLAND:New Europe: "State aid: Commission approves financing of Polish Post’s universal service obligation via a compensation fund." The following press release was issued by the European Commission on November 26, 2015 11:45 am. The Commission has approved the measure because the compensation paid to Polish Post is limited to the additional costs it faces to fulfil its public service mission (so-called “universal service obligation”). Moreover, the design of the mechanism to finance the compensation does not lead to a significant distortion of competition in the Polish postal market. Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: “This is the first time the Commission has approved the use of a compensation fund mechanism to finance the provision of a universal postal service and I welcome that the Polish system approved today will benefit its postal customers in line with EU state aid rules.“ In June 2014, the Polish authorities notified plans for financing universal postal services carried out by Polish Post from 2013 until 2015. These include basic postal services delivered throughout the country at affordable prices and at certain minimum quality requirements. Under EU state aid rules on public service compensation, adopted in 2011, companies can be compensated for the extra cost of providing a public service subject to certain criteria. This enables Member States to grant state aid for the provision of public services whilst at the same time making sure that companies entrusted with such services do not get overcompensated, which minimises distortions of competition and guarantees an efficient use of public resources.
NIGERIA:Nigerian Bulletin: According to the acting Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Winifred Oyo-Ita, the Nigerian government is planning to privatise the country’s postal services. Ms. Oyo-Ita said the Nigerian Postal Services will possibly enter into public private partnership in areas such as courier services, money transfer, E-commerce and mordernizing postal services.
November 25, 2015
USPS Industry Alert: Streamlined Mail Entry Publication November 25, 2015 The Postal Service has several key initiatives to streamline the acceptance, induction, and verification of commercial card, letter, and flat mailings: Full-Service Intelligent Mail, Move Update, eInduction, and Seamless Acceptance. A new publication, Streamlined Mail Entry for Letters and Flats, provides the policies and procedures for these initiatives.An initial draft of the document is posted on RIBBS. The mailing industry is encouraged to review and provide feedback on the document by December 24, 2015. Feedback should be sent to email@example.com.
Attention PostalOne!® Users: Streamlined Mail Entry Publication November 24, 2015 The Postal Service has several key initiatives to streamline the acceptance, induction, and verification of commercial card, letter, and flat mailings: Full-Service Intelligent Mail, Move Update, eInduction, and Seamless Acceptance. A new publication, Streamlined Mail Entry for Letters and Flats, provides the policies and procedures for these initiatives. An initial draft of the document is posted on RIBBS athttps://ribbs.usps.gov/intelligentmail_guides/documents/tech_guides/StreamlinedMailEntryPublication.pdf. The mailing industry is encouraged to review and provide feedback on the document by December 24, 2015. Feedback should be sent firstname.lastname@example.org.
USPS Industry Alert: The Postal Service has published itsPROPOSED 2016 PROMOTION CALENDAR
Postal Regulatory Commission:
The Daily Caller: In the obviousness department, it stacked right up there with “Weather Cools as Winter Nears” and “Retail Sales to Increase After Thanksgiving.” The American Postal Workers Union this week called on the Postmaster General Megan Brennan to “make postal banking a reality now.” It’ll be terrific. The people who dumbed down the definition of on-time delivery of mail, then failed the on-time test worse than ever, can be in charge of cashing checks, providing electronic fund transfers, offering fee-free ATM machines and accepting payments on utility bills.
Lloyd's Loading List: Amazon’s moves deeper into logistics may already be extending into air freight and air express delivery operations, according to sources in the US that believe a new air freight operation out of Wilmington airport in Ohio may be directly run on behalf of the online retail giant, using infrastructure formerly used by DHL Express. The project involves a hub-and-spoke air freight operation out of Wilmington (ILN) with four flights a day to and from four other confirmed airports: Allentown, PA (ABE), Ontario, CA (ONT), Tampa (TPA) and Oakland (OAK). Amazon has distribution centres about 30 km from ABE and ONT and within 100 km of TPA and OAK, Motherboard noted. Indeed, Amazon has made no secret of its desire to gain greater control of its logistics processes and costs, moving into door-to-door deliveries in some parts of the world’s two most advanced e-commerce markets, the US and the UK.
CBS Chicago: A citywide series of thefts from U.S. Postal Service delivery vehicles, in which the robbers have gained access by punching or prying open the locks, has prompted a community alert from police.
EUROPE and U.S.:Wall Street Journal: FedEx Corp. has received U.S. antitrust approval to buy TNT Express NV, a $4.8 billion deal announced in April. The transaction was included in a Federal Trade Commission list of transactions receiving early termination of antitrust waiting periods. FedEx and TNT said Oct. 20 they were informed by the European Commission that “no statement of objections will be issued” in Europe, clearing one of the biggest hurdles for the deal. The European review has a Jan. 13 deadline.
EUROPE:Supply Management: Increased regulation of airspace in the future means drone deliveries - recently heralded as the retail delivery solution of the future - are unlikely to take off, according to a new report. The report, European Retail & Logistics Insights – From Sheds to Shelves, by Colliers International, says calls from the European Commission (EC) for tighter regulation of airspace is likely to keep the concept of delivery drones grounded.
UNITED KINGDOM:Financial Times: UK Mail’s chief executive is standing down a week after the postal group issued its second profit warning in four months, partly thanks to problems with expensive new parcel sorting machines. UK Mail said Guy Buswell would step down “by mutual agreement”, leaving with immediate effect. He will be temporarily replaced by company founder and non-executive chairman Peter Kane.
November 24, 2015
Federal Register: Postal Regulatory Commission NOTICES Market Dominant Price Adjustments , 73245–73246 [2015–29833] [TEXT]
CNN Money: The price of diesel is down 30% from a year ago, but UPS still charges customers a 5.25% fuel surcharge on top of whatever it would cost to ship a package. FedEx's fuel surcharge is 4.25% for ground shipments and 2.75% for express shipments. The companies said their fuel costs are determined by factors beyond prices at the pump. For example increased shipments to residential customers, due to online purchases, mean using more fuel. Making additional stops instead of delivering multiple packages to a delivery dock drives up fuel usage, said FedEx spokesman Jess Bunn. And residential locations often require more travel between stops than do business deliveries. Both companies also charge an added fee for residential delivery on top of the fuel surcharge. Those residential fees are tacked on when the customer sending a package indicates it is going to a residence.
Fox Business: This year, UPS and FedEx also have new rate policies in place that will force online retailers to rethink how they pack items for the holidays. At the start of 2015, UPS and FedEx extended the use of dimensional-weight pricing to all domestic ground shipments. In other words, shipping rates are now formulated using on the size of each package if it exceeds the actual weight. The delivery giants cited logistical problems created by small e-commerce orders packed in large boxes that take up too much space on their planes and trucks. UPS and FedEx said the rate changes should encourage their customers to find more efficient means of packing merchandise. UPS also announced new policies for heftier packages just in time for the holiday season. Last month, the company said it would charge $110 for oversize packages, up from $57.50, and hike fuel surcharges. “We’re still in the stone age of e-commerce. Customers still use one type of package to ship. Now we’re matching items to packaging,” Chrisman said. “We’re still in the very early stages of modernizing e-commerce fulfillment, and we’re seeing great receptivity to speeding up fulfillment or reducing packaging.”
Dead Tree Edition: Don't look for any major downsizing from the U.S. Postal Service during the coming year: A new report indicates the postal workforce will remain stable through late 2016. The Postal Service released a five-year plan in April 2013 that called for cutting 92,000 career employees by September 2017, then almost immediately put the brakes on more than a decade of downsizing: Since that report was released, the career workforce has hardly budged, ending FY 2015 at 492,000. “The continued growth in the number of packages -- which are much more labor-intensive than letters – and the ever-growing number of delivery points, make it increasingly difficult to capture work hour savings,” says the FY2016 plan. Assuming that the 4.3% exigent surcharge on most postal rates will be eliminated early next year, the plan projects a revenue increase of only $400 million, to $69.3 billion. With an estimated $1.5 billion in additional expenses, that would mean an operating loss of $100 million.
Ruralinfo: The Board establishes annual PFP incentives to provide opportunities for the Postmaster General and the Deputy Postmaster General to earn enhanced compensation, directly tied to the level of their performance. The Postmaster General establishes annual PFP incentives for other officers, to provide them opportunities to earn increased compensation based upon their performance. Uncertainty is largely driven by our flawed business model which limits our ability to be financially successful, and which can only be corrected by comprehensive postal legislation. The Governors believe that this situation must be remedied in the near future, and are concerned that if this situation continues much longer, it will further erode our ability to retain highly-qualified individuals as officers and to recruit the best qualified individuals from the marketplace, if external hiring is deemed to be the best solution to fill critical officer vacancies. Additionally, our financial constraints, which largely are the products of structural defects that only Congress can remedy, have prevented us from fully complying with the statutory mandate that officers be paid in a manner comparable with their private sector counterparts.
NPR: Only 19 percent of Americans — about 1 in 5 — say they trust the government "always or most of the time," according to a study released by the Pew Research Center on Monday. Yet clear majorities also favor the government taking "a major role" in fighting terrorism, responding to natural disasters, keeping food and drugs safe, protecting the environment, strengthening the economy and improving education. Despite this desire for government services, Americans are clearly dissatisfied with the level of service they feel they receive. Three out of four, 74 percent, say public officials put their own interests ahead of the nation's. And a majority, 55 percent, say ordinary Americans would "do a better job of solving problems" than the people whose job it is to do so. Individual government agencies also sometimes did better than one might expect. More than 80 percent of respondents were positive about the performance of the U.S. Postal Service.
CROATIA:Total Croatia News: Croatian Post and Croatian Postal Bank (HPB) have decided to introduce their first joint product – Pošta & HPB Kartica. It is a contactless MasterCard credit card which provides maximum flexibility in payment, so that users in each accounting period have a choice between paying for their costs in full or in instalments. Payment in instalments is possible for transactions at retail outlets in the country and abroad and for internet purchases, according to the model of repayment that customers choose when applying for the card – three, six or twelve instalments. Also, for the purchases of up to 100 kuna the card enables contactless payment as well.
AUSTRALIA:ATN: Most Australian small to medium enterprises (SMEs) have difficulty with getting their products to customers in the peak pre-Christmas period, according to a FedEx survey. FedEx reports the poll of 1,000 consumers and 400 SMEs revealed 94 per cent of businesses believe Christmas will bring an increased demand for online shopping, but 63 per cent of businesses admit they have not proactively prepared for the peak season. Three out of four (76 per cent) SMEs say local businesses are missing out on revenue because they don’t have effective shipping systems and over half (51 per cent) of consumers believe Australian companies are falling behind their overseas competitors when it comes to preparation for peak season shopping. "We know Australians love to beat the queues and shop online at Christmas, but too many businesses underestimate the role shipping can play in the online shopping experience," FedEx Express Australasia managing director Kim Garner says.
November 23, 2015
USPS Industry Alert: The November 23, 2015 issue of the Postal Service's "Mail Spoken Here" has been posted on this site.
USPS Industry Alert: Tampa Bulk Mail Entry Unit – Power Outage Monday, November 23, 2015 The Tampa Bulk Mail Entry Unit (BMEU) will be without power until 5:00p.m. today due to an accident that disabled all cable systems to the facility. Until the outage has been resolved, all permit imprint mailers are being asked to use the Tampa Airport BMEU location as their primary acceptance unit to drop off their mailings.
USPS Industry Alert: USPS Help Desk and Incident Tracking Webinar Friday, December 11, 2015, 11a.m. – noon (Eastern Standard Time) The U.S. Postal Service Help Desk plays a key role in tracking issues that may affect the acceptance and induction of commercial mailings. This webinar will provide a detailed explanation of what happens when a Help Desk Ticket is opened. Two USPS experts will walk through what happens from the moment the ticket is opened, the investigation and resolution process, and how the ticket is tracked. They’ll also cover the communication process followed for releases, delayed performance, or system outages. Speakers: Ed Wanta, Address Management Support Analyst Christine Simone, Business Process Analyst, Principal Registration Required. Instructions for participating in the webinar appear below: Attendee Information US/Canada Attendee Dial-in: (866) 381-9870 Conference ID: 55710534 Attendee Direct URL: https://usps.webex.com/usps/onstage/g.php?MTID=e7015fbfc789f1f7bbf9f01f42ad77454 If you cannot join using the direct link above, please use the alternate logins below: Alternate URL: http://usps.webex.com Event Number: 995 708 117
USPS Office of the Inspector General: Getting Real -- Like wreaths and garlands decorating your favorite retail store, the U.S. Postal Service’s holiday ads let you know the holiday season has officially started. The ads – television, radio, and direct mail – focus on reliable package delivery.This year, however, the ads also tout some of the bells and whistles the Postal Service has added to package delivery to enhance the customer experience. Notably, the Postal Service is featuring real-time notification of packages as soon as they arrive on a customer’s doorstep. Using the myusps.com online tool, customers sign up to get a text or email alert within a few minutes of delivery. Working from the myusps.com dashboard, customers can also redirect packages or hold mail for pickup. When signing up for the service, customers must use a usps.com account, then a third party vendor verifies the customer’s identity and address through a series of questions and answers established during the online sign-up. Real-time notification is just one example of the Postal Service responding to customer expectations, which increasingly include free and fast delivery, especially during the holiday season. But customers also want convenience and security, which redirecting packages allows. Sunday delivery is another example of a response to customer expectations. Again this holiday season, the Postal Service will deliver packages 7 days a week – and not just for Amazon – in select major cities and high-volume areas for the 4 Sundays before Christmas. The Postal Service expects to deliver on average about 5 million packages every Sunday during December.
Fusion: A mere $400 is all that’s standing between millions of Americans and major financial drama. That finding, from a Federal Reserve study in May, means that everyday problems like a blown tire, a home repair or a couple missed shifts can spiral into months of financial stress—or even insolvency—for people who live paycheck-to-paycheck. Many of those Americans end up turning to payday lenders, which offer small amounts of money for short periods of time without asking too many questions. That easy money comes at an enormous price: a typical payday loan is $375, and costs the average borrower $520 in fees, according to a study by the Pew Charitable Trusts. Payday lenders have been around since the early 1990s, when they began sprouting up as storefront check-cashing places in urban areas. Payday lenders have also gotten attention in political circles, with some arguing the U.S. Postal Service should wipe them out by becoming a bank. At first glance, the post office might seem like it has absolutely nothing in common with a payday lender. But they are very similar in an important way: sheer ubiquity. The Postal Service’s 31,000 branches touch communities all over the country, and represent a familiar and trusted brand. But rather than reaping profits on the backs of the poor the way payday lenders do, the Postal Service has a mission to serve the public without earning any money. In fact, postal banking isn’t such a strange concept—it’s just been dead for awhile. The Postal Service maintained deposit accounts for decades until 1967, when the program ended due to declining popularity. As lawmakers debate the particulars, the private market may find its own solution in the form of another ubiquitous American entity: Walmart. After pursuing a banking license for years, the retail giant was effectively rejected in 2006. Since then, Walmart apparently gave up on becoming a bank through official channels, but it has built up a variety of banking services anyway. Some come through partnerships: a credit card with American Express, deposit accounts with Green Dot, small business loans with LendingClub. It also offers low-cost remittances, competing head-on with Western Union. Walmart did not respond to multiple requests for comment on this story, so it’s hard to know what its banking aspirations are, if any. But in theory, it could become a very viable player in payday lending by undercutting the competition the way it does in all of its other businesses.
Washington Post: Both the House and the Senate are away for their customary Thanksgiving recess this week, and the House plans only 12 more days of business this year. The long trend toward shorter stints in Washington and longer “district work periods” back home has continued in the 114th Congress, and next year looks to be even more relaxed: Congressional calendars released earlier this month show that the Senate plans to spend no more than 143 days legislating next year, with the House planning only 111 days in Washington. That spare schedule reflects the demands of an election year: Unusually early national party conventions mean lawmakers will be taking the second half of July off, without giving up any of their traditional August recess. And October through mid-November is cleared for campaigning ahead of the Nov. 8 general election. But it also reflects the widespread understanding that Congress just might not have much to do next year. Tensions between President Obama and GOP congressional leaders, magnified by the political freight of an election year, mean few substantial measures have hope of advancing. And, more important, lawmakers have cleared out — or are in the process of clearing out — the few must-pass bills required to meet deadlines before the next Congress is sworn in. Meanwhile, thorny policy issues appear to be off the table for 2016.
Washington Post: The founders of this country expressed confidence that if the government were to be guided by the common sense of the people, members of Congress would find their way through the shoals of factionalism and make better decisions. In the case of the Postal Service in the 21st century, the founders appear to be right.
Post & Parcel: The American Postal Workers Union (APWU) has called on the US Postmaster General Megan Brennan to “make postal banking a reality now”. The APWU is backing the Campaign for Postal Banking, which claims that postal banking would both “strengthen” the US Postal Service (USPS), by establishing a new source of revenue, and also help the “28% of U.S. households [who] are underserved by traditional banks and turn instead to payday lenders, check cashers and other financial predators”. “The more than 30,000 branches of the US Postal Service can provide affordable, non-profit, consumer-driven financial services ranging from paycheck cashing and bill payment to savings accounts and small dollar loans,” the Campaign for Postal Banking has argued. While the USPS already provides some limited financial services, the Campaign would like to see it go much further. Examples of the initiatives it would like see include: installing surcharge-free ATMs at USPS branches; expanding services to include payroll check cashing; and providing bill paying and electronic fund transfers. The Campaign for Postal Banking has launched an online petition, which both the APWU and Senator Bernie Sanders, one of the Democratic candidates for the US presidency, are supporting.
UNITED KINGDOM:Financial Times: Ahead of the discount bonanza of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which kicks off the Christmas peak season, carriers such as Royal Mail, Hermes, UK Mail and Yodel have been preparing to handle an expected £2bn of web orders over the two days — a 30 per cent increase on last year, according to forecasts by Experian-IMRG. Preparations include investments in hubs, vehicles fleets and recruitment drives — but also attempts to convince retailers to tone down promises of speedy delivery times. This will be crucial to avoid the chaos that marred some operators’ performances last year and saw the collapse into administration of City Link on Christmas Eve, analysts say.
UNIVERSAL POSTAL UNION:Post & Parcel: Bishar Hussein, Director General of the Universal Postal Union (UPU), and Michel Jarraud, Secretary General of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), have signed a cooperation agreement. According to a statement issued today (23 November) by the UPU, the agreement will help the global postal sector “address disaster risk reduction challenges and increase their level of preparedness through better targeted and tailored weather and climate information in the face of natural disasters”. Hussein added the UPU/WMO cooperation would not only help postal operators to improve their resilience to natural disasters and better plan their operations, but also mean that the Post can “play an important role in facilitating access to meteorological information to local communities and developing early warning systems”.
November 22, 2015
Wall Street Journal: For those specializing in online holiday shipping— FedEx Corp., United Parcel Service Inc., the U.S. Postal Service and Deutsche Post AG’s DHL—their peaks are yet to come, and they are expecting big ones. That is because of a stark disconnect between online and brick-and-mortar shopping expectations this year. Physical retailers are sitting on near record-high inventories as consumer spending hasn’t yet caught up with hopes of a surge stoked by low gas prices. They are also employing new methods of inventory management for the holidays, including shipping items sold online from some stores and stocking fewer goods in others as they attempt to better predict rapidly shifting consumer demand, resulting in more packages. UPS predicts its deliveries will increase 10% to a record 630 million packages between Black Friday and New Year’s Eve, compared with last year. The U.S. Postal Service announced earlier this month it expects to deliver 600 million packages during the same period, an increase of 11% from last year, while FedEx Corp. has said it would deliver 12% more packages from last year, or 317 million, between Black Friday and Christmas Eve. DHL Express, which in the U.S. primarily handles international shipments, expects its peak season volumes there to be more than 40% higher than its average daily volume in the third quarter. Its busiest day is forecast to be Dec. 22, when the company expects to deliver 250,000 shipments from around the world arriving in the U.S.
CANADA:Digital Journal: Many countries have taken the opportunity to privatize postal services to help out their corporate friends. Among the prime functions of modern governments is to find new sources of profits for capital. First moves involved changing the laws that used to give national postal services monopolies over postal services. Private corporations were allowed into parcel delivery etc. services, that could bring a profit while often leaving uneconomical services such as regular mail delivery to isolated and rural areas to the national postal service. This forced national services such as Canada Post into an unfair competition in which its competitors were able to provide services in a growth area in high volume settings whereas Canada Post also had to provide first class mail service to remote areas with low volume and no profits. Things have now "progressed" to the point where former government postal services have been wholly privatized in many countries. In Canada this has yet to happen but many public post offices are now privatized and located in shopping centers etc. CUPW long ago suggested that Canada Post should consider re-introducing postal saving banks at post offices. Canada Post had a postal bank until 1968. In 2006 Japan's postal bank was the world's largest savings bank with US $1.7 trillion in deposits. Israel's post offices offer bill payments, savings and checking accounts, and foreign exchange services at all its post offices. China also has a huge chain of postal savings outlets. The union claims that these services would generate much needed income for Canada Post and would be particularly beneficial in rural or low income areas not well served by the existing banking system.
November 21, 2015
The Press-Enterprise: Every Sunday, the U.S. Postal Service takes on a task of major proportions to deliver an Amazon River full of toys, tools, toddler clothing and other items to your front porch. That’s the day postal workers in Inland Southern California exclusively deliver thousands of packages and envelopes from Amazon fulfillment centers, and priority mail packages moving through its own U.S. Postal Service pipeline, to customers in the region.
The Daily News: The United States Postal service will deliver on Sundays again this holiday season. Following the success of the 2014 holiday season, the Postal Service will again deliver packages seven days a week in select major cities and high-volume areas beginning Nov. 29, for the four Sundays before Christmas. They expect to deliver on average approximately five million packages every Sunday during December. In time for the holidays, the Postal Service will offer real-time delivery notifications - meaning customers who sign up for alerts at myusps.com will receive notification within a few minutes of the delivery scan for select packages.
Postalnews.com: Dozens of people in one valley neighborhood have all been hit by vandals. Overnight Sunday, someone busted open eight different mailbox clusters and they still have not been fixed.
UNITED KINGDOM:Financial Times: Royal Mail is facing shrinking postal demand and overcapacity in parcels amid competition from Amazon. Lex's Oliver Ralph and Jonathan Eley discuss how the now fully privatised company is faring.