International News

June 23, 2017

COSTA RICA: Post&Parcel: Costa Rican delivery company Go Pato is reportedly set to launch a drone delivery service next week. According to a report published by The Costa Rica Star today (23 June), Go Pato has received the necessary authorization from Costa Rica’s Civil Aviation Direction and deliveries will start on Monday (26 June). Go Pato will start offering drone deliveries in Cartago, which is about 25km east of the capital San José, and then look to expand the service to other towns. Convenience stores AmPm and Fresh Market are reportedly among the businesses that will be participating in the drone service.

SWITZERLAND:  Post&Parcel:  Swiss Post has reported that it has “taken another step” in the structuring of its postal network. In a statement issued today (23 June), Swiss Post said: “After discussions with all the cantons there are already 3,854 access points available to customers across Switzerland. By 2020, there will be more than 4,200. Furthermore, additional services such as cash inpayments at the front door have been introduced and the range of services offered in the agencies has been expanded. In the long term, the postal network of the future will comprise between 800 and 900 traditional post offices."

June 22, 2017

CANADA: BarrieToday:  A Canadian postal bank, operating within the framework of a Crown corporation, would focus on providing services that are affordable for consumers, rather than profitable for the institution itself. For the individual, this could include many improvements such as reduced interest rates, easier access to loans, and fewer service charges. Another benefit often cited is improved accessibility. Unlike bank branches, post offices are already located throughout the country. These branches could easily be expanded to offer financial services to all Canadians, including those in our most remote corners. Several studies and experts predict that Canada Post would be able tap into the more than $35 billion in profits that Canada’s largest banks received last year. At a time when our postal service is striving to retain its relevance, this change would present a viable and affordable service to the Canadian public. 

FINLAND: YLE:  Finnish Parliament has approved a change to Finland's Postal Act which will permit the national postal service Posti to reduce mail deliveries to three times per week in some urban areas. The law change allows Posti to make exceptions to its previous requirement of five-days-per-week deliveries in urban areas where morning newspaper deliveries are carried out. Posti will, however, continue five-day-a-week mail deliveries in areas that aren't already served by newspaper delivery services - a stipulation that allows newspapers to continue to be delivered five days per week in most rural areas. Deliveries in rural locations will be carried out by outsourced services.

JAPAN: Post&Parcel:  Amazon Japan is reportedly looking to build up a network of independent couriers in the Tokyo region, in order to reduce its dependence on the major parcel delivery companies. In an article published today (22 June), Nikkei Asian Review said that Amazon was looking to build up “a team of 10,000 independent couriers in the Tokyo region by 2020″. Major parcel operator Yamato has reportedly found its network under strain from the pressure of meeting the voracious demand for same-day delivery from Amazon’s customers.

SWITZERLAND: Post&Parcel: Swiss Post has launched a new app – called My Local Services – which allows users to connect with local businesses, services and events in their municipality. Four municipalities from the Bienne region – including Bienne itself, Switzerland’s largest bilingual city – are participating in a pilot project which was launched yesterday (20 June). The new Swiss Post app “My Local Services” will make it possible to integrate services, information and offers of all kinds on a single platform and digitally link them to physical services.

June 21, 2017

GERMANY: Post&Parcel:  Deutsche Post subsidiary StreetScooter and Ford-Werke have entered into a partnership to manufacture large electric delivery vehicles. Deutsche Post DHL already produces the emission-free StreetScooter and now both partners are working on a larger vehicle type. The partnership is another step toward reducing emissions and creating new traffic solutions.  Production is scheduled to begin in July, with at least 2,500 vehicles supporting Deutsche Post’s urban delivery activities by the end of 2018, making this joint project the largest manufacturer of battery-electric medium-duty delivery vehicles in Europe. In addition to the new assembly line, the manufacture of current StreetScooter models will be significantly expanded. StreetScooter is planning to manufacture 20,000 units per year of its small electrical delivery van, in different versions in Aachen and North Rhine-Westphalia in Germany.

MALTA:  Post&Parcel: MaltaPost has launched a parcel locker solution, enabling its customers to pick up their online shopping at any time from various locations around the islands of Malta and Gozo.Online shoppers can use an Easipik address as their delivery address of choice when buying from online stores. When the parcel arrives in Malta and is processed for delivery, this is immediately forwarded to the most recent Easipik parcel locker chosen by the client. Customers will receive an SMS message with a security code, which will enable them to pick up their items.

UNITED KINGDOM: Post&Parcel: Two in three online shoppers (69%) in the UK have had parcels lost, damaged or delivered late in the last year, according to new research by Citizens Advice – a UK-based non-profit organization that provides free, independent, confidential and impartial advice to the public. Citizens Advice says problems with late deliveries affect online shoppers the most – including those who paid for a premium service guaranteeing next day or a named day delivery. Other common issues include parcels being left in unsecure locations, such as bins, and unnecessary failed deliveries – where people waited at home for a parcel, only to receive a note saying they’d missed it. The research also found that half of consumers were unsure about who was responsible for the delivery of their parcel in the first place.

UNITED KINGDOM: Post&Parcel: A new report by Peoplevox, a provider of warehouse management systems (WMS) for the e-commerce industry, has found that 82% of businesses reported an increase in online sales in 2016, and that only 6% reported a decrease in orders compare to the previous year.  The 2017 E-Commerce Fulfilment Report found that, while many voiced concerns over increasing competition, Brexit and currency fluctuations, the majority (88%) expected a further increase in orders during 2017. Despite such positive results and the generally upbeat outlook for this year, only 53% of respondents said they were happy with their fulfilment and warehouse operations. Purchasing and forecasting was highlighted as the most common challenge overall with almost a quarter (24%) saying this was the one area requiring the most improvement in 2017. 

UNIVERSAL POSTAL UNION:  RFIDJournal: The Universal Postal Union (UPU), a specialized United Nations (UN) agency that coordinates postal policies among member nations, has issued a request for proposals for the procurement of ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) radio frequency identification equipment. The supplied RFID hardware must be capable of monitoring postal items in real time at the operational facilities where postal traffic is received and processed. 

June 20, 2017

CHINA: QuartzMedia:  Jingdong, or, China’s second-biggest e-commerce company after Alibaba, sent robots to deliver items for the first time yesterday (June 18), on the last day of a two-week-long shopping bonanza that recorded sales of around $17.6 billion, according to a spokesman with the company. Designed by JD, the white, four-wheeled droid can carry five packages at once and travel 20 km (12.4 miles) if fully charged. It can climb up a 25-degree incline and find the shortest route from warehouse to destination. Once it reaches its destination, the robot sends a text message to notify the recipient of the delivery. Users can accept the delivery through face-recognition technology or by using a code, according to China’s state broadcaster CCTV.

June 19, 2017

GHANA: PeaceFM: Patrons of the Ghana Post can now receive their letters within 2 days of postage. Those within Accra can even be received within 24 hours. The minister for communications, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful says the Ghana post will be revamped to keep up with modern technological trends. In times past, the postal system used to be the main medium of sending and receiving letters and parcels by individuals and organizations. The emergence of information and communication technology has however changed the tide. The postal service is now viewed as a slow option. This has affected income generation of the Ghana postal service, resulting in the closure of some of its offices such as that of Senya Bereku in the central region.

INDIA: Nyoooz: Following the Smart Postman project, 176 city postmen would be equipped with the smart Android phones and these will update information about the delivery of parcels and mails on a mobile application. With the emergence of new courier and postal private companies, the postal department was facing a tough competition. Charanjit Singh TejaTribune News ServiceAmritsar, June 18Postmen in the city would be equipped with GPS devices for the timely delivery of parcels and mails. With the help of the GPS-enabled mobile application, one can easily track letter or parcel on the department’s website. The postal department would update the tracking and delivery details on its website.

JAPAN: JapanTimes: Japan Post Holdings Co. said Monday it called off a plan to acquire Nomura Real Estate Holdings Inc. after the two companies apparently failed to agree a purchase price and other terms. The postal group said May 12 that it is “considering various possibilities on forming new capital and business alliances”, following reports that it was looking to buy a stake in Nomura Real Estate to both strengthen its real estate business and compensate for its sluggish mainstay mail operation. The move comes after Japan Post logged a group net loss of ¥28.98 billion ($260 million) for fiscal 2016, its first red ink since its privatization in 2007, due to a massive write-down of its Australian logistics arm, Toll Holdings Ltd., which it purchased in 2015.

UGANDA: AllAfrica: The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Postbank of Uganda (PBU) and Posta Uganda signed a grant agreement today aimed at expanding the role of postal networks in the delivery of remittances and access to financial inclusion across the country. Under the agreement, Postbank Uganda will leverage Posta Uganda's broad network of rural post offices to expand access to financial services for the rural population. The post offices will be equipped with modern digital and mobile technologies for remittance delivery and financial services transactions, and postal staff will receive specialized training. By March 2019, the project aims to increase the number of remittance recipients it serves by 50,000. In addition, it expects to provide remittance delivery services to 20,000 refugees as well as training in financial literacy.

UNIVERSAL POSTAL UNION: Post&Parcel: Universal Postal Union (UPU) Director General Bishar A. Hussein has highlighted how posts help more of the world’s citizens to participate in the economy. Hussein noted that several projects the UPU has launched recently are directed at improving inclusion, such as financial services, the Ecom@Africa e-commerce project, and .POST, a secure top-level domain being used by Posts to offer services such as web shops. “Our current primary focus is on the development of electronic commerce, financial services and diversification of products through innovation,” added Hussien. “All these address empowerment of communities through making access to basic economic services, including trade, achievable and affordable.” 

June 18, 2017

CHINA: Post&Parcel:  As Amazon continues to work on its plans for autonomous delivery vehicles and checkout-less supermarkets, a Swedish startup appears to have stolen a march on the retail giant. Working in association with Himalafy and Hefei University, Wheely has launched what it claims to be “the world’s first autonomous, staffless, mobile store”, which can “turn every parking space in the world into a potential new 24-hour store. The company said that it has been Beta testing  the Moby Mart in Shanghai and is “currently working with tech to make the Moby self-driving”. The Moby Mart will stock a range of grocery goods, and other consumables can also be ordered in advance online to be collected from the Moby Mart.

UNITED KINGDOM: Post&Parcel:  Whistl has become the first UK member of the Global Parcel Alliance (GPA) which has been launched at a ceremony in China. The GPA, which has been two years in development, is led by Chinese Courier YTO Express and includes 50 courier and parcel members from 25 countries. The aim the Alliance is to provide an international package service network covering the major global markets.

June 17, 2017

CANADA: Cantech: Retail juggernaut Amazon is poised to become its own delivery service, a move that could prove to be the final blow for Canada Post, which now relies more than ever on parcel delivery for its bread and butter. Once again, Amazon is showing the world that its ambitions are truly bottomless, having just announced the acquisition of U.S. grocery chain Whole Foods for $13.7 billion USD. Not happy with just owning its own online grocery store, Amazon Fresh delivery, the company is said to be interested in having bricks and mortar stores to further boost its online business by providing local distribution hubs for faster delivery. Which means big trouble up North for Canada Post, the crown corporation which is now fully dependent on parcel delivery — and on Amazon, its biggest customer— to stay afloat.

QATAR: MalaysiaDigest: The suspension of postal services with Qatar by United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain is a clear violation of the constitution and agreements of Universal Postal Union (UPU), said Qatar Postal Service Company (Q-Post) Chairman and Managing Director, Faleh Mohamed Al Naemi. In a statement to Qatar News Agency (QNA), Al Naemi said the constitution and agreements should be respected by all member states, adding that Q-Post has contacted the UPU Director General and briefed on the current situation. Q-Post also sent a written notice and called for urgent and bold actions needed to enforce the constitution and agreements of UPU, he added.

UNITED EMIRATES: TradeArabia: Abu Dhabi Quality and Conformity Council (QCC), the entity responsible for developing quality infrastructure in the emirate of Abu Dhabi, has signed a collaboration agreement with Emirates Post Group to verify the accuracy of legal measuring instruments used in its business operations in Abu Dhabi. Under its terms, QCC inspectors will collect samples of controlled product shipments handled by the Emirates Post Group and verify their compliance with the relevant quality and safety requirements before they enter the market. This helps the two parties identify products with potential risks and safety concerns, and prevent their circulation.

June 16, 2017

IRELAND: Post&Parcel: An Post plans to extend its financial offerings with the launch a new current account product. The roll-out for the new An Post Smart Account is starting this week at larger post offices and will be made available across the Irish post office network later this year. The Smart account will combine a MoneyBack feature, along with other facilities such as the Smart Account Wallet, a household budgeting tool.Account holders will be provided with a Smart Account Debit Card in partnership with MasterCard which is accepted across the full MasterCard network internationally, along with access to online payments and a Smart Account App.

KENYA: MediaMax: Hundreds of postal workers could soon lose their jobs if a report by the task force assigned to oversee transformation of Postal Corporation of Kenya is implemented. The team appointed by Ministry of ICT last year has advised the government to lay off workers at the corporation as part of a strategy to revamp operations of the parastatal. Mary Basweti-Nyachae who chaired the task force on rationalisation of posta in line with the market trends and emerging competition said the corporation’s staff compliment was bloated and needed to be downsized to make it more efficient.

KENYA:CapitalFM: Postal Corporation of Kenya and Huduma Centre have unveiled a Mobile-based postal service that allows consumers to use their mobile numbers as postal address, eliminating the need to have a physical P.O.Box. MPost will deliver Government documents like Identification Cards, NHIF and NSSF cards processed by Huduma Centres to any of the 622 post offices or at a location preferred by the user. MPost has so far signed up 31,000 subscribers during the one-year trial period in Kibera, with 1,300 mail delivered.

MALAWI: Mmegi: BotswanaPost has opened the fifth inter-postal money transfer corridor in Malawi as part of its effort to diversify its product and service offerings.The new money order transfer corridor will accord customers from Malawi and Botswana the chance to send and receive money hassle free.

QATAR: GulfTimes: Chairman and Managing Director of Qatar Postal Service Company (Q-Post) Faleh Mohamed al-Naemi has termed the suspension of postal services with Qatar by the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain as a clear violation of the constitution and agreements of Universal Postal Union (UPU), which should be respected by all member-states. He stressed that the suspension of these postal services with Qatar has had a significant impact on the daily life of millions of citizens and residents of Qatar, who have been unfairly targeted by the one-sided decision of stopping services. Q-Post chairman added that the UPU conventions and regulations consider countries which endorsed the UPU constitution as a single postal area for the exchange of parcels among themselves under the name of the UPU, adding that the freedom of transit is guaranteed throughout the territory of the union.

June 15, 2017

AZERBAIJAN: Azernews: Payment terminal e-GovPay with a currency exchange function will be installed in the service centers of – Shabaka Azerpost next month. The currency exchange terminals will function in the centers of Shabaka located in Yasamal, Khazar districts of Baku city, as well as in the General Post Office building. It will be possible to pay through the terminal for utility and communication services, Internet, etc. The main advantage of the new terminals will be the functions of accepting coins and giving change.

INDIA: TimesofIndia:  Over 24 postal employees from different districts gathered at the office of postmaster general of Bareilly region in solidarity with their counterparts who have been suspended and are facing departmental enquiry against them. The postal employees union – Sanyukt Sangharsh Samiti – alleged that senior officials took action against employees in an arbitrary manner without any substantial ground. The agitators said that the suspended employees have not been given reasons for suspension since five weeks. The union threatened to intensify their protest and interrupt postal services if the suspensions were not revoked.

SRI LANKA: DailyMirror: More than 300,000 mails had been jammed inside the Central Mail Exchange (CME) to date due to the 48- hour strike since Monday midnight, United Postal Trade Unions’ Front said today. However, Post Master General Rohana Abeyratne rejected the Union’s statements and told the Daily Mirror that the CME was dispatching mails at the end of each day. “A backlog of mails is not possible at CME as claimed by the TUs,” he said. Front’s President Chinthaka Bandara charged that though the country’s entire mail delivering and collection had come to a standstill, the Postal Department had not came forward to hold discussions to find solutions to their demands. 

ZIMBABWE: AllAfrica: Conrad Mwanawashe and Kudakwashe Mhundwa POST Offices, which boast an expansive network reaching out to even the very remote areas should tap into the $65 billion potential remittances and diversify their activities to accommodate the needs and preferences of the unbanked majority. As such, post offices should partner with central banks and develop financial inclusion strategies which will make them bigger players in the financial services sector, Information Communication Technology Postal and Courier Services Minister Supa Mandiwanzira has said. Africa alone is believed to have more than 30 million migrants with over $65 billion in potential remittances and Minister Mandiwanzira challenged the post offices to sweat their expansive network reaching out to even the very remote areas, as well as their ability to foster local and international business partnerships.

June 14, 2017

GERMANY: Reuters: German logistics group Deutsche Post DHL Group is expanding its foray into electric delivery vans, signing Ford Motor as a components supplier for a new line of larger vehicles. Deutsche Post initially developed an electric minivan dubbed Streetscooter for its own operations to avoid inner-city emissions after growth in online shopping resulted in increased parcel deliveries. But in April it took on carmakers by unveiling plans to step up production and sell to other delivery firms. For the larger van, Ford will supply vehicle technology based on the Transit model, with Deutsche Post keeping assembly, distribution and sales in-house, a Germany-based Ford spokesman told Reuters.

SRI LANKA: NewsFirst: The strike action launched by Postal Trade Unions Monday at midnight June 12 will conclude at midnight today June 14, said Postmaster Rohana Abeyrathne. The postmaster said letters have not piled up at the Colombo Central Post Exchange during the strike. According to the Postmaster, no letters have been collected, as all postal employees joined the strike action. Meanwhile, the Joint Postal Trade Union Alliance says that if proper solutions are not provided to their demands, the trade unions will launch a strike again.

TAJIKISTAN: GlobalVoices:  Tajikistan, a country with an atrocious state postal service, has shut down several international courier firms such as DHL, UPS, TNT, and Pony Express. The government says that the firms that have been working in the country for the bulk of its 25-year independence will now need licenses to operate. Last week the buildings of the companies in the capital Dushanbe were sealed off and their employees ordered to leave the premises, several local and international news agencies reported.

June 13, 2017

DENMARK: RT: Postal service PostNord has stopped delivering mail to a district in the Danish city of Odense, citing threats and harassment received by postal workers in that area. The halt has been criticized by local politicians. “We have decided to prioritise consideration for the safety of our staff above the very large inconvenience to many of our customers,” PostNord’s head of distribution, Michael Frølich, told Ritzau news agency, as cited by the Local. Two postal workers were threatened last week, and a PostNord car was broken into in the Vollsmose district of Odense. The incidents prompted the postal service to stop delivering letters, advertisements, and packages to local residents on Monday and Tuesday.Mail delivery is expected to resume on Wednesday, with Vollsmose citizens now having to pick up the parcels from the nearest post offices themselves.

AUSTRALIA: Post&Parcel: Australia Post postal delivery workers are trialing a new three-wheel electric delivery vehicle in Brisbane. The new e-vehicle, which will be operating in Coorparoo, Woolloongabba and East Brisbane over an eight week period, has three times the parcel carrying capacity of the current postal delivery motorbike and can hold up to 100 small parcels and 1,200 letters at a time. The pilot comes off the back of Australia Post announcing a $197m before-tax half-year profit – a result which the company said was “driven largely by a 5.7% volume growth in the parcels business and postal losses reduced to breakeven”.

AUSTRALIA: Post&Parcel:  E-commerce shipping solution provider ShipStation has launched an integration with the Australian parcel delivery service Sendle. The ShipStation-Sendle integration gives Australian e-commerce businesses access to the best in Australian domestic shipping, time-saving automation and customer support. ShipStation is integrated with the likes of eBay, Amazon, WooCommerce, Shopify, Squarespace, Opencart, Magento and BigCommerce — and now Sendle.

June 11, 2017

EUROPEAN UNION: Post&ParcelThe European Council has announced that it has agreed its position on the draft regulation for cross border parcel delivery services in the European Union.  In a statement issued on Friday (9 June), the Council said the intention is to make the services “more transparent and better monitored”.  The Council added: “Increased price transparency and more effective oversight should make the market more efficient and help bring down those tariffs which are not fully justified by objective factors such as wages or geographical distance.” As part of the Council’s general approach, the Commission will set up a website to display the cross-border delivery rates offered by delivery firms.

SINGAPORE: Post&Parcel: Singapore Post (SingPost) has announced a new initiative, called SmartPost, which brings together technologies such as near-field communication (NFC), radio frequency identification (RFID), digital imaging and electronic notifications. According to SingPost, SmartPost will raise quality and efficiency “across the entire postal operation: from collection to sorting, last mile delivery and quality assurance”. The first phase will focus on delivery of registered mail, SmartPac and other trackable postal items. Postmen will be issued smartphones loaded with a customised postal delivery app. Used with NFC and serialised code scanning, the app will help postmen keep track of deliveries made and generate real-time prompts of standard operating procedures. In addition to equipping postal delivery staff with smartphones, SingPost will be installing NFC tags on more than 50,000 delivery and collection points across the island.

SRI LANKA: DailyMirror: The Postal Department today issued a circular immediately cancelling the leaves of all its employees from June 13 to 14, soon after postal trade unions announced that they would launch a 48-hour countrywide token strike midnight today. Post Master General Rohana Abeyrathne told Daily Mirror that the circular was sent to all the offices across the country and that disciplinary action will be taken against those who neglect the administrative decision.

SRI LANKA: DailyMirror: 48-hour strike will be launched by employees of the United Postal Trade Union’s Front from midnight today. The trade union staged a protest outside the Postal Headquarters in Colombo today over a number of unresolved issues in the Postal Department. The protestors charged that the government was trying to handover several buildings which house postal offices in Nuwara Eliya, Galle and Kandy to an Indian company to build hotels. "These buildings have historical value but they are in grave danger today. Since the government has failed to take prompt action, we will go for a 48-hour token strike from midnight today. If the government comes up with solutions before midnight, we will not engage in the strike,” United Postal Trade Union’s Front President Chinthaka Bandara said.

June 9, 2017

AUSTRALIA: BankingTech: Australia Post is partnering with processor i2c to “expand and modernise” its digital payments offerings. Under the pact, the Australian postal service will use i2c’s Agile Processing platform to roll out enhanced digital functionality for its payments products, including the Load&Go GPR Visa card, along with gift, multi-currency travel and corporate incentive cards. Australia Post is one of several postal services across the globe that have moved into offering payments and financial services products, leveraging their established footprints and high levels of trust among consumers.

GERMANY: SupplyChainLogistics: Deutsche Post DHL has collaborated with Plug and Play to support the development of startups in mobility, supply chain and logistics. The partnership will engage in the development of early-to-growth stage technology startups.The program will work with a select group of startups that join the Plug and Play accelerator program, offering executive mentoring, technical expertise and potentially piloting startups' solutions within its own operations to support their development.

KENYA: Star: The Postal Corporation of Kenya, Posta, wants to increase letter sending tariffs by 43 per cent despite dwindling postage business.The state agency has written to the industry regulator Communications Authority of Kenya seeking approval to raise rates for sending domestic letters from Sh35 to Sh50 per letter. This rate was last revised five years ago, in 2012. In a request to CA, Posta cited increasing costs of doing business as the reason for the increment. Posta has been struggling to remain afloat in the advent of rise in technology use for communication. Revenue from postal and courier services has dropped by 36.7 per cent since 2011 to stand at Sh4.8 billion as at end of 2015/2016 financial year on June 30, 2016.

June 8, 2017

UNIVERSAL POSTAL UNION: MailOMG: The Universal Postal Union (UPU), is the primary forum for cooperation among national postal designated operators. Among other activities, it sets the rules for international mail exchanges with rules and regulations set out for Letter Mail and Parcel Post. The 192 member countries meet in a quadrennial Congress, most recently in Istanbul in October 2016, to set policy and direction for the UPU. At the Istanbul Congress, a proposal for an Integrated Product Plan was passed. This document will form the basis of changes to the regulations for international letter mail, beginning in January 2018. The changes will apply to mail to and from the United States, but any UPU actions requiring changes to USPS mailing requirements are reviewed and implemented according to US laws and procedures. Domestic mail is not affected by UPU regulations. But the changes are substantial and any mailer sending items internationally needs to be aware of what’s coming.

CANADA: MastHeadOnlineCanada Post has introduced Postal Code Targeting. This new Canada Post Smartmail Marketing program allows marketers to directly connect with their receptive audience with more precise reach. You can now mail directly by postal code targeting.  Postal Code Targeting can be applied to geographic, demographic and lifestyle criteria to selected postal codes. Digital printing  with variable print capabilities will possibly benefit the most from Postal Code Targeting.

JAPAN: AsiaNikkei:  Japan Post Holdings aims to sell more mutual funds by offering investment advice and opening sales windows at post offices across the country. The postal service operator aims to shift the focus of its business from deposits to investments, thereby generating more transaction fees. According to the plan released Wednesday, the number of post offices selling mutual funds will grow by 100 this fiscal year from 1,315 currently. Those offering advice on investments will balloon 20-fold to nearly 16,700 locations after July 10. These advising sites will provide customers with information on asset formation and guidance on planning their financial future.

UNITED EMIRATES: GulfNewsEmirates Post Group, upon instructions of the Government of the United Arab Emirates, has suspended all postal services to Qatar in all its postal offices in the UAE from June 6, 2017, and will remain so until further notice. This decision also includes advising all customers that apart from temporarily stopping the delivery of mail items to the State of Qatar, all undelivered items will also be returned with corresponding postal fees according to the procedures and regulations.

June 7, 2017

CANADA: CalgaryHeraldMembers of the Canadian Union of Postal Services walked the streets of Calgary on Saturday — not to deliver the mail — but to make the case for the return of door-to-door service. The postal service began converting to community mailboxes in 2015 under the watch of the previous federal Conservative government. Nearly 900,000 Canadian households were converted by the time Canada Post froze the program when the Liberals took office in 2015. Union representative Suzie Moore said 110 people in Calgary lost their jobs due to the service change. The door-to-door postal service also tends to be the eyes and ears of the community, Moore said. The service has even helped save people’s lives, she added.  Last December, a House of Commons committee recommended Canada Post come up with a plan to reinstate door-to-door delivery in parts of the country that lost the service in the past year and maintain a freeze on the installation of community mailboxes.The committee said at the time that 830,000 addresses had been moved to community mailboxes to date, resulting in an annual savings of $80 million.

June 6, 2017

CANADA: Post&ParcelInternational: Canada Post and PayPal Canada have unveiled a new integrated payment and shipping solution for solopreneurs, small businesses and casual sellers. The solution means online sellers can track their orders, print shipping labels and pay for shipping using their PayPal account. This new functionality automatically sends tracking information and delivery confirmation alerts to both the seller and the customer once a shipping label is created. Users can also schedule a parcel pick-up from Canada Post. The collaboration aims to make e-commerce more easily accessible for entrepreneurs and small businesses, including 83% of Canadian small and mid-sizes businesses that currently do not sell online, according to PayPal Canada research.

CANADA: CalvaryCTVNews: People who purchase products online have likely experienced long shipping delays on packages from overseas and for many it can be frustrating trying to track down the merchandise. CTV Calgary’s Consumer Specialist Lea Williams-Doherty looked into the delivery delays and found out that the holdup is here in Canada. Jurgen Kraus has ordered electronics from Asia for years and says that since last fall, packages that used to take one month now take up to five. Kraus learned of a Russian website that somehow accesses Canada Post’s international tracking numbers, which customers aren't given, and managed to trace several parcels. He says in every case, his packages arrived in Canada within two weeks and then sat at either Canada Post or Canada Border Services Agency for months.

COLUMBIA: Post&ParcelInternational:  UPS has opened its new 76,000ft² healthcare-dedicated facility in Colombia, the company’s latest investment in healthcare logistics. The multi-client facility is equipped with the newest technology for storing temperature-sensitive healthcare products. The building offers distribution services, warehouse management, and late-stage customization solutions such as labeling, product kitting and configuration, and repackaging. The Colombia facility features sorting, processing and data capture technology available through UPS’s validated warehouse management system, providing customers full inventory visibility, standardized processing and reporting. Customers will also have access to UPS’s global transportation technology network for complete control of their supply chains.

ISRAEL: GlobesIT:  Israel Postal Company survey: 82% of Jewish adults in Israel buy from foreign websites. Figures published today by the Israel Postal Company show that the company delivered 52 million parcels in 2016, and the number is expected to rise to 59 million in 2017 and 100 million in 2020, depending on growth in Internet shopping. The survey reported that the most popular overseas website was Chinese website AliExpress, followed by eBay, UK fashion website Next, Amazon, and Asos. The most popular Israeli websites were Groupon and WallaShops.

KOREA: Post&ParcelInternational: DHL Express Korea is to launch its first DHL Mobile Service Station (MSS), a vehicle fully equipped to handle shipment processing on the move. The MSS has an electronic weight, label printer and video image transmitting scanner, all of which is linked up to the DHL operations network. The registration system enables the MSS to head directly to the airport for shipment export, without the need to stop off at DHL service centers. The MSS could benefit many exporting companies, which can now have more time to prepare shipments for same-day connectivity due to DHL’s extended pick-up cut-off time. The MSS also has the capacity to process up to 300 shipments daily.

June 5, 2017

CANADA: CtvNews: The union representing postal workers wants Canada Post to release the number of community mailboxes that have been broken into across the country. Mike Palecek, national president of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, said he's frustrated by the Crown corporation's unwillingness to share how frequently mail theft occurs. The union has campaigned for the restoration of door-to-door service since the former Conservative government announced in 2013 it would be cutting the service. The Liberals campaigned in the last federal election to restore home delivery, and the results of a review into the future of Canada Post are expected to be released later this year. Canada Post spokesman Jon Hamilton disputed the union's claims, saying there are only 1,000 townhomes in Richmond that are without postal service, and none of them receive mail via community mailboxes.

MALAYSIA: Post&Parcel: Pos Malaysia has been promoting its new Pos Laju EziBox service, which enables customers to pick up their parcels free of charge at 24/7 parcel lockers. The service is primarily designed as an alternative means of getting parcels to customers who missed a home delivery. Customers receive an SMS notifying them to collect their parcel at a PosLaju EziBox within 48 hours, along with a secure one-time PIN number that they use to open the lockers.

SINGAPORE: SamarNews: The Department of Trade and Industry’s Philippine Trade and Investment Center (PTIC) in Singapore is working closely with four Filipinos from Cebu who are presently based in Singapore, to officially introduce Geopik, an app that will revolutionize the postal system in the Philippines. Geopik converts long addresses or the absence of house numbers which is common in the Philippines, into more exact, customizable and easy-to-remember single codes. The app reduces the hassle brought by additional information to the actual address such as “house with blue gate, in front of a mango tree” by simply converting addresses to simple digital codes.

June 2, 2017

CHINA: Reuters:  China's postal authority has asked SF Holding Co and Alibaba Holding Group Ltd's logistics unit, two of the nation's top logistics players, to end a spat that disrupted deliveries when the two firms abruptly cut ties on Thursday. SF is one of several top logistics firms that have a strategic partnership with Alibaba's Cainiao Network, which supports an app that allows users to track and pay for deliveries and links directly to Alibaba's top e-commerce platform Taobao. The firms severed a data sharing agreement on Thursday following SF's claims the Alibaba unit had requested user data not related to the current partnership, a claim Cainiao denies.The State Post Bureau said agricultural shipments were among those affected, including deliveries of fresh fruit. On Thursday Cainiao urged users and merchants to select alternative logistics firms.

June 1, 2017

FINLAND: Post&ParcelPosti’s new “delivery day reform” programme is being rolled across parts of Finland this summer, and will take effect for the whole of the country from 18 July.  Explaining how the new system will work, Posti said: “Mail will still be delivered five to seven days a week, depending on the services that the sending customers have purchased from Posti. “The number of delivery days will not change in the reform, though there will be less mail to be delivered on Tuesdays. “Some newspapers, along with parcels, express letters and laboratory items, will still be delivered on Tuesdays. There will be no changes to the early morning delivery for newspapers. Items requiring signature and parcels to be picked up from service points can be picked up from Posti outlets. For Corporate Postal Code customers, items will be also be delivered on Tuesdays. “Universal service letters posted on Mondays will primarily be delivered on Wednesdays. Posti will pick letters and parcels normally on Tuesdays.”

HONG KONG: Post&ParcelFedEx Express has launched a self-service locker network across 35 locations in Hong Kong. The system is powered by PCCW Solutions’ digital logistics platform. Anthony Leung, managing director, FedEx Express, Hong Kong and Macau, commented: “FedEx has a culture of innovation that drives us to pioneer new solutions and address customers’ evolving needs. “The introduction of the new self-collection service to strengthen our last-mile delivery capability is a testament to that.”

IRELAND: IrishTimesAn Post has confirmed its local delivery staff do not use the State’s new Eircode system developed at a cost of €38 million. This is despite the fact that An Post franks letters with a reminder to its customers to use the Eircode system.  The issue was raised by Fianna Fáil spokesman on communications Timmy Dooley who said it was “simply inconceivable that An Post, despite promoting the use of Eircodes, do not make use of them when delivering post”. In response, An Post said its customers were “strongly” advised to use Eircode when posting mail and for Eircode to be integrated as part of a postal address.

POLAND: CPExecutiveUPS has expanded its footprint in Europe by investing in a new distribution facility in MysÅ‚owice, Poland. The 118,403-square-foot package center will replace the company’s former 34,229-square-foot sorting facility in Katowice. Poland is an important market for UPS and in the first quarter of this year we grew our export volume by more than 20 percent,” said Pavel Adamovsky, manager with UPS Poland, in prepared remarks. “This investment demonstrates our long-standing commitment to helping our customers in Poland grow and connect to markets all over the world.”

UNITED KINGDOM: Post&Parcel:  Supermarket Tesco has been the testing the use of Starship Technologies’ delivery robots in London. Commenting on the tests, Tesco said: “We are always looking at new ways to improve the shopping experience for our customers. “We carried out a one-off trial as part of our Tesco Now initiative in partnership with a technology company. We learnt a great deal from this trial and we’ll be reviewing feedback before deciding our next steps.” The “Tesco Now” initiative is the new one-hour delivery service that the supermarket giant is rolling out in London – and which has been seen as response to Amazon’s Prime Now offering.