International News

August 23

ROMANIA: RomanianInsider: The Romanian Post has launched a tender to purchase services for sending text messages (SMS) to customers who use postal services and need to be informed about the postal items’ date and time of delivery, as well as about the amount to be paid upon receipt. announced earlier this month that the Romanian Post also wants to introduce payment by card at its offices next year. The first POS systems will be installed in postal offices located in urban areas.

UNITED KINGDOM: DailyMail: If you receive post in London this month, there's a good chance it arrived to your door via an electric postal truck. Royal Mail is trialling nine British-made fully electric commercial vehicles this month, transporting packages between mail and distribution centres in the capital.The firm hopes that the trial will increase Royal Mail's efficiency, and reduce vehicle emissions.The trucks are 'autonomous-ready', which suggests that Royal Mail deliveries could one day be made by driverless vehicles.

August 22

AUSTRALIA: Post&Parcel: Australia Post has teamed up with Alpha Payments Cloud to launch an integrated commerce platform. In a statement issued last week, Alpha Payments Cloud said that AlphaCommerceHub (ACH) “aims to transform the Australian digital commerce industry by providing vendors with the opportunity to expose their solutions instantly to thousands of Australian merchants as well as Payment Service Providers (PSPs), helping to evolve PSPs into vendor enablement platforms”.

NEW ZEALAND: FutureFive: New Zealand Post announced that it is partnering with Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) to accelerate the uptake of electric vehicles in New Zealand. With assistance from EECA’s Low Emission Vehicles Contestable Fund, New Zealand Post will purchase five electric vans and assess their suitability for use in the courier fleet. The new vehicles will allow courier drivers to see for themselves what it is like to drive an electric van so that they can consider purchasing or leasing their own. The vans will be used at courier depots and delivery branches at different locations around the country.

THAILAND: Post&Parcel: Thailand Post has announced plans to develop a logistics hub for the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) project in Chonburi province. According to local sources, the national postal operator is focusing on ways to foster more e-commerce growth in Thailand – by developing e-marketplaces and ramping up its delivery channels for online sellers. The company is also reportedly looking to develop e-payment gateways to support the use of digital wallets.In addition, Thailand Post is using “Smart postboxes” that can be used to deliver tourist information, in addition to their standard postal duties. 

August 21

INDIA: NewIndianExpress: A postal employees union has threatened to go on a one-day strike on August 23 to protest against non-implementation of benefits suggested by a panel. The National Federation of Postal Employees (NFPE), which represents around 4 lakh staff, has called for nationwide strike on August 23 to press for implementation of benefits suggested by the Gramin Dak Sevaks committee report, the federation's secretary general, R N Parashar, told PTI. There are over 1.55 lakh post offices, including 1.3 lakh rural post offices. There are around 2.7 lakh GDS who handle operations such as money remittances, delivery of Aadhaar and MGNREGA payments in rural post offices, an AIGDSU official said. "GDS handle 89 per cent of postal services and generate 60-70 per cent of total revenue for Department of Posts but we get only 15-20 per cent of share in the expenses. The salary of GDS is very low. We want the government to implement committee report without any delay," AIGDSU General Secretary S S Mahadevaiah said.

August 19

INDIA: TheHindu: Urging the Central Government to implement the recommendations of Kamlesh Chandra Committee report, members of Central Rural Postal Employees Association, who were on strike for the third consecutive day, staged a protest outside the post office in Bhavani here on Friday. The one-man committee has recommended a new wage payment system replacing the existing system and increasing the ex-gratia gratuity among others. Protesters demanded eight-hours of work, pension system, and wages in par with other employees of postal department and others. About 380 workers of 189 Gramin Dak Sevaks in the district were on strike from Wednesday seeking fulfilment of their demands. 

August 18

THAILAND: NationMultimedia: Thailand Post expects to generate Bt26 billion in revenue by the end of this year, with future growth to be supported by plans to set up a logistics hub in Chon Buri province to serve demand in the emerging Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC). The postal operator also aims to invest Bt7 billion on infrastructure that will help improve its operational processes and, in turn, lead to better services. For the first half of this year, it achieved revenue at Bt13.4 billion, up 18 per cent on the same period in last year. It booked net profit of Bt1.97 billion in the first six months. The biggest contributor to revenue in the first half was the transport and logistics sector, with the Bt6 billion take accounting for 42 per cent of the share.

August 17

AUSTRALIA: Post&Parcel: Australia Post has announced that it will introduce its newly developed Digital iD technology across a range of companies and government departments, offering Australians a more convenient way to verify their identity online and access important services. Digital iD allows people to verify their identity information once, so they can then easily prove who they are online and in person through the platform’s smartphone app. This removes the need for Australians to repeatedly use several forms of identity to prove who they are or have numerous passwords to access products and services. According to Australia Post research, existing identity verification processes were time consuming and cost the Australian economy up to A$11bn (US$8.6bn) a year.

GERMANY: Post&Parcel: Deutsche Post DHL Group and Ford have presented their first jointly produced electric delivery van, called the StreetScooter WORK XL. The vehicle is based on a Ford Transit chassis fitted with a battery-electric drivetrain and a body designed and built to DHL specifications. DHL plans to build 150 WORK XL vans this year at its StreetScooter plant in Aachen, Germany. The operator will use the e-vans to support its urban parcel delivery service in Germany. Deutsche Post DHL Group, StreetScooter and Ford plan to build 2,500 e-vans by the end of 2018. Like StreetScooter’s existing electric models, the WORK and WORK L, the WORK XL could be also sold to third-party customers. Each WORK XL van has the potential to save around five tons of CO₂ and 1,900 liters of diesel fuel each year. With 2,500 vehicles in service as planned, this could result in a total saving of 12,500 tons of CO₂ and 4.75 million liters of fuel every year.

INDIA: TheHindu: Members of All India Gramin Dak Sevak Union (AIGDSU), Vellore division, launched an indefinite strike on Wednesday to press for their demands including regularisation of jobs. According to S. Moorthy, president of the union’s Vellore division, there are 280 rural postal employees in the division. “We have been fighting for our rights for several decades. We do the same work as that of a postman in a Head Post Office or sub-office in rural areas. But we are paid less and do not get pension after retirement as we are not permanent employees,” he said. He pointed out that the rural employees constituted 80% of the postal staff strength.

TANZANIA: AllAfrica: The Deputy Minister of Works, Transport and Communication Mr Edwin Ngonyani has called on the Tanzania Postal Corporation (TPC) to upgrade its salary scales and motivate staff with better pay. According to a statement from the ministry, the minister also called upon TPS staff to work hard and increase the corporation's income. He advised the corporation to expand its network to the Southern highlands and the Lake Zone regions because their services in the areas have been shaky.

August 16

NEW ZEALAND: NZHerald: New Zealand Post has scrapped its FastPost service as the number of letters being sent continues to significantly decline, the national postal service says. FastPost, which aimed to deliver letters, documents and postcards between major New Zealand centres within one business day, will stop being available from next January. "New Zealand Post is making this change following a review of its priority mail network," the organisation said in a statement. "The amount of all letter volumes continues to decline significantly, at a rate of approximately 60 million items a year, and despite ongoing cost reductions this change is necessary." 

UNITED KINGDOM: FT:  Royal Mail has been set a September deadline by a trade union to resolve a simmering dispute over pension reform — or face industrial action. The Communication Workers Union said it would give the privatised postal operator until September 6 to reach a settlement over a thorny issue that has soured industrial relations at the FTSE 100 group. Royal Mail wants to replace its defined benefit pension scheme, which guarantees a level of income in retirement, with a less generous arrangement. The company currently pays about £400m a year into the pension pot, but says that could more than double to above £1bn if no changes are made. Royal Mail said it was “committed” to continuing negotiations with the CWU on pay and pensions.

August 14

UNITED KINGDOM: TameBay: This week it’s possible that Royal Mail workers who belong to the CWU may move one step closer to strike action. CWU Deputy General Secretary Terry Pullinger has given a deadline of the 15th of August for the Union and the Royal Mail to agree some firm principles in talks, otherwise the Postal Executive of the Union will consider setting a timetable for industrial action. The Union are call for their ‘Four Pillars’ which are: A pension solution for all; a shorter working week; extending legal protections; and a redesigned operational pipeline. On Pensions Royal Mail have had one of the best pensions going but in today’s world it’s increasingly unrealistic for a “wage in retirement” which is what the CWU want to remain in place. Most pensions are now a contribution scheme and it’s up to the person retiring to decide if they want a lump sum and which annuity provider they choose to provide their retirement income. This is a major sticking point for the union.

August 13

NEW ZEALAND: RadioNZ: The Postal Workers Union is calling on New Zealand Post to stop recording audio on the cameras it installs in new postal vehicles. The new electric postal vehicles have a forward-facing camera on the dashboard for security, which tracks the postie's GPS and automatically records both video and audio any time the vehicles is turned on. The union agrees the cameras should be used for safety purposes but argues that audio is a step too far. New Zealand Post has refused the union's request to stop all audio recordings until any potential privacy issues can be figured out with the Privacy Commission.

August 11

INDIA: Post&Parcel: DHL eCommerce has announced it is opening of a new distribution centere in Delhi, as part of Deutsche Post DHL Group’s plans to invest over €250m in India by 2020. In a statement issued yesterday (10 August), Malcolm Monteiro, CEO, DHL eCommerce Asia Pacific, said: “India is one of the top ten e-commerce markets and the fastest-growing globally with e-commerce expected to grow at a CAGR of 31% to reach €2bn by 2020.

NIGERIA: Guardian: The Minister of Communications, Abdur-Raheem Adebayo Shittu, has called on the National Assembly to expedite action in deliberating, and subsequently passing the Postal Reform Bill, and other related bills pending before it, aiming at restructuring the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST). Shittu made the urgent call while launching two documents: Restructuring and Modernising Nigerian Postal Service, and NIPOST Vision 2020, and inaugurating a steering committee for NIPOST reform in his office on Monday. He said Government needed the collaboration and synergy of the lawmakers to deliver on its campaign promises to Nigerians by expediting actions on bills targeted at social reformation of the Nigerian society, one of which is the services provided by NIPOST.

UNITED KINGDOM: WarehouseNews: Employee-owned company Kite Packaging are specialists in supplying packaging to a broad cross-section of different industries. The newest product in the Kite range is corrugated triangular postal tubes. Delivered flat packed and easy to assemble these tubes are a great alternative to traditional round postal tubes. The unique design of the all-in-one solution makes them hugely popular with companies despatching goods through the courier and parcel delivery networks. The triangular design ensures the tubes do not roll on courier sortation conveyors. Courier despatch labels can be applied to one flat surface of the tube, guaranteeing they can pass through sortation scanners without any issues.

August 10

GERMANY: Post&Parcel: Deutsche Post DHL Group has announced that its revenue for the second quarter (Q2) increased by 4.4% to €14.8bn and operating profit was up 11.8% at €841m. In a statement issued today, the group said that its international parcel and eCommerce business and “the global Express business in particular” drove the growth. Revenue in the Post – eCommerce – Parcel (PeP) division was up 4.8% to €4.3bn. This was primarily attributable to the eCommerce – Parcel business unit, whose  revenue increasing by 13.6% to €2.0bn. Parcel Europe (+61.5%) and eCommerce (+15.1%) were the main drivers behind this growth. In the Post business unit, revenue was down 1.8% to €2.3bn due to structural volume declines, mainly in the area of Mail Communication. The Express division saw revenues increase by 8.7% to €3.8bn. This was supported by an 8.5% increase in daily volumes in the international time-definite (TDI) delivery business.

SOUTH AFRICA: Post&Parcel: The trade-only airfreight and express wholesaler AMI has announced the South African launch of its all-inclusive online service, click2ship Express Imports. The new service is the imports counterpart of click2ship Express Exports, which was launched in South Africa in 2014. click2ship Express Imports provides online quotes and bookings for imports from any location in the world. Prices include collection at origin, Customs export entries, freight, Customs clearance on arrival, and local delivery from airport to agent or consignee. The new service is aimed both at freight agents at point of origin, and those in South Africa.

UKRAINE: BBC: Ukraine's national postal service has been hit by a two-day-long cyber-attack targeting its online system that tracks parcels.Unknown hackers carried out a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack against Ukrposhta's website.The attack began on Monday morning, but ended shortly after 21:00 local time (1900 BST). However, Ukrposhta reported on Facebook that the DDoS attack continued again on Tuesday. This is not the first time that Ukraine's postal service has been targeted this year - in June, Ukrposhta was hit by the NotPetya ransomware attacks, as part of a wider national attack on Ukrainian banks, the state power provider, television stations and public transport services.

August 9

UNIVERSAL POSTAL UNION: ThePeninsulaQatar: Minister of Transport and Communications H E Jassim bin Saif Al Sulaiti met yesterday with Bishar Hussein, Director-General of the Universal Postal Union (UPU), in response to the complaint the State of Qatar had submitted to the UPU about blockading countries’ infringements on the UPU Constitution and General Regulations, which are the first of their kind in the world and a dangerous precedent to the UPU conventions. The two officials discussed blockading countries’ violations of UPU systems, particularly Article 4 of UPU conventions relating to freedom of transit of postal items. The meeting also emphasised the postal correspondences is a human right and delivering them to their destinations is a social matter. The meeting also reviewed cooperation in the field of post and means of furthering enhancing and developing them, as well as boosting relations between Qatar and the UPU.

CHINA: Post&Parcel:UPS has appointed Harld Peters as the new President of UPS China.A UPS veteran with 18 years of logistics experience, Peters will be responsible for leading strategic initiatives across UPS’s package delivery and supply chain operations in China.Peters succeeds Richard Loi, who will be retiring after 26 years of dedicated service with UPS.

DENMARK: Post&Parcel: REJA’s capabilities have enabled Europa to increase its daily Danish services. The route, which previously ran one way for exports, will now operate in both directions every day between Copenhagen and Denmark’s second largest city, Aarhus, and Europa’s £30m groupage facility, 1hub, in Dartford. Europa said that the new daily routes, paired with a competitive pricing strategy and efficient service, help to further expand Europa’s European footprint and “realise its ambition to become market leader between the UK and the continent by 2018”.

NETHERLANDS: Post&Parcel: PostNL has introduced its new ‘Delivery by appointment’ service. PostNL said that the new service means that “the consumer can directly determine when their online order is to be delivered by PostNL, at the moment they purchase it”. The postal operator explained the reasoning behind the new offering: “If consumers can choose the delivery time themselves, this increases the chance of them making their purchase in an online shop in preference to a physical shop. Using the delivery option ‘Delivery by appointment’, the consumer chooses the day and two-hour time slot during which PostNL will deliver the parcel. This service offers everyone the opportunity to plan for themselves when they will receive their parcel.”

SLOVAKIA: Spectator: Slovakia’s main postal service operator, Slovenská Pošta, is likely to buy shares in Swan Mobile, which runs the smallest mobile provider in the country: Štvorka (or 4ka). It plans to pay €1 million for the stock, the Sme daily reported. 4ka has had an exclusive place in post offices in Slovakia since it launched its services in 2015, with Slovenská Pošta taking commissions from sales. The agreement on cooperation signed by the company’s previous management states that it also has the right to obtain 10-percent stock in Swan Mobile.

August 8

UKRAINE: IBTimes: The computer networks of Ukrposhta, the national postal service in Ukraine, have reportedly been disrupted by a two-day distributed-denial-of-service (DDoS) cyberattack. According to the Interfax news agency, the computer systems targeted by the unknown hackers are linked to the tracking of customer parcels. It is believed that the attack started on the morning of Monday 7 August and, despite a brief period of respite, continued into the next day. In an update on its Facebook page on Tuesday 8 August, a spokesperson said: "Today, hackers have become more active, due to their actions, both the website and services are working slowly and with interruptions". Officials have stressed that technicians are currently working on the issues, hoping to restore service soon.

GERMANY: AutomotiveNews: Deutsche Post DHL Group is seeing increased interest in its new electric delivery van after a debate on diesel emissions has gathered pace in Germany.The group is producing and selling its own electric delivery vans, known as Streetscooter and in June said it was teaming up with Ford Motor Co. as a components supplier for a new line of larger vehicles. The move to sell to external customers has taken on new significance given the debate over diesel and gasoline engines in Germany, with politicians and car bosses last week agreeing measures to cut pollution and repair the car industry's battered reputation.

August 5

SWITZERLAND: Switzerland’s CHF15.8bn (€14.7bn) pension fund for postal employees has joined several of its compatriot Pensionskassen in the mortgage lending business in a bid to obtain more yield.It described mortgages as an “interesting alternative to bonds”. Andres Haueter, head of investment management at Pensionskasse Post (PK Post), said:  “The yield is significantly higher than traditional investments and risk is limited because of the claim on the property.”

August 4

INDIA: TheHindu: The Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) recently found that smugglers are using the postal service to sell parts of endangered animals. They stumbled upon feathers of the grey jungle fowl being smuggled out by the hundreds. These feathers with eyespots are used as fishing lures and were being sent to certain European countries. Earlier this year, another case came to light: Pangolin scales were smuggled to Southeast Asian countries, using the services of India Post.  WCCB representatives and the Border Security Force took stock of their preparedness to check turtle smuggling for which West Bengal is a transit route. During last winter, over 15,000 turtles were seized from West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh.

ITALY: Post&Parcel: Poste Italiane has reported an increase in both revenues and profits for the first half (H1) of 2017, with consolidated revenues up 2% to €18bn and operating profits up 0.5% to €847m. Net profit, however, down 9.7% to €510m. The Postal and Business Services division posted market revenues of €1.8bn (which was down 3.8%) and total revenues of €4.27bn (down 1.4%).Poste Italiane commented: “The fall in market revenues from mail volumes (-6.7% compared with the first half of 2016), is linked to the expected drop in the volume of postal products (-9.6%), though smaller than the 2016 trend compared with the same period of 2015 (-10.3%). “Combating the slide in revenues, besides the new tariffs and the development of the parcels segment, are the measures taken to improve the quality of traditional postal services and the efficiency of the related operating processes.” The bright spot of the division was the Parcel Segment which handled 55m parcels in H1, up 19.6% on last year.

NETHERLANDS: Post&Parcel: DHL Express has extended its “City Hub” concept for environmentally-friendly inner-city deliveries to The Hague, Netherlands with a new pilot involving electric vehicles. This pilot will also see the first deployment of Deutsche Post DHL Group’s StreetScooter electric delivery van in the global DHL Express delivery network. The pilots in these cities combined the use of a DHL “Cubicycle” – a cargo bicycle that can carry a specialized container with a load of up to 125kg – with a customized trailer carrying up to four containers. A DHL van brings the trailer into the city centre, where the containers are then loaded on to Cubicycles for delivery over the last mile. The standardized containers used in the City Hub concept match the dimensions of a standard shipping pallet and can be transferred more easily and quickly between the different modes of transport within the DHL Express network. While the initial pilot in The Hague will involve electric vehicles, the company is also planning to add Cubicycles at a later date to support deliveries over shorter distances or routes with heavier congestion.

SIGNAPORE: StraitsTimes:  Singapore Post reported on Friday (Aug 4) a 13.6 per cent drop in first-quarter net profit to S$31 million from S$35.9 million in the year-ago period.  This was despite a 6.2 per cent year-on-year rise in revenue for the three months to end-June to S$354.1 million from growth in its postal and logistics businesses. But SingPost said underlying net profit fell 24.7 per cent, due mainly to lower domestic mail volumes, costs from planned investments, increased competition in the logistics segment, and associates that were investing for growth. SingPost said strong international mail growth drove postal revenue to a 9.3 per cent increase, even as domestic mail revenue decreased with more organisations moving to electronic statements.

UNITED KINGDOM: Post&Parcel: In its latest Communications Market Report, published today (3 August), the UK regulator Ofcom has noted that although the total addressed letters volumes fell by 4% between 2015 and 2016 to 11.8bn items, nearly nine in ten people (88%) said that they value the option to be able to use the postal service.  Ofcom said that the decline in letter volumes “was driven by a 9% decline in Royal Mail’s end-to end letter volume, to 4.7bn items, which accounted for 40% of total letter volumes in 2016″. And, as one would expect, the postal service was most prized by the older generation. Around 82% of 16-24s said they valued being able to use the post, and this rose to 85% among 25-44s; 91% from the 45-64s; 93% for the 65-74s and 97% among the over 75s.

UNITED KINGDOM: Post&ParcelA Clean Vehicle Retrofit Accreditation Scheme (CVRAS) is being launched in the UK today (3 August). By providing a single standard that shows an emission technology meets standards set out in the UK government’s Clean Air Zone Framework for England, the scheme will enable the existing fleet of urban vehicles to be fitted with proven emission control solutions. The scheme will initially focus on buses, but will then extend rapidly to a wide range of vehicles. Andy Eastlake, LowCVP’s Managing Director, added: “The most effective retrofit technologies can cut polluting emissions by over 95%. But it is critical that these systems are properly calibrated and matched to the vehicle and its operation and that we have a common and robust approval system. “By making sure that we fit a range of the most appropriate technologies to the right vehicles, retrofitting can make a very significant, immediate impact on our air quality problems, supporting the complementary strategy to adopt new vehicles as quickly as economically viable.

August 2

NIGERIA: PremiumTimes: Preparatory to the take-off of the electronic commerce system in the country, the Nigeria Post & Telecommunications service, NIPOST, says it was adopting a system that would improve the delivery of its services. The “what3words address” is an innovative global addressing system designed to help the postal service increase the number of homes it is capable of delivering to. The NIPOST said in a statement on Wednesday that Nigeria was the seventh country, and the third in Africa to adopt the system, already in use for mail deliveries in Mongolia, Saint Maarten, Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Tonga and Solomon Islands. Reputed to be Africa’s largest economy with over 180 million people, Nigeria is noted to have a poor addressing system that allows only 20 per cent of its inhabitants to receive their mails at home while only about 478,000 boxes are available in the post offices. To redress the situation and improve its services, NIPOST said it had set a target to raise its own home delivery services to over 70 per cent within the next two years.

SAUDI ARABIA: Aliyardh: The Albareed Al-Mumtaz Company, a subsidiary of Saudi Post, has launched a new postal service between Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam, which will deliver shipments within 24 hours. The new service, called "Tomorrow", was launched in the presence of the Saudi Post Chairman. It comes in line with the Post's new strategy aimed at providing outstanding services to customers. The Saudi Post Board of Directors has adopted a modern strategy to expand postal and non-postal operations of the express mail. It further seeks to enhance services in rapid transportation between the Kingdom's major cities, and develop its e-commerce and e-government applications.

August 1

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES: Post&Parcel: Eniverse Technologies, a Dubai based technology group, and drones company Skycart of San Francisco, California, are to collaborate on drone delivery service Space Autonomous Drones in the UAE. Space Autonomous Drones plans to build strategic collaborations with companies such as Souq, DHL, Amazon, UPS, Aramex, and Alibaba Group. The company will offer drone shipping solutions, providing cost savings and faster delivery times. Once officially launched, Space Autonomous Drones’s technology will enable a wide range of customers to ship goods and products weighing 5kg or less to locations across Dubai. The autonomous, self-flying drones operated by Space Autonomous Drones will be run through a mobile app that enables businesses to manage and track their orders, and will drastically cut down delivery times. Operations will take place 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days of the year.