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May 29, 2007

The Los Angeles Business Journal has reported that "Northrop Grumman Corp. has received a $874.6 million fixed-price contract from the United States Postal Service to provide 100 Flats Sequencing Systems designed to automate the flats mail stream, the company said Thursday. The flats mail stream includes large envelopes, catalogs and magazines. Northrop's first generation of flats sorting technologies is in operation at Postal Service processing centers nationwide. The new system will sort mail to the delivery sequence of each carrier, reducing manual sorting. Northrop is serving as the prime contractor. It jointly developed the key technologies in the Flats Sequencing Systems with Solystic, a company subsidiary in France, and Arlington, Texas-based Siemens Energy & Automation. Installation of the first production units at USPS facilities nationwide is expected to begin in 2008 with the remaining installations scheduled for completion by 2010."

InTheNews.co.uk Royal Mail says the last year was the "best-ever" for its customers in terms of service. The group today claims that during the last 12 months its quality targets have been both met and surpassed. Ninety-four per cent of first class letters arrived the next day in 2006, meaning the 93 per cent target was "comfortably exceeded". And 98.9 per cent of second class mail was delivered within three days, beating the target by 0.4 percentage points. In total 11 of Royal Mail's 12 targets were met, based on 88,500 sample letters, parcels and packets sent to 6,000 addresses. The claim comes after the government announced earlier this month that 2,500 post offices would close after the network became "unsustainable". The Communication Workers union described the closures as a "devastating blow" for millions of people, condemning the government's consultation period as a "sham". But Millie Banerjee, chair of postal services watchdog Postwatch, said that "severe pruning" was necessary if the post office network was to survive.

PersonnelToday has reported that "Royal Mail's HR chief has urged the organisation's staff to "consider all the facts" before deciding whether or not to vote for strike action."

"Britain looks set for a national post strike this summer after independent polls showed that a clear majority of Royal Mail workers intend to vote in favour of action next month, The Times has learnt."

The National Association of Major Mail Users has reported that:

  • The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, and Minister responsible for Canada Post Corporation, announced the appointment of Mr. Donald Woodley as interim chair of the Canada Post Corporation board of directors for a period of 90 days. Mr. Woodley joined the board of directors in August 2006, and is currently a member of the board of directors of Gennum Corporation, as well as president of The Fifth Line Enterprise. The interim appointment of Donald Woodley was necessitated by the resignation of Gordon Feeney, who was appointed to the position in September 2004 for a term of three years. Mr. Feeney resigned of his own accord on April 26.

  • Canada Post’s second annual public meeting will be held in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, on June 12, 2007, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. NDT (Newfoundland time.) The intention is to hold this meeting in a new location each year, and this year in Canada’s most eastern province. The forum will provide an opportunity to learn more about the current and future plans of the Corporation, receive the latest financial results and pose questions to senior members of the executive team present. Members are advised a simultaneous, bilingual webcast of the meeting will be held.

May 28, 2007

According to the Akron Beacon Journal, "Rising postal costs and changes in what package shippers allow are causing business owners to whittle down their mailing lists, find cheaper ways to send products and rely more on communicating electronically."

CargoNews Asia has reported that "Armed with a new structure to tackle the international market, the US Postal Service aims to get a bigger slice through co-operation rather than acquisitions. Last year, the USPS handled over 793 million pieces of international mail, which translated into US$1.9 billion in revenues. To lay the foundations of the international expansion drive, Paul Vogel, who was appointed managing director of international business and senior vice-president of the USPS last summer, has restructured the postal agency's international activities, consolidating the separate elements into one global business unit."

The Los Angeles Times has reported that "the cost of getting magazines into your mailbox will shoot up July 15. How much? It depends. Magazine publishers are facing a radical postage rate restructuring that favors those with large circulations and transfers costs to small- and mid-circulation publications. Past increases to periodical postage were applied fairly equally across all publications. But this time, things are drastically different — and potentially damaging to the diversity of voices that our founders strove to foster when they created the national postal system."

According to the Press of Atlantic City, "A rise in postal rates may adversely affect the operations of nonprofit organizations in the region and nationwide. Most affected by this increase are organizations that send out fundraising letters, for example. Even more affected are organizations that mail larger pieces, such as books and calendars. Such organizations may pay anywhere between 20 percent and 40 percent more to mail such pieces, known as standard mail flats."

A major new report "RFID for the Postal and Courier Service", IDTechEx estimates that the global market for RFID systems, including tags, in this sector will be $3 billion in 2016. It could be much bigger if current efforts to tag individual items gain widespread acceptance. In due course, over one trillion postal items will be tagged yearly, making this the second largest application of RFID in the world after the retail supply chain."

Federal Computer Week has reported that "The Government Accountability Office, whose mission is to investigate the operations of federal agencies for Congress, now finds itself under lawmakers’ scrutiny. House and Senate subcommittees are investigating GAO’s performance-based pay system after receiving complaints about the system from increasing numbers of GAO employees. “What GAO was doing was supposed to demonstrate the success of the new compensation system,” said Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.). “The fact is, GAO held itself out as being able to show that a [pay-for-performance] system could work. I don’t see how on the basis of what GAO has done and the reaction of its upper-tier employees...that this system should now be spread to other agencies without a great deal of more work."

The Reno Gazette-Journal posed the following to its readers: "Question: A Postal Service official said that annual postage increases may become the norm. Has the time come to privatize all mail delivery?"

There's an interesting piece on Canada Post that's been posted in a Toronto blog on "Where's the Mail?"

The Edinburgh Evening News has reported that "ROYAL Mail bosses have apologised after a disabled man was asked to pay for an unstamped letter - even though it had been sent by the post office. David McKenzie - who suffers from breathing difficulties as a result of a heart operation - was told to pay up after workers forgot to stamp a letter containing his road tax. Now Royal Mail has apologised and offered the 61-year-old, who owns the Connect Cafe in Comely Bank, compensation for the inconvenience. He was forced to collect the letter and fork out the 24p postage - plus a £1 fee for the blunder."

The Sri Lanka Daily News has reported that "The Postal Department has appealed to the Treasury for funds to fill 1,000 vacancies prevailing in the Department for a long period, Post Master General S. Senadeera said. As the dearth of personnel continue in all sections of the Department, it has caused a serious hindrance to carry out the day-to-day work of the Department."

May 27, 2007

The Kuwait News Agency has reported that "Ministers and officials in charge of postal services and communications began a scheduled meeting on Sunday to discuss issues of common concern including fees and tariffs. Mohammad Al-Mazroui, the GCC Assistant Secretary Geberal for Economic Affairs, addressing the inaugural session on behalf of GCC Secretary General Abdul Rhaman Al-Attiah, noted that the member states of the council expanded the communication sector to a competitive level, according to international standards. He confirmed that the conferees would discuss plans for modernizing further the postal sector in the member states, establishment of a private postal company and holding joint exhibitions."

eTrucker.com has noted that "FedEx to add more hybrids to its fleet By Kristie Busam FedEx Express announced it has signed agreements with Azure Dynamics to develop hybrid electric powertrains for its delivery fleet. Once the development phase is completed, FedEx Express has committed to purchase a minimum of 20 pre-production hybrid electric Ford E-450 delivery vans, to be delivered by May 2008."

In South Africa, the Business Report has noted that "The National Credit Act (NCA) is yet to come into full effect but consumers are already reaping the benefits as some sectors start changing the way they do business to comply with the act. The call centre industry, which has been criticised for unsolicited phone calls and e-mails, has introduced the Do Not Contact Me database for those people who never want to be contacted by call centres again. Since the opt-out list was launched two months ago, more than 21 700 people have put their names on it. It is an initiative of the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) and it ensures that your postal address, e-mail address, telephone and cellphone numbers are no longer available to organisations who want to make offers, or send information, that you have not asked for."

According to the Pacific Daily News, "Catalogs. Credit card offers. Coupon packets. Candidate fliers. No matter the shape, size or message, they arrive incessantly, adding up by pounds and tons. The U.S. Postal Service and marketers, who pay billions of dollars to get the messages to you, call it advertising mail. Most recipients call it junk mail -- and it's growing every year. There is a growing movement among legislators" to pass laws controlling junk mail, said Kentucky state Rep. Jim Wayne, D-Louisville, who has pledged to introduce a junk-mail registry bill -- similar to the "no-call" lists for telemarketers -- next year. No state has enacted such a law, but the legislation is being considered in Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Texas, Vermont and Washington state. Bulk-mail proponents point out that similar bills have been withdrawn in Arkansas, Maryland, Missouri and Montana."

The Home News Tribune has reported that "Highland Park resident Bridget Wade calls it a waste of paper. Fellow resident Morris Moskowitz says he throws it in the garbage. It's junk mail — and both Wade and Moskowitz say it seems like they've gotten more and more each year. "It's too much," said Moskowitz, 78. "It's garbage and that's where I put it. Only thing I do before dumping it is remove the portion that has my name and address." Wade, 33, said although she may look through it, mostl of the junk mail she receives ends up in the recycling bin. When told that lawmakers in some states are looking for ways to control the seemingly never ending advertising mail, Wade said she would welcome a similar effort in New Jersey."

Yahoo has posted the latest UPS financials.

The National Association of Letter Carriers has reported that "Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) on May 23 introduced in the U. S. Senate legislation to protect city and rural letter carriers from having their work contracted out by the U.S. Postal Service to private fi rms and individuals. The bill, S. 1457, is titled the “Mail Delivery Protection Act of 2007” and would forbid the Postal Service from entering into any contract “with any motor carrier or other person for the delivery of mail on any route with 1 or more families per mile.” The only exceptions allowed are contracts in effect at the date of enactment of the bill which could continue until terminated under the terms of such contract, or could be renewed, and also service on a rural route may be converted to contract delivery service when such route no longer serves a minimum of 1 family per mile."

According to the Kalamazoo Gazette, "Businesses should consider reshaping their marketing budgets and shipping strategies to account for changes in postal rates that took effect May 14, printing and shipping experts say."

As the New York Post has noted, "Vanity ZIP codes could be a gold mine for the United States Postal Service. Just days after upscale department store Sakes Fifth Avenue convinced the USPS to give it a vanity ZIP code for its shoe department, the always cash-strapped postal service said it was exploring the idea of using vanity ZIP codes as a way to generate additional income."

The Houston Chronicle has reported that "The U.S. Postal Service rates that went into effect this month have people living in Alaska's remotest villages worried about more than just paying 2 cents more for a stamp. The Postal Service also bumped up rates for Alaska's one-of-a-kind discount mail program, which ensures that groceries and other basic supplies arrive regularly in 139 villages that cannot be reached by any road. For these communities, where prices already are high, the roughly 13 percent increase will affect the cost of all sorts of items from milk to fresh fruit, experts said. Even before the postal hike, a regular-size box of cereal could cost more than $8 in some villages and milk cost more than $7 a gallon. "The villages are already having a hard time. A lot of people live on food stamps, and I don't think they get very far," said 85-year-old Josephine Roberts, who lives in the Athabascan Indian village of Tanana."

The Sunday Times has reported that "The Postal Department faces an urgent need for structural reforms if it is to be commercially viable and improve the services it provides through a countrywide network of 4,000 post offices.“Public and private sector partnerships to improve postal services have been stalled due to union and political pressure but some improvements can be done even within a departmental framework,” Post Master General, K .A. Sherwin Senadeera told The Sunday Times FT. He said there was one post office for every 14 km and every 4,100 persons. The department has the highest distribution force in the country. Most of the businesses send their local mail through the Postal Department and use courier services to send their foreign mail. The Post Master General said that around 7,500 postmen are engaged in the delivery of mail throughout the country and their mode of transport is still the bicycle because most of them have to cover remote rural areas with poor road conditions. He noted that it was feasible to use bicycles even in some urban areas as they had to deliver mail to households situated in narrow by lanes where the road conditions were also poor in many parts of the country."

May 26, 2007

The Washington Post has reported that "For the past four years, the Clintons have jetted around on Vinod Gupta's corporate plane, to Switzerland, Hawaii, Jamaica, Mexico -- $900,000 worth of travel. The former president secured a $3.3 million consulting deal with Gupta's technology firm. His presidential library got a six-figure gift, too. Gupta, whose big donations to the Democratic Party earned him a Lincoln Bedroom overnight when Bill Clinton was president, has emerged as a key benefactor of Clinton's post-presidency -- and Hillary Rodham Clinton's presidential candidacy. Gupta's generosity toward the Clintons has proved so controversial within his firm -- a major provider of database-processing services -- that it prompted a shareholder lawsuit complaining that hiring the former president was a "waste of corporate assets."

The Financial Times has reported that "Royal Mail, the former postal monopoly, has yet to draw on a £1.2bn loan made available to automate its operations under a new financing framework arran-ged more than a year ago. The investment package announced last May by Alistair Darling, trade and industry secretary, was intended to help Royal Mail compete against the new breed of private-sector postal operators after it lost its monopoly at the start of 2006. But although big business mail users are deserting Royal Mail in droves, Britain's dominant postal operator has failed to take advantage of the new system."

As one writer for DM News has noted, "The most recent postal rate increase isn’t a shock to anyone. But it should be a wake-up call for retailers who aren’t taking a well-integrated, multichannel approach to marketing."

The Town Crier has reported that "New plans to close more Post Offices has led to an angry backlash by Cambridgeshire's MPs. More than 4,000 branches have already been closed since 1997 and the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry Alistair Darling wants to close another 2,500 over the next 18 months. But, the watchdog for postal services Postwatch said: "The reality of the situation is that without severe pruning the whole network is in jeopardy. It is without doubt in the best interests of customers that Post Office closures are planned rather than unplanned."

The Malta Independent has reported that "The Union Haddiema Maghqudin said yesterday that despite attempts by the General Workers Union to disrupt the strike action at Maltapost, the UHM was satisfied with the way that its members had implemented directives. The union said that the support and solidarity shown by the workers themselves testified to the fact that they knew who was working in their best interests. A total strike was ordered from early yesterday morning over a disagreement with the management with regard to a new collective agreement, and workers who were on the night shift stopped working as from midnight." See also The Times of Malta.

Postal rate payers aren't too pleased with the Postal Regulatory Commission decision regarding Standard Mail flats. One PostCom member wrote: "(1) The "transitional" nature of this is pointless, since the Board of Governors will not even decide on this matter until June and it lasts only until the end of September. The time period is entirely too short to have any meaningful value for anyone. (2) ECR flat rates were also impacted significantly by the PRC decision. For larger mailers, the ECR rate is the most critical cost cell. As you probably know, many smaller mailers like us co-mail with other catalogers through partnerships arranged by the printers. Through that mechanism, smaller mailers enjoy the benefits of ECR rates just like the larger mailers. Many mailers, such as us, had used the co-mailing mechanism as a primary method of mitigating the impact of the rate case. Now, those efforts, although not in vain, will not begin to cover the impact. (3) We are concerned that this proposal, if adopted, would be the end of the discussion as far as the Post Office is concerned. Nothing short of permanent relief needs to be granted for flats. We strongly believe that either the contingency should be adjusted or the flats/letter differential should be narrowed, or a combination of both."

Another reacted by wondering on what planet the PRC is living. "You have got to be kidding me! As a mail services provider, I’m going to give a client and the USPS a Postage Statement that has hand calculated discounts? Do they not understand that everything we do in regard to postage payment and entry of the mail must rely on software? It’s a lot more than just calculating the discount! "

May 25, 2007

The latest issue of the PostCom Bulletin is available online. In this issue:

  • The Postal Regulatory Commission today recommended a “transitional” temporary rate reduction of three cents per piece on all Standard Mail Regular flats and two cents for all Standard Mail Nonprofit flats. The temporary rate would end September 29, 2007, and Standard Mail flats rates would return to levels that became effective May 14.
  • Concerned about last week’s postage increases, the writer of this editorial proposes a creative response.
  • Potter names new Postal Service officers. New USPS Inspector General reports posted. DMM Advisories: Delivery Confirmation Required for Priority Mail Open and Distribute, and Final Mailing Standards for Periodicals Pricing Change. DMA urges mixed paper recycling. World Mail Award winners announced. Earth Class Mail finalist in CNET web competition. NALC supports dog-bite prevention bill.
  • U.K. to close thousands of small post offices. Royal Mail, La Poste order oversize mail sorters. Kuwait wants a bigger stage.
  • A list of upcoming postal-related events.

Hey! You've not been getting the weekly PostCom Bulletin--the best postal newsletter anywhere...bar none?  Send us by email your name, company, company title, postal and email address. Get a chance to see what you've been missing.


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The Portsmouth News has reported that "a ballot for strike action is being held by Royal Mail workers in a dispute over pay and cuts. About 130,000 papers were sent out yesterday to Royal Mail workers asking them to back industrial action that could lead to a walk-out. The ballot will end on June 7 with an announcement on the same day. The Communication Workers’ Union, the main postal union, said the precise action would depend on the response from members so it was too early to make a prediction."

CNET News has noted that "Madison Avenue used to have high hopes for the lowly postage stamp. For decades, advertisers imagined that if only the legal barriers against commercial images on postage stamps came down, they could do great things on envelopes. Those obstacles went away last year, when Congress swept aside a law against advertising on stamps and the United States Postal Service authorized businesses to use postage for marketing purposes. The Postal Service renewed the program on May 16, but has yet to see a great deal of revenue from the stamps, which have so far been little more than a niche product....The custom stamp program was reauthorized this month, and the agency agreed to permit custom stamp providers to offer presort postage rates. "

From PR Newswire: "The Partnership for Public Service announced today that Samuel J. Palmisano, Chairman of the Board, President and CEO of the IBM Corporation, and Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) have been named the 2007 Private Sector Council Leadership Award recipients for their outstanding contributions to improving the federal government through public-private sector partnerships. The awards were presented last night at the Partnership's annual Leadership Awards Dinner in Washington, D.C. The Partnership has singled out both Senator Collins and Palmisano among their colleagues for their leadership and commitment to improving government effectiveness in a number of critical areas. Senator Collins has led efforts to reform the U.S. intelligence community, improve chemical security and modernize the postal service. She also led the bipartisan Senate inquiry into the government's response to Hurricane Katrina, and recently sponsored FEMA reform legislation."

The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) expressed its disappointment today at the refusal of the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) to revise its recommendation for exorbitant postage increases for Standard Mail Flats, and instead offer postal customers less than four months of “transition time.” “Over the past several months, postal officials have heard a loud and clear message from the mailing community that these outrageous rate increases will force catalog and nonprofit mailers to make significant cuts in mailing volumes,” said DMA President & CEO John A. Greco, Jr. “Giving mailers a ‘summer break’ doesn’t change that fact. Come October – just as companies head into the peak holiday mailing season – the hurt will be on once again.” DMA is asking the Governors to approve the rate reduction without the deadline, leaving it in effect until the next postal rate change, likely in mid-2008, under the new procedures established by the Postal Reform law that were enacted late last year."

PostCom Members! The latest issue of the PostCom Postal Policy Report has been posted on this site.

Svoboda – Collins, a Chicago based private equity fund, in conjunction with Mark Majeske an investor and new CEO, has acquired of Superior Mailing Services, Inc. of Bedford Park, Il.

According to the Associated Press, "Wisconsin seems to be in the sights of scam artists using fake checks and bogus sweepstakes promises to separate people from their money, a postal official says."

From the Federal Register:

  • The Postal Regulatory Commission seeks more specific comments on the same topic. The Commission anticipates using these comments as guidance for drafting proposed regulations.
  • The Postal Service has published a final rule that provides the revisions to Mailing Standards of the United States Postal Service, Domestic Mail Manual (DMM) that we will adopt to support the new Periodicals prices effective on July 15, 2007. 

The Brunei Times has reported that "Postal Services Department is ranked 17th globally in terms of performance parameters by the Universal Postal Union (UPU), the United Nations body that coordinates postal policies worldwide."

Reuters has reported that "The Dutch centrist coalition has reached a compromise on minimum employment standards for postal workers, clearing the way for a new postal law to pass, a senior lawmaker said on Friday."

The minutes of the May 16, 2007 Mailers’ Technical Advisory Committee (MTAC) has been posted on the USPS RIBBS web site.

International Mailers Take Note: "On May 14 2007, the United States Postal Service eliminated the International Surface Mail service from their mailing options. Someone is petitioning to let the USPS know how important the International Surface Mail option is to businesses, customers, expatriates, and individuals all over the world that rely on this service. (International Surface Mail is the service provided from the USPS that normally takes 4-12 weeks for delivery and is cheaper than air mail or other services provided) The hope is that the USPS will reconsider its decision and [reimplement] this service swiftly so that customers may again enjoy cheaper shipping rates and avoid changes that will be made by US companies to offer this service to their customers."

The latest issue of PostCom's PostOps Update has been posted on this site. In this issue:

  • Intelligent Mail Gets New Legs With Service Measurement Requirements
  • USPS Envisions End-To-End Package Visibility
  • MTAC FSS Update Sets Stage For Flats Symposium
  • MAilers And USPS Looking At Flats Prep/Entry Under FSS
  • Flats Address/Barcode Standards Under FSS
  • MTAC Welcomes New USPS Addressing Manager
  • CASS Cycle L – Aug 1 Date Moves Closer; USPS Says It’s Prepared
  • List Certification Workgroup FinalizIng Recommendations
  • New MTAC Workgroup To Focus On “Great Addressing”

The DM Bulletin has reported that "Royal Mail's VAT exemption could be challenged by rival TNT Post after a development in the High Court this month. The High Court has granted TNT Post permission to apply for a judicial review of the exemption and is expected to rule soon that the European Court of Justice carry out the review. All postal services provided by Royal Mail are VAT exempt, but services provided by all other operators are not."

The Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) today offered interim rate relief for Standard Regular flats and catalog mailers in response to the Governors of the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) who requested reconsideration of the recommended rates in March. The Commission’s Second Opinion and Recommended Decision on Reconsideration recommends a transitional temporary rate reduction of three cents ($0.03) for all Standard Mail Regular flats and two cents ($0.02) for Standard Regular nonprofit flats. By law, the average revenue per piece for nonprofit mail is only 60 percent of the average revenue for commercial mail. No other rate changes were recommended by the Commission. If the Governors accept the Commission’s recommendation, there should be minimal administrative or transaction costs since the savings could be easily measured at the end of the transition period or at the time of mailing. Mailers would not need to reprogram computer hardware or software to accommodate this temporary change. Mailers could simply multiply the number of flats mailed by $0.03 to calculate their savings in this transition period. Nonprofit mailers could multiply the number of flats mailed by $0.02. Today’s PRC action responds to the last of three issues returned to the Commission by the Governors in relation to Docket No. R2006-1. The temporary transitional rate relief for Standard Regular flats mailers ends on September 29, 2007, the last Sunday before the test year begins.

The Daily Progress has reported that "Mail is critical to Christian Children's Fund -- about 10 million pieces a year. It sends millions of letters soliciting donors for its programs helping impoverished children worldwide. It thanks donors. It sends follow-up statements. And like many organizations, it mails an annual report. The cost of sending all that mail increased May 14 when the U.S. Postal Service changed the cost of bulk mailings as well as raised the cost of a first-class stamp 2 cents to 41 cents. "There will be a tremendous negative impact on the cost of doing business due to the rate increase," said Betty Forbes, CCF's vice president of marketing and sponsor services. The Richmond-based organization has not tabulated what the extra expenses will be."

La Stampa has reported that "Postel, the subsidiary of Italian post office Poste Italiane that provides communications and document management services to business and the public sector, recorded turnover of 360.2m euros last year, meaning it has quintupled revenues since 1999. The company's operating margin is 11 per cent, and it is a world leader in its field with 1.7 billion items of correspondence handled every year."

Computerworld has reported that "Dell will begin selling two models of its desktop PCs at Wal-Mart Stores on 10 June, fulfilling a series of recent hints from chief executive Michael Dell that the company would move beyond the direct sales model that once made it the world's largest PC vendor. The strategy marks a major change in how Dell sells computers. The direct-sales business model is no longer such an advantage, since competing PC vendors say they have learned their lesson and trimmed their own costs. And critics note that buyers in developing countries don't trust their postal systems enough to purchase expensive PCs through the mail.

EUX.TV has reported that "Police have been intercepting mail in the German city of Hamburg, the postal company said Friday as a hunt continued for radicals who have attacked cars and homes with petrol bombs in the run-up to next month's G8 summit. Deutsche Post, the successor to the former post office, said police had presented a warrant from a magistrate before three days of searches started Tuesday. Police also accompanied a postman who was clearing city letter-boxes."

Stabroek News has reported that "A collaborative venture with a United States-based cash transfer entity and a new local money transfer service are just two of the initiatives that the Guyana Post Office Corporation (GPOC) has taken in recent years in an effort to "re-invent" itself, broaden the base of its revenue and enhance its competitiveness in the financial services sector. Deputy Post Master General Mayglen Adams is acutely aware of the antiquated image of the local postal service and makes no secret of her support for the changes that are taking place."

Union Network International has noted that "Hundreds of postal workers from across the European Union will be marching through Berlin on Wednesday May 30 in their different uniforms. UNI-Europa Post and Logistics is taking its campaign against a proposed European Commission directive on postal services to the German Presidency. The march starts at 10.30 am from the Brandenburg Gate. The European Commission wants to remove remaining protections from traditional postal operators from January 1 2009 for mail below 50 grammes. But unions warn that there is no funding arrangement ready to ensure operators will still be able to provide a universal postal service to citizens wherever they live at a common, affordable price in a totally de-regulated postal market. The unions also warn that tens of thousands of jobs will go if the directive is approved."

NEWS! Event Date: May 30, 2007 Event Name: John E. Potter Event Type: NPC Luncheon Time: 12:30 PM Sponsored by: Speakers Committee Event Location: Ballroom The National Press Club luncheon will begin promptly at 12:30 p.m. Remarks will begin just after 1 p.m., followed by a question-and-answer session. Reservations should be made by telephoning 202-662-7501. Cost of luncheon admission is $16 for National Press Club members, $28 for their guests, and $35 general admission.

IndLaw.com has reported that "Federation of Karnataka Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FKCCI) has opposed the proposed Indian Post Office Amendment Bill, which it said would seriously affect the Courier industry, providing employment to a large number of people."

Forbes has reported that "Germany's Federal Cartel Office still aims to abolish Deutsche Post World Net AG's monopoly on letter delivery as of January 1 and rejects proposals to selectively allow only some competitors on Germany's mail market, the Office's new head Bernhard Heitzer told WirtschaftsWoche magazine in an interview."

Expatica has reported that "Most cities will not be receiving any post today as postal workers participate in a general strike. It will not be clear until later in the day how many post offices are actually open. Work was stopped last night in sorting centres for Flanders, Ghent and Antwerp. "This means that no letters were sorted. Postal workers who do decide to work will have less to deliver." See also the International Herald Tribune.

The San Francisco Chronicle has reported that "The former president of a postal workers union was indicted today by a federal grand jury in San Francisco on charges of embezzling more than $170,000 and falsifying records to cover his tracks. Graham Paul Vane, 59, of Pacifica stole money from the National Association of Letter Carriers, AFL-CIO, Branch 1280 from January 2002 to March 2006 and spent it on dining, travel, massages, jewelry, wine, pet expenses, personal utility bills, groceries and gas, the indictment said."

National Association of Major Mail Users Toronto Chapter Director, Craig Porter (Mackenzie Financial), invites you to an information-packed session and another opportunity to shape direction on postal initiatives. The Chapter agenda features two important Canada Post product and program updates with built-in opportunities to share ideas for the future; and three national NAMMU Council status reports. AGENDA Address Management: Background, Address Accuracy rules – current and new; Future Plans: SERP Presenters: Paolo Tuscano, Address Management-Data & Systems Support; Gaston Bouchard, Manager Product Management and Support-Data Products; Alexis Zamkow, General Manager Data Products BRM: eLabel; 4-state barcode usage for automated billing; proposed changes in artwork for april 2008; open discussion on future enhancements. Presenter: Rachel Carriere, Product Manager, Unaddressed Admail and Business Reply Mail NAMMU National Council Reports Transaction Mail Council - VAM Council - Mail Marketing Council Questions or additional information: cporter@mackenziefinancial.com

May 24, 2007

flag Here's one that caught our eye. The headline in the Connecticut Post read: "Postal Service may move all to Stamford." For a moment it seemed that Pitney Bowes has just purchased the Postal Service.

flag From the U.S. Postal Service: "Tom Day, Senior Vice President, Government Relations, has been named the new Senior Vice President, Intelligent Mail and Address Quality. The three organizations currently within Government Relations and their Vice Presidents (Consumer Advocate, Public Affairs and Communications, and Government Relations and Public Policy) will report to the PMG. He also announced the new Vice President, Government Relations and Public Policy, Marie Therese Dominguez, effective June 11."

flag From the Postal Regulatory Commission: "The Postal Service, in a status report on settlement negotiations [Docket No. MC2007-2, Repositionable Notes] and related notice filed in response to Order No. 14, advises the Commission that reaching a settlement in this case is not likely. This conclusion is based on participants' representations in response to recent Postal Service inquiries and on the experience in two predecessor cases, where settlements were not reached, despite lack of opposition thereto.1 The Commission appreciates the Service's efforts to facilitate settlement, its timely report, and its frank assessment of the situation. With the prospect of settlement nil, the Commission believes it is preferable to proceed to build a record to support prompt issuance of an opinion and recommended decision in this case, rather than to suspend action."

flag From the U.S. Postal Service: "We published a notice for comment [PDF] | [TXT] in today's Federal Register proposing new standards for Priority Mail Open and Distribute service. Currently mailers may use the electronic option for Delivery Confirmation service on Priority Mail Open and Distribute containers at no additional cost. Our proposal would make this optional extra service a requirement. Delivery Confirmation helps us monitor these mailings and communicate the delivery status of each container to mailers. We encourage mailers to review and comment on our proposal before June 25."

flag The soap opera plotline concerning the "ownership" of postal addresses has taken another twist. According to leaked letters seen by The Guardian, the latest set of negotiations between government-owned agencies over payment for address data has broken down.

flag The Financial Times has reported that "Business Post, the postal services group, more than doubled revenues of its UK Mail operation in the year to March 31 following the full opening of the letters market to competition at the start of last year. The company, which handles more than one in 20 letters posted in the UK, reported a more than twofold rise mail revenues to £90.3m."

flag flag The Scotsman has reported that "John Swinney, the finance secretary, yesterday pledged to do everything in his power to fight post office closures north of the Border. Last week, the Department of Trade and Industry declared 2,500 post offices would be closing across the UK, including about 200 in Scotland. Because the network is a reserved issue, Mr Swinney has only limited powers to prevent the closures. But in his first statement as a government minister, Mr Swinney said there were a number of measures the Scottish Parliament could take, including meeting managers of the Royal Mail to prevent closures; getting involved in local consultations; supporting community buy-outs and making post offices more viable by increasing the public services available on the network."

flag New Straits Times wants to know "Where's all the mail going to?"

flag Gulf Times has reported that "Q-POST has initiated the steps for its much-awaited scheme of post boxes in villa compounds and flat complexes, inquiries found. An official of the post boxes department said yesterday that in response to the advertisement carried by Q-Post some time ago, owners of some villa compounds had responded to express their willingness to avail of the scheme."

[cartoon]

flag According to KFOX-TV, Senators Bingaman and Domenici are not too happy to have learned that the U.S. Postal Service intends to use temporary employees to address its El Paso processing and distribution center needs. Both released statements to KFOX. "Hiring temporary employees is not the impression or understanding that I got. No where in the agreement does it say anything about these employees being temporary. I will make an inquiry into this immediately," Domenici said. "I'm very unhappy to learn that the 15 new U.S. Postal Service employees hired to staff the El Paso mail processing facility will be temporary. Mail delivery problems in Las Cruces are in need of a permanent solution and not a quick fix. I will continue to work with the U.S. Postal Service to ensure this problem is addressed," Bingaman said."

flag DMNews has reported that "The U.S. Postal Service is preparing to test new standards around letter-size booklets, also known as "slim jim" catalogs. As more catalogers may switch to the lower-priced format in light of the current rate increase, the agency fears these slim jims may jam the agency's delivery bar code sorters. The USPS, as a result, is cautioning catalogers who may be considering switching to a slim-jim format to put those plans on hold until the standards are set."

flag As WOOD-TV had noted, "Dog attacks weren't the only reason why the U.S. Postal Service indefinitely suspended mail delivery to a Detroit neighborhood. Staged daytime dogfights also played a major role in the decision, the city postmaster said. "There was pit bull fighting two or three times a week," Postmaster Lloyd Wesley Jr. told the Detroit Free Press for a story Thursday. "We're talking about the middle of the street in broad daylight." There were 57 dog bite cases involving Detroit postal carriers in 2006."

flag DMNews has published a piece on "What every mailer must know about the USPS' rate case."

flag Triangle has announced this year's World Mail Award winners. The World Mail Awards are organised annually by Triangle Management Services to highlight, reward and celebrate best practice within the mail industry across the globe.

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