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Association for Postal Commerce
"Representing those who use or support the use of mail for Business Communication and Commerce"
"You will be able to enjoy only those postal rights you believe are worth defending."


1901 N. Fort Myer Dr., Ste 401 * Arlington, VA 22209-1609 * Ph.: +1 703 524 0096 * Fax: +1 703 997 2414
What's New in the Postal World
Page Two | Page Three  | Page Four | News Archives

December 2, 2009

The Saginaw News has reported that "Saginaw U.S. Postal workers are planning an informational picket in support of their jobs in front of the Saginaw Post Office at 1233 S. Washington from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., says Mary A. Greene, a 16-year postal employee and American Postal Workers Union Saginaw Area Local 486-487 representative."

From PR Newswire: "Avery Dennison Office Products and Stamps.com unveiled the Desktop Postal Center as part of Avery's Mailing Center service, a comprehensive set of tools and services for mailing and shipping needs. Together the Avery Dennison and Stamps.com alliance provides the most convenient and cost-effective postage solution for small businesses and home office professionals, helping them accomplish all their day-to-day shipping and mailing projects. By transforming a computer/printer into a shipping machine, the Desktop Postal Center can save time and resources by accurately calculating exact postage with a postal scale, automatically verifying addresses through Stamps.com, tracking packages via e-mail notifications and eliminating the need to ever go to the post office again."

CEP News (Courier-Express-Postal), published by the MRU Consultancy, has reported that:

Germany’s letter market saw a decline in 2008. The Federal Network Agency’s just published market report shows that the mail volume decreased last year by 250m pieces (-1.4%). Revenue fell by 3.5% to 9.71bn euros. The regulator also reported that alternative providers lost ground.
Alternative Post the only private mail service on a national scope in France besides Adrexo seems to be bankrupt.
Last week the initiative ’For a strong Post’ was introduced in Switzerland. The initiative which was founded by labour union Kommunikation, the Swiss Federation of Trade Unions and the Social Democratic Party focuses on amending the constitution to provide a nationwide network of post offices.
Österreichische Post intends to become active in the tourism industry.
At the beginning of parliamentary discussions on the new postal-law in Switzerland the KEP&Mail association demanded a statutory defined access to the postal infrastructure.
The trend for early retirement of civil servants at Deutsche Post, Postbank and Telekom costs German tax payers more than 200m euros every year.
Swiss Post backpedals from its controversial price hike for the press distribution.
Japan Post obviously intends the takeover of Nippon Express’s domestic parcel service.
DHL, Agility and Schenker as well as 17 other CEP- and logistics providers find themselves in the firing line of the Italian competition office.
DHL announced a drastic reduction in jobs in Belgium.
Mail Alliance, the new joint delivery network by TNT and the mail subsidiaries of German publishing groups Holtzbrinck and Madsack will start operations in January 2010.
TNT Post UK offers a new service that enables its clients to add a scent to their direct mail. The aroma is touch sensitive, a method already used by the cosmetic and perfume industry in magazines for quite some time. Customers may choose between a range of fragrances or will have the opportunity to create their own signature aroma.
The trend to buy online remains unbroken in Germany.
CitySprint (revenue 2008: 51.5m euros), by his own account Great Britain’s largest private SameDay-network, bought british CEP-service On The Dot Courier for an undisclosed sum.
Deutsche Post was able to secure one of the biggest contracts in Germany’s mail market for five further years. The Bonn based company announced it will deliver ADAC’s (German automobile association) member’s journal for the next five years.
Mario Frusch, CEO of TNT Germany, demanded a level playing field on the german postal market from the Government.
The front of protest against French La Poste’s conversion into a corporation seems to crumble.
Zeitfinder is a new software, Deutsche Post offers private users for free. This widget includes a calendar and a diary. Additionally it can be used in conjunction with programmes like Skype and Facebook. Zeitfinder is downloadable at www.zeitfinder.de or can be used as an online application.
Deutsche Post currently tries to generate so-called opt-in-addresses of consumers. Via direct mail potential customers are asked to send a reply card or to register on the website www.Gewuenscht-geliefert.de. A spokesperson referred to the amendment of the German Federal Data Privacy Act, which makes the commercial use of home addresses subject to a consent caveat.

The MRU, founded in 1992, is the only consultancy in Europe, which has specialised in the market of courier-, express- and parcel services. For large-scale shippers and CEP-services in particular, the MRU provides interdisciplinary advice for all major questions of the market, as there are for example market entry, product design, organisation, and EDP.To learn more about the stories reported above, contact CEP News. (We appreciate the courtesy extended by CEP News to help whet your appetite for more of what CEP offers.)

Editor's Note: What to do about the Postal Service? Simple. Give it to AIG. That will ensure it will forever get all the federal money it will ever need to keep operating.

UPS Canada has formally opened a (US)$70 million expansion of its Toronto distribution centre, once again demonstrating its commitment to boosting Canadian trade by simplifying the import and export of goods.

The Kalamazoo Gazette has reported that "Tuesday’s public meeting on the proposed consolidation of some mail operations from Kalamazoo to Grand Rapids was missing a key element: information."

From PR Web: "Packed with intelligence to automatically format the USPS Intelligent Mail barcode as well as over 40 other one and two dimensional barcodes, the BarCodeJet and BarCodes Complete solutions by TypeHaus turn nearly any HP LaserJet or other laser printer into a professional quality barcode printer."

According to SNP News, the Scottish National Party "has welcomed the UK Government’s consultation on developing Post Bank services but warned that the focus of the consultation must be on the needs of communities – not the needs of banks."

The Press Association has reported that "The Government is promoting new financial products and services that could be offered via the Post Office, ranging from a business account to children's savings. Business Secretary Lord Mandelson said growing financial services would help secure the future of the postal network, which has suffered a wave of closures in recent years."

As DM News has noted, "A coalition of postal, mailing and marketing groups launched a Web forum on December 1 to bolster discussion about the state of the US Postal Service and how the federal agency can maintain its relevance in the future. The goals of PostalJournal.com are to explore the evolution of the USPS as part of the nation's economic and communications infrastructure and to create an exchange of ideas about the industry, without consideration to professional affiliations. The Association for Postal Commerce (PostCom), the Mailing and Fulfillment Service Association and the Envelope Manufacturers Association launched the site with the support of the Direct Marketing Association and Direct Communications Group. The portal contains reports and papers by external authors and conference presentations from a number of industry experts."

Marketing Direct has reported that "Royal Mail today announced its first-ever 'DM Sale' to boost the use of direct mail amongst new and existing clients. A discount of 20 per cent will be available on new or additional mailings in March and April 2010. Royal Mail said the move was in tune with discounts being offered on other media channels and was not designed to counteract any negative perceptions of direct mail in the wake of postal strikes this autumn."

Kudos to David James who wrote the following in a letter to the editor of The Record-Courier:

I read once of a man who heated his New England home all winter with logs rolled from junk mail. Although possibly annoying, without bulk mail our postal system would not exist in its current affordable form. Without the revenue gained from advertisers mailing third class mail, to send a payment to your credit card company or mail a Christmas card to a loved one would require several stamps with a dollar sign rather than one with a cent sign.

Free broadcast TV is paid by advertising. Commercial free cable channels are only possible by the paid subscriber fees. There is no free lunch. With the cream of the crop postal profit centers being taken by the private carriers which can limit where they deliver, the U.S. Postal Service will attempt to deliver every piece regardless of destination and do it affordably. The U.S. Postal system may not be perfect, but it is definitely a government agency we all depend upon because it is reliable. Yes, the check really is in the mail.

Junk mail may be annoying but it pays the tariff so that we can enjoy an affordable and ubiquitous postal system. Next time you get a piece of third-class mail which you may consider annoying, just imagine your ire at paying $3 to mail a letter across town. Dollar stamps anyone?

From PR Web: "Window Book is pleased to announce that Wallace Vingelis has joined Window Book as Director, Postal Industry Practice. Wallace brings to our clients an additional industry expert on the creation, development and support of innovative solutions for the mailing industry."

From the Federal Register:

Postal Service
NOTICES
Establishment of Prices and Classifications for Inbound Air Parcel Post at Universal Postal Union (UPU) Rates ,
63161 [E9–28766]

[TEXT]  [PDF]

International Product Change:
  Canada Post-United States Postal Service Contractual Bilateral Agreement for Inbound Market-Dominant Services ,
  63161–63162 [E9–28767]

[TEXT]  [PDF]

  Inbound International Expedited Services (1) ,
  63161 [E9–28830]

[TEXT]  [PDF]

The Frederick News-Post has reported that "The United States Postal Service is investigating moving mail-processing from a Frederick distribution center to one in southern Maryland. Recommendations from the results of a study would shift operations, but not close the Frederick distribution center." See also WTOP.

On Hellmail today:

The New York Times has reported that "As first graders from Public School 33 in Chelsea gathered in the lobby of the James A. Farley Post Office on Eighth Avenue in Manhattan on Tuesday morning, they might not have realized that they were part of the return of a nearly century-old tradition — Operation Santa. But when the guests of honor — Postmaster General John E. Potter, Santa Claus, and Kermit the Frog and Fozzie Bear (both representing the Muppets, who have partnered in the program) — took to the stage, there was understandably no mention of a scandal that shook the program last year and caused it to be temporarily shut down in New York and other major cities. The service was briefly suspended when a postal worker in Maryland recognized a registered sex offender as having “adopted” a child’s letter. The man was prohibited from answering the child, and new privacy rules were put into effect."

Bloomberg has reported that "United Parcel Service Inc. expects shipment increases in the “low single digits” during the peak season between Thanksgiving and Christmas, helped by purchases made online, Chief Executive Officer Scott Davis said."

Reuters has reported that "Dutch mail company TNT appealed to workers' unions on Tuesday to reconsider their proposals for a labour deal as negotiations aimed at preventing massive job cuts and avoiding strike action dragged on. Labour unions have so far rejected the company's proposals for a new deal that include a pay cut of up to 3.5 percent. On Tuesday the unions put forward alternative proposals, including a 1.5 percent pay rise."

Nextgov has reported that "The U.S. Postal Service's new bar code system for tracking mail has been delivered behind schedule, over cost and without key functionalities, according to a report from the Government Accountability Office. USPS began the Intelligent Mail program in 2003 with the goal of developing one system that could interact with its more than 25 separate information technology systems and consolidate more than 30 types of bar codes. But according to a report (GAO-10-145) released on Monday, the system has experienced delays and missteps due to deficiencies in USPS' program management and acquisition offices. The system was scheduled to be completed in January, but instead was delivered in two phases -- the first in May and the second on Nov. 29. The Postal Service did not respond to multiple requests for comment by the time this story was posted."

December 1, 2009

According to Rag Content, "In publishing its own report on potential future business models, the Postal Service repackaged old ideas in a new way. More than half of the 43-page document has the Postal Service whining about its current situation that it seems to blame on everyone but itself. It appears that the Postal Service was completely happy with the Postal Reorganization Act of 1970 and wants nothing to do with the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006. According to the Postal Service, the Postal Act of 2006 has done nothing but hamper its flexibility, constrain its pricing, burden it with a prefunding requirement, stifle its ability to offer other product and services, and provide no means to reduce its costs." [EdNote: Gee....Someone who tells it like it is. How refreshing.]

A busy day at the IG's office....

(1) The following report
s have been posted on the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General website (http://www.uspsoig.gov/).  If you have additional questions concerning a report, please contact Wally Olihovik at 703.248. 2201, or Agapi Doulaveris at 703.248.2286. 

(2) The U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General has posted their Fall 2009 Semiannual Report on the Audit, Investigative, and Security Activities of the U.S. Postal Service (SAR). It is located at: http://www.uspsoig.gov/sarcs/Fall09.pdf

(3) The latest entry has bee posted today on the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General’s Internet site “Pushing the Envelope.” The public, mailers, postal employees, and other stakeholders are invited to weigh in on the online discussions taking place. To view the site, visit http://blog.uspsoig.gov/
 

  • We “Advertise” for You?  In these times of doing what it takes to maintain fiscal solvency, what if the Postal Service started offering advertising space on its property to generate revenue?  Read the blog and add your opinion.
 
You can visit Office of Inspector General’s public website at:  www.uspsoig.govYou can also follow us on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/OIGUSPS.  If you have additional questions, please contact Communication and Work Life Director Agapi Doulaveris at 703.248.2286.

Hellmail has noted that "As the deadline approaches for the start of new EU full postal competition rules, are EU national postal services prepared to operate in the new marketplace? That is, does each postal service understand the new rules and how the changes will impact their operations and revenue streams? Are required cost saving measures and automation already completed or near completion? Do strategies exist to defend against competitors capturing high margin services and profitable large volume customers? What are the strategies for maintaining the unprofitable and declining letters business, to include universal service, as greater postal competition results in further revenue declines? Are improvements to existing services underway to avoid as many customer defections as possible? Is there a strategy for identifying and introducing new innovative services vital for future success and self-sustainability?"

According to Deadtree Edition, "Despite equipment problems, schedule delays, and evidence of engineering miscues, postal officials are eagerly moving ahead with installation of the Flats Sequencing System."

Hellmail has reported that "Billy Hayes, general secretary of the Communication Workers Union described regulation of postal services in the UK as unlike that found in any other country and "uniquely bad". His comments at the Institute of Employment Rights Conference on Saturday, concern what the CWU sees as a 'rigged' regulatory framework by Postcomm that has allowed competitors to select the most profitable parts of Royal Mail's operations and discard the least profitable, leaving Royal Mail to provide an increasingly costly Universal Service."

The Courier, Express, and Postal Observer has reported that "In a recent post, APWU President suggested that the Postal Service's financial problems has one cause and one cause only, the onerous payment schedule for funding retiree health plans. He is right that this is a serious problem. There are reasonable arguments that both the amount that Office of Personnel Management (OPM) says the Postal Service owes significantly overstates what the Postal Service actually owes and that payment schedule makes no sense for the enterprise. (See USPS-OIG white paper, PRC Report) Furthermore, the position that correctly measuring the Postal Service's CSRS payments by excluding obligations for time credited while not in USPS employment needs to be reexamined on its merits regardless of the Federal budget consequence."

From PR.com: "Announcing the launch of a new web site (http://postaljournal.com), the mission of which is (1) to explore the evolution of the American postal system as part of the nation's 21st century economic and communication infrastructure and (2) to facilitate an exchange of postal perspectives by individuals without regard to past or present occupational affiliations. The Postal Journal has been launched through the initial support and participation of the Association for Postal Commerce (http://postcom.org), the Mailing and Fulfillment Service Association (http://www.mfsanet.org), and the Envelope Manufacturers Association Foundation (http://www.emafoundation.org/). Participation and support is open to others who share interest in the study of the American postal system as a vehicle for communication and commerce." [Editor's Note: Support also is being provided by the Direct Marketing Association and Direct Communications Group.]

WKZO has reported that "The Postal Service is planning a hearing tonight on plans to ship some mail sorting operations from their 9th St. facility to Grand Rapids. Postal Service spokesperson Sabrina Todd says as their business shrinks, due to the internet, and competition from private shippers, they are looking for ways to cut costs."

CNN Money has reported that "Stamps.com® (NASDAQ: STMP), the leading provider of USPS® postage online and shipping software to approximately 400,000 customers, today announced that it will offer its Professional Shipper software without any monthly fees (regularly priced at $34.99 per month) to all customers that ship at least $1500 per month worth of parcels of any mail class that includes Priority Mail®, Express Mail®, Priority Mail International®, Express Mail International® or Global Express Guaranteed®. Stamps.com Professional Shipper features a suite of advanced USPS shipping and order fulfillment tools."

BizReport has asked: "Online retailers - is your postal service really delivering?"

Online Media Daily has reported that:

  • The Newspaper Association of America is touting online behavioral targeting as a partial fix for the industry's revenue woes.
  • With more consumer spending shifting to the Web, eMarketer predicts that online holiday sales will increase 5.4% over last year to $30 billion in 2009. That would mark a rebound from the 5.7% decline in 2008, but would still be less than the 30.2 billion total in 2007.

"In the News" this week at Postal Technology International:

Report on the Future Business Model of the Postal Service












 
The USPS Report
 
Papers by External Authors
 
Full Document (pdf)
Executive Summary (pdf)

Appendices:
• Appendix A. List of Related Documents to Future USPS Business Model Paper (pdf)
• Appendix B. Lessons Learned from Other Posts and Industries (pdf)
• Appendix C. National Regulatory Authority Information (pdf)

Papers by External Authors
Toward a New Business Model for the United States Postal Service, Stephen Crawford (pdf)
The Future of the United States Postal Service, Elaine C Kamarck (pdf)
United States Postal Service Future Business Model Analysis & Action Recommendations, Joseph McCann and Harvey Slentz (pdf)
Examination of the Potential Postal Business Models. Report for the United States Postal Service, Alan Robinson (pdf)

The Courier, Express, and Postal Observer has reported that "In choosing a potential business model for the Postal Service, policymakers are as much choosing a path for the entire industry within which the Postal Service operates as choosing a path for the Postal Service itself. The United States Postal Service is only one supplier within a much larger communications and parcel delivery market...."

In a recent post on the Postal Journal web site, postal commentator Gene Del Polito wrote that "Congress has directed the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to undertake the search for alternative postal business models. GAO has begun to reach out to interested parties for ideas on how some new postal architecture might lead to greater cost-efficiency, new postal revenue opportunities, and provide the nation with a well-run, self-sufficient postal system that can provide universal postal service without the need for taxpayer revenue. Designing a new postal architecture is not be child's play. the real focus of those who use mail for the transaction of business communication and commerce, as well as those who provide products and services to those who do, should be on whether a postal infrastructure is working (i.e., satisfying its intended infrastructure mission)." 

The Daily Californian has reported that "Officials at the Postal Regulatory Commission are considering closing the Park Station post office branch on Sacramento Street in Berkeley in the face of a multi-billion dollar deficit for the U.S. Postal Service. Community members voiced their concerns about the proposed closure at a town hall meeting on Nov. 24 at Longfellow Middle School."

November 30, 2009

Press Release: "NetDespatch has supplied New Zealand Post with an innovative web-based system that automates and simplifies forms for international shipments. Called RedClick, the new service is revolutionising the production of complex documentation for New Zealand Post customers, saving them hours of paperwork each day. The easy to use web shipping facility automatically produces CN22 and CN23 Customs Declaration forms for international shipping, eliminating manual form filling. Using simple web forms, with built-in intelligence to ensure that information is entered correctly, the automated production of the Customs Declaration forms streamlines the whole process. The forms can be printed to either laser or thermal printers. For higher volumes a manual or automated bulk import process is used, with either local or remote printing."

Press Release: "BÖWE BELL + HOWELL (BBH) today announced the filing of a patent application for the BBH® MAILStream Inveloper™ system, an eco-friendly mailing system that dynamically creates personalized bills and statements at significant savings over traditional mailpieces. The system and its innovative design enables the creation of documents in all standard formats on a single machine, delivers significant improvements in efficiency, and dramatically reduces paper costs and usage by as much as 40 percent. For more information about BÖWE BELL + HOWELL, visit www.bowebellhowell.com.

Advertising Age has reported that "Whether the arrows on the chart indicating upward movement turn out to just be a slight bump off the bottom of the market or the start of a long and constant climb, marketers and agencies, according to Advertiser Perceptions' latest Advertiser Optimism Report for Fall 2009, are feeling more optimistic about increasing ad spending in all media. And yes, that even includes local newspapers and magazines."

[PostCom logo

PostCom welcomes its newest member: eBay, Inc. 2145 Hamilton Avenue San Jose, CA 95125 represented by Sharif Sleiman Director, Global Procurement

From Business Wire: "Pitney Bowes Inc. has announced the introduction of AddressRightNow™ online list management service for organizations with small-volume or infrequent mailings. The new online service helps to eliminate inaccurate addresses and updates mailing lists based on the latest change of address information from the U.S. Postal Service. The AddressRightNow service can help mailers reduce or eliminate undeliverable mail by updating addresses to incorporate change of address information."

From the Federal Register:

Postal Regulatory Commission
RULES
New Postal Product ,
62493–62496 [E9–28506]

[TEXT]  [PDF]

DM News has published a wonderful tribute to PostCom Director-Emeritus Lee Epstein. The Association for Postal Commerce dedicated its "Lee Epstein Award" in honor of his many years of extraordinary service to the direct mail marketing and advertising industry. It is granted to those who have evidenced exemplary service in the industry's behalf. A truly extraordinary individual who has given so much to all who use and support the use of mail as a medium for business communication and commerce.





The Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce has reported that "The U.S. Postal Service has put up for sale a 2.3-acre property in downtown Redmond, one of a half dozen sites in the Puget Sound region it is attempting to sell."

Smart Planet has noted that "The US Postal Service is drowning in red ink to the tune of $3.8 billion, and now, there’s a proposal from Postmaster General John Potter to to cut Saturday deliveries. Is it in its long-term best interest to do so? The USPS already made $5 billion in cuts, and it needs to take drastic measures. Mail volume has declined from 202.7 billion in 2008 pieces to 176 billion in 2009. With the increasing growth of electronic communications, it seems this volume will only continue to slide. But in a 24×7 world, is this the right direction to go?"

The Tennessean has reported that "What should your advertising budget have in common with the Chinese Industrial Cooperative Society? The answer is the motto that the workers in Chinese cooperatives cried. It is "gung ho," which means "work together." Print advertising, direct mail, e-mail, catalogs and Web sites illustrate the gung-ho spirit. A U.S. Postal Service comScore survey found that Web sites supported by catalogs yielded 163 percent more revenue than Web sites not supported by catalogs."

The Florida Times-Union has reported that "Joseph McCann, dean of Davis College of Business at Jacksonville University, and Harvey Slentz, an attorney who also teaches at JU after spending a career with the Postal Service, spent much of the summer looking at what the future business models for the Postal Service might look like. Slentz worked 30 years for the service, moving up through several regional postmaster positions before retiring seven years ago as manager of strategic operations for the entire U.S. Postal Service. "The Postal Service has been creative and innovative," McCann said. "But it can't just keep doing what it has done. The changes and trends are just too fundamental and too strong." Slentz and McCann, who were invited to recommend changes, along with teams from Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government and the Brookings Institution, a Washington-based think tank, recently presented their findings to the postmaster general and the executive committee of the U.S. Postal Service."

Marketing Daily has reported that "Americans shopped with a vengeance this Black Friday weekend, with an estimated 195 million piling into stores around the country -- a healthy increase from the 172 million who shopped last year. Trouble is, they didn't buy very much."

The Mirror has reported that "Shoppers are set to blow hundreds of millions of pounds today in the biggest online spending spree yet. The first or second Monday in December is usually the busiest day of the year for internet retailers. But experts at Which? said "Cyber Monday" will come a week early this year because of fears postal strikes could delay delivery."

The Sydney Morning Herald has reported that "Australians may be able to send Christmas cards for free this year, with postal workers set to take industrial action including a ban on checking mail is stamped. About 18,000 postal workers have until 10am (AEDT) on Friday to vote on taking industrial action, calling on Australia Post to protect full-time jobs and penalty shifts, the Communications Electrical Plumbing Union (CEPU) says."

The New York Times has a feature on postal ("In Rain, in Snow, but Not on Saturdays?") in its "Room for Debate."

November 29, 2009

According to The Week, "The Postal Service will have to accelerate its painful downsizing, and complete privatization can’t be ruled out."

The Washington Post has reported that investor William H. Gross has sold two of his major stamp collections to benefit the Smithsonian's National Postal Museum, which plans to build a new street-level gallery. The stamps from Confederate postmasters in the Civil War and from British North America postal history sold last week for $3.2 million at auction in New York City. The proceeds help fulfill an $8 million donation to the museum that Gross announced in September. He also has given the museum some of the rarest known stamps from his personal collection. Gross is the founder of Pacific Investment Management Co., based in Newport Beach, Calif.

From PRWeb: "Argos has revealed today that the volume of customers using their online Check & Reserve service was up almost 100% Year-on-Year (YoY) for home entertainment electrical products during the last week of the postal strikes in October. Argos, the UK's leading multi-channel retailer, believes this indicates that today's UK consumer has the resources and technical knowledge to cope with postal delivery issues, that recent reports suggest have hindered pure play e-tailers. This insight follows IMRG's e-Retail Sales Index report which states that the postal strikes adversely affected the growth of online retailer's during the last week of October."

The Wall Street Journal has reported that "Shoppers returned to malls Saturday as observers began reviewing early reports showing just how much consumers spent during their Black Friday shopping trips. The weekend's first spending data for the day after Thanksgiving showed shoppers spent only slightly more in stores this Black Friday than they did last year. Fresh signs of much stronger online sales during the traditional holiday shopping kickoff mean more might have shopped from home."

The Jakarta Post has reported that "State postal service provider PT Pos Indonesia will allocate Rp 600 billion (US$ 63.6 million) to its capital expenditure next year, about six times more than in 2009."

The Chico Enterprise-Record has reported that:

  • A Yuba County supervisor and several U.S. Postal Service workers were in Chico this week to discuss a possible change in how local mail is handled. The Postal Service is considering closing its mail-processing center in Marysville. Mail that now goes to that center (such as letters from the north valley) would go to a center in West Sacramento instead. Rick Page, a union leader of postal workers, said if the change happens, it would cause major delays in mail delivery.
  • Those who seek to prevent the closure of a mail-processing center in Marysville hope to have an independent study of the proposal conducted. Postal union leader Ron Page said he and others asked Congressman Wally Herger, R-Chico, to request such a study. Herger told them to give him information that could justify a separate study, which would be paid for by the U.S. Postal Service. The Postal Service is making its own study of the matter, but Page said he felt that study would be biased."

November 28, 2009

At the Postal Regulatory Commission:

  • Docket No. R2010-1: "Notice of Price Adjustment and Classification Changes Related to Move Update Assessments." In this decision, the PRC noted that it "approves the proposal, in part, and rejects it, in part. It approves the application of the 7-cent Move Update Assessment Charge to Presort First-Class Mail mailings that fail the Performance Based Verification (PBV) test and cannot demonstrate compliance with Move Update requirements. Similarly, it approves the Move Update Assessment Charge for Standard Mail. The Commission rejects the proposal to apply single-piece First-Class rates to Move Update noncompliant Standard Mail mailings. The Move Update Noncompliance Charge of 7 cents per piece remains the approved charge for Standard Mail noncompliance."

From Live-PR: "http://www.companiesandmarkets.com/Summary-Company-Profile/bulgarian-posts-ead-(bulgaria)-company-profile-148725.asp Bulgarian Posts EAD is a state-owned company, specialising in providing domestic and international postal services, money transfers, bill-paying services and distribution of publications and philatelic products. The company was awarded an ISO 9001:2000 Quality management systems certificate in 2007, valid until July 10, 2010. The company profile contains corporate history, company overview, contact details, key management, shareholders and investors, a description of products and services, financial analysis, sales analysis, leading competitors and investment plans."

Canada.com has reported that "Canada Post sends Ottawa book collector apology, cheque."

Cyprus Mail has reported that "the Postal Services Organisation has started offering an international money transfer service. According to the Central Bank, in 2008 approximately €280 million was transferred from Cyprus to eastern Europe, China and south-east Asia through cash transfer firms. “Cyprus post offices are focusing on trying to provide new services to satisfy the needs of the Cypriot public, including the large number of economic immigrants who live in our country.” said Andreas Grigoriou, Postal Director. The money transfer service is being offered as a result of the Cypriot postal service becoming the second agents representing Moneygram, the international money transfer company, in Cyprus. Moneygram has already been represented on the island since 2001 by the firm Ellinas Finance."

The Times has reported that "Christmas deliveries may be in jeopardy after the postal union threatened to resume their strike action. The Communication Workers Union has told postal workers to prepare for further strikes in December after reaching a deadlock with Royal Mail." See also Reuters.

Hellmail has reported that:

  • Royal Mail’s First Class quality of service performance dipped 2.3 percentage points below the 93.0 next-day delivery target in the second quarter of 2009-1010, a period when there was a series of localised strikes by the Communication Workers Union, focussed mainly in London. The second quarter report on quality of service showed 90.7% of First Class stamped letters arrived the next working day after posting while 98.0% of Second Class letters arrived on time within three working days after posting, half a percentage point below the 98.5% target for Second Class. During the quarter, however, Standard parcels and European international delivery mail exceeded their targets, as well as a significant proportion of bulk business mail.
  • The Communication Workers Union, which represents thousands of Royal Mail workers may yet call for more strikes before Christmas, despite an interim agreement established earlier this month to establish a period of calm. However, some postal workers are concerned that continued action will alienate them from the general public at the busiest time of year.

November 27, 2009

Postal Sanity has a two-part report on electronic postal services:

Hellmail has reported that "Czech Post reports that Czechoslovakia's new 'Data Box' service has now seen more than one million messages sent. The system, using a government-guaranteed electronic storage space initiative, is a paperless mail service which permits communication between public authorities, guaranteeing the successful delivery of documents from the sender’s data box to the addressee’s. According to Czech Interior Minister Jaroslav Chylek, the percentage of uncollected mail through the system is low at around 5 to 7 per cent - comparable with ordinary letter post. "These figures clearly demonstrate that the data boxes are working, and the system is less labour-intensive" he said."

Kyodo News has reported that "Japan Post Holdings Co. President Jiro Saito said Friday that the state-owned postal and financial group needs to review its fund management portfolio, which is currently overly concentrated in government bonds."

From PRFire: "Jersey Post is the first postal operator in Europe to introduce radically new self-service post and pay kiosks supported by YESpays payment processing service, throughout 3 of their sites November 2009 Jersey Post is the first postal operator in Europe to introduce radically new self-service post and pay kiosks supported by YESpays payment processing service, throughout 3 of their sites. The introduction of the kiosks in Jersey Posts Broad Street and Central Market post offices was provided in partnership with Fujitsu. Previously, the Channel Isle of Jerseys national postal operator was using bank-owned terminals to accept credit and debit card payments once customers had weighed their packages and parcels. With the introduction of the Fujitsu Postal kiosks and on-board self service application, integrated with YESpays payment processing service, customers are now able to weigh, stamp and pay for packages to be posted quickly and efficiently, all at one small space-saving kiosk. In addition to the postal capabilities, the Fujitsu postal application has an additional function of allowing customers to pay electricity and water bills, whilst reducing a huge amount of customer and staff time."

According to Steve Lawson, editor for Hellmail postal news, "postal operators around the world should be braced for a new wave of electronic postal services that will slash millions from profits and see even greater decline of mail services than first thought. "I think direct mail will survive as its a highly effective way to reach buyers, but increasingly government departments will see the attraction and cost savings of paperless mail, and in time that will roll out to domestic customers too, perhaps within the next ten years. "For postal employees already concerned about the future of their employment, this isn't good news, but I think its important to look ahead in this business and see where the real competition is. Decline in stamped mail has been going on for some years now and whilst there has been competition in the market, much of it is about displacement. Finding new business for regular mail isn't easy. The real competition is from the digital world and we're still only scratching the surface in terms of the possibilities."

According to the Newnan Times-Herald, "Washington leadership is all about hope, change and competition. We have heard we need more competition to ensure all American citizens' rights are met. I think that timely, daily delivery of the mail is a right long overlooked by my representatives. We need to urge them to create some competition there to improve the general welfare of all Americans. "

The Age has reported that "a controversial deal to allow ''over-the-counter TAB account services'' at Australia Post offices has been attacked by anti-gambling campaigners as inappropriate and dangerous. From next month people will be able to apply for a TAB betting account, make betting deposits and withdrawals and obtain balances of their betting accounts at Australia Post outlets." See also Gaming Intelligence.

FedEx Trade Networks, a subsidiary of FedEx Corp. and growing international ocean and air freight forwarder, today announced it has opened new freight forwarding offices in China and across Europe as part of an aggressive global expansion plan. The company has opened a total of 14 new freight forwarding locations in 2009.

According to AFP, "Iraq's postmen put their lives in God's hands."

November 26, 2009

FedEx Express, a subsidiary of FedEx Corp. and the world's largest express transportation company, has demonstrated its commitment to Romania with a service enhancement that will enable customers in the growth area Timisoara and Arad to reach key markets in Europe by the next business day. At no extra cost to customers, the new service enhancement will integrate seamlessly into FedEx Express existing service, providing added value to all customers.

Deadtree Edition has reported that "The U.S. Postal Service has some mailers in a panic because it is reportedly planning to issue complex, last-minute changes to the rules for Full-Service Intelligent Mail discounts." See also the Intelisent postal blog.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has reported that "Already facing billions of dollars in losses, the United States Postal Service was ordered earlier this year to pay $75 million in lost overtime to nearly 1,500 Pittsburgh-area union employees."

The Wall Street Journal has reported that "Austrian telecommunications provider Telekom Austria (TKA.VI), and postal service provider Oesterreichische Post AG, or Austrian Post, said Thursday they have reached an agreement with the government to transfer surplus civil servants to the Austrian police force."

From the Federal Register:

Postal Regulatory Commission
NOTICES
New Postal Product ,
62357–62358 [E9–28377]

[TEXT]  [PDF]

Postal Service
NOTICES
Meetings; Sunshine Act ,
62358–62359 [E9–28587]

[TEXT]  [PDF]

At the U.S. Postal Service:

At the Postal Regulatory Commission: United States Postal Service Integrated Financial Plan, Fiscal Year 2010

   

2009 Postal Prices

PostCom's charts of 2009 postal prices
PostCom Master 2009 Price Chart
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HAVE YOU HAD IT WITH
"DO NOT MAIL" MANIA?
Then be sure to read:

* The Environmental Impacts of the Mail: Initial Life Cycle Inventory Model and Analysis (USPS study)
* Informing The Dialogue: Facts About Mail And The Environment (SLS Study) 
* Informing The Dialogue: Facts About Mail And The Environment (SLS Study) 
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* U.S. Constitution, Article 1
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[not the States] shall have power...To establish post offices and post roads."


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