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Association for Postal Commerce
"Representing those who use or support the use of mail for Business Communication and Commerce"


1901 N. Fort Myer Dr., Ste 401 * Arlington, VA 22209-1609 * Ph.: +1 703 524 0096 * Fax: +1 703 524 1871

Here is some of what's new in the Postal World:

March 1, 2008
 
 
The latest issue of the
PostCom Bulletin is available online.
 In this issue:

  • Implementing the Intelligent Mail Barcode is so important to the future of the U.S. Postal Service that Postmaster General Jack Potter this week took an “unusual step.” In a letter, Potter gave postal customers advance notice of some of the changes they can expect in the Proposed Rulemaking that will be published in the Federal Register next month.

  • Postal commentator Gene Del Polito says the Intelligent Mail Barcode probably is the Postal Service’s most important undertaking since the development and implementation of the delivery point barcode. He says a full-scale IMB implementation is a significant capital investment for both the USPS and its customers, and one the Postal Service must get right.

  • Do Not Mail legislation has been introduced in a number of states. Although the mailing community has been unified by the push to curb advertising mail, the mailing industry can no longer ignore the threat posed by Do Not Mail initiatives. If even one state were to pass a bill into law, it would have an enormous ripple effect on the entire mailing industry – an effect that would be devastating to many businesses.

  • The USPS met with software providers and end users this week to review the CASS Cycle M software requirements. Association representatives also were invited to participate in the Partnership in Tomorrow meeting and share information with their respective membership.

  • The House Subcommittee on the Federal Workforce, Postal Service and the District of Columbia held an oversight hearing this week to explore the progress the Postal Service and the Postal Regulatory Commission have made toward implementing the provisions in the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act.

  • USPS undercharged countries millions for mail. Potter names CIO, VP IT operations. Langley nominated to be PRC member. TrackMyMail acquired by Pitney Bowes. The Bennett Group announces 2008 training sessions.

  • Dutch union wants minimum wage, contracts for all postal workers. Spanish postal workers demonstrate for higher pay in Madrid. Canada Post, letter carriers face off in Northern Alberta. Poste Italiane cooperates to end probe.

  • The Arvonio Group joins PostCom.

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The Times has reported that "As Royal Mail closes post offices, its counterpart in Italy is expanding and moving into profit by adopting a strategy that Royal Mail bosses might wish to consider. The Italian postal turnaround offers an example of go-ahead enterprise in a country that, on the whole, is mired in gloomy predictions of decline, low growth, stagnation and instability. How has this unlikely miracle been achieved? "

The Islamabad News has reported that "Pakistan Post, once enjoying monopoly in postal service, is fast losing confidence of the public because of it is unreliability. More and more people are now turning to the private sector to send their mails and parcels but the lower middle class is still dependent on Pakistan Post due to its cheaper rates."

February 29, 2008

In a piece developed for OutputLinks, postal commentator Gene Del Polito noted that the intelligent mail barcode (IMB) "is probably the most important Postal Service undertaking since the development and implementation of the delivery point barcode. Getting this right is extremely important, particularly since in today's rapidly changing marketplace the USPS' margin for error is razor-thin."


Be there or be square...and then pay postage penalties.

As Multichannel Merchant has noted, "Given the challenges in catalog marketing today—namely higher postal and paper costs—and the slowdown in general retail, there aren’t too many success stories so far this year. But AeroGrow International is one of them: The kitchen gardening systems marketer’s catalog--launched about nine months ago--has pushed the company’s sales to record heights." [EdNote: Once again this confirms what PostCom has long said: "Advertising mail. It's the medium that delivers."]

Royal Mail has published its latest report on the quality of its mail service. Royal Mail confirmed that "industrial action during the second quarter of 2007-08 damaged services for postal customers. 78.4% of First Class letters reached their destination the working day after posting, compared with an on-target performance of 93% in the first quarter of the year. Royal Mail Marketing Director Alex Batchelor said, "We are very aware that our customers simply didn’t receive the service they deserve as a result of this year’s strike action by the Communication Workers Union - and we’re very sorry that they were let down." See also Hellmail's comments on the report.

According to the Federal Times, "A year after Congress passed a sweeping postal reform bill, lawmakers are seeing signs that their efforts are paying off. The reforms have led to a smoother process for changing postal rates, more transparency and discipline in the U.S. Postal Service’s finances, and more freedom in how USPS competes with commercial rivals."

The following is a letter from Postmaster General John E. Potter to postal customers:

"Thank you for your feedback on January’s Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in the Federal Register concerning the implementation of the Intelligent Mail Barcode (IMB).

"Your comments were thoughtful and thorough. I am encouraged by the number of responses received and the support of the IMB vision of true transparency, visibility, and real-time data. It is all about increasing the value of the mail.

"You also raised a number of implementation concerns that we need to address. Implementation of the IMB is so important to our future that I am taking the unusual step of giving you advance notice of some of the changes you can expect in the Proposed Rulemaking we plan to publish in the Federal Register next month.

"Here is a preview:

  • Many of you told us that January 2009 was too soon.

  • We will propose a May 2009 implementation, concurrent with our next annual price change.

  • We understand from you that many factors will drive the choice between the basic and full-service options.

  • The May 2009 implementation will include separate prices for the full-service and basic option.

  • The Postnet Barcode will remain eligible for an automation price until May 2010.

  • Those prices will be announced with the May 2009 change. The proposal will include new options for mail owner identification.

  • We are removing the requirement for green color bars on the container label.

"Again, thanks for your responses. I encourage you to continue your implementation efforts and to comment on our next notice. Let’s work together to make the IMB vision a reality."

APWU President William Burrus has asked USPS Inspector General David Williams to conduct an audit of the postal practice of permitting subcontractors to park trucks and store equipment on USPS property free-of-charge."

From the Federal Register: "The Department of State gives notice of the inaugural meeting of the Advisory Committee on International Postal and Delivery Services. This Committee has been formed in fulfillment of the provisions of the 2006 Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (Pub. L. 109-435) and in accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act. Date: March 25, 2008 from 2 p.m. to about 5 p.m. (open to the public). Location: Room 1482, George C. Marshall Conference Center, Department of State, 2201 C Street, NW., Washington, DC 20520."

As the Associated Press has noted, "Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night might keep letter carriers here from doing their jobs. Gunfire and aggressive dogs are something else again. The U.S. Postal Service has temporarily suspended mail deliveries in some neighborhoods where letter carriers have faced real or implied violence."

The Ridgefield Press wants to know "Why does the Ridgefield Post Office look like a pig sty? "

Hemscott has reported that "TNT NV has confirmed a statement from trade union Abvakabo FNV that it has suspended talks with Dutch trade unions over a new collective labour agreement (CAO)."

The Philippine Information Agency has reported that "To make the young people aware the important role that postal service plays in our societies, to foster affection for writing letters even though other modern means of communication exists, the Philippine Postal Corporation (PhilPost) and the Universal Postal Union (UPU) have launched the 37th International Writing Competition for young people to promote better understanding around the world through the post office."

In response to an article in Hernando Today that painted a somber picture of the USPS' financial state, Postal Service vice president for public affairs and communications Joanne B. Giordano wrote: "In a recent commentary in Hernando Today, John Nash offered up his impressions of the financial health of the U.S. Postal Service....Mr. Nash opines that if the Democrats take control of the White House next year, they may increase the income tax to subsidize the Postal Service. That has not been an option for the past three decades. The Postal Service funds its operations exclusively on the sale of products and services, not tax dollars."

Press Release: "BCC Software, a BÖWE BELL + HOWELL company and a leading developer of highperformance solutions for professional mailers, has set a release date of March 3 for Track N Trace™, its newest offering. This service option will provide users with comprehensive information and unprecedented specificity regarding the delivery progress of their mailing jobs. Track N Trace uses the new USPS ® Intelligent Mail ® barcode to supply BCC customers with maildelivery monitoring information as part of the USPS OneCode Confirm ™ program."

The Camden New Journal has noted that "THE Royal Mail were negotiating with a small family-run newsagents to open a branch in Belsize Park just three days before announcing a massive programme of cuts that hails the end of four post offices in Camden. Royal Mail announced last week that the offices in England’s Lane, Highgate High Street, Crowndale Road and South End Road are all due to shut as the company battles to cut costs. Demonstrations by angry customers have taken place outside the branches: on Saturday, BBC newsreader Fiona Bruce lent her support to the campaign, asking shoppers in England’s Lane to sign a petition against the closure."

The Economic Times has reported that "India Post is all set to enter into a series of global partnerships to compete with international money services companies such as Western Union and global courier companies like FedEx. The postal department is in talks with its counterparts in the US, Switzerland, France, and Oman, among others, as it plans to tap the expertise of these countries in specialised financial services and replicate such offerings in India."

February 28, 2008

A summary of key points made at today's House postal oversight hearing has been posted on this site.

Forbes has reported that "Italy's antitrust authority said it has decided to accept commitments made by Poste Italiane SpA to settle an investigation into the post office's market position in liberalised services."

According to the Daily Mail, "Air freshener is good at getting rid of unpleasant smells but a postmistress managed to clear the room of gun-wielding robbers when she grabbed a can of Oust and sprayed the raiders in the face. Postal worker Margaret Taylor fought off two men who burst into her post office waving a gun and a knife. The 42-year-old picked up a bottle of Oust - which claims to do "more than just eliminate odours" - and sprayed the raiders in the face."

From Canada NewsWire: "The Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) wants Canada Post to stop taking away rural roadside delivery until the corporation has thoroughly consulted and explored all available delivery options with rural residents and local union officials. The union also wants Canada Post to go back to locations that have lost roadside mailbox service after improper consultation."

Call 12 for Action has reported that "If you send someone a card for a special occasion, and you mail it through the U.S. Postal Service, watch out what you include inside that card. The U.S. Postal Service confirms: Often times during processing on the sorting belt, gift cards will be forced out of occasion cards, through the envelope, and onto the Post Office floor. The problem is not necessarily with the thickness of the envelope, but with where the gift card happens to be laying inside!"

According to The Consumerist, "When you get a new or replacement credit card in the mail, you have to call the number on the back to activate it, or else you can't use it, right? Wrong. Despite the sticker on the back that says, "For security purposes, this card is not active," credit card companies are mailing out cards that can be used without phone activation. This is a problem if the letter containing your credit card is intercepted by an identity thief, like what happened to reader PC Guy. The kicker? He didn't even request the card, it was a forcible reissue when his store-branded card switched from Visa to Mastercard."

According to The Telegraph, "Prime Minister Gordon Brown has defended Cabinet ministers over leading protests against the planned closure of Post Offices in their own constituencies. Ministers have been accused of "rank hypocrisy" after it emerged a third of Gordon Brown's Cabinet are campaigning against Government plans to axe post offices in their own constituencies. "

PostCom Members!! In mid-2007, PostCom formed a "slim jim" subgroup to work with the USPS on testing slim jim style pieces mailed as automation letters, as well as booklet style and folded self-mailers, tabbed pieces etc. PostCom is currently working with the USPS on testing and is expecting the USPS to issue an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in the near future with some initial proposals on changes to mailing standards for these pieces. Stay tuned.

Arutz Sheva has reported that "Artifacts from City of David excavations in Jerusalem reveal an interesting tidbit of information about the ancient postal system in Israel."

The Philippine Information Service has noted that the "Philippine Postal Corporation, Region VII thru PhilPost 7 Circular No. 2007-11 dated December 12, 2007 is implementing new guidelines in the issuance of Postal Identification Cards (PID). This is in order to improve the quality, security, credibility and to protect the users of the Postal ID. All Postal Officials and employees are duty-bound to safeguard the authenticity of each PID – from application to final releasing and that it must be issued without erasures or alterations which can cast doubt as to the integrity of the ID."

Reuters has reported that "The Teamsters union has reached a tentative labor agreement with DHL Express, a unit of Deutsche Post."

The Telegraph has reported that "Ministers have been accused of "rank hypocrisy" after it emerged that a third of Gordon Brown's Cabinet are campaigning against Government plans to axe post offices in their own constituencies." [EdNote: You wanna see 'rank hypocrisy?' Come visit the U.S. and see the baloney done in Congress with the U.S. Postal Service. You know...'run like a business'...no, don't run like a business....Run like a business...no..... Get the picture?]

From Canada NewsWire: "UPS Canada today announced it will be rolling out 139 additional cleaner-burning, propane delivery trucks. The majority of these vehicles will be deployed in Quebec, Ontario and Alberta and the rest distributed between British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. The propane vehicles are joining roughly 600 propane trucks already operating in Canada. The addition of these vehicles means more than a third of UPS Canada's 2,000 package delivery vehicles will run on low-carbon fuel."

AllAfrica.com has reported that "Postal services provider, Zimpost has introduced motorised letter delivery service as part of efforts to improve efficiency and ensure timely delivery. The company has bemoaned a decline in mail business which is facing stiff challenge from the introduction of new technologies and other communication tools such as the electronic mail which have reduced the need for writing letters physically. Withdrawal of international airlines from the country had also affected its ability to timely move mail from and into the country, Zimbango said. Air Zimbabwe, South Africa and Kenyan Airways are the only airlines that Zimpost is using to send international mail, which they then forward to other airlines to reach the intended destination."

February 27, 2008
 
[PostCom logo

PostCom welcomes its newest member: The Arvonio Group, LLC P.O. Box 151152 Alexandria, VA 22315-1152 represented by Richard H. Arvonio, President.

The "Directive 2008/6/EC Of The European Parliament and of the Council of 20 February 2008 amending Directive 97/67/EC with regard to the full accomplishment of the internal market of Community Postal Services" is available on the European Commission web site.

United States Postal Service Board Of Governors will meet in closed session at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, March 4, 2008 at U.S. Postal Service Headquarters, 475 L'Enfant Plaza, SW, Washington, DC. Among the items to be considered:  1. Strategic Issues. 2. Product Pricing. 3. Financial Update. 4. Personnel Matters and Compensation Issues.

CNNMoney has reported that "Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said the opening of the EU's 90 bln eur mail markets to full competition from 2011 will raise the competitive pressure on the four large European postal companies. S&P said the slow pace of liberalisation over a 15-year period has also offered a strong competitive advantage to these incumbent national mail services. This has given the companies the chance to reposition themselves in more lucrative segments of the mail market and expand into non-mail activities like international express and logistics and financial services."

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

The French La Poste is currently looking into various takeover options for the insolvent Pin Group. Currently, the preferred option seems to be an acquisition undertaken by the post in conjunction with a finance investor. However, the reciprocity clause contained in the new EU directive would preclude a takeover. As long as the French postal market remains unopened, it is questionable whether La Poste would be allowed to operate in Germany.
Adrexo, the first license holder in the French postal market (CEP News 25/06), is partly pulling out of the market again. Last week, the company announced the closure of its addressed mail distribution. Philippe Leonie, CEO of Adrexo’s parent company Spir Communication, said losses, a difficult market environment in combination with the deferment of postal market liberalisation to 2011 had made the decision inevitable.
A newspaper boy delivering advertising mail - hardly an item worth reporting, if it wasn’t for the fact that the contractor in question is Deutsche Post. German news magazine »Der Spiegel« reported on Monday that the post had decided to hire Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitungsgruppe ("WAZ") delivery staff to carry out deliveries of unaddressed advertising mail from 1 March.
Belgium’s La Poste has acquired all shares in the joint venture Certipost (2006 turnover: 8.1m euros, 4m euros deficit). Specialising in electronic communication and data exchange, Certipost was set up in 2002 in conjunction with telecommunications group Belgacom.
Russian Post ended the financial year 2007 with a deficit of approx. 160m euros. In a statement released mid-February, new CEO Andrei Kazmin said that despite considerable volume growth, the post had not been able to get out of the red. Mail volumes went up by 14%, while parcel volumes increased by 25%. First Class mail saw volumes double, and EMS consignments increased 1.5 times. Mr Kazmin said flaws in legislation, significantly higher wages and numerous lossmaking service offers had caused the deficit.
Germany’s Minister of Economics Michael Glos appears to be seeking an alternative solution as part of the ongoing debate surrounding Deutsche Post AG’s exemption from VAT.
Norwegian Edda Media AS has sold its direct marketing operations in Norway and Sweden.
Norway’s Posten AS has announced the rebranding of its foreign operations. Last week, the post stated that green would be its main colour of appearance in Scandinavia, while activities in Norway would remain red. The corporate identity including a new logo is due to be presented later this year.
Belgian daily »De Morgen« (25.2) reports a sharp increase in the number of light-fingered postmen.

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.)

Portfolio.hu has reported that the Hungarian postal service, Magyar Posta, will be among the government enterprises that will be subject to a "new ownership program."
 


WANTED!....NEW POSTAL PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

Take a good look at the way your company uses mail in its business. Get the best minds in your enterprise to help come up with a list of ideas that could help stimulate the creation of new, more value-driven postal services. Then, send your ideas to PostCom (info@postcom.org) to help us compile a comprehensive list. So...don't just sit there....Get thinking!!
 

Transport Intelligence has reported that "DHL Express has decided to build a completely new terminal at the Rosersberg industrial park in Stockholm, Sweden, as part of a "strategic offensive" to develop new facilities all over that country."

The Guardian has reported that "The Netherlands should open its postal market to full competition only when all workers in the sector get minimum wages and have labour contracts, a senior official at Dutch union FNV Bondgenoten said."

The Western Star has reported that "Letter carriers in the heart of the Alberta oilsands continued their strike in protest of forced overtime Monday, prompting Canada Post to file for a court order mandating its employees back to work."

Caterer Search has reported that "Contract caterer Quadrant, a joint venture between Compass Group and Royal Mail, has renewed its contract to feed postal staff in a deal worth £65m in annual turnover. Under the five-year extension, Quadrant will continue to feed 185,000 Royal Mail employees at 1,150 sites across the UK. A 1,800 strong Quadrant team will run 325 restaurants and look after 4,300 vending machines as part of the deal."

February 26, 2008

From the White House: "The President intends to nominate Nanci E. Langley, of Virginia, to be Commissioner of the Postal Regulatory Commission for the remainder of a six-year term expiring 11/22/12. Ms. Langley currently serves as Director of the Office of Public Affairs & Government Relations at the Postal Regulatory Commission. Prior to this, she served as Deputy Staff Director of the Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management, the Federal Workforce, and the District of Columbia on the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. Earlier in her career, she served as Senior Legislative Assistant in the Office of Senator Daniel Akaka. Ms. Langley received her bachelor's degree from the University of Southern California."

U.S. Postal Service Press Release: "An international leader recognized for enabling business transformation through innovative IT solutions has been named executive vice president and chief information officer of the U. S. Postal Service (USPS). Ross Philo, who comes to the Postal Service after a long career in energy-related information services, will support the development of growth, service and administrative initiatives by ensuring that planning and development are linked with appropriate technology strategies. Before joining the Postal Service, Philo was director of global energy solutions at Cisco Systems. Prior to that he was CEO at Visean, Inc., a provider of data transfer services to oil and gas companies. He served as senior vice president and chief information officer at Halliburton Energy Services, held a series of IT leadership roles at Schlumberger Limited, and has extensive international business experience. He holds an engineering degree from the Imperial College of Science and Technology in London."

From Marketwire: "In response to its business customers' demand for opportunities to differentiate their LettermailTM from their competitors, Canada Post has launched Customized Postal Indicia. The innovative service allows businesses to design a 'stamp-like' postage indicia, with an image of their choice, printed onto envelopes."

From PR Newswire: "Verizon Business has completed the design and implementation of a new fully managed Internet protocol-based network for the United States Postal Service, consolidating three previously distinct networks to control costs and consolidate bandwidth while bringing the benefits of advanced IP services."

Union Network International has reported that "Ten thousand postal workers from the Postal Service throughout Spain demonstrated in the centre of Madrid in favour of improvement in their pay and greater job security for the 64,000 postal employees; they marched behind a huge banner that said: For fair pay, For workplace democracy, For the recognition of labour rights and For job security, For the future of the postal service and its workers".

Transport Intelligence has reported that "Gati Limited, a leading Indian express distribution and supply chain management company, has entered into a strategic alliance with Netherlands-based based General Logistics Systems (GLS), described as one of the three largest parcel service providers in Europe."

Postmaster General Jack Potter has announced two new officer selections. Ross Philo was named Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer (CIO) and George Wright was named Vice President, Information Technology Operations.

According to Hellmail, "DX Mail services has reminded Postcomm that the present VAT exemption enjoyed by Royal Mail makes the mail market in the UK somewhat unbalanced and since Postcomm has no powers to change this directly, it should consider 'levelling the playing field upwards through the adoption of measures that positively discriminate in favour of new entrants.'"

Gulf News has reported that "A high-level delegation from China Post Group, led by Zhang Yafei, President of the Group, explored the potential for stronger business ties with Emirates Post, at the end of an official visit. The Chinese officials held talks with Ebrahim Karam, CEO of Emirates Post, Salem Al Shaye'e, Assistant Director General, Operations, Emirates Post and Saif Ali Al Shehhi, Director of Operations, Emirates Post."

February 25, 2008

Bloomberg has reported that "The U.S. Postal Service undercharged countries including China, India and Canada by millions of dollars because of errors in processing mail at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, auditors said. The Postal Service may recover $2.2 million of the $3.4 million that it said it is owed by the postal agencies of the other countries, a report by the service's inspector general said. The remainder stemmed from computer, billing and employee errors made in 2006, too long ago to be recovered under law."

As Traffic World has noted, "With a new hand at the helm of Deutsche Post World Net, the question for shippers now is what direction the world's largest logistics and cargo transport company will take. Frank Appel took the reins last week of the sprawling empire under Deutsche Post World Net after the resignation of Klaus Zumwinkel, who built the state postal authority into the world's largest transportation operator.S"

From PR Newswire: "AddressVision Inc. (AVI), a Bull Group subsidiary and a leading provider of postal automation solutions, today announced that Australia Post has chosen AVI to upgrade its address recognition and mail automation capabilities for processing the country's letter mail."

Precision Marketing has noted that British postal regulator "Postcomm found 21 per cent of medium-sized businesses were taking advantage of multiple mail providers, while only 17 per cent of small businesses were doing so."

Marketing Daily has reported that "newspaper inserts and circulars are more attention-grabbing than TV advertising, according to the latest Customer Focus survey from Vertis Communications."

February 24, 2008

Union Network International has reported that "PIN Group, the German mail delivery company is to pay the statutory postal minimum wage to its workers. The decision was made by the company's new management led by Horst Piepenburg and will who said it will be announced within the next few days."

February 23, 2008
 

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

  • The Association for Postal Commerce, joined by the Direct Marketing Association and Printing Industries of America, this week submitted comments in response to the Postal Service’s proposed implementation of Intelligent Mail Barcodes. While PostCom supported the concept underlying the IMB in principle, it stressed the new technology must be deployed in a manner that is cost effective for both the USPS and mailers, using well thought-out policies and processes that recognize the statutory goal of lowest combined cost.

  • The Postal Regulatory Commission will begin soliciting comments for a study of Universal Service and the Monopoly within the next few weeks. The study, which will look at a number of critical issues for business mailers that have never been examined in any previous economic or policy work, is critical for the mailing community as it will provide the framework for the next round of postal reform likely to begin next year.

  • American Postal Workers Union President William Burrus took aim at the Mailing and Fulfillment Service Association in this “Burrus Update” for members.

  • In this commentary, USPS executive George Wright explains the unique challenges and opportunities facing the Postal Service as the first federal agency mandated to comply with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which requires corporations to report on the effectiveness of their internal controls, with the goal being to ensure the accuracy of financial reporting.

  • All companies know the importance of customer service or at least pay lip service to it. PostCom VP Kate Muth explains the importance of measuring the USPS’ performance results in this postal perspective. She says industry understands the USPS’ customer service standards must be realistic, and its measurement systems credible.

  • Federal Register announcements. New Postal Service IG reports available online. BRM rate chart revision.Appel succeeds Zumwinkel as Deutsche Post chairman. TNT might punt German operation over wages, VAT issue.

  • Epostmarks joins PostCom. Mailcom 2008 early-bird registration deadline looms.

  • A list of upcoming postal-related events.

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The Messenger has noted that "First-class U.S. Postal Service stamps will increase in price on May 12, going up to 42 cents, it was announced last week. Postal Service officials are able to impose price increases more regularly, and with less oversight, because of a change in the law during 2006. It may be time for Congress to revisit the issue, asking whether it has been made too easy for the Postal Service to put its stamp of approval on rate increases." See also the Providence Journal.

The Associated Press has reported that "U.K. army experts dismantled a parcel bomb Wednesday in Northern Ireland's major mail-sorting center, which had to be evacuated for six hours."

Research-Live.com has reported that "Royal Mail has appointed 32 firms to its four-year insight and analysis roster."

La Jornada has reported that "the Attorney General informed the agent of the Federal Prosecutor assigned to the Deputy Attorney Specialized Investigation of Federal Crimes that over 115 thousand items of contraband were seized  during an operation conducted at the offices of the National Coordination of Operation Mexican Postal Service."

Union Network International has told its members that "Two of UNI's Portuguese affiliates, SNTCT and SINDETELCO, are taking strike action Monday 25 February to protest against work deregulation and to demand the renegotiation of a decent collective agreement. The unions action is taken to try and stop CTT – Correios de Portugal, S.A (the Portuguese Postal Service) from destroying the benefits of the workers that have been gained in the past through negotiations."

February 22, 2008

Fort McMurray Today has reported that "Letter carriers with Canada Post’s Fort McMurray station walked off the job this morning, saying the federal post service is forcing them to work overtime to deal with backlogs caused by a shortage of local mail workers. The walkout, which was unplanned, leaves the city without mail service, and one union official said they don’t know how long the strike action will last. Mail workers say this morning’s walkout was triggered by a letter issued by management, saying that Canada Post will continue to discipline employees who refuse forced overtime with suspensions or possible dismissal."

The Orlando Sentinel has reported that "With the special election just days away, Florida Democrats suddenly came out swinging in the fight for Florida House District 32. In a news release Thursday, party officials accused Republican candidate Sean Campbell of violating a state election law by mailing stamps to voters, urging them to use the free postage to mail in their absentee ballots for Tuesday's election."

Postmaster General Jack Potter announced the appointment of three vice presidents and an acting vice president (Kathy Ainsworth, Vice President, Retail Operations; Jordan Small, Vice President, Delivery; Gary Reblin, Vice President of Expedited Mail; and Jim Cochrane, Acting Vice President, Ground Packages) at a recent leadership conference in Washington, DC.

The National Post has reported that "The Federal Court of Canada has added a new chapter to an epic, 25-year human rights case, overturning a $150-million pay equity award granted three years ago to thousands of Canada Post employees across the country."

The New York Times has reported that "Variety, Publishers Weekly and dozens of other trade publications are going up for sale as the publishing company Reed Elsevier looks to get out of the uncertain advertising market."

Aviation.ca has reported that "Canada Post made a special delivery to Winnipeg today when it announced its new state-of-the-art mail processing plant will be built on a 27-acre parcel of land located at the Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport located within the St. James Industrial Area. The plant represents a $50 million investment in Winnipeg."

The Chronicle Herald has reported that "Canada Post is denying allegations by a labour leader that mail is sometimes going undelivered in Cape Breton because of job cutbacks." See also the Cape Breton Post.

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About USPS & News
Postal Regulatory Commission
General Accountability Office
GAO on the USPS 2001-2005
USPS Inspector General
Department of State (UPU)

Postal Unions

Ntl. Assn. of Letter Carriers
Ntl. Rural Letter Carriers Assn.
APWU

Postal Management Groups

Ntl. Assn. of Postmasters of the U.S.
National Assn. of Postal Supervisors
National League of Postmasters

Other Postal News Sources

CEP News
Courier, Express and Postal Observer
Post Notes
PostalNews.Com
PostInsight
Postal Mag.Com
Postal Employee Network
Rocket City Mail Handler
PostalReporter.com

Hellmail (U.K.)

Industry News

Catalog Success
Multichannel Merchant
Direct's "News Line"
DM News
Mailing Systems Technology
Direct Marketing News
Catalog News
Paper Industry News
Printing Industry News
Trucking/Transportation News