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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."


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What's New in the Postal World
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November 11, 2009

We've received word from our members that "It’s Veteran’s Day and the Postal Service's appointment system allowed us to make appointments for facilities that aren’t receiving drop ship mail." Nice goin' guys.

The BBC has reported that "The Isle of Man Post Office is warning of a costly postal scam operating on the island."

One writer for the News Leader complains that "The economy is still hurting, and people remain reluctant to spend their hard-earned cash on non-essentials. But alas, the first blizzard of the season has hit my mailbox, and it's only fall."

The Connexion has reported that "The unions, which represent 95% of La Poste workers, are planning the 24-hour walkout on November 24 in protest at a new law that would turn the post office into a company with shareholders."

The Street has reported that "United Parcel Service said Wednesday the U.S. holiday season is likely to be better than expected and it plans to raise rates in 201o."

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

Despite a decrease in turnover and earnings in the third quarter, Deutsche Post is targeting an increased profit for the full year 2009.
After a deficit of 60m euros the Norwegian Posten will shut down its subsidiary Bring Citymail Denmark after three years.
TNT Post made a new proposal to the labour unions to dissolve the conflict about the collective wage agreement. If the employees agree to a salary cut between 2 and 3,5 percent TNT will renounce its planned redundancies of 11,000 employees (CEPNews 14/07). According to the proposal a salary cut by 3.5 percent would only result in the cut of 1,000 jobs until 2012.
The Bill to incorporate French La Poste has passed the Senate on Monday evening.
The Austrian Trade Association has made serious accusations against the Government in anticipation of the new Postal Law.
The Bulgarian Government intends to create basis for the deregulation of the postal market, by a new postal law.
Sandd BV (Sort and Deliver), Netherlands biggest private mailing service gained market shares from the post.
Deutsche Post’s international mail will become more expensive in 2010.
The Austrian Post signed a co-operation treaty with Francotyp-Postalia. The agreement was signed last thursday between the austrian subsidiary of world wide active FP-Group and the Österreichische Post.
UPS plans growth by aquisitions next year.
The Austrian Post is getting into trouble with consecutive temporary employment contracts.
GLS, Royal Mail’s european parcel network, offers a new service to Belgian mail order customers. Private customers may turn in their return consignments in one of the 150 GLS parcel shops. To use this service the mail order companies have to add a return label to the packet.
British B2C-Parcel specialist Home Delivery Network (HDNL) has announced a co-operation with TNT. Since the beginning of November customers of HDNL have access to TNT’s worldwide parcel delivery network. The cooperation will be especially beneficial to retailers, who supply customers abroad.

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.)

Transport Intelligence has reported that "Two major airports and one of Asia's leading cargo handling groups have reported their latest volumes, showing signs that a recovery in the global air freight market is weak but, nevertheless, encouraging."

Hellmail has reported that "TNT Post UK said today it was committed to reducing the environmental impact of its business operations, particularly door drop media, or leafleting, as it is sometimes referred to. A recent report commissioned by TNT highlights some of the myths surrounding doordrop activity, which has led to a negative perception of the industry in some quarters in comparison to other media. The report covers the entire supply line from paper production and printing right through to delivery and recycling. On the TNT UK web site, the company lists selection of myths."

The National Legal and Policy Center has reported that "On September 2, the current president and two former officers of Local 189 of the American Postal Workers Union were indicted in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas on a combined 200 counts, almost all of them wire fraud."

According to the Wall Street Journal, "the holiday shopping season appears to be showing some signs of life, at least for package-delivery giant FedEx Corp."

Inc. magazine has told its readers that "With bankruptcy looming, the U.S. post office needs a major fix. We asked Inc. 500 CEOs how they would approach the problem."

November 10, 2009

Welcome to PostCom Radio
Postal Podcast on e-Docs

Join PostCom President Gene Del Polito and Grayhair Software postal affairs vice president Angelo Anagnostopoulos in a discussion of e-Docs and PostalOne!/IMb.

From FedEx: "We are gratified with the IRS audit team’s decision not to assess any tax or penalty with respect to any of FedEx Ground’s independent contractors, including our FedEx Home Delivery independent contractors for the years 2004 to 2006. This follows the Oct. 30th IRS audit team decision that said they would not assess any tax or penalty with respect to any of FedEx Ground’s independent contractors, including our FedEx Home Delivery independent contractors for the year 2002. While similar issues may be audited for calendar years 2007 and 2008, we believe the Audit Team should reach the same conclusion on these issues for each of those years, as well."

At the Postal Regulatory Commission:

  • Live audio broadcast will air at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, November 12. This technical conference – in Docket No. R2010-1 – provides the Postal Service an opportunity to clarify questions concerning the implementation of a proposal to establish a specific Move Update assessment charge for First-Class Mail and to revise the manner in which the assessment charge will be applied to Standard Mail. Links will be posted here approximately 10 minutes prior to the broadcast. Those interested in listening in should go to www.prc.com by 1:30 p.m. on the 12th and click the appropriate link highlighted there. To facilitate a dialogue, parties are urged to submit specific questions prior to the conference. Questions should be sent to the Postal Service’s designated contact person, Don O’Hara, Manager, Product Redesign, DOHARA@email.usps.gov; and to John D. Waller, John.Waller@PRC.gov.

Chip Design has a story on: "The USPS uses Opal Kelly's FPGA USB 2.0 Modules in a Real-Time Process Control Application Refurbishing old equipment with new ideas and FPGA modules saves the USPS almost $70M."

From PRMinds: "United States Postal Service - SWOT Analysis - Aarkstore Enterprise"

From the Federal Register:

Postal Service
RULES
International Product and Price Changes ,
57890–57899 [E9–26987] [TEXT]  [PDF]
Pricing and Mailing Standards Changes for Shipping Services ,
57899–57904 [E9–26986] [TEXT]  [PDF]

The Courier, Express, and Postal Observer has noted that "The Postal Service has many problems not of its own making. What it doesn't need are postal employees creating new ones that could drive its largest customers away. Mary Ann Bennett provides a detailed illustration of how that is happening today."

Law.com has reported that "E-discovery is a huge expense, even for big companies with lots of resources. United Parcel Service, Inc. is no exception, and its legal department had enough. So the Atlanta-based shipping company managed to save millions of dollars by outsourcing document reviews to companies both here in the United States and overseas. But the mounting scrutiny of document production by opposing counsel and courts, as well as new federal rules relating to e-discovery, convinced UPS that it needed to do more to get costs under control. The company decided to hire a national e-discovery counsel, and it had to be a firm willing to abandon the billable hour."

The Times-Journal has reported that "Fort Payne Postmaster Mary Jo Crabtree said Monday a former postal worker is under investigation for allegedly taking mail. Crabtree would not release the name of the worker, but she said the employee no longer works at the Fort Payne Post Office. “We had quite a few customers call to report missing mail in the area,” Crabtree said. “The target appeared to be birthday cards, but there were also get-well cards and anniversary cards.”

Novinite has reported that "Transport Minister, Alexander Tsvetkov, has submitted to the Prosecutor’s Office the audit report for the state-owned company Bulgarian Posts Jsc for the period January 2007 – June 2009. The auditors have uncovered several violations the gravest of which is related with the purchase of new company cars."

Global Pensions has reported that "TNT Post plans to ask staff to pay pension contributions for the first time as part of a cost cutting measure meant to avoid significant layoffs."

Triangle Business Journal has reported that "FedEx Express will purchase 51 gasoline-electric hybrid vehicles from Azure Dynamics Corp. (TSX: AZD). The vehicles will be delivered in November and December; most of those will be put into service at a Bronx, N.Y., station. That station will have an all-hybrid fleet of about 100 trucks."

November 9, 2009

The Postal Service has distributed its first-ever Sustainability Report. A copy has been posted on this site.

The latest blog entry has been 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/
 
  • Disappearing Collection Boxes.  Is removing collection boxes a reasonable cost-cutting move or a strategic mistake that the Postal Service will later regret?  What do you think?
 
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.

The Chicago Tribune has reported that "There's a little joke that Sen. Orrin Hatch likes to tell about the so-called ''public option'' in the health-care legislation that passed the House by a vote of 220-215 over the weekend. "One big joke in Washington is, if the government ends up running health care, it'll be just like the U.S. Postal Service,'' the Utah Republican told Don Imus this morning in his new saddle at FOX Business Network. "There will be long waiting periods, care would be expensive, and no babies would be delivered without adequate postage."

Transport Intelligence has reported that "TNT Group is still facing falling demand in its key markets with its just released third quarter figures showing modest but significant falls in profits and sales. As compared with the third quarter in 2008, Group Revenue fell by 5.9% to €2.483bn whilst operating profits (Earnings Before Interest and Tax-EBIT) fell by 9.6% to €179m. The Express business, which is the driver of the Group's profits, saw heavy falls in business as compared to last year. The third quarter often sees lower volumes in the Express sector but this year revenue fell by 9% to €1.467bn and EBIT fell by 27.3% to €63m on a year-on-year basis. TNT Group stated that "trading conditions have shown a further stabilisation" but that "Customers continue to trade down to more cost-effective delivery solutions and they continue, on a year-on-year basis, to ship lower weights per consignment and lower consignment volumes". Yet the rate of decline has become "sequentially less negative compared to Q2 2009." The only real growth was seen in emerging markets with China seeing a 19% growth in revenue."

According to Mary Ann Bennett, President & CEO of the Bennett Group, major First-Class Mailers "have a vested interest in making sure they have the absolute most current address data on file for their customers. For decades, they have had in place extraordinarily detailed and extensive processes to assure they have the most current move/address information for their customers. For all these years they have assumed they have been move update compliant by anyone’s standards simply because of the hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars they have spent in making sure they have call centers place; processing departments to handle any mail that is returned to them as part of mailing at First class rates. They hear from their local Post Offices about what a great customer they are of the United States Postal Service---what a great partner they are! And then they get a phone call from a Postal Inspector who says "“Technically you have not been in compliance and listen Mr. Mailer, if I go back a period of years, since this regulation has been in place since 1997, technically I could go back and take away every postage discount you have claimed over the last twelve years. I could recover around $80 million but we will settle for just $2.5 million. We are going to settle for this reduced amount and unless you pay this amount, we are going to rescind your mailing privileges.” 

The Courier, Express, and Postal Observer has noted that:

  • Given the difficulty of selling eliminating long-standing contract provisions to their members, postal unions and the Postal Service are likely heading toward an arbitrated contract agreement where an arbitrator will be asked to make the choice between jobs and compensation.
  • On November 5th, former Deputy Postmaster General Michael Caughlin suggested that the Postal Service in order to survive must have a much smaller footprint with possibly 150 plants and 400,000 employees....His response raises an important question that opponents of shrinking the network will raise. Can the Postal Service maintain service levels if the network of processing plants shrinks to less than half of its current size?

According to DutchNews, "Postal firm TNT Post has made a new pay proposal to staff which will remove the threat of 11,000 redundancies, the Telegraaf reported at the weekend. The new proposal calls for company-wide pay cuts of between 2% and 3.5%. This would partly come from less generous Sunday work bonuses and increased pension premiums, the paper says. If all members of staff agree to a 3.5% pay cut, the number of compulsory sackings can be reduced to not more than 1,000, a TNT spokesman told the paper."

According to the Heartland Connection, "over 1300 Missouri checks were returned to the IRS due to mailing address errors. To avoid this problem in the future, the IRS recommends using the direct deposit option." See also the Washington Examiner.

The Board of Governors of the U.S. Postal Service will meet at Postal Service headquarters, 475 L’Enfant Plaza, SW, Nov. 12-13. The public is welcome to observe the Board’s open session, scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m., Nov. 13, in the Ben Franklin Room on the 11th floor. The Board is expected to discuss the following items: Friday, Nov. 13 at 8:30 a.m. 1. Call to order and approval of minutes of previous meetings. 2. Remarks of the Chairman of the Board. 3. Remarks of the Postmaster General and CEO. 4. Committee reports. 5. Consideration of fiscal year 2009 10-K, financial statements and Postal Service annual report. 6. Consideration of fiscal year 2010 Integrated Financial Plan. 7. Consideration of fiscal year 2009 comprehensive statement and annual performance plan. 8. Quarterly report on service performance. 9. Tentative agenda for the Dec. 8, 2009, teleconference meeting. 10. Election of Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Board of Governors. 11. Adjourn.

November 8, 2009

The Washington Post has reported that "House Democrats might use a swig of "black liquor" to help health-care reform go down. Democratic leaders, who have been searching high and low for ways to pay for health-care reform, have fixed their sights on a cellulosic biofuel tax subsidy that could benefit the paper industry, which has been burning a pulp byproduct known as black liquor as fuel since the 1930s."

The Manila Bulletin has reported that "he prevalence of cellular phones and the Internet, among other instant messaging tools, along with the recent financial crisis has affected operations of the Philippine Postal Corporation (Philpost). Jocelyn Agravante, Philpost 7 1st District Manager said that as the economic crisis badly hit the business sector especially exports, the agency has also seen a decrease in international mail."

Hellmail has a piece on "Royal Mail - Insurrection, Strikes, Strategy and Missed Opportunity."

November 7, 2009

As the Wall Street Journal has reported, "The jobless rate jumped to 10.2% in October, the first time above 10% since the early 1980s. A total of 15.7 million Americans are out of work." [EdNote: Not exactly the harbinger commercial mailers were hoping for on the way into the holiday mailing season.]

The Financial Times has reported that "Royal Mail and the postal union offered starkly different interpretations yesterday of the interim agreement that has allowed strikes to be called off until the new year. As details of the agreement were published, the state-owned company said the deal was "on all key issues the same" as that discussed last month, before members of the Communication Workers Union began five days of national strikes. But the CWU said the agreement contained "significant concessions" by Royal Mail that had mainly emerged in the past few days. Most of the movement appears to concern the negotiating process, disciplinary issues, overtime and a few more specifics on the scope of the final deal, including all aspects of delivery."

KYW has reported that 'A South Jersey congressman is repeating his call for answers regarding plans to close a regional US Postal Service distribution facility early next year, eliminating hundreds jobs. And, if he doesn’t get them soon, the fate of the facility could wind up in court. Congressman Rob Andrews has heard nothing on the planned shutdown of the Philadelphia Logistics and Distribution Center just outside Swedesboro in February."

Reuters has reported that "Dutch mail company TNT NV said on Saturday it had sent a new proposal to unions, which included a maximum pay cut of 3.5 percent, but would prevent massive job cuts. "Keeping jobs comes first," the company said in a letter to its workers, adding the proposal would give more time to help workers to find other jobs."

According to the Star Gazette, "Postal employees on Thursday received their 60-day notice that their jobs in Elmira are being excessed, John Dahl, president of Elmira Local 2255 of the American Postal Workers Union, said Friday. So far, only one mail-processing machine of six was removed from the U.S. Postal Service’s facility at Sullivan Street in Elmira. Workers have not been given any choices yet about where they are going to be excessed to, he said. “They’ve gotten their notices, but there are no jobs that they’re being told they can go into." Also, maintenance workers have not yet received notification, he said."

At the Postal Regulatory Commission:

  • Docket No. R2010-1: "Notice of Price Adjustment and Classification Changes Related to Move Update Assessments." The Postal Service proposes to establish a specific Move Update assessment charge for First-Class Mail and to revise the manner in which the assessment charge will be applied to Standard Mail.1 The Commission has received comments on the Postal Service’s proposal from several parties. These comments raise technical questions concerning the implementation of the proposed Move Update assessments. To develop more fully the record in this proceeding, the Commission will convene a technical conference to give the Postal Service an opportunity to clarify these issues in an informal atmosphere. The technical conference will be held at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, November 12, 2009, in the Commission’s hearing room. [EdNote: For reference, see the comments filed by PostCom, DMA, and the Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers.]
  • Docket No. CP2010-8: "Notice And Order Concerning Changes In Rates Of General Applicability For Competitive Products."

The latest copy of the National Association of Postmasters of the U.S. electronic governmental affairs newsletter is available on the NAPUS web site.

November 6, 2009

 
The latest issue of the
PostCom Bulletin is available online.
 In this issue: (Competitive Services Price Charts Are Attached.)
REVISED WITH MORE POSTAL NOTES

  • The House Subcommittee on Federal Workforce, Postal Service, and District of Columbia held a hearing on "More than Stamps: Adapting the Postal Service to a Changing World." The purpose of the hearing is to examine revenue-generation initiatives recently undertaken by the Postal Service in order to further address the agency’s ongoing financial challenges. In addition, the hearing is also expected to discuss existing barriers to the Postal Service’s ability to innovate its operations through the introduction of new products and services.
  • USPS Mailing and Package Services President Robert Bernstock told a House postal oversight panel that PAEA's "pricing freedoms fall short of the freedoms our competitors enjoy in the private sector and matching the private sector freedoms would be appropriate." "In the private sector," he said, "contracts are...not scrutinized by a regulator, which is what is required for each postal contract before it can be signed. For the Postal Service, every contract Is considered a new product and must be approved by our regulator in advance of implementation."
  • In her testimony to the House postal oversight panel, Postal Regulatory Commission Chairman Ruth Goldway noted that "although the PAEA allows the Postal Service to make a profit, it imposes clear obligations." "The Postal Service," she stressed, "must provide universal service to bind the Nation together, compete fairly and legally, afford preferential price treatment to some mailers, operate with transparency and accountability, and refrain from abusing its monopoly power." In addition, it was "expected to pay its own way."
  • USPS's financial condition for fiscal year 2009 and its financial outlook continue to be challenging. In fiscal year 2009, mail volume declined about 28 billion pieces, or about 14 percent, from the prior fiscal year, when volume was about 203 billion pieces; revenue declined from about $75 billion to about $68 billion.
  • Former Deputy Postmaster General and former Accenture postal consulting vice president Michael Coughlin told the House postal oversight panel that "most Posts in the industrialized, developed world have made significant efforts over the last 20 years to expand their revenue bases beyond traditional mail services." Within the U.S., Coughlin said, things are considerably different than they are overseas. In the U.S., he said, "there is a very strong philosophical aversion in this country to a government entity competing in private markets, with goods and services that are already available from private sources."
  • Robert A.F. Reisner, President of Transformation Strategy (and former vice president in charge of the Postal Service's strategic planning office) told the House postal subcommittee that "there is broad consensus that bold action must be taken to reinvigorate the postal system. And fortunately there are real and tangible opportunities to create new value for postal customers." Three such areas for potential, future growth could come from “enabling the last mile”, “extending democracy’s reach” and “promoting green routes.”
  • The Board of Governors voted and approved increases to USPS prices for all of its shipping services. The prices will increase on January 4 by an average of 3.3 percent for Express Mail, Priority Mail, Parcel Select, Parcel Return Service, and some international shipping products.
  • The Association for Postal Commerce (PostCom) and the Direct Marketing Association earlier this week filed comments with the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) in response to its proposed rule concerning the Postal Service’s reporting of service performance measurement for market-dominant products.
  • The U. S. Postal Service earlier this week submitted to the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) its comments on the PRC’s proposed changes in the way it reports service performance for market-dominant products. The USPS opposed the PRC’s proposal for reporting service performance at the market-dominant product level on a quarterly basis, although it outlined its capabilities for such reporting for some First-Class Mail and Package Services products beginning in FY 2010.
  • This week, the U.S. Postal Service responded on time to the Postal Regulatory Commission Presiding Officer's Information Request (POIR). There were six questions asked concerning different aspects of the USPS Move Update proposal that was filed last month.
  • According to the Courier, Express, and Postal Observer, "the Postal Service's rate structure is complicated and the use of worksharing discounts further complicates thinking about pricing. The primary problem is the word "discount." It suggests that the customer is getting a deal when in fact they are buying a more basic product from the postal service for a lower price. The alternative way of thinking of postal rates is to start with the basic service as the basis for all pricing....Given the current economic and competitive landscape, any APWU proposal would have to offer postal customers a better value or preparing such a proposal would be a waste of time and energy."
  • PostCom has made available to its members two key support tools to help interpret the Postal Service’s new flats deflection standards, currently scheduled for implementation on January 4, 2010. A new PostCom webcast (mms://205.178.146.41/637842/droop.test.wmv) features PostCom Vice President Jessica Lowrance, and USPS Mail Classification Specialist Bill Chatfield in a demonstration of the flats deflection test used to determine the acceptability of flats mail pieces for machinability.
  • Updates on dockets at the Postal Regulatory Commission.
  • Updates on postal matters published in the Federal Register.
  • An update on DMM Advisory notices issued by the U.S. Postal Service.
  • A review of postal news from around the world.
  • Postal previews
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Publishing Executive has reported that:

  • Developments in the e-reader market are happening faster than anyone can keep track of. It seems that new products are being released on a daily basis. And each of these products feature new, interesting and advantageous technologies.
  • A recent report issued by research and advisory firm mediaIDEAS projects sales of e-readers to grow from nearly 6 million units in 2010 to 115 million units in 2013, largely due to falling prices and rapidly advancing technology. "The E-Paper E-Reader Phenomenon" outlines the dramatic growth of these display devices over the next 10 years into a $25 billion market. Nick Hampshire, who authored the report, told Publishing Executive Inbox that magazine publishers must recognize the looming shift in the way consumers read content and realize that the "e-reader threat" has arrived and actually presents publishers with a real opportunity. The full report is available at www.mediaideas.net.

The UPS Board of Directors today declared a regular quarterly dividend of $0.45 per share on all outstanding Class A and Class B shares. The dividend is payable Dec. 3, 2009, to shareholders of record on Nov. 16, 2009. UPS has either increased or maintained its dividend every year for four decades. [EdNote: As for the Postal Service . . . .Well, yesterday it declared that it was in a state of hurt.]

Government Executive has reported that "The U.S. Postal Service must look for new ways to generate revenue beyond simply reducing its workforce, said lawmakers and witnesses during a House hearing on Thursday. Employee layoffs are not the only solution to digging the agency out of debt, said Rep. Stephen Lynch, D-Mass., chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform's federal workforce subcommittee. "It would be a mistargeting of our problems to look at the backs of our employees." But Lynch expressed disappointment over the agency's consolidation and cost-savings efforts thus far, particularly because recent buyout offers have not generated enough employee interest to reduce the Postal Service workforce."

The Philadelphia Inquirer has reported that "The U.S. Postal Service has violated federal regulations by failing to provide financial details that justify the planned closing of a mail-processing facility in Gloucester County, according to U.S. Rep. Robert E. Andrews. The Postal Service has said it would save $3.3 million, plus a "significant" amount in labor costs, by shuttering the Philadelphia Logistics and Distribution Center in Logan Township, the South Jersey Democrat said. The facility employs about 600 people. Andrews said yesterday that he had been denied an accounting of how the savings would be achieved. He said he sent Postmaster General John E. Potter a letter yesterday demanding information."

Пари has reported that "Bulgarian Posts will be restructured and stabilised financially, minister of transport and ICT Alexandar Tsvetkov said. The changes will help Bulgaria meet its commitments to the European Union for liberalisation of the sector and giving all citizens access to the universal postal service at reasonable prices. The amendments made to the Postal Services Act were aimed at opening the market to private companies and modernising services, Tsvetkov pointed out. About 70% of the post offices make losses, so staff reduction will be initiated to optimise labour costs. Bulgarian Posts will be split into five subsidiaries in which the state will keep 51%. That will secure fresh capital without the future investors having to own assets, as they will get dividends from the subsidiaries. The scheme will become effective within a month, the transport minister forecast."

InTheNews has reported that "The Communication Worker's Union (CWU) has released the interim agreement with Royal Mail which called off strikes yesterday. The union said the interim agreement contained significant developments and concessions which had emerged in the last few days. The nationwide postal strikes which were due to take place today and Monday were called off last night. The third round of the industrial action was set to involve 121,000 Royal Mail workers and was due to be the most disruptive of the strike actions yet. The interim agreement released by the CWU shows postal workers will work normally during the Christmas period, "ensuring they get the chance to earn extra money". The union said, most importantly, the interim agreement is "very specific on how a full and final agreement will be shaped. It guarantees that Royal Mail will agree change and that workers will get real benefits from the modernisation of the business".

PersonnelToday has reported that "he postal workers union has climbed down over its decision to mount a legal challenge against Royal Mail's policy to employ 30,000 agency workers to clear the backlog of post. The Communication Workers Union (CWU) had been due to go to the High Court today, to seek an injunction to stop Royal Mail using the temporary staff to conduct the work of striking postal staff – something Royal Mail strongly denied. It is not clear whether the union will press ahead with the injunction in the New Year, or what the reasons were behind the change of heart."

The Telegraph has reported that "A pensioner has complained that a postal worker refused to hand over a parcel to him unless his nine-day-old baby granddaughter signed for it."

From PRLog: "World Marketing Inc. (WMI), a direct marketing company specializing in end-to-end quality services for literature fulfillment, lettershop and statement processing, is pleased to announce that Brown Printing Company has selected WM’s Inside Track product as their mail tracking tool branded as Smart Mail Management."

Advertising Age has reported that "WPP Chief Executive Martin Sorrell not only thinks the contraction of the newspaper and magazine industry will continue, but that it needs to continue. In keynote remarks that opened this week's Ad-Tech in New York, Mr. Sorrell cited the over-capacity of supply and inventory as a major problem holding back the re-stabilization of the media business. He also predicted that ad agencies would be getting "very much more involved" in the development of content and that the lines between advertising and editorial are going to get "much more blurred" than they already are today."

From the Federal Register:

Postal Regulatory Commission
NOTICES
New Postal Product ,
57536–57537 [E9–26806] [TEXT]  [PDF]
57537 [E9–26809] [TEXT]  [PDF]
57538 [E9–26811] [TEXT]  [PDF]

The Washington Post has reported that "A congressional hearing on the future of the U.S. Postal Service can be one depressing experience. The sky outside the Rayburn House Office Building was bright Thursday morning, but it was all gloom and doom in Room 2154. Members of a Committee on Oversight and Government Reform panel explored novel ways the Postal Service might pull itself from deep debt -- selling birthday cards, for instance -- but what they heard was apprehension about the future and dismal reports about the past." If you missed yesterday's hearing, go here:
http://c-span.org/Watch/Media/2009/11/05/HP/A/25549/House+Oversight+Subcmte+ Hearing+on+Adapting+the+US+Postal+Service.aspx

Press Release: "The global outlook series on Postal Services provides a collection of statistical anecdotes, market briefs, and concise summaries of research findings. The report offers a bird’s eye view of the industry, highlights latest trends in the postal services market, and demand drivers, in addition to providing statistical insights. Regional markets elaborated upon include United States, Canada, Japan, France, Germany, UK, Bulgaria, Finland, Bangladesh and India. Also included is an indexed, easy-to-refer, fact-finder directory listing the addresses, and contact details of 196 companies worldwide."

November 5, 2009

Press Release: "BCC Software, a BÖWE BELL + HOWELL company and a leading developer of high-performance mailing technology solutions, announces that Arandell Corporation, one of North America’s largest privately held web offset printing companies, has joined the BCC family thanks to the comprehensive capabilities of Mail Manager Full Service™, BCC’s top-tier postal software product."

From PRLog: "Harvey Software announced the introduction of Smart RateBots™ for its flagship Computerized Parcel System (CPS™) shipping software. Smart RateBots go beyond automatic rate shopping in the already popular CPS RateBots by finding the best price for delivery within a specific number of days."

Reuters has reported that "British postal workers said on Thursday they would suspend strike action until at least after Christmas under an interim agreement reached between unions and state-owned Royal Mail. Brendan Barber, head of union umbrella group the TUC, told reporters that no definitive agreement had been reached to resolve a long-running row over jobs, pay and modernisation. However, he said strike action had been suspended pending further efforts to settle the dispute and to prevent disruption of deliveries at the busiest time of the year." See also InTheNews and the BBC.

Testimony from today's House hearing on the U.S. Postal Service:

  • Testimony of Robert Bernstock, President, Mailing and Package Services, U.S. Postal Service
  • Testimony of The Honorable Ruth Goldway, Chairman, Postal Regulatory Commission
  • Testimony of Phillip Herr, Director Physical Infrastructure Issues, Government Accountability Office
  • Testimony of Michael Coughlin, Former Deputy Postmaster General and former Vice President, Postal Consulting Services, Accenture
  • Testimony of Robert A.F. Reisner, President Transformation Strategy Inc. and former U.S. Postal Service vice president of strategic planning.

The CBC has reported that "Toronto's in-store postal outlets seem to be disappearing and storeowners say the reason is Canada Post wants the small shops to buy expensive new computers and make other changes, with no guarantee of a long-term commitment from the post office."

The BBC has reported that "A third round of postal strikes may be avoided, union sources have told the BBC. The sources said a possible deal was on the table." See also The Guardian, the Associated Press, and Sky News.

The Wall Street Journal has reported that "Mail and logistics company Deutsche Post AG (DPW.XE) Thursday said it swung to a net loss in the third quarter, but raised its 2009 earnings outlook thanks to successful cost cutting amid the first signs of market recovery. The company now expects 2009 adjusted earnings before interest and taxes to reach at least EUR1.35 billion from a previous forecast of EUR1.2 billion. The former monopoly still expects a net profit for 2009 based on the valuation of put options on Deutsche Postbank AG (DPB.XE) shares, substantially above the EUR1.69 billion net loss in 2008. A put is an option to sell a security at a specified price, usually within a limited period. Deutsche Post also said it will reach its cost cutting goal of EUR1 billion sooner than expected. It will now reach its target by the end of 2009, compared to a previous forecast of the second quarter of 2010. Since the start of the cost cutting program in 2007, the company has saved around EUR859 million." See also the Financial Times.

Forbes has reported that "Bulgaria's new government will seek investors for five subsidiaries of the state postal monopoly as part of plans to liberalise the mail market."

Welcome to PostCom TV
Join PostCom Vice President Jessica Lowrance, and USPS Mail Classification Specialist Bill Chatfield in a demonstration of the mail piece "deflection" test used to determine the acceptability of flats mail pieces for machinability.
For further information, PostCom members should consult the October PostCom Postal Operations Update

Marketing Direct has reported that "Royal Mail took full-page ads in national newspapers yesterday urging its staff to turn up for work tomorrow in defiance of the Communications Workers Union's national strike call."

The Norway Post has reported that "The Norwegian company Bring Citymail Danmark has started a process to terminate its mail distribution operations in the Copenhagen area, after it has lost a total of NOK 500 in three years. Negotiations are now being started to terminate the mail distribution operations and dismiss 440 employees."

From the Federal Register:

Postal Regulatory Commission
 
RULES
Freedom of Information Act Regulations ,
57252–57260 [E9–26144]

[TEXT]  [PDF]

PROPOSED RULES
Periodic Reporting Rules ,
57280–57281 [E9–26726]

[TEXT]  [PDF

The Telegraph has reported that "More than a quarter of postal workers are expected to break the strike later this week as Royal Mail launched an advertising campaign to encourage its staff to go to work."

The Kenya Broadcasting Corporation has reported that "Zain Kenya has signed a partnership agreement with Postal Corporation that will enable its customers to register for the company's ZAP services through postal outlets. Speaking at the launch the postmaster, retired major general Hussein Ali said that the partnership agreement designate postal corporation as an agent for the ZAP branch where they will accept cash deposits and make payments on behalf of ZAIN Kenya money transfer service customers."

FedEx Express, a subsidiary of FedEx Corp., has announced the expansion of its international shipping portfolio with a suite of economy services. This expansion provides customers in Brazil with more choices for their less urgent shipments, to more destinations around the world, at lower costs. Effective October 31, 2009, FedEx Express offers Brazilian exporters FedEx International Economy® to 203 destination countries and territories, and FedEx International Economy® Freight to 83 destination countries and territories. These services provide door-to-door, customs-cleared, time-definite delivery, and are an economical alternative for less urgent shipments, characterized by the same quality, service and reliability expected from FedEx.

At the Postal Regulatory Commission:

  • Docket No. CP2010-8:  Notice Of The United States Postal Service Of Changes In Rates Of General Applicability For Competitive Products Established In Governors’ Decision No. 09-13

   

2009 Postal Prices

PostCom's charts of 2009 postal prices
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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) 
* The many documents that serve as backup  (SLS Study) 
* How To Deal With "Do Not Mail" Mania (PostCom) 
* What You Need to Know About
Mail, the Economy, and Society
(PostCom) 
* U.S. Constitution, Article 1
Section 8:
"The  Congress 
[not the States] shall have power...To establish post offices and post roads."


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This Day in Postal History

Things You Should Know

Postal Facts
Contacting the President of the U.S.
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Contacts via FirstGov
How a Bill Becomes a Law 
Getting Your Voice Heard
Tips on Emailing Congress
Working With The Media
Other Key Public Affairs Links

Postal Rates & Codes Worldwide


Government Postal Sites

U.S. PostalService
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USPS RIBBS web site
MTAC
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Postal Explorer
Postal Regulatory Commission
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GAO on the USPS 2001-2005
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Report of Commission on USPS

Postal Unions

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APWU

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