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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: +1 703 524 1871
Here is some of what's new in the Postal World:

July 23, 2008

The July 24th congressional postal oversight hearing entitled, “The Three R’s of the Postal Network Plan: Realignment, Right-Sizing, and Responsiveness” will be webcast. The hearing begins at 2 p.m. Here's the webcast URL: http://federalworkforce.oversight.house.gov. This is also where the testimony submitted by witnesses will be available after the hearing takes place.

PostCom has been told that the U.S. Postal Service has decided to delay the mandatory implementation of its IMB until November 2009 rather than May.

Press Release: "BCC Software, a BÖWE BELL + HOWELL company and the leading developer of highperformance solutions for professional mailers, has announced a new option that dramatically increases the value of NCOA Link® LSP processing purchased via BCC Data Services. Effective immediately, the LSP Unlimited service option will provide limitless access to NCOA Link LSP processing for an annually renewable fee of $1,995 for users of BCC’s Mail Manager 2010 and Mail Manager 2010 LE software products. Mailing jobs processed through the LSP Unlimited service option will also receive DPV ® , LACS Link® , Suite Link ™ and ANK Link ™ processing at no additional charge."

Postal workers play a valuable role in supporting migration, fund transfers, transport, trade, education and literacy, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today in a message to the 24th Universal Postal Congress in Geneva. “Postal services are universal, connecting people throughout the world,” Mr. Ban said in the message, which was delivered by the Director-General of the UN Office in Geneva, Sergei Ordzhonikidze. “That is particularly important at a time when millions of people have migrated to seek better economic opportunities, or have been forced to flee areas afflicted by war or natural disaster, and are eager to share news and resources with loved ones.” The Secretary-General added: “I am encouraged by the way the world’s postal outlets are serving as natural gateways to the information society.”

From PRNewswire: "The U.S. Postal Service plans to identify new, more environmentally friendly vehicle technologies that are less dependent on petroleum-based fuel sources to replace the 195,000 neighborhood delivery vehicles of its total 220,000 vehicles, the world's largest civilian fleet. Today's announcement came during a ceremony in which General Motors presented a Chevrolet Equinox Fuel Cell electric vehicle to the Postal Service for testing in a mail-delivery environment."

Here's something that should fry your egg. Some phisherman has devised a way to snooker citizens to fall into their trap.



After the last annual calculations of your fiscal activity we have determined that you are eligible to receive a tax refund of $620.50.
Please submit the tax refund request and allow us 3-6 days in order to process it.


A refund can be delayed for a variety of reasons.
For example submitting invalid records or applying after the deadline.

To access the form for your tax refund, please click here


Note: For security reasons, we will record your ip-address, the date and time. Deliberate wrong inputs are criminally pursued and indicated.


Regards,
Internal Revenue Service

This is the kind of stuff that could easily be prevented if the sender could be verified through the use of an electronic postmark. What ever happened to that service?

The agenda for the August 5-7 meeting of the Mailers Technical Advisory Committee has been posted on this site.

PostInsight carries a notice on the availability of "Postal Economics in Developing Countries - Posts, Infrastructure of the XXIst Century" edited by Joëlle Toledano and José Ansón (UPU). It's a good paper, well worth reading.

CNN has noted that "The email of the species is deadlier than the mail." So wrote the British actor and novelist Stephen Fry. Is the electronic age throwing sand in the face of the traditional postcard? Tell CNN Business Traveller what you think in the Sound Off box below. Yet, we book our holidays online, we check in online, and, now we even write about our travels online -- emails and blogs packed with photos, video clips and every conceivable detail of our travels. Where does this online explosion leave the humble postcard?"

According to the San Jose Business Journal, "VeriFone Holdings Inc. was awarded a multi-year dollar contract valued at up to $10 million to provide the U.S. Postal Service with electronic payment capabilities."

From Business Wire: "Research and Markets ( http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/0c773b/rfid_for_postal_an) has announced the addition of the "RFID for Postal and Courier Services 2008-2018" report to their offering. Detailed ten year forecasts are given plus a full explanation of the technologies. In detail, there are 40 new case studies of RFID in action in the postal and courier service in North America, Europe, the Middle East and East Asia. The major breakthroughs that will provide future success are discussed."

From PR Web: "Earth Class Mail Corp., the global leader in delivering postal mail online, announced Chris Salvage, a 24-year veteran of FedEx, as its new vice president of operations. The experience Salvage garnered by overseeing the daily delivery of 200,000 packages for more than a decade will help Earth Class Mail scale its online postal-mail service to meet larger volumes."

Baltic Business News has reported that "State owned postal company Eesti Post announced the auction to the properties in Laulasmaa and Taevaskoda, which are popular summer vacation spots in Estonia."

Bloomberg has reported that "United Parcel Service Inc., the world's largest package-delivery company, said second-quarter profit fell 21 percent as fuel costs rose and the cooling economy damped domestic shipments. The decline reflected customers' shift away from air shipments in favor of cheaper ground-based options. While U.S. package volume may drop 2 percent in the second half of the year, earnings will be ``modestly better'' than the first half if business conditions don't deteriorate further, UPS said."

The Memphis Commercial Appeal has reported that "FedEx founder Frederick W. Smith will be an at-large delegate at the Republican National Convention in September and Memphian John Ryder will serve on the convention’s Rules Committee, the Tennessee Republican Party."

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

The Swiss post’s international division SPI has acquired German operator Global Press Distribution GmbH (GPD).
Last week the EU Commission declared that certain subsidies received by Poste Italiane were unlawful.
Deutsche Post seems to be sticking with its plans for a weekly free paper.
Privatisation of Eesti Post seems an increasingly likely prospect.
Poste Italiane CEO Massimo Sarmi has again made a public statement in favour of an IPO.
Deutsche Post AG intends to take its time over the sale of the subsidiary Postbank.
Only a few weeks after official consultations between China Post and Emirates Post took place, the two companies have signed an agreement to intensify bilateral relations between them.
Mail as part of the marketing arsenal of British firms has lost some of its importance. According to a study by Direct Marketing, advertising mail volumes dropped by 9% last year compared to 2006. A weakening of the effect of advertising mail, growing use of digital media and environmental scruples have combined to cause the decline.
Only a few days after the Chinese government had announced the introduction of "administrative procedures for the express market" the first such measure was published. Under the decree, express firms will in future be obliged to comply with the criteria for express services published in September 2007, which stipulate that express organisations and firms must employ at least 15 members of staff in order to be recognised. City express consignments must be delivered within 24 hours and domestic express items must not exceed a transmission time of 72 hours. Parcels must not exceed 50 kilos in weight and compensation for delay or loss of a consignment is limited to five times the transport price. The new regulations demand that express firms publish not only their service guarantees but also exact transmission times and prices. Service quality is to be assessed by an independent third party.
Stratospheric oil prices together with the economic crisis have forced US airlines to cut back their staff, fleet and schedules drastically - which has affected the handling of air cargo and mail.
Deutsche Post still enjoys a monopolistic position in Germany as far as the federal government, the parliament and over 600 federal authorities and agencies are concerned.
La Poste in France and eBay have agreed on a simplified franking method for auction users.
Poczta Polska has started one of the biggest tenders in the company’s history. Market observers estimate that the purchase of mail and parcel sorting machines has a volume of around 80m euros.

Express Market Austria 2007
For quite some time, the European parcel and express market has been dominated by foreign companies. The big, internationally active express service providers DHL, UPS, FedEx and TNT are as active as the European parcel networks DPD and GLS, as well as the Hermes Logistics Group which is mainly focused on the end customer. The market position of the currently biggest provider, the Austrian Post, will become even more unstable in the parcel market than before. Nevertheless, the picture of the market is not only determined by internationally active service providers. Medium-sized companies, such as Funk Trans, Veloce and tmx have been an integral part of the market. The present study is focused on the Austrian parcel and express market 2007. That includes parcel services, express services, shipments with a time definite delivery, as well as messenger services which dispatch parcels directly from the sender to the addressee. The study shows total revenues and volumes as well as domestic and international figures. The detailed description of the market encompasses market shares and highlights the competition between the service providers. Furthermore company profiles of the most relevant market players are included. Special attention is paid thereby to the domestic parcel market. An order form for this new report has been posted on this site.

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 "Despite many companies' avowed commitment to 'greening' their logistics operations, it seems that most expect their sub-contractors to pick up the bill. That is one of the findings of the latest survey by Transport Intelligence which examined how companies were reacting to environmental concerns."

When the Postal Service Board of Governors comes to Washington for its end of July meeting, the sessions will be closed. Among the issues discussed will be: 1. Financial Update. 2. Strategic Issues. 3. Financial Outlook. 4. Product Pricing. 5. Personnel Matters and Compensation Issues. 6. Governors' Executive Session--Discussion of prior agenda items and Board Governance.

The transcript of the field hearing conducted in Portsmouth, NH  by the Postal Regulatory Commission on universal service is available on the PRC web site.

According to the New York Times, "most marketers readily concede it: getting rid of direct mail — or junk mail, as environmentalists and most recipients call it — would save a lot of trees. But they are not about to render bulk mailings obsolete. So a group of direct-marketing companies, along with a handful of their corporate clients, are banding together to make an inherently unsustainable practice at least a little bit greener. The group calls itself the Green Marketing Coalition, and it includes Microsoft, Washington Mutual and OptimaHealth. Not all the companies involved are big mailers, but they share the sentiment that there should be best-practices guidelines for the direct mail business."

"The United States Postal Service is on the case, too. It has taken out a trademark on the term “environMAIList” to refer to marketers that adopt greener mail practices and try to make direct marketing more eco-friendly. On its Web site — right after it notes that every dollar spent on direct mail returns almost $12 in sales — the Postal Service now lists green tips for marketers, like letting people easily opt out of mailings, using water-based inks and recycled materials, and encouraging customers to recycle the mailing after reading it. The Postal Service has also been sending press kits to reporters to spur coverage of its green push. Part of the pitch says: “Although direct-mail accounts for only 2.4 percent of landfill waste, many opportunities are available to lessen its environmental impact even more.” 

The Jakarta Post has reported that "The Attorney General's Office (AGO) has found corruption is rife in the state postal company PT Pos Indonesia, even though the company has been made to struggle to survive."

The Joplin Globe has reported that "Pittsburg State University officials announced Tuesday that they are halting a long-standing policy that allows political candidates, as members of the public, to pay for the university’s printing and postal services for producing and mailing campaign literature. Political candidates and parties will no longer be allowed to obtain the university’s printing and postal services to produce and distribute political literature, according to PSU President Tom Bryant. The action apparently was prompted by some complaints that Linda Grilz — an instructor at PSU and a candidate for the 2nd District commissioner seat in Crawford County — used the university’s metered postage stamps to send out election material by bulk mail."

The Monitor has noted that "The U.S. Postal Service is reviewing how Hurricane Dolly could affect mail service. Some post offices may have closed lobbies as the storm approaches, and if roads become impassable, delivery and pickup service could be interrupted. USPS will review the situation daily."

According to Correos de España, its "new automatic system for classifying installed packages by mail in itsTreatment Center International (CTI) Barajas, in Madrid, is already fully operational. With this new technological envelope the public postal company modernizes and strengthens its international parcel service and may offer new added value and higher quality service to customers and recipients of these international shipments."

July 22, 2008

As the BBC has noted, "The announcement that 37 post office branches across the county will shut follows a six week consultation period. There has been strong opposition to the closures, designed to save money."

The UN Information Center has reported that "a new global strategy aimed at improving and harmonizing the world’s postal services is the focus of a three-week congress in Geneva led by the United Nations Universal Postal Union (UPU) which began today. “The development gaps that separate the postal services of industrialized and developing countries at a worldwide level must be reduced for citizens and businesses to better participate in international trade,” Edouard Dayan, UPU Director General, told reporters today. According to Mr. Dayan, member countries will need to firmly commit to modernizing their postal networks to meet their social and economic development objectives. “Far from being obsolete, postal services are still alive and well,” he said, adding that e-mail and the Internet had not rung the death knell for them."

The Postal Service has released details of the voluntary early retirement (VER) offer recently authorized by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) for USPS employees in clerk, mail handler, supervisor of distribution operations and supervisor of customer services positions.

  • This offer is open to employees in those positions who meet the OPM conditions, and who are at least 50 years of age with 20 years of creditable federal service or any age with 25 years of creditable federal service.
  • On Aug. 18, an annuity estimate will be mailed to all VER-eligible employees from Eagan, MN.
  • In addition, on Aug. 22 a VER offer packet will be sent to all eligible employees containing a cover letter, an application and a list of questions and answers.
  • Interested employees will have from Aug. 25 to Sept. 30 to submit their application.
  • It's important to note that Sept. 30 is the date when an employee's voluntary choice to retire becomes irrevocable.
  • By mid-November, the Human Resources Shared Services Center (HRSSC) will notify employees as to the status of their VER application.
  • At that time, retirement counseling will become available. Employees receiving approval will have an effective retirement date of Dec. 31.
  • As a reminder, a voluntary early retirement is just that - voluntary. This timeline only applies to employees in clerk, mail handler, supervisor of distribution operations and supervisor of customer services positions who meet the eligibility requirements.

The New York Times has reported that it "has inked a deal with LinkedIn to deliver targeted headline to members of the networking site. The deal will also allow advertisers to target "more Times readers than currently available through the NYTimes.com registration process," the companies said, but did not get into details regarding how the targeting would work. has inked a deal with LinkedIn to deliver targeted headline to members of the networking site.

Press Release: "Emirates Post's Express Mail Service (EMS) or Mumtaz Post, which offers swift delivery of documents and parcels to over 100 countries through the global postal network, has been enhanced with value additions, including free insurance, money-back guarantee and tracking facility."

The Baltic Course has reported that "Competition Board decided that the minimum number of post offices used for providing universal postal service will be decreased to 419, writes the National Broadcasting. Estonian Post requested that the minimum required number be cut from 495 to 400. The enterprise justified its application with the possibility to ensure providing service according to standards by using alternative options, hence, according to the opinion of the enterprise, there is no need for a stationary postal office in areas with low population density. AS Eesti Post will ensure provision of service with postal delivery staff who collect and deliver post in the place of residence or of business of service users." [EdNote: It should be apparent to anyone who can read that the whole world's postal services are striving to right-size their networks and personnel in the face of rapidly changing communication alternatives. Only a fool would believe right-sizing shouldn't happen in the U.S.]

Hellmail has reported that "Post Office Ltd has today announced the opening of a six-week local public consultation on its Area Plan for Ayrshire, Inverclyde, Lanarkshire and Renfrewshire. In line with the criteria and factors set by the UK Government in its response document, DTI, The Post Office Network, Government Response to Public Consultation in May 2007 (www.berr.gov.uk/consultations/page36024.html) - the Area Plan for Ayrshire, Inverclyde, Lanarkshire and Renfrewshire proposes future provision of Post Office® services through a total network of 240 branches across the whole area, resulting in the closure of 44 existing branches."

The Indianapolis Star has reported that "FedEx Corp., the largest air-cargo shipper, has asked a bankruptcy judge for permission to sue ATA Airlines over a claim that ATA breached a military-supply contract by ceasing operations."

The Postal Service has filed a motion to dismiss the complaint by Capital One which is now before the Postal Regulatory Commission.

Business Daily Africa has reported that "Kenya is expected to table a proposal on e-commerce when more than 1,500 delegates converge in Geneva for the Universal Postal Union’s Congress to discuss the major challenges facing the postal sector. The proposal seeks to have the 191 members of the Universal Postal Union (UPU) recognise the digital divide between developed and developing nations."

July 21, 2008

The Asbury Park Press has reported that "FedEx Corp. Chief Executive Officer Fred Smith said the U.S. economy isn't in a recession and that oil prices will "drift down for a while.'' "I don't think we're in a recession,'' Smith, 63, said today in a Bloomberg Television interview from FedEx's headquarters in Memphis, Tenn. "We're in a period of extremely low growth brought on by high fuel prices and the financial meltdown.''

Alan Robinson, editor of the Courier, Express, and Postal Observer weblog site has said that "As with all businesses, the Postal Service must react to both secular and cyclical trends. Over the past two decades, the Postal Service benefited from a major secular trend in advertising that resulted in mail advertising growing faster than any media other than the Internet. More recently, a second secular trend, the switch of one-to-one and one-to-few communication from mail to the Internet has resulted in a 25% decline in single-piece First Class mail over the past nine years. These two secular trends have made the Postal Service more vulnerable to cyclical economic trends as it is much more reliant on advertising spending than ever before."

Union Network International has reported that "La Poste and eBay have signed a partnership that will enable French Internet vendors to purchase their postage online. The new service, in the pipeline since December 2007, allows eBay users to print out their own postage labels for letters and parcels direct from the auction site. The sender simply enters the weight, the destination and the required service (standard or registered post). Once payment has been received via PayPal, the label is simply printed out and attached to the packet to be sent."

StreetInsider has reported that "The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) will outline its strategy for converting to an environmentally friendly, non-petroleum based alternative fuel vehicle fleet to replace 195,000 delivery vehicles and will announce an alternative fuel vehicle test on Wednesday, July 23, 2008."

Today's Zaman has reported that "As the Turkish postal system tries to implement modern technology and introduce innovative products, notorious delays and lost mail continue to be a major headache to customers, local and foreign alike."

The Daily Sun has reported that "Within a three-year period, Nigeria has received the sum $1.2 million (about N150 million) from the Universal Postal Union as grant to improve postal services in the country. Nigeria Postal Service (NIPOST) chief, Kola Aduloju, who disclosed this while briefing newsmen on Nigeria's participation at the 24th UPU Conference scheduled to hold in Geneva, Switzerland, said NIPOST is judiciously expending the grant on such projects as procurement of vehicles, as well as on track and trace system, even as it expects more support from the union."

Gulf Times has reported that "Qatar has very good chances of winning the bid to host the 25th Universal Postal Union Congress in 2012 “in view of the broad Arab and world support it enjoys and of its long and internationally-recognised experience in organising world-class gatherings and conferences”, an official source said yesterday."

The Hindu noted that "Over the past few years, the Department of Posts and subsequently India Post has been undergoing significant changes, adapting to the new market environment. It is now the turn of the young Minister of State for Communications and IT Jyotiraditya Scindia to do his bit to push this exercise forward. From a mere postal service that also did some savings banking, India Post has certainly come a long way. It has already celebrated 150 years and wants to catch up with business and technology. "

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