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Association for Postal Commerce

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

1901 N. Fort Myer Dr., Ste 401 * Arlington, VA 22209-1609 * Ph.: +1 703 524 0096 * Fax: +1 703 997 2414
What's New in the Postal World
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January 12, 2010

The latest issue of Postal Technology magazine is now available online. Also...this week in Postal Technology:

Click here  iPhone community gets post office
Click here  NREL evaluates UPS hybrid-electric van performance
Click here  NetDespatch reports 100 percent annual growth
Click here  Resignation of SingPost CEO
Click here  Australia Post encourages customers to recycle old mobile phones
Click here  Norway Post offices to be modernized

WBNG has reported that "The New York State Comptroller's Office says hundreds of lost pension checks have now been delivered. Many of the 60,000 state pension checks mailed December 30 failed to reach retirees' homes on schedule. The Postal Service found that the missing checks had been mistakenly put in with bulk and advertising mail. They were found Saturday, and many were delivered Monday." [EdNote: Great. So now that they found the checks amidst undelivered advertising mail, will the USPS now finally get around to deliver that advertising mail? Great. Two weeks to deliver advertising mail. What service.]

The Columbus Dispatch has reported that "From the time you mail a letter until the time it reaches its destination, the letter is almost entirely at the mercy of machines. That means you do not want to mail a cookie in an envelope meant for a letter, which is something that workers see on occasion at the Postal Service's Columbus Processing and Distribution Center."

KOLD has reported that "a 53-year-old U.S. Postal Inspector called 911 and said he had just shot his wife and then killed himself."

` The Wall Street Journal has noted that "Looking to cut costs amid the recession, Alicia Settle initially thought it would be a good idea to eliminate her company's annual direct mailing. Spending about $20,000 on the personally signed letters, which offered customers a discount on early orders, seemed indulgent for Per Annum Inc., which sells city diaries, albums, and planners in the struggling corporate gift market. But after swapping snail mail for email last year, Ms. Settle saw a 25% drop in early orders compared with the same period the previous year. "We realized we had made a huge mistake," says Ms. Settle, president of the New York firm. The affordability of e-marketing, along with the explosion of social media and the desire to trim costs in the recession, has prompted many small companies like Per Annum to slash traditional direct-mail budgets. U.S. consumers received about 5.2 billion pieces of direct mail in the third quarter of 2009, a 27% decline compared with 7.1 billion in the same period a year earlier, according to Mintel Comperemedia, a research firm that tracks direct-mail marketing. However, some entrepreneurs who were quick to write off direct mail as too pricey or passé are finding it's not so easy to dismiss."

The BBC has reported that "Up to 80 jobs will go at Jersey Post over the next four years as part of a restructuring of the company. The organisation, which is owned by the States of Jersey, currently employs about 400 people."

DM News has noted that "If it had implemented a five-day-per-week delivery schedule years ago, the US Postal Service would have saved more than $2 billion during the its 2008 fiscal year. For the 2007 fiscal year, the cut in service would have saved the organization more than $1.9 billion, according to the Postal Regulatory Commission's annual report for fiscal year 2009."

The Press Information Bureau has reported that "Delhi Postal Circle Signed here today a MoU with Thomas Cook (India) Ltd., a company engaged in the business of organizing travel arrangements, to provide all travel related services through Select Post Offices. The MoU was signed by Chief Post Master General, Delhi, Shri Gopinath and Managing Director of Thomas Cook (India) Ltd. Shri Madhavan Menon. Dedicating the five Travel and Foreign Exchange Bureaux to the people of Delhi, the Union Minister for Communication and Information Technology Shri A.Raja said that the launch of these services in Post Offices is a path-breaking initiative taken by Delhi Circle. The Minister said, this enterprise brings together the strengths of India Post, the largest postal network in the world and Thomas Cook, one of the most recognized and internationally known Companies in the travel and foreign exchange sector, the world over."

The Washington Post has reported that "The Postal Service defended the decision-making of one of its top officials Monday following reports that he awarded non-competitive contracts to former colleagues who had worked with him in the private sector. The Federal Times reported Monday that Robert Bernstock, who heads the Postal Service's mailing and shipping division, has awarded three consulting contracts totaling $1.3 million to three former colleagues since joining the Postal Service in July 2008. The six figure deals were all designed to boost sagging revenues, according to the Federal Times."

According to Transport Intelligence, "The Middle East express, freight forwarding and logistics sectors will shrug off the global economic downturn and experience high single digit development over the coming years. This is one of the main findings of the latest report from Transport Intelligence, Middle East Transport & Logistics 2010, which examines the air, sea, road and rail industries throughout the region. The report concludes that, despite the recent problems in Dubai, the foundations are in place for buoyant growth once the global economy recovers. The transport infrastructure which has been put in place will allow the region to optimise its location as a regional trans-shipment hub. This will be combined with internal economic investment off the back of rising oil and gas prices."

From the Federal Register:

Postal Regulatory Commission

FY 2009 Annual Compliance Report; Comment Request , 1658–1660 [2010–295] [TEXT]  [PDF]  
Postal Service  
Purchasing of Property and Services , 1541–1543 [2010–385] [TEXT]  [PDF]
Treatment of Undeliverable Books and Sound Recordings , 1540–1541 [2010–387] [TEXT]  [PDF]

The Yeshiva World News has reported that "A bill sponsored by MK (Bayit HaYehudi) Zevulun Orlev was approved by the Ministerial Legislative Committee on Sunday; a bill intended to halt the unwanted ads and solicitations received in our mail boxes. If passed into law, advertisers would be prohibited under penalty of law to hang adverts on private buildings, in lobbies, near or in mailboxes or any other private property. One may only do so after obtaining prior permission from a resident or housing committee (vaad bayit). Those in violation would be compelled to make compensatory payment, but the amount does not appear in the draft bill. The bill has been presented, without success in the past, but this time around, the government is supporting the move. It should be presented for a first reading in Knesset and then to the Justice Ministry for fine tuning."

The Wheeling Intelligencer has reported that "With the Wheeling postmark and six employee positions at stake, the time is now for those concerned about the U.S. Postal Service moving its outgoing mail operations to Pittsburgh to make their voices heard."

January 11, 2010

The Courier, Express, and Postal Observer told its readers that "The Federal Times reported today on three sole source contracts issued by the Postal Service's Shipping Service to three consultants that had close professional links to Robert Bernstock, the president of the shipping services division. The story reads like the standard government employees wasting taxpayer money story that most reporters covering the Federal Government can write blindfolded. The reporter, however, missed the real story which is how difficult it is to change the culture of the Postal Service, and in particular the culture at the Postal Service's headquarters. In the private sector, if a new division president is hired, and in particular hired to grow a moribund business that should have great growth prospects, he would have brought in an entire new staff with him."

Mail Moves America has reported that "the Seattle City Council voted to delay consideration of its Do Not Mail resolution for two weeks until January 25. On January 20, the Commission on Labor for the City of Berkeley is addressing the Berkeley resolution." See also the West Seattle Blog and `.

The State Journal has reported that "According to a news release from the US Attorney's Office, Malcolm L. Howell, 49, of Athens, was sentenced Monday by United States District Judge Irene C. Berger to five months in prison followed by five months home confinement for misappropriation of federal funds."

According to KLTV, "Thousands of rural and substitute mail carriers with the Postal Service got their paychecks, but still have not been paid. Their pay stubs showed a balance of zero for their latest pay period. The Postal Service says a computer glitch caused the problem. In a statement, the postal service said, "Employees will be given local advances, which average to about 70% of their pay. Adjustments to correct pay will be made on their next scheduled check."

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
  • Top 10 Postal Stories of 2009. The OIG blog team named their top 10 postal stories for 2009. Tell them about any stories they missed and add whatever comments you think appropriate. In particular, the OIG would like to get your input on the top story, so take a minute and vote your choice.
You can visit Office of Inspector General’s public website at:  You can also follow us on Twitter at:  If you have additional questions, please contact Communication and Work Life Director Agapi Doulaveris at 703.248.2286.

World Radio Switzerland has reported that "Cabinet Minister Moritz Leuenberger today defended his choice of Claude Béglé as head of the Swiss Post, as more and more attention is focused on the troubled organization."

The Lincoln Tribune has reported that "The federal government sent 2.5 million stimulus dollars to North Carolina ZIP codes that don’t exist."

YLE has reported that "The Finnish postal services company Itella plans to cut 188 jobs by the end of the year. The company had initially planned more redundancies, and the total number of job losses might be reduced further before the year is out. Co-determination talks on the future of sorting personnel concluded on Monday."

January 10, 2010

E-Missourian has reported that "Downtown Washington Inc. staff is filling out paperwork required before it can purchase the downtown post office building and eventually assume postal operations. The downtown group and its sister organization, the Historic Washington Foundation, received approval last month from the U.S. Postal Service on buying the historic building. Previously, the organizations were approved for a CPU or contract postal unit, which is a small postal outlet that offers a wide range of postal service products and services at the same prices found in traditional post offices." [EdNote: Sounds like an alternative business model in the making.]

As Bloomberg has noted, "United Parcel Service Inc., the world’s largest package-delivery company, plans to cut 1,800 jobs as it shrinks management at a U.S. unit and said fourth- quarter earnings exceeded its forecast."

Business Of Cinema has reported that "Netflix has signed agreements with five global consumer electronics companies that will introduce Netflix ready devices later this year. The partners include Funai, which distributes the Philips, Magnavox, Sylvania and Emerson brands in the United States, Panasonic, Sanyo, Sharp and Toshiba. Each company will introduce Blu-ray disc players or digital televisions that will instantly stream thousands of movies and TV episodes from Netflix that can be watched instantly in the comfort of the living room. For only $8.99 a month, Netflix members can instantly watch unlimited movies and TV episodes streamed to their TVs and computers via an ever-growing list of Netflix ready devices, and can receive unlimited DVDs delivered quickly to their homes by the U.S. Postal Service."

AsiaOneBusiness has reported that "Japan's top logistics provider, Yamato Transport, has arrived on Singapore's doorstep and could pose a challenge to market leader SingPost for half of the domestic-delivery pie."

660News has reported that "The cost of mailing a letter in Canada is going up three cents on Monday to 57 cents. Letters going to the United States will cost two cents more, rising to $1, while international rates will rise five cents to $1.70. Canada Post spokesman John Caines tells 660News it's part of a five-year plan. Domestic stamp rates will continue to increase two cents a year from 2011 to 2014. The postal service says some of the additional revenue will be used to invest in new machinery and other infrastructure."

The Daytona Beach News-Journal has reported that "The U.S. Postal Service will hold a public meeting Tuesday to discuss its proposal to move some mail processing operations from the Daytona Beach Processing & Distribution Facility into the Mid-Florida Processing and Distribution Center in Lake Mary."

British newspapers are all reporting on: "SNOW: Royal Mail apology over post delays." [EdNote: Hey....It's winter. It snows.]

Hellmail has noted that:

The Danish postal service (Post Danmark) said the massive snowfall in many parts of Denmark had made it almost impossible to provide a full delivery service and that some businesses had been experiencing problems with collections. Although the company would endeavour to deliver, it said that some areas were still without mail due to the weather conditions.
Slovenian Post (Posta Slovenije) said that recent analysis of its post office outlets showed that they remained popular with customers with on average, each post offices seeing more than 780 visitors a day or 17,000 visitors per month, while some of the larger outlets could see as many as 1300 users per day or 28,000 a month

WTRF has reported that "A public meeting concerning the idea of consolidating the Wheeling Post Office with the City of Pittsburgh is scheduled for this week."

Stabroek News has reported that "The Guyana Post Office Corporation (GPOC) last Friday started a training programme for casual staff who had their services from the department terminated on 31st December last year, the first phase of its regularization and reform plan."

Rediff has reported that "Just as many may not have written a letter in ages, an equally large population -- larger, in all probability -- may not have ever used email. Into this breach steps the Department of Posts (DoP), with 'ePost Corporate'. The new scheme, which has been available to individuals for some time, is about to be thrown open to small and big companies, which will be able to send business emails through the internet across the country. These email will be printed and delivered by the postal department. The companies would need to open a business account with the postal department free of cost. The payment for all the business done could be made at the end of the month, DoP General Manager (Business Development) John Samuel told Business Standard. The postal department would charge Rs 6 per page of email. It soft-launched the service in Kerala [ Images ] on January 1, and would extend it to the rest of the country. DoP would also offer a complete solution for business mails -- from printing, packaging, post printing and delivery."

Transport Intelligence has reported that "the booming demand for air freight out of China is reflected in the latest figures published by Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals Limited (HACTL)."

Hellmail has reported that "The Belgian mail service (La Poste) has announced the acquisition of a large stake in the American distributor of mail and packets, MSI Worldwide Mail. It said that the partnership with MSI would provide scope for expansion of its international activities in the United States and worldwide. The partnership comes at the end of record year in terms of sales and benefits for MSI. MSI will remain active under the name of MSI Worldwide Mail and will be managed by founder associates Richard Gerhardt and Christopher Taylor for at least the next five years. Management will remain unchanged."

January 9, 2010

The Federal Times has reported that "The U.S. Postal Service's top marketing executive directed more than $1.3 million in sole-source contracts to former business associates since July 2008, according to documents obtained by Federal Times. Robert Bernstock, president of the Postal Service's Mailing and Shipping Services division, approved $600,000 to consultant Lynne Alvarez, $412,500 to consultant Richard Sorota, and $324,975 to consultant Kimberly Wolfson, all of whom Bernstock worked with in the private sector prior to joining the agency in June 2008. The case is now under investigation, said David Williams, the Postal Service's inspector general. The Postal Service's general counsel also began reviewing the contracts last week in response to Federal Times inquiries. One employee working in Bernstock's division, who asked not to be named for fear of retaliation, said contracting with those consultants is wasteful and unnecessary. Some postal employees are sitting idle because the consultants are doing what previously were their jobs, the employee said. The Mailing and Shipping Services employee who asked to remain unnamed said the Postal Service already had employees on board with extensive experience at private-sector firms such as Accenture and Deloitte. Some contracting experts say Bernstock's decision to order his division to hire former business associates is concerning."

The Washington Post has reported that "The job market remained in a deep funk in December, according to a government report Friday showing that employers view the economic recovery as too weak and too fragile to begin hiring again on any large scale." See also the Wall Street Journal.

According to pluggd.IN, "Few years back, Gmail had an April fool prank ‘Gmail Paper’ that offered users to send email via traditional postal service. Indian postal department has taken a leaf out of the prank and has launched ePost Corporate Service that enables companies to send business emails through the internet across the country. In order to use the service, corporates need to open up a business account with the postal department (which is free of cost) and then send emails to postal department which will print the email and deliver them to the address."

From the Federal Register:

Postal Regulatory Commission  
New Postal Product , 1280–1284 [2010–178] [TEXT]  [PDF]
PROPOSED RULES Periodic Reporting , 1301–1302 [2010–179] [TEXT]  [PDF]

The Elmira Star Gazette has reported that "Congressman Eric Massa and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand are asking U.S. Postmaster John Potter to reconsider moving mail-sorting equipment and jobs out of Elmira. However, Massa, D-Corning, thinks the effort to halt plans to consolidate mail sorting operations in Rochester is probably a lost cause."

WFTV has told its viewers that "The recession could soon be slowing down the mail in parts of Volusia County. A mail-handling facility in Daytona Beach could soon be closed, workers laid off and mail trucked all the way to Lake Mary in Seminole County for processing. It could take at least an extra day for mail deliveries because, under the proposal, a letter would have to go all the way to Lake Mary first before coming back, delaying more than 20,000 letters a day. From Palatka, to the Palm Coast to the Ponce Inlet, mail delivery could be delayed by postal service cost cutting. The sorting operation in Daytona Beach is targeted for shut down and letters that only need to go across town would have to make a trip to a major facility in Lake Mary first."

At the Postal Regulatory Commission: The Postal Regulatory Commission Annual Report to the President and Congress has been posted on the PRC web site.

According to John Dvorak writing for Marketwatch, "he online retailer is just a modern version of an old idea: the catalog and direct-mail business that has been a tradition in the United States since the Civil War. It should be thought of and treated as such. Inc. of 2009 is the Sears, Roebuck of 1893. Online-only threatens the catalog business, and as some catalog operations folded, others have tried to transition to an online sales model. They know they are probably as doomed as printed newspapers."

DM News has reported that "FedEx is rolling out a multichannel campaign this month as part of the company's new strategy to integrate its brand messaging and creative across channels. The effort includes online and offline channels with the unified message, “We understand.”

January 8, 2010

The Courier, Express, and Postal Observer has noted that "In announcing its expected strong earnings in the fourth quarter of 2009, UPS also announced significant cuts in its management structure. "Effective in April, UPS will reduce its U.S. Regions from five to three and its U.S. Districts from 46 to 20. As part of the realignment, UPS will expand its outreach to customers by strengthening local sales and marketing efforts. The restructuring will eliminate approximately 1,800 management and administrative positions across the country. Normal attrition will minimize some job displacements, and approximately 1,100 employees will be offered a voluntary separation package. In addition, other impacted employees will receive severance benefits and access to support programs based on length of service." [Emphasis Added] (UPS Press Release) The cuts are severe and the highlights above illustrate that the cuts will are deep and most likely will have significant one time costs for UPS." See the Wall Street Journal.

The following reports have been posted today on the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General website (  If you have additional questions concerning a report, please contact Agapi Doulaveris at 703.248.2286.

Status Report on the Postal Service’s Network Rationalization Initiatives (Report Number EN-AR-10-001). Between fiscal years 2005 and 2009, the Postal Service made progress in its effort to streamline its mail processing and transportation infrastructure; however, management has been unable to adjust resources to fully offset mail volume declines, resulting in a deteriorating financial condition.

Supplier Risk Mitigation in the Supplies Portfolio (Report Number CA-AR-10-003). For the two Category Management Centers (CMC) identified as having a limited supplier base risk, we determined that CMC personnel can be more proactive in identifying and mitigating potential risks. Specifically, the audit found that Commodity Strategy Sourcing Plans were not supported with documentation or detailed analysis, CMC personnel did not identify limited supplier base as a risk for Information Technology (IT mainframes, and CMC personnel did not conduct analyses of suppliers’ financial health).

Transport Topics has reported that "UPS Inc. said Friday its fourth-quarter earnings will exceed an earlier forecast and that it plans to cut about 1,800 management and administrative positions. Earning will be 73 cents to 75 cents per share, up from a previously estimated 58 to 65 cents, UPS said in a statement. Effective in April, UPS will cut the number of its U.S. regions to three from five and its domestic districts to 20, from 46. The company said it would “expand its outreach to customers by strengthening local sales and marketing efforts.” “The stronger earnings stem from better-than-expected results in both domestic and international operations and savings through cost management,” said Kurt Kuehn, UPS’ chief financial officer. “However, we still anticipate a gradual economic recovery with improvement more evident as 2010 progresses,” he said in a statement."

The Courier has asked: "Do you know where your mail is processed? Do you care?Some people apparently do. About 400 residents turned out for a meeting Wednesday in Lima, most of them against the proposed closing of a U.S. Postal Service processing and distribution plant there....Pricing snail mail much higher than it already is would likely mean one thing: even less use of postal services by the general public. That could translate to even more plant closings and more lost postal jobs in the future."

As Training Magazine noted: "Once upon a time, a direct marketer would come up with an offer for a particular market segment, work with a list provider to focus on likely recipients, have its advertising agency develop a package for the offer, send the package off to its printer, and then mail it. That was then. Nowadays, a direct marketing offer can reach its potential customers through print mailings, e-mail blasts, Website offerings, television advertising, Internet promotions, social media, and the rest of the traditional and new media channels. Indeed, the supply chain itself now extends beyond mailing to include order taking, fulfillment, and customer service." has reported that "A series of resignations at the top of Swiss Post has revealed uncertainty at its highest levels over the future of the postal service and its plans to expand abroad. Two board members and the CEO have all left Swiss Post in recent weeks, mainly in disagreement over the group’s business strategy. " has reported that "Magyar Posta yesterday sacked 29 postal workers with immediate effect for organising an unlawful strike and admonished all the 120 staff members who took part in the strike. "

The Azerbaijan Business Center has reported that "Azerbaijani postal operator Azerpocht LLC expects till the end of this months reception of the license for rendering separate bank services that became possible summarizing the results of Financial Sector Development Project (FSDP), which is implemented by the Azerbaijani government jointly with World Bank (WB)."

The San Antonio Express-News has reported that "The U.S. Postal Service needs to cut costs and restructure its operations to reflect the Digital Age. So said a report released over the summer by the Government Accountability Office that projected a mounting debt and cash shortfall for the Postal Service. Cutting costs means eliminating underutilized facilities and, presumably, some of the personnel who go with them. In August, the Postal Regulatory Commission announced 700 post office branches across the country — including 10 in San Antonio — were being studied for potential closure or consolidation. The downtown post office on Alamo Plaza was not on the San Antonio closure list. Yet last week, without any public input, the Postal Service announced that after 75 years, the downtown post office would cease operation in the Hipolito F. Garcia Federal Building on East Houston Street. For how long? Customers weren't told. The explanation offered by Postal Service officials was that it would be unsafe to remain in the building during an impending $61.3 million renovation. But that explanation raises more questions than it answers."

The Sarasota HeraldTribune has reported that "A U.S. Postal Service clerk in Punta Gorda has been charged with stealing and using two customers' credit cards."

The Review has reported that "The Hancock County Commission unanimously voted Thursday to sign a resolution against the U.S. Postal Service's intent to close the Wheeling office and move the office's operations to Pittsburgh. The resolution indicated the move would have a negative impact on the area, causing both loss of jobs and a delay in mail delivery. The resolution also indicated the Postal Service consider expanding the Wheeling office rather than moving it to Pittsburgh. Commissioner Jeff Davis, who read the resolution, encouraged residents of Hancock County to write or call their representatives to voice their opposition of the move."

From the Federal Register:

  • Board of GovernorsMeeting. Times And Dates: 3:30 p.m., Monday, January 11, 2010; and 7:30 a.m., Tuesday, January 12, 2010. Place: Newport Beach, California, at the Fairmont Hotel, 4500 MacArthur Boulevard. Status: (Closed) Matters To Be Considered: Monday, January 11, at 3:30 p.m. (Closed) 1. Strategic Issues. 2. Financial Matters. 3. Pricing. 4. Personnel Matters and Compensation Issues. 5. Governors' Executive Session--Discussion of prior agenda items and Board Governance.

The Bangor Daily News has told its readers, "Don’t take it too seriously if the postmaster general resumes his warning that he wants to cut out mail service on Saturday. It could be a replay of what’s known as the “Washington Monument syndrome.” Postmaster General John E. Potter has been closing postal stations and branches, shortening hours, and reducing the work force. He has repeatedly mentioned eliminating deliveries on Saturday, while leaving post offices and post office boxes open as on other days. In August, Mr. Potter told a congressional subcommittee, “I think that we’ve reached a breaking point with the recession, and that’s why we’re seeking to go from six- to five-day delivery.” Several members said their constituents wouldn’t like that, and Sen. Susan Collins told him, “The Postal Service cannot expect to gain more business, which it desperately needs, if it is reducing service.” She was right and could have gone further. Of course the Postal Service is a business, a $65 billion business, as Mr. Potter calls it, the largest retail presence in America, “with more outlets than McDonald’s Wal-Mart, and Starbucks combined.” Mr. Potter should take a look at the motto engraved on his Washington headquarters building: “Neither rain, nor sleet, nor snow, nor gloom of night can stay these swift couriers from the completion of their appointed rounds.” And add to that: nor difficult economic times."

January 7, 2010

At the Postal Regulatory Commission:  Docket No. ACR2009. On December 17, 2009, the Public Representative filed a motion to compel the Postal Service to provide certain estimated rate level adjustments for every market dominant rate.1 The Public Representative seeks estimates that would equate overall Postal Service revenue with overall Postal Service estimated costs and be sufficient to ensure financial stability of the Postal Service by the end of FY 2011....The Public Representative Motion Requesting Commission to Direct United States Postal Service to Provide Estimates of Rate Adjustments Necessary to Maintain Financial Stability, filed on December 17, 2009, is denied."

Posted on the Postal Service's RIBBS web site is its latest report on Merlin performance.

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

  • The Congressional Research Service (CRS) released "The Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act: Overview and Issues for Congress" report. This report describes Congress’s pursuit of postal reform, and summarizes the major provisions of the new postal reform law. The report also suggests PAEA-related oversight issues for Congress.
  • The Postal Service published its unaudited November results with the Postal Regulatory Commission. USPS lost over $255 million dollars in November 2009. This loss is in addition to a $221 million loss for October 2009.
  • The Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (PAEA) requires the Postal Service to submit an Annual Compliance Report (ACR) 90 days after the close of its fiscal year, which runs from October 1 - September 30. The ACR demonstrates that all postal products during fiscal year 2009 comply with all applicable requirements of Title 39.
  • In a recent Washington Times, there appears to be a scandalous story about the income of Robert F. Bernstock, President of the Postal Service's competitive shipping services. The scandal here is not Mr. Bernstock's compensation, nor is it his positions on outside board of directors. The scandal here is that if the Postal Service needs a new senior management team to turn it around, it cannot easily hire from the entire executive talent pool available. The compensation limits and Washington political environment severely limits the choices available to the Board of Governors.
  • According to postal economist Robert Mitchell in an article written for Deadtree Edition, the surcharge of 7 cents would seem to be an immense overcharge. Aside from suggesting that the Postal Service does not want to make its UAA services available on reasonable terms, it will drive some mailers to leave the Postal Service, perhaps finding that email will work just fine. These mailers will not come back.
  • According to the Courier, Express, and Postal Observer, "Unless there is some economic miracle, the Postal Service will have a negative impact on the Federal budget and budget deficit for at least the next three years. The financial challenges of the Postal Service was not recognized in last year's budget and the adjustment to the retiree health care payments were made in such a way that budget scoring was not required prior to passage. This year, the need for adjustments to the retiree health plan payments before the end of at least the next two fiscal years is known prior to the writing of the budget. Therefore, the budget should recognize this fact."
  • According to the Courier, Express, and Postal Observer, "A recent editorial by the Washington Times and a columnist in the Los Angeles Times provide illustrations as to how ideological predilections and reporting on a deadline produce more heat and less light about how to solve the problems facing the Postal Service."
  • The Courier, Express, and Postal Observer has noted that "in the past year, the USPS has implemented two early retirement incentive programs that in total cut the workforce by less than 25,000 employees. Given potential volume losses of 4-6% of years, these incentive programs could become a bi-annual process. The Postal Service may find greater success in convincing employees to retire with its incentive programs in the future as the economy improves. It will still face challenges as incentives will not be equally attractive in all regions with the differences reflecting the strength of the local economy and the strength of ties employees have to their local community."
  • The Courier, Express, and Postal Observer has noted that Congress has instructed OMB, OPM and the Postal Service to "develop a fiscally responsible legislative proposal, for consideration by the appropriate congressional committees, that would grant a limited measure of relief from the PAEA requirements to pre-fund retiree health benefits."
  • The U. S. Postal Service Office of the Inspector General (OIG) last week published the results of its FY 2009 audit of USPS’ Business Mail Entry Units (BMEUs). Although the OIG said that generally internal controls for financial transactions were in place and effective, "a significant deficiency continues to exist related to the acceptance of mail."
  • Rag Content discusses the cost dilemma the Postal Service faces in offering Standard Mail incentives with the recent Annual Compliance Report being published and offers a few options for future sales.
  • Comments due Jan 13 on USPS’ proposed flats deflection rules. Bernstock moonlighting (?) for cash from corporations. E-readers: publishing’s digital life preserver? Postal Service isn’t perfect, but is there a better answer? A closer look at postal industry. FedEx rolls out new ad campaign. Postal price inflation=zilch. National Postal Forum -- register now!! New post on the Postal Journal. What?? Not using the Postal Service? USPS career staffing drops below 600,000.
  • Updates on dockets at the Postal Regulatory Commission.
  • An update on DMM Advisory notices issued by the U.S. Postal Service.
  • Updates on OIG reports.
  • A review of postal news from around the world.
  • Postal previews
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The PostCom Bulletin is distributed via NetGram has reported that "The Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications has signed a communiqué informing the public about illegal operators in the sector. The Minister of Posts and Telecommunications, Jean Pierre Biyiti bi Essam has signed a communiqué drawing the public's attention to the existence of an illegal postal service in Yaounde named "Poste Urbaine du Cameroun". The postal service which does not have the legal right to operate is also using the brand name of the public postal operator, CAMPOST. Given the dubious manner in which people's items are handled during posting, the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications has taken steps to inform the public against those operating in illegality so as to avoid confusion and public disorder."

According to the New York Daily News, "Long lines aren't the only problem with Brooklyn's post offices: Now, the U.S. Postal Service can't even get an address right. Tens of thousands of full-color post cards from postal officials, directing Mill Basin customers to a grocery store with a USPS center to mail letters and buy stamps over the holidays, listed the wrong address."

CSR Europe has noted that "The postal industry has became the first services sector to set a global emissions target for its industry when the International Post Corporation (IPC), which represents the world's leading post operators, announced that 20 member postal operators will work together to collectively reduce their carbon emissions by 20% by 2020, based on 2008 levels."

The Cheraw Chronicle has reported that "A new twist on an old scam is showing up in email boxes in South Carolina allegedly claiming to be sent by the US Postal Inspection Service in New York. The United States Postal Service is keeping an eye on the scam that has been circulating for some time now, according to Harry Spratlin, U.S. Postal District Communications Coordinator-Greater S.C. District. According to a recent report, the fraudulent email claims to be from the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. The message of the email claims to supposedly be from Chief Postal Inspector, William R. Gilligan, notifies the recipient that a “parcel from DHL courier service has been stopped for security reasons” and “Our scanning system has detected that your parcel contains a confirmable ATM card to the tune of $1.5 million dollars.”

WMBB has reported that "The proposal to move Panama City outgoing mail operations to Pensacola continues to raise concerns. U.S. Postal Service employees say while official have called the proposed changes “transparent” they could affect postal customers more than expected. “If they can save a half a million dollars and have minimal impact on customer service they’ve got to look at that,” says Joseph Breckenridge, USPS Communications. Breckenridge says the proposal will save them money. Others disagree."

According to the Index-Journal, "A relatively small crowd at Wednesday night’s community meeting regarding the possible closure of the South Greenwood Post Office had some very big concerns and a lot to say."

A writer for the Cebu Daily News has said that "If the Arroyo government is so hell-bent on connecting the archipelago through the establishment of roll-on-roll off port facilities, why has the postal system, which connects people across the globe, been left in the doldrums?"

DM News has reported that "One-third of the respondents to a Pitney Bowes Business Insight survey said they use manual updating procedures when mail is returned to them from the National Change of Address or Address Change Service methods due to incorrect recipient addresses. The Pitney Bowes unit released the findings on January 4, the same date that companies whose mailings are not compliant with the US Postal Service's Move Update Standard will first be billed an additional 7 cents per assessed piece. The study queried more than 50 executives and IT managers who conduct high-volume mailings in the insurance, finance, communications and utility industries." has reported that "PushPlay temporarily suspended their online DVD operations in Gauteng due to poor postal services."

Stabroek News has reported that "President of the Guyana Postal and Telecommunications Workers Union (GPTWU) Harold Shepherd said yesterday that the union has been invited by the Chief Labour Officer Yoganand Persaud to commence conciliation talks today with the management of the Post Office Corporation. The meeting is set for 1:30 pm at the Labour Ministry. The move is a welcome one Shepherd said, since the union had written to Persaud on Monday seeking such an intervention. According to Shepherd, there have been breaches of the Termination of Employment and Severance Pay Act on the Part of the Post Office’s management since the workers were fired without notifying the Ministry of Labour at least one month before."

Deadtree Edition has noted that "Running a national lottery could help the U.S. Postal Service close its multibillion-dollar budget gap, according to a Postal Regulatory Commission official."

January 6, 2010

The Baltic Course has reported that "Estonian state-owned postal company Eesti Post announced on Tuesday that due to several factors, it received several times more packages from countries outside the EU than usual at the end of last year and is now jammed up, causing delays in delivery."

The Business Journal has reported that "New Breed Logistics said this week it will close a Greensboro facility used for processing postal service equipment, laying off about 60 employees. The company’s 130,000-square-foot Mail Transport Equipment Service Center will close by March, according to a statement from the High Point-based firm. The facility is in a leased building on Gallimore Dairy Road, just south of Interstate 40 and Piedmont Triad International Airport. Joe Hauck, New Breed’s vice president of marketing and communications, said the center serves most of North Carolina and southern Virginia, and is used to collect U.S. Postal Service equipment, such as mailbags, mail trays and hampers, which it then sorts, repairs and sends back out for service."

According to Rag Content, "The Postal Service has not introduced a new sale or incentive program since October 1, 2009. Although a “winter” sale was discussed with various mailing groups, nothing was offered or taken before the Commission as we enter the winter season. The winter sale has turned into a spring sale, with only vague ideas being shared."

The Courier, Express, and Postal Observer has told its readers that "Yesterday the Postal Regulatory Commission established Docket No. ACR2009, "to consider matters raised by the Postal Service's FY 2009 Annual Compliance Report." The specific request of the PRC, and in particular its reference to those sections of the U.S. Code relating to ratemaking requirements and objectives that remained virtually unchanged with the passage of the PAEA, suggests that its review of the Annual Compliance Report could become the equivalent of a "rate case light." The PRC asked the Postal Service and others parties to comment on whether the Annual Compliance Report shows that postal rates and fees comply with the pricing requirements and objectives. While the PRC cannot force the Postal Service to change its rates to be in compliance, it could use this proceeding to determine that certain rates are not. If the PRC draws the conclusion that certain rates are not in compliance, it will base it on nearly 40 years of ratemaking precedence and the pricing framework developed in what Congress saw as a failed ratemaking process in its decision to pass the PAEA."

ChannelNewsAsia has reported that "SingPost has apologised for the “acts of vandalism” on its mailboxes recently. At a news conference to announce a sponsorship deal with the Youth Olympic Games, SingPost said it had commissioned the graffiti as a viral marketing effort. The mailbox along Orchard Road appears to have been the target of vandals. But that's not the case. It was one of six spray-painted during the New Year period by SingPost itself, done for its Singapore Youth Olympic Games sponsorship." has reported that "The Dayton Daily News says that DHL Express is to donate its Wilmington Air Park airport in Ohio, USA for redevelopment and use as an airport and commerce park. Wilmington Air Park was used as a freight hub by the company until closure last year, resulting in the loss of 8,000 jobs. Under the donation, DHL would hand over the 1,500 acre site to the Clinton County Port Authority - the airport has two runways, a control tower, dozens of buildings and more than 1 million square feet of cargo-sorting space valued at over $62 million.

The Empire State News has reported that "The Postal Service in the Albany District remains in close contact with the State Comptroller’s office to resolve the issue of misdirected pension checks in New York State. They are checks that were mailed through the Comptroller’s office on December 30 and accepted for initial processing through the mail distribution center in Albany on that date. The Postal Service’s work throughout the day shows progress in the delivery of checks to many locations across the state Tuesday, the agency said. “We are focusing attention on checks in communities that still report outstanding checks as of this afternoon,” a statement said. “Our internal review will continue, with support from the Comptroller’s office, until we can account for the complete mailing.”

According to the Livingston Daily, "The post office in Hamburg Township will be put into "temporary emergency suspension" as of Monday, according to Ed Moore, manager of communications for Detroit district of the United States Postal Service." has noted that "he resignation of Wolfgang Werlé as a director of the Swiss postal authorities has caused more turmoil within the government-owned organisation. Werlé is the third member of the top brass to hand in his resignation in the past month. Board member Rolf Hug stepped down on December 22, just eight days after chief executive Michel Kunz was replaced."

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

Only five days after the sudden leaving of Swiss Post CEO Kunz (CEP-News 51,52/09) Rudolf Hug, member of the administrative board, stepped down.
Deutsche Post plans an expansion of its low-cost subsidiary First Mail which is operating in the German letter mail market.
The Federal Council of Switzerland, as the owner of Swiss Post, has defined the basic strategic tagets for the years from 2010 to 2013.
Deutsche Post’s exemption from VAT will be largely removed.
DHL retreats from the domestic express and parcel business in important European markets.
FedEx still has to cope with decrasing revenues and earnings.
British DX Group Ltd (revenue 2008: 192.8m euros) intends to strengthen its parcel services business.
UPS abandons its special transport services in Germany.
The saleries of the 37,000 employees of Swiss Post will increase by 0.7% this year.
The French parliament approved the incorporation of La Poste two days before Christmas.
Japan Post confirmed plans to acquire Nippon Express’s domestic parcel business.
UPS is modernising two of its hubs in Illinois with the help of a public business investment package.
The Romanian post won’t be privatised, at least while the current Communications and IT minister Gabriel Sandu is in office.

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.)

From the Federal Register:

Postal Regulatory Commission
New Postal Product ,
  881 [E9–31415]


Today from Hellmail:

According to the Star Tribune, "Seven months ago, Art Tilson suffered a fatal heart attack and collapsed on the floor of his workplace, the immense mail processing center by the river in downtown Minneapolis. Since then, Tilson's co-workers have urged the post office to install an automated external defibrillator (AED), an increasingly popular device that jump-starts the heart. They even found a group willing to donate the $2,000 device. They don't know whether it would have saved Tilson's life, but they think it would help protect a workforce filled with heart-attack candidates. "All I'd like to see is that when the next guy goes down, there's a defibrillator there," said postal worker Bruce Johnson. So far, however, the workers have failed to jolt the U.S. Postal Service into action."

The Courier Post has reported that "Some 550 workers at a mail facility facing a shutdown in Logan have begun the process of transferring to other jobs with the U.S. Postal Service, a union official said. Separately, a federal judge has set a Jan. 13 court date for a union bid to block the closing of the Gloucester County plant. U.S. District Judge Noel Hillman in Camden is to hear the union's request, said Michael Gallagher, a regional official with the American Postal Workers Union."

WMBB has reported that "The Bay County American Postal Workers Union holds an emergency meeting Tuesday evening to discuss the United States Postal Service’s proposal to close a Bay County post office outgoing mail sorting facility. The facility is located within the Sherman Avenue post office branch, and the proposal would move all outgoing mail sorting to Pensacola."

The News Herald has reported that "Postal workers here say the government’s plan to move some mail operations 100 miles west will bog down delivery and punish locals. They’re not sure their union can stop it."

WENY has reported that "Elmira postal workers get word all the mail sorting machines at the Sullivan Street Facility will be moved out by next month. But the local union president says his fight to keep jobs in Elmira was worth it. A U.S. Postal Service spokeswoman says no date has been set, but it could happen during the long president's day weekend."

WTEN has reported that "The United States Postal Service has a new message for many retired state workers - your pension check is in the mail. A glitch at the post office caused 60,000 checks mailed last week to become lost. Retirees in albany should have gotten theirs, some people in Central New York are starting to get theirs and western New Yorkers are still waiting. A spokeswoman for the Postal Service said in a statement Monday, "We are putting a lot of attention into resolving this because we know how it puts people in harms way." See also the New York Daily News and WHAM.

The Journal of Commerce has reported that "DHL sold its domestic parcel service in the United Kingdom to the Home Delivery Network, the company said Tuesday, extending DHL’s move toward international and logistics services. HDN, which specializes in business-to-consumer parcel delivery, will take on all employees and facilities of the business by the end of the first quarter, DHL said, and the company will keep using the DHL brand for a short time as part of a preferred supplier relationship. DHL said the sale will allow the company to focus more closely on international express services and its freight business." See also Transport Intelligence.


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