January 12, 2010
The latest issue of
Postal Technology magazine is now available online. Also...this week in
iPhone community gets post office
evaluates UPS hybrid-electric van performance
reports 100 percent annual growth
of SingPost CEO
Post encourages customers to recycle old mobile phones
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.
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."
reported that "a 53-year-old U.S. Postal Inspector called 911 and said he
had just shot his wife and then killed himself."
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
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
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."
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
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:
FY 2009 Annual Compliance Report; Comment Request , 1658–1660 [2010–295]
Purchasing of Property and Services , 1541–1543 [2010–385]
Treatment of Undeliverable Books and Sound Recordings ,
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."
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
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."
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
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
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
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."
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.]
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."
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
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
British newspapers are all reporting on: "SNOW: Royal Mail apology over
post delays." [EdNote: Hey....It's winter. It snows.]
Hellmail has noted that:
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
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
has reported that "A public meeting concerning the idea of consolidating the
Wheeling Post Office with the City of Pittsburgh is scheduled for this
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
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."
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.
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:
New Postal Product , 1280–1284 [2010–178]
Periodic Reporting , 1301–1302 [2010–179]
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."
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
At the Postal Regulatory Commission:
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. Amazon.com 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
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
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 (http://www.uspsoig.gov/).
If you have additional questions concerning
report, please contact Agapi Doulaveris at 703.248.2286.
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.
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’
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."
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
Swissinfo.ch 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. "
Realdeal.hu 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. "
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)."
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."
Sarasota HeraldTribune has reported that "A U.S. Postal Service clerk in
Punta Gorda has been charged with stealing and using two customers' credit
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
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
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.
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
The latest issue of
the PostCom Bulletin is available online. In this issue:
Hey! You've not been getting the weekly PostCom Bulletin--the
best postal newsletter anywhere...bar none?
Send us by email your name, company,
company title, postal and email address.
Get a chance to see what you've been missing.
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
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.
The PostCom Bulletin is distributed via
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
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."
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
MyBroadband.co.za 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
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."
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."
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."
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."
Key.aero 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.
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
Swissinfo.ch 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
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.
retreats from the domestic express and parcel business in important
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%
The French parliament approved the incorporation of La Poste two days
Japan Post confirmed plans to acquire Nippon Express’s domestic parcel
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:
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."
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
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."
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."
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
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
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