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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 * NEW Fax: +1 703 997 2414
What's New in the Postal World
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Welcome to PostCom Radio
PostCom Postal Podcast

Join PostCom President Gene Del Polito and PostCom Board members Jolene Johannes, Lisa Wurman, and Michael Winn in a discussion of the Postal Service's rules governing tabbed booklets and what the rules mean to mailers.
[This was recorded in the Exhibit Hall at the National Postal Forum.]

May 26, 2009

IT World Canada has reported that "Duncan Mortimer and his 31-year-old Mini will drive 36,000 miles around the world for charity. Lead sponsor Pitney Bowes is tracking the tour with a GPS system and location intelligence software. The 31-year old Mini is equipped with Pitney Bowes’ mapping and geographical analysis software MapInfo Professional, which is linked to a GPS system that Mortimer is using to replace paper maps. The most important part of the technology is the global addressing. Federating information streams and global addressing in terms of the individual are the future of location intelligence software, according to Barota. As an individual, you won’t have to maintain your postal address, because it becomes virtual you, attached to your identity."

Xinhua has reported that "Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Dejiang Tuesday urged the country's postal firms to promote their logistics services in rural areas to better serve farmers' needs."

According to the Wall Street Journal, "Papa John's International, the U.S. Postal Service and General Electric have begun to incorporate "augmented reality," or AR -- a technology that lets consumers interact with hologram-like images -- into their marketing. One well-known example of AR: the yellow first-down lines in TV broadcasts of football games. This week, the Postal Service will start running an ad campaign that touts a flat-rate shipping fee for its Priority Mail service. The online portion of the ad effort includes a "virtual box simulator" on the prioritymail.com site. The simulator allows consumers to hold an object, such as a cup or a book, in front of a Webcam and use the resulting 3-D image to determine the right size box for shipping the object. The push into AR comes as companies have grown dissatisfied with relying solely on static advertising or passive media like TV commercials, which have washed over coach potatoes for years. In pursuit of alternatives, they have pumped money into approaches that encourage consumers to "engage" with their message or product, something ad executives believe helps increase sales."

According to Federal Business Opportunites, "The United States Postal Service (USPS) wants to partner with a supplier who has NATIONAL DISTRIBUTION AND WAREHOUSING CAPABILITIES to introduce a range of greeting card formats to be sold at postal retail locations."

Stuff.co.nz has reported that "Sending mail overseas will soon be more expensive. New Zealand Post says it is raising prices from July 7 after seven years of holding them in the face of increasing costs. Postal Services chief executive Peter Fenton today said the price increases were largely driven by what overseas postal organisations charged NZ Post to deliver mail in other countries."

GenevaLunch has reported that "The Swiss postal system, La Poste, had first quarter 2009 profits of CHF198 million, down CHF30m or 13 percent from the same period in 2008. The group faces greater competition in July 2009 and falling revenues from letters, down 3.1 percent in the first three months of the year. It says it expects earning for 2009 to be down sharply from 2008. La Poste says its lower profits were due “to pay rises, writedowns on financial investments necessitated by the situation on the financial market during the quarter under review, as well as the decline in letter volumes.” Operating income rose by CHF 35m to CHF 2,208m, due mainly to “currency effects in international postal traffic.”

Express Buzz has reported that "For those with transferable jobs, the ones living in rented accommodations and those having to shift frequently from one place to another, furnishing address or residential proof in times of necessity like opening a bank account, applying for loans or getting a telephone connection has been a huge problem. The difficulties would soon be a thing of the past in the twin cities, thanks to a unique service of providing Proof of Address Card rolled out by India Post, Orissa Postal Circle in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack from today. The photo I-card would serve both identity and residential proofs."

The National Association of Major Mail Users has reported that:Canada Post Corporation "recorded a consolidated net income of $90 million on revenues of $7.7 billion in 2008 according to the annual report tabled in Parliament. To remain profitable and meet its targets, Canada Post had to undertake a series of cost-cutting measures that enabled the Corporation to achieve a narrow operating margin of 1.8 per cent. The current economic downturn has not spared the mailing industry nor Canada Post. The strong financial performance of Canada Post’s subsidiaries, Purolator Courier Ltd. and SCI Group Inc., were largely responsible for the Corporation achieving income before taxes of $161 million. Canada Post’s cost of operations increased by 5.6 per cent to $7.6 billion. Total volume for 2008 remained flat at 11.8 billion units. Canada Post’s full annual report is available online at: www.canadapost.ca "

"Postal economics: infrastructure renewal, the impact of Postal Transformation for customers, and pricing strategies; is one of the three major themes taking centre stage at The 2009 Postal Forum. Join Canada Post and industry experts as they focus discussion and planning on issues crucial to business success. NAMMU proudly presents this platform for dialogue between Canada Post and industry, at the Intercontinental Hotel, Toronto, June 11th."

The Daily Mail has reported that "The Post Office is threatening the future of hundreds of small branches by demanding back-dated fees for cash machines that were not supposed to cost postmasters a penny. Branches with the free-to-use ATMs have been told they must repay two years of charges for using Post Office cash to restock the ATMs. Some 400 branches in rural and deprived areas were encouraged to put in the machines in 2006 to improve access to free cash for the public."

May 25, 2009

The May 2009 Direct Mail Advisory Board Update from the Universal Postal Union has been posted on this site.

The Nation has reported that "The Government on Monday sent home Postmaster General Fred Odhiambo. Senior officials at the Ministry of Information and Communications confirmed the decision to send home the postmaster, but there was no word yet on who is to replace him at the head of the Postal Corporation."

May 24, 2009

"A decline in the air cargo freight market following the international financial crisis seems to have hit bottom, the head of the International Air Transport Association said on Sunday. Air cargo, a key barometer of world trade, has slumped amid the global economic downturn and shortage of financing. Global air freight volumes in January saw a record 23 percent year-on-year dive. "I would say, looking at the numbers, that it has hit bottom," the global association's Director-General Giovanni Bisignani told Reuters."

Scotland On Sunday has reported that "the Communication Workers Union has accused the government of playing "political football" with the Postal Services Bill, which sets out plans to part-privatise the Royal Mail. The union is concerned that Business Secretary Lord Mandelson will try to rush a vote on the bill in the House of Commons before the European elections in an effort to tame a rebellion from Labour backbenchers. Unions were surprised to learn that the bill received its first reading in the House of Commons on Thursday, sparking fears that the second reading will be held before 4 June. They say this will not only limit the time for debate but could force many Labour backbenchers who are staunchly opposed to privatisation to side with the government out of fear of making the party appear fractured before voters go to the ballot box."

May 23, 2009

Barron's has noted that "FedEx is considered an airline, for the purposes of regulatory oversight, even though most travelers probably wouldn’t want to book a flight to Memphis on one of its jets. At least, no passengers who saw ”Cast Away” are going to be less than anxious to. For one thing, there’s no meal service. But FedEx’s days of being viewed as an airline by government regulators might be running short. A legislative proposal has suggested transferring FedEx’s regulatory status to the National Labor Relations Board from the National Railway Labor Act. The implication for FedEx: the move could make it easier for labor unions to organize its pick-up and delivery personnel."

According to Associated Content, "The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has come one step further in its quest to deliver mail just five days a week instead of six."

Bloomberg has reported that "United Parcel Service Inc., whose political action committee has given more money to federal lawmakers than any other company over two decades, is a major beneficiary of legislation approved by the U.S. today House that would reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration. The measure includes a provision making it easier for rival FedEx Corp. workers to unionize. Under the measure, drivers for Memphis, Tennessee-based FedEx could form unions locally rather than hold a national election. UPS’s truck drivers are members of the Teamsters Union. UPS says the legislation would level the playing field, as unionizing would likely bring changes in pay and work rules that would raise FedEx’s costs."

MyFoxMemphis has reported that "Some people are finding warnings from the post office in their mailbox, instead of their mail. Jocelyn Agnellini only gets her mail a couple times a week. The post office says when a car is parked in the proximity of her mailbox; they will not deliver her mail. On those days she finds a note in her mailbox explaining why she has no mail. "So they're taking the time to put the note in the mailbox but they won't put the mail in the mailbox," says Agnellini. But when she has complained to the post office, all she received was an email of their policy. It reads: "Dismounting from the vehicle to make mail delivery to a box would put our carrier's safety in jeopardy."

The Mount Airy News wants to know: "The post office has always been known for getting the mail to its destination through rain, snow, sleet and hail. So why can’t it have a stamp machine that works?"

According to The Gleaner, "We cannot replace institutions like the post office and the bonding it created as a by-product, but we can learn from and apply their wonderful side effects of building and sustaining relationships."

The Mainichi Daily News has reported that "All four of Japan's postal companies posted net surpluses in the business year that ended in March this year, company officials said."

From PR Web: "The idea behind Creative Mailers.com is less = more. To send out fewer mailers to get more response."

According to The Mirror, "Opponents of plans to sell off Royal Mail are infuriated that a controversial Bill, paving the way for its partial sale, was sneaked into the Commons for its first reading. The Postal Services Bill, championed by Peter Mandelson, had a final reading in the Lords on Wednesday. MPs expected to debate it in the Commons next month."

Belorusskie Novosti has reported that "Zhanna Litvina was reelected chair of the Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ) at the organization’s 7th convention held in Minsk on Friday. Access to information is one of the main problems that journalists in Belarus face, Ms. Litvina said, pointing to the accreditation requirement as a method of restricting access to information. She also noted that the government holds a monopoly on the distribution of newspapers. According to her, as many as 13 non-state publications are denied distribution contracts with Belposhta, Belarus' state postal services monopolist, and Belsayuzdruk, a state monopolist that runs a network of newsstands and stores across Belarus. “Unfortunately, there are no hopes for reform in the media sector,” she concluded."

Some notes on other advertising-based media:

  • As Contentinople has noted, "It's no secret that conventional radio has been in a world of hurt lately, due to challenges from the Internet, the iPod, and, to a lesser extent, satellite radio. Remedies remain elusive, but consolidation and downsizing are a start toward stabilizing the industry. Radio is a dynamic living laboratory of what works and what doesn't. Focus on the listeners through research and innovation, and you see ratings increase. When you give listeners what they want, they'll support your radio station and its sponsors."
  • The Washington Post has noted how change is coming to newsweekly magazines. "Newsweek will concentrate on two things -- reporting and argument -- while kissing off any recap of the week's developments. Time will continue to recount some of the week's news but is concentrating on long-form journalism about people, about ideas. Will a smaller magazine have less cultural clout? Such recent cover stories sparked a flurry of op-eds, suggesting that the power of ideas still trumps circulation." [EdNote: Give people what they want, and they'll pay for it. Give them something they don't, and they'll walk away. The same also is true of postal services.]
  • The New York Times has asked: "Will May 2009 mark the beginning of the end for the free, unfettered Internet?...I wouldn’t put my money on it....Few newspapers generate even 10 percent of their revenue on the Internet, even after years of double-digit growth in advertising. Now online advertising has gone into reverse. But “pay walls” alone are not going to save the industry. Few people will individually subscribe to dozens of different newspapers online."

The State Journal-Register has reported that "The U.S. Postal Service is looking at relocating some mail-processing operations from a Quincy distribution center to Springfield as the agency tries to cut costs in the face of declining demand and rising financial losses."

CNN has reported that "The U.S. Postal Service will reduce the amount it pays for homes of employees who are relocating in the wake of a CNN investigation that found it was buying large homes for more than $1 million. The Postal Service bought this 8,400-square-foot South Carolina home so an employee could relocate. The new policy, which is expected to take effect June 14, will set a limit of $800,000 for a home. The limit is now $1 million, but before February there was no maximum."

"The Postal Service’s decision to suspend a convention leave benefit for the remainder of the current Postmaster pay agreement is tantamount to a breach of faith, if not contract, with the nation’s approximately 27,000 Postmasters," O. Dale Goff Jr., national president of the National Association of Postmasters, charged. Goff was reacting to the agency’s abrupt and ill-conceived decision to suspend, effective May 31, Postmasters’ convention leave for the remainder of FY-09 and all of FY-10. Prior to May 31, the Postal Service said it will not attempt to convert to annual leave the approved convention leave some Postmasters already have used this fiscal year.

May 22, 2009

The Nashua Telegraph has reported that "New Hampshire Congressman Paul Hodes on Thursday called upon the U.S. Postal Services Inspector General to investigate claims that supervisors shortchanged carriers by tampering with electronic time-keeping systems in Milford and Manchester. The New Hampshire branch of letter carrier’s union, the National Association of Letter Carriers, has filed grievances charging that postal service managers in Milford and two Manchester Post Offices have altered the hours worked by letter carriers roughly 800 times in the past six years, shorting the carriers a collective total of about $12,000. Hodes’ Washington, D.C. office released a letter that he wrote to the Inspector General’s office on Thursday, urging that the office investigate the grievances and report back to Hodes by June 5."

PostEurop Here's an excellent paper from PostEurop on "The Facts of our Value Chain." It deals with the myths vs. the realities of mail and the environment.

DMM Advisory: PostalOne!® and Test Environment for Mailers (TEM) – We successfully deployed PostalOne! Release 20 on May 11 to reflect the price change, and TEM on May 18 to enable mailers to test electronic documentation and the Intelligent Mail® Full-Service option. TEM is available under “Electronic Data Exchange” through the Business Customer Gateway. New Mailers can test Mail.dat® 8-2 and 9-1 files using TEM. All Mailers testing Full-Service option capabilities using Mail.dat should submit Mail.dat version 9-1 in the TEM. We posted a checklist on RIBBS™ to help mailers prepare electronic documentation and migrate to the Intelligent Mail Full-Service option (http://ribbs.usps.gov/intelligentmail_gateway/documents/tech_guides/IMCHECKLIST.pdf). The checklist provides step-by-step tasks and accompanying worksheetfor data set-up requests. Steps include using the various Guides to construct Intelligent Mail barcodes and electronic documentation, making plans for feedback, establishing access to the Business Customer Gateway, designing and validating barcodes, and testing electronic documentation. We will conduct Webinars on the Test Environment for Mailers on Wednesday, May 27 and Thursday, May 28. All sessions are from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m., EDT. Details are posted on RIBBS, under “Intelligent Mail,” then “Latest News.” (http://ribbs.usps.gov/index.cfm?page=intellmaillatestnews).

 Software Updates for Full-Service Option – We will deploy a software upgrade for Full-Service on June 7, in PostalOne! Release 20.0.1. We explained the functions supported in this upgrade on RIBBS, under “Intelligent Mail Services,” then “Guides.” (http://ribbs.usps.gov/intelligentmail_guides/documents/tech_guides/postalone_releasenotes/postalone_releasenotes.htm).

 PostalOne! release update – The release notes for the May 11 PostalOne! release 20.0.0 have been updated and are available on  RIBSS at http://ribbs.usps.gov/intelligentmail_guides/documents/tech_guides/postalone_releasenotes/postalone_releasenotes.htm.   

 Assistance – Please call the PostalOne! Help Desk at 1-800-522-9085 if you have any questions or problems accessing the Business Customer Gateway, your accounts, or submitting electronic documentation.

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

  • It was a small but activist crowd at this week’s National Postal Forum, a sign that those who attended are serious about helping the Postal Service ride out these tough economic times. This dedication was not lost on Postmaster General Jack Potter, who thanked attendees for their commitment to mail, calling them "the cornerstone of the mailing industry."
  • Having released its second-quarter financial results at the recent Board of Governors meeting, the Postal Service’s discussion about its projected year-end loss of $6.5 billion did not shock many in attendance at last week’s National Postal Forum. Indeed, the Postal Service’s dire financial situation has given it the rare opportunity to press for dramatic changes to its structure and operations.
  • PostCom Board Chairman Jim O'Brien testified on the association's behalf at a hearing before the House Subcommittee on Federal Workforce, Postal Service, and District of Columbia. He noted that "all PostCom member companies need a healthy Postal Service to ensure the viability of our businesses. Unfortunately, the current health of the Postal Service is not very good."
  • The USPS' senior vice president for operations told Congress that "without legislative change–sooner rather than later–we will be unable to overcome the financial pressures that threaten the viability of the Postal Service. The most pressing need is a change in the payment schedule for retiree health benefits." The USPS has taken and will be taking several steps to try to get costs in line with revenue.
  • GAO told the House postal oversight panel that "maintaining USPS's financial viability as the provider of affordable, high-quality universal postal service will require actions in a number of areas, such as (1) rightsizing its retail and mail processing networks by consolidating operations and closing unnecessary facilities and (2) reducing the size of its workforce." GAO is again looking at returning the USPS to its High-Risk List.
  • In his testimony before the House postal oversight panel, APWU President William Burrus struck out against business mailers, mailer worksharing, and postal worksharing discounts. He said the Postal Service suffers from a "flawed rate strategy."
  • Read some of the excerpts from the oral comments offered by others at the House postal oversight hearing.
  • The National Postal Forum not only focused on the fact that mail works today, but also included sessions where the USPS and its customers and service providers talked about innovative ideas to add value to the mail and grow volume.
  • The USPS at the National Postal Forum announced a moratorium on making any new changes to mailing standards effective until after the end of November 2009. USPS vice president of customer relations Steve Kearney told the Forum audience that the decision was made based on the Postal Service listening to and collaborating with its customers.
  • Some mailers of letter-sized booklets, often referred to as “slim jims,” shared with the Postal Service at the National Postal Forum this week their explorations with alternative mailpiece designs because of the USPS’ final rule changes, which take effect on September 8, 2009. After sitting in on the session, one must wonder if this product group will go the way of merchandise samples, which largely were driven out of the USPS mailstream as a result of restrictive rules and price increases.
  • Some mailers of letter-sized booklets, often referred to as “slim jims,” shared with the Postal Service at the National Postal Forum this week their explorations with alternative mailpiece designs because of the USPS’ final rule changes, which take effect on September 8, 2009. After sitting in on the session, one must wonder if this product group will go the way of merchandise samples, which largely were driven out of the USPS mailstream as a result of restrictive rules and price increases.
  • Royal Mail to introduce zone-based pricing. Royal Mail faces more strikes. Royal Mail about to increase the price of processing and delivering bulk mail to the island of Guernsey. TNT explores mail delivery in Germany.
  • Postal previews
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From USPS Senior Vice President for Customer Relations Stephen Kearney: "On Monday, I said the following in response to a question by Jack Potter: "Something we talked about that I'd like to share with everybody here today is that we've decided to stop imposing any new mailing standards requirements on mailers for about the next 6 1/2 months, which takes us through the end of November. A few folks at the Forum asked me whether this moratorium applies to standards that already have been announced with specific implementation dates before the end of November. The answer is that it does not. Our purpose in making this announcement is to take away any uncertainty or concern about new mailing standards requirements that we might otherwise propose during the coming months."

The Postal Regulatory Commission Public Representative has agreed "that during these tumultuous times innovative programs should be implemented in an effort to benefit both the Postal Service and its customers. The Summer Sale Program is intended to be such a program. If it functions as intended, mailers will be able to increase mailings at a lower cost and the Postal Service will generate additional revenues during the summer period utilizing what the Postal Service maintains is “excess capacity.”

The latest postal blog has been posted on the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General’s Internet site “Pushing the Envelope.” The public, mailers, postal employees, and other stakeholders are invited to weigh in on the online discussions taking place. To view the site, visit http://blog.uspsoig.gov/. Running a Summer Sale. Sale is not a word usually associated with the Postal Service, but the Postal Service is proposing a “Summer Sale” to encourage mailers to send more Standard Mail. What do you think about the proposed sale? Will it succeed? Do you foresee any difficulties in administering the program? Share your thoughts. You can visit Office of Inspector General’s public website at: www.uspsoig.gov. If you have additional questions, please contact Communication and Work Life Director Agapi Doulaveris at 703.248.2322.

The Wall Street Journal has reported that "The U.S. House of Representatives approved a bill that would make it easier to unionize FedEx Corp. workers, prompting the company to renew its threat to hold off buying billions of dollars of new planes if the bill becomes law. Supporters of the bill, including the Teamsters and FedEx's biggest rival, United Parcel Service Inc., applauded Thursday's vote. But the measure faces a difficult climb in the Senate. A similar bill passed the House in 2007 but died in the Senate."

From M2 PressWire: "www.companiesandmarkets.com adds new report: Chinese Postal Sector Research Report 2008 Mail order industry is the earliest form in the non-store purchasing field, with more than a hundred years' history in developed countries and more than a decade in China. The market scale reached over one hundred billon Yuan in 2007. With the rapid development of Chinese logistics industry, the delivery time of mail order has been shortened greatly and the customer satisfactory degree is stably increasing. Meanwhile, with the advancement of telecommunications technology, mail order providers are able to offer customers better after-sale services. Nowadays, with the prevalence of the Internet, mail order holds several advantages including an even clearer destination and a much higher rate of delivery compared to other non-store purchasing means such as online shopping. Certainly, mail order itself is still unrelentingly creating new marketing pattern and takes the Internet as another promotion channel."

The Asahi Shimbun has reported that "When support groups for people with disabilities send periodicals, they are eligible for a special postal discount aimed at supporting their activities. On Tuesday, Osaka prosecutors arrested two postal workers, including a branch manager of Japan Post Service Co., in connection with suspected systematic abuse of the discount system. They are suspected of knowingly allowing advertisers to use the discount postage for ineligible direct mail, thereby helping them to save more than 300 million yen in postage. The two arrested postal workers were apparently not the only ones who turned a blind eye to the irregularities. Most of the employees who took part in the screening process at the two branches told investigators they were aware of the illegality of the practice. Why did Japan Post approve dubious organizations as disability support groups? Were politicians involved? And who started abusing the discount system in the first place? We urge prosecutors to clarify these points."

WBNG has reported that "The notion of possible job losses at the Post Office comes with controversy. The American Postal Workers Union held a rally in protest of the move."

Logistics Manager has reported that "DHL is to become the “Official Logistics Partner” for carbon neutral logistics services for the UN Climate Conference 2009 in Copenhagen (COP15) following an agreement with the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The cooperation plan includes carbon neutral shipment of global express parcels before and during the conference for delegates, participants and organisers. All Gogreen shipments will also be branded with a sticker highlighting the Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen (COP15)."

The Associated Press has reported that "A Michigan postal worker who hid thousands of pieces of mail in a storage unit has been placed on probation for two years. Jill Hull appeared in federal court in Detroit Thursday, three months after pleading guilty to deserting the mail, a misdemeanor. In September, managers of a self-storage business opened Hull's unit and discovered thousands of pieces of unopened mail, including first-class letters. Some had postmarks from 2005."

WhatTheyThink has reported that "FedEx Kinko's in April announced it has sold its five UK locations to Printing Investments Limited, trading as "The Color Company". The five FedEx Kinko's outlets, four in central London and one in Reading, will be rebranded under the The Color Company banner."


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

May 21, 2009

The May 21, 2009 issue of the National Association of Postal Supervisors NAPS Legislative & Regulatory Update has been posted on this site.

Multichannel Merchant has reported that:

  • Where Are All The Catalogers? The Wednesday morning opening session at the second annual National Catalog Advocacy & Strategy Forum, sponsored by the American Catalog Mailers Association, drew about 60 people. During his welcome address ACMA Chairman Stan Krangel had clearly counted on seeing more mailers. “I would’ve hoped to have seen 1,000 people.”
  • The catalog industry is broken, according to Robert Bernstock, president of shipping and mailing services for the U.S. Postal Service. Huge postage rate increases have crippled many catalogers, he told attendees at the second annual National Catalog Advocacy & Strategy Forum, put on by American Catalog Mailers Association, and as such, “the business model is broken.” The good news is that the USPS wants to help the catalog industry anyway it can. “We can reconstruct the entire supply chain to lower costs,” he said. What’s more, Bernstock totally engaged the packed room when he suggested taking a “relook at the whole structure”— from pricing, service, and operational efficiencies. “We want the lowest cost delivery system,” he said. “We need to take a major relook at the whole structure.”
  • U.S. Postmaster General John E. Potter told attendees this morning at the second annual National Catalog Advocacy & Strategy Forum that he is convinced his proposal for five-day mail delivery will become a reality.

At the Postal Regulatory Commission: R2009-3 Comments of Experian in Response to Order No. 209. Experian supports the Postal Service's proposed summer sale in a novel way.

"We are supporting the USPS summer sale. In fact, we are going to offer our clients a rebate of sorts for additional data orders and address hygiene processing so that the supply chain acknowledges the importance of this offering and participates with the USPS to make this program a success. We believe that it is important to identify to the PRC how valuable this program is to the overall industry given the current economic environment the USPS and US in general are faced with today. Please keep in mind that each day there is a delay in approving such a sale it will impact the overall participation by mailers and mail volume
due to a time required to ramp this program up.

"Since we are usually the front end of the direct mail campaign because of the data selections and demographics made to generate the mailing, I can tell you that it can take up to eight (8) weeks before a campaign gets into the mail. Every day there is a delay in the decision, it delays the implementation for larger mailers. Also, paper, production time, data/addresses for new prospects and logistics need to be planned and purchased thus no one will commit to this program until a final decision is submitted by the PRC. Therefore, we urge you to consider swift and careful consideration and approve this first time summer sale."

DMM Advisory:  Nonprofit Standard Mail — Cooperative Mailings. "In today’s Postal Bulletin we announced an update to the standards for cooperative mailings in Domestic Mail Manual 703.1.6.3. Cooperative mailings allow mailers to use the Nonprofit Standard Mail prices when each of the cooperating nonprofit organizations is authorized at the Post Office where the mailing is entered. Our revision reorganizes and clarifies the standards for eligible mailings, defines ineligible mailings, and better explains the exception to mailings eligible for Nonprofit Standard Mail prices when employing the services of a commercial fundraiser."

According to Gigaom, "insufficient bandwidth has the potential to limit the cloud because it can take a long time to send large files over thin pipes. Amazon Web Services now addresses this problem with a new data delivery service called AWS Import/Export, which uses the postal system rather than the Internet to deliver data. Yes, it means customers now have the option to send their data to Amazon’s cloud via the mail.

From PR Newswire: "Facing multi-billion dollar losses and large declines in mail volume, the U.S. Postal Service has ratcheted up its efforts to wring additional cost savings from its suppliers. These efforts will only intensify through the rest of the year. To help postal contractors operate successfully within this stressful environment, Akerman Senterfitt's Government Contracts group will host a one-day seminar in McLean, VA titled, Doing Business with the U.S. Postal Service. This seminar will provide essential information for all postal contractors and subcontractors."

According to the Western Producer, "An advisory panel has recommended that Canada Post end the 15-year-old moratorium on rural postal closings, set more realistic goals for rural service and be prepared to privatize some rural delivery."

Yahoo! Finance has posted a summary of UPS' financials.

As the Washington Post put it, "If we still used the Pony Express to deliver mail, someone would shoot the horse to put it out of its misery. The U.S. Postal Service is like a once-proud thoroughbred now crippled with a broken leg -- or two. It remains a venerable institution, but it has been so severely handicapped by the recession that lawmakers are beginning to seriously consider cutting a day of delivery. That gradual -- and reluctant -- shift in attitudes was evident at a congressional hearing yesterday at which the Postal Service again made a plea for legislation that would allow it to cut mail delivery from six days a week to five."

Online Media Daily has reported that "After making quick work of print newspapers, and the Yellow Pages industry, "The kudzu-like creep of the Internet is about to claim its third analog victim," warns a new report from research firm Borrell Associates. The victim? "The largest and least-read of all print media: Direct mail." "Direct mail has begun spiraling into what we believe is a precipitous decline from which it will never fully recover," Borrell predicts. More specifically, it is projecting a 39% decline for direct mail over the next five years, from $49.7 billion in annual ad spending in 2008 to $29.8 billion by the end of 2013. If Borrell is correct, direct mail will fall from the premiere placeholder for ad revenue to the fourth -- behind the Web, broadcast TV, and newspapers."

Hellmail has reported that "Richard Hooper, the man behind a comprehensive analysis of the Royal Mail which spawned the Postal Services Bill and the present search for a strategic partner by the government, has hit back at calls to halt the semi-privatisation of Royal Mail. In the Times newspaper, he wrote: "Whichever way you crunch the numbers, Royal Mail’s overall financial situation is untenable. The status quo is not an option. Royal Mail needs to modernise more quickly and take a more commercial approach to its problems." he said As chairman of the Independent Review of the Postal Services Sector, Richard Hooper highlighted an urgent need to completely modernise the service and put it on a far more proactive commercial footing in the face of competition from Europe, difficult industrial relations and falling mail volume. He emphasised that despite Royal Mail making a profit of £321m, the recommendations of the report still hold firm and that in reality, the Royal Mail Group actually lost £229 million after tax last year and had negative cash flows of £373m. He said that with possible negative cashflows of £400 million annually for the next four years, the need for change was greater than ever. He warned that with this years fall in mail volume likely to be 10%, worse in fact than predicted in the report, and a doubling of the pension deficit to over £6bn, a strategic partnership to secure investment and commercial expertise was paramount."

According to Politics.co.uk, "The postal services bill cleared the Lords last night –and is now on the way to the Commons where a major backbench rebellion could lie in wait. The government is determined to part-privatise the Royal Mail by selling off a stake in the firm to a postal services provider, potentially Dutch firm TNT. Unions have mounted a strong campaign against this proposal, arguing the sale would be the first step towards full privatisation. They appear to have the backing of the public."

The Guernsey Press has reported that "businesses that rely on the post to export goods to the UK are to be hit hard after Royal Mail confirmed it was hiking its charges for delivering Bailiwick post by 40%. Guernsey Post announced yesterday that it had failed in its attempts to persuade Royal Mail to reconsider the increase for processing and delivering mail, which will come into force during the next two years. It is feared that the move, which equates to an £8m. rise in charges based on current postal volumes, could have far-reaching implications for the island’s export industry. About 60% of Guernsey Post’s business comes through bulk mail deliveries for companies."

International Freight Weekly has reported that "Independent integrated postal firm Business Post increased its profits and revenues during the last fiscal year thanks to a reduced cost base."

The Federal Times has reported that "The U.S. Postal Service, already facing a $6 billion budget deficit for this fiscal year, could find itself in an even deeper hole if fuel prices continue to rise, postal officials told Congress on Wednesday. Low fuel prices have been one of the few bright spots in an otherwise gloomy year for the beleaguered Postal Service. But they have crept up in recent weeks — by an average of 11 percent just this month, according to the Energy Department. And that means a big expense for the Postal Service, where each one-cent increase in the price of gasoline adds $9 million to the annual fuel bill. Postal officials say the increases aren’t a problem yet. In fact, they are behaving normally: Fuel prices typically rise at the start of the summer driving season. But William Galligan, the Postal Service’s senior vice president for operations, said gas prices are cause for concern."

The Watertown Daily Times has reported that "Local postal union officials again vowed to fight the U.S. Postal Service's plan to consolidate services from the Watertown post office's mail processing operation with the Syracuse Processing and Distribution Center."

The Philadelphia Daily News has reported that "The Postal Service's Office of Inspector General, which investigated alleged mismanagement at Philadelphia mail facilities, identified several factors that led to problems at its Southwest Philadelphia plant."

   

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HAVE YOU HAD IT WITH
"DO NOT MAIL" MANIA?
Then be sure to read:

* The Environmental Impacts of the Mail: Initial Life Cycle Inventory Model and Analysis (USPS study)
* Informing The Dialogue: Facts About Mail And The Environment (SLS Study) 
* Informing The Dialogue: Facts About Mail And The Environment (SLS Study) 
* The many documents that serve as backup  (SLS Study) 
* How To Deal With "Do Not Mail" Mania (PostCom) 
* What You Need to Know About
Mail, the Economy, and Society
(PostCom) 
* U.S. Constitution, Article 1
Section 8:
"The  Congress 
[not the States] shall have power...To establish post offices and post roads."

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Things You Should Know

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