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Source:  http://postcom.org/

                                                                      
Association for Postal Commerce

"Representing those who use or support the use of mail for Business Communication and Commerce"


1901 N. Fort Myer Dr., Ste 401 * Arlington, VA 22209-1609 * Ph.: +1 703 524 0096 * Fax: +1 703 524 1871

April 3, 2009

Hellmail has reported that "The Polish postal service is to invest some 250 million Euros on automation and computerisation as well as a new unit in central Warsaw. The investment is an increase of 11.1 percent - more than in 2008, mostly in logistics and computerised equipment with moves to improve sorting. Staff restructuring is also expected as part of the plan to help Poczta Polska meet the demands of competition. Poczta Polska currently employs about 100 thousand people."

Press Release: "FedEx Express, a subsidiary of FedEx Corp., has announced the expansion of its customer portfolio of services with the launch of FedEx International Economy® service in India."

H.R.22 -- Title: To amend chapter 89 of title 5, United States Code, to allow the United States Postal Service to pay its share of contributions for annuitants' health benefits out of the Postal Service Retiree Health Benefits Fund.
Sponsor: Rep McHugh, John M. [NY-23] (introduced 1/6/2009)  
> Cosponsors (252) <

Bloomberg has reported that "The U.S. unemployment rate jumped in March to the highest level since 1983 as the economy lost 663,000 jobs, threatening to keep spending subdued for months and delay any recovery. The jobless rate increased to 8.5 percent from 8.1 percent in February, a Labor Department report showed in Washington -- consistent with the forecasts of 79 economists surveyed by Bloomberg. Employers have cut a total of about 5.1 million posts since the recession began, the biggest slump in the postwar era." [EdNote: Not the best of news for companies involved in B2C marketing.]

MediaDailyNews has noted that "Newsstand sales among the 70 biggest magazines in America have plunged over the last decade -- from an average 22,255,382 in the second half of 2001 to 15,391,518 in the second half of 2008, per an Audit Bureau of Circulations analysis. That's a decline of 31% in just seven years, suggesting that competition from the Internet has taken a big bite out of the magazine business."

PostCom has learned that Mailing Services vice president David Shoenfeld no longer works for the Postal Service. An official announcement will be forthcoming.

According to Newsweek, "While newspapers have serious problems, the recent failures of several newspaper companies (here's a list of list of four others that have gone BK in recent months) shouldn't necessarily lead to visions of the apocalypse. Virtually every newspaper in the country has experienced a sharp drop in advertising and is suffering losses. But not every newspaper company in the country has gone bankrupt as a result. And the failures may say more about a style of capitalism than an industry. Each company was undone in large measure by really stupid (and in one case criminal) activities by managers. The newspaper companies that have failed wholesale were essentially set up to fail by inexperienced managers who believed piling huge amounts of debt on businesses whose revenues were shrinking even when the economy was growing was a shrewd means of value creation."

MediaPost has reported that "Canada's National Post newspaper began using two-dimensional (2D) bar codes this week to link newspaper articles to video and other content. The link from paper to the Web is made possible through a free downloadable mobile app for smartphones from Scanbuy, N.Y. Directions on nationalpost.com point visitors to getscanlife.com. When the camera on the phone takes a picture of the bar code, the application reads the embedded information in the code and triggers a Web browser to open, which searches the Internet for the URL and serves up the page on the phone. National Post hopes to offer advertisers a print ad service that gives consumers options to discover more information about products and services on the Web."

According to one writer for the San Diego Union-Tribune, "The financial situation of the U.S. Postal Service has reached critical mass, and it has taken dramatic actions in the past several months to downsize its operations and business expenses. Unfortunately, the USPS has taken no action to deal with a postal culture that generates toxic workplace environments and an increased potential for workplace violence. Besides congressional hearings on the financial condition of the Postal Service, Congress needs to look at reforming the postal culture. More specifically, Congress needs to address and enact legislation to change the authoritarian, paramilitary, postal culture."

The Elmira Star Gazette has reported that "Electronic filing of self-prepared federal income tax returns has jumped by 20 percent this year. Given the choice of paying $12.95 or buying a stamp to mail a printout of the tax return prepared on a computer, many Americans opted to use the U.S. Postal Service."

  Hellmail has reported that:

With the economic crisis compounding problems for postal operators on top of a marked decline in stamped mail, a meeting is being held in Switzerland today to discuss the downturn and ways to fight back against other forms of communication such as the internet and email. Diversity is seen as key to strengthening postal networks and it is hoped that the meeting in Berne, hosted by the Universal Postal Union, will encourage participants to network and pick up new ideas Participants will include CEOs from international postal operators, such as Hellenic Post, TNT Post, La Poste française, Poste Italiane, United States Postal Service, Russian Post, Hongkong Post and Poste Maroc. The UPU recently reported that the results of a recent survey indicated that postal networks are increasingly trusted to further the growth of e-commerce and provide financial services.

Royal Mail has today launched a new comprehensive data solution to help businesses deliver more relevant and targeted marketing communications and increase sales. The new Data SURE™ solution allows businesses to upgrade and enhance their B2B customer databases in one complete process, enabling them to better focus resources on winning business from existing customers and identifying new, like-for-like prospects. Data SURE™ utilises several data products including a number from within Royal Mail’s existing data portfolio, such as the Business Changes File and Postal Address File, as well as information from other leading B2B data companies D&B and Experian. This unique combination improves and enhances a customer database to maximum effect quickly and cost effectively - customers pay a single fixed fee linked to the size of their database to cover a thorough initial audit, all processing, data enhancements, market profiles and new ‘best fit’ records.

From the Federal Register:

Postal Regulatory Commission
 
NOTICES
Report Availability:
Postal Service Oversight ,
  15315 [E9–7529] [TEXT]  [PDF]
 
Postal Service
 
PROPOSED RULES
Price Marking Requirements for Commercial Base and Commercial Plus Pricing ,
15226–15227 [E9–7479] [TEXT]  [PDF]

According to the Financial Post, "While many Canadians were undoubtedly dismayed by the federal government’s 2009 budget and its about-face regarding the state’s role in the economy, one positive may yet result from the massive spending spree. In an effort to control ballooning deficits, the federal government has initiated a review of its “corporate assets” with an eye to privatization. Potentially up for sale are assets such as Canada Post, Via Rail and the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority. Property such as the CN Tower and others held by Canada Lands could also be sold. The fact is Canadians would benefit tremendously from sweeping privatization of Crown assets."

Logistics Management has reported that "In a filing submitted to the Postal Regulatory Commission, the United States Postal Service (USPS) said it will kick off a market test on May 6 to provide service that will resemble a less-than-truckload (LTL) network. According to the filing, the LTL-like market test cannot exceed 24 months, with total revenues not anticipated to exceed $10 million. The USPS said it will leverage its national transportation network that serves its processing facilities, which are primarily comprised of approximately 440 sectional center facilities and more than 40 bulk mailing centers. USPS does not have an asset-based transportation network, as it contracts out its over-the-road trucking business. When the service gets underway, the USPS plans to leverage excess capacity on its trucks moving to and from these facilities—due to a significant decline in its mail volumes—by selling that capacity on a “space-available” basis. It added that delivery unit loads will be on pallets, with exceptions on a case-by-case basis. And delivery times will range from one-to-four days, depending on origin and destination."

The UN News Centre has reported that "Thanks to e-commerce, the postal sector has largely been able to stave off the slump wreaked on the global economy by the current financial crisis, the United Nations Universal Postal Union (UPU) said today. Postal operators, especially in the letter-post and express business segments, have been feeling the pinch, but that has been tempered by growth recorded in financial services, the agency said during a high-level gathering at its Berne, Switzerland, headquarters on the impact of the financial turmoil on the sector. Worldwide, the industry employs nearly 6 million people and operates 660,000 post offices, making it one of the largest workforces and the most vast physical distribution network."

The International News has reported that "The Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) and Pakistan Post have signed an agreement for urgent mail service and city-to-city registered mail service."

The Associated Press has reported that "The U.S. Postal Service said Thursday it plans to close three mail-processing centers and eliminate approximately 1,490 jobs in West Virginia, Indiana and Arizona."

April 2, 2009

News about the Postal Service around the nation:

  • The Chicago Tribune has reported that "The U.S. Postal Service says it's closing three mail processing centers and eliminating approximately 1,490 jobs in West Virginia, Indiana and Arizona."
  •  WSAZ has reported that "Hundreds of people will lose their jobs later this year when the United States Postal Service closes one of its centers in Charleston. According to a spokesperson for the USPS, the Remote Encoding Center (REC) on Lee Street will close in October. The center employs 82 career employees and 252 temporary employees."
  • The News Sentinel has reported that "The U.S. Postal Service will close the Fort Wayne remote encoding center, 2980 E. Coliseum Blvd., in October, eliminating 151 full-time and 264 part-time jobs, the USPS announced today."
  • According to the Idaho Press-Tribune, "Ray Arnold, an Idahoan who flies the only backcountry air mail route remaining in the lower 48 states, has been informed by the U.S. Postal Service that the $46,000 mail contract will not be renewed after June 30 For 34 years, Arnold has delivered mail and supplies to more than 20 ranches scattered throughout the 2.3-million-acre Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness. Backcountry residents and ranch owners this week pleaded with the postal service and Idaho's congressional delegation to reverse course and restore the contract."

Ad Age MediaWorks has reported that "Magazines staring down the twin barrels of recession and digital competition, including ESPN the Magazine, Entertainment Weekly and Rolling Stone, are showing new eagerness to involve their covers with creative advertising. That's good news for marketers trying to make an impact in print, but it's also causing concern that the ads could spoil magazines' intimate relationship with readers."

Multichannel Merchant has reported that "If the current inflation trend continues, catalogers may see a postal rate increase of less than 1% in 2010, according to Dan Blair, chairman of the Postal Regulatory Commission."

According to postal commentator Gene Del Polito, it's time the Postal Service thought about the handling and pricing of Business Reply Mail as a bulk rate service. The benefits would stimulate BRM growth, while satisfying other needs as well.

According to postal commentator Gene Del Polito, With the Postal Service in a world of hurt, one would hope that postal executives might be more open to looking for cost-efficient, value-building alternatives to their current schedule of postal services and prices. He discusses two ideas he said that should be laid on the table.

In preparation for the launch of Intelligent Mail services in May 2009, the Postal Service is conducting a series of Webinars to answer technical questions about Intelligent Mail barcode implementation.  The next webinar is Friday April 3, 2009 from 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm Eastern Time. To join the Intelligent Mail Technical Integration Webinar on your computer:
1. Go to: https://uspostal.webex.com/
2. Click on the Intelligent Mail Technical Integration Webinar URL next to the date.
3. Input your First and Last name, and email address.
4. Click Submit.
5. The audio for this presentation is going to stream through your computer speakers rather than through the phone line. Please make sure the volume is turned up on your computer and test your speakers prior to the meeting. NOTE: For those who do not have access to a computer for this Webinar or do not have computer speakers, you can listen to audio only by dialing this teleconference number: 1-866-699-3239, please submit the event id number 663 345 693 and press ##

From PR Newswire: "Businesses large and small will find tools for success by attending the National Postal Forum, May 17-20, in Washington, D.C. For the first time, the Forum is offering a stand-alone seminar dedicated to the needs of small business owners looking to grow their business globally using the mail. Small business owners can attend a special session on Sunday, May 17, specially priced at $89. "Grow Your Business -- A Small Business Perspective on How to Compete in the Emerging Marketplace" provides the opportunity to network with other entrepreneurs at the Forum's opening reception and tour the National Postal Forum Exhibit Hall -- without having to miss a day of work. For more information and to register, go to npf.org or call 703-218-5015."

DMM Advisory:  May 11 Price Change – Final Mailing Standards. We posted our final mailing standards on Postal Explorer to support the May 11 Mailing Services price change. We also posted final standards for Intelligent Mail services and Move Update, in a separate notice. Among the revisions:

  • We eliminated the tray-based preparation requirement for First-Class Mail comercial (automation and nonautomation) flats. Mailers will continue to use the current mail preparation options.
  • We clarified that Standard Mail nonmachinable letters over 3.3 ounces pay nonautomation flats prices.
  • We eliminated separate mailing agent and owner Confirm subscription prices. All Confirm subscribers will the pay the same subscription price, based on service level.
  • We postponed the Move Update noncompliance charge for Standard Mail until January 4, 2010.

Don’t forget, you can find all of the new prices, postage statements, downloadable price files, and other information to help you prepare for the pricing change at usps.com/prices/pricechanges.htm.

Letter-Size Booklet and Folded Self-Mailer Standards – Update 

We will publish a final rule revising mailing standards for letter-size booklets next week. This is an advance notice that we are postponing implementation of the new standards until September 2009. Also, current standards for folded self-mailers will remain in effect and we will continue to work with the mailing community to test various folded self-mailer designs. We will publish recommendations regarding folded self-mailers in September 2009. An additional proposed rule for folded self-mailers will be published upon completion of the test of mailer-supplied sample pieces.


A MESSAGE TO ALL POSTCOM MEMBERS FROM THE CHAIRMAN

"PostCom Chairman Jim O'Brien and PostCom Vice Chairman Jody Berenblatt joined members of the U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors for a meeting this past Tuesday on issues that were of mutual interest and concern. Also attending was PostCom Board of Directors members John Campo, Hamilton Davison, and Vincent Giuliano as well as representatives from other key mail-related associations.

"Carolyn Gallagher, Chairman of the Postal Service's Board of Governors stressed the importance for postal management to work closely with the business mailing community to improve the quality of services provided to the nation's postal users, and to help lead the Postal Service out of its present economic doldrums. She made it clear that the Governors themselves were willing to listen and learn from the Postal Service's customers.

"There were several topics that were raised by PostCom and were discussed during the meeting. They included:

• The perils associated with the filing of any exigency rate case.
• The threat posed to the nation's universal mail delivery system by efforts at the state and local levels to impose "do not mail" restrictions on mail advertising and marketing.
• The adverse impacts of the shifting of costs from the Postal Service to mailers through needlessly restrictive and punitive mail regulations.
• The benefits and the costs and other burdens associated with the Postal Service's rapid implementation of its intelligent mail program.
• The industry's support for congressional efforts to provide some relief to the Postal Service regarding its PAEA-imposed payments for postal employee health retirement benefits.
• The need to plan carefully regarding any reduction in days of mail delivery to ensure no real degradation in the provision of reliable and affordable universal mail service.
• The importance of worksharing to the postal system as a means for improving mail service quality and cost efficiency.

"According to PostCom Chairman Jim O'Brien, the meeting was an excellent start to a renewed effort to maintain open lines of communication between business mail users and the nation's foremost postal policy makers. It's an effort to which he pledged PostCom's continuing support."

PRWeek has reported that "As a Labour revolt gathers momentum, Burson-Marsteller is attempting to distance Dutch postal firm TNT from criticism surrounding its bid for a stake in Royal Mail.   The agency is charged with helping keep TNT out of the crossfire, as Labour MPs rebel against Business Secretary Lord Mandelson's plan to sell a 30 per cent stake in the postal operator.  More than 140 Labour MPs are opposed to the part-privatisation plan."

Network Computing has reported that "India Post has announced that it will start collecting government stamp duty through 21 post offices in the Mumbai circle. The technology for evidencing stamp duty payment is provided by Pitney Bowes, a mail stream and document management company.  The tamper-proof Pitney Bowes solution will help in secured evidencing of payments. Retrieval of information regarding date, time and purpose, value of the stamp duty will be possible in real-time, at the push of a button. Additionally, with this feature, India Post will be able to make available stamp paper of the exact amount in a single sheet, thereby reducing considerable expense and wastage of paper."

From today's Federal Register:

Postal Service
 
RULES
International Inbound Registered Mail Procedures,
14932–14933 [E9–7373] [TEXT]  [PDF]

According to the City Journal, "With proposals to nationalize or heavily subsidize various segments of our economy more in vogue than ever, it was probably only a matter of time before someone suggested that America’s media marketplace should be brought into the government fold. John Nichols of The Nation and the prolific neo-Marxist media theorist Robert W. McChesney have now provided the road map for media’s march to serfdom. The cost to the American taxpayer would be at least $60 billion, but the cost for the First Amendment and our democracy would be incalculable."

The Mail Moves America coalition today expressed disappointment in the San Francisco Board of Supervisors’ vote of recommendation yesterday for a resolution calling for the creation of a Do Not Mail program. The resolution was widely opposed by labor unions and workers because of the harmful impact that a Do Not Mail program would have on jobs and the economy. Advertising mail plays a critical role in the California economy. More than 400,000 Californians have jobs that are directly or indirectly made possible by advertising mail. In 2008, more than 22,000 small businesses in California relied on advertising mail to support their businesses, and advertising mail brought almost $97 billion in increased sales to California’s economy. Advertising mail is also an environmentally responsible way to advertise.

April 1, 2009 

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

Last year Schweizerische Post achieved a 3% increase in turnover (8.98bn CHF) accompanied by an 84m CHF drop in profit (825m CHF; -9.2%).
A recent decision by Austria’s administrative court could severely affect the current practice of granting discounts in the mail segment.
Hamburg-based publishing group Bauer intends to give Deutsche Post more competition in the field of so-called Infopost.
In a hearing before the US Congress, Postmaster General Potter painted a dramatic picture of the US post’s present financial situation.
Schweizerische Post is going to bear the VAT due on letters weighing over 50 grams from 1 July.
The National Association of Postal Supervisors has somewhat different ideas than the management of the U.S. Postal Service on how the company could deal with the red figures.
The Christian branch of unionised postal workers in Austria wants the number of post offices in the country to be laid down in law.
A Belgian consumer protection organisation says La Poste’s postal agencies are no real alternative to traditional post offices.
The Irish regulatory authority’s official probe into performance quality and transmission times at An Post has revealed unflattering results.
FedEx has increased the political pressure connected with the conflict around union membership for its employees.
GeoPost, the express parcel holding company of the French La Poste, has increased its stake in the Spanish CEP operator Seur.
The mail and express market in Lithuania grew by 17.2 per cent in 2008.
Following complaints by TNT Post and the Mail Competition Forum, Postcomm has now launched an investigation into Royal Mail’s pricing policy.
The Committee to Save Mail Carriers held a protest rally in the Dutch city of Utrecht on Sunday.
New Zealand plans to closely scrutinise bonus payments by state-owned enterprises.

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.)

The Consumer Postal Council has said in its international postal update that "the recession is leaving national posts gasping for air."

According to Internet Retailer, "Like other shippers dealing with high package volumes and limited delivery windows, including footwear retailer Zappos.com Inc. and start-up deal-of-the-day retailer UWantSavings.com, BuySeasons has chosen to assign all or nearly all of its shipments to a single carrier to get maximum shipping service levels at the lowest overall rates. UPS ships 98% of BuySeasons’ orders; the other 2% are handled by the U.S. Postal Service for a limited number of residential addresses and by FedEx Corp. for deliveries to wholesale clients who already use FedEx."

According to The American Interest, "As with many failed and failing government organizations, the team that got you into a mess isn’t likely to be the team that gets you out. The USPS needs to be torn down to the studs and re-invented. The Obama Administration and Congress must practice what Austrian economist Joseph Schumpeter termed “creative destruction” in order to save the USPS from itself. Here is what to do, and the order in which to do it."


* MFSA
*
Washington, DC
*
Registration Now Open

*
EARLY BIRD DEADLINE APRIL12!

FedEx Ground, a subsidiary of FedEx Corp., is pleased that a jury In the Superior Court of the State of Washington for King County affirmed in a verdict that FedEx Ground single work area contractors operating in the state are independent business owners and not employees.

It is 46 days and counting until the beginning of the 2009 National Postal Forum on May 17 in Washington, DC.  As always,  the program is packed with leading experts and cutting-edge strategies to help businesses – large and small – get the most out of the mail.   I am especially excited this year about the first time, standalone seminar being offered on Sunday, May 17, dedicated to the needs of small-business owners.  "Grow Your Business - A Small Business Perspective on How to Compete in the Emerging Marketplace" provides small- and mid-size businesses with the   tools they need to grow their business globally using the mail – all this at the special price of $89.  The attached press release going to the media tomorrow   provides detailed information about this exciting new session.   For those of you who have not registered for the Forum, remember Friday, April 3, is the deadline to receive an early bird discount price of $900 on full registration to the Forum, which includes Sunday's new seminar on small business . . . and don't forget as MTAC members you receive a $100 discount. 

From the Postal Regulatory Commission web site:

Rule: Daily listing MT2009-1 Notice of the United States Postal Service of Market Test of Experimental Product. Collaborative Logistics Link: http://www.prc.gov/docs/62/62808/Notice%20Collab%20Log%20Mkt%20Test.pdf

FedEx Express was ranked 19th on the list based on its exceptional commitment to both its customers and its staff, making it the highest-placed express transportation company.  The ranking takes into account quality, reliability and distinction, proving the strength of the FedEx Express brand and brand values.  FedEx Express was chosen following a selection process which included interviewing an independent and voluntary council of experts and more than 1,500 business professionals, the latter surveyed by research agency YouGov.

You can find a copy of the UK's Postal Service's Bill Report on the UK Parliament web site. The issuing committee concluded its report by saying: "The Committee is left with the conclusion that either the Government has not fully thought through its position about future share sales, or that it has done so and is refusing to reveal its hand."

The Rapid City Journal has told its readers that "While the postal service isn’t supported through taxpayer subsidies, they still need Congressional approval to change their business model. We would urge our delegation to act quickly in support of the Postmaster Generals request and give the failing business a chance to fix itself. Taxpayers won’t, and shouldn’t, tolerate another Congressional bailout and the postal service has indicated it’s ready to take steps to cut costs and stop the bleeding."

Logistics Manager has reported that "Deutsche Post DHL has chosen Quintiq, the supplier of planning & scheduling systems,to take part in its SmartTruck pilot project. Other project partners include the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology, the German Aerospace Agency, the German Research Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Motorola. Quintiq’s Pick-up & Delivery planning system optimises routes and ensures that available vehicle capacity is used to the maximum. It has a dynamic planning capability, enabling it to relay ad hoc pick-ups to vehicles in real time while they are in transit. In doing so, the system takes journey times, customer service, workloads, cargo capacities and processing time into account. Unutilised capacities can be identified at a glance and can be used immediately."

The Mirror has reported that "The Royal Mail sell-off was slammed as a dodgy deal by MPs yesterday. A scathing report claimed Peter Mandelson's partprivatisation plan was a poor bargain for taxpayers. It also accused the Business Secretary of covering up his true intentions for the service." See also the Financial Times, The Telegraph, and the Glasgow Daily Record.

Mail Moves America has reported that "the San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed, on a 9-2 vote, the non-binding resolution calling on Congress (this was an amendment to the resolution made following last week's hearing) and the California legislature to adopt a Do Not Mail registry.  The resolution will be sent to the Mayor for his signature or veto.  If he signs it, then it is his responsibility to communicate the resolution to the appropriate recipients in Congress and in the California legislature."  See also FoxBusiness and the Postalnews Blog.

March 31, 2009

According to WWSB, "In a continuing effort to improve productivity and increase efficiency, the Postal Service plans to move originating mail processing and distribution operations from the Manasota Processing and Distribution Center (P&DC) to the Tampa P&DC. The transition will begin October 1, 2009 and be completed by April 1, 2010."

WHIZ has reported that "The U.S. Postal Service is holding a public hearing to talk about its proposal to move some mail processing operations out of Zanesville and into Columbus."

WIBC has reported that "Kim Yates with the Greater Indiana District of the Postal Service says several administrative positions are being eliminated in Indiana, affecting 70 employees. But she says those cutbacks will be transparent to the public, so service at local post office retail counters and carrier delivery will remain the same."

The Telegraph has reported that "Bruce Greig, chief operating officer of ViaPost, believes the online postal pioneer has the potential to disrupt Britain’s physical mail market. First there was mail, then email, but now there’s something in between - courtesy of ViaPost, which is pioneering a hybrid mail service that allows people and businesses to send physical letters over the internet. It runs an internet postal operation that allows letters to be sent electronically to central servers and then printed out and delivered by the Royal Mail through the so-called “last mile” system used by courier companies."

Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA) introduced legislation in the House of Representatives on March 24 that would restrict USPS subcontracting. The Mail Protection Act (H.R. 1686), which is backed by the APWU, is modeled on a bill the Congressman introduced in November 2007 (H.R. 4236). The bill [PDF] would require the Postal Service to bargain with postal unions before engaging in significant subcontracting, and would require the USPS to submit to arbitration if management and the affected unions were unable to reach agreement. It would apply to any private contract involving mail processing, mail handling, or surface transportation of mail, provided that over a 12-month period the contract involved the equivalent of $5 million or 50 work-years.

The latest blog 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/.    Postal Service Financial Challenges.  There are concerns the Postal Service could end this year without enough cash to pay its bills.  In testimony last week, the Postal Service asked Congress to allow for a slower rate of funding of its retiree health benefits and to give the Board of Governors the flexibility to move from 6-day to 5-day delivery.  Do you think these are the only options?---The best options to stabilize the Postal Service’s spiraling financial downturn?  What do you think are the best options for the Postal Service?   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.

From Business Wire: "FedEx SmartPost announced today that it has expanded its service into Canada for U.S. shippers by using the residential delivery capabilities of the Canada Post Corporation."

The Courier Mail has reported that "drug exporters are turning to the postal system in a bid to get illicit drugs into Australia."

Women in Logistics and Delivery Services has announced two upcoming events. Check out the WILDS web site for more information.

From PR Newswire: "Two prizes acknowledging excellence in those who publish works involving American postal history have been awarded to a university professor and a college student. Professor Anuj Desai, University of Wisconsin Law School, and Philip Glende, School of Journalism and Mass Communications, University of Wisconsin-Madison, received the Rita Lloyd Moroney Awards from U.S. Postal Service representatives in recognition of their important undertakings. The Rita Lloyd Moroney Awards are designed to encourage scholarship on the history of the American postal system and to raise awareness about the significance of the postal system in American life."

From PR Web: "Today at the On Demand Expo, PrintSoft Americas (www.printsoft-usa.com) announced a new offering, MailDirect Express, which provides design-online capability and multi-channel output for on-demand business correspondence. The solution saves time for corporate employees, speeds messages to customers and ensures brand-control and compliance standards are met even for ad-hoc correspondence."

The Economic Times has reported that "Officials at the India Post Insurance Directorate, the insurance arm of India Post, are upbeat about business prospects, while the rest of the industry is struggling to cope with a slowdown. The two major schemes of the company - postal life insurance (PLI) and rural postal life insurance (RPLI) - are logging good growth despite bad economic sentiments, the officials said."

As The Day has noted, "The US Postal Service losing streak continued in February, with the agency reporting a loss of $658 million, bringing the year to date loss for the fiscal year to $1.8 billion. The agency continued to aggressively cut employee work hours, which were down 12% from the prior year. That translated to a 7.3% decrease in wages and benefits. (The savings are inflated by 3-4% because 2008 was a leap year, so there was an extra weekday compared with 2009.) Revenue, meanwhile was down 12.8%. The slide in revenue accelerated from January’s 11.8% decline, but that number is also slightly inflated by the extra day in SPLY. The sharpest drop was in standard mail, down 22% from February 2008. The decrease meant that there was actually less standard mail than first class in the system for the month, reversing recent trends. First class mail volume was down 12.7% compared with last year. Year to date, the USPS has processed about 11 billion fewer pieces of mail than it had at this point a year ago."

As the Postalnews Blog has noted, "The US Postal Service losing streak continued in February, with the agency reporting a loss of $658 million, bringing the year to date loss for the fiscal year to $1.8 billion. The agency continued to aggressively cut employee work hours, which were down 12% from the prior year. That translated to a 7.3% decrease in wages and benefits. (The savings are inflated by 3-4% because 2008 was a leap year, so there was an extra weekday compared with 2009.) Revenue, meanwhile was down 12.8%. The slide in revenue accelerated from January’s 11.8% decline, but that number is also slightly inflated by the extra day in SPLY. The sharpest drop was in standard mail, down 22% from February 2008. The decrease meant that there was actually less standard mail than first class in the system for the month, reversing recent trends. First class mail volume was down 12.7% compared with last year. Year to date, the USPS has processed about 11 billion fewer pieces of mail than it had at this point a year ago."

Advertising Age has reported that "Local media continue to absorb a good part of the brunt of this recession. A new study from financial-analysis firm SNL Kagan forecasts that local TV stations and radio broadcasters will suffer through two years of ad-revenue downturns, with 2009 declines widening from those in 2008." [EdNote: All the more important, then, is the Postal Service's efforts to make local, saturation, carrier route mail more accessible to local merchants.]

   


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Articles & Other Papers
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The Mail Marketing Glossary
Postal Acronyms & Abbreviations
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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."


 
This Day in Postal History

Things You Should Know

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

Postal Rates & Codes Worldwide


Government Postal Sites

U.S. PostalService
USPS News Releases
USPS Financials
USPS RIBBS web site
MTAC
Postal Bulletin
Postal Explorer
Postal Regulatory Commission
General Accountability Office
GAO on the USPS 2001-2005
USPS Inspector General
Department of State (UPU)

Postal Unions

Ntl. Assn. Of Letter Carriers
Ntl. Rural Letter Carriers Assn.
APWU

Postal Management Groups

Ntl. Assn. Of Postmasters of the U.S.
National Assn. Of Postal Supervisors
National League of Postmasters

Other Postal News Sources

CEP News
Courier, Express and Postal Observer
Intellisent Postal Affairs Blog
PostalNews.Com
PostInsight
Postal Mag.Com
Postal Employee Network
PostalReporter.com

Letter Carrier Network
Hellmail (U.K.)

Industry News

Catalog Success
Multichannel Merchant
Direct's "News Line"
DM News
Mailing Systems Technology
Direct Marketing News
Catalog News
Paper Industry News
Printing Industry News
Trucking/Transportation News

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