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[PostCom logo
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

Here is some of what's new in the Postal World:

 

January 13, 2008

Well, the rumor mill is cranking, and it says that the Postal Service will be announcing soon its intention to raise postal rates by 2.9% when calculated at the class level.

As Ben Stein noted in the New York Times, "Clearly, the economy is slowing. The immense drop in home construction, the slowdown in lending, the falloff in retail sales, the general mood of the nation — fanned by endless fear-mongering in the news media — are taking their toll. There has been a noticeable gain in joblessness, although employment is still very strong by historical standards. Foreclosures are way up, though they still form a tiny percentage of all homes with mortgages. Banks have sometimes been reluctant to lend, and this is scaring markets plenty. The stock market is down sharply from six months ago. It is still at a high price-to-earnings multiple by historical measures, but it has fallen." [EdNote: As if you didn't already know.]

According to the Charlotte News & Observer, "The U.S. Postal Service is probably the last place consumers think they have to be on guard against aggressive pricing and overcharging. That's what Jason Savage, a Raleigh entrepreneur, thought until a recent trip to a Willow Spring post office."

One writer at the Milwaukee Sentinel-Journal has marveled: "It's amazing how many of you figured out the same deviously clever way to go postal in your fight against junk mailers like Capital One."

The Malta Independent has reported that "The government’s 40 per cent shareholding in MaltaPost is being offered for sale via an Initial Public Offering (IPO) and MaltaPost shares will be quoted on the Malta Stock Exchange later this month. At a news conference held at the Mediterranean Conference Centre early last week to announce the sale, Minister Austin Gatt succinctly explained, “The government’s business is government and not business.” “This should allow the government to pursue continued economic growth. At present, 70 per cent of the country’s labour force is employed by the private sector.”

January 12, 2008

According to Computerworld, "Forget all the red ink in the federal budget. The White House is going green on this year's budget. In a move that the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) says will save roughly 20 tons of paper, or about 480 trees, the Bush administration will release the government's first-ever paperless budget on Feb. 4. The plan to issue a so-called e-budget means that the White House won't order any hard-copy versions of the budget for the government's 2009 fiscal year, which starts in October. Instead, the OMB will post a fully downloadable and searchable electronic copy on its Web site and make the document accessible to anyone who wants to read it."

Dow Jones has reported that "The Teamsters criticized FedEx Corp. (FDX) for announcing plans to continue classifying its drivers as independent contractors although the California Supreme Court has declared workers there to be employees."

eTrucker.com has reported that "FedEx Corp. reiterated its confidence Jan. 10 as it responds to a tentative assessment by the Internal Revenue Service that its FedEx Ground owner-operators are employees and not general contractors. "FedEx recognizes its ground-contractor model faces challenges on several fronts," said Frederick W. Smith, chairman, president and chief executive officer of the company, based in Memphis, Tenn. "We continue to aggressively address these issues, and we have strong defenses to these challenges." FedEx is preparing to meet with the IRS audit team to review the Dec. 20 IRS assessment and to provide an initial response. FedEx expects the meeting to occur in the spring and says a final resolution will not occur for some time."

Analytiqa has reported that "DHL will become the official express and logistics partner for IMG’s Fashion Weeks around the world, a series of prestigious shows produced and/or represented by IMG Fashion in ten countries spanning four continents each year. Following a successful year working with IMG Fashion in the US market, DHL is now increasing its relationship as the official international express and logistics partner of these events."

Women in Logistics & Delivery Services (WILDS) is a nonprofit organization created to promote women's leadership in the postal and delivery industries. The organization provides networking, mentoring and training opportunities to address issues that women in these industries regularly face. The WILDS web site is up. Check it out at: http://www.shedelivers.org.

January 11, 2008
 
 
The latest issue of the
PostCom Bulletin is available online.
 In this issue:

  • The Postal Regulatory Commission this week said the U.S. Postal Service should change the status of Premium Forwarding Service from experimental to permanent. The change would allow residential delivery customers and many post office box customers to continue to have the USPS reship their mail from a permanent address to a temporary address once a week via prepaid Priority Mail.

  • National Association of Letter Carriers President William Young takes on the USPS Inspector General’s office in this message to his members.

  • USPS career jobs decline. Do Not Mail legislation and the economy. Congressional mail carries high price tag.

  • Scottish rural post offices to be closed.

  • Research International joins PostCom. Corrected Parascript member information.

  • A list of upcoming postal-related events.

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 PostCom Bulletin is distributed via NetGram

Environmental Leader has reported that "Earth Class Mail has closed $13.3 million in Series A funding, according to CNET. Ignition Partners of Bellevue, Washington, led the round, and more than half of the money was raised by Keiretsu Forum.Earth Class Mail customers have their mail sent to the company rather than a personal address. Then letter openers, staffed with disabled veterans with Department of Defense security clearance, scan the envelopes and upload images to the Web. Customers then decide which items to have opened and read, recycled, or forwarded."


PostCom Members!! If you mistakenly deleted the emailing we did to provide you a copy of our Special PostCom Bulletin Compendium on Intelligent Mail, you can get your copy here.

The January 11, 2008 issue of the National Association of Postal Supervisors Legislative and Regulatory Update has been posted on this site.

UPS Freight, the nation's fourth-largest less-than-truckload (LTL) carrier, has announced a general rate increase averaging 5.4 percent covering non-contractual shipments in the United States and Canada.

The latest copy of the National Association of Postmasters of the U.S. electronic governmental affairs newsletter is available on the NAPUS web site.

Union Network International has reported that "An extraordinary meeting of UNI Post & Logistics global union has given the go ahead to step up campaigning across the sector. A key target is DHL - the logistics giant that operates in 220 countries with almost 200,000 employees and is owned by Deutsche Post World Net. A global alliance of DHL trade unions is being launched to build union membership and to win a global agreement that recognises labour rights wherever DHL operates around the world. UNI - which already has DHL organising projects in Hong Kong and Latin America - will direct the campaign and help develop the research on which specific activities will be based. Verdi, which is the home union for Deutsche Post, will also play a key role."

According to Forbes, "PIN Group, the troubled German mail delivery company that has put itself up for sale, has attracted interest from French, Austrian and Swiss postal services companies as well as from buyout firm CVC Capital, Handelsblatt said, citing unnamed consultants."

Postcomm, the independent UK regulator for postal services, has published a decision document confirming its proposals made in August 2007 that Royal Mail should be given extra flexibility to increase some retail prices and that access margins should be left unchanged.

The Belfast Telegraph asked its readers: "When is an address not an address? That's the question residents of parts of Co Fermanagh have been asking themselves for years. An ongoing problem over the system used for addressing homes in rural townlands in the lakeland county has led to the peculiar situation of many houses and properties seemingly not existing in certain postal databases."

Press Release: "The postal world will unite in Budapest, Hungary for the 9th annual World Mail Awards on Monday 19th May 2008 to reward excellence and best practice in the industry. The applications opened on the 3rd January 2008 and will close on 29th February 2008, don't miss the opportunity to gain the recognition that you have earned. Entries are free of costs and participants can apply to as many categories as they wish. Award Categories and application forms are now available online at World Mail Awards."

The Postalnews blog has noted that "US Postal Service employment statistics showed a continuing decline in the career workforce at the end of 2007. The USPS ended the year with 681,013 career employees, down 1.9% from the prior year. The decrease of 13,329 career jobs was more than made up for by 21,537 added casual workers, and 11,801 transitional employees. By craft, clerks and nurses saw the largest decline, down 4.5%, for a loss of 9,515 jobs."

The Fort Wayne Daily News has asked: "have you seen the design for the Indiana stamp? In addition to the blue and gold state flag, there will be, in the words of the USPS, “an everyday scene or activity.” And what is that “everyday scene or activity” for the Indiana stamp? It is a farm tractor pulling a chisel plow through a field with a cityscape in the distance. How did this happen? Did the governor’s office sign off on this? Which of our U.S. senators or representatives let this get through committee? Or does the USPS do these things without consultation with the states involved? Does Arizona want to be represented by a cactus? Is Illinois best depicted by an old-fashioned windmill? Maybe Iowa still wants to be known for its corn and Kansas for its barns. But should Hoosiers feel comfortable with a farm scene? How long will it take to escape the myth that Indiana is a farm state?"

The Hindu has reported that "As part of modernisation drive, the Department of Posts (DoP) will mechanise its sorting system in metros and other cities, set up national mail grid and take four aircraft on lease to deliver mails in the quickest possible time."

According to the Bihar Times, "It can be termed by many as the propaganda overdrive. The Bihar government has decided to come out with special postcards priced at 25 paise––half the price of usual post cards, with the photograph of chief minister alongside his government’s achievements adjacent to the space earmarked for writing the address of the recipient."

From the U.S. Postal Service: The following reports have been posted on the U.S. Postal Service web site:

According to one writer for the Manila Bulletin, "Notwithstanding the drastic decline in the total volume of mails and letters in all postal administrations throughout the world due principally, but not wholly, to the advent of the cellular phone, e-commerce, e-mail, and Internet, nevertheless postal systems all over the world have surprisingly survived by deftly adjusting to the times and by diversifying their services with new products. Contrary to popular perception, the post office is neither dead or dying but alive and kicking. Neither is the postal business a "sunset" industry. On the contrary, it is considered a "sunshine" industry and flourishing."

Reuters has reported that "Package delivery company FedExCorp said on Thursday it remains confident in the strength of its beleaguered ground delivery unit, FedEx Ground."

The Associated Press has reported that "Shares of package delivery company United Parcel Service Inc. rose Thursday after a Bear Stearns analyst upgraded the stock, citing a slew of catalysts for long-term growth including current troubles at rival FedEx Corp."

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram has claimed that "the Downtown Fort Worth Station at 251 W. Lancaster Ave. The building, valued at $5,310,520 by the Tarrant Appraisal District, houses obsolete mail-sorting equipment, and its 99,000 square feet of space is mostly empty -- only the main floor of the three-story building is routinely used, according to a December report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office. Nevertheless, a U.S. Postal Service facility database says there's no "vacant leasable space" there. That's because the database has unreliable, duplicative and contradictory information. Post offices in Denton and Dallas also list no vacant leasable space, despite entire unused floors. As for the $1 million spent in 2006 to repair the Fort Worth post office -- it's the cost of indecisiveness."

[Editor's Note: If you ever wanted to know the kind of untruths (although my preference would be for some stronger expression) about advertising mail that are being preached to state legislators around the nation, read this piece from the Concord Monitor.]

Cox News Service has reported that "UPS's shipping volumes used to be a good indicator of how the economy would be doing down the road — but no longer thanks to changes in how its business customers operate, the package shipper's top executive said Wednesday. D. Scott Davis, who became CEO and chairman of the package shipper on Jan. 1, told attendees of a Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce breakfast that fluctuations in the company's fortunes once foreshadowed the economy's direction. But its volume has become more of a real-time indicator in recent years as many retailers and other shippers have switched to so-called "just-in-time" operations to reduce their inventory levels, said Davis, who is also vice chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta."


Arago | Arago Sponsors

January 10, 2008

The Financial Express has reported that "Negotiations in the World Trade Organisation over opening Markets to banks, insurance Companies and express delivery are faltering, the Bush administration and lawmakers said. The WTO papers, distributed in Geneva last month and since posted on the website of the Coalition of Service Industries, recap the progress in the talks. The US and EU pressed the large developing nations countries to allow more investments from US banks such as Citigroup Inc., permit operations of express delivery Companies such as United Parcel Service Inc. and open up tourism, telecommunications and energy services to foreign Companies. The responses were limited, the papers show."

Air Cargo World has reported that:

  • A second major investment house is calling for Deutsche Post to pull DHL out of North America. Morgan Stanley, following on the heels of Bear Stearns, said in a Jan. 7 research report that the company needs a "quick, radical solution" to the estimated $900 million in losses DHL faces in the United States. The firm likened the Deutsche Post problems to those of the former DaimlerChrysler before that automaker took action by splitting off its troubled U.S. Chrysler business. "A substantial cut in network size, combined with subcontracting and a focus on international services (revenues from $4.5 billion to $1.7 billion), is the most logical outcome, we think," the firm said. Morgan Stanley's call follows a similar plea late last month from Bear Stearns, which argues the losses in the United States are eating into Deutsche Post's overall value to shareholders.

  • FedEx Express launched on Thursday a low cost, day-definite, customs-cleared, door-to-door service in ten Asia Pacific markets.

The DM Bulletin has reported that "The Direct Marketing Association (UK) has welcomed new legislation that will allow death registration data to be used in the battle against fraud and identity theft."
 
[PostCom logo

PostCom welcomes its newest member: American Catalog Mailers Association 2001 K Street, NW, Suite 206 Washington, DC 20006-1039 represented by Hamilton Davison, Executive Director

The Financial Times has reported that "United Parcel Service plans to borrow about $10bn to buy back stock and expand through acquisitions in its latest bid to boost a flagging share price and shake its image as a conservative company that valued a sterling credit rating above growth."

APWU President William Burrus has asked the union’s state and local presidents to encourage APWU members to write to their U.S. representatives and ask them to co-sponsor and support the Mail Network Protection Act (H.R. 4236). The bill, introduced by Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA) on Nov. 15, 2007, would require the Postal Service to bargain with postal unions before it engages in significant subcontracting. Seven U.S. Representatives have signed on as co-sponsors. They are: Yvette Clark (D-NY), Al Green (D-TX), Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), Patrick Murphy (D-PA), Laura Richardson (D-CA), Christopher Smith (R-NJ), and John Tierney (D-MA).

The Bangkok Post has reported that "Thailand Post Co is preparing to franchise 20 postal counters under the commercial name Thailand Post Shop, according to Arnusa Chitmittrapab, senior executive vice-president for marketing and business development. Ms Arunsa said franchisees would earn money from postal as well as financial services including online postal drafts and Pay at Post bill payments. In addition, they can distribute postal products, souvenirs and other goods, and also run other businesses suited to the company's image such as book and stationery sales and Internet services."

Logistics Management has reported that "Express delivery and logistics services company DHL and Walgreens, the largest drugstore chain in the United States, announced today they have entered into a strategic agreement that will more than double the number of Walgreens retail locations offering DHL Express shipping services to more than 6,500 locations by the end of this year, with more than 1,600 of these locations open 24 hours a day."

  eGov Monitor has reported that "In 2007, the Quality of Service Fund (QSF) financed 75 projects, totalling 15.8 million USD, in more than 50 countries. This was the first time that the Fund, created in 2001, actually spent more money than it received. At its last meeting, in October, the QSF Board of Trustees adopted projects in China (system for translating and improving the delivery of international mail), Bangladesh (installation of X-ray detectors to improve mail security), Romania (mobile offices set up in rural areas) and other countries. A total of 21 very diverse projects amounting to 8.4 million USD were approved recently, including a regional project that will enable nine Latin American countries to set up a cost accounting programme."

January 9, 2008

Press.co.nz has reported that "New Zealand Post may stop delivering a Christchurch woman's mail unless she prunes lavender around her letterbox that is attracting bees and creating a "hazard"."

Korea.net has reported that "Mongolians workers in Korea can now send money to their home country much faster than before. The Korea Post launched Monday(Jan.7) the so-called Eurogiro service with Mongolia, which enables people in Korea to wire money to Mongolia within three to five days using an electronic money transfer system. Eurogiro is a fast and cost-effective electronic transaction system that easily allows cross-border transfers of funds. Users can directly send money to the recipient’s home address through the system or deposit money into an account issued by a postal office to transfer funds."

The Philippines Information Agency has reported that "The Philippine Postal Corporation (PhilPost), Region 8 has announced that their office now accepts transport of cargoes from one city or municipality to another for a minimal fee. Interested parties who want to avail of this cargo service, known as Priority Express or PREX, are required to inform the consignee to pick up said cargo at the post office destination point. Bioco said that Philpost guarantee's a same day delivery of items posted within the specified cut-off time."

According to Hemscott, "The minimum wage to be brought into the postal industry, which was approved by Germany's upper house in December, will cost PIN Group up to 45 mln eur in 2008, chief executive Horst Piepenburg told Die Zeit."

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

Switzerland’s Schweizerische Post is going to show a record result for 2007. CEO Gygi announced a profit in excess of 900m CHF (over 548m euros).
The French La Poste intends to increase its turnover by 2.9% this year. In a profit and turnover forecast for 2008 (21.12), the post said it was expecting a 1% growth for the mail segment, while the parcel and express segment would enjoy an organic growth of over 6%. La Banque Postale is expecting a 4% increase in net income. The operating profit margin for La Poste is expected to be 6.1% in 2008.
A decision by the Court of Justice in Ottawa could lead to Canada Post having to pay back an eight-digit sum.
Last month, ten subsidiaries of the German Pin Group filed for insolvency.
The board of Austria’s Österreichische Post AG and the union of postal and telecommunications workers reached an agreement for a 3% wage increase in 2008.
Germany has already abolished the mail monopoly and the other EU member countries are due to follow on 1 January 2011. The transport committee of the European Parliament - the mastermind behind the scheme - endorsed this compromise after negotiations with the EU Council of Ministers just before Christmas.
Last year, the Bulgarian CEP market grew by more than 20%.
The German Association of Courier, Express and Postal Service Providers (BdKEP e.V.) has brought an action before the Hamburg Administrative Court against the "Decree Concerning Mandatory Working Conditions for the Mail Services Industry". The decree would make the minimum wage agreement reached between trade union ver.di and the employers’ organisation (Arbeitgeberverband Postdienste) binding for all mail service providers.
Deutsche Post has confirmed its 4.2bn euros operating profit target for 2008.
Mexico’s post has ambitious turnover targets. In a press release, Sepomex says its "Plan de Transformación a 2012" will bring the turnover up to 624.4m euros by 2012.
FedEx plans to meet with representatives of the American tax authority IRS (Internal Revenue Service) in order to look for solutions to the IRS’s substantial demand for back pay.
Specialised Dutch CEP operator Roberts Europe, which offers express and direct courier services, is moving into the German market.
Hanjo Schneider, head of the German Hermes Logistik, has confirmed his plans to expand to Spain.
Mail volumes in the UK are expected to decrease over the next few years.
Plans to privatise the Polish post Poczta Polska (CEP News 14/07) are becoming increasingly obvious. Large parts of the shares still owned by the government will be offered at the stock exchange.
Ceská Pota (CP) plans to operate its own pharmacies in the future.
Alhaji Ibrahim Mori Baba, Post Master General und CEO des Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST), has announced that the Agency would continue to clamp down on non-registered courier operators.
Johnny Thijs, CEO of La Poste in Belgium, has been confirmed in his office for a further six years.

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.)

According to Multichannel Merchant, "It's time to cheer up. Yes, catalog mailers were slammed again in the May 2007 rate increase. But there’s a way to maintain current circulation levels at only a portion of that new cost. What many people forget is that the USPS also increased the number of postage tiers. The goal was to reward mailers preparing their mailings just the way the postal service likes them. What’s this mean to you? First, you can improve your return on investment by keeping or adding names that receive the maximum discount. Or, you can drop names when postage costs make those records unprofitable to mail."

January 8, 2008

The Malta Star has reported that "Maltapost is to be completely privatised as government announced that it will be selling its 40 per cent shareholding in the company. The major shareholder after the privatisation of the postal services is complete will be Lombard Bank. Government will be selling 11 million, two hundred thousand shares at a nominal prices of EUR 0.25 cents each."

Federal Times has noted that "The U.S. Postal Service starts 2008 with ambitious goals for cost-cutting and modernization. The agency last month unveiled a series of changes to its “road map,” the plan aimed at boosting its revenues over the next few years. The changes are driven, in part, by the 2006 Postal Accountability Enhancement Act, the first postal reform law in 36 years. The plan sets an annual goal of $1 billion in cost reductions that the agency plans to achieve primarily by increasing automation. The cost reductions are necessary, said postal executive Linda Kingsley, even though the new law gives the Postal Service the flexibility to raise revenue by developing new products and raising prices for competitive services, such as package delivery."

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

From PR Newswire: "The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) today announced plans to enhance DMAChoice, with the latest evolution of DMA's Mail Preference Service (MPS), and remove the $1 verification fee online, to help consumers decide what catalogs they receive in their mailbox. The $1 charge had been an integral part of the MPS validation process. For the first time, DMA will allow consumers to opt out of mailing lists by individual brands for free online through DMAChoice, accessible to consumers at http://www.dmachoice.org. In addition, consumers will be able to select the catalogs they do wish to receive. DMAChoice has been enhanced to provide consumers greater choice and will assure the catalog community with the most reliability, security, authenticity, and control."

From Business Wire: "Recent years have seen profound changes sweeping through the mailing industry: postal reform, shape-based pricing, and a host of other initiatives that have forced mailers to rethink every aspect of their strategies and operations. This pace of change will not let up in 2008 as the industry prepares for the next major shift: widespread deployment of the Intelligent Mail(R) barcode requirement, a change that will be largely invisible to consumers but that has vast implications for mailers of all sizes. To help these organizations learn more about the Intelligent Mail(R) barcode and other initiatives, Pitney Bowes maintains a web site dedicated to providing information on such major initiatives and has now added the latest information about the Intelligent Mail(R) barcode. The site (www.pbpostalinfo.com) contains a basic overview of the subject, with links to a new Pitney Bowes white paper about the barcode, and to other useful background information and contacts."

The News-Times has reported that "Advancements in technology are zooming through the mailing industry, and government regulations are changing almost as quickly. That's why Pitney Bowes Management Services Inc., a subsidiary of Stamford-based Pitney Bowes Inc., has launched Pitney Bowes Mailstream Consulting Services to help customers manage rising postal costs. Mailstream Consulting Services is a follow-up to Pitney Bowes MailWorks, a bundled offering of technology and Six Sigma processes that the company launched in April 2006."

According to the American Postal Workers Union, "Postal Points, a mailing industry newsletter, has enjoyed taking potshots at the APWU for quite a while, but the vitriol seems to have increased lately. In a Dec. 21, 2007, article about the Omnibus Appropriations Bill that passed Congress late last year, the publication also blasted legislators who added a provision to the spending bill that directed the Postal Service to postpone any facility consolidations until further review has been made by the Government Accountability Office. The newsletter of the Mailing and Fulfillment Service Association [PDF] said the measure “represents an unacceptable level of micromanagement by shortsighted and self-serving legislators who continue to meddle in postal operations to satisfy narrow and parochial interests of major political supporters.” That would be us."

The BBC has reported that "plans to cut or downgrade almost 30 post offices in some of Scotland's most rural areas have been announced. Proposals for the Highlands would see 18 branches closed and 11 replaced by reduced services. The Post office said most residents in the area would see no change to their current service, or would be within a mile from an alternative branch."

From PR Web: "Window Book proudly announced the launch of new functionality in both Postal Package Partner™ and DAT-MAIL™ for providing best practice for handling Priority Mail Open and Distribute. The USPS® Priority Mail Open and Distribute service allows you to send sacks or trays of presorted mail pieces to postal facilities located closer to where the item will be delivered. The mail gets to the recipient faster, on a more predictable date and, in many cases, for less money. Postal Package Partner's Open and Distribute Module provides a perfect solution for mailers for generating labels, manifesting and tracking Open and Distribute items with Delivery Confirmation. The Open and Distribute Module is designed to automate the process of importing the data, print Delivery Confirmation barcoded labels, generate manifest and postal statements, track delivery, and keep a database of all drop shipments.

The Postal Regulatory Commission has issued its opinion and final decision in the matter of Docket No. MC2007-3. In its decision it said: "The Commission adopts an unopposed settlement agreement as the basis for a favorable opinion and recommended decision on the United States Postal Service’s Request to change the status of Premium Forwarding Service (PFS) from experimental to permanent. If PFS is approved as recommended, residential delivery customers — as well as many post office box customers — will continue to have the option of having the Postal Service reship their mail from a permanent address to a temporary address once a week via prepaid Priority Mail."

In his latest post on the Courier, Express, and Postal Observer blogspot, Alan Robinson notes that "Currently eight states now will have "do not mail" legislation to consider in 2008. Such legislation will likely be introduced in many more states as legislative sessions begin in the next few months. Given the precarious state of an economy on the brink of recession, opponents of such legislation need to carefully document how such legislation could hurt the economy of states where legislation is proposed."

The Associated Press has reported that "A utility company's shipment of compact fluorescent light bulbs to its 220,000 Maryland customers caused headaches for small-town postal workers who had to deal with thousands of unexpected packages during the peak holiday season. Allegheny Power sent the two-bulb parcels to its western Maryland customers to promote energy efficiency. Spokesman Todd Meyers said Monday that the bulbs were supposed to arrive by late November. But a supplier glitch, combined with the company's ignorance about the workings of some post offices, generated resentment instead of goodwill — at least among postal employees."

Press Release: "Quad/Graphics, the hemisphere's largest privately held commercial printer, has registered all 10 of its core U.S. printing plants for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). The accomplishment puts Quad/Graphics on target to be the first printer of its kind to have all its major manufacturing sites designated as green buildings."

January 7, 2008

If you're qualified and in the market, check out the executive employment opportunities at the Postal Regulatory Commission.

The Institute of Economic Affairs will present its 11th annual conference on European Postal Services on the 11th, 12th & 13th March 2008 at the Berlin Intercontinental Hotel. Among those speaking is U.S. Postmaster General John Potter.
 
[PostCom logo

PostCom welcomes its newest member: Kantar Operations 8800 N. 22nd Avenue Phoenix, AZ 85021-4258 represented by Sonja K. Streich Senior Manager of Fulfillment Operations

UPS is launching a simplified global portfolio for shipping air freight, including a substantially expanded express freight option with guaranteed door-to-door service.

From the Federal Register:

  • In January 2009, mailers will be required to meet one of two options using Intelligent Mail barcodes to access automation prices for letters and flats. Automation prices will no longer be available for the use of the POSTNET barcode. This Federal Register notice provides advance information to help mailers understand the mail preparation requirements that the Postal Service will propose when using Intelligent Mail[supreg] barcodes and offers insight into the additional information that will be available to mailers who comply with these requirements. In order to transition to Intelligent Mail barcodes by January 2009, it is important that we receive comments to this advance notice February 21, 2008. Mail or deliver written comments to the Manager, Mailing Standards, U.S. Postal Service, 475 L'Enfant Plaza, SW., Room 3436, Washington, DC 20260-3436. Written comments may be inspected and photocopied at USPS Headquarters Library, 475 L'Enfant Plaza, SW., 11th Floor N, Washington DC between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. EST, Monday through Friday. Comments and questions can also be e-mailed to imb@usps.gov. See also the Postal Service DMM Advisory.

  • Technical conferences have been scheduled in Docket No. ACR2007. The conferences will discuss the cost model for Periodicals the Postal Service uses in its Cost and Revenue Analysis Report for FY 2007. January 11, 2008 (2 p.m.); January 23, 2008 (2 p.m.). The conference will be held in the Commission's hearing room at 901 New York Avenue, NW., Suite 200, Washington, DC 20268-0001.

The DM Bulletin has reported that U.K. "Environment minister Joan Ruddock has warned the direct marketing industry that it needs to improve its environmental record if it is to avoid legislation such as a mandatory opt-in for direct mail."

From Business Wire: "Research and Markets (www.researchandmarkets.com/reports/c78515) has announced the addition of Snapshots Hong Kong Postal Services 2007 to their offering. Snapdatas Snapshots Hong Kong Postal Services 2007 provides 2005 year-end market size data, with 2006 estimates, 4 years of historical data and five-year forecasts. The Snapshots report gives an instant overview of the Hong Kong postal service market, and covers letters and parcels. Market volume is based on number of units handled. It does not include courier services. The data is supplied in both graphical and tabular format for ease of interpretation and analysis. The Snapshots Hong Kong Postal Services 2007 forms part of Snapdatas Business Services industry coverage."

The Hindu has reported that "Lakhs of Indians living abroad, particularly Hindus, would be able to receive the holy ‘Gangajal’ at their doorsteps if plans being worked out by the Department of Posts (DoP) materialise. The idea is to courier small bottles filled with “Gangajal” to people across the globe for which talks are on with the postal departments of various nations, reputed couriers companies and some temple trusts to make the venture a success, said sources in the DoP. Before starting the service, the DoP wants to develop a supply and delivery network for the holy water , while its role would mainly be to collect payments and monitor coordination. “We are thinking of starting the e-payment system at our website — India Post — so that a non-resident Indian or any other person can make a payment and place an order with us."

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Important USPS and PAEA-Related Reports

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Report of the U.S. Treasury Department on Accounting Principles for the operation of the USPS's Competitive Products Fund

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USPS Update of its Transformation Plan

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United States Postal Service FY 2007 Annual Compliance Report

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USPS-FY07-2 - FY 2007 Cost Segments and Components Report (Hard copy & Excel)

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Government Accountability Office Report on Postal Service and Mailing Industry Mail-Related Recycling Accomplishments and Opportunities

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New Regulations for Market Dominant and Competitive Postal Products Rate Making
 

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This Day in Postal History

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Be there or be square...and then pay postage penalties.

Things You Should Know

Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act P.L. 109-435 (new postal law)
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
 

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Government Postal Sites

U.S. PostalService
USPS News Releases
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USPS Rev., Piece, Wt. Reports
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MTAC
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Postal Regulatory Commission
General Accountability Office
GAO on the USPS 2001-2005
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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.
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National League of Postmasters

Other Postal News Sources

CEP News
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Industry News

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