February 18, 2010
According to the
Courier, Express, and Postal Observer, "The Postal Regulatory Commission
held its public forum on the Postal Service's Annual Compliance Review (ACR)
yesterday. The tenor of the discussion suggests that the Commission facing
the challenge in this proceeding of walking the fine line between the law
At MTAC today, Tom
Foti, USPS Marketing Manager described the 2010 Summer Sale. The sale will
cover a 5-month period with the sale period starting July 1 thru Sept 30.
June and October will be control months. A 30 percent rebate on incremental
volume will be offered above a baseline. The sale is for Standard Mail
letters and flats only. The customer’s baseline will equal Same Period Last
Year (SPLY) numbers plus 5 percent. A downward adjustment will occur if June
and October volume is below baseline. To be eligible, a customer has mailed
over 360K Standard Mail pieces from July 1 thru Sept 30 2009. According to
Foti, there are approximately 3,525 customers eligible or 67 percent of
Standard Mail volume. Mail Service Providers are not eligible to
To learn more about the USPS future pricing incentives, check out this week’s bulletin.
has reported that "snail mail is getting a big push from Congress to go
electric and I’m not talking about e-mail. The United States Postal Service
(USPS) wants to electrify its fleet and Zap motors might just to do the
trick. This week, the California-based company announced they are
engineering an all-electric truck prototype for the mail delivery service.
Full details are still unclear but U.S. Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey will tour
the Zap EV facility next week “to learn more about how this federal program
is creating local jobs.”"
DC Velocity has reported that "Teamsters Union President James R. Hoffa
yesterday called on Congress to force FedEx Corp.'s air express workers to
operate under the same labor law that governs its arch-rival UPS Inc., and
vowed to "organize 100,000 workers at FedEx" once that happens. Speaking at
a conference of the union's brewery division in Washington, Hoffa said,
"There is one law for FedEx and another law for UPS. We need to level the
playing field and when we do that, we're going to organize 100,000 workers
at FedEx." Currently, workers at FedEx Express's air express unit are
governed by the Railway Labor Act (RLA), a 1926 law that covers workers in
the airline and railroad industries. All FedEx Express employees are covered
under the RLA whether they're air-based workers like pilots, or workers who
aren't directly involved in aircraft operations and maintenance, such as
loaders and delivery drivers. By contrast, UPS workers, which are heavily
represented by the Teamsters, are covered under a different statute known as
the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), which governs workers in the
trucking and other industries. UPS has long argued that FedEx Express is the
only company in U.S. transportation whose drivers, sorters, and loaders are
covered by a labor law designed for airline workers instead of
Logistics Online has reported that "RedPrairie Corporation, a
productivity software provider, has announced Guangxi China Post Logistics
has selected RedPrairie's Warehouse Management solution to direct operations
in its 8,000 square meter distribution center in Guangxi. Guangxi China Post
hopes to use RedPrairie's solution to improve its DC's efficiency and
Nashville Tennessean has reported that "A small, rural-area post office
may seem like an unnecessary cost to the U.S. Postal Service, but the folks
in Milton want to keep the 185-year-old service going. "If they take this
post office out of Milton, that takes some of the community identity away,"
said Harris Hooper, a life-long resident of a community in the far northeast
corner of Rutherford County."
Columbus Dispatch has noted, "While rain or snow or gloom of night won't
keep postal carriers from their appointed rounds, missing or buried
New Canaan News has reported that "East End residents are convinced the
fate of their Noble Station Post Office is already signed, sealed and
delivered and say the decision is based on socio-economic factors, both of
which U.S. Postal Service officials denied at a public hearing Thursday."
Hispanic Business has reported that "Getting in your car and scanning
the shelves to find a movie just released on DVD? That's so 20th Century.
Americans' preferences when it comes to movie rentals have shifted to the
Postal Service (Netflix), $1 vending machines (Redbox), online (iTunes) and
cable (OnDemand) in recent years. The result? Big box retailers like
Blockbuster, Hollywood Video and Movie Gallery are suffering. "
Post & Parcel, "UK regulator Postcomm has issued a preliminary ‘minded
to’ finding on its investigation into the alleged manipulation of quality of
service performance monitoring by some staff at Royal Mail. Locations under
scrutiny include the west of Scotland, Glasgow, and also Belfast." See also
Federal Times has reported that "The U.S. Postal Service could become
insolvent if Congress doesn't approve five-day mail delivery and change the
way the agency funds its retiree health benefits, according to the agency's
top financial official. "We will need [some assistance from Congress] or we
will have difficulty paying all of our obligations this year," said Joe
Corbett, the Postal Service's chief financial officer. "And going into next
year, we might not have enough cash to operate. ... We are dangerously close
to running out of cash." See also
Washington Business Journal has reported that "The U.S. Postal Service
said mail delivery in the D.C. area was 90 percent back to normal after this
month's back-to-back snowstorms, according to The Washington Post. FedEx
also had problems during the storms, because of unplowed secondary roads,
but the company worked to make up for it over the weekend. And UPS assigned
supervisors to assist its 1,900 drivers in the Washington region so it could
work on every day but one last week."
News has reported that "U.S. Postal Service officials plan to look
closer at concerns raised by members of the city planning board, which on
Tuesday denied a site plan for improvements to a downtown building that the
Postal Service wants to use as a post office."
Deadtree Edition has told its readers that "A prominent environmental
commentator is accusing the USPS of greenwashing for including the claim
"made from 100% recycled pixels" on its USPS.com/green web site....Methinks
the reference to "recycled pixels" is supposed to be a joke, perhaps the
Postal Service's way of pointing out that most mailed items (e.g. letters,
catalogs, magazines) are more recyclable than their electronic
counterparts." [EdNote: So much for humor in the environmental community.
Media Daily News has reported that:
Digitally delivered coupons are growing fast while printed newspaper
inserts are increasingly threatened, according to separate surveys by
Coupons.com and the Newspaper Association of America. The findings of
the two surveys suggest that newspaper coupon inserts could be in danger
of experiencing the same long-term decline that has afflicted print
Flat is the new fantastic in the world of traditional media, and
monthly magazines have reached an even stretch after two years of
straight declines, according to Media Industry Newsletter, covering
forthcoming March issues. Total ad pages for monthly magazines are
basically flat in March 2010 compared to March 2009, MIN says, totaling
According to the
Washington Post, "a significant part of the U.S. Postal Service's
financial problems stems from a sharp decline in the number of pieces of
mail it has delivered annually since 2007. The number of delivery points has
steadily increased since 2000, but the number of USPS employees has steadily
decreased during that period."
February 17, 2010
Federal Times, “The U.S. Postal Service could become insolvent if
Congress doesn't approve five-day mail delivery and change the way the
agency funds its retiree health benefits, according to the agency's top
financial official. "We will need [some assistance from Congress] or we will
have difficulty paying all of our obligations this year," said Joe Corbett,
the Postal Service's chief financial officer. "And going into next year, we
might not have enough cash to operate. ... We are dangerously close to
running out of cash."
The Postal Service posted a $297 million loss for the first quarter of
fiscal 2010, which ended Dec. 31, 2009. Mail volume for that period fell by
8.9 percent. But that was an improvement over the previous quarter, when
volume fell by 12.4 percent; and over the first quarter of 2009, when volume
dropped 9.3 percent. But the bigger financial picture for the Postal Service
remains grim: mail volume has dropped from a peak of 212 billion pieces in
2006 to just 167 billion pieces today. And Corbett said the agency, which
has faced multibillion-dollar deficits in the last few years, is running out
of ways to cut costs."
WEBINAR — LEARN ABOUT BULK MAIL AND DROP-SHIP ACCEPTANCE FOR 2010. The Postal Service
continues to look at all areas of its business with an eye to becoming more
efficient and cost effective. At the same time, our commitment to customer
service remains a top priority. With this in mind, over the past few weeks
the Postal Service has invited customers to attend Plant Verified Drop
Shipment (PVDS) webinars that touch on key steps in accepting drop-ship
mailings. If you have not yet attended a PVDS webinar, we are offering the
chance to take part in one this Friday, February 19, beginning at 12:30 p.m.
(EST). Join Steve Kearney, senior vice president, Customer Relations;
Vincent DeVito, vice president, Controller;
and Pritha Mehra, vice president, Business Mail Entry and Payment
Technologies, for a discussion on drop-ship mailing processes followed by a
question and answer session.
Here’s how to attend the 90-minute webinar:
Audio only: Dial 1-877-512-0764, meeting ID: 2979650 .
Web conference with audio:
- Go to
the MeetingPlace window opens, click the phone icon (under the
participant list or in the upper right-hand corner).
connect me and validate your phone number, or update your phone number
and click connect me again.
When the MeetingPlace system
calls you on your phone, press #1 to join the webinar.
Pete Allen, manager, Business Customer Relations, at 202-268-2165 or e-mail
firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
Eligibility for Commercial Flats Failing Deflection.
Today we posted an advance copy of our
final rule, Eligibility for Commercial Flats Failing Deflection, on
the Postal Explorer® website at
pe.usps.com. Click on
Federal Register Notices in the left frame.
The final rule, effective June 7, 2010, provides background, summary of the
comments received on our prior proposal, our response to the comments, a
summary of the changes, and revisions to the applicable prices for pieces
that do not meet the deflection standards.
CEP News (Courier-Express-Postal), published by the
MRU Consultancy, has reported that:
Despite the economic crisis and declining revenues Belgian La Poste
could increase its earnings last year.
The upper house of the German parliament spoke out against a general VAT
liability for postal services last Friday. Instead the Federal Assembly
recommended to verify in the context on the legislative procedure
whether all prices under general terms and conditions are to be exempted
A 7% drop in addressed letter volume caused a decline of turnover and
earnings in 2009 for Itella.
Georg Pölzl, CEO of Austrian Post, will present his mid term strategy
2013 to the advisory board this Wednesday. With reference to internal
papers the daily »Die Presse« (12.02) reported, Pölzl plans to keep only
300 own operated postal offices in the future. The remainig 1,000 post
offices will be closed and replaced by so called Post- Partners.
Unipost (revenue 2008: 107m euros), Spain’s largest private postal
service provider is suffering from the effects of the economic crisis.
Blue Dart, India’s number one express company, faced declining volumes
in 2009 due to the weak economy.
Swiss Post is currently testing walk sequence sorting.
Korea Post is going for the sorting technology of Vanderlande
Swiss Post is launching the first standardized product for secure
electronic proof of identity in May on.
In response to changing customer demands and declining volume Singapore
Post announced to cease mail delivery on Saturdays.
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.)
BCLocalNews.com, "Canada Post is not being sold to the private sector
just yet, but the Crown corporation is in the midst of selling the public on
its view of today and its vision for the future. This vision includes some
privatization and more post office closures."
CBS42.com has noted that "Like many US companies, the United States
Postal Service, which receives no tax revenue, is also struggling. It wants
to eliminate Saturday deliveries to save $3.5 billion dollars a year. The
USPS says the demand to stamp and mail has fallen dramatically. It has lost
more than 20% of mail that flows through the system, mainly due to
advancements in online business. After slashing $6 billion last year, the
USPS says there's no where else to cut. "You know what, we don't want to do
this, but we've gotten to a point where we have to do something," says USPS
spokesman Joseph Breckenridge. To be clear, the proposal does not include
closing post offices on Saturdays, but rather cutting the nearly 300,000
routes across the country on Saturdays: an idea that's not resonated well
with Congress in the past."
has reported that "Russian state bank VEB is seeking a strategic partner to
buy up to 50 percent in a planned federal postal bank, a potential rival to
Sberbank (SBER03.MM), Russia's leading lender."
MSN Money has reported that "United Parcel Service Inc.’s freight
division said Tuesday it has expanded the scope of its two-day delivery
network to link Montreal and Toronto to American cities as far south as
Atlanta and St. Louis. UPS Freight added two-day service between the cities
on a northbound basis last year. UPS Freight said its on-time guarantee
applies to the new faster service times on less-than-truckload (LTL)
Gaston Gazette has reported that "Mount Holly police arrested a Stanley
woman Tuesday for allegedly embezzling almost $14,000 from two post offices
in eastern Gaston County. Gwendolyn Shuford Etchison, 50, of the 700 block
of Joseph Antoon Circle, was charged with two counts of embezzlement."
Deadtree Edition shared with its readers that "despite postal discounts,
mailers should not implement full-service Intelligent Mail barcodes, a
leading postal consultant says in a paper issued today. Costs of
participating outweigh the minimal benefits, and the U.S. Postal Service’s
processes and systems are not equipped for Intelligent Mail, Mary Ann
Bennett says in “Ten Reasons Why Mailers Should Delay Implementing the Full
Service Intelligent Mail barcode”. Bennett is founder of the Mailing
Training Institute, President/CEO of The Bennett Group Inc., and a frequent
speaker and writer on mailing issues."
St. Louis Today has reported that "SG Print & Mail, a company in Park
Hills, Mo., bilked the U.S. Postal Service out of roughly $2.9 million,
according to testimony in a plea hearing Tuesday in federal court."
Consumer Focus has published a paper on "Consumer engagement in the post
office closure programme" in the U.K.
February 16, 2010
PRNewswire: "FedEx Workers Join the Teamsters Union!"
commentator Gene Del Polito offers
some thoughts on a future postal business model: "In Search of An
Alternative to Winding Things Down."
The following reports
have been posted today on the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector
If you have additional questions concerning
please contact Agapi Doulaveris at 703.248.2286.
Fiscal Year 2009 Postal Service Financial Statements Audit – San Mateo
Information Technology and Accounting Service Center (Report Number
Lakeland Processing and Distribution Center Consolidation (Report Number
EN-AR-10-004). There was a valid business case for consolidating
mail processing operations from the Lakeland Processing and Distribution
Center (P&DC) to the Tampa P&DC. The consolidation should increase
efficiency, reduce processing costs, and improve service in support of
the Postal Service’s network streamlining efforts. In addition, we
determined the area mail processing (AMP) proposal was generally
supported and in compliance with established policies. Because our
findings support the consolidation, we are not making any
Manasota Processing and Distribution Center Consolidation (Report Number
EN-AR-10-003). There was a valid business
case for consolidating mail processing operations from the Manasota
Processing and Distribution Center (P&DC)
to the Tampa P&DC. The consolidation should increase efficiency, reduce
processing costs, and improve service in support of the Postal Service’s
network streamlining efforts. In addition, we determined the area mail
processing (AMP) proposal was generally supported and in compliance with
Plant-Verified Drop Shipment Controls (Report Number MS-AR-10-001).
Controls are not adequate to prevent mailers from adding mail en route
to the destination Postal Service facility and to ensure the Postal
Service receives all revenue due from Plant-Verified Drop Shipment
(PVDS). PVDS mailers can add mail en route, after verification at the
Bulk Mail Entry Unit (BMEU), Detached Mail Unit (DMU), or other origin
location, but before it reaches the destination Postal Service facility.
As a result, the Postal Service is at risk of significant revenue loss.
Columbus Business First has reported that "Cost-cutting measures by the
U.S. Postal Service are leading to 79 job losses at a contractor-operated
supplier in Jeffersonville before July, according to a state filing. Falls
Church, Va.-based Computer Sciences Corp. (NYSE:CSC) in a filing with the
Ohio Department of Job and Family Services said the Mail Transport Equipment
Service Center it operates in Jeffersonville will be closed at the end of a
Postal Service contract that runs through June. The Postal Service recently
told the company it’s cutting its network of service centers, which supply
mailbags, carts and hampers to processing facilities, to 15 from 23.
Computer Sciences said it will begin cutting the 79 jobs from the site in
May and expects to finish the reductions by the contract’s end. Of those
jobs, 73 employees are represented by the American Postal Workers Union."
February DMM Update.
Explorer (pe.usps.com) is your source
for up-to-date mailing standards. The
Domestic Mail Manual
is fully searchable on Postal Explorer and features fly-out menus,
cross-reference links, and an extensive subject index. Today we updated
our mailing standards to capture the following changes:
Mail Commercial Plus Cubic Prices
425.2.4 to clarify standards for Priority Mail commercial
plus cubic prices that went into effect on January 4, 2010
Update Assessment Charges for Automation and Presort First-Class
Mail and All Standard Mail Mailings
We revised 233.3.5,
443.3.9 to describe the changes and procedures for how Move
Update assessment charges are handled.
of Undeliverable Books and Sound Recordings
We revised 507.1.9 to
update the standards for the disposal or treatment of books and
sound recordings that are undeliverable-as-addressed (UAA) in their
Advertisements for Animals and Sharp Instruments for Use in Animal
Fighting Ventures are Nonmailable
601.12.5.7 to align our standards
with section 26 (7 U.S.C. 2156) of the Animal Welfare Act as amended
by the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008.
List Changes. We revised Labeling List(s)
L606 to reflect changes in mail processing operations.
The latest blog has been
posted today on the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General’s
Internet site “Pushing
the Envelope.” The public, mailers,
postal employees, and other stakeholders are invited to weigh in on the
online discussions taking place. To view
the site, visit
- Guest Blog: A Last Mile Strategy. Robert Cohen asks: Should
the Postal Service pursue a last mile strategy? His guest blog
concludes, “An explicit last mile strategy would simply be a
continuation of the successful outsourcing strategy that began more than
30 years ago.”
You can visit Office of Inspector General’s public website at:
can also follow us on Twitter at:
If you have additional questions, please contact Communication and Work
Life Director Agapi Doulaveris at 703.248.2286.
Press Release: "With over 170 attendees already confirmed, including
representatives from over 35 Posts and 34 countries worldwide, this year’s
European Postal Services promises to be an invaluable opportunity for the
postal industry to collectively share knowledge and build stronger
relationships. Taking place on 22nd, 23rd & 24th March in Brussels; please
click here for more programme details and to register your place."
Associated Press has reported that "Roughly 40 percent of Americans do
not have high-speed Internet access at home, according to new Commerce
Department figures that underscore the challenges facing policymakers who
are trying to bring affordable broadband connections to everyone. The Obama
administration and Congress have identified universal broadband as a key to
driving economic development, producing jobs and bringing educational
opportunities and cutting-edge medicine to all corners of the country.
Bennett, President of the Bennett Group postal consulting firm, wants
mailers to know that there "Ten Reasons Why Mailers Should Delay
Implementing the Full Service Intelligent Mail® barcode."
Multichannel Merchant has noted, "Multichannel marketers today tend to
get caught up in the frenzy of the next greatest trend. What about Web 3.0?
What's the hot social networking application? How do we make our e-mails
more effective? Sexy online strategies are and should be a big part of
direct marketing. But that doesn't mean you should ignore some of the
old-school tactics, like direct mail. That's right, direct mail. Sure, it
may be true that mail pieces are much more expensive than e-mails, thanks to
rising postal and paper costs. And many marketers and consumers alike often
perceive direct mail to be old-fashioned and downscale. But when used wisely
and analyzed carefully, direct mail outperforms many tactics, particularly
with prospects and certainly with many customer segments. Newer technologies
may excite and preoccupy the marketing team, but direct mail works."
According to the
Cleantechblog, "Mail is being delivered on a trial basis by three-wheel
electric vehicles in Florida, California and Arizona....The Postal Service
is testing a fourth generation fuel-cell Chevrolet Equinox. The crossover
vehicle has an electric drive system, lithium batteries, and a hydrogen
fuel-cell vehicle to keep delivering electrons for extended range....A
second fuel-cell vehicle is being tested in Washington, DC. In New York
City, the Postal Service has had 30 electric 2-ton vehicles on the street
since 2001. They were recently joined in Long Island, NY, by two 2-ton
hybrid electric vehicles. The USPS uses medium-duty hybrid electric vans
from Eaton Corporation (ETN) and Azure Dynamics (AZD.TO)...Quantum (QTWW)
announced on February 1 that it was selected by the US Postal Service (USPS)
to produce an advanced electric postal delivery vehicle based on the widely
used Long Life Vehicle (LLV) platform. Quantum is also making the
hybrid-electric drive system for Fisker."
Politics.co.uk, "Geoffrey Cox, MP for Torridge and West Devon, today
welcomed a report that condemned the recent closure of Post Offices across
the country and branded the public consultation process as “a sham”. The
report, commissioned for the watchdog “Consumer Focus”, found that Post
Office failed to effectively engage consumers, failed to communicate the
right information to those opposing the closures, and missed opportunities
to obtain valuable local knowledge of how cutbacks would affect communities.
The MP, who mounted a determined campaign to save local Post Offices,
lobbying the Chief Executive of the Post Office and securing a debate in
parliament on the subject of local closures, had previously criticised the
consultation effort as “a cynical public relations exercise”.
Washington Post has reported that "Mail volume in the United States has
fallen off a cliff in recent years. It has dropped so sharply that U.S.
Postal Service officials have pleaded with Congress to allow a cut in
delivery days from six to five. It's been a hard sell. Politicians are
reluctant. Although polling data show that the
public is willing to accept five-day delivery, people who count on votes for
their livelihood are not at all eager to cut back on a service so basic, so
trusted and so needed as the U.S. mail. Count President Obama among that
This week in
Courier, Express, and Postal Observer has reported that "The Associated
Press has reported that the IRS and many states are cracking down on on the
widespread use of the contractor model for workers. By using the contractor
model, the company saves the cost of payroll taxes, workers compensation
expenses, and unemployment insurance levies. The interest in this issue is
likely driven by declining tax revenue during the recession as well as
pressure by labor unions and competitive businesses that use an employee
model. The progress of this study will be followed closely by the courier,
express and postal industry, as the industry is built upon a contract worker
model. Nearly all local couriers and delivery drivers are contractors. FedEx
Ground and FedEx Home both use contractors for local delivery. The USPS uses
contractors for providing its most rural delivery service. Outside of the
courier, express and postal industry, the contractor model is used
extensively in construction and information technology."
February 15, 2010
New Zealand Herald has reported that "The boss of listed courier company
Freightways has hit out at New Zealand Post, accusing it of being "reckless"
in its bid to alter Freightways' terms of access to the state-owned postal
company's delivery network."
Financial Times has noted that "Murray Martin,
chairman and chief executive of Pitney Bowes, the US mail systems pioneer,
has always had a passion for inventing things. In his early teens, he
devised a telegraph service to communicate with friends in his rural Ontario
hometown of Hawkesville. In another life, Mr Martin, 62, might now be
running his own private business empire rather than a stalwart Fortune 500
company with revenues of $5.6bn (€4.1bn, £3.6bn), 2m customers worldwide and
33,500 employees. But his entrepreneurial drive has survived a 23-year
career with the same US group because Pitney Bowes, he insists, is
different." [EdNote: This is a really nice personal piece. You should
DM News has reported that "President Barack Obama's budget for fiscal
year 2011 includes language that shows his administration supports requiring
the US Postal Service to deliver mail six days per week. The budget's
wording explicitly says "six-day delivery and rural delivery of mail
continue at not less than 1983 level." However, Joseph Corbett, the Postal
Service's CFO and EVP, says that his agency will soon reveal plans for
five-day delivery to Congress and stakeholder groups. He said the wording of
the budget is routine language included in every appropriations bill since
According to the
Courier, Express, and Postal Observer, "The Public Representative
performed a service for postal stakeholders in their estimates of the
required rate increases to return the Postal Service to break even by 2011
under various estimates of the Postal Service’s retiree obligations. These
estimates represent the worst case scenarios for mailers as they assume that
the return to break even could only come from increases in rates.
Unfortunately for mailers, the Public Representatives estimates of rate
increases are not enough to return the Postal Service to self sufficiency.
Simply put, the break even goal for 2011, a goal that guided rate cases
under the Postal Reorganization Act, is not sufficient to ensure a
financially viable Postal Service....what would really happen to postage
rates if the Public Representative used more realistic financial targets?
Using the Office of Inspector General recommendations for financial relief,
postage rates might need to rise at least 25% without more aggressive
actions on restructuring the operating network or modernizing the retail
model. Without relief, postage rates might need to
rise by 40% or more. (Both of these estimates do not account for
the impact of price increases on mail volume.) Not a pretty picture and one
that no postal stakeholder believes would ensure a viable postal enterprise
as vibrant as it is today."
February 14, 2010
Transport Intelligence has reported that "FedEx Trade Networks, the
international ocean and air freight forwarder subsidiary of FedEx Corp., has
opened six new freight forwarding offices across its Europe, Middle East and
Africa (EMEA) region and its Latin America region as part of a global
expansion plan. The company has opened 20 international freight forwarding
locations in the past nine months, bringing the company's total to 22 new
international locations since 2008."
has reported that "The government of Japan is making final arrangements to
abolish the 10 million yen limit on the amount of postal savings that can be
held by each depositor, through a postal reform bill it will submit to the
current Diet session. The government's plan is to lift the ceiling three
years from now. As a provisional measure until it is removed, the government
intends to raise the limit to 30 million yen, government sources said. If
the state-financed Japan Post Bank is able to expand its business on the
strength of people's trust in the government, it will most likely put
pressure on private financial institutions and inevitably invite strong
opposition from the private sector, industry watchers said."
has reported that "Nearly 200 million Valentine's cards are expected to
exchange hands today – the second biggest greeting card day after the
December holiday season. Even though that's enough for almost every adult in
the country to receive a card, it's a slowly diminishing convention. People
who select a paper card from a merchant and deliver it to someone are
shrinking in number and spending, according to every economic indicator."
Livingston Daily has reported that "The residents of 17 homes along
Green Hills Drive in Hamburg Township are upset with the Pinckney post
office for suspending their mail delivery through the winter months."
PR-USA.Net: "IWCO Direct, a leading, U.S.-based privately held provider of direct marketing solutions has announced it has entered into a definitive purchase agreement to acquire Transcontinental Direct's US operations, a high-volume direct mail organization with a network of facilities throughout the United States. Transcontinental Direct's parent company, Transcontinental, is the largest printer in Canada and Mexico and Canada's leading consumer magazine publisher. This acquisition positions IWCO Direct's platform as an unrivaled solution in the industry for the optimization, execution, and delivery of direct marketing campaigns. Terms of the deal are not yet disclosed; the transaction is expected to close in the spring of 2010."
The International News has reported that "Pakistan Post will not be privatised but matter making it a corporation would be considered in view to improve working of one this maga organisations of the country, Minister for Postal Services Israrullah Zehri said here Saturday. ôWe cannot put the future of 47,000 employees of the postal service at stake by privatising it,ö he said in a panel interview with APP. Rather, he said the ministry would go for opting ways and means to improve the existing services besides adding new utilities. He said around 700 new post offices in different areas of the country to facilitate the far-flung areas customers with modern postal services have been established. He said his Ministry will sign an MoU with a private airline for quick and speedy delivery of post and pouch matching the International standards."
February 13, 2010
Bernama has reported that "Efforts are underway to ensure Pos Malaysia remain a major player in Malaysia's postal industry despite the fact that a growing number of people are now into electronic communication, Information Communication and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim said. He said Malaysia was not spared of this phenomenon as more people became Internet-savvy." See also the
Auto Channel has reported that "The United States Postal Service has awarded Bay Area electric car pioneer ZAP an engineering prototype contract for the design and development of an electric mail truck. US Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey is scheduled to tour ZAP's electric vehicle facility in Santa Rosa on Tuesday, February 16, 2010 at 11:30 AM PST to learn more about how this federal program is creating local jobs."
GovExec.com has reported that "The ailing U.S. Postal Service will experience a net loss in fiscal 2011 similar to that of 2010, according to agency estimates in President Obama's budget. Declining mail volumes have contributed to net losses for the agency every year since 2007. The Postal Service expects that trend to continue through 2011, when losses will total $7.8 billion. The fiscal 2011 budget, which acknowledges the Postal Service's financial concerns, commits the Obama administration to working with the agency, its employee unions, Congress and other stakeholders to keep mail operations viable. Discussions already are under way on several issues, said Gerald McKiernan, a USPS spokesman."
February 12, 2010
Postal Regulatory Commission:
Due to weather conditions in the Washington, D.C. area, the Public Forum has been rescheduled to 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, February 17. The public is invited to attend the Forum at Commission Headquarters, 901 New York Ave., NW, Suite 200 to discuss the 2009 Annual Compliance Determination now being compiled by the Commission. The Forum also will be webcast live and transcribed for posting later on the CommissionÆs website,
Press Release: More than 200,000 tons, and counting. ThatÆs how much paper, plastics and other waste the U.S. Postal Service recycled in 2009, representing a decrease in its greenhouse gas emissions of approximately 1.67 million barrels of oil. An integral part of that undertaking is the Post Office Box Lobby Recycling program which is expanding to include an additional 2,435 Post Offices, including those in a number of U.S. national parks. That brings the total number of participating sites to more than 8,064, an increase of 150 percent from 2005, when the Post Office Lobby recycling effort started. This program is based on the success of similar mail recycling programs in the northeastern part of the United States, which began more than 10 years ago. Postal customers are being encouraged to ôread, respond, recycleö their P.O. Box mail in Post Office lobbies as a convenient and environmentally responsible alternative to taking it home to discard.
According to the
Consumer Postal Council, "A 2008 paper written by Egyptian government officials posited that the international postal sector has changed more in the last 20 years than it had in the preceding 150. Egypt's own postal sector is no exception. Those changes will no doubt accelerate as the country's leaders move toward standardizing postal regulation and liberalizing the postal market. Egyptian postal leaders are pegging their hopes for growth on "increasing overall levels of private-sector investment in the postal market through open and fair competition and progressive regulation." Officials would also like to make Egypt into a regional hub for logistics by marshaling the assets of the state-owned Egypt Post (EP), various government agencies, private postal operators, and other interests."
The latest issue of the
PostCom Bulletin is available online. In this issue:
- At its February 10 meeting, the Board of Directors of the Association for Postal Commerce elected new directors to its governing board, and approved key resolutions deemed important to the association and its membership.
- The Postal Service released its unaudited first quarter financials for Fiscal Year 2010 which showed a volume decline in all market-dominant products, while shipping services saw a modest increase of 2.5 percent. The USPS saw operating revenue decline by $740 million or 3.9 percent from the same period last year. It is expecting an over $7 billion net loss for the fiscal year.
- The USPSÆ PostalOne! system crashed last Friday, February 5, 2010, and was not back up and running until late Tuesday night, February 9, 2010, wreaking havoc on mailers, mail service providers and the Postal Service itself. The situation made clear to business mailers that the USPS needs to improve communications, put in place a real contingency plan, and work to improve its systems to prevent these types of occurrences û which are becoming all too common.
- Business mailers and the Postal Service are working hard this week to recover from the PostalOne and FAST system crashes. Systems were restored earlier this week, but thatÆs just the start. Businesses and the USPS must now continue to expend additional resources to ensure that all jobs and postage that should have been processed during the outage period are entered into the systems.
- The U.S. Postal ServiceÆs Office of Inspector General (IG) sponsored Professor John C. Panzar to examine the pricing incentives confronting the USPS under the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (PAEA).
- According to the Courier, Express, and Postal Observer, "Last fall the Postal Service presented its approach to future business models in the paper: Assessment of United States Postal Service Future Business Models. The Postal Service's approach was presented by Vice President of Strategic Planning Linda Kingsley and General Counsel Many Anne Gibbons at the Rutgers Conference in DC held last fall in a talk entitled A New Business Model for the United States Postal Service. Given the political opposition to most of these changes, they appear to be pipe dreams. Given the new found concern about budget deficits, changes to the retiree health care payment schedule, no matter how warranted, would require offsetting budget cuts or additional sources of revenue for passage. Changes in service levels and operating and retail networks and introducing market-based pricing require hard information on the business plan that supports these changes. Removal of limitations on product diversification requires Congress to accept a government enterprise competing with the private sector."
- According to Deadtree Edition, "mail volumes and the number of postal workers will shrink more slowly this year than in 2009, the U.S. Postal Service predicted today. The Postal Service is scheduled to reveal next week its proposal to deliver mail one less day per week. But that won't have much impact on the current fiscal year.
- William Burrus, APWU President has spoken out once again against workshare discounts.
- According to the Courier, Express, and Postal Observer ôboth the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) and American Postal Workers Union (APWU) report on their respective websites that President Obama supports six-day Delivery. Both postal unions use the following line from the 2011 budget that President Obama presented to Congress to support their argument that President Obama supports 6-day delivery. "That 6-day delivery and rural delivery of mail shall continue at not less than the 1983 level."
- Bar codes ride again - on mobile phones. USPS BOG meeting cancelled. Weather-related USPS help desk problems. UPS targeted in class action suit. Pitney Bowes to close warehouse, lay of 59. PRC reschedules open forum due to weather. DMA names Allen interim president, CEO. Comments due Feb 25 on hard-copy postage statements processing changes.
- Updates on postal matters published in the Federal Register.
- An update on DMM Advisory notices issued by the U.S. Postal Service.
- An update on business before the Postal Regulatory Commission.
- A review of recent reports released by the U.S. Postal Service's Office of the Inspector General.
- A review of postal news from around the world.
- From the Mailbag
- Postal Previews
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According to the
Financial Times, "Greece can avoid a bail-out if it demonstrates convincingly to the markets that the reforms in its stability programme will be implemented in a timely fashion. To speed up and enhance the content of the reforms in the stability plan, there needs to be a bold new privatisation programme to unleash the economy's potential. Much could be gained from further privatising an economy that is probably the last "Soviet style" economy in the developed world. To kill the Greek leviathan, one has to starve its gargantuan voracity for intervention in the economy. The Greek state not only runs hospitals, universities and churches but also casinos, lotteries, hotels, marinas, ski resorts, trade fairs, exposition centres, ports, airports, water, electricity and natural gas companies, oil refineries,
postal services, transport, banks, and insurance companies."
WETM has reported that "By the end of this week, the transfer of automated mail handling services from Elmira to Rochester will be complete. On Saturday, the union president tells us the remaining four mail sorting machines will be taken from the Sullivan street facility and moved to Rochester. Along with those machines are 55 workers who are being asked to transfer to other postal facilities within 500 miles. They can also take an early retirement package."
ReporterNews, "Two additional mail sorting machines will soon expand the workload of the Abilene mail processing facility, but no positions will immediately be created by the move."
The Straits Times has reported that "United Parcel Service Inc, the world's largest package-delivery service, said on Wednesday it has been contacted by the European Commission, which is probing price fixing in the shipping business."
Lanka Times has reported that "In a bid to ensure a speedy and a better service on registered national and international letters, the Sri Lanka Postal Department is planning to introduce a barcode number system shortly. This new system would ease correspondence and would prevent letters from going missing, Posts and Telecommunications acting Minister Nandana Gunathilake said yesterday. He said the Postal Department was confident that the system would be implemented by the middle of this year."
Times of Zambia has reported that "President Banda has said water transportation should be improved because it is cheaper than using roads. Speaking in Samfya yesterday, during the re-launch of the refurbished Bangweulu Post Boat, President Banda said with abundant water resources in the country, especially in Luapula Province, it was important to develop water transport. Mr Banda said the Government recognised the importance of a reliable transport system for rural communities and praised the Ministry of Communications and Transport for helping Zambia Postal Services acquire new engines to service the post boat."
Washington Post has reported that "Republican groups are raising money under the guise of the U.S. Census Bureau, leaving the government's people-counters worried that a flurry of misleading letters could make some Americans less likely to respond to the real thing. "There are too many reports from too many places to ignore the fact that direct-mail fundraisers are deliberately attempting to confuse people," said Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y."
Reuters has reported that "Japanese Banking Minister Shizuka Kamei said on Friday that Japan Post, the huge government-owned postal and financial conglomerate, could buy more U.S. Treasuries as one way to reduce its current heavy focus on domestic government debt."
FedEx Express, a subsidiary of FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) and the worldÆs largest express transportation company, today announced a series of service enhancements that will give customers in Friesland and Groningen improved access to the rest of the world. The new changes include next-business-day delivery service to the U.S. and Canada, benefiting local businesses operating internationally in the area. It will also help boost the regionÆs connectivity to key international business centres, thereby becoming an attractive commercial destination for companies looking to relocate, as well as strengthening the local economy.
February 11, 2010
Business Week has reported that "President Barack Obama, when asked to name a chief executive he admires, chose one with an unusual pedigree: FedEx Corp.Æs Frederick Smith, who raised more than $100,000 for 2008 Republican presidential nominee John McCain and was George W. BushÆs fraternity brother."
Understanding the controversy surrounding the Postal Service's obligations regarding CSRS and Retiree Health Funding can be tough. Here are two documents you might find worth reviewing:
MAILCOM 2010 UPDATE:
- Ruth Goldway, Chairman of the Postal Regulatory Commission, will speak about the future of mail on Thursday, May 13 at 9:15 am. Goldway is one of four keynote speakers plus over 160 seminars, 15 certificate programs and 100+ exhibits.
- Gene Del Polito, President, Association for Postal Commerce. Morning keynote. Wednesday, May 12.
- Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. will be the Wednesday, May 12 luncheon keynote.
- Super Bowl Champion coach Mike Ditka will be the Thursday, May 13 luncheon speaker at MAILCOM 2010. MORE INFO:
www.mailcom-conference.com or call 609-264-0120
- SAVE THE DATE: MAILCOM 2010, May 11-14 Atlantic City Convention Center
The Age has reported that "Australia Post faces more industrial strife with the postal union accusing the company of ''dodging'' talks over an agreement. It comes as Australia Post fronts a Senate inquiry in Melbourne today into how it handles injured employees amid claims that company-paid doctors are sending workers back too early. Australia Post management and the union have been trying to reach an enterprise agreement for more than three years."
TechRockies has noted, "Frederick, Colorado-based UQM Technologies, a developer of electric motors, said Wednesday that the firm has received an order from Quantum Fuel Systems Technologies, covering a propulsion system to be used in a electric vehicle for the U.S. Postal Service. UQM said the win is part of a one year, demonstration and validation program which will be conducted by the USPS in Washington, D.C., to evaluate an electric postal delivery vehicle. Financial impact of the win was not disclosed."
Dow Jones has noted that "FedEx Corp. and United Parcel Service Inc. said they are experiencing some service disruptions due to weather, but both continue to operate in most areas. FedEx said the company's Memphis hub and flight operations experienced substantial disruptions Monday night due to inclement weather conditions. However, FedEx spokesman Jim McCluskey said the company still has staff on the ground and is operating. "It's not extraordinary circumstances," he said. "We have plenty of experience in contingency planning." According to the company's Web site, FedEx has suspended its "money-back guarantee for U.S. packages and shipments inbound into the U.S. from international locations with a delivery commitment of Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2010," consistent with the provisions of the FedEx Service Guide."
Post & Parcel has reported that "The move by SingPost to end Saturday delivery comes in response to lifestyle changes, customersÆ changing mailing habits and declining mail volumes. The decision will be take effect from 15 May 2010. ôOver the years, public letter mail (i.e. stamped and franked mail) has been on the decline with the emergence of new communication tools such as email, SMS and other technological platforms. Today, each person posts on average of only six letters/cards per year. That and the fact that many companies and organisations are now operating on a 5-day week have led to significantly lower volumes on Saturdays,ö said a SingPost spokesman."
Express & Star has reported that "Postal union leaders today accused Wolverhampton MP Pat McFadden of putting his ministerial duties before his constituents by refusing to back a campaign to keep a Royal Mail delivery office open."
Post & Parcel has reported that "Despite an unfavorable economic climate in 2009, Croatian Post has ended the period with an operating profit. Croatian Post made an operating profit of HRK169m from its core business, according to the first results of the unconsolidated financial report."
Washington Post is wishing Washingtonians a "Happy Wednesday! The Postal Service will once again suspend deliveries across the Washington region on Wednesday and will provide limited retail service at local post offices. The decision means no mail deliveries in Washington, D.C., Maryland, and northern and western portions of Virginia stretching south to Fredricksburg. The Postal Service also suspended mail service across the region on Saturday. Officials cannot recall making such suspensions occurring in more than 30 years."
Politico, "Labor groups are furious with the Democrats they helped put in office ù and are threatening to stay home this fall when Democratic incumbents will need their help fending off Republican challengers."
Well, according to the
Napa Valley Register, there just may be a way "to win the deficit war." And that way would be to "Reduce government....Without denigrating what these folks do...the government has both the U.S. Postal Service and the Postal Regulatory Commission." It noted that "we need curbs now"
At its February 10 meeting,
the Association for Postal Commerce elected the following persons to its Board of Directors:
Kathleen Baker (Sprint Corporate Marketing); Maynard Benjamin (Envelope Manufacturers Association);
Craig Cecere (Reader's Digest); Debbie Cooper (Worldcolor Logistics);
Victor Forman (Window Book, Inc.); John Medeiros (DHL Global Mail);
Ernie Rojas (Pitney Bowes); Mury Salls (DST Mailing Services);
Bob Schimek (BCC Software); and Joe Carty (SAP Business Objects).
In addition, the board passed the following resolutions unanimously by voice vote:
Board Resolution 02.10.10-5
PostCom should continue itÆs leadership role, and build on the momentum and consensus achieved at the January 28 Leadership Summit, by proposing and pursuing a permanent correction and elimination of the annual USPS Retiree Health Benefit payment. The OIG report, Hay and PRC reports all document that postal payers have been overcharged. The annual health cost payment is pushing the USPS to cut services and shift costs to rate payers when it isn't necessary. It is a ôstamp taxö on postal payers. PostCom should urge itÆs members and other postal associations and stakeholders to ask Congress to:
Recognize that the USPS and rate payers have overpaid the federal treasury for postal pension obligations that arose when the Postal Service was part of the federal
This overpayment has fully or substantially satisfied the Postal ServiceÆs retiree health cost obligations.
Congress should stop this Stamp Tax by recalculating the overfunding of the pension obligation and reduce or eliminate the annual retiree health cost payment.
Resolved, that the Board of Directors of the Association for Postal Commerce approves and accepts the document prepared by the General Counsel entitled: "Antitrust Compliance Guide for Members and Staff of the Association for Postal Commerce" as representing the official policy of the association. All who are members and staff of the association are hereby instructed to comply with the principles and practices stated within this document.
Resolved, that the Board of Directors of the Association for Postal Commerce approve as policy of the association the document entitled: "Conflict of Interest Policy."
Board Resolution 02.10.10-15
Resolved, that PostCom strongly urge the USPS' COO to extend the use of electronic mailing data (EMDs) for the purposes of tracking drop shipments via 8125s.
Reuters has reported that "logistics companies DHL, UPS, Panalpina, Kuehne & Nagel and DSV UDSV.CO have been charged by the European Commission with illegally fixing prices for air freight forwarding. The case concerns suspected collusion on surcharges, the European Union's competition watchdog said on Wednesday without identifying the companies. Freight forwarding firms organise the transport of goods, customs clearance, warehousing and ground services for companies, exporters, importers and individuals."