What's New in the Postal World
Page Two (The Entire Month's Entries) | Page Three (Prior Month's Entries) | Page Four (And the Month Before That)
April 29, 2009
The U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors have authorized postal management to move on with the filing of its proposed Standard Mail "summer sale" experiment.
PostCom Vice President Jessica Lowrance has reported that in a media briefing conducted at USPS headquarters, the Postal Service's executive in charge of the intelligent mail program, Tom Day noted tht the IMb is moving forward. He noted that there were issues that required attention, and the USPS is dealing with them as they are identified by mailers. Systems Integration testing is complete. There were identified defects that have been fixed. Customer Acceptance Testing (CAT) is underway. One of the major issues with CAT is that Mailers can not produce mail.dat 9.1 files to run through postal system. Pritha said that all vendors are updating and creating new software. 2 mailers have the capability of converting mail.dat 8.1 or 8.2 files into 9.1. One recently was able to just create 9.1 files. During testing, USPS would have like to test every different type of mailer profile to make sure the system was ready, but mailers were not ready. Need to open up system, so other mailers can participate outside of 6 CAT testers. More information will be reported in this week's bulletin.
Hellmail has reported that "The Communication Workers Union today accused the UK government of 'misusing' public funds to pay for specialist advice in the run-up to a partial sale of state-owned postal operator, the Royal Mail."
The USPS will start a daily webinar on May 4th from 2 to 4pm on using the new Business Customer Gateway. Dial-in information will be made available on RIBBS. Additional information will be in this week's DMM Advirsory.
Eyefortransport has reported that "DHL has added a Boeing 747-400F to service its Singapore - Hong Kong route through Air Hong Kong, the Cathay Pacific - DHL joint venture."
Jean-Claude Mallet has resigned for health reasons as chairman of ARCEP, the French telecommunications and postal regulator.
The DM Bulletin has reported that "There has been a marked rise in complaints about direct mail and against database companies, according to DM watchdog the Direct Marketing Commission. The home shopping sector was the biggest offender, the DMC said. The DMC's quarterly complaints index between December 2008 and March 2009, a report and analysis of complaints received, reveals that direct mail is the second biggest cause of grievance (14%) after financial accounts/invoicing issues (15%), and that complaints against database companies have risen from 6% to 9% of the total. However the DMC said that the report also showed a continued trend for high industry compliance with self-regulatory rules. Of the 88 complaints received by the DMC in this period the majority (54) were investigated and resolved swiftly and informally."
From PR Newswire: "MasterCard Worldwide today announced that the U.S. Postal Service(R), the only delivery service that reaches every address in the nation -- including residences, businesses and Post Office Boxes(TM), and Dunkin' Donuts, the largest coffee and baked goods chain in the world, have joined the growing list of merchants to provide small businesses with automatic discounts and savings through the MasterCard Easy Savings Program. Eligible MasterCard business credit and signature debit, U.S. cardholders enrolled in the program will now receive an automatic 5 percent rebate on Click 'N Ship purchases made with the United States Postal Service (USPS(R)) at usps.com, and an automatic 5 percent rebate on purchases at Dunkin' Donuts."
Korea IT Times has reported that "Nam-gung Min, the former Director General for Electronics & IT Industries of the Ministry of Knowledge Economy, has become the President of the Korea Post. The Korea Post is a huge organization with forty-three thousand public officials and three thousand seven hundred post offices all around Korea. Through them, it offers postal services and financial services. Also, it holds over 60 trillion won [US$45 billion] in deposit and insurance assets. Nam-hung announced: “As a national agency, the Korea Post will find its niche for overcoming the economic crisis and creating green growth, and then do its best to overcome.” His statement is understood to mean that he is going to use the biggest public agency – Korea Post - as an engine to overcome the national crisis."
The MRU, founded in 1992, is the only consultancy in Europe, which has specialised in the market of courier-, express- and parcel services. For large-scale shippers and CEP-services in particular, the MRU provides interdisciplinary advice for all major questions of the market, as there are for example market entry, product design, organisation, and EDP.To learn more about the stories reported above, contact CEP News. (We appreciate the courtesy extended by CEP News to help whet your appetite for more of what CEP offers.)
The Guardian has reported that "The European Commission said on Wednesday it was investigating whether China broke world trade rules with a new postal law that allows only a state monopoly to deliver domestic letters and documents. The probe by the European Union executive, which oversees trade policy for the 27-nation bloc, could further damage brittle trade relations between Brussels and Beijing ahead of high-level talks between the trading partners next month."
Hellmail has reported that "The new hybrid mail service, Docmail, has pledged to hold down its postal prices despite the recent rise of First and Second class stamps. Managing director of CFH Total Document Management, Dave Broadway, who runs the Docmail service, has said that he will continue hold his prices for at least three months, resulting in increased savings for customers. From 6 April 2009 Royal Mail announced the price of posting a standard letter weighing up to 100g was to rise by 3p to 39p for First class and to 30p for Second class."
The Virgin Island Daily News has reported that "The U.S. Postal Service on Monday rewrapped and shipped out most of the mail that was on an airplane that burst into flames early Sunday morning on an airport runway in San Juan. The fire consumed the cockpit and damaged more than 3,000 pounds of priority and Express and First Class mail bound for the territory, Monica Hand, Postal Service spokeswoman said on Monday. The aircraft - which was built in 1942 - was carrying 6,000 pounds of mail. While the Postal Service was able to salvage most of the mail, which was re-wrapped and shipped out on another aircraft, about 1,500 pounds of mail could not be saved, she said."
KTVB has reported that "The Boise Fire Department's Hazardous Materials Team was called to a downtown Boise building just before noon today to investigate a white powdery substance found on an unopenend envelope. That investigation last more than three and a half hours and led to the delay of mail delivery to some downtown businesses. This after a mail carrier was detained as a safety precaution while experts determined if the substance posed a danger to humans."
April 28, 2009
Postal Regulatory Commission.
The National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) has announced that the nation’s largest food drive to combat hunger will be conducted this year on Saturday, May 9. On that day, letter carriers will collect non-perishable donations from homes as they deliver mail along their postal routes. [EdNote: This is the kind of public service that deserves the nation's recognition and thanks.]
The latest issue of the PostEurop newsletter is now available. Take advantage of the opportunity to subscribe to this newsletter. In that newsletter, PostEurop reported that the European Commission has launched a study to "assess the role of the regulators in a more competitive postal market."
PostCom Members! Consider this a gentle reminder of the upcoming price change and the dates for plant-verfied drop shipment (PVDS). Current prices: Mailers may use the current prices for PVDS mailings verified and paid before May 11. USPS will accept these mailings at destination entry postal facilities up to May 26 when presented with appropriate verification and payment documentation. New prices: Mailers may use the new prices for PVDS mailings verified and paid beginning April 13 for deposit on or after May 11. The USPS will accept these mailings at destination entry postal facilities beginning May 11 when presented with appropriate verification and payment documentation. PLEASE NOTE: Mailers will have up until May 26th to enter dropshipment mailings (paid for before May 11th) at destination facilities.
The Palm Beach Daily News has reported that "Despite past denials that the island's main post office is for sale, confirmation from the mayor has led the U.S. Postal Service to finally own up to its plans for the landmark building."
Dead Tree Edition has told its readers that "With the Intelligent Mail Barcode (IMb) program veering off the tracks, prominent mailers called for the U. S. Postal Service to hit the brakes today on the much-delayed program. "There is a general consensus that even if the USPS stays with their commitment of May 18 it will be almost impossible for the program to begin in a successful manner," says a memo written by Jack Widener, a respected industry consultant, that Idealliance released today to its members. Widener, a former Newsweek executive, chairs the IMb users group for the major trade association."
As PC World is trying to tell its readers, "Online Postage Tools Can Save You Time and Money."
WBGH has reported that "The workforce reduction at Lockheed Martin in Owego is here. At 3 o'clock Monday afternoon, systems integration president Marillyn Hewson sent out a memo, saying that a reduction of approximately 225 positions is needed now, and that a further reduction will likely be necessary in the months ahead. Hewson cited uncertainty about defense spending in the coming federal budget year, and the call by defense secretary Gates to cancel the presidential helicopter program, and the Air Force Combat Search and Rescue choppers. She also mentioned a slowdown in work for the postal service."
This Day has reported that "The Federal Government yesterday formally launched a new national Postal Code otherwise known as ZIP Code. It also decided to put up a committee and appoint consultants who will fashion out modalities for a new national addressing system in the country."
April 27, 2009
According to the Wall Street Journal, "Postal systems the world over are notorious for being bloated, inefficient bureaucracies that eat up public funds and resist reform. (See: Postal Service, United States.) China's postal system is no different, and the State Council has just missed a great opportunity to open up the sector to competition. China's new Postal Law, approved on Friday, will limit competition in the 40.8 billion yuan ($6 billion) per year industry. The law imposes new regulations on private domestic and foreign courier services, and raises the barriers for new firms to enter the courier market. The law explicitly codifies a ban on foreign companies delivering documents domestically -- in what may contravene China's WTO commitments. There's even a clause about "a universal postal service fund" that could give the government room to levy a tax on private couriers in order to help pay for the universal service run by China Post. These are steps backward for a sector that in the past has amply demonstrated the benefits of liberalization."
The latest blog has been posted on the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General's Internet site "Pushing the Envelope." The public, mailers, postal employees, and other stakeholders are invited to weigh in on the online discussions taking place. To view the site, visit http://blog.uspsoig.gov/.The OIG Wants to Know How You Feel about Sick Leave. The Postal Service's sick leave absence rate (absenteeism) was 4.3 percent in 2008. This seems high compared to the 1.1 percent rate the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports for employees in the private sector and 1.7 percent rate for employees in the federal sector. So why was the Postal Service's rate higher? That means 5 percent of its employees have nearly one absence for every paycheck! What is the impact on morale to the other 640,026 career employees? Is there something the Postal Service can do to reduce the number of unscheduled absences? The OIG would like to know how you feel about these issues. You can visit Office of Inspector General's public website at: www.uspsoig.gov. If you have additional questions, please contact Communication and Work Life Director Agapi Doulaveris at 703.248.2322.
DM News has reported that "The second annual National Catalog Advocacy & Strategy Forum is slated for May 20-21, with the postage rate increase and the proposed "summer sale" among the topics of discussion. The event, to be held in Washington D.C., will feature panel discussions of challenges facing catalogers during these economic times, as well as positive developments made by the U.S. Postal Service to help the mailing industry, said Hamilton Davison, president of the American Catalog Mailers Association."
The Grantham Journal has reported that "postal protesters campaigning to keep the Royal Mail public were delighted with the support they received in Grantham. Post Office staff joined union members in Grantham High Street on Friday morning to ask people to support their campaign against part privatisation."
The News-Journal has reported that "Gregg County Organized Drug Enforcement and U.S. Postal Service investigators on Friday found 12 pounds of suspected marijuana in 100 block of Arthur Street, the release said. The search led authorities to search another home in the 100 block of Cherie Lane, where they found a half-pound of suspected marijuana."
According to Air Force Link, "Postal workers deliver pieces of home through mail."
The New York Times has reported that "The rate of decline in circulation at the nation's newspapers has accelerated since last fall, as industry figures released Monday show a more than 7 percent drop compared with the prior year. While newspaper circulation has long been in decline, the latest figures show the drop is accelerating."
From PR Newswire: "The U.S. Postal Service has earned the R. Gene Richter Award for "Leadership and Innovation" for optimizing the use of bidding software that resulted in savings of more than $57 million from 2005 to 2008."
According to Advertising Age, "Several players, from ambitious software developers to arcane auditing bodies, are suddenly converging this spring to hasten the arrival of a long-awaited "iPod for print." It might just be the iPhone. So far magazines and newspapers have built applications chiefly for the iPhone -- and the surprisingly popular iPod Touch -- that riff on their core editorial missions. Many publishers would also like to turn iTunes into a virtual newsstand and subscription hub."
Personnel Today has noted that "All Royal Mail staff will see their pay frozen this year as the postal service attempts to cut costs during the recession."
The Daily Record has reported that "postal services could be thrown into chaos by crippling strikes over Royal Mail plans for 1600 job cuts. Union leaders accuse bosses trying to "bulldoze" through changes which would devastate services across the country. The threat emerged just 48 hours after mail chiefs warned they were planning to impose a pay freeze on their 180,000 workers. This is despite doubling halfyear profits to £177million. The first walkout is likely to hit services across London next month but others will follow nationwide. The Communication Workers Union will start balloting members next week over the sacking plans." See also CityWire.
DMA will host a webinar focusing on changes in the Postal Service's mail acceptance, processing network and distribution network at 2:00 p.m. eastern on Tuesday, May 5th. William Galligan, Senior Vice President for Operations at the U.S. Postal Service will be discussing the Service's actions to date and changes that will soon be coming off of the drawing board. There will be an opportunity to ask question so that participants may better gauge the potential impact of these changes on their own operations. The webinar is free to members of sponsoring groups: DMA, Association for Postal Commerce, Parcel Shippers Association, National Postal Policy Council, Magazine Publishers of America, Continuity Shippers Association and the DMA Nonprofit Federation. To register, please email email@example.com with a subject line ‘Realignment'
Dominican Today has reported that "the Dominican Postal Institution (Inposdom) is taking a great leap forward in the direction of competitiveness and profitability by implementing a basic tool for the improvement and optimization of its services: a National Postal Code system."
April 26, 2009
According to A. Lee Fritschler, Professor, School of Public Policy, George Mason University (and former Chairman of the Postal Rate Commission), in an article entitled Liberating the Postal Service, "Government bailouts of high profile private corporations have obscured the fact that one of the largest government enterprises, the U.S. Postal Service, is also in dire financial straits. Its requests for immediate relief, however, should be turned into long term, and long overdue, reforms that will strengthen a great national institution for the future."
The Sydney Morning Herald has reported that "a postal bank official in southern China was sentenced to death for siphoning more than 1.3 billion yuan ($265 million) to pay her gambling debts. State media reported yesterday that He Liqiong, 45, was given the death penalty by a court in Guangdong province. She was convicted of siphoning deposits from a post office bank in Foshan city to pay off debts incurred whilegambling in casinos in neighbouring Macau."
April 25, 2009
The Bellingham Herald has reported that "Several loose dogs have caused the U.S. Postal Service to stop door-to-door mail delivery in the 2500 block of Toledo Street. The 30 affected residences are now getting mail from two cluster boxes that have been installed on the block. Each cluster box has 16 mailboxes. "Folks in that area have been repeatedly warned to keep dogs under control," said Ernie Swanson, spokesman for the Seattle District of the Postal Service. "We have to protect the welfare of our carriers."
The Finanical has reported that "The U.S. Chamber of Commerce expressed regret over China's decision to pass a postal law on April 24 that does not allow Chinese companies and consumers full access to international express delivery service providers."
The Mirror has reported that "The Royal Mail's 180,000 staff face a pay freeze - despite profits doubling to £177million in just six months. The company has scrapped this year's wage rise even though all its sections made a profit for the first time in nearly 20 years."
POSTAL SERVICE. Board of Governors; Meeting Date and Time: Monday, May 4, 2009, at 6 p.m.; Tuesday, May 5, 2009, at 10 a.m.; Wednesday, May 6, 2009, at 8:30 a.m. Place: Washington, DC, at U.S. Postal Service Headquarters, 475 L'Enfant Plaza, SW., in the Benjamin Franklin Room. Status: May 4 at 6 p.m.--Closed; May 5 at 10 a.m.--Closed; May 6 at 8:30 a.m.--Open. Matters To Be Considered Monday, May 4 at 6 p.m. (Closed) 1. Financial Matters. 2. Strategic Issues. 3. Pricing. 4. Personnel Matters and Compensation Issues. 5. Governors' Executive Session--Discussion of prior agenda items and Board Governance. Tuesday, May 5 at 10 a.m. (Closed) 1. Continuation of Monday's closed session agenda. Wednesday, May 6 at 8:30 a.m. (Open) 1. Call to Order and Approval of Minutes of Previous Meetings. 2. Remarks of the Chairman of the Board. 3. Recognition of Former Board Chairman. 4. Remarks of the Postmaster General and CEO. 5. Committee Assignments and Committee Reports. 6. Quarterly Report on Service Performance. 7. Quarterly Report on Financial Performance. 8. Tentative Agenda for the June 22, 23 and 24, 2009, meeting in Washington, DC, and Adjourn. Contact Person for More Information: Julie S. Moore, Secretary of the Board, U.S. Postal Service, 475 L'Enfant Plaza, SW., Washington, DC 20260-1000. Telephone (202) 268-4800.
According to The Scotsman, "The UK mail market is now declining at between 8 per cent and 10 per cent compared to a year ago, and for every 1 per cent decline in volume, income is reduced by £7 million."
Yahoo! Tech has reported that "One in 10 online consumers have purchased something directly from their cell phones, according to a new report from PriceGrabber.com. The study said that nearly two-thirds of online consumers overall own a cell phone that's capable of connecting to the Internet."
FedBizOps: Solicitation Number: PREQUAL001-LLV The U. S. Postal Service is considering potential suppliers for its Electric Vehicle (EV) conversion of Long Life Vehicles (LLVs).
The latest issue of the PostCom Bulletin is available online. In this issue:
The PostCom Bulletin is distributed via NetGram
Postal Regulatory Commission. MC2009-23 Order No. 206 - Notice and Order of Classification Changes. http://www.prc.gov/docs/62/62955/Order_No_206.doc; http://www.prc.gov/docs/62/62955/Order_No_206.pdf
The U.S. Postal Service has posted its latest Intelligent Mail® Services Weekly Update via DMM Update. In this update is information on: PostalOne! and FAST Outages;PostalOne! Release 20 Testing Update; First-Class Mail Containers (Mail.dat); Parent/Child Container Weight Validation (Mail.dat);Standard Mail multiple copies in a single mail piece and Periodicals Mail firm bundles; Customer access to PostalOne! and FAST; Mailer IDs; and Updated Guides.
April 24, 2009
Publishing Executive has reported that "Amazon and Universal News will run the "Better Paper for People and Planet" online promotion highlighting magazines that use recycled paper, under a major push by Green America's Better Paper Project and Next Steps Marketing."
TNT today announced that they have signed an agreement with Singapore Post and Royal Mail on the exit of Singapore Post from the joint venture Spring Global Mail. The parties agreed that Singapore Post will acquire the Asia-Pacific business of Spring Global Mail and at the same time will exit the global joint venture. TNT and Royal Mail remain committed to the future growth of Spring Global Mail. Spring Global Mail will independently develop new business opportunities in the Asia Pacific region. TNT and Royal Mail will continue to own 100% of Spring Global Mail (TNT's share in the joint venture will increase from 51% to 67.55%).
You might want to check out the new message from the Chairman of the Postal Regulatory Commission.
Editor's Note: We've been told by several of our readers that the piece published earlier by National Academy of Public Administration fellow Murray Comarow in response to a piece published by American Interest seemed a bit truncated. Well, we checked, and it was. So, we're posting it again.
Business First has reported that "Officials with United Parcel Service Inc. have asked the Independent Pilots Association to find a way to cut costs in order to avoid the furlough of about 300 of the roughly 3,000 pilots who fly for the shipping giant. The move comes as Atlanta-based UPS grapples with domestic overnight shipping volume that declined about 10 percent between the fourth quarter of 2007 and the fourth quarter of 2008."
Scoop.co.nz has reported that "New Zealand Post Group Finance completed its NZ$200 million sale of bonds that pay 7.5% annual interest."
According to Dutch News, "The controversial TNT Post pay deal, which offers workers job security in return for a pay cut, has also been rejected by members of the FNV-affiliated postal workers union. The two other postal workers' unions have already rejected the deal, which would give job security for between three and six years if workers agree to a 15% pay cut."
The Timmons Daily Press has reported that "Porcupine residents are seeking support to keep their post office boxes within walking distance. Concerned residents, with support from members of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers Local 642, were stationed at The Porcupine Mall yesterday. They were collecting signatures on a petition to keep the boxes in the mall."
CNN Money has reported that "Foreign companies will continue to be barred from delivering express letters in China's domestic market based on a new law approved Friday, despite years of lobbying by major global express-delivery companies to lift the restrictions. Foreign companies will be limited to delivering express packages domestically, and can only send express letters internationally." See also Reuters, Straits Times, and China Daily.
According to the Postalnews Blog, "In a complaint filed with the Postal Regulatory Commission, online video game rental service Gamefly accuses the US Postal Service of providing preferential treatment to Netflix and Blockbuster. The company says that its DVD's are being damaged at an unacceptable rate despite the fact that the mailer has agreed to use sturdier mailers, and as a result pays higher postage fees per piece than the other companies. (The company also notes that a significant number of its DVDs are stolen- 19 postal employees have been arrested for stealing GameFly DVDs). The issue has taken on additional urgency for GameFly because of Blockbuster's entry into the game rental market. The company says it has attempted to work out an agreement with the Postal Service, but that the USPS has ignored its requests to discuss the issue."
The Ledger has reported that "U.S. Rep. Adam Putnam has asked the U.S. Postal Service nicely, now he is getting tougher on the semi-governmental corporation's decision to move part of its local mail processing operation from Lakeland to Tampa."
From PR Newswire: "The U.S. Postal Service is accepting questions for the next Intelligent Mail Technical Integration Webinar set for Friday, May 1, from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. EDT. Mailers should submit their questions to firstname.lastname@example.org at least four days in advance (by 5 p.m. EDT, April 27). The Postal Service began hosting Intelligent Mail Technical Integration Webinars in March every other Friday to answer mailers' technical questions about Intelligent Mail barcode implementation. FAQs derived from each webinar are posted on the RIBBS website (ribbs.usps.gov)."
News On 6 has reported that "Tulsans Continue To Fight Post Office Closing."
Postal Regulatory Commission: "COMPLAINT OF GAMEFLY, INC." Docket No. C2009-1 -- The complaint involves the rates and service provided by the Postal Service to customers who use First-Class Mail to send and receive DVDs.