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June 15, 2007

Postmaster General John Potter has sent a letter to the Chair and Ranking Members of the House Appropriations Committee regarding the elimination of the Postal Service's annual $29 million for revenue foregone in the House bill. Failure to fund the revenue forgone, Potter said, could have significant consequences for postal finances. The appropriations bill is pending Committee action and is expected to go to the House floor next week.

Forbes has reported that "FirstGroup-owned rail freight company FirstGBRf said it has extended its contract with Royal Mail to transport post until 2010."

PrintWeek has reported that "Royal Mail's bid to introduce zonal pricing for bulk mailers has come under fire during industry body Postcomm's fourth annual industry forum this week (12 June). The company's proposal would affect the cost of sending bulk mail depending on which of five zones it is sent to. In some areas, such as within the M25, the charge increase could be as great as 12%. Around 140 representatives attended the debate on Royal Mail's proposals, which, if approved, could come into effect as early as April next year."

The Postal Service will be using a bit of history to make history when it launches its first-ever infomercial this weekend. The thundering hooves of the Pony Express lead viewers through a series of modern day business success stories. Each story highlights an online service available at that has made shopping and shipping easier than ever for the customer. The 28-minute video premieres this weekend and will be seen on a variety of stations at various times throughout the week.

Dawn has reported that "The Pakistan post office is planning to introduce a new express service having an internet-based track and trace facility, allowing people to check the status of their posted articles through a website."

Asia Pulse has reported that "Korean Post has agreed to help develop and modernise IT systems for Vietnam's postal service under a memorandum of understanding signed by VNPT and the South Korean postal service."

The Postal Regulatory Commission has approved the Postal Service's request for an extension of the period to test the market desirability of repositionable notes. has reported that "The boss of Posta Slovenije told the press on Friday the national postal company generated EUR 20.88 million in net profit in 2006, or some EUR 5.8 million more than a year before. Operating revenues increased nearly 10 per cent to EUR 229.78 million. The results have never been better, Ales Hauc told the press in Ljubljana, upbeat about the future of the company that employed 6,723 people at the end of 2006."

According to Maynard Benjamin, President of the Envelope Manufacturers Association, "When it comes to envelopes and technology, most past innovations were limited to the manufacturing process. These advancements helped create a plentiful and affordable supply of a trusted product that millions of Americans use every day, but they did not change the basic structure and power of the envelope. New technologies are emerging, though, that could transform envelopes as we know them."

The Associated Press has noted that "A foul-smelling package that led to the evacuation of a post office next to the Smithsonian's National Postal Museum contained two cans of spinach and a dirty diaper." [Oh, pooh!] has reported that "From June 14 to 16, 2007 the sea side resort of Yasmine Hammamet will host "Technopost Africa 2007" an international conference jointly organized by the Tunisian Postal services, the Universal Postal Union, and the pan African Union of Posts. The main items on the agenda will touch on electronic commerce, hybrid mail, safe mail, electronic registered mail, E-banking, global banking, M-post and mobile telephony, E-learning, as well as E-management."

From Business Wire: "FedEx Freight Canada, the newly-formed subsidiary of FedEx Freight that provides seamless intra-Canada and transborder less-than-truckload (LTL) service, officially unveiled its new combined national headquarters and 48 dock-door service center, located on Wilson Avenue in Toronto."

June 14, 2007

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, of which Senator Susan Collins is the Ranking Member, today approved a resolution that she and Senator Joseph Lieberman (ID-CT) coauthored to reaffirm the constitutional protections of sealed domestic mail. This approval paves the way for the legislation to be considered by the full Senate. The measure is also cosponsored by Senators Tom Carper (D-DE), Norm Coleman (R-MN), Daniel Akaka (D-HI), Russ Feingold (D-WI), and Patrick Leahy (D-VT).

From Business Wire: "Direct Group, a fully integrated direct marketing solutions provider, announced today that Chris Ryan has been promoted to the newly created position of Chief Operating Officer (COO). Focused on the direct mail, postal and logistics side of the business, Ryan will oversee the company's 800-plus employee production facility in Swedesboro, NJ, one of the largest-volume, single-site commercial mailing operations in the world. Ryan, a founding partner and shareholder of Direct Group, previously held the position of Executive Vice President responsible for service, quality, sales and marketing."

According to Personnel Today, "The Communication Workers Union (CWU) has accused Royal Mail of attempting to provoke strike action rather than looking to negotiate."

The Financial Times has reported that "Alliance & Leicester, a banking group, is benefiting from a more than £10m cut in its Post Office costs after signing a new contract in April."

According to Sustainable Industries, "Avoiding left turns is helping United Parcel Service Inc. save loads on gasoline. Using electronic processing technology to plan delivery routes around right-hand turns, the company is taking full advantage of a U.S. traffic law that was first implemented in the 1970s as a way to save gas."

MaltaMedia has reported that "A dispute between Unjoni Ħaddiema Magħqudin (UĦM) and Maltapost management, which led to postal operators striking at end of May, came to an end on Wednesday with the signing of their collective agreement." See also the Times of Malta.

According to DutchNews, "Postal unions say they accept that over 6,000 jobs will have to go at TNT. 'Otherwise the risk is too great that the company will run into trouble,' Abvakabo spokeswoman Anneke Stevens told ANP."

The Guardian has reported that:

  • The Communication Workers Union last night held off from calling the first national postal strike for more than a decade, asking instead for further talks with Royal Mail over pay and productivity. However, the union's postal executive, which has been given a mandate by the membership to call for industrial action, is to meet again next week to discuss its strategy if Royal Mail fails to respond.
  • The chairman of Royal Mail has insisted there is no money available to improve a 2.5% pay offer to staff who are threatening a national strike. See also the BBC.

Transport Intelligence has reported that:

  • DHL has announced the acquisition of a 49% minority equity interest and a 24.9% voting interest in ASTAR Air Cargo of Miami, Fla. DHL also extended its ACMI contract with the carrier through 2019.

  • UK courier network Parcelnet has now completed a £250m deal with Redcats UK and plans are underway to integrate the Redcats courier network into Parcelnet creating a 7000 strong courier home delivery network. The growth in home shopping is behind the company's plan to create greater network coverage and a range of enhanced service options to meet the increasing demands of home shopping customers.

In a letter to every member of the Senate, Postmaster General John Potter said that "the Postal Service strongly opposes S.1457, the "Mail Delivery and Protection Act." This bill would override current collective bargaining agreements and effectively eliminate an important tool needed by the Postal Service to continually introduce greater efficiencies into its operation. If enacted, with an exception of a very limited use, no new contracts for mail delivery could be initiated. The ability of the Postal Service to effectively manage its vast delivery operations would be largely eliminated, and new opportunities for small businesses to carry contracts for transporting and delivering mail would be eliminated. Currently 99 percent of our contract delivery services are performed by small, minority- or women-owned businesses. This use of private-sector services is not new. The Postal Service has used contractors to transport and deliver mai! since 1785, when Congress first authorized the Post Office Department to contract with stagecoach companies."

The Postal Regulatory Commission is seeking comments from the public on service standards and performance measurements for market-dominant postal products announced Commission Chairman Dan G. Blair today. Interested persons are invited to submit written comments and suggestions on what the service standards should be and what system or systems of performance measures should be used to evaluate whether those service standards are met. The Commission’s request for public comments has been posted on its website, and will be published in the Federal Register. Initial comments will be due on July 16, 2007, and all comments and suggestions received by the Commission will be available for review on the website. Interested persons are invited to provide followup comments and suggestions by July 30, 2007. Commenters are asked to tie their suggestions to the applicable statutory objectives and factors listed in section 3691 and on the Commission’s website under Docket No. PI2007-1.

Reuters has reported that "The European Parliament's three main parties have agreed to the full opening of the European Union's postal market from the end of 2010, two years later than originally proposed, an EU source said on Wednesday. Members of the Socialist and Liberal blocs and the centre-right European People's Party gave informal blessing to a cross-party deal on Tuesday evening, the source said. "The compromise is that the final date for liberalisation is 31 December, 2010," the source said."

According to TransWorldNews, "With the increase in postage rates in effect for nearly a month, some businesses are feeling the heat more than others. While many companies that mainly use catalogs as marketing are being scorched by the new restrictions and costs, companies who use postcards haven’t been affected enough to feel singed. Indeed, all postage prices went up, including the inexpensive postcard that went up from $0.24 to $0.26 per card. The postcard, however, isn’t nearly as affected due to the weight and size of a postcard being consistent, whereas catalogs are of varying weights and sizes. Joy Gendusa, postcard marketing guru and CEO of PostcardMania, is letting the solution out to help those businesses burning alive. “The trick is not to send out catalogs to mailing lists in order to get prospects, but to instead send postcards to get people to request a catalog from your business. The point is to get them interested and curious enough to call or email your company for the rest of the information.” For years PostcardMania has been doing mailings for catalogers who send postcards out as their first line of promotion in order to get their prospects to request one of their catalogues. The end result for these catalogers is more qualified leads and less money procuring them."

Logistics Management has reported that "Express delivery and logistics services provider DHL said today it has opened a new international gateway in Hermosillo, Mexico, which will offer international next-day service and enable the company to meet the growing needs of companies shipping freight between Northwest Mexico and the United States."

From Business Wire: "Group 1 Software, Inc., a Pitney Bowes Company, has announced that the latest release of its MailStream Plus® mail preparation and presort software has received U.S. Postal Service® PAVE certification for PAVE Cycle I."

The Malta Star has reported that "An envelope mailed from England to Malta in 1841, with eight stamps - five Penny Blacks and three Two-penny Blues – was auctioned for charity for $650,000 (Lm240,877). A British individual managed to win the auction for this item after offering “the highest amount ever bid over the Internet for a philatelic item”, said the International Herald Tribune on Tuesday. The envelope was sent to ‘Lady Louis’ in Malta from Falmouth. It is considered as a “one of the most important postal history rarities of Great Britain”.

Japan Today has reported that "The All Japan Postal Labor Union launched its national assembly Wednesday with a view to voting Friday on whether to merge with the Japan Postal Workers' Union, or JPU, upon the planned privatization of the postal system in October."

June 13, 2007

Reuters has reported that "The European Parliament's main parties have agreed to allow full competition in postal services throughout the European Union from 2011, an EU source said on Wednesday. The European Commission had proposed the completion of the freeing up of postal services to full competition from the start of 2009 to include the collection and delivery of letters weighing up to 50 grams. Heavier mail is already liberalised. The plan met with opposition from many EU states that say operators were not yet ready for more competition in a 90 billion euro ($120 billion) sector that employs 2 million people."

From MarketWire:  "Did you know that Canada Post handled more than 290,000 change of address requests for Quebec in 2005 and more than 302,000 in 2006? With more than 116 million items a year redirected throughout Canada, Canada Post, through its change of address service, provides an affordable service that is among the most reliable. It is well known that the months of June and July are a feverish period punctuated by many moves for people in Quebec. Between boxes, moving out, renovations, decorating and moving in, you want to make sure that your regular mail and even your occasional mail (financial statements, license renewals, memberships or subscriptions, annual reports and product recall notices) are delivered to you without worry. By acting without delay, at least two weeks before your move, you can protect your mail and your identity and move with peace of mind of no interruption in postal service."

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

At the end of a 15-year long period of postal market liberalisation in Europe, the EU member states’ ministers of economic affairs have reached a mere compromise. Despite severe consequences for private operators, the binding final date for market liberalisation has been postponed until 2011. East European member states and Greece are entitled to prolong this deadline by another two years.
Britons have been asked by Postwatch, Postcomm and Royal Mail how they feel about earlier mail collection times and other issues concerning the post. Most of the poll participants said clearly that they wanted to be able to post their letters as late as possible in the day. At the same time, they expect to receive mail as early in the morning as possible.
British regulator Postcomm has ordered Royal Mail to abandon its system of last mail collection from post boxes at 9 a.m. which is practised in many locations. Postcomm says the last collection must be in the afternoon.
Swedish property owners do not intend to take over costs for collective letterbox installation.
Germany’s PIN Group is aiming to set up "a branch network at least as big as that of Deutsche Post", claims company chairman Günter Thiel in an interview with »Euro am Sonntag« magazine.
The State Bank of India (SBI) plans to offer selected financial services at India Post counters.
Business will apparently continue at the private German postal service provider Jurex. The company announced this Tuesday that "a group of experienced investors from the postal market has taken over the business subject to agreement of the Federal Cartel Office".
The discussion surrounding the planned privatisation of the Kuwaiti post has regained momentum.
FedEx intends to reinforce its co-operation with Adobe. Last week, the companies confirmed that FedEx Kinko’s Print Online Service would shortly be integrated into the Adobe programmes "Reader" and "Acrobat", offering software users "an easy and convenient way of sending their printing jobs to any FedEx Kinko shop in the USA".
Pakistan’s post has experienced a dramatic 20% drop in annual mail volumes recently. E-mail communication in particular is said to have caused the slump.
Following the example of West European post companies, the Vietnamese post is now splitting its activities into postal and telecommunications operations.
German mail order company Otto Group’s plans for the development of a European distribution and parcel network are increasingly taking shape.
Through intensified cooperation with Swiss railway company Schweizerische Bundesbahn (SBB), DHL Schweiz plans to increase its number of private clients and SMEs.
German express service Trans-o-flex is reinforcing its European network EURODIS. As has been expected, the subsidiary of Austria’s Österreichische Post has integrated Slovakian sister company In Time Logistics as a network partner.
FedEx founder and CEO Fred W Smith could be in line for an important political position. Presidential candidate Senator John McCain told media representatives that Mr Smith would be "a valuable addition to his cabinet, should he be elected in 2008".

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 Financial Times has reported that "In the past six years, the mail systems pioneer Pitney Bowes has acquired more than 65 companies, all on the watch of Michael Critelli, chief executive at the time and now executive chairman. He has been systematically refocusing the business, transforming it from the collection of diverse businesses he found when he joined the legal department 28 years ago. His goal is to make the Connecticut-based group a leader in the “mailstream” marketplace – everything connected with the creation and distribution of letters and packages. Non-core activities have been cut away; the acquisitions are only in areas where Pitney Bowes, inventor of the postage stamping machine, intends to vie for market leadership. Now the intention is to integrate the new businesses seamlessly into Pitney Bowes’ central systems. Over the past decade, the company has installed SAP enterprise software to handle the back office, and Siebel’s customer relationship management software for customer-facing functions."

As the Los Angeles Times has noted, "The men in yellow shirts are competing with your mail carrier. They wend their way through quiet, residential neighborhoods, dropping off mail at every house, delivering it not to mailboxes, but by hanging it on doorknobs, no postage stamps needed. They're employees of Newport Beach-based PowerDirect, which is trying to capitalize on rising postal rates and an aversion to junk mail by delivering advertisements to homes themselves. His new delivery business is sophisticated: He tracks his workers with global positioning systems to make sure the door hangers are delivered to the right places and on time, and he uses direct-mail targeting strategies to make sure the ads are reaching people who might respond to them. Bill Borneman's, chief executive of PowerDirect, company has 45 employees and revenue of around $20 million. Borneman, who came from the direct-mail business, sees his door hangers as a less-expensive alternative to mail — 5 cents a unit cheaper, to be exact.

Bursa has reported that "The EBRD is providing Posta Romana with a 50 million EUR loan to finance the construction in Bucharest of the country"s first fully automated sorting centre and the modernisation of an existing sorting centre in Cluj. Up to 20 million EUR of the loan will be syndicated to commercial banks. Posta Romana will also contribute to this project with 10 million EUR of its own cash flow. The construction of an automated sorting centre is a key element in the modernisation of Posta Romana, which is facing increasing competition following the liberalisation of the market in line with EU regulations

The Los Angeles Daily News has noted that "With cargo becoming increasingly difficult and expensive to ship across the Southland, state officials are wrestling with ways to ease the jam before it jeopardizes the region's economy. With thousands of local jobs and billions of dollars in international trade at stake, experts say California needs to quickly expand its infrastructure or risk losing its reputation as the nation's gateway to international trade."

Forbes has reported that "TNT NV said in a statement that an independent study by the Boston Consulting Group has shown that its cost-cutting plans for its TNT Post Dutch mail operations are 'sound and necessary.'"

According to The Times, "The dispute between the main postal union and Royal Mail worsened yesterday after the postal group warned that it would not increase a pay offer despite a vote by postal workers for strike action."

CityWire has reported that "The Royal Mail, which operates a fleet of more than 33,000 commercial delivery vehicles across the UK, has ordered two zero-emission delivery vehicles from UK maker Tanfield Group to try on routes in central London."

The Calgary Sun has reported that "Canada Post has defeated a NAFTA challenge from United Parcel Service of America Inc., that alleged the Crown corporation engaged in unfair competition, bringing an end to a seven year-old dispute between the two delivery companies. UPS, the world’s largest package delivery firm, launched a claim for US$160 million against the Canadian government in April 2000 under the North American Free Trade Agreement. UPS contended Canada Post has an unfair advantage because its services such as Express Post and Priority Courier draw on an infrastructure of sorting facilities, mailboxes and post offices that private companies must provide for themselves. But Canada Post CEO Moya Greene told the company’s annual meeting Tuesday that the NAFTA tribunal hearing the challenge had dismissed it." See also the Chronicle Herald and the Canada NewsWire.

June 12, 2007

IBN has reported that "The ‘Rocket Raja’ ad for Zapak mail promoted by the Reliance Anil Ambani Group has antagonised postmen all over the country. They say it portrays them as slow and inefficient and is a false portrayal. "They did not ask us before they went ahead with the ad. And they have depicted postal service providers in a wrong way,” says Post Master General, Mumbai, A P Shrivastava. The postal department reportedly made its objections known to the ADA Group, and there was quick damage control from Zapak mail."

The United States, Canada and Latin America can form the world's next great trading bloc, but only if the various nations move quickly to improve their transportation infrastructures and simplify customs requirements, the chief executive of UPS said today. "I believe that Latin America, home to half-a-billion people south of the U.S.-Mexico border, has the potential to be the next hotbed of trade and economic growth," UPS Chairman and CEO Mike Eskew told participants at the U.S. Commerce Department's inaugural Americas Competitiveness Forum.

On Monday, June 11, the House Appropriations Committee ordered reported the Fiscal Year 2008, Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill, after amending the measure to eliminate a $29 million Postal Service revenue forgone reimbursement. These funds were transferred to the Small Business Administration account.

Press Release: "BCC Software, a BÖWE BELL + HOWELL company and a leading developer of highperformance solutions for professional mailers, is one of the first companies to be recognized by the United States Postal Service ® as a Suite Link ™ Certified Software Distributor. Because of this certification, and thanks to BCC’s status as a USPS ® NCOA Link® Full Service Provider (FSP) Licensee, mailers now can enjoy the benefits of Suite Link processing added to any mailing lists that are submitted to BCC for NCOA Link FSP processing."

Dan G. Blair, chairman of the Postal Regulatory Commission, announced today the appointment of the Commission’s first inspector general, as required by the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006. Jack Callender, minority counsel to Ranking Member Tom Davis (R-VA) on the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, has been selected as the first Inspector General of the Postal Regulatory Commission, effective June 25, 2007. Callender has served on the Government Reform Committee since 1999, and assisted the Committee in the drafting and enactment of the Act.

From the Federal Register: "The U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors will be holding a closed meeting on Tuesday, June 19 at 12 p.m. Among the issues to be discussed:  1. Strategic Issues. 2. Postal Regulatory Commission Second Opinion and Recommended Decision on Reconsideration in Docket No. R2006-1, Postal Rate and Fee Changes. 3. Rate Case Update. 4. Labor Negotiations Update. 5. Financial Update. 6. Personnel Matters and Compensation Issues. 7. Governors' Executive Session--Discussion of prior agenda items and Board Governance.

The U.S. Postal Service has won two prestigious environmental awards — one for a revenue-generating recycling program and another for an E-85 alternative fuel project. The White House Closing the Circle awards recognize federal agencies for outstanding achievements that result in significant contributions to the environment. These two awards represent the thirty-sixth and thirty-seventh Closing the Circle awards the Postal Service has won since 1995. In 2006, the total solid waste management program recycled 8.6 million pounds of undeliverable mail, plastic film and cardboard. This program also generated more than $203,000 in revenue. And, the E-85 alternative-fuel usage project put 584 ethanol-capable vehicles on the road in Minnesota, resulting in a 65 percent increase in ethanol fuel use from 2003 to 2006.

As DM News has noted, "A new study claims that, despite today's digital world, consumers clearly prefer mail over other communications vehicles such as e-mail for receiving new product information and offerings as well as confidential business communications including bank statements and financial reports. This was a key finding from a survey released June 11 by International Communications Research. The study, the fourth mail preference survey commissioned by Stamford, CT-based Pitney Bowes since March 1999, found that the majority of consumers (73 percent) prefer mail for receiving new product announcements or offers from companies they do business with, as compared to 18 percent for e-mail. Mail was also preferred by 70 percent of respondents for receiving unsolicited information on products and services from companies with which they are not currently doing business."

The Guardian has reported that "The Communication Workers Union is poised to call a series of one-day strikes unless Royal Mail reopens talks over its pay and modernisation proposals. The union's postal executive will meet tomorrow to discuss its tactics after a ballot of 127,000 members voted overwhelmingly last week in favour of industrial action. If a strike does go ahead it will be Royal Mail's first national stoppage for more than a decade. The union will have to give seven days' warning of any action. Yesterday Royal Mail said it was prepared to talk but held out little prospect of an improved offer." has reported that "The Post Office last week launched ‘Payout', an electronic version of a postal order which allows companies to send a barcode to a mobile phone. Although the service offers participating companies savings (both in terms of cost and time) on sending out cheques or printed barcodes, mobile payments specialist Upaid doesn't believe ‘Payout' offers similar benefits to the general public."

As Business Week put it, "The result is more important than the speed of the liberalisation, the German EU presidency has said, signalling that some EU member states will get more time to open up the postal services market than the 2009 deadline proposed by the European Commission."

Press Release: "U.S. Postal Service employees are experiencing fewer ergonomic injuries as a result of a 2003 partnership between the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the American Postal Workers Union (APWU), the National Postal Mail Handlers Union (NMHU) and the U.S. Postal Service (USPS). The organizations have released Examples of Good Ergonomics Practices at the U.S. Postal Service which outlines the achievements of the partnership and the steps taken to help prevent ergonomic-related injuries in the workplace."

The Hindu has reported that "The Department of Posts on Monday reduced local Speed Post charges for letters weighing up to 50 gm from Rs. 20 to 12 (including service tax). The service will be available in 1,200 towns across the country. However, it has increased tariffs for parcels."

Arab News has reported that "Saudi Post President Dr. Muhammad Bantan signed an agreement yesterday with Jeddah Mayor Adel Fakieh to unify postal addresses in Jeddah."

Gulf Times has reported that "Q-POST and Doha Bank yesterday signed an agreement under which the post office would print, develop and envelop the bank’s monthly statement to be delivered to its customers."

June 11, 2007

The Associated Press has reported that "Two leading children's publishers, Scholastic, Inc., and Disney, will soon discover whether the laptop compares to the lap in the hearts of young readers. Scholastic is officially launching BookFlix, an educational Web site pairing short films based on popular picture books along with nonfiction e-books that allow early readers to follow the text online."

From Business Wire: "Pitney Bowes Inc. is sponsoring a DM News’ Webcast on “Navigating the Postal Increase” on June 12th. The Webcast will offer valuable information and tips on how companies can manage the recent postal rate increases that went into effect in May. The recent postal rate increase has affected mailers of all classes. Many have already adapted to this new environment. But questions linger about the overall effects of the rate hike on marketers who use the U.S. Postal Service for their direct mail campaign and catalog efforts. When: Tuesday, June 12, 2007, 2:00 to 3:00 p.m., EST Who: Panelists Elizabeth Lombard, USPS rate specialist, Pitney Bowes; and Mike Plunkett, acting vice president of pricing and classification, USPS Moderator: Melissa Campanelli, deputy editor, DM News Where: Participants can register for the event at

According to Air Cargo World, "a slowing American economy, high fuel prices, too much capacity and slackening demand may collectively account for why UPS's first quarter results and FedEx's fiscal third-quarter earnings were relatively flat, particularly in the domestic business."

"What Does Postal Reform Do?" is the latest in a series of papers by National Academy of Public Administration fellow Murray B. Comarow.

Caribbean Net News has reported that "Delegate to Congress Donna Christensen has asked US Postmaster General John Potter to institute a new mailing system for the US Virgin Islands as the current system is failing Virgin Islanders. In a letter to Potter, Christensen requested that the territory "return to its former status of having its own postal station, with its identity designated and visibly shown through our own postal cancellation."

The Financial Times has reported that "Royal Mail, which is rapidly losing contracts for handling mail since the market was opened to competition, should follow BT's example by splitting its postal operation into two independent businesses." has reported that "Trans-O-Flex is further reinforcing its European network EURODIS, with Slovakian company In Time becoming a EURODIS partner at the beginning of this month. According to Trans-O-Flex CEO Klaus Heinz, apart from the state-run postal service, In Time Logistics is the second-biggest courier/express/parcels service in Slovakia. Founded in 1990 in Bratislava, In Time Logistics has belonged to the Austrian Post since 2002. The company’s ability to handle combi-freight and hazardous goods makes it an attractive partner for Trans-O-Flex."

The Times of India has reported that "Overtime strike by around 500 group C and D employees of Railway Mail Service (RMS) in the ‘F’ division of Nagpur has badly affected the delivery of mail. The employees, affiliated to National Federation Postal Employees (NFPE), are up in arms against the management for going back on its assurances to fulfill the genuine demands."

The People's Daily has reported that "The Zambian government advised Sunday the parastatal Zambia Telecommunications Limited (ZAMTEL) and Zambia Postal Services Corporation (ZAMPOST) to be independent and generate funds for their operations."

From NewsReleaseWire: " has announced the launch of their new brand and web site for consumers this week. The Boulder, CO-based company, founded in 2001, provides a convenient and cost-effective way for subscribers to opt out of receiving unsolicited postal junk mail. For a nominal fee, removes subscriber information from mailing lists; and through a partnership with American Forests Organization, plants a tree in an effort to regenerate forests being depleted by junk mail production.’s mission is to help consumers eliminate unwanted postal junk mail for the entire household or small business, to reduce consumer frustration levels with the amount of unwanted junk mail they receive, and to protect consumers’ privacy by reducing the number of times their name and address is shared without their knowledge."

The BBC has reported that "The main postal workers' union is writing to Royal Mail to call for fresh talks in an attempt to avoid the first national strike in more than a decade. The Communication Workers Union (CWU) wants an improved pay offer, and for Royal Mail to rethink its modernisation plans, which the union claims will cost 40,000 jobs."

Transport Intelligence has reported that:

TNT Express has launched what it claims to be the industry's fastest express delivery service in South East Asia. Termed the 'Emergency Express' service, it ensures that a customer's urgent overseas shipment gets out on the first available flight, with 24X7 immediate response and pick-up. That service is available in all major cities across Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong, and Japan.
DHL has inaugurated a new five billion yen (US$41 million) expanded facility at the Kansai International Airport.

The Boston Globe has called it "one of the last relics of pre-Internet life -- that little purgatory known as the line at the post office. Most just endure the inconvenience, wondering why it often seems to take so long, but sometimes frustrations spill over." has reported that "The U.S. Postal Service could alleviate problems with mail service in New Mexico by building a new postal plant on land it owns in Albuquerque. So says the American Postal Workers Union."

According to The Scotsman, "lost letters, delayed deliveries, personal mail left in public areas. Are these the problems experienced by those living in remote, rural areas where mail deliveries are a daily logistical challenge for Royal Mail? No, they are the everyday woes of Royal Mail customers in one of Scotland's most well-connected commercial centres."

The World Advertising Research Center has reported that "Britain's direct mail industry is readying itself for a summer of disruption. Although a national stoppage is unlikely, many mailers expect a series of short-term strikes."

According to the Exeter Express & Echo, "Postal staff are dedicated and hard-working. New staff wonder what they have walked into and long-serving staff feel genuinely upset and demoralised at the continual cost-cutting. Some wonderfully dedicated people in the Post Office are struggling to cope right now. The last three years have seen Mr Leighton's aspirations to make Royal Mail "a great place to work" turn sour. Morale is at rock bottom. Some two years ago, postal staff were told they were losing the business £1m a day. The following year, everything was fine and dandy and now this year the company is in dire straits again. But the mail keeps on coming. More and more of it with less and less people to do the work. Deliveries are affected and managers are having to perform deliveries due to staff shortages. The other part of this problem is the regulator. Set up to allow competition, it has put all postal services under threat."

The Canadian Press has reported that "Collectible hand grenades and other suspicious munitions are still popping up at Canada's mail-processing centres, months after they were banned by Canada Post. Mail-sorting facilities have been evacuated at least eight times this year because of these suspicious packages, putting staff in potential danger while costing the postal system time and money."

June 10, 2007

PostInsight has made available "Selected Presentations from CRRI (15th Conference on Postal and Delivery Economics), 31 May–2 June 2007, Semmering, Austria - June 5, 2007." See also (1) Two New PTS Reports: "The Liberalized Swedish Postal Market" and "Presentation of Posten AB's New Service Network" - June 7, 2007, (2) The Needs of Postal Users – Customer Survey 2006 (Postwatch, Postcomm & Royal Mail) - June 6, 2007, (3) Group La Poste 2006 Company Highlights - June 6, 2007, and (4) U.S. Flat Mail Market 2002-2006.

According to the Examiner, "As a freshman congressman, Daniel Lipinski wanted to ensure constituents knew what he was doing, but he rarely got mentioned in Chicago news stories. So he spent $230,000 in taxpayers' money to get his message across. The Illinois Democrat spent more than any other member of the state's congressional delegation on mailings to constituents during 2005-2006 through the use of "franking" privileges." See also the Chicago Sun-Times.

WZZM13 has reported that "The U.S. Postal Service says as many as 28 Battle Creek postal carriers were suspended without pay Wednesday over allegations of improprieties at the local post office."

Mail & Guardian has reported that "From dating services to stock-market listings, cellphones are changing the face of Kenya and this newest service is forcing banks to re-evaluate their approach to inhabitants of traditionally overlooked rural areas. More than 60% of Kenyans have access to banks or microfinance institutions, but a staggering 38% -– mostly living in rural areas -- are entirely unbanked, according to data collected by Financial Sector Deepening Kenya (FSDK). However, more than half the population either owns or has access to a cellphone, generating a new means by which banking and financial services could be provided, according to Safaricom's chief financial officer Les Baillie. Even before the advent of M-Pesa, traditional service providers -- such as banks, Western Union or the Kenyan postal corporation's homegrown Postbank -- were often shrugged off in favour of cheaper, informal means."

The Vietnam News Agency has reported that "The nation’s postal service will be reorganised under a plan approved by the Prime Minister earlier this month. Under the plan, the Viet Nam Post and Telecommunications Group (VNPT) would spin off the new Viet Nam Postal Corporation with a total equity of over VND8 trillion (US$500 million), according to Deputy Minister of Post and Telematics Nguyen Thanh Hung. The change would be effected July 1. The move effects a larger strategy of separating two sectors, postal services and telecommunications, which are now both assumed by VNPT, said Hung."

June 9, 2007

Scripps News Service has reported that "Rising postal costs and changes in what package shippers allow are causing business owners to whittle down their mailing lists, find cheaper ways to send products and rely more on communicating electronically."

From Business Wire: "Scott Cole & Associates announces on Friday, June 8, 2007, thousands of California United Parcel Service delivery drivers will be excited when they open their mailboxes to see their portion of the tens of millions of dollars paid out in settlement checks, checks which represent payment for previously-uncompensated meal and rest breaks they missed while working at UPS. Ending four years of intense litigation, Scott Cole & Associates and its co-counsel negotiated the unprecedented $87 million settlement which awards compensation to well over ten thousand current and former UPS delivery employees as well as extra "enhancement" awards to the lead plaintiffs in recognition of their efforts in bringing this and the related case."

In his latest to his members, National Association of Letter Carriers President William Young said that "As pleased as I was to hear NAPUS President Dale Goff tell the subcommittee that “with contractors, you get what you pay for,” and as thrilled as I was to hear NAPS President Ted Keating declare that contracting out letter carrier work “will be the death of the Postal Service,” I was flabbergasted by the President of the APWU. He repeatedly— and hypocritically—lobbied the subcommittee not to take legislative action, calling contracting out a “bargaining issue” best left to the parties and to arbitration. That’s the same disingenuous line being peddled by the USPS on Capitol Hill."

China Daily has reported that "China Post Group Corp sold 11 of its star-rated hotels to a subsidiary of Hong Kong-based VXL Capital Ltd on Friday, a major step toward getting rid of its non-core businesses."

The Daily Post has reported that "Rotorua posties are refusing to collect information about people who don't want junk mail. Like junk mail hater Peter Wilson, they are concerned that New Zealand Post could be collecting information to sell to its commercial partners. Postal workers nationwide have been asked to record the addresses of NZ Post customers who display "no junk mail" on their letterboxes to pass on to its subsidiary circular distribution company The Letterbox Channel. Posties suspect those customers will instead start receiving junk mail via addressed envelopes."

The Times has reported that British "MPs condemned Royal Mail yesterday for lacking imagination and entrepreneurial flair in the way in which it manages its loss-making post office network. The Trade and Industry Select Committee criticised the Government for not taking more responsibility for looking after the network rather than leaving it to Royal Mail." See also the Financial Times Reuters, The Guardian and the BBC.

According to The Mirror, "IT'S always good for a laugh when the bosses say they'll do the workers' jobs if they go on strike. What they mean is - for 10 minutes while the TV cameras are rolling. So I'm still smiling at the threat by Allan Leighton, chairman of Royal Mail, to abandon his desk for an early morning walk in the rain with a heavy bag over his shoulder. To add insult to injury, Leighton is giving himself pounds 100,000 bonus on top of his monster salary, while his sidekick chief executive Adam Crozier trousers an extra pounds 370,000, taking his earnings to pounds 1 million."

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

  • The world’s largest postal union and a group that represents nonprofit organizations this week filed suit against Postal Service and Mailers Technical Advisory Committee challenging the exclusivity of MTAC, which has prohibited the two parties from participating in it, and alleging “secret policy-making by a Postal Service advisory committee.”
  • In this perspective, Association for Postal Commerce VP Kate Muth says the Postal Service needs to focus on what it can do to encourage business mailers to stay in the mail and increase their use of it. She suggests the USPS look at ways to make mailing easier for commercial mailers.
  • Direct mail consultant Cary Baer offers his thoughts on plummeting mail volumes and the issues that are contributing to it.
  • USPS, postal supervisors testify about Chicago service problems. Postal Service Inspector General semiannual report available online. PRC’s temporary rate relief solution angers postal software firms. Harkin introduces Senate bill to prohibit ‘contracting out’. USPS issues June DMM Advisory Update. Rural letter carriers, Postal Service reach impasse in contract talks. Senators concerned about hiring of temporary postal workers in New Mexico. New labor union courting UPS workers.
  • Royal Mail facing CWU strike. TNT to sue over Royal Mail VAT exemption. End to European postal monopolies to be debated – eternally? Strikes to oppose end of monopoly fizzle.
  • Lane Press joins PostCom.
  • A list of upcoming postal-related events.

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Outlook Graphics, 1180 America Drive, Neenah, WI 54956-1385 represented by Jim Zeman

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