Summing up the biggest stories of the week from the pages of Post&Parcel, with UPS revealing concerns about the US economy,
UPS issued second quarter results showing strength in the company’s domestic US operations, but under the glossy veneer of e-commerce growth, executives revealed concerns about B2B trends.
In a fairly challenging second quarter of the year for UPS, the company said the main “culprit” was the international side of the business. The US domestic segment saw a 14% increase in operating profit with package volumes growing by 3.5% year-on-year. Volumes outside the US were down 3.2%.
Talking to analysts, CEO Scott Davis and CFO Kurt Kuehn suggested the continuing boom in Internet shopping within the United States has obscured more troubling trends in the B2B side of UPS going forward, tied to weakness in the US economy.
Royal Mail’s request to UK regulators to impose extra conditions on its rival TNT Post UK, as the company continues its trials of end-to-end mail delivery services, was rejected.
Postal regulator Ofcom said this week it did not believe it needed to intervene – for now – as TNT Post runs full collection-and-delivery services in its West London trial area.
But, acknowledging the concerns from Royal Mail that any expansion of TNT Post’s end-to-end service could impact on the financial viability of Britain’s universal postal service, Ofcom said it was not ruling out intervening in the postal market in future.
Poste Italiane signed a new agreement with Russian Post to work to modernise postal logistics in Russia, and help introduce “next generation” services.
The new agreement came as part of trade talks as Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti visited Moscow today, strengthening an existing advisory relationship between the two posts.
Poste Italiane said the work would lay the foundations for a series of new services with a high social value – facilitating communications between people, businesses and the public sector with the goal of reducing the gap between governments and citizens in the huge country.
Deutsche Post completed a EUR 400m upgrade programme for its letter processing network in Germany, with its Stuttgart mail centre becoming the last of 82 sites to begin operating its new Großbrief mail sorting system.
A total of 288 new sorting machines for standard and compact letters, along with 87 machines for Großbrief and Maxibrief pieces have now been installed since 2009. Deutsche Post said the “substantially higher” automation level for its processing level means fewer sorting steps are needed, mail processing is faster and more accurate, and it even reduces carbon emissions.
The new systems use 22% less energy than older technology, with the Post forecasting a 5,000-ton annual cut in its climate change emissions.