The week that was: 18 December 2009

I know Post&Parcel put a dent in your festive cheer last week by declaring that 11 December’s offering was to be the last of 2009, but with big news stories cropping up around the globe we felt obliged to spoon feed you one more delicious helping of ‘The week that was’.

So, here we go…

Despite seeing a drop in revenue and net income in its second quarter results this week, FedEx supremo Fred Smith remained upbeat about the express company’s future. FedEx revealed a drop in revenue of 10% and a drop in net income of 30% for its second quarter, in comparison to 2008 levels. The company reported earnings of $1.10 per diluted share for the second quarter ended 30 November, compared to $1.58 per diluted share a year ago. Smith, though, was optimistic: “Positive momentum in the global economy and continued execution of our business strategy drove volume growth across all FedEx transportation segments, highlighted by increased international shipments,” he said. “We have taken decisive actions during the economic downturn to reduce expenses while expanding our networks in growth markets. We are providing outstanding service levels during our busiest shipping season thanks to the dedication of our more than 275,000 team members.”

We have seen plenty of strikes this year – far too many, one might say. This time it was the turn of the Australians. The postal workers at Australia Post can now join a list that includes the British, the French and the Brazilians. A 48-hour strike finished at midnight today, but a further walkout could happen from Monday (21 December). “Unfortunately next week if it’s not resolved, our members are pushing us to go, and next Tuesday they will all be out this time – it’s no mucking about, they all want to go,” Union spokesman Cameron Thiele told ABC.

Our foray into Europe this week sees us arrive in Germany, where the country’s government agreed to abolish the VAT exemption that Deutsche Post offered large companies for mail services. The finance ministry said on Wednesday (16 December) that Angela Merkel’s Cabinet decided that as of July 2010 companies will need to pay the VAT, and the exemption will only be applied to private customers whose business is a “fundamental service”.

Good news this week at the UPU after the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) signed a contract that grants the Union a top-level domain name, .post ( The UPU is the first United Nations agency to obtain a piece of real-estate space on the Internet for the global industry it represents. The domain will be expected to boost the hybrid mail and e-commerce industries.

And finally…

A Christmas present, courtesy of Post&Parcel, will come in the form of a three-part review of the year next week. So tune in on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday for ‘The year that was’. You won’t want to miss it.

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