The week that was: 5 February 2010

UPS could in trouble, Swiss Post’s Spanish adventure, and USPS save more branches … read all about it in Post&Parcel’s weekly news round-up. Welcome to ‘the week that was’, your perfect platform to indulge in juicy news from the mail and express industries. So let’s get cracking…

UPS could find itself in hot water after having several lawsuits filed against the company. It is alleged that UPS has been charging customers air-rates for deliveries that were sent by road, which are obviously more expensive. “Despite UPS’s agreement to provide (and accept payment for) air shipping services, UPS has been systematically and deliberately substituting far less expensive ground shipping services, and UPS did not disclose to customers that they were paying for air services they never received. UPS has engaged in an organised and nationwide campaign to identify all air deliveries that feasibly could be diverted to ground without missing the delivery deadlines, and has rerouted those packages for ground delivery whenever possible, all without customers’ knowledge or consent,” the suits state.

Swiss Post International has announced that it is taking over two companies, ABC Mail and Mail Partners Spain (MPS), in which Dutch ABC Mail Group holds the majority. The move will see Swiss Post enhance their presence in Spain before full deregulation of the Spanish market next year. The two companies based in Madrid have been sales partners of Swiss Post International since 2003 and are primarily active in the cross-border letter business. Confidentiality has been retained by the partners regarding the purchase price of the two companies, which employ 30 staff in total.

USPS has shaved six more branches off their ‘danger list’ earmarked for closure. Thousands of stations were originally placed under consultation last year, as the company set out to cut costs. But since summer the list has been continually getting shorter. USPS filed an update with the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) indicating that 162 offices remain under review for possible consolidation under the station and branch consolidation initiative. That is six fewer from the last update in December. No final decisions have been made regarding specific office consolidations.

After John Greco’s resignation, the US Direct Marketing Association has named Robert Allen interim president & CEO. Allen, an award winning direct marketing executive, is the former president & CEO of The Vermont Country Store, a multichannel retailer of hard-to-find products. He will remain in the role until a permanent successor to Greco is found.

And finally…

Royal Mail has told postal workers they do not have to deliver to UK homes on cobbled streets during bad weather, claiming they’re too “dangerous”. Deary me!

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