The week that was: 12 February 2010

Further financial strife for USPS, Singapore turn to a 5-day service, and more green targets set… Once again the week that was arrives in the nick of time to keep you up-to-date with the big headlines throughout the mail and express sector.

Things haven’t been easy for some time at the USPS. Last year, the company announced $3.8bn losses, and it doesn’t look like things are getting much better. This week, the Postal service released its financial results for Q1 – a $297m loss. A statement read: “The quarter ending December 31 is typically the strongest quarter for the Postal Service due to seasonal business and holiday mailings. A first-quarter 2010 revenue decline of 3.9% and expense decline of 4.4% resulted in a net loss of $297m, a slight improvement compared to the net loss of approximately $384m for the same period in 2009. First-quarter volume was 45.7bn pieces, compared to 50.2bn in the same period last year, or 8.9% below 2009. Total operating revenue for the quarter was $18.4bn, compared to $19.1bn in the first quarter of 2009.” Commenting on the results, Joseph Corbett, chief financial officer and executive vice president, said: “Unfortunately, economic drivers that significantly affect mail volumes, such as continuing high unemployment levels and lower investments, appear to be lagging general economic recovery and last quarter’s growth in GDP (gross domestic product). This situation, coupled with the growth in electronic alternatives to mail, creates a very challenging environment.”

One company reworking its structure in light of recent economic and social trends is SingPost – after announcing the termination of its Saturday service. The organisation said the move comes in response to lifestyle changes, customers’ changing mailing habits and declining mail volumes. Ng Hin Lee, deputy group CEO of SingPost said: “Globally, postal organisations are facing declining letter mail volumes due to changing lifestyle preferences. SingPost has been actively managing the increasing cost of providing an efficient mail service. Implementing this initiative will help us to optimise resources to stay competitive while upholding the high level of service. We will extend the posting hours on Fridays as an added convenience to customers”. The decision will take effect from 15 May 2010.

A few years ago, environmental initiatives were few and far between in our industry; now you can’t move for them – good news, we say! The latest comes from the World Economic Forum, whose Transport Industry Group has agreed standard guidelines for calculating consignment-level carbon emissions from logistics and shipping operations. The Guidelines for Consignment-level Carbon Reporting will help consumers and businesses assess the carbon impact of transporting products and drive carbon efficiency in the freight and logistics sector. Frank Appel, CEO, Deutsche Post DHL and chairman of the Governors Meeting for Logistics & Transport 2010, said the guidelines were “a practical step forward for our industry in working with customers to move towards low-carbon supply chains.”

And finally…

The great and the good of the industry will come together in Miami on 22-23 February for Triangle Management Services’ World Mail & Express Americas Conference & Exhibition. Luckily, there is still time to book your place. To see who you can meet at the event, simply click here. To make sure that you don’t miss out on this unique annual event don’t delay any longer, REGISTER NOW.

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