The week that was: 14 May 2010

Bernstock quits USPS, Posten Norden publishes its Q1 results, and excitement builds ahead of an industry-leading conference… Yes, the weekend is almost here – so it is time for ‘the week that was’. Hold on to your hats!

There was a big casualty in the postal industry this week as Robert Bernstock, USPS president of Mailing and Shipping Services, handed in his resignation. He leaves the company on 4 June to rejoin the private sector. Bernstock joined the Postal Service as president of the newly created Mailing and Shipping Services in June 2008, agreeing to work with the Postal Service for an initial period of two years. Postmaster general John Potter paid homage to Bernstock: “Bob led the effort to rethink and redesign the USPS customer experience. His talent, creativity and extensive business experience have benefited the Postal Service, our customers and our employees,” he said. Bernstock was responsible for all product management, product development, retail and commercial products and services, as well as commercial sales. The division is responsible for more than $65bn in annual revenue. The departing executive is currently under investigation for awarding around $5.8m in no-bid contracts to his former business associates, according to media sources in the US.

Over to Europe, and to the newly-formed Posten Norden, who announced that continued cost reductions stabilised the company’s operating earnings despite continued poor demand during Q1. Group CEO, Lars G Nordström, said: “Posten Norden’s first quarter 2010 was characterised by continued weak demand and consequent adjustments to capacity. Volumes within business area logistics remained at approximately the same level as during the corresponding quarter last year, though with continued hard pressure on prices. The growing distance trade somewhat reduced the volume decrease in the messaging operations and helped to stabilise volumes within logistics. Overall, the group’s net sales, excluding structural and currency changes, fell 2.7%. Net sales totalled SEK 10,918m (11,779m for the same period last year), whilst operating earnings stood at SEK 532m (601m). Earnings before tax was declared at SEK 542m (699m) with net earnings amounting to SEK 422m (531m).

Staying in Scandinavia, and with one month to go, excitement is building ahead of the World Mail & Express Europe Conference, which will be held in Copenhagen. The event, which will take place on the 16 & 17 June, will see a stimulating two-day programme follow an interactive technology seminar, and the prestigious 11th World Mail Awards, which kicks-off the proceedings on 15 June. The speaker line-up will include Nordstrom, who will open the conference with a look into the strategic benefits from a cross-border merger. From Asia, the postmaster general of Hongkong Post, Clement Cheung, will give an Asia Pacific perspective on the changing postal roles. Other speakers include Botond Szebeny, secretary general of PostEurop, who will focus on growth, whilst Dr Muhammed Benten, president and CEO of Saudi Post, will talk about re-inventing the future.

And finally…

It’s the moment you have all been waiting for. The shortlist has been announced for the World Mail Awards. Click here to see if you have made it. Post&Parcel will be in full attendance and we hope to see you there too. To book your place at the World Mail Awards, please click here to download a booking form. Alternatively to attend the Awards ceremony and the World Mail & Express Europe Conference & Exhibition, please click here to book online.

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