The week that was: 20 August 2010

TNT looking to Saudi expansion, MoneyGram extends UK Post Office deal, and USPS approach USPRC over reclassification of parcels… Do you have a thirst for knowledge? Then you’re in luck – it’s the week that was, live from Post&Parcel HQ.

Big news this week from the Middle East, where TNT SAB Express, the Saudi Arabian arm of TNT Express, announced it is expanding the scope of its activities and services in the country. The company will increase its workforce and transfer its main branch in Jeddah to new executive offices. The company had recently announced a 30% increase in revenues for the first half of 2010, whilst introducing two additional retail outlets in Jeddah. Martyn Wright, managing director, TNT SAB Express Saudi Arabia: “Saudi imports have grown significantly over the past few years and have catapulted the country ahead of other leading Middle Eastern countries in the logistics field. Our strong performance for the first half of this year especially reflects the growing opportunities in the Kingdom’s delivery services sector, and we are adopting fresh strategies to become even more visible in this growth market. Our move to new offices will further enhance our image and leverage the strong global patronage enjoyed by the TNT brand.”

In the UK, MoneyGram International announced that it has signed a multi-year contract extension with The Post Office. The Post Office, which has been a MoneyGram agent since 1997, offers MoneyGram money transfer services in every one of its 12,000 branches throughout the UK. It has the largest retail network in Western Europe, and over 93% of the UK population lives within one mile of a Post Office. The partnership with the United Kingdom’s Post Office is MoneyGram’s longest-standing post office agent relationship. As part of its growth strategy, MoneyGram strategically aligns itself with post offices, providing consumers with convenient access to reliable and affordable money transfer services close to where they live and work. Other post office systems in MoneyGram’s network include Canada, Cape Verde, Cyprus, Guernsey, Isle of Man, Italy, Jamaica, Jersey, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Moldova, Poland, and Ukraine.

Over to the United States, and USPS has asked the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) to reclassify some Standard Mail parcels to complement its current shipping product line. The move is designed to maintain true value in a competitive shipping market. The strategy for Standard Mail small parcels redesign is included in the Postal Service’s exigent price case, filed with the PRC on 6 July.  The redesign eliminates confusion for customers by breaking this category of mail into two significant and distinct customer segments; marketing parcels and fulfillment parcels. The filing is a formal request to transfer commercial Standard Mail Fulfillment Parcels from the market-dominant product list to the competitive product list.  If approved, fulfillment parcels would become a lightweight subcategory of Parcel Select. The only real difference between the two products is the weight.  Standard Mail fulfillment parcels weigh less than one pound; prices for Parcel Select start at one pound. “This is a competitive market and there are other shippers in the marketplace fulfilling this weight for packages,” said Gary Reblin, vice president, shipping services. “This is a logical change and customers will no longer have to navigate two different products and rate structures for one business need.”

And finally…

If you’d like to pen an article for Post&Parcel, we are ready and willing to showcase your talents to the industry. Contact Chris Dolan on [email protected]

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