The week that was: 15 June 2012

Summing up the biggest stories of the week from the pages of Post&Parcel, including the latest thoughts from USPS about digital solutions, Royal Mail’s delivery services, and Norway Post’s retail network…

US Postal Service reveals ideas on new Digital Solutions

This week, the Postmaster General of the United States, Patrick Donahoe, revealed that the US Postal Service will not be launching a digital mail box, but is interested in digital ideas like identity services.

USPS president of digital solutions Paul Vogel detailed further thoughts on a USPS expansion into digital territory, saying his team would look to create a digital reputation for the Postal Service.

Regulators and US mailers have, meanwhile, questioned the creative ambition of the Postal Service and want to see more effort on creating revenue, rather than just cutting service levels to improve efficiency.

Royal Mail to extend leave-with-a-neighbour parcel delivery

Royal Mail is asking regulators to allow postmen and women across the country to drop parcels off with neighbours when recipients are not home to accept them, after its trial in six areas proved successful.

The universal postal service provider in the UK is currently the only delivery company that is not allowed to leave items with a neighbour as part of its standard practice.

This week Royal Mail revealed that its trials had found 92% of parcel recipients whose items were delivered to neighbours were satisfied with the service, while 90% of those receiving items on behalf of neighbours were also happy with the option, according to a survey of 720 customers.

Norway Post to shut down almost all post offices

Norway Post was given the green light by lawmakers this week to make standalone post offices virtually extinct.

The Post said government proposals to convert a final 149 post offices into postal counters offered within partner-run retail stores has now been approved by Norway’s Parliament.

The move will see around 1,400 in-store postal counters provided across the country, but will leave only about 30 post offices remaining. Norway Post said the process should take place in 2013 and 2014, and will likely affect around 1,000 post office staff.

Hermes launches 500 parcel shops in UK

Parcel delivery company Hermes UK launched a network of 500 parcel shops across Britain, offering alternative collection and drop-off points on the High Street.

The company said the network aims to offer its retail clients more flexible ways to access their customers, and plans are to expand to 1,000 locations by the end of 2012.

Initially, the ParcelShops will allow consumers to drop off items requiring a return, but Leeds-based Hermes said plans are to extend the capabilities of the network so that consumers will be able to designate a local ParcelShop as a collection point for home delivery.

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