Postal Digest – News from Itella, PostNL, SAPO, SingPost

Some more of the day’s postal news, including pop-up stamps in the Netherlands, postal strikes in South Africa and free postcard delivery in Singapore.

Itella completes logistics sale with VR Group

Finland’s Itella Group says it has now concluded its agreement to acquire the groupage logistics business from VR Group.

Itella had agreed back in July to buy the domestic groupage business of the state-owned rail company, including the urban supply chain logistics subsidiary PT Logistics. Competition authorities gave the green light for the acquisition in August.

VR Group’s logistics groupage business has a workforce of about 800 and turns over about EUR 130m a year in revenues. VR Group sold the unit to help raise capital for its core rail business.

Strike action brings mail delays in South Africa

The South African Post Office says some of its staff members have been embarking on “illegal” work stoppages resulting in some delays to mail processing and delivery.

SAPO says workers have been objecting to efforts to review the company’s human resources and the level of full-time permanent staff versus flexible labour options.

“As part of this process, the SA Post Office proactively embarked on phasing out the use of labour brokers and initially offered director temporary contracts to its casual employees in September while finalising the long-term strategy for eventual appointment of these casual employees,” said the company in a statement.

SingPost celebrates World Post Day with free mobile cards

SingPost is celebrating World Post Day today by allowing customers to send free cards through its “Post-a-Card” mobile app.

The national postal operator of Singapore said today it will print a personalized Post-a-Card from its customers and deliver it anywhere in the world for free. SingPost is also running a competition for customers to win an iPhone 5.

The company said it was also celebrating the day marking the creation of the Universal Postal Union in 1874 through a media campaign acknowledging the contributions of staff and customers. “We take this opportunity to pay tribute to our staff, for the dedication and hard work, often behind the scenes, to keep more than 3m documents and packages moving daily. On this day, we also remember our customers for their support,” said SingPost Group CEO Wolfgang Baier.

PostNL launches first “pop-up” postage stamps

PostNL is marking Children’s Book Week in the Netherlands with the world’s first-ever pop-up stamps.

The Dutch postal operator has produced a series of stamps showing illustrations of plants, animals and other elements of the Children’s Book Week book, “Hallo!”, which become three-dimensional on pulling a cardboard slider.

Gijs Schunselaar, assistant manager at the CPNB Foundation, organiser of Children’s Book Week, said: “I expect the Children’s Book Week Stamps to be very popular, both with children and with their parents. They have turned out to be fantastically beautiful stamps – I was speechless when I first saw them.”

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