The week that was: 19 October 2012

Rounding up the biggest stories of the week in the mail and express industry, with USPS eyeing same-day delivery, Poland preparing for liberalisation and DPD pushing parcel shops.

USPS to trial same-day package delivery

The US Postal Service is planning to try its hand at same-day package delivery within certain metropolitan areas of the United States.

The world’s largest mail delivery service has been seeing good growth in its parcel shipping volumes this year, as letter volumes have continued to decline. It is now looking to trial a new “Metro Post” service that would allow ecommerce merchants to offer rapid home delivery to customers in certain cities.

A new market test is set to begin on or shortly after 12th November, assuming regulators give the green light, to allow USPS to test the operational feasibility of same-day delivery to multiple locations, and work out a possible pricing structure.

Ofcom survey backs five-day delivery at Royal Mail

Britain’s postal regulator said there is public acceptance for eliminating Saturday mail deliveries – if packets and signed-for items could be collected on Saturdays and during evenings.

Ofcom said there would be a “high” potential for achieving cost savings reducing mail delivery from six to five days per week, and that a new consumer survey suggested Saturday was the most acceptable day of the week to lose.

Ofcom also suggested that people were now generally less demanding of next-day mail delivery, such as is provided by Royal Mail’s First Class service, and could be happy with a single-tier letter delivery service for “everyday” items.

DHL unveils End of Runway supply chain concept

DHL is showcasing a new EUR 14m “End of Runway” facility in Leipzig, Germany, which links outsourced supply chain operations more directly with the DHL Express transport network.

The 15,000 square foot facility would allow companies to keep their stock close to the DHL Express air hub at nearby Leipzig Airport, for direct injection into the company’s express network once an item is ordered.

The facility has space for fulfillment, product finishing and repairs, and the potential to handle temperature-sensitive and hazardous items, offering a “one stop shop” for companies that want to manage their supply chains, and have items finished, packed, repaired and shipped overnight to major business centres around the world.

Poland preparing to open up postal market

Postal operator InPost reports that the final move to open Poland’s PLN 6bn (EUR 1.5bn) postal market to full competition is now getting underway in the country’s Parliament.

But the company is warning that proposed postal reforms could be slow to implement, and claimed that as currently worded, the draft regulations hand key advantages to the state-owned postal service, Polish Post.

Legislation was introduced into Parliament last week that, if approved by lawmakers, will allow private sector competitors to deliver letters under 50g in weight in competition with Polish Post, which currently has a monopoly on this area of the market.

DPD bid to run Germany’s “third major Parcel Shop network”

Parcel carrier DPD is to double the number of Parcel Shops in its German network over the next few years, as it looks to expand its business-to-consumer deliveries.

The company said it was planning to add 2,000 more outlets to its 4,000-strong network by the end of 2013, and in the medium-term it will take that number to 8,000.

The investment comes as one in four of DPD’s deliveries in Germany are now shipments going to consumers, rather than its traditional business-to-business customers.

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