Year: 2003

UPS and Fedex urge DOT to overturn Astar ruling

United Parcel Service and FedEx Corp. urged the U.S. Department of Transportation to overrule a recommendation by its own administrative law judge that Astar Air Cargo be allowed to operate as a U.S.-licensed airline. The two big express carriers contended that Astar is controlled by DHL International and its corporate parent, Deutsche Post World Net, and does not meet requirements that domestic airlines by majority-owned by U.S. citizens. It’s unlikely, however, that DOT will overrule Kolko’s recommendation. The department had ruled on previous occasions that DHL Airways complied with U.S. citizenship requirements. It only complied with the demand by FedEx and UPS for an open hearing after legislation passed last spring mandated the appointment of an administrative law judge to investigate DHL Airways’ ownership.

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French La Poste approves 2004 budget

The management board of French post office La Poste have approved the 2004 budget, which aims for a break-even of the consolidated result excluding tax and exceptional items, even if the parent company registers a deficit. La Poste says that this is in a difficult environment. The group has recently signed its contract plan with the state for the 2003-2007 period. This suggests that the reduction in post volumes will put the group’s margins under pressure in 2004 and 2005, but the full effects of the modernisation programme will not be felt until 2006. La Poste is predicting 2.4 per cent growth in consolidated turnover in 2004, compared with 1.8% growth in 2002, to €17.3bn.

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TPG completes buy out of Jepsen unaddressed mail network in Germany

Mail, express and logistics company, TPG N.V., through its subsidiary TPG Post Holdings (Deutschland) GmbH in Germany, has purchased the remaining 49% of shares in Olaf Jepsen GmbH (Jepsen). TPG Post had already acquired 51% of the shares in 1998.

Jepsen, which generated revenues of around €29 million in 2002, is a key part of the total TPG Post unaddressed mail network in Germany. The company delivers 956 million items such as leaflets and newspapers each year.

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Pitney Bowes and Settle Patent Lawsuits

Mail metering company Pitney Bowes and Web postage service said they have settled four years of litigation over technology patents for buying and printing postage via the Internet.

The companies said the settlement includes a five-year patent cross-licensing agreement. Pitney’s patent licenses may be used in all metering applications, and’s patent licenses may be used in “non-traditional” metering applications, such as Internet postage.

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UK Royal Mail and CWU agree pay and major change

Royal Mail has welcomed the decision by the Communications Workers Union’s Executive Committee to recommend the company’s 14.5% pay offer linked to major changes. The company reached an agreement with the union’s negotiating team on 12 December.

“We’ve got real agreement and real commitment to change and to the substantial pay increases which reward those changes. That means we can all get on with improving the service we offer to our customers,” said Chief Executive Adam Crozier.

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Deutsche Post welcomes US judge's decision on DHL and ASTAR

Deutsche Post World Net AG has welcomed the decision of a US federal judge that the cooperation between Post subsidiary DHL and US airline ASTAR Air Cargo is legal.

According to a press release from ASTAR, US Department of Transportation (DOT) administrative law judge Burton Kolko ruled that ASTAR is indeed owned and controlled by US citizens and can continue to operate. Under US law, US certified airlines must be ‘citizens of the United States’.

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Negotiations to end UK Royal Mails monopoly on letter delivery

Royal Mail is acquiring a taste for negotiation. Days after an agreement with the unions (public enemy number one), ending months of trench warfare over pay, it announced that it was in talks with Business Post (public enemy number two) over terms for allowing the private mail firm to use its 80,000 postmen and women to deliver letters.

The timing was interesting. The surprise announcement came a day before industry regulator Postcomm, which has been pressing for the market to be opened to competition in three stages by 2007, was due to impose terms for phase one.

Previous talks between the two companies on this phase – which allows competitors to collect and deliver more than 4,000 items or to consolidate post into large batches and hand them over to Royal Mail sorting offices for delivery by posties – had broken down. Last May, Postcomm published initial proposals that would have allowed Business Post access to the Royal Mail network for between 11.46p (for a second-class letter) and 406p. Royal Mail rejected this, saying the price, particularly at the bottom end, was too low and would jeopardise its obligation to provide a universal service. It threatened to take the issue to the Competition Commission.

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