Year: 2005

US Postal Service ends 2005 with remarkable results

The results are in – the US Postal Service ended 2005 with a record sixth consecutive year of growth in productivity, wiped out its debt and delivered fifty percent more mail to 32 million more homes and businesses than it did 20 years ago while doing it at 1985 staffing levels. These results are highlighted in the just released 2005 Annual Report of the U.S. Postal Service. “These remarkable results reflect the strong efforts throughout the entire organization to remain focused on the transformational strategies we identified in 2002,” said Postmaster General John E. Potter and Board of Governors Chairman James C. Miller III.

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UK watchdog in pledge over postal services

The landmark opening of the UK’s GBP6.5bn postal services market to full competition on January 1 will take five years to have its full impact, the postal regulator has said. But Nigel Stapleton, chairman of Postcomm, stressed the “pace of change” should be faster than the liberalisation of the UK telecoms and energy markets. In an interview with the Financial Times, Mr Stapleton vowed that Postcomm would use its full range of powers including prosecutions to ensure that liberalisation is not accompanied by a collapse in basic service standards. He cited the deregulation of directory enquiries in 2003, which triggered concerns about new entrants to the market giving out the wrong phone numbers, as a cautionary example of the need to protect market integrity. “As far as we’re concerned, a major issue in how successful competition will be is if we can maintain customer confidence,” Mr Stapleton said.

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Royal Mail to stamp its mark with German postal system

Christmas cards have never been a big thing in Germany. An enthusiastic card-sending nation, such as the UK, sees its mail bags swell by half to 120m over the festive period. The German postal system carries a surprisingly low 72m letters a day year-round. It is also estimated to have far less of a Christmas card boom. The main reason is probably cultural – friends seem more inclined to meet up over mulled wine at a Christmas market or perhaps send greetings by e-mail. But might the cost and complexity of using Deutsche Post’s services also play a part? For a start, a standard card needs a 55 cent stamp in Germany. Across Europe, only Denmark’s 58 cent postage is more expensive, according to a study this month by the Free and Fair Post Initiative, an association of postal users and private-sector postal operators. Then there is the challenge of sticking the right stamp on your missive. Deutsche Post has 64 different postal tariffs.

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DPD plans European growth and B2C services

DPD is planning to grow its European business and is considering expanding its B2C activities, joint CEO Hans Fluri told CEP-Research in an exclusive interview. The La Poste parcels subsidiary is winning European business from express carriers with its new Guarantee product but has no major plans in the German mail market, he said.

Fluri has been joint CEO of DPD GmbH & Co. KG, the German-based franchisor company for the entire DPD network, alongside Arnold Schroven since November following a streamlining of the DPD management board. Fluri remains CEO of DPD GeoPost Deutschland, the Germany franchisee.

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Irish An Post’s next-day mail delivery rate worsens

The performance of An Post in delivering mail has deteriorated, with only 74 per cent of postal items delivered by the next working day, a new survey has found. The survey by the regulator ComReg relates to the third quarter of 2005. The figures for this period were 4 per cent down on the previous quarter. ComReg last night expressed dissatisfaction with the results and pointed out that its target for next-day delivery was 94 per cent. It also pointed to an especially poor performance in the southern region of An Post’s network, which it said appeared to be the result of operational changes. An Post strongly contested the results. Under chief executive Donal Curtin, the company has for a long time rejected the methods used by ComReg for measuring its performance.

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Federal Mediator calls for recess in UPS pilot talks

UPS today said the federal mediator in charge of negotiations between UPS and the Independent Pilots Association (IPA) has put the talks in an indefinite recess. In the NMB’s notification to the parties, the negotiations have been placed in an indefinite recess as of December 23, 2005. Although no future mediation sessions have been scheduled at this time, the mediator indicates both sides should “re-evaluate negotiating positions with respect to the remaining issues and prepare to bring the negotiations to a successful conclusion.” There can be no strike or work stoppage while the parties are in recess. UPS pilots are legally obligated under the Railway Labor Act to continue working under the existing contract during any recess.

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Nigeria: postal sector reforms and national economic development

The postal sector is one of the core infrastructure sectors of the economy. Improved efficiency and customer responsiveness in this sector has the potential to stimulate growth, to promote globalization and to facilitate the rise of e-commerce. Across the organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) of which Nigeria is a member, traditional state owned and regulated public utility industries have been transformed by reforms, which have fundamentally changed the way these industries are regulated. The former reliance on State control and regulation has given way to greater reliance on competition and market forces, which has lead to greater focus on efficiency, innovation and meeting the needs of consumers. Nigeria has witnessed reforms in key sectors of its economy, which has visibly led to improved efficiency, unfortunately, to date, these reforms, have largely bypassed the postal sector. The postal sector in most OECD countries remains dominated by a state owned vertically integrated monopoly still protected from the forces of competition. Interestingly however, Nigeria seems set to join the League of Nations who have carried out postal reforms with the recent advertisement by the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) and the secretariat of the National Council on Privatization (NCP) asking qualified firms and organization to apply for advisory functions.

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Court suspends Chronopost restructuring plan

The district court in Nanterre, near Paris, has suspended the restructuring plan of Chronopost, the express parcel subsidiary of the French post office, La Poste. The court found irregularities in the way in which the Chronopost works council was informed about the plan, which includes 540 job cuts.

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MER Magazine


The Mail & Express Review (MER) Magazine is our quarterly print publication. Packed with original content and thought-provoking features, MER is a must-read for those who want the inside track on the industry.

 

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