Year: 2007

Swiss Post to cut greenhouse gas emissions

Together with Europe’s largest postal operators, Swiss Post is taking part in the programme launched by the umbrella organization PostEurop to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

The goal of this initiative is to cut emissions of CO2, the most important greenhouse gas emitted by the participating organizations, by 10 percent over the next five years. Its involvement in the programme signals Swiss Post’s rigorous continuation of the environmental policy it launched in 1996. Between 2000 and 2005, it cut its CO2 emissions by 9 percent and is therefore already close to achieving the Kyoto Protocol’s targets for 2010.

Swiss Post is taking part in PostEurop’s programme to reduce greenhouse gases.

PostEurop is the association of the 43 European universal-service postal operators. The initiative is based on the voluntary participation of PostEurop members and currently enjoys the support of nine postal operators, including Deutsche Post World Net, La Poste Group (France), TNT (Netherlands), and De Post/La Poste (Belgium), with further postal operators expected to follow suit by the end of the year.

They have undertaken to reduce their CO2 emissions by 10 percent over the next five years. The initiative is thus aimed at the most significant environmental impact of European postal operators: greenhouse gases, which account for around 70 percent of the total impact.

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New Zealand Post’s Green Mail Centre

New Zealand Post Chairman Rt Hon Jim Bolger will officially open the new Waikato Mail Centre in Hamilton on Monday June 25. The building’s green design features helped its commendation at the 2006 Govt3 Awards aimed at helping central government agencies take practical action to become more sustainable.

These features include sustainably sourced timber, environmentally friendly paint and rainwater harvesting.

New Zealand Post Group Chief Executive John Allen says opting for this style of design was an easy decision to make.

“Sustainability is all about considering the impacts of the actions and decisions you make today on the people and environment of tomorrow.

“Three years ago we had the chance to incorporate these design features and put them at the forefront of our planning rather than just see them as a final add-on.

“At New Zealand Post we constantly strive to work smarter and more efficiently as well as to be a great place to work.

“Choosing sustainable building designs fits those goals and allows us to contribute positively towards the future of our business, our staff and our customers.”

NZ Post also plans to open a sustainably designed mail centre in Christchurch this year and in Auckland next year.

Building features:
Solar water heating
Environmentally friendly paint systems
Carpet and ceiling tiles with a high re-cycled material content
Energy Star appliances
Low energy bulbs
Lighting zones taking advantage of natural lighting and operational times
Rainwater harvesting for toilets
Sustainable sourced timber (Radiata Pine)
Permeable paving
Indigenous planting – Griselinia littoralis (NZ Privet)

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Amtrak Aims to Double International Business

Amtrak, a leader in the UK express and home delivery market, expects to double its international business in the next twelve months.

“We have offered a fast, reliable and cost-effective international service for years, but surveys show that most people associate us with UK deliveries only,” says Managing Director Alan Jones. “So we need to ensure that both existing and potential customers understand our full range of service offerings.”

Amtrak gained significant new expertise when appointing Kelvin Yorath as General Manager of International Services. With over thirty years in the international market, he has spent the last 18 months overseeing Amtrak’s new global services including the introduction of easy to use tariffs, clarity of billing, strong network partnerships as well as the upgrade of IT systems to allow on-line booking, track/trace and POD information.

“It has been quite a challenge, introducing the improvements and ensuring that customers are aware of them, but we are adding new international customers every day now,” Kelvin Yorath says.

“Our customers are serviced in the UK by our 75 strategically located local depots and two national hub locations. It has never been easier to send a document, parcel or pallet to any destination worldwide with Amtrak.”

Amtrak offers four strategic International services:
Airtrak – worldwide air express for delivery of documents, parcels and freight
Roadtrak – European single and multi-parcel delivery service
Palletrak – European single and multi-pallet delivery service
Global Response Services – dedicated vehicles, part/full load, world mail, sea freight, and logistics.

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Nigeria: Postal Commission Bill to Pass Soon

The Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) disclosed Tuesday that it was reviewing the draft postal sector bill that would usher in the Postal Commission, in collaboration with the stakeholders in the Communications sector.

The Bureau which said the bill when passed and enacted by the National Assembly would ensure the establishment of the Postal Commission, stated that at the end of the review process, the final bill along with the sector policy will be forwarded to the Ministry of Communications for onward submission to the Federal Executive Council for consideration.

Making this known in Abuja while reacting to a publication in one of the national dailies titled: “Stakeholders accuse BPE of stalling Postal Commission”, BPE’s Head of Public Communications, Mr. Chigbo Anichebe stated that, towards implementing the postal sector reform, “the Federal Government through an international competitive bid process, engaged the NethPost Consortium early this year to provide advisory services for the postal sector reform and restructuring of Nigeria Postal Service (NIPOST). The consortium, he pointed out, comprises NethPost consultancy of Netherlands, KPMG, Pinheiro & Company, and B.M. Associates.”

He said the consortium was given the assignment to “formulate a postal sector policy for Nigeria; draft a new postal legislation for enactment by the National Assembly; establishment of an independent sector regulator; and restructure the incumbent public operator (NIPOST) into new business units.”

Anichebe however added that, “in order to build consensus for the postal sector reform and restructuring of NIPOST, the BPE in conjunction with NIPOST and the Ministry of Information &Communications organized a one-day stakeholders’ workshop last April at the Sheraton Hotels & Towers, Abuja. The objective of the workshop was to obtain stakeholders’ buy- in and support for the postal reform process.”

Consequently, he said, after the stakeholders’ workshop, the consultants’ commenced with the drafting of the postal sector policy and reform bill. The first draft of the postal sector policy was sent to the BPE by the consultants on April 27, 2007.

Accordingly, he noted, the BPE forwarded the draft policy to all stakeholders (NIPOST, Ministry of Communications, Association of Nigerian Couriers Operators, Nigerian International Air Couriers Association, etc) for their comments. The comments received were in turn forwarded to the consultants.

He said based on comments from stakeholders, the consultants revised the policy to incorporate relevant comments and observations. “The revised policy was submitted to the BPE on May 11, 2007. It was also sent to the Ministry of Communications, NIPOST and other stakeholders for further comments (if any). Before the BPE could get comments from all the stakeholders on the draft policy, the tenure of the last government lapsed,” he added.

Anichebe argued that the policy alone could not set up the commission. “A sector regulator cannot become reality without the passage of. the Postal Sector Reform Bill by the National Assembly and its assent by the president.”

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EU Probes Planned EUR 7.7 Million German State Funding For DHL

The European Commission Wednesday opened an investigation into a German government plan to give express company DHL Worldwide Express Inc. EUR7.7 million to support worker training.

The commission is worried DHL would train its workers without government help, making the state grant an unnecessary and potentially illegal subsidy. Under European Union rules subsidies are allowed if they support job creation and aren’t giving companies an unfair advantage over their competitors.

DHL, a unit of Deutsche Post AG (DPW.XE), is building a new parcel delivery and airfreight center in Leipzig-Halle, Germany. The site will have around 1,500 employees.

DHL plans to train about 480 of these workers as freight handlers, security guards and mechanics. The German government funds would account for 60 pct of the training scheme’s costs.

“I have concerns that DHL would have carried out this training project in any event, and therefore does not need the aid,” the commission’s top antitrust official Neelie Kroes said in a statement.

DHL’s competitors and other interest groups have been invited to weigh in on the planned subsidies. The commission said its investigation doesn’t prejudge whether the funds will be allowed.

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The National Labor Relations Board delivers labor jab to FedEx

The National Labor Relations Board’s certification of a union vote last week involving FedEx Home Delivery drivers in Wilmington, Mass., could add a layer of intrigue to a case that pits the independent-driver model against the more traditional employee model.

Drivers in the Home Delivery division in Wilmington last October voted 24-8 to choose the Teamsters as their bargaining representative.

By intervening, the NLRB said it agreed that the drivers are employees and not independent contractors, according to Patricia Gilbert, NLRB spokeswoman in Washington.

The decision was made by the regional director in Massachusetts.

FedEx says the 15,000 people who drive its courier vehicles with the purple and green FedEx painted on the side are independent contractors running their routes as they see fit.

They own their own trucks and pay all expenses, including fuel and maintenance.

But a growing number of the drivers say they are really employees, paid like contractors, who have given FedEx an edge over rival UPS, which employs Teamster drivers.

Drivers in Tennessee, California, Massachusetts, Minnesota, South Dakota and elsewhere are suing FedEx, arguing the company shirks worker protection laws by refusing to hire them as employees eligible for overtime pay, health insurance, workers’ compensation and other benefits. They also want to be reimbursed for back operating expenses and lost benefits.

FedEx Ground, based in Pittsburgh, was created in 1998 as a way to diversify FedEx Express, the world’s largest cargo airline. Its independent-contractor system promotes huge efficiencies, saving it equipment, insurance and benefits costs. But the structure also keeps drivers from organizing, experts say.

A victory by the unhappy drivers would raise employee costs and force FedEx Ground to maintain its own fleet of trucks.

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EU opens inquiry into 7 mln eur state aid for training scheme at DHL site

The European Commission said it has opened a formal investigation into 7 mln eur of state aid which Germany intends to allocate to a training project at a new DHL site in Leipzig-Halle, Germany.

DHL’s training project would derive around 60 pct of the costs from state aid.

The commission, however, said it doubts that the aid is compatible with EC Treaty rules, as much of the training seems to be required by law or be otherwise necessary to operate in the new location. It said DHL would have to provide the training to its employees even without the aid as the company must employ new workers in order to start operating.

Competition commissioner Neelie Kroes added: ‘I am always happy to approve training aid which has positive external effects for the society as a whole. However, in this case, I have concerns that DHL would have carried out this training project in any event, and therefore does not need the aid.’

DHL is a worldwide service provider in the parcel delivery and airfreight sector, wholly owned by Deutsche Post AG.

Following its move to Leipzig-Halle, DHL is currently building a new delivery and airfreight centre which is expected to become operational by the end of Oct 2007. DHL plans to employ around 1,500 people and to provide training to 480 employees.

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'NewCo' cargo airline established by DHL-Lufthansa

LUFTHANSA Cargo and DHL Express will establish a joint cargo carrier, commencing operations from Leipzig Halle airport in 2009.

Project name ‘NewCo’ will operate 10 freighters, most likely Boeing 777F or Boeing 747-400F aircraft. The new airline will fly intercontinental routes to North America, Asia and the Middle East, carrying express shipments and general cargo. The airline will be headed by Lufthansa manager Thomas Papke.

DHL was originally in negotiations with Cargolux and Emirates for such a venture. Insiders expect that personal relations between DHL and Lufthansa managers were key in the tie-up between the two companies. Klaus Zumwinkel, chairman of DHL’s parent company DPWN, is member of Lufthansa’s board of directors while Lufthansa’s former chief executive officer Jürgen Weber has a seat in DPWN’s board of directors.

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