International News

September 23

IRAN: PressTV: Iran will be connected to the financial services system of the Universal Postal Union (UPU), which is similar to global transaction network SWIFT, Chief Executive of Iran Post Co Hossein Mehri says. The UPU’s International Financial Services (IFS), an electronic network for money transfers plus applications to access it, will be officially launched in Iran by the end of the Persian month of Azar on December 21, he said. IFS, Mehri said, is operational in 170 countries and its launch will give Iranians the provision of global financial transactions, including electronic payments.

September 22

MEXICO: ABCMexico is reeling from a magnitude 7.1 earthquake which struck near Mexico City Tuesday killing more than 200 people. In the aftermath of a major earthquake, service may be suspended or delayed over safety concerns or due to disruptions. ABC10 reached out the the U.S. Postal Service to see if it was still possible to send packages to the Mexico City area. A USPS spokesperson advised checking out the online Service Alerts page where the agency updates information about service in areas affected by natural disasters and other events. According to a current alert, inbound and outbound operations are suspended at Mexico City International Airport, meaning nothing is flying in or out of the International Mail Processing Centres (IMPC) with the codes MXMEXD, MXMEXB and MXMEXE. FedEx also provides Service Alerts on their website and updated their page Thursday.

ROMANIA: SeeNews: Romanian state-controlled postal operator Posta Romana said on Friday it will buy 180 vehicles from Renault Commercial Roumanie and Ford Romania for about 12.5 million lei ($3.2 million/ 2.7 million euro) without VAT. Supplementing the car fleet will thus make the company's business more efficient by correlating the capacity of the vehicles with the shipping volume, Posta Romana said in a press release. The car fleet of the company will increase by 100 small-capacity vans and 80 medium-capacity vans, all equipped with diesel engines, the EURO 6 pollution standard. These will be purchased in financial leasing, which will take place for a period of 4 years and will be delivered by the two companies within 90 days of signing the contracts.

September 21

AFRICA: SABC: The Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services is hosting a two-day Cultural Diversity in Digital Society Conference at Walter Sisulu University Health Resource Centre in Mthatha, in the Eastern Cape. The department has identified Eastern Cape due to its richness in culture and customs. It has called on the AbaThembu Kingdom and universities to engage each other on integration of culture and the digital world.

UNIVERSAL POSTAL UNION: UPUPostal chief executives have wrapped up their discussions at the second annual UPU World CEO Forum in Moscow with a clear vision for postal transformation. The event, organized by the UPU and hosted by Russian Post between 17-19 September, gathered nearly 60 postal chief executives from around the globe to discuss “Leading multidimensional growth: the hows and whys of postal strategy”. “After gathering our CEOs for a second time, it is clear that this forum is a vital space for our postal executives to put their heads together to find ways to drive the sector forward. With participants from all corners of the world represented at this forum, we have heard a diversity of proven strategies that CEOs can take back to their Posts,” said UPU Director General Bishar A. Hussein.

September 20

AUSTRALIA: Post&ParcelAustralian courier service provider Sendle is partnering with DHL eCommerce. Sendle will manage the domestic pickups from Australia’s SMEs and DHL eCommerce will then provide global delivery through its international network.

MEXICO: Post&Parcel: E-commerce platform Mercado Libre Mexico is partnering with UPS to offer its users more delivery options. UPS will offer solutions exclusively for Mercado Envíos Full, a logistics service offered by Mercado Libre to its sellers for storage and shipping solutions. To make the inventory management process at Mercado Libre’s distribution center more flexible, UPS will implement Application Programming Interfaces (API’s), allowing Mercado Libre to create shipping labels, track packages and provide buyers with visibility into their shipments. Through the partnership with UPS, Mercado Libre will provide customers with access to the UPS Express Saver small package service, which offers guaranteed next day delivery, by end of the day in major cities throughout Mexico.

UNITED KINGDOM: Post&ParcelRoyal Mail has launched a service that will give overseas customers of UK-based retailers a more convenient way to track their parcels. Tracked Email Notifications is now available as a free add on with all Royal Mail International Tracked products.  Royal Mail provides retailer with a link that they can embed into an email to their overseas customers. This will enable customers to select the notifications that they would like to receive, as well as their preferred language (and the languages supported include: English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Danish, Russian and Greek). The service is available in all countries that Royal Mail sends International Tracked products to with the exception of Argentina and Ecuador.

UNITED KINGDOM: Post&Parcel:  myHermes has launched a new Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA) solution which it says will enable SME retailers and online marketplace sellers to provide their own customers with improved visibility over delivery.  The free service – which is also available to Hermes Business Account holders – will see myHermes provide the end customer with a four-hour time window on the retailer’s behalf. Notifications will be sent to the consumer via email on the morning of their parcel delivery. The ETA solution applies to all packages booked via the myHermes website, regardless of whether they are picked up by a courier or dropped off at one of 4,500 myHermes ParcelShops.

UNITED KINGDOM: Post&Parcel: Europa Road has launched a “Money Back Express” (MBX) service, which will offer customers a full refund of freight charges if Europa fails to deliver to the customer’s defined and agreed transit time. Europa said that this is “something which no other logistics business is currently offering on express shipments which move through a network”. Europa Road Sales Director Dionne Redpath said: “MBX is a straightforward guarantee and is simple in its offering. If we fail to achieve the criteria of the express – which is very unlikely of course! – but if we do, the customer will receive a full refund of freight charges for that shipment swiftly and with no discussion.

September 19

AUSTRALIA: TheAustralianAustralia Post has joined air express parcel delivery companies in opposing a fresh push by internet giant Amazon to overhaul the way GST would be collected on low-value internet purchases. While the government’s new laws will require online marketplaces to collect the GST at the time of sale for imports worth less than $1000, US retail giant Amazon is instead arguing for a “modernised transporter model” that would instead see logistics companies collect the tax on parcels they deliver.

UNIVERSAL POSTAL UNION: BeltaThe Belarusian national postal service Belpochta is discussing the future of postal services at the second international forum of heads of postal operators in Moscow, BelTA learned from the press service of the Belarusian embassy in Russia. As noted at the forum held under the aegis of the Universal Postal Union, “rapid changes in the global economy, the implementation of innovations, and soaring online trade require prompt introduction of digital technologies in the work of one of the world's oldest services.”  It was emphasized during the meeting with Russian colleagues that one of the common tasks is the transformation of postal services into efficient profitable enterprises in accordance with the new economic and technological reality without losing their social functions. The postal business needs to develop information infrastructure and actively implement modern automated systems in its logistics infrastructure.

September 18

FRANCE: Post&ParcelChronopost is set to start making parcel deliveries on Sundays in cities and towns across France from next month.The service is scheduled to begin on 19 November – just in time for the Cyber Week and Christmas peak session. Deliveries will be made between 9am and 1pm. According to sources, the service will be able in cities across France, including Lyon, Nice, Marseille, Aix-en-Provence, Toulon, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Montpellier, Rennes, Grenoble, Nantes, Reims, Lille and Strasbourg.

QATAR: ThePeninsulaQatarUnder its transformation process to keep up with the digital age and diversify its portfolio of products and services, Qatar Post yesterday launched its new identity unveiling new logo. Minister Al Sulaiti underlined that Qatar Post has all the strategic elements to achieve the ambition in developing the quality of postal services and the communication sector in general in line with Qatar Vision 2030. He stressed the commitment to provide full support to Qatar Post to complete all the necessary requirements for transformation to the business system, to enhance the economy of the sector and increase the quality of services according to international standards.

September 17

INDIA: Mathrubhumi: Postal Department gets ready to conquer the market by competing with huge banking institutions in digital transactions. Postal RuPay cards that can be used to withdraw money from ATM are in use nowadays. The department plans to introduce a new type of card fitted with microchip, which can be used for multiple purposes and digital transactions.

PAKISTAN: PakObserver: Federal Minister for Postal Services Maulana Ameer Zaman said that problems of the employees associated with postal services would be addressed on priority by utilizing all resources.
Addressing a ceremony held here at GPO, he said, post office being a social welfare department was delivering services at its best. Over 40,000 employees were working in that government institution, whereas the livelihood of over 4 million people was associated with it. He directed the department’s officers to present feasible suggestions for introducing reforms in the department to make it more welfare oriented. Maulana Ameer Zaman said he would approach the federal government to release the frozen funds of the department.

UNITED KINGDOM: FT:  The chief executive of Royal Mail faces her biggest test since the privatisation of the postal operator four years ago, as a bitter industrial dispute over pensions and pay threatens to end in strike action. The row exposes deep challenges at the 501-year-old organisation, which is undergoing a wide-ranging modernisation to adapt to the digital age. With paper correspondence in terminal decline due to electronic communications, Royal Mail is seeking to harness the boom in ecommerce by growing its parcels business and investing in technology. The broad restructuring will involve cutting costs, not least the significant wage bill of the 140,000-strong workforce at its core UK business. The decision to close a pension scheme has angered the Communication Workers Union, whose members are now voting on whether to take industrial action.

September 15

CANADA: CBCCaAs chartered banks abandon small communities around the country, some say it's time for Canada Post to step up and take on the role. Canada was served by postal banks for about a century before the system was dissolved in 1968. The federal government is currently conducting an independent review of Canada Post "to ensure Canadians receive quality postal services at a reasonable price."

FINLAND: YLE: Most mail deliveries will be less frequent in some of Finland's cities under a new Postal Act that took effect on Friday. The law loosens the speed-of-delivery requirements imposed on the postal service, Posti. The change is part of moves to open the sector to competition. Letters will still be delivered five days a week through most of the country. However in urban areas with early delivery of newspapers, letter distribution services will be open to bidding from private companies next year. In these areas, Posti is now only obliged to deliver letters and cards thrice weekly. Newspapers and magazines are not covered by the Postal Act. In bigger Finnish towns, morning papers deliveries are arranged by the publishers whereas in the sparsely-populated countryside papers are brought to homes along with the regular post.

INDIA: IndianExpress: Shortage of staff at four post offices in the city has prompted the Pune Postal Department to, for the first time, ‘outsource’ some of its work. It has tied up with nine Outsource Postal Agents (OPAs) on the basis of work-based payments, and the OPAs have been filling in for the delivery staff since April. The OPAs carry out jobs such as booking, picking up and delivering speed post, registered post, business parcel and express parcel within the city.

NEPAL: Himalayan: The Postal Services Department spends nearly all of its annual budget of Rs 3.5 billion paying its  20,000 odd employees, 60 per cent  of whom work for merely a couple of hours a day. According to PSD sources, 96 per cent of the budget is spent on salary of employees. Of the remaining Rs 845 million, 26 per cent goes for the remuneration of 10,000 contractual employees working for outposts known as Additional Postal Service. These contractual employees are required to work for about two flexible hours a day. On an average, they draw a salary of Rs 6,500 per month.

September 14

CANADA: Cision: Postal workers are in Yellowknife today at Canada Post's Annual Public Meeting, bringing a message to the directors of the crown corporation: innovate, expand, and include Northern residents' needs in plans for the postal service's future. Canada Post's own secret postal banking study declared the idea a "win-win" and "a proven diversification strategy". But postal banking could do more than preserve Canada Post's financial self-sufficiency. Communities across this country need access to financial services. The big banks are still closing branches and abandoning rural Canada. Financial services offered through the post office – the largest retail network in the country – would help support northern local economies. A revived postal bank would be the most accessible bank in the country.

September 13

IRELAND: FineExtra: Payment Cloud Technologies (PCT), the London-based FinTech business, has today announced that its cloud-based digital banking platform bank.VISION is now live on a national scale with An Post, Ireland’s largest postal service provider. bank.VISION has enabled An Post to launch its new Smart Account, a payment account with all the benefits of a standard current account, with two unique additional features: Digital wallets that allow for the subdivision of spending, budgeting and bill payments; and Smart Rewards, a cash-back loyalty scheme that benefits customers who use the account at selected retailers. Ireland has one of the highest rates of digital banking adoption in Western Europe, with 41% of consumers using online banking and 32% using mobile banking more than they did 12 months ago.

September 11

GERMANY: Post&Parcel: DPD Germany’s new €16m parcel sorting centre in Steinen has started operations. The facility, which is located close to the Swiss border, became operation on 5 September. Currently around 80 staff are working at the 30,000 square metre site and the company said there is room for significant expansion. In the initial stages, the facility will be handling up to 10,000 packages a day.

JAPAN: BorneoBulletin: Japan said Monday it would sell off another chunk of the country’s massive postal service in a share listing expected to raise about $12 billion. Tokyo is unloading up to 990 million shares in Japan Post, or about 22 per cent of its outstanding shares, after an initial public offering in 2015 that began a long-delayed privatisation of the state-owned behemoth. The latest sale could raise 1.3 trillion yen ($12 billion) based on Monday’s closing price of 1,321 yen. The selling price will be decided between September 25 and 27, the finance ministry said.

LITHUANIA: Post&Parcel: Lithuania Post has reported that it is has increased the speed at which it processes imported parcels by as much as 25% as a result of implement “LEAN” operational principles at its logistics centre in Vilnius. “Following the re-distribution of human resources and improvement of work stations, in every 24 hours, we now distribute more imported postal items by a quarter. Parcels are sorted faster, and they reach not only post offices, but also the addressee, more rapidly, which is our fundamental goal,” said Algirdas Šimonis, Operations Director of Lithuania Post. Essentially, LEAN is a methodology that eliminates waste and boosts efficiencies. The company started preparing to apply the LEAN principles at the Vilnius centre two years ago.

September 8

PAKISTAN: ProPakistani: The Senate Standing Committee on Communications was briefed about the budget details of Postal Services for the years 2016-17 and 2017-18. During the meeting, it was told that the required budget for 2016-17 was Rs 20 billion, but was given an approved budget of Rs 16 billion. The meeting was also told that the expenditures of Postal Services amounted to Rs 20 billion.

September 7

UNITED KINGDOM: Post&Parcel: The UK Climate Change and Industry Minister Claire Perry has announced the launch of MERIDIAN, new government-backed and industry-led brand for the development of Connected and Autonomous Vehicle (CAV) technology. Jointly funded by the government and industry, MERIDIAN will create a “cluster of excellence” for testing driverless vehicles along the M40 corridor between Coventry and London. The government has also today published its Centre for Connected Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV) Global Market Value report which predicts the global market for CAV technology could be worth £907bn in 2035. 

September 6

GERMANY: Post&Parcel: DHL Parcel and Volkswagen are launching a joint pilot project in Berlin which will see DHL staff delivering parcels to the trunks of VW cars.  In a statement issued today (9 September), Deutsche Post DHL Group said that Volkswagen will deploy 50 VW Polos that selected customers can use as mobile addresses for their DHL parcel deliveries. The selected participants will receive a VW Polo that they can use to test the service for four weeks. The vehicles are already fitted with the required equipment for in-car delivery, called “We Deliver.”

UNITED KINGDOM: BirminghamNews: Postal workers are to be balloted for industrial action over pensions and other issues. Members of the Communication Workers Union will vote in the coming weeks on whether to launch a campaign of industrial action. The move follows lengthy talks over planned changes to the pension scheme which have failed to reach an agreement. 

September 5

JAPAN: JapanPost: Japan Post Holdings, which announced a loss in its first full year as a listed company, is poised to announce details of an estimated $12bn share sale, say people close to the process. It is the first equity offer from group since its record-breaking IPO two years ago.  In 2015, as the culmination of a decade-long process to privatise the company that runs Japan’s largest bank, largest insurer and largest single employer outside the civil service, the state sold 11 per cent of Japan Post, which in turn sold 11 per cent in its two financial subsidiaries.  

ROMANIA: Romania-Insider: The postal services market went up by 8% last year, reaching RON 2.6 billion (EUR 570 million), according to the local telecom regulator ANCOM. Some 236 companies operated on this market last year. The top ten players had a share of 87% of the turnover on this market. The volume of postal items processed in Romania went down by 15% last year, to 554 million. The number of items sent within the country went down by 13% to 522 million while the number of international expeditions dropped by 40% to 32 million. 

September 4

AUSTRALIA: HeraldSun: Australia Post customers are set to again shoulder price increases, despite the postal giant’s rising profits. The postal service is lifting the cost of domestic parcels, prepaid express post envelopes and satchels and some international letters, as well as mail ­redirection and holds. Customers were hit with price rises on many of the services last year, months after the cost of a standard stamp was jacked up to $1. From October 2, customers sending parcels within Australia will be slugged up to 35c more, depending on size. Express post envelopes will rise from $6.10 to $6.40, while a single 500g satchel jumps from $10.85 to $11.35. The cost of posting a letter to the US, UK and Europe will increase 5c to $3. General mail direction for three months rises from $46.35 to $53.10, while two-week mail lifts from $30.85 to $35.30. But the cost of stamps, posting Christmas cards within Australia and business mail remain unchanged.

GERMANY: Ecommercebytes: DHL has further expanded its European parcel network. The postal company is now able to offer its cross-border services for online customers in Ireland and Romania, while Croatia and Bulgaria will join the network in November. Deutsche Post DHL Group announced the addition of the four countries today. Through partnerships with An Post, the state-owned postal service provider from Ireland, and Urgen Cargus, a private parcel service from Romania, two more countries are added to DHL’s European parcel network for cross-border ecommerce. By partnering with postal service Hrvatska Posta and Rapido, Croatia and Bulgaria will also join the list later this year. By adding additional countries to its network, DHL wants to continue its development in the European ecommerce industry and offer customers an extensive infrastructure. The ultimate goal is to be present in all key European ecommerce markets by the end of 2018.

UNITED KINGDOM:  Royal Mail was a faller on Monday as the London market drifted lower in its quietest session of the year. Growing fears of a national postal strike sent Royal Mail sliding 1.6 per cent to 386p. The Communication Workers Union will ballot members shortly on industrial action unless Royal Mail management “significantly shift their position” on pensions, pay and strategy, CMU general secretary Dave Ward said in the Huffington Post. Industrial action is unlikely to harm Royal Mail much in the short term as letter and parcel volumes will shift to other days, said Liberum. However, the broker also expected a strike to “amplify” the problems already facing Royal Mail as customers redouble efforts to reduce mailouts and use rival package delivery services.

September 3

JAPAN: AsianNikkea: Japan Post thinks drones can help it cut costs. So next year it will start using the flying objects to carry mail from post office to post office.The postal service also plans to test self-driving cars by the end of the current fiscal year, through March.The company hopes to fully introduce drones for transportation between some post offices by the end of the 2020s. In the initial phase, drones will be used to carry mail from big post offices to smaller ones on the fringes of delivery areas. After developing viable technologies during this phase, the company will consider using drones to deliver parcels to homes.



September 2

UNITED KINGDOM: TheSun: The Communication Workers Union, which represents 110,000 Royal Mail employees, says it will decide next week whether to recommend a ballot on a potential­ walkout over changes to their final-salary scheme. Deputy general secretary Terry Pullinger told CWU members industrial action is their “ultimate weapon” adding: “If it has to go the most difficult route, so be it.” Royal Mail pays about £400million a year into the pension pot but claims that bill could more than double to over £1billion if changes are not made. 

September 1

SRI LANKA: Adaderana: The Joint Postal Trade Unions’ Front stated that trade union action would be taken in near future owing to the failure of the authorities to provide solutions to their demands.Co-convener of the Front, H. K. Kariyawasam stated that trade union action previously taken by them had been called off based on an agreement arrived at with the Secretary to the Prime Minister. He accordingly explained that they would once again take action as the authorities had failed to comply with the previously arrived at agreement.

August 31

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES: Wam: The Emirates Post Group,EPG, has discussed cooperation with Universal Postal Union,UPU, in postal field. Both parties sought ways of development and enhancements of postal cooperation within the context of incremental postal growth in the world and benefit from the global growth of e-commerce. The EPG Chairman thanked the vision of the country's wise leadership in creating a strong infrastructure in UAE and making it a unique transit point for international mail and shipping. He expressed close cooperation with the organisation for enhancing the readiness of the region to fully meet with the needs of e-commerce market and free movement of international postal services with highest efficiency and quality to full customer satisfaction. 

UNITED KINGDOM: HuffingtonPost: The first national postal strike since the privatisation of Royal Mail is set to go ahead unless the company “significantly” shifts its line on pensions, job cuts and pay, union bosses have warned. Blogging for HuffPost UK, Communication Workers Union (CWU) general secretary Dave Ward, said that a ballot for industrial action will take place if the deadlock isn’t broken in talks this week. Royal Mail was privatised by the Tories four years ago, but is now facing major disruption to postal deliveries – including this year’s Christmas post - unless the union gets guarantees on staff pay and conditions. At the heart of the dispute is the firm’s plan to change its £9.8 bn ‘defined benefit’ pension scheme to one that gives staff a cash lump sum, as well as moves to cut 3,000 jobs a year.

August 30

CANADA: Post&Parcel: Strong growth in parcel volumes helped Canada Post segment achieve a $31m profit before tax in the second quarter (Q2), but the steady decline in mail volumes and revenues continued. Parcel volumes grew by 10m pieces or 23.0% compared to Q2 2016, and revenues increased by $83m or 20.5%. Volumes for Domestic Parcels specifically – the largest product category – grew by 7m pieces or 19.6% and revenues were up $62m or 21.2%.Canada Post commented: “The growth in parcels is encouraging, but structural challenges – such as Lettermail decline and the pension funding obligation – remain significant long-term threats to financial self-sustainability.”

SWITZERLAND: Post&Parcel: Swiss Post has announced that it is running a new test programme using delivery robots in the centre of Zurich. The tests, which will run over the next few weeks, will see online customers of the department store Jelmoli have their goods delivered by Starship Technologies robots. In a notice posted today (29 August), Swiss Post said: “To use this service, customers can select the corresponding delivery option during the checkout process at and enter the delivery location of their choice within a predefined area in the city center, along with their preferred delivery time slot. For example, this makes it possible to have a picnic delivered to a park bench by the lake, to have running shoes delivered to a hotel or to have a new shirt delivered directly to the office. “Shortly before the robot arrives, the customer receives a link via SMS, which is needed to open the delivery compartment.” Jelmoli is offering its customers the robot delivery option free of charge during the pilot project.

UNITED KINGDOM: HuffingtonPost:  This week the CWU is in the final days of talks with Royal Mail management aimed at securing an agreement to avoid a major national industrial dispute. Unless Royal Mail significantly shift their position on pensions, pay, shorter working hours and its operational strategy, then CWU will ballot our members for industrial action in early September. Alongside the pressure on staff terms and conditions, Royal Mail is cutting around 3,000 full time jobs every year and since privatisation almost £200m of property has been sold off as a fifth of mail centres and more than 5% of delivery offices have been shut.


August 28

IRELAND: TheTimes:  An Post cannot increase prices further to ensure its survival, the postal regulator has said. ComReg has expressed concern that significant price increases in postal charges which were sanctioned this year “seem unlikely to have ensured the continuing survival of An Post”. It follows the decision to permit An Post to raise the cost of posting a standard letter from €0.72 to €1 in April after the company warned that it might not be able to provide a national postal service unless a price cap on postal charges was increased significantly.

QATAR: Gulf-TimesQatar Post (Q-Post) has signed a MoU with the Aspire Zone Foundation (AZF) to forge a new partnership that will serve as the basis for collaboration opportunities, including a new creative outdoor gallery and a mobile Qatar Post kiosk at Aspire Park as well as the launch of a new stamp collection. The agreement was signed last week at Aspire in the presence of Q-Post chairman and managing director Falah al-Naemi and AZF director general Abdullah Nasser al-Naemi as well as Katara’s Arab Postal Stamps Museum head Khalid Rustom.
Under the new agreement, a retail kiosk will be opened at Aspire Zone, expanding Q-Post’s services to the local community.  Q-Post will also launch the Aspire Sport stamp collection celebrating the core mission of the AZF as a global reference for sports excellence, in addition to many other planned initiatives in the future.




August 23

INDIA: TheHindu: The nationwide one-day strike called by postal employees on Wednesday under the banner of the National Federation of Postal Employees (NFPE) was total in the district and all postal transactions came to a standstill. NFPE leaders said that all the four head post offices, sub-post offices, branch post offices, and the railway mail service office in Kollam remained shut. Only senior officers reported for duty at the Postal Superintendent’s and Postal Records offices. The demands raised through the strike include improving the efficiency of postal services by filling up all vacancies and immediate implementation of the wage revision report for grameen dak service (GDS) employees.

ROMANIA: RomanianInsider: The Romanian Post has launched a tender to purchase services for sending text messages (SMS) to customers who use postal services and need to be informed about the postal items’ date and time of delivery, as well as about the amount to be paid upon receipt. announced earlier this month that the Romanian Post also wants to introduce payment by card at its offices next year. The first POS systems will be installed in postal offices located in urban areas.

UNITED KINGDOM: DailyMail: If you receive post in London this month, there's a good chance it arrived to your door via an electric postal truck. Royal Mail is trialling nine British-made fully electric commercial vehicles this month, transporting packages between mail and distribution centres in the capital.The firm hopes that the trial will increase Royal Mail's efficiency, and reduce vehicle emissions.The trucks are 'autonomous-ready', which suggests that Royal Mail deliveries could one day be made by driverless vehicles.

August 22

AUSTRALIA: Post&Parcel: Australia Post has teamed up with Alpha Payments Cloud to launch an integrated commerce platform. In a statement issued last week, Alpha Payments Cloud said that AlphaCommerceHub (ACH) “aims to transform the Australian digital commerce industry by providing vendors with the opportunity to expose their solutions instantly to thousands of Australian merchants as well as Payment Service Providers (PSPs), helping to evolve PSPs into vendor enablement platforms”.

NEW ZEALAND: FutureFive: New Zealand Post announced that it is partnering with Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) to accelerate the uptake of electric vehicles in New Zealand. With assistance from EECA’s Low Emission Vehicles Contestable Fund, New Zealand Post will purchase five electric vans and assess their suitability for use in the courier fleet. The new vehicles will allow courier drivers to see for themselves what it is like to drive an electric van so that they can consider purchasing or leasing their own. The vans will be used at courier depots and delivery branches at different locations around the country.

THAILAND: Post&Parcel: Thailand Post has announced plans to develop a logistics hub for the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) project in Chonburi province. According to local sources, the national postal operator is focusing on ways to foster more e-commerce growth in Thailand – by developing e-marketplaces and ramping up its delivery channels for online sellers. The company is also reportedly looking to develop e-payment gateways to support the use of digital wallets.In addition, Thailand Post is using “Smart postboxes” that can be used to deliver tourist information, in addition to their standard postal duties. 

August 21

INDIA: NewIndianExpress: A postal employees union has threatened to go on a one-day strike on August 23 to protest against non-implementation of benefits suggested by a panel. The National Federation of Postal Employees (NFPE), which represents around 4 lakh staff, has called for nationwide strike on August 23 to press for implementation of benefits suggested by the Gramin Dak Sevaks committee report, the federation's secretary general, R N Parashar, told PTI. There are over 1.55 lakh post offices, including 1.3 lakh rural post offices. There are around 2.7 lakh GDS who handle operations such as money remittances, delivery of Aadhaar and MGNREGA payments in rural post offices, an AIGDSU official said. "GDS handle 89 per cent of postal services and generate 60-70 per cent of total revenue for Department of Posts but we get only 15-20 per cent of share in the expenses. The salary of GDS is very low. We want the government to implement committee report without any delay," AIGDSU General Secretary S S Mahadevaiah said.

August 19

INDIA: TheHindu: Urging the Central Government to implement the recommendations of Kamlesh Chandra Committee report, members of Central Rural Postal Employees Association, who were on strike for the third consecutive day, staged a protest outside the post office in Bhavani here on Friday. The one-man committee has recommended a new wage payment system replacing the existing system and increasing the ex-gratia gratuity among others. Protesters demanded eight-hours of work, pension system, and wages in par with other employees of postal department and others. About 380 workers of 189 Gramin Dak Sevaks in the district were on strike from Wednesday seeking fulfilment of their demands. 

August 18

THAILAND: NationMultimedia: Thailand Post expects to generate Bt26 billion in revenue by the end of this year, with future growth to be supported by plans to set up a logistics hub in Chon Buri province to serve demand in the emerging Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC). The postal operator also aims to invest Bt7 billion on infrastructure that will help improve its operational processes and, in turn, lead to better services. For the first half of this year, it achieved revenue at Bt13.4 billion, up 18 per cent on the same period in last year. It booked net profit of Bt1.97 billion in the first six months. The biggest contributor to revenue in the first half was the transport and logistics sector, with the Bt6 billion take accounting for 42 per cent of the share.

August 17

AUSTRALIA: Post&Parcel: Australia Post has announced that it will introduce its newly developed Digital iD technology across a range of companies and government departments, offering Australians a more convenient way to verify their identity online and access important services. Digital iD allows people to verify their identity information once, so they can then easily prove who they are online and in person through the platform’s smartphone app. This removes the need for Australians to repeatedly use several forms of identity to prove who they are or have numerous passwords to access products and services. According to Australia Post research, existing identity verification processes were time consuming and cost the Australian economy up to A$11bn (US$8.6bn) a year.

GERMANY: Post&Parcel: Deutsche Post DHL Group and Ford have presented their first jointly produced electric delivery van, called the StreetScooter WORK XL. The vehicle is based on a Ford Transit chassis fitted with a battery-electric drivetrain and a body designed and built to DHL specifications. DHL plans to build 150 WORK XL vans this year at its StreetScooter plant in Aachen, Germany. The operator will use the e-vans to support its urban parcel delivery service in Germany. Deutsche Post DHL Group, StreetScooter and Ford plan to build 2,500 e-vans by the end of 2018. Like StreetScooter’s existing electric models, the WORK and WORK L, the WORK XL could be also sold to third-party customers. Each WORK XL van has the potential to save around five tons of CO₂ and 1,900 liters of diesel fuel each year. With 2,500 vehicles in service as planned, this could result in a total saving of 12,500 tons of CO₂ and 4.75 million liters of fuel every year.

INDIA: TheHindu: Members of All India Gramin Dak Sevak Union (AIGDSU), Vellore division, launched an indefinite strike on Wednesday to press for their demands including regularisation of jobs. According to S. Moorthy, president of the union’s Vellore division, there are 280 rural postal employees in the division. “We have been fighting for our rights for several decades. We do the same work as that of a postman in a Head Post Office or sub-office in rural areas. But we are paid less and do not get pension after retirement as we are not permanent employees,” he said. He pointed out that the rural employees constituted 80% of the postal staff strength.

TANZANIA: AllAfrica: The Deputy Minister of Works, Transport and Communication Mr Edwin Ngonyani has called on the Tanzania Postal Corporation (TPC) to upgrade its salary scales and motivate staff with better pay. According to a statement from the ministry, the minister also called upon TPS staff to work hard and increase the corporation's income. He advised the corporation to expand its network to the Southern highlands and the Lake Zone regions because their services in the areas have been shaky.

August 16

NEW ZEALAND: NZHerald: New Zealand Post has scrapped its FastPost service as the number of letters being sent continues to significantly decline, the national postal service says. FastPost, which aimed to deliver letters, documents and postcards between major New Zealand centres within one business day, will stop being available from next January. "New Zealand Post is making this change following a review of its priority mail network," the organisation said in a statement. "The amount of all letter volumes continues to decline significantly, at a rate of approximately 60 million items a year, and despite ongoing cost reductions this change is necessary." 

UNITED KINGDOM: FT:  Royal Mail has been set a September deadline by a trade union to resolve a simmering dispute over pension reform — or face industrial action. The Communication Workers Union said it would give the privatised postal operator until September 6 to reach a settlement over a thorny issue that has soured industrial relations at the FTSE 100 group. Royal Mail wants to replace its defined benefit pension scheme, which guarantees a level of income in retirement, with a less generous arrangement. The company currently pays about £400m a year into the pension pot, but says that could more than double to above £1bn if no changes are made. Royal Mail said it was “committed” to continuing negotiations with the CWU on pay and pensions.

August 14

UNITED KINGDOM: TameBay: This week it’s possible that Royal Mail workers who belong to the CWU may move one step closer to strike action. CWU Deputy General Secretary Terry Pullinger has given a deadline of the 15th of August for the Union and the Royal Mail to agree some firm principles in talks, otherwise the Postal Executive of the Union will consider setting a timetable for industrial action. The Union are call for their ‘Four Pillars’ which are: A pension solution for all; a shorter working week; extending legal protections; and a redesigned operational pipeline. On Pensions Royal Mail have had one of the best pensions going but in today’s world it’s increasingly unrealistic for a “wage in retirement” which is what the CWU want to remain in place. Most pensions are now a contribution scheme and it’s up to the person retiring to decide if they want a lump sum and which annuity provider they choose to provide their retirement income. This is a major sticking point for the union.

August 13

NEW ZEALAND: RadioNZ: The Postal Workers Union is calling on New Zealand Post to stop recording audio on the cameras it installs in new postal vehicles. The new electric postal vehicles have a forward-facing camera on the dashboard for security, which tracks the postie's GPS and automatically records both video and audio any time the vehicles is turned on. The union agrees the cameras should be used for safety purposes but argues that audio is a step too far. New Zealand Post has refused the union's request to stop all audio recordings until any potential privacy issues can be figured out with the Privacy Commission.

August 11

INDIA: Post&Parcel: DHL eCommerce has announced it is opening of a new distribution centere in Delhi, as part of Deutsche Post DHL Group’s plans to invest over €250m in India by 2020. In a statement issued yesterday (10 August), Malcolm Monteiro, CEO, DHL eCommerce Asia Pacific, said: “India is one of the top ten e-commerce markets and the fastest-growing globally with e-commerce expected to grow at a CAGR of 31% to reach €2bn by 2020.

NIGERIA: Guardian: The Minister of Communications, Abdur-Raheem Adebayo Shittu, has called on the National Assembly to expedite action in deliberating, and subsequently passing the Postal Reform Bill, and other related bills pending before it, aiming at restructuring the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST). Shittu made the urgent call while launching two documents: Restructuring and Modernising Nigerian Postal Service, and NIPOST Vision 2020, and inaugurating a steering committee for NIPOST reform in his office on Monday. He said Government needed the collaboration and synergy of the lawmakers to deliver on its campaign promises to Nigerians by expediting actions on bills targeted at social reformation of the Nigerian society, one of which is the services provided by NIPOST.

UNITED KINGDOM: WarehouseNews: Employee-owned company Kite Packaging are specialists in supplying packaging to a broad cross-section of different industries. The newest product in the Kite range is corrugated triangular postal tubes. Delivered flat packed and easy to assemble these tubes are a great alternative to traditional round postal tubes. The unique design of the all-in-one solution makes them hugely popular with companies despatching goods through the courier and parcel delivery networks. The triangular design ensures the tubes do not roll on courier sortation conveyors. Courier despatch labels can be applied to one flat surface of the tube, guaranteeing they can pass through sortation scanners without any issues.

August 10

GERMANY: Post&Parcel: Deutsche Post DHL Group has announced that its revenue for the second quarter (Q2) increased by 4.4% to €14.8bn and operating profit was up 11.8% at €841m. In a statement issued today, the group said that its international parcel and eCommerce business and “the global Express business in particular” drove the growth. Revenue in the Post – eCommerce – Parcel (PeP) division was up 4.8% to €4.3bn. This was primarily attributable to the eCommerce – Parcel business unit, whose  revenue increasing by 13.6% to €2.0bn. Parcel Europe (+61.5%) and eCommerce (+15.1%) were the main drivers behind this growth. In the Post business unit, revenue was down 1.8% to €2.3bn due to structural volume declines, mainly in the area of Mail Communication. The Express division saw revenues increase by 8.7% to €3.8bn. This was supported by an 8.5% increase in daily volumes in the international time-definite (TDI) delivery business.

SOUTH AFRICA: Post&Parcel: The trade-only airfreight and express wholesaler AMI has announced the South African launch of its all-inclusive online service, click2ship Express Imports. The new service is the imports counterpart of click2ship Express Exports, which was launched in South Africa in 2014. click2ship Express Imports provides online quotes and bookings for imports from any location in the world. Prices include collection at origin, Customs export entries, freight, Customs clearance on arrival, and local delivery from airport to agent or consignee. The new service is aimed both at freight agents at point of origin, and those in South Africa.

UKRAINE: BBC: Ukraine's national postal service has been hit by a two-day-long cyber-attack targeting its online system that tracks parcels.Unknown hackers carried out a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack against Ukrposhta's website.The attack began on Monday morning, but ended shortly after 21:00 local time (1900 BST). However, Ukrposhta reported on Facebook that the DDoS attack continued again on Tuesday. This is not the first time that Ukraine's postal service has been targeted this year - in June, Ukrposhta was hit by the NotPetya ransomware attacks, as part of a wider national attack on Ukrainian banks, the state power provider, television stations and public transport services.

August 9

UNIVERSAL POSTAL UNION: ThePeninsulaQatar: Minister of Transport and Communications H E Jassim bin Saif Al Sulaiti met yesterday with Bishar Hussein, Director-General of the Universal Postal Union (UPU), in response to the complaint the State of Qatar had submitted to the UPU about blockading countries’ infringements on the UPU Constitution and General Regulations, which are the first of their kind in the world and a dangerous precedent to the UPU conventions. The two officials discussed blockading countries’ violations of UPU systems, particularly Article 4 of UPU conventions relating to freedom of transit of postal items. The meeting also emphasised the postal correspondences is a human right and delivering them to their destinations is a social matter. The meeting also reviewed cooperation in the field of post and means of furthering enhancing and developing them, as well as boosting relations between Qatar and the UPU.

CHINA: Post&Parcel:UPS has appointed Harld Peters as the new President of UPS China.A UPS veteran with 18 years of logistics experience, Peters will be responsible for leading strategic initiatives across UPS’s package delivery and supply chain operations in China.Peters succeeds Richard Loi, who will be retiring after 26 years of dedicated service with UPS.

DENMARK: Post&Parcel: REJA’s capabilities have enabled Europa to increase its daily Danish services. The route, which previously ran one way for exports, will now operate in both directions every day between Copenhagen and Denmark’s second largest city, Aarhus, and Europa’s £30m groupage facility, 1hub, in Dartford. Europa said that the new daily routes, paired with a competitive pricing strategy and efficient service, help to further expand Europa’s European footprint and “realise its ambition to become market leader between the UK and the continent by 2018”.

NETHERLANDS: Post&Parcel: PostNL has introduced its new ‘Delivery by appointment’ service. PostNL said that the new service means that “the consumer can directly determine when their online order is to be delivered by PostNL, at the moment they purchase it”. The postal operator explained the reasoning behind the new offering: “If consumers can choose the delivery time themselves, this increases the chance of them making their purchase in an online shop in preference to a physical shop. Using the delivery option ‘Delivery by appointment’, the consumer chooses the day and two-hour time slot during which PostNL will deliver the parcel. This service offers everyone the opportunity to plan for themselves when they will receive their parcel.”

SLOVAKIA: Spectator: Slovakia’s main postal service operator, Slovenská Pošta, is likely to buy shares in Swan Mobile, which runs the smallest mobile provider in the country: Štvorka (or 4ka). It plans to pay €1 million for the stock, the Sme daily reported. 4ka has had an exclusive place in post offices in Slovakia since it launched its services in 2015, with Slovenská Pošta taking commissions from sales. The agreement on cooperation signed by the company’s previous management states that it also has the right to obtain 10-percent stock in Swan Mobile.

August 8

UKRAINE: IBTimes: The computer networks of Ukrposhta, the national postal service in Ukraine, have reportedly been disrupted by a two-day distributed-denial-of-service (DDoS) cyberattack. According to the Interfax news agency, the computer systems targeted by the unknown hackers are linked to the tracking of customer parcels. It is believed that the attack started on the morning of Monday 7 August and, despite a brief period of respite, continued into the next day. In an update on its Facebook page on Tuesday 8 August, a spokesperson said: "Today, hackers have become more active, due to their actions, both the website and services are working slowly and with interruptions". Officials have stressed that technicians are currently working on the issues, hoping to restore service soon.

GERMANY: AutomotiveNews: Deutsche Post DHL Group is seeing increased interest in its new electric delivery van after a debate on diesel emissions has gathered pace in Germany.The group is producing and selling its own electric delivery vans, known as Streetscooter and in June said it was teaming up with Ford Motor Co. as a components supplier for a new line of larger vehicles. The move to sell to external customers has taken on new significance given the debate over diesel and gasoline engines in Germany, with politicians and car bosses last week agreeing measures to cut pollution and repair the car industry's battered reputation.

August 5

SWITZERLAND: Switzerland’s CHF15.8bn (€14.7bn) pension fund for postal employees has joined several of its compatriot Pensionskassen in the mortgage lending business in a bid to obtain more yield.It described mortgages as an “interesting alternative to bonds”. Andres Haueter, head of investment management at Pensionskasse Post (PK Post), said:  “The yield is significantly higher than traditional investments and risk is limited because of the claim on the property.”

August 4

INDIA: TheHindu: The Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) recently found that smugglers are using the postal service to sell parts of endangered animals. They stumbled upon feathers of the grey jungle fowl being smuggled out by the hundreds. These feathers with eyespots are used as fishing lures and were being sent to certain European countries. Earlier this year, another case came to light: Pangolin scales were smuggled to Southeast Asian countries, using the services of India Post.  WCCB representatives and the Border Security Force took stock of their preparedness to check turtle smuggling for which West Bengal is a transit route. During last winter, over 15,000 turtles were seized from West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh.

ITALY: Post&Parcel: Poste Italiane has reported an increase in both revenues and profits for the first half (H1) of 2017, with consolidated revenues up 2% to €18bn and operating profits up 0.5% to €847m. Net profit, however, down 9.7% to €510m. The Postal and Business Services division posted market revenues of €1.8bn (which was down 3.8%) and total revenues of €4.27bn (down 1.4%).Poste Italiane commented: “The fall in market revenues from mail volumes (-6.7% compared with the first half of 2016), is linked to the expected drop in the volume of postal products (-9.6%), though smaller than the 2016 trend compared with the same period of 2015 (-10.3%). “Combating the slide in revenues, besides the new tariffs and the development of the parcels segment, are the measures taken to improve the quality of traditional postal services and the efficiency of the related operating processes.” The bright spot of the division was the Parcel Segment which handled 55m parcels in H1, up 19.6% on last year.

NETHERLANDS: Post&Parcel: DHL Express has extended its “City Hub” concept for environmentally-friendly inner-city deliveries to The Hague, Netherlands with a new pilot involving electric vehicles. This pilot will also see the first deployment of Deutsche Post DHL Group’s StreetScooter electric delivery van in the global DHL Express delivery network. The pilots in these cities combined the use of a DHL “Cubicycle” – a cargo bicycle that can carry a specialized container with a load of up to 125kg – with a customized trailer carrying up to four containers. A DHL van brings the trailer into the city centre, where the containers are then loaded on to Cubicycles for delivery over the last mile. The standardized containers used in the City Hub concept match the dimensions of a standard shipping pallet and can be transferred more easily and quickly between the different modes of transport within the DHL Express network. While the initial pilot in The Hague will involve electric vehicles, the company is also planning to add Cubicycles at a later date to support deliveries over shorter distances or routes with heavier congestion.

SIGNAPORE: StraitsTimes:  Singapore Post reported on Friday (Aug 4) a 13.6 per cent drop in first-quarter net profit to S$31 million from S$35.9 million in the year-ago period.  This was despite a 6.2 per cent year-on-year rise in revenue for the three months to end-June to S$354.1 million from growth in its postal and logistics businesses. But SingPost said underlying net profit fell 24.7 per cent, due mainly to lower domestic mail volumes, costs from planned investments, increased competition in the logistics segment, and associates that were investing for growth. SingPost said strong international mail growth drove postal revenue to a 9.3 per cent increase, even as domestic mail revenue decreased with more organisations moving to electronic statements.

UNITED KINGDOM: Post&Parcel: In its latest Communications Market Report, published today (3 August), the UK regulator Ofcom has noted that although the total addressed letters volumes fell by 4% between 2015 and 2016 to 11.8bn items, nearly nine in ten people (88%) said that they value the option to be able to use the postal service.  Ofcom said that the decline in letter volumes “was driven by a 9% decline in Royal Mail’s end-to end letter volume, to 4.7bn items, which accounted for 40% of total letter volumes in 2016″. And, as one would expect, the postal service was most prized by the older generation. Around 82% of 16-24s said they valued being able to use the post, and this rose to 85% among 25-44s; 91% from the 45-64s; 93% for the 65-74s and 97% among the over 75s.

UNITED KINGDOM: Post&ParcelA Clean Vehicle Retrofit Accreditation Scheme (CVRAS) is being launched in the UK today (3 August). By providing a single standard that shows an emission technology meets standards set out in the UK government’s Clean Air Zone Framework for England, the scheme will enable the existing fleet of urban vehicles to be fitted with proven emission control solutions. The scheme will initially focus on buses, but will then extend rapidly to a wide range of vehicles. Andy Eastlake, LowCVP’s Managing Director, added: “The most effective retrofit technologies can cut polluting emissions by over 95%. But it is critical that these systems are properly calibrated and matched to the vehicle and its operation and that we have a common and robust approval system. “By making sure that we fit a range of the most appropriate technologies to the right vehicles, retrofitting can make a very significant, immediate impact on our air quality problems, supporting the complementary strategy to adopt new vehicles as quickly as economically viable.

August 2

NIGERIA: PremiumTimes: Preparatory to the take-off of the electronic commerce system in the country, the Nigeria Post & Telecommunications service, NIPOST, says it was adopting a system that would improve the delivery of its services. The “what3words address” is an innovative global addressing system designed to help the postal service increase the number of homes it is capable of delivering to. The NIPOST said in a statement on Wednesday that Nigeria was the seventh country, and the third in Africa to adopt the system, already in use for mail deliveries in Mongolia, Saint Maarten, Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Tonga and Solomon Islands. Reputed to be Africa’s largest economy with over 180 million people, Nigeria is noted to have a poor addressing system that allows only 20 per cent of its inhabitants to receive their mails at home while only about 478,000 boxes are available in the post offices. To redress the situation and improve its services, NIPOST said it had set a target to raise its own home delivery services to over 70 per cent within the next two years.

SAUDI ARABIA: Aliyardh: The Albareed Al-Mumtaz Company, a subsidiary of Saudi Post, has launched a new postal service between Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam, which will deliver shipments within 24 hours. The new service, called "Tomorrow", was launched in the presence of the Saudi Post Chairman. It comes in line with the Post's new strategy aimed at providing outstanding services to customers. The Saudi Post Board of Directors has adopted a modern strategy to expand postal and non-postal operations of the express mail. It further seeks to enhance services in rapid transportation between the Kingdom's major cities, and develop its e-commerce and e-government applications.

August 1

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES: Post&Parcel: Eniverse Technologies, a Dubai based technology group, and drones company Skycart of San Francisco, California, are to collaborate on drone delivery service Space Autonomous Drones in the UAE. Space Autonomous Drones plans to build strategic collaborations with companies such as Souq, DHL, Amazon, UPS, Aramex, and Alibaba Group. The company will offer drone shipping solutions, providing cost savings and faster delivery times. Once officially launched, Space Autonomous Drones’s technology will enable a wide range of customers to ship goods and products weighing 5kg or less to locations across Dubai. The autonomous, self-flying drones operated by Space Autonomous Drones will be run through a mobile app that enables businesses to manage and track their orders, and will drastically cut down delivery times. Operations will take place 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days of the year.