International News

PostComMembers !! The latest issue of the PostCom Bulletin is now available online. Hey! You've not been getting the weekly PostCom Bulletin--the best postal newsletter none?  Send us by email your name, company, company title, postal and email address. See what you've been missing!

February 24, 2017

CANADA:Post&ParcelCanada Post is introducing a new Smartmail Marketing solution that it says will allow marketers to target at the postal code level by combining existing customer knowledge with address-level data. According to Canada Post: “This level of data-driven targeting empowers marketers to connect with their most receptive audiences, leveraging their own data or selecting the mailing’s postal codes by demographic criteria such as income, education, age, location, family composition, interests or lifestyle, and even based on online shopping behaviours.”

UNITED KINGDOM:SKYNEWSThe price of stamps is to increase next month, Royal Mail has announced. A first class stamp will go up by 1p to 65p and a second class stamp by 1p to 56p. Royal Mail said the changes were needed "to help ensure the sustainability of the universal postal service" but that it had sought to minimise the impact on customers. The changes will take effect from 27 March. It follows a previous 1p rise for both first and second class stamps last March.

February 23, 2017

AUSTRALIA: PostalNewsAustralia Post director Ahmed Fahour has resigned just weeks after his $5.6 million salary was revealed by a Senate committee, which dismissed calls for it to be concealed from the public. The Government-owned business had attempted to conceal Mr Fahour’s salary — which is 10 times more than the $507,338 Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is paid — because it would result in “unwarranted media attention”. But the Senate committee said his salary was overwhelmingly in the public interest and revealed a $4.4 million pay packet and a $1.2 million bonus, taking his total package to $5.6 million. Minutes after his resignation was publicly announced, the Federal Government ordered the independent remuneration tribunal to oversee the salaries of Australia Post executives.

AUSTRALIA: The Australian: Australia Post has reported a sharp jump in first-half earnings as its parcels business continued to expand and its legacy postal business showed signs of stabilisation. In the six months to December 31, the state-owned postal group reported net profit of $131 million, up eightfold from last year’s $16m result. Australia Post noted domestic parcel volumes rose 5.7 per cent as online shopping gained a greater foothold, dragging that division’s pre-tax earnings up 16 per cent to $189m.The troubled postal operation returned to break-even as cost cutbacks and higher stamp prices overcame an 11 per cent decline in letter volumes.

MALAYSIA: TheEdgeMarketsPos Malaysia Bhd's net profit soared 55% to RM34.8 million, or 4.45 sen per share, for the third financial quarter ended Dec 31, 2016 (3QFY17), thanks to the courier segment's higher contribution to the postal group's bottomline. According to a filing with Bursa Malaysia today, the group's courier segment registered higher revenue by RM102.7 million compared to RM408 million in 3QFY16, driven by a surge in demand from the e-commerce and online business. Postal services revenue fell due to net drop in traditional mail volume and lower transaction from retail segment from commercial private section for unit trust. International segment revenue slipped because of transshipment revenue decline.

February 22, 2017

CANADA: CBCNewsPostal unions are pushing Canada Post to bring back postal banking, which hasn't existed in Canada for nearly 50 years. The Canadian Union of Postal Workers has argued postal banking would provide financial services to Canadian communities with a post office but without a bank and also cut out predatory payday lenders in those communities. A lobby group representing Canada's big banks is opposed to idea of postal banking, saying 99 percent of Canadians already have a bank account with a financial institution, and should postal banking fail taxpayers would have to cover the losses.

FRANCE: GlobalNewsWireFollowing a public tender, the French Ministry of Defense has once again selected Sodexo and La Poste to provide international postal services for French military services (SPID) for the next four years. Since 2012, both companies have partnered to provide these services, including collection, sorting and delivery of letters and parcels to overseas-based French forces. Backed by four years' experience and a continuous improvement mindset, the La Poste-Sodexo team is in the process of further enhancing its service and customer satisfaction. To better monitor end-user satisfaction, Sodexo will introduce terminals in military post offices abroad to measure what end-users think of service quality. In addition, before starting work, postmen and women will undergo a training course on the importance of their mission. La Poste will equip them with digital readers to scan letters and parcels so that senders and recipients can track deliveries. 

February 21, 2017

BAHRAIN: BNAMinistry of Transportation and Telecommunications (MTT)'s Bahrain Post Services have won the Universal Postal Union (UPU)'s award in recognition of its precise addresses system and prompt delivery of local and transnational mail. The award is granted to members of the Universal Postal Union (UPU) only after satisfaction of the internationally-recognized standard (S42).

BANGLADESH: The DailyStar: The Posts and Telecommunications Division has sought approval from the prime minister to open a postal bank in order to take basic banking services to the remote areas of the country. If the government goes ahead with the proposal already sent to the premier, the postal department will become the country's largest bank with 9,866 offices across Bangladesh. The postal department has set out a plan to restructure its service and targeted banking and e-commerce to generate revenues. Post Offices offer savings instruments that carry interest rate of more than 10 percent, a rate no banks offer at the moment.The post offices also provide financial services such as life insurance, electronic money transfers, ATM services under postal cash cards, money orders and postal orders.

CANADA: YahooCanada Post is introducing an innovative new Smartmail Marketing solution that allows marketers to target at the postal code level by combining existing customer knowledge with address-level data, unlocking the power of the postal code. With Postal Code Targeting, marketers can target prospects whose demographics most closely resemble their best customers. This level of data-driven targeting empowers marketers to connect with their most receptive audiences, leveraging their own data or selecting the mailing's postal codes by demographic criteria such as income, education, age, location, family composition, interests or lifestyle, and even based on online shopping behaviours.

SAUDI ARABIA: Reuters: Saudi Arabia has invited banks to pitch for an advisory role in the sale of Saudi Postal Corp to investors. The kingdom is launching a privatisation drive as part of wider economic reforms which aim to boost efficiency and ease pressure on state finances in an era of cheap oil. Saudi Postal, the government-owned postal service, sent a request for proposals to local banks last month, according to bankers who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the matter is not public. No decision on which banks will participate has been made.

February 20, 2017

CHINA: AirCargoWorldAlibaba Group announced a strategic partnership with Bailian Group, one of China’s largest retail conglomerates, in a move to merge online and offline shopping services. The two companies will share consumer data in order to “integrate offline stores, merchandise, logistics and payment tools to deliver a better overall shopping experience.” Alibaba and Bailian will co-design brick-and-mortar stores that merge offline and online shopping and services. Data sharing will also allow the companies to combine membership bases to both target and attend to customers through geo-location, facial recognition and big-data driven sales and customer management systems.

CHINA: Post&ParcelIn a statement issued on Friday (17 February) China Post said that it had recently issued a guidance which said the postal company “should combine large postal finance customers and capital flow with rural e-commerce to implement integration and development”. China Post added: “Postal finance will support e-commerce by providing convenient financial service tools and products. “Postal finance will also connect together financial outlets and rural e-commerce supplier sites by carrying out public welfare activities.”

UNIVERSAL POSTAL UNION: 4-traders: Eight designated operators from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) have signed a memorandum of understanding on the development of international postal payment services under a single trademark. The collective mark. The memorandum, signed in during a January conference in Tbilisi, Georgia, will have the designated operators of Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Ukraine begin piloting the UPU's PosTransfer trademark by the end of 2017. Moldova's Post later joined the group in February. 'As we enter a new work cycle, the UPU has made innovation, integration and inclusion the focus of its vision for the postal sector. PosTransfer encapsulates this vision, ensuring that Posts work together to offer the most up-to-date money transfer technologies, increasing the Post's potential to financially include more of the world's population,' said UPU Director General Bishar A. Hussein.

February 16, 2017

ALIBABA: thedailyThe postal division is going to collaborate with global e-commerce giants Alibaba and Amazon to deliver their products across Bangladesh. They will start the pilot phase with the two global companies in the first week of March. If they get a positive response, they will sign an agreement in April. In November last year, the postal department launched postal e-commerce services in 20 post offices in Dhaka, which was the first such service under any government entity in Bangladesh, said a top official at the programme. Through this initiative, online buyers are now able to receive their products from e-commerce sites, delivered to their doorsteps in Dhaka.

JAMAICA: jis.govThe Government will spend $46.6 million to upgrade the country’s international postal system in the 2017-18 fiscal year. Funding for this initiative will be provided by the Universal Postal Union. The project, which is to be implemented by the Ministry of Science, Energy and Technology, will result in the Jamaica Post’s ability to control and improve mail processing and handling. As part of the initiative, several computer equipment and pieces of furniture are expected to be delivered to post offices islandwide.

February 15, 2017

DJIBOUTI: directionsmagwhat3words, the multi-award winning addressing system, has been adopted as an addressing standard by La Poste de Djibouti. Located in the Horn of Africa Republic of Djibouti is the fifth country in the world to accept 3 word addresses to improve its national infrastructure. Djibouti occupies a total area of just 23,200 km2 with a population of approximately 850,000 citizens. With only a few named streets, delivering mail is a constant struggle for La Poste de Djibouti, the nation’s official postal system. Until recently, home delivery was restricted to express mail in Djibouti City, the capital of the Republic. 

FINLAND: postal&parcel: Finnish national postal operator Posti has unveiled its plans to build a new flagship sorting center near Helsinki Airport in Vantaa, Finland. The new terminal will be located near Posti’s logistics center and service warehouses in Vantaa, helping to direct heavy traffic away from the city center. Jaakko Kaidesoja, head of Posti’s transport services, said, “The location of the new terminal is optimal, both from the point of view of Posti and the material flows of our customers. The terminal meets the growing needs arising from higher freight volumes.” 

SWITZERLAND: postal&parcelNational postal operator Swiss Post has launched a series of inflight options enabling customers to manage their parcels and decide when, where and how they want to receive them. To offer even greater convenience when receiving parcels, Swiss Post is also trialling delivery time notifications. As part of a trial, certain Swiss Post customers will also receive an e-mail or SMS informing them of their delivery window.

February 13, 2017

AUSTRALIA: themercury: While the Australia Post CEO Ahmed Fahour’s package is worth $5.6 million, yours is worth just $50 — and it’s shrinking all the time.That’s the maximum amount you can claim back from Australia Post for a lost or damaged standard delivery. For registered post you can claim up to $100, and if you purchase insurance cover you can claim up to $5000. But the standard $50 fee has not changed since 1987, meaning the amount of compensation paid has been steadily declining in real terms for three decades — the same $50 in 1987 would be worth $117 in today’s dollars. That’s the maximum amount you can claim back from Australia Post for a lost or damaged standard delivery. For registered post you can claim up to $100, and if you purchase insurance cover you can claim up to $5000.

EGYPT: africanbusinessThe National Postal Authority (NPA) and the Commercial International Bank-Egypt (CIB), have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the regulation of financial services and the establishment of a financial inclusion base. The protocol also allows the authority to provide financial services to small and micro projects, including collection, notification, and marketing among its clients, as well as providing the payment service of dues to the bank’s customers through pre-paid postage cards. The authority would also collect individual dues, including the installment facilities, credit card payments, and smart portfolio services of withdrawal, deposit, and registration in NPA branches across the country. This protocol comes within the CIB’s strategy to increase the its banking service outlets for its customers.

HONGKONG: Post&ParcelNEC has introduced a function for reading and sorting addresses written in traditional Chinese characters to the postal automation systems operated by Hongkong Post. Hongkong Post has witnessed a rise in the number of  postal items addressed in traditional Chinese characters.This new function has therefore been introduced to the 15 systems which NEC has delivered to Hongkong Post since 2008.

TONGA: RadioNZ: Tonga will soon have a new postal system where every house will have an address consisting of three random words. Like much of the Pacific, Tonga doesn't really have a formal address system, which can make things difficult for the country's mail deliverers. Over the next few months, all of Tonga will be divided into nine-square-metre sections which will be assigned a combination of three words.

February 10, 2017

ITALY: StattimesFedEx Express has opened its new international gateway to Southern Europe at Milan-Malpensa Airport.The 35,000 square-foot Express Logistics facility is equipped with state-of-the-art technology that increases packet sorting capacity by 25 percent and is more efficient. As a result, FedEx is able to better manage its growing volume.This expansion is based on an existing presence and a thirty-year company history in Italy. Over the past twelve months, the number of FedEx shipments from Italy to the rest of the world has grown by a double-digit percentage.

SCANDINAVIA: Post&ParcelPostNord has reported that “sharply declining mail volumes” and the “rapid pace of digitization” impacted its performance in 2016. In Denmark, where the Danish government’s digitization agenda has made the country into probably the most highly-digitized country in the world, the scale of volume losses in the mail business is continuing to grow. Over 2016, the volume of priority mail fell very sharply and since 2000 has declined by approx. 90 %. The PostNord CEO also outlined how transformation plans are also underway across the group: “The downturn in mail business is common to all national postal corporations. The outcome is that business models must be reviewed from the bottom up in order to adjust to the trend we are seeing in Denmark, where letters are gradually becoming a niche product. This trend means that systems of postal regulation will have to be adapted."

TUNISIA: Post&ParcelThe Universal Postal Union (UPU) and the Tunisian government have unveiled plans to establish a regional e-commerce hub for Northern Africa. As part of the project, Africa will establish hubs located in its Eastern, Southern, Western, Central and Northern regions, from which other spokes can be created to serve the entire content. The project will later be replicated in other parts of the world. A parcel and goods centre is being established at the Tunis-Carthage Airport, which will include warehouse, sorting, dispatch and customs facilities. The Tunisian Post will facilitate deliveries within the country and abroad.

February 9, 2017

CANADA: 680newsThe federal government will decide by spring whether to restore door-to-door mail delivery to those who lost it in the last year. Among its many recommendations, the committee’s report called on the Liberal government to reinstate door-to-door delivery in those parts of the country where service was converted to community mailboxes after August 2015. It also urged the government to maintain a freeze on the installation of the curbside mail boxes and said Canada Post should raise delivery rates.

NEW ZEALAND: odtA New Zealand Post spokeswoman said eight postboxes would be removed from Dunedin today. Postal Workers Union Southern District president John Maynard said the latest wave of postbox removals undermined community access to the postal network.The union was preparing a submission to the justice and electoral select committee’s inquiry into the conduct of the local authority elections.The submission raised concerns at the removal of essential infrastructure for voter participation in a postal ballot. New Zealand Post had failed to respond to the union proposal for postboxes to be cleared by posties on their rounds to save the company money, he said.The New Zealand Post spokeswoman said NZ Post disagreed the overall number of postboxes had an impact on voter turnout when it came to postal ballots.

February 8, 2017

AUSTRALIA: quartzmediaA Senate committee in Australia published documents on Feb. 7 showing the salaries of senior executives at Australia Post, a government-owned corporation. The committee decided it was in the public interest to reveal that last year Ahmed Fahour, managing director of Australia Post, raked in A$5.6 million (US$4.3 million), receiving a A$1.2 million bonus and A$4.4 million in annual salary. By contrast, the nation’s prime minister makes just over A$500,000 per year. The documents showed that five other senior executives at Australia Post also out-earned the prime minister, with each taking in between A$1.3 million and A$1.8 million per year. In 2015 Australia Post slashed 1,900 jobs in response to decreasing demand for its traditional letter delivery service. It reported at the time that losses were approaching A$500 million for the financial year, and that over the past five years they had exceeded A$1.5 billion.

INDIAEconomictimesRevenue deficit of the Department of Post (DoP) widened to Rs 8,670 crore in the April-December period of this fiscal, but various initiatives - including passport facility and other government services through post - are expected to rake in more revenue.  The DoP had registered a revenue deficit of Rs 6,007 crore in the fiscal year 2015-16. Various measures have been taken by the department to boost its revenue - Railway tickets are being sold through post offices under an agreement signed with the Ministry of Railways; that Government of India has introduced Sovereign Gold Bond scheme (SGB) and distribution of sourcing of Gangajal from Gangotri and Rishikesh through Post Offices as well as online through the Post Office has commenced.

UNITED KINGDOM:  channelwireless: Amazon said on Wednesday it had expanded its AmazonFresh food delivery service in Britain to 260 postal areas, making it available in selected parts of the southern England county of Hampshire for the first time. Amazon launched AmazonFresh in the UK last June, starting with 69 London postcodes and expanding to 190 Greater London and Surrey postcodes last September. AmazonFresh offers same day delivery, with one-hour delivery slots seven days a week. Its launch has increased the pressure on Britain's traditional big supermarkets.

February 7, 2017

TAIWAN: ChinaPostThe national postal service announced Tuesday that most branches would stay open on Saturdays from 9 a.m to noon. Postal staff wages would adhere to new overtime rules, which will cost the postal service an estimated NT$200 million annually. The increased cost could be offset by revenue generated during weekend operations.

UNITED KINGDOM: Post&ParcelRoyal Mail reportedly ran a small-scale pilot late last year providing customers with real-time delivery tracking. Participants in the trial received SMS/email notifications on the day of delivery of Tracked 24 and 48 parcels with 2D barcodes, linking to a live map of their delivery route. A position in the delivery queue was given eg, ‘we are 5 deliveries away’. However, no estimated delivery window was provided. Participants could follow their delivery in real time, allowing them to plan their day in the knowledge that they had visibility of when the delivery would be made.

February 5, 2017

NIGERIANationNigeriaThe Nigeria Postal Service, NIPOST, has assured Nigerians of it preparedness to provide market-driven postal and people-oriented services through innovation and technology to boost commerce and further diversify the nation’s economy. NIPOST promised to accustom Nigerians with the benefit of doing business and commerce with the postal industry considering the existing value-chain that include the network reach, logistic and warehousing, real estate, financial services and financial solutions.

February 3, 2017

TONGA: DirectionsMagazineThe Kingdom of Tonga is the first nation in the region, and the fourth in the world to adopt 3 word addresses to improve its national infrastructure. With 170 islands scattered over 700,000 square kilometres of ocean, delivering anything to anyone is a challenge. Until recently, home delivery was restricted to express mail in the city of Nuku’alofa, the capital of the Kingdom. Any other post would be delivered to centralised PO Boxes, with the recipient responsible for collection. That resulted in high volumes of undelivered mail, taking up space and incurring extra costs for Tonga Post.

February 2, 2017

SOUTH AFRICA:IT-ONLINEThe South African Posts Office turnaround plan is behind schedule but will complete is re-organisation to deliver on its aims. SAPO Strategic Turnaround Plan requires that the SA Post Office is modernised to focus on new businesses that are based on courier services, financial services and on the internet economy. The performance of the post office was slightly behind the projections but the focus on generating revenue through new businesses will improve performance going forward.

TURKEY: HurriyetDailyNewsTurkey’s Social Security Institution (SGK) is planning to distribute imported medicines to patients via the national postal service PTT, as part of austerity measures. 
A protocol between SGK and PTT regarding the transfer of imported drugs was signed a few months ago. Previously, the distribution of medicine coming from imports was done by the Turkish Pharmacologists Association (TEB), which was part of a protocol between SGK and TEB. TEB was receiving commission from the distribution.  SGK’s decision, however, drew criticisms from pharmacists and chambers. The Turkish Employer Pharmacists Union (TEİS) has filed a complaint against the State Council, saying that providing medicine to patients by post without pharmacists’ prescriptions would be very costly.

February 1, 2017

OMAN: TimesA unified postal address system is coming to Oman. The project aims to establish an integrated system using the latest international tools and technology applied in geographical information systems and digital mapping. Currently individuals and services find it difficult and time consuming to find a certain location. People would direct others to their location by giving them descriptive information of where they are and guide them through the streets.