Is Saturday Delivery Making a Comeback?

Australia Post Logo

Australia Post just announced that it will expand to 6 day delivery starting in the 4th quarter of this year.  However, Australia Post’s actions should not provide any hope for those in the United States trying to save Saturday delivery as Australia Post’s actions are limited to parcel delivery. (See Australia Post to deliver parcels on weekends as trading hours extended) The move to expand parcel delivery to Saturday was announced at the same time Australia Post announced that it would expand retail hours at its corporate offices to Saturdays as well.   These actions both provide Australia Post with the ability to handle its growing parcel business with a minimal [...] Read more »

Moody’s Projects the Future of Transaction and Advertising Mail

Valassis-featured

In assigning a rating on new debt issued by Harland Clarke to cover the purchase of Valassis, Moody’s made an assessment of a business that is primarily dependent on check printing and mail advertising.   Its comments suggests that Wall Street sees both the transaction and advertising mail businesses as profitable but in a secular decline.  More importantly for holders of bonds due in 2021, Moody’s expects the secular decline in both checks and mail advertising to accelerate towards the end of the decade. Harland Clarke’s B2 Corporate Family Rating reflects Moody’s ongoing concern that the combined business model is subject to secular decline in both its check printing and Valassis’ [...] Read more »

Fastenal Corporation Suspects that USPS Operating Changes Hurt Its Finances

Fastenal square logo

Last week, Fastenal became the first public corporation to report that changes in service standards for single-piece First Class mail have had a negative impact on its finances.   In reviewing the 2nd quarter’s results, Fastenal’s CFO Daniel Florness explained that the most significant reason for the increase in the corporation’s accounts receivable was changes in how Fastenal receives payment from its mostly small business customers. Now both June of 2012 and June of 2013 ended on a weekend. So the calendar is similar, so my comment about the calendar might sound a little odd. But what we’re — and I don’t know if this is a post office, logistics thing or [...] Read more »

Bengazi, the IRS, the Associated Press, and the USPS

us_congress

This week, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will hold its 2nd hearing on “scandals” at the Internal Revenue Service.   These two hearings along with a third hearing held by the full committee on the Bengazi have provided the Committee  significant visibility that the hard work required to create a postal reform bill that can pass would not. For postal stakeholders, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s focus on scandals that other House committees are also investigating must be particularly frustrating.  Members of Congress and Congressional committee staff have a finite amount of time and focusing on issues that generate the greatest press coverage and interest from Republican [...] Read more »

What is holding up Secure Electronic Mail

Pitney Bowes

Cloud Computing Journal reported today that “After more than two years of promising the imminent arrival of Volly, Pitney Bowes … has failed to materialize the cloud that was supposed to replace postal mail, especially posted bills.”    According to the story, Pitney Bowes has pushed back the launch in North America until no earlier than late in 2013 after first announcing Volly’s launch in September of 2011. Currently Pitney Bowes appears to be focusing on getting Volly up and running as a product of Australia Post.  Australia Post was supposed to implement Volly in October 2012 but the system is still not operational when the Cloud Computing Journal was written. [...] Read more »

Pitney Bowes Misses Earnings Estimates; Cuts Dividend

Pitney Bowes

Pitney Bowes has announced earnings of 42¢ per share for the 1st quarter of 2013.  Earnings were 2¢ per share below analyst’s estimates.   In a seperate press release Pitney Bowes declared a dividend of 18.75 cents per share for the Company’s common stock. 13.  The dividend declared is half of what Pitney Bowes had paid over the previous five quarters. In a statement included in the earnings announcement resident and Chief Executive Officer, Marc Lautenbach, commented, “We are taking a number of actions in support of the long-term health and growth of our business. While the results for the quarter were mixed, we are seeing progress in key elements [...] Read more »

Senator Carper Working to Put Postal Reform on President Obama’s Desk As Early As The July 4th Recess

Senator Carper

At Postal Vision 2020, Senator Tom Carper indicated that he hopes to have a Postal reform bill on the President’s desk by the July 4th recess and if not then by the August recess.   He expects to work toward passage of a postal reform bill within this time frame in the Senate through regular orders.  This means he will hold a hearing and accept comments on a public draft of a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committee drafted bill within the next month.    Then after a short period of reviewing this testimony and comments submitted, the Committee will hold a business meeting to mark-up the bill.   Given [...] Read more »

UPS Expands Customized Delivery Options

UPS Logo

Yesterday, United Parcel Service sent an e-mail to all UPS MyChoice members that announced an additional customized delivery option available to members of UPS MyChoice services.   The upgrade allows recipients to shift parcels sent by the shipper using UPS Surepost or UPS Basic from delivery by a U.S. Postal Service carrier to delivery by United Parcel Service driver.   UPS MyChoice customers can choose to upgrade an individual UPS Surepost or UPS Basic shipment or choose to have all UPS Surepost and UPS Shipments sent to them.   UPS charges $3.50 for each shipment upgraded.  The e-mail which is included below illustrates how the new service will work. The following chart shows [...] Read more »

Congressional Plan for 21st Century Freight Transportation Must Include the Postal Market

carrier delivering parcel-featured

This Wednesday, the 21” Century Freight Transportation Panel of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure will hold a hearing on the importance of freight transportation to the U.S. economy.  The Panel will receive testimony on the current operation of the freight network, what challenges impact its performance, and what can be done to improve the efficiency and safety of freight transportation. The Committee will hear from Fred Smith, Chairman, President, and CEO of FedEx Corporation; Wick Moorman, Chairman, President, and CEO of Norfolk Southern Corporation; James Newsome, President and CEO of the South Carolina Ports Authority; Derek Leathers, President of Werner Enterprises; and Edward Wytkind, President, Transportation Trades Department, [...] Read more »

Additional Indicators that Online Shopping is Changing the U.S. Economy

www brands

Two stories today illustrate how e-commerce is changing the U.S. economy. First, there are indications that demand for shipping boxes is rising fast enough to give the manufacturers of containerboard used to make these boxes sufficient market power to both raise  prices and make price increases stick.   Investment Analysts from both Goldman Sachs and Jeffries both released Goldman Sachs both raised their ratings of containboard manufacturers to reflect their belief that the pricing power that these manufacturers now have is sustainable. Second, in its conference call yesterday, Wolverine Woldwide, a manufacturer of a broad range of casual and work shoes and boots stated that nearly 15% of its sales were [...] Read more »