Did Darrell Issa Sabatoge the USPS-APWU agreement

In letter to American Postal Workers Union (APWU) members, APWU President Cliff Guffey identified that a key obstacle to ratification of the contract is rank and file anger with the efforts of Republicans to restrict union rights and reduce the pay and benefits of public and postal employees.   President Guffy’s letter indicates that the tone that Republican members of Congress at the April 5th House Oversight and Government Reform hearing combined with the state legislative conflicts in Wisconsin, Illinios and Ohio created an environment in which rank and file APWU members are looking for a way to protest the treatment of unionized employees by Republican politicians.   The APWU-USPS ratification may have become the vehicle for that protest. The [...] Read more »

The US Parcel Market: Hightlights from the UPS Conference Call

In its conference call yesterday, United Parcel Service provided a number of insights on the parcel shipping market and the customers that use UPS, FedEx and the Postal Service. Revenue Generated Per Shipment is Rising Kurt Kuehn, the CFO described the improvement in revenue as follows: Revenue per piece grew 5% with the biggest driver being increases in base rates, as we get our prices back in line with the value we provide. Higher fuel surcharges and package characteristics also contributed to the yield improvement. We are executing our strategy of focusing on the quality of revenue. The key objective of this strategy is to ensure that we are properly compensated [...] Read more »

United Parcel Service Volume Down in First Quarter

United Parcel Service reported that it earned $885 million its first quarter of 2011.  Its earnings were up 66 percent from a year earlier when it earned $533 million.   UPS projected earnings are stronger than previously forecast. It now projects that its earnings will be between 17 to 24% higher in 2011 than 2010. UPS’s earnings growth came in all three of its operating segments, U.S. domestic package, international package, and supply chain and freight.  UPS’s increases in revenue reflects both rate increases and increased fuel surcharges.  Its increases in profits reflect margin improvements in its U.S. domestic package and Supply chain and freight businesses. UPS’s parcel volume as illustrated in the following chart was [...] Read more »

Direct Marketing Agencies Among Leaders in Social Media

Advertising Age reports that advertising agencies are generating 28% of their revenue from social media.  Advertising agencies generated $8.5 billion in revenue from social media.  While 60% of that revenue came from agencies specializing in social media, direct marketing firms generated the second largest share of 23.5%. The success of agencies specializing in direct marketing is not surprising as these firms have the experise in customer targeting and outcome analytics that is critical in making social media work.   Direct marketing firms may have a leg up long-term over specialty firms as their customer relationships and ability to integrate multiple modes of direct marketing, including direct mail, may provide a competitive [...] Read more »

Why Taking Early Retirement Incentives is a Good Idea

In a perverse way, the problems that OPM is having in processing retirement claims in a timely fashion creates a perverse incentive to accept an early retirement incentive.  As FedSmith.com reports, the Office of Personnel Management is taking 117 days to get final retirement payments right.  The first $10,000 payment of the retirement incentive can cover a big chuck of the delayed payment of the full pension checks due over the four month delay. Addendum: The comments to this post show clearly that the incentive payment will likely come after OPM completes the review process.   So it does not give Postal Retirees cash up front that would compensate for [...] Read more »

The Rise of E-commerce – How does it affect FedEx, USPS, and UPS?

E-commerce in the fourth quarter of 2010 for the first time clearly represented more than 20% of all deliverable retail sales.    E-commerce’s share of retail sales grew by a third in less than 5 years.  The following graph illustrates the change in share of seasonally adjusted retail sales. The 20% figure represents the proportion of catalog and on-line sales estimated by the Census Bureau as a portion of sales at furniture & home furnishings (442), electronics & appliances (443), clothing & accessories (448), sporting goods, hobby, book, and music (451), general merchandise (452), office supply, stationery, and gift stores (4532) stores as well as on-line and catalog merchants (4541). [The [...] Read more »

What Happens If the APWU Rejects the Contract?

APWU members now have their ballots for the ratification of the tentative 2010-2015 Collective Bargaining Agreement with the Postal Service.   Like many votes on labor contracts that make significant changes in long-standing work-rules, pay schedules, and compensation levels in industries facing economic change, ratification is not pre-ordained. Challenging Contract Ratifications Examples of challenging ratification efforts include both United Parcel Service and Yellow Roadway Corporation.   Unhappiness with a negotiated contract with teamster organized less-than-truckload carriers in the 1970′s provided impetus for creation of Teamsters for a Democratic Union.  The 2008 UPS agreement that removed tens of thousands of UPS teamster from the Central States Multiemployer plan, required nearly a year-long public relations [...] Read more »

Why Mail May Matter Longer Than We Think.

A recent story in Business Insider identified another reason why the information superhighway could face bottlenecks not dissimilar to those that drivers experience during rush hour in Los Angeles. The article quotes the ATT filing on its purchase of T-Mobile in which ATT explains the impact that theiPhone and similar smart phones have on network demand.  “The filing says: A smartphone generates 24 times the mobile data traffic of a conventional wireless phone, and the explosively popular iPad and similar tablet devices can generate traffic comparable to or even greater than a smartphone. AT&T’s mobile data volumes surged by a staggering 8,000% from 2007 to 2010, and as a result, [...] Read more »

The Washington Post Does Not Understand the Postal Service

Once again the Washington Post’s editorial board illustrated their ignorance on Postal issues. In an editorial focusing on labor issues, the editorial board illustrated an understanding about labor negotiations that is particularly peculiar given the newspaper industry’s history in reducing labor costs as it faced the threat of e-competition.  The editorial board reinforced the impression that it does not know what it is talking about by confusing retirement with health benefits. By stating that the contract with the APWU is inadequate, they assume that a better contract could have been negotiated or obtained through binding arbitration. The truth is changes in wages in benefits that the Washington Post believes are needed only [...] Read more »

Secure Electronic Payment?

eWeek reports that Conde Nast paid $8 million to an  e-mail pfishing scam.  A scammer managed to spear phish media giant Conde Nast and walk off with $8 million after he posed as a legitimate business. With the specter of spear phishing looming in the post-Epsilon-and-Silverpop world, the Conde Nast incident is a timely reminder of how easy it is to fall for a scam. The steps were fairly straightforward. This scammer created a bank account with a name similar to that of another business that Conde Nast worked with frequently. With account details in hand, the scammer sent an email to the publishing company and requested that all future payments be [...] Read more »