“Forward ever, backward never: onwards with Breaking Through”

No 35-2020

Formulated by UNI AproPost and Logistics Sector

1.   PostNL and CB to collaborate via CB Healthcare partnership.April 30, 2020.


2.   FedEx and BigCommerce offer deals to help bring retailers online. April 28, 2020.

3.   Postal union disputes claimed decline in letter volumes.

April 27, 2020.


4.   Singpost: delivering medicine to around 300 recipients every day. April 27, 2020.

5.   Royal Mail commits over £25 million to protecting its people during the coronavirus crisis.April 24, 2020.


1.  PostNL and CB to collaborate via CB Healthcare partnership

April 30, 2020
The Hague, the Netherlands, 30 April 2020 – Logistics service provider and PostNL today announced that PostNL intends to acquire a minority stake in CB’s healthcare arm. In response to the growing market for healthcare logistics, PostNL and CB are – through their new CB Healthcare partnership – seeking to collaborate even more closely, supporting healthcare sector clients with a wide range of logistics solutions, such as deliveries of wound care and incontinence products to people’s homes and care institutions. The transaction is expected to complete in July 2020.

More straightforward and patient-oriented

Senior citizens are living independently in their own homes ever longer, and care is increasingly being provided remotely. These changes call for a more straightforward and patient-friendly set-up of logistics in the decades ahead. This partnership between CB and PostNL responds to a growing societal need for direct deliveries of (preventive) care to the elderly and patients in the home. In addition, both companies are seeing growing demand for logistics support from hospitals and care institutions.

Personalised and at any time

Hans Willem Cortenraad, Managing Director at CB, commented: “CB has been focusing on the healthcare market for a fair few years now. We’re able to shorten logistics supply chains in healthcare while adding personalised service, helping care providers to spend less time on logistics and better facilitate consumer health requirements.

Our collaboration with PostNL will help us to better respond to changes in the healthcare market and to scale up to meet the increasing demand for products and services that can be personalised and delivered at any time. By joining forces, we’ll both be smarter, faster and more efficient in healthcare logistics.”

Improved logistics solutions

LiesbethKaashoek, PostNL’s Parcels and Logistics Director, added: “PostNL and CB have been partnering successfully for years, drawing on our granular, specialist network. Care is increasingly provided in people’s home environment and we see a growing demand for logistics services from our clients. By taking on the logistics end, we help care professionals to focus on providing care. PostNL and CB share an ambition to make the logistics process smarter and more tailored to the needs of patients and care providers. By working closely together, we expect to be able to accelerate the achievement of our plans.”



2.  FedEx and BigCommerce offer deals to help bring retailers online

FedEx partnered with ecommerce platform BigCommerce to help retail stores move online amid the coronavirus outbreak. New BigCommerce customers will receive four months of free service along with discounted FedEx shipping rates.

FedEx Vice President of Customer Engagement Marketing Randy Scarborough said the two companies are collaborating to make it easier for more businesses to “stay connected to commerce and deliver for their customers.”

The FedEx Advantage Program gives current small and medium businesses on BigCommerce access to FedEx ecommerce solutions, including competitive shipping discounts.

FedEx said it also joined a new coalition of over 40 companies in Stand for Small powered by American Express, and it said it continues to explore additional opportunities to assist small businesses.

It pointed to several online resources where it provides information and insights for small businesses:

·       The FedEx Small Business COVID-19 Resources page has information to help business owners navigate running a small company during the COVID-19 pandemic.
·       The newly launched Tech Chat with Small Business page serves as a hub where business owners can see what technology their peers are using to start and scale their businesses. They can learn about different website platforms and online tools and hear directly from businesses facing similar challenges.
·       The FedEx Making it Work Podcast features guests and entrepreneurs sharing their insights and conventional wisdom on the highs and lows of running a business.
·       The FedEx E-Commerce Center offers tips including ecommerce shipping, fulfilling orders and meeting expectations beyond delivery.
·       The FedEx Small Business Center provides shipping solutions, tools and insights from entrepreneurs and experts.
·       FedEx Office is keeping businesses moving forward and offering ready-to-print COVID flyers and posters about CDC-recommended safety measures and social distancing. Through May 31, 2020, customers can save up to $30 off their print orders.

3.  Postal union disputes claimed decline in letter volumes

April 27, 2020

Posties have cast doubt on their chief executive Christine Holgate’s claim that the coronavirus pandemic has halved letter volumes, saying the decline is closer to 15 per cent.

The Communication Workers Union, which represents postal workers, will today hold a teleconference with Australia Post management to seek verification on the fall in letter volumes and gain more detail about how Ms Holgate plans to move 2000 posties from bikes to vans to clear a backlog of parcels.

The CWU says it was blindsided by the Morrison government last week granting Australia Post a temporary suspension from its community service obligations, which stipulates it must run a five-day-a-week letter delivery service.

The suspension has allowed Australia Post to deliver letters every second business day, instead of daily, in metropolitan areas and to push out delivery times on interstate routes. The postal service has also withdrawn its more expensive priority mail product and says it can no longer guarantee next day delivery for Express Post.

Ms Holgate argued the relief was necessary, citing an 80 per cent spike in parcel deliveries in the past month as social distancing fuels an online shopping bonanza. She said the postal service had struggled from the grounding of most of Qantas’s passenger fleet, which it relies on to deliver online shopping orders across the country, while at the same time letter volumes had halved.

But Victorian CWU branch secretary Leroy Lazaro said while letter volumes had declined during the COVID-19 pandemic, the fall had not been as great as 50 per cent.

“From what we are hearing from our members the letter volume has not dropped to the extent of what is being said,” Mr Lazaro said, adding posties would know if their work had halved.

“I do understand that the UMS (unaddressed mail), magazines and catalogues etc has dropped drastically because of (companies) not having enough to advertise for and the fact that many shops are closed.

“But in real letter volumes, in which we talk about standard letters, I don’t think that has dropped to the extent that Australia Post is making it out to be.

“More realistically it is around the 14-15 per cent that those letter volumes have dropped.”
Letter writing has had a resurgence in some parts of the community, with letter composition part of the curriculum for home-schooling, while nursing homes have called on the young to send letters to the elderly to help maintain social connections.

But mail sent between consumers only accounts for 3 per cent of all letters sent, with business and government comprising the bulk with items such as bills, bank statements and Medicare information.

Mr Lazaro said the union was surprised at Australia Post’s decision to axe the priority product, which makes up 12 per cent of total letter volumes but costs 45 per cent more than a standard letter and does not require the same level of sorting.

“Even though they may say priority volumes are limited, it’s very profitable to Australia Post because it is already done by the mailing houses and sent to Australia Post to run it once on the machine to get it sequenced. The amount of processing needed by Australia Post is limited.”

Mr Lazaro said the CWU had been in regular discussions with Australia Post, particularly about ensuring posties kept delivering mail. He said the union was not consulted about Ms Holgate’s plan to redeploy 2000 posties from standard duties.

4.  Singpost: delivering medicine to around 300 recipients every day

April 27, 2020

SingPost has been delivering medicine islandwide since the start of the COVID-19 crisis and last week began cold-chain deliveries with overnight storage in a cold room established in its regional e-commerce logistics hub.

When Covid-19 first surfaced in Singapore, SingPost’s courier arm Speedpost offered to assist healthcare institutions in delivering medicine to patients. This is the first time SingPost has undertaken medical deliveries.

SingPost now delivers medicine for the National University Hospital, as well as Geylang, Hougang and Toa Payoh Polyclinics.

The medicine that was delivered when the service started in February were not temperature-sensitive and did not require chilling. SingPost then progressively set up its cold-chain capabilities, which in essence meant a temperature-controlled supply chain.

SingPost set up a cold room within its Regional e-commerce Logistics Hub, invested in medical-grade cold-chain boxes as well as temperature loggers, and trained a pool of our couriers on the processes required to undertake such deliveries. This was achieved in less than a month.

Mr Ong Chin Kai, Deputy Vice President of Post and Parcel Delivery, Singapore Post said: “We offered to help healthcare institutions deliver medicine to patients using our Speedpostislandwide courier network as we wanted to do our part in the nationwide battle against Covid-19. Through these deliveries, it is our hope that patients who might be understandably wary of visiting healthcare institutions during this period – can have peace of mind, and frontline medical workers can focus their efforts on emergencies as well as battling the pandemic.

This delivery service has proven especially useful for patients who require regular medication during the current circuit breaker period, with the government urging people to stay at home.”



5.  Royal Mail commits over £25 million to protecting its people during the coronavirus crisis

April 24, 2020
Shane O’Riordain, Managing Director of Marketing, Regulation and Corporate Affairs, Royal Mail said:

“We have committed over £25 million to buying equipment such as hand sanitiser, disposable gloves and other additional protective measures to keep our people safe as they keep the UK connected during the ongoing lockdown.

“This includes distributing half a million bottles of hand sanitiser through our operation in recent weeks. As well as increasing supplies of hand sanitiser, soap, cleaning equipment and disposable gloves, we have used this significant cash sum to source face masks for those who want them.”

Changes to protect our people and our customers during the coronavirus crisis
The Universal Postal Service provides a lifeline to businesses and communities everywhere during the coronavirus crisis. The delivery of parcels and letters is a key way of keeping the country together and helping many people who may not have the option to leave their homes. The UK Government has recognised Royal Mail as having a key role to play in the national response to this emergency.

Royal Mail’s number one priority is keeping its people and customers safe. This investment is the latest in a range of preventive measures the company has taken to protect both its colleagues and its customers.

Royal Mail was one of the first delivery companies to introduce contact free delivery.  Where an item won’t fit through a customer’s letterbox, the postman or woman now places the item at the customer’s door, knocks, and steps aside to a safe distance while the customer retrieves their item. We are also temporarily not handing over hand-held devices to customers to capture signatures.  The vast majority of mail can be posted safely through the letterbox without any interaction with the customer at all. 

Royal Mail has changed its standard ways of working to ensure that, wherever possible, colleagues stay two metres apart. It has also implemented a new rule so that only one person is in a Royal Mail delivery vehicle at any one time. These new social distancing measures are aimed at offering further protection for our colleagues and our customers. We continue to promote regular hand washing with soap and water.

We have also adopted enhanced disinfectant cleaning of communal areas in all Royal Mail sites on a daily basis. Royal Mail continues to follow the preventive guidance of global and domestic public health authorities.

Royal Mail continues to engage with the Communication Workers Union and Unite/CMA on a daily basis on this matter. We are pleased that at a local level and through national officers we have been working together to find practical solutions to the many issues that have emerged. We have a joint interest in protecting our people.

Royal Mail has also launched its ‘Thumbs Up’ campaign to remind customers to keep at least two metres distance – more than the height of a postbox - from postmen and postwomen when they are out delivering. This is in line with Government guidance on social distancing.


No 36-2020

Formulated by UNI AproPost and Logistics Sector

1.  Shop Floor action, workers stepping up. April 30, 2020.


2.  Confederation approves Swiss Post financial statements.
April 29, 2020.
3.  Posts' essential role delivering medical supplies worldwide April 29, 2020.

4.  UPS introduce smart warehouse technology. April 27, 2020.


5.  Omniva cooperates with Bolt on home delivery of parcels from Post Office. April 24, 2020.


1.  Shop Floor action, workers stepping up

April 30, 2020
Everywhere postal workers are delivering under poor conditions. It’s been over 100 years since we delivered during a pandemic. Yet, workers continue to defend themselves and support health care workers. There is a lot more happening in locals than are included here.

Members of the Golden, B.C., local used their individual right to refuse work because the post office was not properly cleaned.  Everyone refused to go into a filthy unsafe workplace. The matter is resolved for now. In order for CUPW members to return to work, Canada Post arranged to have the facility thoroughly cleaned.

This pattern repeats elsewhere. Operations often require extra convincing to do the right thing. The “disgusting” Collingwood, Ontario, post office was unacceptably filthy. “Clean it or we are leaving” was the message. That weekend, cleaners came in. It was reported by one observer that it had suddenly become “the cleanest post office” they had ever seen.

The Winnipeg local continues to demonstrate visible support and gratitude for health care workers and our public health care system. The Royal City, Windsor, Hamilton, Calgary, Nova, Scarborough and Toronto Locals have done the same. In Newmarket, Ontario, 80 vehicles driven by local RSMCs and letter carriers drove by the hospital while health workers came outside to greet them. In Montreal, visits continue to the various hospitals in an ongoing show of support to ensure every hospital worker feels support.

In the absence of CPC providing masks to those that want them, a Winnipeg worker sewed masks for co-workers. Workers who left non-perishable items for the food bank received a mask. Food and toiletries went to Sunshine House.

The Niagara Local organized and conducted an action in support of a retirement home and its residents who have had a bad time with COVID 19. The members raised money through donations and provided the retirement home residents and staff with coffee, donuts, and flowers. The action received good coverage by the local news. The organizers plan to donate to other homes in Niagara Falls each week.

All over the country, health and safety committees are stepping up. We know in many cases that shielding and social distancing took place when locals started making it happen. The social stewards are playing such a vital, and thankless unacknowledged role. They deserve our gratitude for helping people through difficult times. Like all postal workers, rural workers and those working in smaller bargaining units are making a real difference in the lives of people in a crisis.

Political work for the post office of the future continues. In Atlantic Canada, one member of the Fredericton local appeared on a virtual panel seen by hundreds on Delivering Community Power. There is still interest in this ecological and sustainable postal vision from the public. There will be an opening to drive this initiative after COVID-19 and we need to be active in this transition to create a sustainable economy that serves communities and not billionaires.

We do not know of every single action you have taken and likely miss many, but we do know that this is a time of uncertainty requiring solidarity. Please send your story to us. 

2.  Confederation approves Swiss Post financial statements

April 29, 2020
The General Meeting of Swiss Post has approved the 2019 consolidated and annual financial statements. The dividend distribution from Swiss Post to the Confederation amounts to 50 million francs this year, which takes account of the transformation phase Swiss Post is currently in.

As the sole shareholder of Swiss Post, the Confederation approved all proposals made by the Board of Directors at yesterday’s General Meeting. This included a dividend distribution of 50 million francs (dividend for 2018: 200 million francs). The General Meeting approved the 2019 consolidated and annual financial statements, with operating income of 7,164 million francs and Group profit of 255 million francs. The General Meeting also re-elected Ernst & Young Ltd as statutory auditors for the 2020 financial year. The Confederation acknowledged that the upper limits for Board of Directors fees and Executive Management salaries were respected in 2019 and approved upper limits for these for the 2021 financial year.

As proposed, the General Meeting granted the Members of the Board of Directors full discharge for the 2019 financial year. The restricted discharges for the 2018 and 2017 financial years will remain in place. This is due to the still pending administrative criminal proceedings relating to the irregular reclassifications at PostBus, which are currently being conducted by the Federal Office of Police (fedpol). From the perspective of Swiss Post, the PostBus incidents were concluded in financial terms.

Swiss Post reserves the right to consider civil claims for liability once the administrative criminal proceedings have concluded.

The Members of the Board of Directors were reappointed for two years at last year’s General Meeting, meaning that no re-election process was held this year. The by-election for board member and human resources representative Michel Gobet, who passed away on 13 February 2020, will be held at an Extraordinary General Meeting.

3.  Posts' essential role delivering medical supplies worldwide
April 29, 2020

China Post has boosted its international air freight capacity

Posts around the world are playing an essential role in the delivery of medical supplies in the fight against COVID-19. Worldwide, against a sharp reduction in international transport options, EMS members are making huge efforts to remain operational so they can deliver essential medical supplies in order to fulfil their universal service mandate.

Many EMS operators are looking at alternative transport channels for inbound and outbound international mail so that they can continue to ship medical supplies which are in heavy demand to affected areas around the world. 

In China, China Post is one of the main international operators authorized to ship personal protection equipment (PPE) for personal use. To address the urgent need to ship a backlog of medical supplies, China Post has taken multiple measures to coordinate and guarantee the smooth transportation of international deliveries. Mail processing centres have focused on epidemic prevention and safe production of the international mail.

Responding to the sharp reduction of international passenger flights, China Post has boosted its international air capacity and set up additional transit stations. It has increased communication with the Customs and other authorities to open customs clearance passage to ensure rapid processing and timely delivery of medical supplies.

EMS is a global network and the cooperation of members can be seen during these difficult times. This is perfectly shown by CorreoArgentino who have worked to distribute 14 tons of medical supplies arriving from China to help health workers and essential partners in the battle against the coronavirus in Argentina.

On a domestic level, Posts are supporting communities through the delivery of prescriptions, personal protective equipment, Coronavirus testing kits and public awareness leaflets. In Bangladesh, the postal service has launched nationwide free delivery of medical equipment to help combat the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic. Whilst in the UK the Royal Mail is a key partner in the delivery and return of coronavirus tests to frontline staff. Georgian Post has started the home delivery of medications particularly to those who belong to the highest risk groups. Sri Lanka Post is providing humanitarian support, including the delivery of 400,000 life-saving medicines to the patients throughout the country and PHLPOST staff are assisting local government units in the delivery of supplies of frontline workers in the Philippines.

What is clear is that the role of Posts at this time is essential. International imports and exports must continue to ensure the communities around the world receive vital medical supplies.


4.  UPS introduce smart warehouse technology

April 27, 2020

UPS Supply Chain Solutions is implementing new warehouse network technology designed to make its distribution centers smarter and more efficient. The new Warehouse Execution System (WES) was developed by Softeon and will enable faster order intake and define specific customer requirements resulting in more than 50% productivity gains for some customers. 

“WES enables UPS to better leverage our global warehouse network and integrated technology to help our customers reduce capital, improve service and speed to end customers,” said Philippe Gilbert, president of Supply Chain Solutions. “We also can create more custom and turnkey outsourced fulfillment services to meet our customers’ unique supply chain needs.” 

The WES’s real-time monitoring of capacity, fulfillment requirements, backlogs, and labor status allow UPS to identify and resolve potential disruptions before they arise.  The WES implementation is part of UPS’s ongoing efforts to modernize warehouse operations via autonomous technology.  

UPS is deploying Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMR) from Locus Robotics, which receive instruction from the WES to pick up and transport goods for order consolidation. 

5.  Omniva cooperates with Bolt on home delivery of parcels from Post Office

April 24, 2020
Omniva and Bolt launched a pilot project to test parcel delivery using the ride-hailing platform as couriers. The pilot project will run for two weeks, during which Bolt will deliver parcels from Nurmenuku and Majaka parcel dispatch points in Tallinn.

According to Omniva management board member and head of parcel business Andre Veskimeister, the company is actively looking for possibilities to deliver parcels to clients under the state of emergency conditions. “We are testing a solution with Bolt where a client can use Bolt to order home delivery of their parcel that has arrived at the parcel dispatch point,” Veskimeister said. “We also hope that the pilot project lets us experience how traditional parcel delivery could function in collaboration with a modern ride-hailing platform.”

“In the current difficult situation, we see that the postal service is overloaded,” Bolt CEO in Estonia Aleksei Kolesnikov added. “We can help here using our wide network of drivers and experience in providing transport services. We hope that the new solution shortens queues and we also encourage everyone to give feedback so we could improve the service even more.”

If the client’s parcel can be delivered using Bolt, Omniva will send an additional SMS. The link in the SMS leads to a special Bolt website where the client can order home delivery of the parcel; it is possible to include several parcels from the post office in one order. After order confirmation, Bolt sends the client a link via which they can track the parcel and its estimated delivery time using a map application.

Due to the state of emergency decision of the Government Committee, 19 post offices located in shopping centres were closed in Estonia, more than half of these in Tallinn. All the parcels in these post offices were divided between the four open post offices (Nurmenuku, Nõmme, Pallasti, Lasnamäe) and two parcel dispatch points (Majaka, Pirita).

If possible, parcels are directed to the nearest open post office; however, since the open post offices are under excessive burden and all parcels in one area might not fit into one post office, the parcels of some areas may end up in post offices further away.

Cooperation with Bolt lets the client have a parcel delivered to their doorstep from the further than usual post office. In the pilot phase, the home delivery option is offered by the post offices with the heaviest workloads – Nurmenuku post office and Majaka parcel dispatch point.

Bolt service is offered to the client in the parcel SMS if the issuing of the parcel does not require additional activities such as payment of import or other taxes or filling or returning a document, etc.