“Forward ever, backward never: onwards with Breaking Through”
No 95 -2019

Formulated by UNI Apro Post and Logistics Sector

JD Logistics partners with global pallet leader to improve efficiency. November 27, 2019.

Swiss Post profit down due to “challenging market conditions”. November 25, 2019.

The Post Office and the Banking System.
November 25, 2019.

Canada Post segment reports $135-million loss before tax in third quarter. November 22, 2019.

PAU union refuses to end the postal strike. November 19, 2019.   

JD Logistics partners with global pallet leader to improve efficiency

November 27, 2019

JD Logistics has announced that it has become the world’s first e-commerce platform to use the European Pallet Association’s (EPAL) industry-leading shipping pallets.

JD Logistics has formed a partnership with EPAL to enable the association’s pallets to be distributed to partners throughout China via JD Cloud Box – JD Logistics’ logistics transaction platform.

JD Cloud Box will use EPAL products as the standard logistics carriers throughout the supply chain system. EPAL’s products will also be integrated in JD’s cross-border logistics operations. JD Cloud Box will also offer repair and leasing services for the pallets, and provide an online platform for real-time information and transactions relating to EPAL pallets in China.

Jie Ji, head of JD Cloud Box at JD Logistics, said, “Reliable access to high-quality pallets on an as-needed basis is crucial to ensuring a highly efficient supply chain ecosystem. We are making it much more convenient for companies across China to utilize EPAL’s pallets in their operations, and raising the standard for China’s logistics industry at large.”

Source : https://www.parcelandpostaltechnologyinternational.com/news/delivery

Swiss Post profit down due to “challenging market conditions”

November 25, 2019

In the first three quarters of 2019, Swiss Post achieved a Group profit of 263 million francs, which is 54 million francs lower than in the previous year.

The decisive factor behind this downturn are the challenging market conditions, resulting in a reduction in interest income at PostFinance of 129 million francs.

The company’s release explained: “In the past, PostFinance and PostMail made the greatest contribution to good results at Swiss Post, but the operating framework has been difficult in both of these areas. Due to improvements in efficiency, PostMail was able to achieve a positive result despite the ongoing decline in letter volumes. PostFinance is also making great efforts, but continued low interest rates are having an impact on the Group result and can no longer be offset by other income or efficiency measures in the longer term. This includes increased parcel volumes. While these volumes are encouraging,

Swiss Post is engaged in fierce competition in the parcel delivery market and can only handle the large volume of parcels thanks to high investments in infrastructure.”

Commenting on the results, Alex Glanzmann, CFO of Swiss Post said: “As expected, the third quarter results were lower year-on-year. This reflects developments in a challenging market. However, thanks to intensive efforts in all business areas, results have not declined to the same extent as the deterioration in general conditions.”

Swiss Post is following the debate on the lifting of the lending prohibition initiated by the Federal Council with great interest. Against the backdrop of these significant challenges, Swiss Post is also looking for opportunities to tap into new sources of income. “We want to continue to finance the universal service from our own resources in the future, but this is questionable in the medium term given the difficult operating framework”, says Glanzmann.

Increased parcel volumes
The parcel volume processed by Swiss Post has increased again by 7%. Swiss Post already delivers over half a million parcels on average each working day. Yet the parcel delivery market is experiencing severe pressure on pricing as a result of fierce competition. The constant increase in parcel volumes also requires substantial investment in new parcel centers. For this reason, operating profit at PostLogistics decreased by 5 million to 96 million francs. At 1,251 million francs, operating income was 32 million francs up on the previous year, however. Long-term investments in new regional parcel centers are significantly improving logistics processes. For example, the recently opened parcel center in Cadenazzo (TI) has relieved the workload for the center in Härkingen (SO).

Falling letter volumes
Although letter volumes fell again by 4.5 % , PostMail achieved an operating profit of 257 million francs in the first nine months of the year, exceeding the previous year’s figure by 4 million francs. The main reason for this success is that PostMail was able to reduce its operating expenses by 81 million francs, even though operating income was 77 million francs lower than in the previous year, not least due to falling letter volumes. The example of letter post demonstrates particularly clearly the importance of the daily commitment shown by employees. However, the optimization potential for PostMail to compensate for lower revenues is continually decreasing due to falling letter and newspaper volumes.

Travelling by Postbus
The comprehensive public transport service from PostBus is enjoying increasing passenger demand, which is also due to the addition of further timetabled services. Operating income rose by 2 % year-on-year. Due to the non-recurring repayment of excess subsidies to purchasers, the operating result improved by 12 million francs year-on-year to –8 million francs. With the sale of CarPostal France to Keolis S.A., at the end of September 2019, Swiss Post ended its commitments to PostBus in France and is shifting its focus to the Swiss market and the Principality of Liechtenstein.

Source : https://postandparcel.info/117542/news/parcel

The Post Office and the Banking System

November 25, 2019
A tiff between the UK Post Office and Barclays bank could see the government intervene.
In October, the UK Post Office announced a new Banking Framework agreement with 28 UK banks. (Translation: the banks would pay the Post Office more to do banking transactions on their behalf.)

All the banks have reconfirmed their commitment that their customers can access a range of cash and cheque banking services at Post Office branches. Barclays initially decided to stop allowing their customers to make cash withdrawals at post offices, but after public outcry the bank executed a hasty climbdown.

The Financial Times recently reported that banks are now lobbying for guarantees they won’t be forced to subsidise the Post Office’s branch network.

UK banks are closing branches across the country - especially in rural areas. The Post Office has become a key source of cash and other banking services in communities.

While the government wants to guarantee the availability of cash, the post office network itself is under pressure. Various government departments have terminated contracts that saw government business transacted in post offices, and some over-the-counter transactions (such as bill payments) are in decline. The banks are concerned they will be subjected to further price rises for using the post office network.

Then there’s the question of the post bank. The Post Office acts as an agent for banks, and has a close relationship with the Bank of Ireland. But the Labour party is keen on setting up a new post bank, offering banking services via the post office network.

At the most recent Australian federal election, the Australian Labour Party’s then-leader floated the idea of using Australia Post to put pressure on the major banks. The ALP lost the election, and the post bank idea went no further.

In the USA, there are persistent calls for the creation of a post bank. Advocates claim a post bank would help end payday lending.

“While many people lives their lives almost cashless – using credit cards and apps – most people do not. In fact, almost 30% of Americans don’t have credit cards. Further, with the backlash against companies like Facebook and Google for not protecting users’ privacy, many people are returning to cash for some transactions,” says Mark Fallon, President and CEO of the Berkshire Company.

The US Post Office Department (predecessor to the US Postal Service) offered small savings accounts from 1911 to 1967. So the idea of a post bank isn’t new, but it certainly would seem politically difficult.

“With an administration that has already raised the issue of privatisation of the USPS, and with large banks – who donate large sums of cash to campaigns – against the idea of a postal bank, any move in that direction is years away,” says Fallon
The Google Bank
Perhaps banks shouldn’t worry too much about postal banks. The Wall Street Journal reports that Google will soon offer consumers transactional bank accounts.

The project, code-named Cache, is expected to launch next year with accounts run by Citigroup and a credit union at Stanford University, a tiny lender in Google’s backyard.

Google isn’t the only resident of Silicon Valley interested in banking. Apple introduced a credit card, and Amazon has been in talks with banks about transactional accounts. And Facebook is working on a digital currency that seems to be attracting a lot of political attention at the moment.

Why would tech companies be interested in banking? It’s all about the data! That should send chills down our collective spines.

Source : http://www.thepostalhub.com/blog

Canada Post segment reports $135-million loss before tax in third quarter

November 22, 2019
Canada Post recorded a loss before tax of $135 million in the third quarter of 2019, as ongoing declines in mail volumes were only partially offset by Parcels volume growth.

The segment’s loss before tax in the third quarter, which ended Sept. 28, was $40 million worse than the same period a year earlier. For the first three quarters of 2019, the Corporation recorded a loss before tax of $162 million. The year-to-date loss before tax is an improvement of $108 million over the same period in 2018, which included significant one-time costs related to pay equity for Rural and Suburban Mail Carriers.

Canada Post revenues totalled approximately $1.5 billion in the third quarter, a decrease of $44 million or 2.8 per cent compared to the third quarter of 2018. Year to date, revenues totalled approximately $4.8 billion, a decline of $71 million or 0.91 per cent compared to the first three quarters of last year.

Parcels results

Canada Post remains the leading e-commerce delivery company in Canada. For the third quarter of 2019, Parcels volumes increased by 4 million pieces or 6.1 per cent and revenue increased by $22 million or 3.9 per cent, compared to the same quarter last year. For Domestic Parcels, the largest product category, volumes increased by 3 million pieces or 6.9 per cent in the third quarter and revenue increased by $18 million or 4.2 per cent, compared to the same period last year.

For the first three quarters of 2019, total Parcels volumes increased by 11 million pieces or 5.8 per cent and revenue increased by $73 million or 4.7 per cent, compared to the same period in 2018. The Corporation is preparing to deliver tens of millions of parcels during the holidays, e-commerce’s busiest season.

Transaction Mail results

Transaction Mail is mostly letters, bills and statements. In the third quarter of 2019, Transaction Mail volumes fell by 80 million pieces or 11.3 per cent and revenue decreased by $49 million or 7.5 per cent, compared to the same period in 2018. For Domestic LettermailTM, the largest product category, volumes in the third quarter decreased by 76 million pieces, also a decline of 11.3 per cent, and revenue decreased by $47 million or 7.7 per cent, compared to the third quarter of 2018. While revenue and volume declines continue due to the use of digital alternatives, the rates of decline so far in 2019 are partially explained by higher revenue and volumes in the first three quarters of 2018 due to provincial and municipal elections. For the first three quarters of 2019, Transaction Mail volumes fell by 203 million pieces or 8.3 per cent and revenue decreased by $96 million or four per cent, compared to the same period a year earlier. The rate of decline in mail volumes for the full year is expected to improve in the fourth quarter because of additional volumes from the federal election.

Direct Marketing results

Direct Marketing volumes decreased by 32 million pieces or 2.9 per cent in the third quarter, compared to the same period a year earlier, while revenue decreased by $14 million or 5.4 per cent. For the first three quarters of 2019, Direct Marketing volumes fell by 175 million pieces or 4.5 per cent and revenue decreased by $42 million or 4.6 per cent, compared to the first three quarters last year.

Group of Companies results

The Canada Post Group of Companies2 reported a loss before tax of $87 million for the third quarter of 2019, which was $38 million larger than a loss before tax of $49 million3 in the same quarter in 2018. For the first three quarters of 2019, the Group of Companies recorded a loss before tax of $37 million, an improvement of $109 million compared to the same period in 2018. The losses for the third quarter and year to date are due to losses in the Canada Post segment. The Purolator segment recorded a profit before tax of $41 million in the third quarter of 2019, consistent with a profit before tax of $41 million in the same period a year earlier. For the first three quarters of 2019, Purolator’s profit before tax was $105 million, compared to a profit before tax of $107 million for the same period in 2018.


The operations of the Canada Post Group of Companies are funded by the revenue generated by the sale of its products and services, not taxpayer dollars.
1 All per cent values in this news release have been adjusted for trading days. In the first three quarters of 2019, there was one less business day compared to the same period in 2018.

2 The Canada Post Group of Companies consists of the core Canada Post segment and its three non-wholly owned subsidiaries, Purolator Holdings Ltd., SCI Group Inc. and Innovapost Inc.
3 All 2018 amounts for the Group of Companies were restated as a result of new or revised accounting standards.

Source: https://www.canadapost.ca/cpc/en/our-company/news-and-media/corporate-news

PAU union refuses to end the postal strike

November 19, 2019

The postal strike continues, while the strikers gain support from other unions in fields such as maritime and rail freight transport.. And the protest could last a long time, as the main postal union (PAU) implied today by rejecting a negotiation proposal from the National Labour Conciliator, Vuokko Piekkala.

PAU's chair Heidi Nieminen confirmed on Tuesday that the organization will not accept the terms and conditions proposed on Monday evening. In turn, the employer's representatives did accept the proposal.

The main obstacle for the union is the company's decision to transfer some 700 workers in parcel sorting services under the scope of a new collective agreement negotiated by Teollisuusliitto (Finnish Industrial Union) and Medialiitto (Finnmedia).

According to PAU, for the employees this would mean wage cuts and important reductions on work conditions. Postal workers were also on strike last September in an attempt to curb the company's decisions.

Both parties are called to continue negotiating next Wednesday at 13:00 at the office of the  National Labour Conciliator.

Source : https://www.foreigner.fi/articulo/work-and-study
No 96 -2019

Formulated by UNI Apro Post and Logistics Sector

DHL adds New York to its list of active foreign trade zones. November 27, 2019.

USPS pushes peak parcel volume online.
November 26, 2019.

Royal Mail: we stand ready to engage with CWU.
November 25, 2019.

Australia Post floats QR scanning or mobile number entry alongside its digital ID to watch porn online.
November 25, 2019.

Judge compares Post Office bosses to ‘mid-Victorian factory-owners’. November 22,  2019.

DHL adds New York to its list of active foreign trade zones

November 27, 2019

DHL Global Forwarding, the freight division of Deutsche Post DHL Group, has added a new foreign trade zone (FTZ) location in the US – at JFK Airport in New York.

FTZs are secure areas, in which shipping goods are handled, that are supervised according to US Customers and Border Protection regulations. A benefit of FTZs is that they reduce, defer or mitigate the impact of tariffs and taxes.

DHL has increased its number of FTZs in response to customers’ demands for comprehensive, appropriate end-to-end solutions in industry sectors including pharma, automotive and e-commerce.

DHL’s FTZ network will also help to protect customers against the effects of fluctuating trade scenarios that face companies with operations in the US.

The new FTZ at JFK Airport is the seventh of DHL’s to be implemented in the US. Other locations include Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Miami, San Diego and Los Angeles.

David Goldberg, cheif executive of DHL Global Forwarding, US commented: “This newest FTZ location will further help customers minimize their duty exposure in an ever-changing customs landscape and support their future business growth objectives.”

“An FTZ is a vital resource for customers that want to compete in international trade,” said Marc Gephart, director of  US customs product development and FTZ for DHL Global Forwarding. “Our continued investments in facilities, digital platforms and services will allow us to continue to help our customers navigate the changes and remain resilient and successful.”

In addition to DHL’s seven FTZs, it also administers several other customer-operated or user specific FTZs across the nation.

Three additional FTZ locations – in El Paso, San Francisco and San Juan, Puerto Rico – are planned for 2020.

Source : https://www.aircargonews.net/shipper

USPS pushes peak parcel volume online

November 26, 2019
As millions of Americans prepare to cook, commute, and commune with each other this week over the Thanksgiving break, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is bracing for the week of Dec.16, which is predicted to be its busiest mailing, shipping, and delivery week of the year.

The Postal Service's busiest time of the season is two weeks before Christmas, as customer mailing and shipping traffic at local Post Offices is expected to increase beginning Dec. 9. During the week of Dec. 16, the Postal Service expects to process and deliver nearly 2.5 billion pieces of first-class mail, including greeting cards, the agency said Monday.

That rush is partly because the holiday peak schedule is compressed in 2019, with one less week on the calendar for shopping and shipping than last year, thanks to Thanksgiving falling especially late in the month.

In response, USPS is promoting its online options, encouraging consumers to act online to ease the process of handling USPS' full holiday volume, an estimated delivery of 800 million packages between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day. That figure is down from the more than 900 million packages USPS delivered between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day in 2018 and the 850 million packages it handled over that period in 2017, but still represents a big bump in business.

Faced with that daunting task, it seems that even the stalwart professionals at the agency can get a little goofy with their slogans, including the following phrases in their latest press release:

"ship gifts in your jammies"
"there's no need to panic because you can 'Click-N-Chill,'
"even if you go a bit overboard on Cyber Monday, We Deliver for Yule"

And remember, beginning this year, mail and packages weighing more than 10 ounces and/or are more than a half-inch thick using stamps as postage cannot be dropped into a collection box or left for a carrier to pick up, but must be taken to a window clerk at a Post Office.

Source  : http://www.dcvelocity.com/articles/20191126

Royal Mail: we stand ready to engage with CWU

November 25, 2019

Royal Mail has agreed with the Communication Workers Union an increase in per-unit payments for the delivery of election mail (poll cards and candidate mail) during the General Election.

Shane O’Riordain, Royal Mail Managing Director of Regulation and Corporate Affairs said: “We said we would meet CWU to discuss the union’s request for an increase in the dedicated, per-unit payments postmen and postwomen receive for delivering poll cards and individual items of candidate mail during the General Election.

“Royal Mail and CWU have agreed a 5 % increase on average in the per-unit payment of election material delivered in the course of the current General Election. The increase will be paid retrospectively to cover election materials already delivered.

“In agreement with CWU, we will deploy varying per-unit increases. The current national agreement covering the delivery of election material remains in place until we jointly review it in 2020.

“More broadly, we stand ready to engage with CWU. We have written to them offering discussions without preconditions on open issues.”

Source : https://postandparcel.info/117553/news/post

Australia Post floats QR scanning or mobile number entry alongside its digital ID to watch porn online

November 25, 2019
Australia Post has entered the conversation about how the nation should go about verifying the age of an individual before allowing them to watch pornographic material online or participate in online wagering, putting forward its own digital identity solution as a suggestion.

In a submission [PDF] to the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs' inquiry, launched in September, the postal service promoted its digital identity play "Digital iD" as providing a suitable option for verification, as it gives an individual a "Keypass" that could also be coupled by a second layer of authentication.

"To prove their age, the individual could either scan a QR code or enter their mobile number into the relying party's website," Australia Post wrote.

"A notification on their mobile device would then prompt the individual to consent to share required personal details with the relying party. For example, an individual may be requested to share their name and date of birth, or an 18+ status only (to confirm they are over 18 years of age)."

Once the individual provides their consent to share their requested details, Australia Post said the relying party then receives the information from the digital ID service by way of a token.

According to Australia Post, the relying party specifies the information it requires to verify identity and/or age. However, it said the individual can choose whether they share the requested information.

"By allowing the individual to control the information they share, an individual's privacy is protected and can in some circumstances allow anonymity," the submission said. "This also assists in restricting the sharing of personal information in circumstances where it may not be necessary to capture additional personal details other than those required to prove an individual's age."

Australia Post used its submission to expand on how its digital identification play works.

"When an individual creates a Digital iD a pair of digital security 'keys' is generated. One key is stored on the individual's mobile device and the other by Australia Post's Digital iD platform. When a business or government agency that is a relying party requests verified details, the individual must first unlock their Digital iD app with a 6-digit security PIN or biometric authentication (such as Face ID or thumb print)," it wrote.

"The individual is then prompted to share the specific information requested by the relying party, by asking for the individual's consent to share the data."

AusPost in July received "trusted identity service provider" accreditation for its digital identity solution from the federal government. It's the second of two accredited identity providers, with the first being myGovID, handled by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

"The introduction of Australia Post as a second identity provider into the digital identity system is one of the foundational steps needed for the system to develop into a true whole of economy solution," Minister for Government Services Stuart Robert said in announcing the postal service that wants to run elections on blockchain-based technology had scored accreditation.

The Australia Post Digital ID was officially launched in 2017. There are a handful of services that accept the identification platform, such as bitcoin.com.au, Coinjar, Airtasker, and Credit Union Australia.

Australia Post's Digital ID is currently approved for use in Victoria, the Northern Territory, Queensland, Tasmania, and the Australian Capital Territory.

In Victoria, locals can use the Digital ID as a proof-of-age card to enter a pub, using an on-screen animation that prevents replication and creates a temporary QR code that can be scanned to verify age.

People in the Northern Territory cannot use it to purchase takeaway alcohol, however.

The Department of Home Affairs has floated using its Face Verification Service and Document Verification Service to verify an individual's age before allowing them access to online pornographic material. The Digital Transformation Agency (DTA), meanwhile, agrees with Australia Post in that the Australian government's digital identity play would instead be a valuable tool to do the same, but Australia's eSafety Commissioner says there is no "out of the box technology solutions" that will solve this issue and therefore believes age verification should not be seen as a panacea.

E-Safety said in its submission to the inquiry earlier this month that technical interventions will never be able to completely eliminate the risk of children being exposed to online pornography, and it will certainly not prepare children to interpret and understand online pornography once they reach adulthood.

"eSafety considers that risk and harms will more effectively be minimised through a combination and layering of technological solutions and other responses which includes education," the office wrote.

Source : https://www.zdnet.com/article

Judge compares Post Office bosses to ‘mid-Victorian factory-owners’

 November 22,  2019
 “The Post Office describes itself as ‘the nation’s most trusted brand’. Yet this application is founded on the premise that the nation’s most trusted brand was not obliged to treat their sub-Postmasters with good faith, and instead entitled to treat them in capricious or arbitrary ways which would not be unfamiliar to a mid-Victorian factory-owner.”

Those were the damning words of Lord Justice Coulson as he threw out an appeal by the company today in the long-running Horizon scandal, in a ruling hailed by CWU assistant secretary Andy Furey as “a momentous decision.

“Justice for Postmasters is long overdue,” said CWU assistant secretary Andy Furey this afternoon, in response to the latest legal development in this shocking case that has seen hundreds of hard-working Postmasters wrongly disciplined, investigated, suspended, sacked and even in the opinion of many falsely prosecuted by the company.

The claimants’ legal team has argued that Horizon is a deeply flawed IT programme which, due to systemic errors within its system, indicated many non-existent financial shortfalls.

Determined to win justice, Postmasters banded together, and formed the Justice For SubPostmasters Alliance (JFSA), which vowed to fight for justice and launched group litigations against the Post office leadership.  Incredibly, the only Post Office-recognised organisation for representing Postmasters – the NFSP, washed their hands of their members over this issue many years ago and have been in denial about the unfair consequences faced by Postmasters due to the Horizon problems ever since.

Today’s hearing was an appeal by the Post office against a ‘Common Issues’ ruling that had been made in favour of the 557 postmaster claimants by Mr Justice Fraser and followed the company’s defeated attempt to have Justice Fraser removed from the case after his initial ruling against the Post Office back in March.

“It’s clear that justice is gradually beginning to be done for these postmasters, who have been treated absolutely appallingly by the Post Office,” said Andy.

“And it’s also clear that with every legal defeat, the leadership of the company seems to be getting ever-more desperate.”

A further legal judgement is expected soon regarding the second case, and a further hearing is scheduled for next March, which will, should the Postmasters ultimately prevail, decide the path to their compensation.

Claims have also been lodged under the offices of the Criminal Cases Review Commission with respect to potential miscarriages of justice in the treatment of a number of the claimants.

“This is a hugely important and significant case, which whilst being a national scandal has largely gone ‘under the radar’ in the current circumstances,” says Andy.

Source : https://www.cwu.org/news