the daily news digest of the postal world since 1998


Video: Mailman caught on camera sideswiping car, driving off

EVERETT — The post office delivers through rain, sleet and snow, but an Everett couple said what their mailman brought to their door is not what they expected.

For months they’ve been tangled in government red tape until Q13 Fox News started to investigate.

Read more: Mailman caught on camera sideswiping car, driving off | Q13 FOX News.


Video: Swapbox looks to replace your mailman with a kiosk

The United States Postal Service handled 158.4 billion pieces of mail last year. UPS added another 4.3 billion to that tally and FedEx another 1.2 billion. For many of those the sender had to wait in line to fill out all the paperwork necessary to get their package sent and on the other end many who were not home when their package was delivered had to wait in line to pick it up.

What if all this waiting in line were eliminated? What if you could drop off or pick up your package hassle free with the tap of a few buttons. That’s the idea behind Swapbox, a San Francisco start-up that aims to take the pain out of the $1 trillion mailing industry.

Read more: Swapbox looks to replace your mailman with a kiosk – Yahoo Finance.


Video: Pricing shifts in the parcel business

Sept. 17 (Bloomberg) — Shipware President and CEO Rob Martinez discusses pricing shifts in the parcel business on “In The Loop.” (Source: Bloomberg)

Read more: USPS Rivals FedEx, UPS With Rate Cuts: Video – Bloomberg.


Video: Private “mail store” leaves doors unlocked, mail and packages exposed

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (WJLA) – When a local mailing company closed for business, it didn’t exactly close its doors; the doors were left unlocked and the staff was nowhere to be found.

A customer made the shocking discovery of packages and envelopes lying around, mailboxes unsecured; anyone could go in and scoop up someone’s mail. ABC 7 News arrived at the Alexandria Pak Mail store just as police officers did, and their response was one of disgust. A spokesperson for the U.S. Postal Inspection Service told ABC 7 News the agency is deeply concerned about this case and is investigating.

Read more: Only on 7: Alexandria Pak Mail store leaves doors unlocked, mail and packages exposed |


FedEx to Increase Shipping Rates

(I’m gonna go out on a limb here and predict that not a single politician or newspaper editorial board will express outrage at “yet another rate increase” that is three times the rate of inflation!)

Fedex logoFedEx Express, FedEx Ground and FedEx Freight, subsidiaries of FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX), will increase shipping rates effective January 5, 2015.

FedEx Express will increase shipping rates by an average of 4.9% for U.S. domestic, U.S. export and U.S. import services.

FedEx Ground and FedEx Home Delivery will increase shipping rates by an average of 4.9%.  FedEx SmartPost rates will also change.

FedEx Freight will increase shipping rates by an average of 4.9%.  This rate change applies to eligible FedEx Freight shipments within the U.S. (including Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands), between the contiguous U.S. and Canada, within Canada, between the contiguous U.S. and Mexico, and within Mexico.

Details of all changes to rates and surcharges are available at

FedEx previously announced in May 2014 that it will apply dimensional weight pricing to all FedEx Ground shipments.  That change also takes effect January 5, 2015.


Continuing Resolution won’t include action on USPS

House Republicans are back to their old game of holding the country hostage by refusing to fund the government for more than a few weeks or months at a time. The latest “Continuing Resolution” will run only until December 11. The bill includes money to resolve problems at VA hospitals, but ignores the USPS:

The measure avoids more controversial provisions, such as addressing the U.S. Postal Service’s plan to close 82 facilities nationwide in 2015. A majority of senators and 160 House representatives wrote to their respective appropriations committees asking that any spending bill delay closures for one year.

Read more: Bill to Avoid Shutdown on Track for Passage This Week – Oversight –


UPS will hire over 90,000 seasonal workers for holiday delivery surge

  • 90,000-95,000 seasonal employees needed to handle anticipated e-commerce-driven holiday delivery surge
  • UPS improving forecasting, capacity, package tracking and customer communication to meet ongoing e-commerce and B2B shipping demands
  • Seasonal positions often an entry point to long-term UPS employment

ups-logoUPS (NYSE: UPS) announced that it expects to hire between 90,000 – 95,000 seasonal employees to support the anticipated holiday surge in package deliveries that will begin in October and continue through January 2015. The company is gearing up for increased holiday delivery volume in 2014 as it prepares to play a pivotal role in helping retailers take advantage of the holiday gift-giving season. The seasonal positions as package sorters, loaders, delivery helpers and drivers have long been an entry point for permanent employment, training and career opportunity after the company re-assesses its needs following the holiday period.

“We have initial volume forecasts from our customers and are starting the hiring process for our temporary peak season jobs,” said John McDevitt, UPS senior vice president of human resources and labor relations. “We have needs throughout the United States and anticipate more applicants this year than in 2013. Individuals who begin employment at UPS during the holiday season have the opportunity to pursue a permanent position afterwards. Seasonal positions provide an excellent entry point for becoming a long-term UPS employee.”

Interested job seekers can easily apply for peak season opportunities by visiting on their computer, smartphone or tablet. Applicants must apply online.

UPS is ready to provide customers a smooth 2014 holiday experience and has implemented the following actions since the 2013 peak shipping season:

  • Using industry-wide delivery volume forecasts and working closely with high impact leading customers, UPS has made improvements to network utilization and schedule planning.
  • Daily processing capacity will increase with the opening of new and expanded buildings, plus installation of temporary mobile sorting and delivery centers. UPS is adding thousands of new or leased delivery vehicles, trailers, aircraft and portable loading aids to flex capacity in the UPS network.
  • Added operating days and shifts – full ground delivery and pick-up operations the Friday after Thanksgiving and nearly 50 new package sorting shifts throughout the company’s existing hub locations.
  • Shipment tracking timing and accuracy will be improved with additional and mobile app upgrades for enhanced information on package location and shipment status.
  • Enhancements to the UPS My Choice service will give consumers receiving home deliveries improved alerts on delivery time windows and options for re-scheduling and re-routing.


Video: USPS recruiting more city carrier assistants

From USPS News Link:

The Postal Service is recruiting more people to serve in city carrier assistant (CCA) positions, non-career jobs that offer a stepping stone toward permanent employment with USPS.

CCAs fill in for regular carriers on their routes and perform other mail delivery and collection tasks. Since the position was created in 2013, more than 9,000 CCAs have been converted to career status.

In a new recruitment video, CCAs discuss the job and why they enjoy it, even when it’s challenging. “It looks like an easy job, it really does,” says Alexandria, VA, CCA Juan Butler. “But when you’re out there, you find out it’s not as easy as you think it is.”

CCAs deliver and collect mail on foot or by vehicle, dealing with the same challenges that regular carriers face. Niagara Falls, NY, CCA Alexandra Dell said the job isn’t for the faint of heart. “If you’re a lazy person, I would not suggest this job,” she said.

If you know someone who may be interested in a CCA job, encourage them to visit the USPS Careers site.

Read more: USPS News Link Story – Help wanted.


Almost half of USPS EEO complaint dismissals are reversed on appeal

Federal agencies are increasingly in the wrong when they dismiss discrimination charges, a report released on Monday found.

On average, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has reversed one-third of all cases dismissed between fiscal years 2008 and 2012 by an agency without an investigation or hearing. The reversal rate has increased significantly in that time period, with the rate most recently standing at 45 percent. The fiscal 2012 figure is up 15 percentage points from fiscal 2008.

Of the 1,548 dismissal appeals EEOC received in fiscal 2012, nearly 700 were remanded back to the agency.

The U.S. Postal Service and the Army have maintained one of the five highest reversal rates of any agency across government for each of the last three years. The departments of Agriculture, Justice and Veterans Affairs were also among the worst offenders in fiscal 2012.

Read more: Agencies Are Increasingly Dismissing Discrimination Claims for the Wrong Reasons – Management –


Anaheim letter carrier helps save man’s life using CPR

From USPS News Link:

goodnewsAnaheim, CA, Letter Carrier Thoai Le was on his route when he saw a man performing CPR on another man and ran over to help. Le called 911, then performed chest compressions on the victim while the other man spoke to the 911 operator, who provided instructions on what to do until help arrived. The ill man was taken to a hospital, where he recovered. Le, the other good Samaritan and the emergency responders where later recognized by the city for their efforts.

Read more: USPS News Link – Heroes Corner Archive – September 2014.