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Canadian firms stamped out of Canada Post community mailbox contract

From the Winnipeg Free Press:

OTTAWA — First, Canada Post announced it was cutting door-to-door service, prompting fierce criticism in defence of the rights of the elderly, infirm and others. Now, it has turned to an American company to supply the new community mailboxes to replace door-to-door mail delivery over the next five years.

The Free Press has learned the Crown corporation chose the same cluster boxes used by the United States Postal Service for at least the first wave of cluster-box installations in 11 cities this fall.

A Kansas company has won the contract for Canada Post’s community mailboxes.

The boxes are only licensed to be manufactured by three American companies. Canadian companies were not even invited to bid on the contract.

Canada Post awarded the contract to Florence Manufacturing in Manhattan, Kan. Canada Post will not say how much it is spending, how many boxes it is ordering from Florence or how long the contract is set to last.

Read more: Canadian firms stamped out – Winnipeg Free Press.


Video: No mail delivery? Get a ferret!

Canadian satirist Rick Mercer demonstrates one possible answer to Canada Post’s move to end home mail delivery

Read more: RMR: The Mailbox Ferret – YouTube.


Video: Canada Post ends home delivery for thousands

Canada Post stopped home delivery to 74,000 addresses in 10 communities across the country on Monday, part of the Crown corporation’s move to end all urban door-to-door mail service to five million Canadians in five years.

People in the affected areas will have to get mail from their local community mailbox.

Canada Post says it is phasing out home delivery, and cutting thousands of jobs, owing to financial losses stemming from falling mail volume and increasing use of digital communication. The corporation says Canadians mailed almost 1.2 billion fewer pieces of mail in 2013 than they did in 2006.

Read more: Canada Post ends home delivery for thousands – CBC News – Latest Canada, World, Entertainment and Business News.


Video: Royal Mail faces mounting challenges

Oct 17, 2014 : FT management editor Andrew Hill visits Royal Mail’s parcels and letters operations across the UK to find out how well the postal service has performed under chief executive Moya Greene since its privatisation a year ago and to assess the mounting challenges facing it.

Read more: Royal Mail faces mounting challenges – FT Business – Companies & Management Video –


Video: How a letter is sorted and delivered by Royal Mail

Mount Pleasant, one of the largest sorting offices in the Royal Mail Network, receives and delivers over a million items of mail every day and Telegraph Business was given an exclusive look at how this is done.

Read more: Video: How a letter is sorted and delivered by Royal Mail – Telegraph.


Singapore Post to Build Logistics Hub in E-Commerce Bet

Singapore’s main postal service is spending 182 million Singapore dollars ($145 million) on a new e-commerce logistics center in a bet that online retailing in Southeast Asia is set to boom.

The three-story, 553,000 square foot facility will be capable of handling 100,000 packages daily and should begin operations in the second half of 2016, Singapore Post, known as SingPost, said Tuesday in a statement. The center will be the first of its kind in Southeast Asia, and will serve not just Singapore, but help customers deliver parcels throughout the region, according to SingPost.

“As we expand our local market presence in Asian countries with local warehousing and local delivery, we need an efficient regional hub,” SingPost’s Chief Executive, Wolfgang Baier, said in the statement.

SingPost has in recent years sought to expand its e-commerce offerings to offset declining revenues in its traditional postal business.

Read more: Singapore Post to Build Logistics Hub in E-Commerce Bet – Digits – WSJ.


Customer says Canada Post took 4 days to close unlocked mailbox

A Delta man is raising security concerns after a community mailbox was left unlocked and wasn’t fixed for four days.

Resident Roger Meyer said he noticed his mailbox unit was wide open at around 3 p.m. Friday, and even though he immediately contacted Canada Post, it took until Tuesday morning for the mailbox to be closed.

Meyer said when he first called, a Canada Post representative told him the issue was a “high priority” and would be fixed within four hours, but he woke up the next morning to see the mailbox door still ajar.

“I phone back and asked, ‘Would it be okay if I put the mail in a box to keep it safe?’ And I was told ‘No, that would be tampering,’” Meyer said. “I thought, ‘Yeah, I guess it is. I’d better leave it to be tampered with by vandals and bad guys.’”

Read more: Delta man claims Canada Post took 4 days to close unlocked mailbox | CTV Vancouver News.


Why you need to be a maths genius to post a parcel

In the world of parcel post – as in other areas of human activity – size is critical.

But just when consumers may have got used to the new size criteria introduced by Royal Mail in April 2013, shapes and prices are about to change.

Two old types of "small" are out, and a "new small" will be introduced from 20 October.

Prices for the old "larger small" will be temporarily reduced – until 18 January 2015.

And the complexities get worse.

Read more: BBC News – Why you need to be a maths genius to post a parcel.


“Sale of Royal Mail a national scandal” says CWU

"Sale of Royal Mail was national scandal" says CWU

One year on from the privatisation of Royal Mail, the leader of the Communication Workers Union has today (Friday) called the sale a "national scandal".

Following last year’s sale, shares in the company have fluctuated and are currently settled at around 400p, having initially been offered at 330p. At the height of the share price, which directly followed the sale it is estimated that Royal Mail was undersold by roughly £1billion.

Billy Hayes, CWU general secretary, said: "The botched privatisation of Royal Mail was a national scandal. Not only did the public not want it, but it was an unnecessary and costly process that left taxpayers £1billion out of pocket.

"We are already beginning to see the effects of the Government’s ill-thought privatisation firsthand with the threat to the sustainability of the universal postal service. Unregulated competition is impacting on traffic going through Royal Mail’s delivery centres. Last year the Government said "competition is beneficial, and should not undermine the provision of the universal postal service" but that has been proved to be utter nonsense.

"It would be reckless for the Government to sell its remaining 30 per cent shares in Royal Mail as it seems now to be one of the last few remaining long-term investors left. Vince Cable favoured the 16 so-called ‘priority investors’ in the privatisation of Royal Mail who were supposed to be there for the long-term. But once these investors got the profits for their hedge funds they were off."


Royal Mail birthday celebrations overshadowed by privatisation chaos

Royal Mail is poised to celebrate its first birthday as a public company after one of the most controversial privatisations in history.

This time last year the government achieved its aim of selling off the 500-year-old national institution, despite protests from staff, unions and politicians.

Billy Hayes, general secretary of the Communication Workers Union (CWU), which represents more than 100,000 postal workers, said: “Privatisation is about greed. I think Vince Cable is one of the cleverest men in the government, but he’s made one of the stupidest mistakes in politics on privatising Royal Mail.”

The National Audit Office ruled that the government’s desperation to sell the postal service, which traces its roots to a forerunner set up by Henry VIII in 1516, had cost taxpayers at least £750m.

The government paid £12.7m to financial institutions including Lazard, UBS, Goldman Sachs, Barclays and Merrill Lynch as well as accountants, lawyers and PR consultants for their advice on the flotation. A further £4.2m bonus, payable at the discretion of Cable, has been withheld.

Lazard, the government’s independent banking adviser, made an £8m profit by immediately selling Royal Mail stock. The investment division, Lazard Asset Management, bought 6m shares at 330p each on the day of the float but sold them within 48 hours at 470p, reaping an £8.4m profit.

Margaret Hodge, chair of the parliamentary public accounts committee, said Lazard had “made a killing at the expense of the ordinary taxpayer that lost £750m on day one” of Royal Mail’s stock market debut.

Read more: Royal Mail birthday celebrations overshadowed by privatisation chaos | Business | The Guardian.