Dead letter day for Aussie Post

From Australian Financial Review:

Australia Post chief executive Ahmed Fahour has signalled the death of the letter, declaring its mail service will “never ever make money again”. And posties might have to feed pets, check meters and even check on the elderly to keep their jobs as mail continues to diminish as a business.

The nation’s 207-year-old postal service saw its net profit dive 84 per cent to $16 million in the six months to December 31, after a record decline in the number of letters being sent.

Read more: Australian Financial Review

Australia Post announces first half 2016 pre-tax profit of $1.4 million

  • All customer and community service indicators on-target and all CSO targets met or exceeded
  • HY2016 group profit after tax $16 million, down 84 per cent on this time last year
  • Addressed letter volumes continue to decline, down 9.5 per cent, within forecast range of 8 – 11 per cent
  • Parcels business performing well with domestic volume growth but market pressure from global competitors rising.  

Australia Post today reported a net profit before tax of $1.4 million for the six months ended 31 December 2015. The organisation signalled it expects to return to a full year profit in 2016 following a $222 million loss last year.

The half year result was driven by the accelerated decline in letter volumes across the fixed-cost network. However it is expected changes to the letters service, implemented in January 2016, will reduce the growing losses in the mail business.

Managing Director & Group CEO Ahmed Fahour said the half year result highlighted why reform to the letters service was absolutely necessary to ensure future sustainability of the business.

“We have made a number of difficult decisions recently to help put Australia Post on the right path to take advantage of future growth in eCommerce,” Mr Fahour said.

“Our financial position is significantly stronger as a result and we are further encouraged by the solid performance of both our parcels and Trusted Services businesses.

“It is essential we continue to look for new revenue streams for our business. We are working with our corporate and government customers to build on our demonstrated capabilities offered through our national network, which already includes passport registrations, identity checks, banking and payment services.

“Importantly, we have improved our service performance and will continue to maintain five-day delivery and our vast network of over 4000 Post Offices.

“We will also look to further build on eCommerce partnerships to help our customers buy and sell online, both here in Australia and also internationally. This includes joining Asian eCommerce giants JD.com and Alibaba on some of their most popular online shopping platforms, including 1688.com and Tmall.com.”

Australia Post will release its full year results in September 2016.

Ends –

Why India Post could become e-commerce’s most potent delivery partner

Sharadamani Amma, an 87-year-old great grandmother, remembers a time when the sight of mail runners would cause a great deal of excitement in the small Kerala village she grew up in. The appearance of these postal employees, who carried mail between post offices on foot, meant a letter or money order or, god forbid, a telegram—a sure sign of ill news.

But those days are long gone. The postmen are no longer held in high regard in most of the country, and few in the current generation would have even stepped into a post office, at least in urban India.

New age e-commerce companies want to change this. The likes of Amazon and Snapdeal already have pilot projects running with India Post, while newspaper reports suggest that Flipkart is set to follow suit.

But what makes India Post, seen by many as a relic of a bygone era, so attractive to these online portals? Read more: Why India Post could become e-commerce’s most potent delivery partner

The scale of India’s Postal Network

Australia Post celebrates colours of Antarctica on new stamps

Only two of the world’s continents lie entirely within the Southern Hemisphere: Australia and Antarctica. Australia lies quite close to the equator, while Antarctica is situated about the South Geographic Pole.

Antarctica is almost entirely covered by an ice sheet. In extreme weather snow blizzards can cause whiteout, an optical phenomenon in which uniform light conditions effectively make it impossible to distinguish shadows, landmarks or the horizon. This can occur when the snow cover is unbroken and the sky is overcast. Whiteout is a serious hazard as it causes a loss of perspective and direction.

However, some beautiful effects can be observed. In the freezing dry atmosphere of the Australian Antarctic Territory frozen water vapour remains in the air as suspended ice crystals. The reflection of light on these crystals creates some spectacular atmospheric effects such as solar pillars, sun dogs and solar halos. These beautiful stamps demonstrate some of the amazing colours that can be observed in the Australian Antarctic Territory.

Stamps produced for the AAT (Australian Antarctic Territory) can be used for posting in Australia and all Australian Territories.

Source: Colours of the AAT set of four stamps – Australia Post Shop

Connecting rural India: Network-connected handheld devices for postal delivery soon

NEW DELHI: The Department of Posts is likely to soon start a Rs 1,370-crore mega project that will allow India’s 1.3 lakh postmen in rural regions to use network-connected handheld terminals for postal delivery.

The project, awarded last year to a consortium that includes state-run Telecom Consultants of India (TCIL), system integrator Ricoh India and Hyderabad-based VisionTek, which provides handheld devices, was delayed due to unavailability of components.

Big IT companies such as HP and Wipro were also in the running for the contract rolled out by the ministry of communications & information technology.

“Based on terminal devices on network, the DoP initiative is likely to happen later this month. The project was delayed as the private company took time to deliver the components,” TCIL’s chairman and managing director Vimal Wakhlu told ET.

Read more: Connecting rural India- Network-connected handheld devices for postal delivery soon – The Times of India

Singapore Post Office reinvents itself for the digital age

When a German lingerie brand wanted to sell bras online in Malaysia, it turned to Singapore’s nearly 200-year-old national postal service.

Singapore Post built a website, developed a marketing strategy and now delivers packages for the company, Triumph International. The customer service team even answers questions about sizing.

As postage stamps give way to keyboard clicks, SingPost is redefining the role of the letter carrier, by creating a one-stop shop for retailers’ e-commerce needs in Asia.

In South Korea, SingPost is helping to sell Levi’s jeans. In Singapore, it is stocking Toshiba laptops. In Malaysia, it is delivering Adidas sneakers.

With traditional mail services in decline, post offices around the world are scrambling to reinvent themselves for the digital age.

“Sitting on that burning platform, we looked around and said, ‘Where could we develop?'” said Wolfgang Baier, the chief executive of SingPost.

Read more: SingPost reinvents itself for the digital age

Postal stamp on emperor Ashoka soon: Ravi Shankar Prasad

Union Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Sunday announced that a postal stamp would be released in honour of erstwhile Indian emperor Ashoka.

He also said he would also pursue the installation of a big statue of Ashoka in Patna and Delhi.

“The government would soon release a postal stamp in the honour of emperor Ashoka,” Prasad said at a function organised by Bharatiya Janata Party here to celebrate birth anniversary of Ashoka, believed to be from the present-day agrarian caste Kushwaha.

In the caste-ridden Bihar politics, BJP has tried to play Ashoka’s cards ahead of next Bihar assembly polls to woo Kushwaha, an Other Backward Class that account nearly 9 percent of Bihar’s 10.5 crore population.

Source: Postal stamp on emperor Ashoka soon: Ravi Shankar Prasad – newkerala news #59930

Raumati convinces NZ Post to keep its PO open

Raumati Beach will keep its postal services after community and political pressure convinced NZ Post to iron out a deal to continue services from Raumati’s Four Square store.

The agreement means the store will run postal and courier services across the road from the current PostShop from Monday next Monday .

“We are delighted New Zealand Post has listened to the concerns of Raumati residents and will continue providing postal services from the Raumati Four Square. This result is a great example of what a community can achieve by all pulling together,” Kapiti Coast District Council mayor Ross Church said.

Source: Raumati rallies to save postal service | Stuff.co.nz

India: Speed post services more reliable and faster than private couriers, says CAG

NEW DELHI: In a rare observation coming from the official auditor, the Comptroller and Auditor General has appreciated the functioning of the postal department. The reason: deliveries of speed post letters which are more reliable and faster than private courier services.

Delivery of letters by speed post ranged from 1-9 days in major cities with 99% chances of letters reaching addressees. In comparison, the private courier services turned out to be less reliable with 92% test check letters reaching destination, and time taken ranged from 1-10 days.

A CAG report, tabled in Parliament recently, has said that the performance of speed post has been better than the private couriers in major cities, at the tehsil level and at village level.

Source: Speed post services more reliable and faster than private couriers, says CAG – The Times of India

Ravishankar Prasad Inaugurates First Postal ATM in Bihar

Patna:  Expanding utilities of Post offices, the Centre is planning to open 1,000 ATMs (Automated Teller Machines) all over the country to provide facility of cash withdrawal round the clock, Union Information and Technology Minister Ravishankar Prasad said today.

Inaugurating the first postal ATM in Bihar at the GPO (General Post Office) in Patna, Mr Prasad said the facility was part of efforts to increase the point of presence for customers, particularly in the rural areas.

Bihar Finance Minister Bijendra Prasad Yadav and senior state BJP leaders Sushil Kumar Modi and Nand Kishore Yadav were present at the function.

Mr Prasad said efforts were on to link post offices with the digital India Mission.

Source: Ravishankar Prasad Inaugurates First Postal ATM in Bihar