Global Mail Delivery Delays Update: October 14, 2014

Here are the current areas of the world that may be experiencing mail delays.World Map_standing image

Source: International Delivery Solutions

South Africa –  is currently experiencing an industrial strike at the Johannesburg International Mail Center (JIMC) office of exchange and some post offices in the Gauteng province. The strike has been ongoing since Sept 17th, with no end in sight. Consequently, there are delays for all inbound and outbound mail in the Gauteng province. Mail delays are also affected in Cape Town, Langa, Gugulethu, Eerste River, Makhaya and Khayelitsha post offices. Unfortunately, the strike has been accompanied by serious intimidation, preventing the implementation of any contingency measures.  The South African Post Office apologizes for any inconvenience and asks for the understanding of designated operators and customers as it makes every effort to resolve the situation in their best interests.  Post offices in Cape Town and the province continue to close intermittently.

Israel – A postal strike in Israel also continues.

Peru – Since Sept 16th postal workers in Peru started an indefinite strike this has affected both inbound and outbound mail.

Puerto Rico / British Virgin Islands / Lesser Antilles / U.S. Virgin Islands - Presently, Tropical Storm Gonzalo is affecting weather on these islands, expect mail delays.

India – Since Oct 12th, in the coastal regions of the states of Andhra Pradesh and Odish in the aftermath of Cyclone Hudhud are hard to reach.

Japan – Oct 8 thru 13th, Super Typhoon Vonfong hit Japan’s Kyushu and Shikoku islands and Kadena Air Force Base on Okinawa Island.

Germany – Oct 8th, a strike of pilots of Lufthansa distrupted the airline’s cargo operations only, expect some mail delays.

Italy - Since Oct 2nd, Postal workers at the Piacenza mail hub in Italy have taken unballoted industrial action. As a result there may be some delays to the delivery and collection of mail. The zip codes affected are as follows: 12, 15, 14, 13, 26, 42, 10, 29, 43, 16, 18, 17, 27.

China: October 1st-7th National Day Golden Week holiday – businesses and the governments offices shut down.  Expect mail delays.

USA - Sep 29th, the Chicago USPS Int’l Service Center was not affected by the O’Hare shutdown traffic problems, according to the US Postal Service.

France – Sep 29th, strong storms flooded parts of southern France.

Hong Kong - Since Sept 28th pro-democracy demonstrations in several of the city’s primary business districts may have affected some mail delivery.

USPS Mail Drives Mobile Promotion

The USPS is currently offering a discount for customer who utilize mobile technology.  Photo from the USPS website.

The USPS is currently offering a discount for customers who utilize mobile technology in mailing pieces. Photo from the USPS website.

Starting November 1st, the USPS is introducing a program aimed at business utilizing mobile technology in their mailings during the holiday season.

The Mail Drives Mobile Commerce promotion “encourages mailers to integrate mobile technology with direct mail to create a convenient method for consumers to do their shopping.” This promotion is just one of several initiated this year to encourage customers to take advantage of technology in their mailers.

According to information released on the USPS website, a two percent discount is available to customers who:

  • Send a Standard Mail letter or flat mail piece or Nonprofit Standard Mail letter or flat mail piece.
  • Include a mobile barcode or print/mobile technology in their Standard Mail piece that can be read or scanned by a mobile device and leads the recipient to a mobile-optimized shopping website.

Other details state that:

  • The recipient must be able to purchase an advertised product from the website.
  • The mail piece must contain text near the barcode or image that provides guidance to the consumer to scan the barcode or image and conveys information about the landing pages.

To receive the discount, mail pieces must be sent between November 3rd and January 15th.  Registration for this program began September 15th and runs through December 31st, 2014.

Publications or journals could utilize this promotion to:

  • Mail subscription reminder postcards that guide customers to renew their subscriptions on their website.
  • Send an annual meeting postcard reminder. A society could remind their members to register for an upcoming annual meeting by guiding them to their website and encouraging them to register/pay online.
  • Publications selling other products on their websites (like individual past issues of journals) can also utilize this promotion.

Further details – including a list of ineligible mobile barcode uses – are available on the USPS website.

Postmaster General Discusses USPS Technology, Data Enhancements

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The USPS is currently pilot testing geo-fencing to improve carrier efficiency during street delivery.  Click the photo above to learn more.

Geo-fencing – which often utilizes location for marketing services to consumers – is just one of the many enhancements Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe believes will help advance the USPS.  To best utilize geo-fencing, the organization must work to create a digital address for every customer in America.

“These investments provide better delivery accuracy and visibility, and enable enhanced product and delivery offerings – such as package redirect and Priority Mail features that include free insurance, tracking and date-specified delivery,” Donahoe said in his State of the Business address on Tuesday.

Information released in August indicates that the USPS is currently piloting testing geo-fencing technology with letter carriers to assist in accuracy during street delivery.

Currently, many marketers use geo-fencing to send messages, alerts, or coupons to consumers when they enter a defined geographic area.   On Tuesday, Donahoe added the USPS’ also plans to utilize geo-fencing in its integrated marketing campaigns.

The USPS continues to offer and encourage customers to take advantage of QR codes and other digital promotions.  We covered these promotions in MailBlogx posts available here and here.

To view the State of the Business address, visit the USPS’ website.

USPS to Close Approximately 82 Facilities Beginning January 2015

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The USPS plans to close 82 facilities starting in 2015. This is phase two of their consolidation plan. 141 facilities were closed between 2012 and 2013.

A letter to customers on the USPS website indicates that more changes are coming to the USPS in January.  Considered a continued rationalization of the network, the USPS plans to close approximately 82 facilities next year.  141 processing facilities were closed between 2012 and 2013.

“We believe strongly that this phase of network rationalization will establish the low-cost, technology-centric delivery platform necessary to serve the mailing and shipping industry for decades to come,” the letter states.

The letter also states that post offices closed between 2012 and 2013 were reported to save the organization $865 million annually and “required no employee layoffs.”  The additional closures starting in January are expected to save an additional $750 million annually and $3.5 billion in the next five years.

For customers concerned if this consolidation will affect their routes or shipping, a list of expected closures is available on the USPS website.  In a FAQ available online, the USPS adds that “the consolidation will not impact the delivery process.”

15,000 USPS employees will be impacted by the consolidation.  A six month notice will be provided to customers impacted by the closures.  The FAQ also indicated how specific closures were chosen.

“Criteria include expected savings, service, transportation and logistics networks, and capacity within the processing plant, amount of required capacity (mail volumes), using the least amount of equipment and maximizing capacity,” the website states.

This phase of consolidation is expected to be completed by the fall mailing season.  More information is available on the USPS website.

USPS Releases Third Quarter Financial Information

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USPS financial woes continue with an overall third quarter loss of approximately $2 billion.  These woes are expected to continue as the USPS is not expected to meet their $5.7 billion prefunding payment for retiree health benefits.

On Monday, a press release from the United States Postal Service stated that revenue from Shipping and Packaging Services increased 6.6 percent and Standard Mail rose 5.5 percent in the third quarter.  Postal increases initiated in January have contributed to a total revenue increase of $424 million this year.

“Revenue continues to improve as a result of the Postal Service’s January mail price increase, successful sales and marketing initiatives, and continued success in growing the package business. Total operating revenue of $16.5 billion increased by $327 million, or 2.0 percent, compared to the same period last year,” the release stated.

Despite overall increases in packaging and mail revenue, the USPS had a $2 billion loss in the third quarter.  Additional financial woes are still expected to hit the USPS late next month when the organization is expected to make a $5.7 billion prefunding payment for retiree health benefits.  In the press release, Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President Joseph Corbett stated that the USPS will be unable to make the payment by the expected date of September 30th.  Last April, we reported how this prefunding is affecting the USPS’ overall finances.

As a reminder, the price increase instated in January by the Postal Regulatory Commission is not expected to be permanent.  This specific increase was ruled as a surcharge until $3.2 billion in “incremental revenue” is collected.  This is predicted to happen in the second half of 2015.

As a reminder, the USPS reported a quarter two loss of $1.9 billion.  First-Class Mail declined 4.1 percent and Shipping and Packaging increased eight percent in quarter two.  Detailed financial information on the USPS is available here.  More information on the CPI-based price cap is available on the Postal Regulatory Commission’s website.

Global Mail Delivery Delays Update: August 7, 2014

World Map_standing imageHere are the current areas of the world that may be experiencing mail delays.

Source: International Delivery Solutions

China – On Aug 3rd, a 6.1 magnitude earthquake struck southwest China’ s Yunnan province.

Argentina – Unionized customs officials staged a two-day nationwide strike at Argentina’s borders and airports on July 31st to demand an increase in wages.

Libya – airport operations are closed for mail and parcels until further notice.

Liberia – Nigeria – Sierra Leone numerous airlines are suspending flights to these countries affected by the Ebola outbreak since Aug 4th — therefore, mail and parcel transport will be suspended.

Global Mail Delivery Delays Update: July 16, 2014

World Map_standing imageHere are the current areas of the world that may be experiencing mail delays.

Source: International Delivery Solutions

Corscia Island – French Post reports a strike at the Post office Ajaccio, Corsica island. Delays are expected for mail and parcels to post codes 20000 – 20090.

Israel – Since July 6th, escalating airstrikes and conflict will cause mail and transportations delays.

Cameroon – Transport workers on a nationwide strike  over rising fuel prices on July 7th.

Southern Japan – Week of July 7th, Super Typhoon Neoguri could be one of the strongest storms to hit the country in decades.

Philippines – bracing for Typhoon Rammasun expected to make landfall today, over 100,000 families in the Bicol region have been evacuated.

Canada Holiday — Civic  Holiday – August 4th – Canada Post will not deliver and all Postal Stations throughout the country will be closed.