the CEP Group Continues U.S. Federal Government System for Award Management (SAM) Support in CY 2021!

the CEP Group is pleased to announce our continued participation in the U.S. Federal Government’s System for Award Management (SAM) for CY 2021. SAM is the official website of the U.S. government that companies must actively register in to do business with the Federal Government. 

Our expertise in national postal operator (NPO) contracting spans four decades including work on US Postal Service Contract Postal Units (CPUs), USPS fleet purchasing for the national accounts program, multiple projects for www.usps.com including development and launch of the Post Office Locator, the re-engineering design contract for the USPS website, development of the affiliate marketing program for www.usps.com, and special reports for the USPS office of Inspector General, OIG.

Beyond the US Postal Service, the CEP Group principals have led extensive alliance projects for commercial integrators with national postal operators (NPOs) for co-branded products, integrated cross border and domestic first mile – last mile delivery networks, and global mail transportation networks

We are proud to continue our tradition of expert consultation, special projects, and custom research for the Courier, Express, and Postal sector worldwide

Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao Announces Proposal Covering Drone Operations

WASHINGTON — January 15 2019

The U.S. Department of Transportation is prepared to issue a new proposed rule that will allow more freedom for people operating drones, according to Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao.

Secretary Chao delivered her remarks at the January 14th Transportation Research Board’s annual meeting. She announced that the forthcoming proposed rule would allow drone operators to fly their machines at night, and over the heads of people without special waivers with certain conditions. Conditions include the operator a.) Has received appropriate training, b.) Has completed approved testing, and c.)  Has equipped the drone with anti-collision lighting.

The proposed rules will be published soon in the Federal Register for public comment.

Source: Transport Topics

Austria to end De Minimis as of 1 January 2020

The Austrian Government has decided that online orders from third countries will be fully taxable, with no de minimis.

Currently, the import tax exemption limit is €22, which is used in particular by Asian online retailers. The new regulation should come into force from 2020, anticipating the entry into force as part of the EU VAT Ecommerce Reform.

By 1 January 2021, a new simplified customs and VAT procedure will be introduced for all postal items with a value of less than €150 (i.e. “Low Value Consignment [LVC]”).

This procedure will be applied to all economic operators (designated/national postal operators, as well as non-designated operators). To send commercial items cross borders, the use of electronic advanced data will be mandatory when sending the items.

According to figures made public by the Austrian retail association (Handelsverband), every year 560 million cross-border parcels from China are sent via dominant Chinese mail order companies to the European Union. 97% of these shipments are fully customs and VAT free in the EU and a large part of the remaining 3% enters the EU without customs fees.

source: Ecommerce Europe

the CEP Group Joins MDPI

 the CEP Group Joins MDPI

the CEP Group has joined MDPI, a pioneer in scholarly open access publishing based in Basel, Switzerland. MDPI fosters open scientific exchange across all disciplines through 209 diverse, peer-reviewed journals supported by over 35,500 academic editors.

The CEP Group will focus on logistics including last mile delivery models and returns, integrated supply chains, remote sensing, robotics, and vehicles, aircraft and vessels including autonomous guided vehicles (AGVs), and alternative fuels, and customer value chain analysis (CVA). We will provide the latest research and thought in these areas for our clients.

CEP Group – ‘BACK TO THE FUTURE REDUX’

Further to the disruption by commercial electric vehicles, CEVs, #CEVs, today’s news about GM’s pullback from Nikola is apocalyptic. The legacy automotive industry cannot disengage its DNA, it cannot turn off the combustion engine.

Change is coming, as the petrol-powered automobile rendered horse drawn carriage and drayage to the knackers of history, EV/alternative fuel, AF, transport is doing the same, and the curve is accelerating.

Lest you distrust our vision, our over the horizon history goes back to 1984 when our Principal consultant first formally documented a prototype EMS self-service kiosk, through 2002 when he pioneered ‘Customer Value Chain Analysis’ (USPTO application) and devised the concept of “embedded networks” #EmbeddedNetworks, for last mile delivery for emerging ‘big box’ merchants; e.g., Walmart, years later as publicly presented at World Mail & Express Americas in 2017, and in practice today – Walmart free delivery from store.

For a discussion of what is coming tomorrow in the CEP sector, and especially for the national postal operators, #NPOs, please feel free to contact us  — theCEPGroup.com; “Transforming Disruption Into Opportunity”

USPS Will Begin Nationwide Reduction in Mail Processing Equipment Due to Falloff in Mail Volume

Facing an ongoing falloff of letter and flat mail volume that is further accelerating due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the national economy, the Postal Service plans to significantly reduce the number of Advanced Facer Canceler Systems (AFCS), Delivery Bar Code Sorters (DBCS), Automated Flat Sorting Machine 100s (AFSM100), and Flat Sequencing Systems (FSS) in its mail processing facilities. This loss of production capacity may signal an irreversible degradation of service and the inability of the service to recover during an economic upturn.

The subject reduction is anticipated to take place over the next several months. For further analysis of the impending reductions, including the affected mail processing facilities and service areas and potential impacts on the business mailing sector please contact us for a one on one consultation.

Where Will Amazon Turn Next?

We think the Zoox acquisition will integrate very deeply into Amazon’s ecosystem to the point where it will be a Prime+ benefit, providing not ride hailing but self contained transportation for Prime members to a number of Amazon ‘properties’ including the grocery marketplace (Amazon Fresh, Whole Foods, et alia), Amazon Retail experience (JCPenny, Sears, Kohl’s, et alia, Macy*s ?), Amazon Healthcare Centers (amazon.care), and Amazon entertainment (Amazon/AMC theatres), just for starters.