UPU Emergency Information System Message – Canada Post Shutdown of Major Exchange Office and Key Domestic Hub Imminent

We expect Canada Post Corporation (CPC) to shutdown its international office of exchange (IEO) and one of its three domestic operations hubs in Toronto this week due to COVID-19 pandemic impact on the workforce.

Message n° 36/2021

26 January 2021 / 26 janvier 2021 à 13h32( CET)

Further to EmIS 638/2020, the designated operator of Canada, Canada Post, asks us to inform other Union member countries and their designated operators that a number of cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in one of the three shifts at its Gateway East processing plant in the Greater Toronto Area. 

Following guidance by the regional health authority, Canada Post has temporarily closed this shift to prevent further spread of the virus. The Toronto exchange office, located in a separate area of the Gateway plant, continues to operate, albeit with a reduced workforce. Given this situation, disruption to normal operations and reduced processing capacity and clearance within customs operations are to be expected.

As further staff shortages are expected during this time, in addition to measures to protect the health and safety of workers, member countries can expect delays in the processing and delivery of both inbound and outbound mail items.

Canada Post is evaluating and adapting existing contingency plans to keep postal items flowing with minimal delay, triaging where appropriate, and will keep member countries updated via EmIS as this situation evolves. Unless designated operators are specifically requested to dispatch to the Montreal or Vancouver offices of exchange, Canada Post requests that dispatches not be diverted or rerouted.

Canada Post has operated with safety protocols in place following the guidance of public health officials since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020 and will continue to follow their expert guidance and recommendations.

Canada Post thanks all Union member countries and their designated operators for their understanding during this very difficult time.

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Biden to Sign Buy American Order for Government Procurement

Will this knock Turkish automotive firm Karsan out of contention for the USPS delivery vehicle fleet contract? The bigger question mark is – can Workhorse deliver?

1. Biden administration campaign promises to accelerate U. S. climate change initiatives – They are Big! – http://reut.rs/3qQvtFL

2. The USPS delivery fleet is in “Zombie mode’!

3. The Postal Service has a very strong history as a technology innovator and adopter, especially for the sorting and transportation of the U S Mails, e.g., the US Airline industry was built on the US Air Mail service, Rural Free Delivery, RFD, the Railway Mail Service and Parcel Post services drove the expansion of B2C commerce in the US. And the Postal Service was an early pioneer in the development of Optical Character Reader, OCR, technology for high-speed mail sorting in the 1970’s. Yes, the 1970s! We saw them in operation in NYC. You can view and download a video of an early OCR here.

The headwinds are also strong –

1. No proven track record in delivering large scale fleets of commercial delivery vehicles

2. No proven track record in delivering viable Electric commercial delivery vehicles that can operate in all climates and delivery environments on the scale that the US Postal Service requires.

3. No proven track record in pre-market maintenance training and support

4. No proven track record in providing aftermarket support for parts and service

5. The vested interests of the U. S. petroleum and automotive sectors to maintain status quo are very big!

Automotive sector Annual lobbying – http://bit.ly/3a4vUFA

Automotive sector Annual campaign contributions – http://bit.ly/2LUKxn7

Petroleum sector lobbying – http://bit.ly/3iLTI58

Petroleum sector campaign contributions http://bit.ly/2KMJiFT

BUT! Do NOT Ignore History…

Whether it’s Workhorse, or another eVehicle newcomer, just as the US Air Mail Service was the foundation for the U S Airline industry, we believe a 180,000+ Electric delivery vehicle fleet order will jumpstart the United States’ transition to electric, and other alternative, environment friendly transportation modes.

UPDATE – And while Workhorse looks like the obvious choice, could the USPS scrap the solicitation and re-solicit it opening the door to new vehicle companies that have come on the scene since the original RFP? Stay tuned – https://www.cnet.com/roadshow/news/biden-administration-usps-ev-electric-mail-carriers-grumman-llv/

Western Union Partners With Walmart!

January 19, 2021

Western Union services will roll out in more than 4,700 Walmart stores starting this spring. A leapfrog over the competition, or a ‘Hail Mary pass’? – https://bit.ly/3pbAfgo

And further to the discussion where in the world is the US Postal Service’s “Sure Money® (DineroSeguro®)”. Yes, the service has been around since the mid 1990’s but have you seen it advertised lately? The USPS has about 30,000 retail outlets versus Walmart’s 4,756 stores.

And why didn’t USPS partner with Walmart? Walmart’s footfall and customer demographic are a natural fit. “Has the USPS lost its business development mojo?” Stay tuned for the next installment – “Retail Self Service Kiosk – What Took So Long?” #USPSLostBizDevMojo

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.

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

“Japan and South Korea Turn the Page” – March 6, 2023

For all of our Asia followers, South Korea and Japan have taken a major historic step in their relationship, culturally, politically, and strategically, which will reset the geopolitical environment in APAC for decades – The de facto resolution of their dispute over wartime conscripted labor.

Most notably, Seoul and Tokyo own this deal. It is reported that the agreement “… was driven by the parties themselves and not by Washington—indeed, at various times in recent months, U.S. officials were asked to stay out.”

Further reading and insight is found at CSIS – Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Japan and South Korea Turn the Page (csis.org)

Changes to Royal Mail’s regulatory reporting requirements

March 5, 2023

Ofcom is the UK regulator of the British Postal Service. Its role is like that of the US Postal Regulatory Commission, PRC. But with one notable difference – Ofcom’s regulatory range encompasses ALL communications channels and organizations in the UK, giving it a singular, comprehensive point of view, research, analysis and regulatory outlook on communication in the UK. Regarding Royal Mail, Ofcom’s role is to ‘ensure universal postal service.’

In July 2022, Ofcom published a statement on its review of postal regulation. This included a decision to strengthen its monitoring to support the financial sustainability and efficiency of the universal postal service. In effect “Royal Mail will now be required to submit to us (Ofcom) annually a view of the financial sustainability of the universal service over a five-year period. It will also be required, every five years, to provide a detailed forecast on efficiency; and to publish two measures of its efficiency expectations from that forecast.

It will be required to report annually on its progress against those expectations.

Ofcom consulted on its proposals for these forecasts and reporting, and said this statement confirms them. The changes to the reporting requirements will come into effect at the start of the 2023-24 financial year.

The changes in reporting requirements are encompassed in the following documents.

Main documents

Statement: Changes to Royal Mail’s regulatory reporting requirements

(PDF File, 863.8 KB)

Annex 2: Statutory notification – modifications to the USP Accounting Condition (USPAC)

(PDF File, 297.4 KB)

Annex 3: Direction – modifications to the Regulatory Accounting Guidelines (RAG)

(PDF File, 917.5 KB)

Annex 4: USP Accounting Condition (USPAC) (changes marked up)

(PDF File, 285.5 KB)

Annex 5: Regulatory Accounting Guidelines (RAG) (changes marked up)

(PDF File, 929.9 KB)

Annex 6: direction under designated USP condition 1.3.2 and 1.3.2A regarding deliveries

(PDF File, 207.7 KB)

Supporting documents

Consultation: Changes to Royal Mail’s regulatory reporting requirements

(PDF File, 724.8 KB)

Annex 6: Proposed modifications to the USP Accounting Condition (USPAC)

(PDF File, 329.1 KB)

Annex 7: Proposed modifications to the Regulatory Accounting Guidelines (RAG)

(PDF File, 1.0 MB)

Annex 8: Proposed modification of the direction under Designated USP Condition 1.3.2 and 1.3.2A regarding deliveries

(PDF File, 221.8 KB)

“FedEx versus UPS, Who Is Winning the Ground War?”

“FedEx versus UPS, Who Is Winning the Ground War?” Aside from the usual industry pundits, all of whom are experts, some of whom have never worked there, anecdotal evidence on the ground continues to tilt to UPS. As several news items (echoed by the above cohort) talk about FedEx Ground’s problems with its business operating model, we continue to have issues with FedEx Ground incoming delivery. Today’s event, another non-delivery, even though FedEx tracking claimed to the commercial shipper that they attempt to deliver. Our experience with UPS virtually real time delivery status updates are extremely helpful. So, with the upcoming logistics labor negotiations trifecta of UPS-Teamsters, FedEx-ALPA, and USPS NALC, it will be an interesting shipping season. Good luck merchants!

The Strategic Importance of Supply Chains

The CEP group is excited to announce the recent publication of Christopher Myers’ latest professional work, “Marketing in The 21st Century: The Path Forward”, ISBN 9798218049997. Marketing has never faced a more challenging environment than today’s perfect storm of geopolitical crises, global pandemics, and massive climate disruption. Myers brings together a diverse cadre of industry professionals to deliver a broad range of highly insightful and timely discussions on the current challenges and future tends Marketing faces going forward. And we are honored to be included in his work with our perspective on the strategic role of Supply Chains (Chapter 9) – https://bit.ly/3haLy9I

Transforming Disruption Into Opportunity – ‘Elon Musk acquires Twitter and fires top executives – Will Facebook Pick Up the Pieces?’

After this morning’s ‘earth shattering’ news will Zuck seize the opportunity to recapture the mantle of master of the metaverse? Musk may have more to worry about that Twitter crashing and burning, China may ‘turn off the power’ to Tesla and Amazon may emerge victorious in a Star Wars battle with its launch of Kuiper …