US Postal Services revenues and losses increase

Controllable losses at the US Postal Service increased by US $2 billion in the financial year to 2022. While revenues grew by 2%, inflationary pressures significantly increased the postal operator’s costs.

Mail and volumes fell in a large part due to the price increases instituted by the US Postal Service. At the same time, it was given a one-time cash relief injection by the federal government of $56 billion as part of the Postal Service Reform Act.

Postal officials predict that overall losses will increase next year to as much as $4 billion. Revenues are set to increase due to more price hikes, but the drop in volumes due to falling consumer confidence is set to add to the postal operator’s woes.

“Over the last two years we have stabilised our operations, evolved our products, improved our service, strengthened our balance sheet, halved our projected losses and motivated our employees to join us in this transformation,” Postmaster General Louis DeJoy said. 


UK Post Office records record cash transactions

The UK Post Office has reported the highest ever amount of cash deposited and withdrawn from its branches in June, according to its Cash Tracker data.

In June, £2.87 billion was deposited and withdrawn in June. Personal cash deposits exceeded £1 billion for the fourth month in a row. Business cash deposits exceeded £1 billion for the first time in more than 18 months. Excluding Christmas, the last time such deposits exceeded £1 billion was October 2019.

Personal cash withdrawals were at their highest level at £636 million since March 2020. This is a sign that the economy is taking a turn back to the way life was before the pandemic.

Martin Kearsley, Banking Director at Post Office, said: “Millions of people and small businesses continue to rely on cash to budget, save and survive. Exceeding £1 billion in business cash deposits for the first time in over 18 months is a milestone moment for Post Office and especially for Postmasters, demonstrating the vital role they play in the cash eco-system in their local community as we come out of Covid19 restrictions.

“Many branches open late in the evening and at weekends, providing local businesses with a convenient location to deposit much needed takings and in turn serve their own customers longer too. The ability to withdraw cash securely over the counter is helping consumers who rely on cash to access it locally, resulting in more cash being spent with small businesses within local communities.”


ArrowXL offering Argos Highlands and Islands customers competitive delivery rates

For its Argos customers, major two-person delivery company ArrowXL is trialling an extension to its established Highland Service that offers the same delivery service and costs to customers in the Scottish Highlands and Islands as the rest of the UK – including Shetland and the Orkneys. At the same time customers will also receive updates from the ArrowXL network of local service providers as to their delivery timings.

Laurence Garnett, Head of Supply Chain and Logistics Strategy at Sainsbury’s said: “Argos is committed to delivering convenience and flexibility for customers alongside outstanding choice and value. It’s our mission to make their lives easier and this trial will mean that whether shoppers are in Shetland or the Western Isles, they can choose from around 20,000 products and get them delivered quickly and conveniently. We’ll be listening closely to customer and colleague feedback over the next few months.”

Charlie Shiels, CEO at ArrowXL, said: “We are working closely with Argos to promote service equality across the UK and give choice and certainty to 41,000 additional homes in the Scottish Islands.”


TfL FreightLab winners announced

Transport for London have announced the winning bidders to work on the FreightLab Challenge.

The FreightLab Challenge is a research project to look at how to reduce freight movement pollution and congestion in the Greater London area. 

Each of the winners are to be awarded £20,000 to develop their ideas. 

The FreightLab winners are:

– AppyWay, that aims to help cities with digital kerbside management.

– EMSOL – Air Quality Action, who work with organisations helping them taking steps towards reducing pollution caused by transport

– ENSO, a company developing more energy efficient electric vehicle tyres.

– Fernhay Partners, a firm that has developed a freight delivery solution utilising last mile delivery methods such as e-bikes and walkers

– Ford Mobility Europe, that have a software platform aimed to make deliveries more efficient by connecting van drivers with last mile couriers on foot or on bike

– Humanising Autonomy, who have developed real-time behaviour analysis for accident and near-miss prevention to increase the safety of vulnerable road users


Freight is a major cause of pollution as while personal transport such as cars is falling in volumes, van and lorry numbers are increasing in the Capital. In the FreightLab challenge TfL is aiming at preparing for the transport trends that have become apparent as they develop further.


PostEurop contributes to cross border delivery debate

Supranational postal operators association PostEurop has released a study into the EU e-commerce market that suggests that there is a lot of confidence in the sector, and this has a positive spill over into the European delivery sector.

The association had commissioned the report from Copenhagen Economics in order to contribute to the debate on cross border parcel delivery, that has been stirred up by the European Commission’s Digital Single Market Strategy for Europe, and it apparent plans to make it cheaper and more convenient for e-commerce to take place across national borders within the economic bloc.

The report confirmed that the EU e-commerce market is thriving, with domestic and cross border online shopping on the increase. It also showed that the proce of parcel delivery is driven by a number of supply and demand factors. In short, the price online shoppers pay for cross border parcel delivery does not always reflect the prices charged by delivery operators across the supply chain from e-tailer to customer.

According to PostEurop: “E-retailers play an important role in the end-price online shoppers pay for cross-border parcel delivery. A mystery shopping exercise revealed that there is a low correlation between the prices charged by e-retailers to e-shoppers and the prices postal operators’ charge to e-retailers. E-retailers choose how to price the delivery service depending on e-shopper demands and the e-retailer’s general pricing strategy. For example, ‘free delivery’ is offered if the purchase exceeds a threshold.

“In the delivery sector, as in other sectors, the price charged is market driven. It is a commercial decision influenced by demand and supply factors such as consumers’ willingness to pay, volumes flows or the relative bargaining power of e-retailers. Digging into economic and operational conditions helps better understand price differences between domestic and cross-border delivery services as well as between individual countries.”