Parcel Lockers Open for Business in Seattle

Seattle Letter Carrier Berhane Solomon scans a parcel destined for an Amazon.com locker.

Seattle Letter Carrier Berhane Solomon scans a parcel destined for an Amazon.com locker.

Online retailer Amazon.com has launched a pilot program for parcel pickup at 12 sites throughout the Seattle, WA, area. One of the key’s to Amazon’s success in this venture is its strong partnership with the Postal Service.

When Amazon.com customers choose a secured locker site for delivery of their purchases rather than a home or place of business, their parcels are sent to the postal delivery unit nearest the locker of choice. Packages are then delivered to the appropriate locker location and scanned by the carrier via an access terminal in the front of the unit. The locker system accepts the delivery and a door on an appropriately sized locker unit opens automatically for the carrier to place the item inside.

A customer can retrieve the package from a locker by scanning the number or barcode received online. Upon receipt of the code, the corresponding locker door automatically opens, giving a customer access to the parcel.

The new system is designed to enhance both the convenience and speed by which Amazon customers receive their packages.

Is CEO Compensation Too Much?

Is CEO compensation too much

According to a recent research report issued by the Economic Policy Institute, the average CEO compensation in the U.S. is up 937 percent from 1978 to 2013. That’s a sizable increase over the 10.2 percent increase in average compensation for the typical worker during that same time period. While the average CEO pay for large companies in America continues to rise at a steady rate for public corporations, the CEO pay to average employee income ratio in other parts of the world isn’t too dissimilar. This sizable difference in pay scale is somewhat less pronounced, however, with the salaries of executive officers of government entities, including the salary of one particular postal CEO.

Average annual CEO compensation in the United Kingdom, as reported by the High Pay Centre, is estimated to be $7.18 million. Moya Greene, CEO of Royal Mail, earns an annual salary of $2.29 million. Though Greene’s salary is substantially less than her counterparts, it’s still considerably greater than the $46,000 in average annual compensation by the typical employee at the company – 49 times greater.

Many highly skilled positions demand higher salaries as compensation for additional efforts involved in obtaining them. Doctors, lawyers, and physicists generally earn greater income than the average worker. Highly talented actors, musicians, and sports players often demand significantly higher incomes than the average worker to compensate them for their efforts. Unique skill sets have historically yielded greater income for individuals, but do the skill sets of CEOs warrant a salary that’s often 50 to 100 times greater than that of the average employee?

The debate over CEO compensation continues to gain strong attention as the income gap between these highly paid individuals and the earnings of their employees continues to widen. Though the future has yet to decide on this issue, discussions on income disparity are likely to increase in the coming years.

Do you think CEO compensation is excessive relative to the benefit they provide the corporations they manage?

Postal Employees Shine in Two Unique California Tourist Spots

San Francisco City Carriers Lau Ming, Daryl Ha and Alma Silva-Orden pose aboard the famous cable cars they use to travel to and from their delivery routes.

San Francisco City Carriers Lau Ming, Daryl Ha and Alma Silva-Orden pose aboard the famous cable cars they use to travel to and from their delivery routes.

This edition of Your Postal Podcast lets you walk — or ride — a mile in the shoes of USPS employees in two wildly different California communities, both of which attract the attention of tourists from around the world.

First, you’ll travel to San Francisco to learn how some letter carriers use the city’s most famous means of public transit to service their routes. Next, you’ll head south to Death Valley for some perspective on what it’s like to provide mail service in the hottest town on the face of the earth.

A roundup of postal new wraps up this adventurous edition of Your Postal Podcast. To listen to this latest episode, go to yourpostalpodcast.com or click here.

To read a transcript of the show, click here.

Death Valley Postmaster William VanBokkelen surveys the hot summer landscape outside his Post Office.

Death Valley Postmaster William VanBokkelen surveys the hot summer landscape outside his Post Office.

Shipper Profits Tumble

Shipper profits tumble

Still smarting from heavy shipping delays last December, UPS is taking steps to ensure that it doesn’t have a repeat occurrence this fall.

In its latest financial report on the first six months of this year issued on July 29, UPS announced that it would increase investment in improved capacity and accelerate deployment of routing software, among other investments, by $175 million.

Also in the report, the company recorded an after-tax liability of $665 million to transfer certain Teamster employee post-retirement liabilities to defined contribution healthcare plans. The additional expenses contributed to a 57 percent drop in net income from the previous year to $1.36 billion.

While the additional expenses had an adverse impact on net income, UPS realized a healthy increase in its domestic shipping operations with a gain of $644 million or 3.9 percent. Average domestic daily volume increased by 785,000 or 5.8 percent, however the average domestic revenue per piece decreased by 1.8 percent.

Though the company warned investors of reduced earnings through the remainder of the year, it also stated that these expenses will “provide financial benefits for years to come.”

Fresh from the Farmers Market

Farmers market

Known for their fresh, healthy delicacies, farmers markets are widely known for their quality selection of products sold directly by the farmers who produce them. The number of these special marketplaces has grown significantly over the years, edging from less than 2,000 in 1994 to more than 8,000 today. As the public continues to turn to healthier solutions for their dietary needs, the demand for products sold directly by producers is likely to continue its upward trend.

To celebrate the many benefits of these special marketplaces, the Postal Service released the Farmers Market Forever stamp set last Thursday.

The new limited-edition Farmers Markets Forever stamps depict a table laden with products found at a typical farmers market. The stamp on the far left shows various baked goods, artisan cheeses and eggs. The produce on the second stamp includes vegetables and fruits. Cut flowers adorn the third stamp. The stamp on the far right features live plants.

For a glimpse into the design process of the Farmers Markets stamp and to hear art director Greg Breeding’s comments on the process, click here.

To purchase the new Farmers Markets stamp set, click here.

Don’t Let Summer Heat Take You Down

Heat stroke

The extreme temperatures of the summer heat are reaching intense levels and could potentially cause significant health risk if someone isn’t properly prepared for it. Before venturing outdoors into the summer’s scorching rays, learn to recognize when the exposure could be overwhelming your body’s ability to cope with it.

Here are some tips on identifying heat exhaustion and what to do about it.

Symptoms:

- Rapid heart beat

- Heavy sweating

- Extreme weakness or fatigue

- Dizziness

- Nausea, vomiting

- Irritability

- Fast, shallow breathing

- Slightly elevated body temperature

 

Emergency Response:

- Rest in a cool area

- Drink plenty of water or other cool beverages

- Take a cool shower, bath, or sponge bath

Honoring Those Who Served

Postmaster Brenda Warnke honored five local Fairfax veterans by giving each a Korean War Medal of Honor stamp sheet.

Postmaster Brenda Warnke honored five local Fairfax veterans by giving each a Korean War Medal of Honor stamp sheet.

The Postal Service is proud to honor our veterans, both living and deceased, and their families by issuing the Korean War Medal of Honor Forever stamp prestige folio.

Last week, Fairfax Postmaster Brenda Warnke extended Stamp Folios of the Korean War Medal of Honor Forever Stamps to Korean War Veterans Gerald Pepper, Navy; Don Bentz, Army; Billy Weidner, Army (served in both WWII and Korea); and Eldon Nolan, Marines. Other honorees included Glenn Baker and Terry Liewer.

“My father, Douglas Deffenbaugh, also served in the Korean War,” said Warnke, ”so I wanted to do something to honor his memory and the Fairfax veterans of this era to thank them for their sacrifices.”

In addition to the stamp sheets purchased by Warnke, the local veterans were also treated to cookies and juice at the Post Office.

Postal Service salutes Korean War Medal of Honor recipient

Medal of Honor recipient Hiroshi Miyamura signs autographs for event attendees.

Medal of Honor recipient Hiroshi Miyamura signs autographs for event attendees.

A crowd of more than 200 people gathered under nearly cloudless skies in front of the Gallup, NM, Post Office last Tuesday morning to join the Postal Service’s salute to Korean War Medal of Honor recipient and Gallup native Hiroshi H. Miyamura in honor of his inclusion as one of the medal recipients pictured on the new Forever stamp sheet.

Wearing the Army Medal of Honor pictured on one of the two stamps (the other depicts the Navy Medal of Honor), Miyamura was emotional as he accepted a framed enlargement and stamp sheet from Gallup Postmaster Thelma Malone.

During his closing remarks at the event, Miyamura recognized the courageous accomplishments and sacrifice of all veterans.

“I would especially like to give recognition to my fellow brothers of all wars,” said Miyamura. “They sacrificed so much, and their families have sacrificed so much during their service to the country. I’m just a representative of this award, and hopefully everyone will recognize and remember our fellow veterans of all the wars. Thank you very much.”

At the conclusion of the ceremony, Miyamura expressed his heartfelt gratitude for those who attended the event.

“I didn’t expect a turnout like this – especially the veterans. I was overwhelmed to see so many veterans in the audience, and I feel that this is their day also.”

All three Albuquerque network TV stations sent videographers to Gallup to join local journalists covering Tuesday’s moving ceremony. The City of Gallup provided bleacher seating and a canopy for the event, which included several elected officials and presentation of a proclamation from the New Mexico State legislature. After the ceremony, Miyamura stayed for 90 minutes to autograph stamp sheets purchased by attendees. The Gallup Post Office sold over $5,000 worth of the stamps during the event.

Gallup, NM, Postmaster Thelma Malone with Medal of Honor recipient Hiroshi Miyamura.

Gallup, NM, Postmaster Thelma Malone with Medal of Honor recipient Hiroshi Miyamura.

Janis Joplin

Janis Joplin

Born in Port Arthur, TX, in 1943, Janis Joplin began expressing her musical talents by singing in the local choir. She broke onto the national music scene with an explosive performance at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967 and recorded three hit albums before her death at the age of 27.

The album she was recording at the time of her death, Pearl, went on to cement her reputation as one of the greatest rock singers of all time. “Me and Bobby McGee,” written by Kris Kristofferson, became a number one hit.

The Janice Joplin stamp set is available today by clicking here or going to USPS.com.

Art in the Mail

Art in the Mail

Sending a postcard in the mail to friends and family is good way to share a glimpse into a joyous occasion. Adding a personal, artistic touch to the image can even become a way to demonstrate creative talent to art enthusiasts.

Now through August 15, the Art by the Sea Gallery and Studio is accepting submissions for its 2014 Mail-Art Postcard Exhibition. To participate in the exhibition, an individual should send original artwork on a postcard to:

Art by the Sea Gallery and Studio
175 Second St. SE
Bandon, OR 97411

For submission rules and other information, click here.

The exhibition is scheduled to take place on August 27 through November 3.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 115 other followers

%d bloggers like this: