Somalia Post Restoration

Somalia Post

Civil war has historically brought about significant change that comes with a heavy price. In Somalia, the devastating effects of civil war have resulted in the loss of countless lives and significant damage to the country’s infrastructure. One of the casualties of war was the Somalia Postal System.

In 1991, Somalia Post suspended operations as the war ravaged country struggled to find new direction. At the time, Somalia Post had 100 offices and approximately 2,000 employees. Last month, the Somalia Postal System resumed operation with the opening of its first Post Office in more than 22 years.

As the country continues its path to recovery, Somalia citizens will begin seeing the signs of a return to normalcy with new postal employees resuming limited mail processing. The re-engineered service opens the door once again to international mail operations, with mail destined for Somalia finding entry into the country.

Both the Universal Postal Union and Emirates Post Group contributed invaluable assistance to restoring postal operations in Somalia, with Emirates Post Group handling forwarding and processing of international mail until December 31.

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Honoring a World War II hero

Western Area AVP Drew Aliperto and Denver Postmaster Mark Talbott present retired employee and Medal of Honor recipient George Sakato a framed art piece of the new Medal of Honor Forever stamp.

Western Area AVP Drew Aliperto and Denver Postmaster Mark Talbott present retired employee and Medal of Honor recipient George Sakato a framed art piece of the new Medal of Honor Forever stamp.

He first served his nation on the battlefield, recognized with many awards including the Medal of Honor. But after World War II, George Sakato came home and diligently served for 27 years at the Denver Post Office as a clerk.

He is one of 12 surviving recipients featured on the Medal of Honor Forever stamp sheet.

Before his trip to Washington D.C. to unveil the stamp, Sakato stopped by the location of his last duty station, Denver’s Stockyards Station, to meet with postal employees who properly sent him off to the First-Day event.

Area media converged on the station, along with several employees who worked with Sakato, who retired in 1980. Denver Postmaster Mark Talbott gave deserving praise to Sakato, the war hero and faithful employee.

“The fact that he was a decorated war hero never kept him away from working hard,” said Talbott. “Thank you for your service to the United States Postal Service and your nation.”               

“To be part of this stamp dedication is humbling,” said Sakato “I share this honor with all the other brave men and women who sacrificed.”

Postal Network Still Relevant in Modern World

World Post Day 2

This past Wednesday, World Post Day was celebrated around the world. As part of his message during the annual celebration, Universal Postal Union Director Bishar Hussein stressed the relevance of the postal network in the modern world.

“Posts remain important facilitators of national and international trade in this constantly evolving world,” said Hussein. “The postal network, with more than 600,000 post offices, remains the largest physical network on the planet and a fundamental infrastructure for large segments of the economy.”

He also stressed the importance of the online shopping revolution in the evolution of the postal network.

“As ecommerce grows, postal services are positioning themselves as the delivery service of choice for goods ordered online,” said Hussein.

Hussein also advocated the expansion of financial services at post offices, stating that offering such services in locations where traditional banking may not be widely available would help ensure access to the system by all who need it.

Post Office in Montana Safe from Costly Fire

Costly fire in Montana

Employees of the Superior, MT, Post Office had an up-close view of nature at its most destructive as the West Mullan wildfire wreaked havoc in far western Montana.

The situation is not nearly as dangerous as the photo makes it seem. Much of downtown is protected by a wide river known as the Clark Fork.

Postmaster Jeff Shauvin notes, “the fire station is right behind us.”

Delivery interruptions have been minimal, Shauvin reports, thanks to the efforts of HCR drivers Frances Higgs and Rachel McGillvray.

“They’ve worked with and communicated with firefighting personnel to ensure delivery to as many customers as safely possible,” Shauvin said.

The West Mullan fire was sparked on July 14 and to date has consumed 6,300 acres. Costs to fight the fire have topped $7 million.

Postal Coloring Page for Kids

colorpag

This inspirational coloring page created by Sycamore, OH, Postmaster Earl Musick shows a day in the life of a postal worker on his daily route. Can you help him add a little more color to the scene to brighten his day?

Birds of a Feather

Peacocks are notorious for their brilliant colors and aversion to other species of birds. What might not be so common is where they choose to spend their time. For two particular birds in Ohio, that uncommon gathering place happens to be the local Post Office.

The pair of peafowl, which is the terminology used to refer to both male and female peacocks, decided to make a Post Office in Pickaway County their unofficial hangout spot. The colorful couple keeps to themselves and provides a visually appealing sight for postal patrons to enjoy as they go about their business.

You can learn more about peacocks from the National Geographic website here.

You can read more about the visiting birds in Ohio here.

More Than You Bargained For

Major electronic retailers have had little in the way of direct competition with the Post Office in the United States so far. The same can’t be said, however, around the rest of the world. Besides the usual collection of shipping supplies and related accessories, Swiss Post offers a wide range of other products and services not normally associated with sending a letter across town.

Browsing through the Swiss Post online store, you’ll find items such as tablet PC’s, cell phones, laptops, software, gaming systems, televisions, jewelry, books, movies, and even camping gear. If a customer didn’t look up in the left hand corner of the screen and notice the Swiss Post logo, they could easily assume they were browsing through the pages of an online electronics store.

Similar to Japan Post Bank, Swiss Post also provides limited financial services to business customers. Swiss Post offers cashless payments with PostFinance cards, investment and cash management services, and deposit accounts.

As a postal organization, Swiss Post knows a thing or two about transportation, but they go a step further in offering their own bus service. Since 1906, PostBus has been offering public transportation services in Switzerland. They currently have more than 3,000 employees and 2,000 buses shuttling passengers around the country with plans to expand to other international markets.

In a time when businesses are looking for every opportunity to remain competitive and expand their sources of revenue, Swiss Post isn’t leaving much to the imagination in expansion opportunities.

Do you think the Postal Service should expand into any of these or other potential markets?

The Largest Flying Post Office

In 1936, the Zeppelin Hindenburg began its service as a transatlantic passenger carrier between Europe and the United States. Spanning the length of 2 ½ football fields, this lighter-than-air vessel transported its passengers and crew across the Atlantic Ocean in 2 ½ days, much more rapidly than the conventional five to ten days for sea going vessels at the time.

Housed within this gigantic vessel was the largest Post Office ever to take to the air. The Hindenburg successfully navigated 34 flights across the Atlantic in 1936, but on its first North American flight in May, 1937, the airship met its tragic end at Lakehurst, NJ. The cause of this accident was never solved.

Of the more than 17,000 pieces of mail carried by the airship on its last flight, only 360 pieces of mail are known to have survived.

To learn more about the Hindenburg and its role in history, click here.

New Plan Keeps Offices Open, but Reduces Hours for Some

The U.S. Postal Service announced a new strategy yesterday that could keep the nation’s smallest Post Offices open for business, while providing a framework to achieve significant cost savings as part of the plan to return the organization to financial stability. 
The plan would keep existing Post Offices in place, but with modified retail window hours to match customer use. Access to the retail lobby and to PO Boxes would remain unchanged, and the town’s ZIP Code and community identity would be retained.
The new strategy would be implemented over a two-year, multi-phased approach and would not be completed until September 2014. Once implementation is completed, the Postal Service estimates savings of a half billion dollars annually. 
A voluntary early retirement incentive for the nation’s more than 21,000 non-executive postmasters was also announced.
So, what do you think about the plan?  What are postal customers saying? Comment here.

Does it Take a Village?

There’s a new way to do business with the Post Office and it’s not with the usual line of suspects. The Village Post Office may be coming to a town near you, and their numbers are continuing to grow every month.
 
Designed to offer a limited number of products and services, this new breed of independently operated Post Office ‘essentials’ will allow customers to buy stamps, mail letters, send packages, and possibly rent PO Boxes. Services available at these new centers will vary depending on the demands of the community, though they’ll generally offer basic mail services where none might otherwise exist.
 
The Village Post Office concept may not be a new one, but it can create an opportunity to create or maintain a Postal presence in smaller communities. It also has the potential to increase foot traffic inside the building of the local business or other organization that installs it. That could translate into an additional revenue source for the business that opts in.
 
There are currently 20 Village Post Offices open for business as of April 30, 2012, with many more coming out in the next few months. This single strategy probably won’t correct the enormous woes of the Post Office. It is, however, one option among many currently being implemented in an attempt to turn a chilling financial deficit around.
 
Do you think the Village concept can help the Post Office out of its fiscal crisis? Comment here.
  • Hello, I'm Benny the Blogger: I'm the world's most famous postal employee. My hobbies are snappy quotes, kite flying and publishing. I was born Jan. 17, 1706, but don't call me old.

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