Ex-Postal Execs Form Latin American Delivery Company

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Two former U.S. Postal Service executives have started an unnamed company offering delivery services in major cities in Latin America, Mexico and the Caribbean.

John Kelly, former president/CEO of the USPS' former expedited and package services division, is president of the new company. James Grubiak, former USPS vice president, international business, is vice president of sales and marketing. The company likely will be named SkyPost.

LanChile, which is an investor in the company and is Chile's largest passenger and air cargo carrier, is handling air transportation. Sky Net Worldwide Express, LanChile's international distribution and logistics division, is offering a hand-delivery network in the region and eventually will provide fulfillment and call center operations for the company.

"Currently, there are a lot of spotty hand-delivery companies in Latin America that are not very efficient," Grubiak said. "The delivery service they offer is not time-deferred in a controlled environment."

Grubiak said the company is targeting financial institutions, telephone companies, airline companies, magazine publishers and catalogers. He said many U.S.-based companies are afraid to market in Latin America "because the delivery system is so inconsistent."

The company offers hand delivery in El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Haiti, Ecuador, Trinidad and Tobago, Paraguay, Uruguay, Bolivia, Costa Rica and Venezuela. A hand-delivery network will be operating in Colombia, Peru, Argentina, Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Chile by the end of the year, Grubiak said.

The company also hopes to offer guaranteed delivery and proof of delivery by the end of the year.

"We are planning to launch a delivery confirmation system, very similar to the U.S. Postal Service's system, where we can actually wand the mail piece at the point of delivery, giving customers information on when deliveries were made," said Kelly, who handles operations at the company. "And we will also be putting in a proof-of-delivery system, which is basically a system that allows the person making the delivery to get a signature."

Kelly said this is crucial for the credit card industry. "There is a substantial amount of loss, theft in these countries," he said.

Customers will be able to access delivery data daily on a company Web site, most likely called www.skypost.com, that is expected to be operational by the end of the year.

Grubiak said the company has approval to market USPS Priority Mail from all points in Latin America, the Caribbean and Mexico into the United States. This effort will be marketed under the SkyPostal name. SkyPostal, an affiliate of Sky Net, is an authorized seller of USPS services throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.

Grubiak said this will give customers of catalogers the ability "to return a product they find unsuitable through Priority Mail." He said this service would be available for all countries it serves by the end of the year.

Grubiak was not specific about the pricing for any of these services, but said it would be competitive with existing products.

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