USPS, Consignia Partner on Delivery to Europe

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The U.S. Postal Service yesterday signed an agreement with Consignia in which General Logistic Systems, Consignia's Pan-European parcel company, will deliver Global Express Mail and Global Air Parcel Post in Europe.

General Logistic Systems consists of 23 national parcel companies. It handles 1 million packages a day, and this deal is expected to add 6,000 pieces daily. Consignia is formerly the British Post Office.

"This will be a vast improvement over working with 23 different postal administrations and delivery agents with dissimilar methodologies and standards," said James P. Wade, vice president of international business at the USPS. "This will allow us to improve our end-to-end service performance and achieve operational efficiencies."

Wade would not specify the cost of the agreement or the amount of savings expected from improved efficiency. Global Express Mail and Global Air Parcel Post rates will not change for now, but he said the deal would allow the USPS to offer a global package volume discount program in the future.

Wade also said that the three-year arrangement would allow customers to track Air Parcel Post packages for the first time and enhance the tracking and tracing of Global Express Mail shipments.

"If the discounts of this are substantial enough, this would be a great service for direct marketers," said Charles Prescott, vice president of international business development and government affairs at the Direct Marketing Association. "It's also nice to have track and trace on a non-Priority product."

The postal service and Consignia successfully tested the delivery process last year, Wade said, sending more than 100,000 Air Parcels in November and December from USPS international exchange offices in the United States through the General Logistic Systems hub in Germany.

Air Parcels now are being delivered to all 23 countries via Consignia's General Logistic Systems network. Earlier this month, Global Express Mail items destined for Sweden, the Netherlands, Germany, France, Denmark and Austria were tendered to the GLS network. The remaining countries will be phased in over the next three months.


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