Keep up with what's going on at PostNL through these short, factual news stories from at home and abroad. All the latest on innovation, new products and services, CR activities and more – if it's interesting you can expect to read about it right here.
PostNL launches a new plugin for online stores that are developed with Magneto and SEOshop. The new plugin allows webshop owners to have their customers profit from two new PostNL delivery options: evening delivery on Tuesdays and Thursdays and extra early collection at 450 post offices. Webshop customers increasingly want to determine themselves when and where a parcel is delivered. Research by PostNL showed that 35% of recipients of parcels want evening delivery as an option. In addition, 89% of webshop owners have indicated they wanted a simple technological link with their logistical partner.
Extra early collection means that customers can collect their parcels at some 450 post offices the following morning at 8.30 am, thus before the start of the day. Other customers prefer to receive parcels in the evenings; on Tuesday and Thursday evenings between 6.00 pm and 9.30 pm almost throughout the Netherlands. The plugin is a means to offer the two new delivery options to online shoppers. Evening delivery will be introduced as of 1 May this.
In addition to these delivery options, the PostNL plugin also helps webshop owners in sending parcels. For instance, an address label for an order is produced with one click of a button, and the status of delivery can be seen at a glance. The plugin is available as a download from the PostNL website.
The holiday cheer is behind us, days are short, and summer is still some way off. It's a time of year when many people experience feelings of loneliness. According to British psychologist Cliff Arnall, January 20 is the most depressing day of the year, earning it the nickname 'Blue Monday'. To give lonely people in the Netherlands a much-needed boost, Het Nationaal Ouderenfonds (National Elderly Fund) calls on everyone to send them a personal greeting in the form of a postcard. A small gesture can make a big difference, so why not send a card to a friend, family member, colleague or elderly person?
Ouderenfonds postcards, an initiative of the National Elderly Fund and PostNL Kaartwereld, can be sent via ouderenfonds.nl and Kaartwereld.nl. The cards are designed by schoolchildren who participated in the 'The young portray the elderly' initiative. Part of the proceeds from these cards will be used to support projects aimed at preventing loneliness among the elderly. To encourage people to send a 'Beat Blue Monday' card, some 30,000 cards were distributed among senior citizens over the holidays.
During the New Year's reception of Thuiswinkel.org PostNL Extra@Home became the winner of the Best Practice Award. Extra@ Home is the delivery service for large and heavy products. The Best Practice Award is presented to the business partner of Thuiswinkel.org with the email solution that stimulates the world of e-commerce.
According to the jury Extra@Home connects with our existing services. The jury was impressed by the fact that with this case PostNL serves both national and local retailers, and both online and offline channels. This innovation is according to the jury a further lowering of the threshold for online purchases and thereby it stimulates the Dutch e-commerce in general.
The print and email company Euro Mail, a subsidiary of PostNL, will take over the bulk of services from PinBizz. The company which offers storage and logistics services for online shops in various markets has encountered financial problems. The take over of PinBizz fits well in the activities of Euro Mail in the field of printing and preparation, processing and dispatch of mail solutions.
The activities of PinBizz will be integrated into the Euro Mail offices in Bleiswijk, Apeldoorn and Den Bosch. The employees from Euro Mail will take over these activities. PinBizz encountered financial difficulties as a result of declining sales. The biggest customer of PinBizz is Reed Business.
PostNL does not believe it is correctly represented in the article about pseudo-independence in Het Financieele Dagblad on 9 January 2014. Talks have commenced on the initiative of the Dutch Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment with representatives from different sectors, such as health care, construction and transport. PostNL is involved in these talks. The suggestion that specifically PostNL is under pressure by the cabinet to hire independent parcel deliverers, is incorrect.
Between Christmas and New Year many Dutch people will still be returning best wishes for 2014.
Two out of three Dutch people will also send their best wishes for 2014 to those from whom they received a Christmas card*. This still often happens between Christmas and New Year.
Research shows that the Dutch are loyal to each other and consider it important to send return cards to each other. Between Christmas and New Year is a great time to send best wishes for 2014. Almost two in every three Dutch people are delighted to receive an unexpected card on the doormat. Sending cards to family and friends is the most popular.
* The study was conducted among 1321 respondents by market research bureau Motivaction at the request of PostNL.
Of all Olympic medal winners, people in the Netherlands would most like to receive a Christmas card from Athlete of the Year Epke Zonderland. He came in first place with 16% of the votes, followed by two-time swimming champion Ranomi Kromowidjojo with 13%.
Personal Christmas card
Even in today’s digital age, a hand-written Christmas card is the ideal way to pay personal attention to those closest to you. 63% of Dutch people consider it important to send Christmas cards by post, instead of sending holiday wishes via WhatsApp (8%), e-mail (7%) or social media (11%). Two out of three Dutch people will also send a Christmas card in reply to someone sending them one first.
Residents of the Province of Friesland send the highest average number of actual Christmas cards in the Netherlands: 49 cards per person. The provinces of Drenthe, Zeeland and North Brabant follow with an average of 40 Christmas cards per person*.
* The study was conducted among 1321 respondents by market research bureau Motivaction at the request of PostNL.
PostNL has started a partnership with three specialised e-commerce parties to develop Magento-based webshops . This allows retailers to launch a professional and modern webshop with support from PostNL. This allows PostNL to offer even more added value in addition to its current services such as order fulfilment, online delivery service and return solutions .
PostNL is engaging into a cooperation with Experius (Utrecht), MediaCT (Groningen and Amsterdam) and Total Internet Group (Amsterdam). Customers can develop a webshop, based on the open source ecommerce platform Magento, in close cooperation with these technical partners. As this solution is scalable, it is ideally suited to meet future growth of the webshop. Magento webshops easily can be linked to existing logistical infrastructures, after which PostNL will process the order in optimal fashion.
PostNL has agreed with Fiege to take over its one- and two-man handling services to consumers in the Benelux. Fiege is one of Europe’s leading logistics service providers. As other Fiege country organisations already do, Fiege Benelux will work with the most experienced partners for delivery services.
PostNL currently already delivers through its Extra@Home activities large products to consumers across the doorstep, with optional installation and return services. With this step, PostNL further strengthens its position in the Netherlands and gains market entry in Belgium and Luxembourg.
One-and two-man handling services to consumers is a rapidly growing market segment. PostNL is continuously adapting to this growth in order to serve its customers with a full range of services. These services offer consumers comfort as they don’t have to worry about delivery of products such as white goods into their homes or perform installation work.
Student Team The Green Path came up with a solution for sustainable parcel delivery in inner cities for PostNL. On Thursday, 21 November their entry for the Sustainability Challenge 2013 won the first prize. Chairman of the jury, Prince Jaime de Bourbon de Parme, announced this during the National Sustainability Congress.
What is the solution of the students?
Team The Green Path advises PostNL to not only look at how we collect parcels, but also how we deliver them. The solution lies in a combination of sustainable transport, integrated collection and delivery of parcels and more personal and flexible contact between the customer and the parcel deliverer with mobile applications. We will certainly take the solution of the students join in our ongoing projects for greening our parcel delivery in the inner cities.
A PostNL-campaign is awarded with an Effie , a prestigious award in the advertising world. A campaign that persuaded mothers, retirees, students and many others that becoming a part-time mail deliverer can very well be "Part of your life". The result was 2.2 million visits to werkenbijPostnl.nl, translated: workatpostnl.nl. This then led to a huge increase in the number of applicants, which enabled PostNL to meet the entire demand for 24,000 new postal workers in 2012. Moreover, PostNL improved its position in the ranking of most favorite employers from position 130 to 27.
The Effie is the global award for effective communication awarded in over 30 countries across five continents. The jury report said: "Especially in a time where the news on PostNL was predominantly negative and many redundancies became effective, a large-scale recruitment campaign was launched. PostNL deserves an Effie because the company has chosen for the right strategy and the right insight for this dilemma."
This year's children's welfare stamps campaign has raised 11.6 million Euros, thanks to the efforts of 200,000 children in the Netherlands. The Foundation for Children’s Welfare Stamps will use the money to help as many vulnerable children as possible to have a better future.
Yme Pasma of PostNL presented the first prints of the children’s welfare stamps to Dutch musician Henny Vrienten during the seminar 'Let Children Learn'. Vrienten had placed the first order for stamps this year. Starting on Wednesday, 6 November, the children will start to deliver the orders to their customers.
Yme Pasma, PostNL Director Consumer Market: "This is an amazing result by all of the children who went door-to-door this year. We are proud of these unique stamps with photography by Anton Corbijn and the excellent cooperation with the Foundation for Children’s Welfare Stamps Netherlands."
TNT Post, the UK’s largest private postal operator has announced it will create over 1000 new jobs in Manchester with the launch of its postal delivery service in November. The new delivery service will operate alongside the traditional Royal Mail postman but the TNT Post Postie will complete their deliveries using bicycles. In addition, for the first time every letter is scanned, with a track and trace service, which will help provide a high quality of customer service. TNT Post has a distribution and sorting centre in Warrington, where the sorting of mail for the new service will take place.
TNT Post is actively recruiting in the region and has seen over 600 candidates so far. The nature of the job roles on offer varies from Posties to back office support. TNT Post began its own end-to-end delivery service in April 2012 in West London. Following the success of the trial, it has since extended its operations to South West London, with the intention of creating a nationwide delivery network to households across the UK by 2015. The company has created over 1000 jobs in London and aims to create 20,000 in the next 5 years.
The students of the Delft University of Technology and the VU University Amsterdam have achieved a world record with their high-tech recumbent bike. The bike reached a speed of exactly 133.78 kilometers per hour, making it the fastest on earth. That is 0.6 kilometers per hour faster than the previous world record. The speed was measured after a 8 kilometers long run on a straight road in the desert of Nevada in the US.
At the last moment
The team had six days to achieve the world record. In the beginning they encountered technical problems, which resulted in burning some midnight oil. After a few days of bad weather, it all came down to the last evening. "If you then break the world speed record on the last night, it just feels fantastic," says the proud team leader Wouter Lion.
The team chose for a recumbent bicycle and a hull with an extremely low air resistance. "Compared to a normal bike, the VeloX3 produces only a tenth of the resistance. Paint from the Formula 1 is applied, making the hull very smooth," says Wouter Lion. "It is not only an achievement of students and cyclists, but also of many companies that have helped, including main sponsor PostNL. They sponsor us since the beginning, which underlines that the Netherlands is a biking nation we should be proud of."
PostNL sponsors the bicycle because a fast and sustainable bike could also be of interest to the company.
This year’s Children’s Welfare Stamps were photographed and designed by Anton Corbijn. Earlier this year, on behalf of PostNL and the Foundation for Children’s Welfare Stamps Netherlands, Corbijn visited an educational project in Ethiopia to take photographs for the new series of Children’s Welfare Stamps. The stamps highlight the contrast between children who attend school and children who have to work. Three children play a leading role on the stamp sheetlet, whereby each of the three is photographed both at school and at work.
Primary school children in years 7 and 8 will hit the streets to sell the Children’s Welfare Stamps from Wednesday 25 September 2013. The proceeds from the Children’s Welfare Stamps will be used to help vulnerable children in the Netherlands and abroad. PostNL has issued Children’s Welfare Stamps to raise money for child welfare projects since 1924. The surcharge is €0.30 per stamp.
The Municipality of Leeuwarden, Wecycle, Omrin and PostNL are today launching a trial collection scheme for small electrical appliances. Leeuwarden residents now also have the option to get rid of their unwanted small electrical appliances in drop-off bins which have been mounted underneath letterboxes across the Municipality. The parties involved are thereby making it more convenient for residents to hand in old or broken appliances such as mobile phones, hairdryers, mp3 players and electrical toys without having to go far from home. The aim of the trial is to make residents more aware of the importance of recycling and to encourage them to hand appliances in separately. The trial will last for one year.
35 million kilograms of unwanted electrical appliances and energy-saving light bulbs (e-waste) end up in rubbish bins in the Netherlands every year. That works out at around 2kg per person. The collection trial scheme in Leeuwarden has set itself the target of halving the amount of e-waste per person that currently disappears in general rubbish. Handing appliances in separately means waste processors are able to recycle more than 75% of them. This retains their raw materials and prevents harmful substances from being released into the environment. Recent research by TNS Nipo shows that having a location near to home makes it more likely that people will take part in the collection scheme. Each of the parties involved is contributing to the trial in its own ways. PostNL will provide the locations underneath the letterboxes and empty the drop-off bins. To find out more about the trial collection scheme and the locations of the drop-off bins underneath letterboxes, visit wecycle.nl/leeuwarden.
PostNL Pharma & Care is completely ready for the introduction of the new guidelines for distribution of pharmaceutical products in Belgium. Today PostNL Pharma & Care (PostNL) introduced the first of a new fleet of 51 conditioned trucks. PostNL can distribute any kind of medicine because the company fully complies with the guidelines of Good Distribution Practice (GDP). PostNL Pharma & Care was known as trans-o-flex Belgium until recently.
PostNL has invested several millions of euro’s to prepare for the introduction of the guidelines since the acquisition of trans-o-flex Belgium in 2012. The company acquired 46 trucks of the chassis type, five semi-trailer trucks, seven trailers and seven semi-trailers with conditioned cargo space, which will become operational in the course of the coming three months. Moreover, staff received training in the field of GDP, hygiene and safety. Investments were also made in security, IT systems for recording temperature and cooling facilities on site in Turnhout.
PostNL can deliver complete pallets, large or small cargo shipments or individual parcels in one single route both unconditioned, between 2-8° C and 15-25° C. This is unique in the Belgian market.
PostNL is driving a super clean truck on 'liquid natural gas’ (LNG). PostNL complies with the strictest environmental and noise requirements with this truck. LNG stands for 'liquid natural gas' but it is actually 'liquid biogas'. The gas is made from waste. LNG is an ideal fuel for heavier forms of transport, such as ships and trucks. An important advantage of LNG is that the emissions contain 90 percent less particulate matter and nitrogen. The emission of an LNG truck is 80 percent CO2-neutral. LNG is also cleaner for the engine. Which means less maintenance.
An important part of PostNL's corporate responsibility policy is Sustainable Logistics. Besides this truck on LNG, PostNL also tests hybrid vans and an electrically assisted cargo bicycle. These are proven techniques that could be implemented immediately and lead to savings and reduced environmental impact quickly. The truck is an IVECO Stralis which is converted to LNG. At the end of 2014 PostNL will evaluate whether the truck on LNG meets the requirements.
PostNL is working together with Belgian postal operator bpost to recruit Dutch postal workers in order to strengthen the Belgian company's workforce. The first Dutch postmen have already started work in Belgium. The collaboration is part of PostNL's mobility programme, which helps employees to find a new job outside the company.
According to bpost, it is difficult to find new postmen in certain parts of Flanders, such as the border regions of Antwerp and Limburg. There is a lot of competition from other sectors. Also many Belgian mailmen are close to retirement age, making it necessary to attract new people. With their extensive experience, the Dutch postmen are an attractive proposition for bpost.
Until recently bpost faced labour shortages in regions such as Waasland (East Flanders). The workforce is now back to full strength, but more people are still needed. Therefore bpost has started a recruitment campaign. The company hopes to recruit postmen in the province of Zeeland among other areas.
The Dutch postal workers will receive training so they become familiar with bpost's operational processes. This includes knowledge of Belgian sorting and distribution systems.
The VeloX3 recumbent bicycle, sponsored by PostNL, practised for the world speed record. Part of the motorway in the province of Friesland was closed specially for this event. The recumbent bike clocked 78.8 kilometres an hour, which is the fastest speed ever recorded for a bicycle on a Dutch road.
The VeloX3 is a streamlined recumbent bicycle built by students of the Delft University of Technology and the VU University Amsterdam. The students will try to break the speed record of 133 km/h in Nevada (USA) in September. PostNL is sponsoring the bike because a fast and sustainable bike could also be of interest to us.
PostNL is, after Albert Heijn and Jumbo, the third most popular part time employer among students and schoolchildren in the Netherlands. This was shown in a recent survey by the Intelligence Group among 1,856 students and school-going children. Good news for PostNL, as the company is currently looking to recruit a large number of part time workers – whether outdoors as mail deliverer or indoors preparing mail for delivery. Especially during the summertime, in the months July and August, PostNL offers many part time jobs. Employees work for a couple of hours per day, which means they have plenty of time to enjoy the sun, go to the beach or – of course – to study.
Obviously, PostNL not only seeks to recruit students or scholars. Also mothers, the young elderly or people that just want to earn some more money.
PostNL presents the Stamp code on the Mobile Convention in Amsterdam today. The Stamp code makes sending a postcard or letter even easier, because you will always have a stamp at hand. You can buy a Stamp code with your smart phone. It consists of a unique combination of nine letters and numbers which can be written on the spot where one normally sticks the stamp. PostNL meets the changing consumer preferences. PostNL research shows that 20% of the customers refrain from sending a postcard or letter because they have no stamp at hand.
The Stamp code is available via the PostNL app and the mobile website, costs €0.75 and payment is quick and easy by using Microincasso. PostNL sorting process recognises and checks the code and the mail item will be delivered as usual. The Dutch regulator for the postal market, the Autoriteit Consument en Markt (ACM), has verified and approved the Stamp code. If the results of the introduction are positive, the Stamp code will become part of the PostNL range of stamps.
Over 15,000 cards and letters were delivered by PostNL to Princess Beatrix today at the palace Noordeinde. The huge number of personal messages was a direct response to PostNL’s appeal to the Dutch public to thank Queen Beatrix for many years of loyal service. The Queen recently abdicated in favour of her son Willem-Alexander after 33 years on the throne.
Trans-o-flex Belgium, part of PostNL Parcels, completely renews its fleet with 51 new MAN trucks with temperature controlled cargo space. This allows trans-o-flex to deliver shipments at a constant temperature of 2 to 8 degrees and from 15 to 25 degrees. By doing this the company meets growing demand from pharmaceutical customers. With the new trucks, trans-o-flex can also meet the transport and documentation requirements arising from the stricter European regulations regarding the Good Distribution Practice (GDP).
Trans-o-flex acquired 46 MAN trucks of the chassis type with conditioned cargo space. Seven of these trucks are also suitable to pull a trailer, doubling the capacity while maintaining the agility of the combination. The company also acquired five semi-trailer trucks. These are trucks that can pull a trailer and are ideally suited for the delivery of large orders. Trans-o-flex also acquired seven trailers and semi-trailers with conditioned cargo space.
GDP is new European legislation and sets strict quality requirements for among others the transport of medicines. Temperature control and registration plays a very important role. With the new fleet, trans-o-flex is able to meet the demands the pharmaceutical industry sets.
On 22 April PostNL issues a pure silver stamp with 3D-technique on the occasion of the succession. This stamp is an issue of PostNL, produced by the Royal Dutch Mint. It is the second time that a silver stamp is issued nationally. The first time was in honor of the last guilder stamp in 2001.
The design consists of a double portrait of the current Queen Beatrix and upcoming King Willem-Alexander in three-dimensional carving. The stamp is available for the registered tariff and available at the PostNL post offices, online via postnl.nl/zilver3d and postkantoor.nl.
Monuta has recently launched the online draaiboek (funeral planner). With this new online tool from Monuta, the people choose themselves what they want to do themselves and what they want the funeral company to organise. The beauty of the draaiboek is that people can communicate with one another through the draaiboek, irrespective of where they are, in order to organise the funeral of a loved one together.
An element of the draaiboek is the possibility to send funeral and prayer cards. PostNL eCommerce offers the funeral cards in a specially designed funeral card shop with the look and feel of Monuta. In this card shop, customers can send cards online to selected recipients. It also provides the possibility to receive the cards at home in one shipment, including a funeral card dispatch set. If the order is placed before 10.00 am, the shipment will be delivered to the customer on the same day. This allows the customer to write the funeral cards personally and hand over the funeral card dispatch set to PostNL on the same day for delivery.
On the eve of the opening of the Rijksmuseum, business director Erik van Ginkel, received the first Rijksmuseum stamps from Director of Consumer & Small Business PostNL, Annerie Lekkerkerker. The stamp sheet issued in the context of the reopening of the Rijksmuseum shows the details of 24 works of art, providing a picture of the vast collection of the Rijksmuseum, in time as well as in subject and technique.
The design is based on the swipe technology of smartphones and tablets, which is also used on the new website of the Rijksmuseum. “I hope that the stamps encourage people to discover the Rijksmuseum collection in the museum itself or on the website. There are so many special and beautiful works of art,” designer Irma Boom says. The stamps are available at Bruna outlets, the Collect Club in Groningen, online via www.postnl.nl/collectclub, and at the Rijksmuseum. The stamps have an indefinite term of validity.
The parcel sorting and distribution centre was opened in Leeuwarden in early April. It is the ninth depot of the eighteen to be built in total. This means that PostNL is now halfway – a true milestone. Looking back, PostNL is very satisfied: all nine depots have become operational within budget, according to planning and without any major problems for our customers.
Following a quiet start opening the depots in Waddinxveen and Elst in 2011, PostNL Parcels opened another four depots in 2012. In 2013, the roll-out is accelerating: every two months a new location is opened – seven in total. Parcels expects that all depots will be fully operational by the end of 2014 or early 2015, so that all shipping customers will be benefiting from the advantages the new logistics infrastructure has to offer. For instance, shipping customers can now hand over their shipments in the late evening or early night. This is a major benefit, as most online orders are placed between 8.00 and 10.00 p.m., and receiving customers expect their orders to be delivered on the next day.
On April 4 captain Jelle ten Rouwelaar and defender Kees Luijckx of the Dutch soccer team NAC received the first stamps of the NAC team at their training center in Zundert. Arno van Bijnen, commercial director of PostNL, presented the stamps. The reason for the publication of these stamps is the opening of the PostNL post office in the new Jumbo supermarket in the NAC stadium.
The stamps are a tribute to the 100-year history of NAC. The stamp sheetlet includes images of the Rat Verlegh stadium and of supporters of the club. Defender Kees Luijckx himself is also shown on one of the stamps. The stamp sheetlet (10 stamps) is available in the Jumbo stores in Breda and from Friday 12 April also in the NAC Fanshop.
TNT Post UK has announced a number of contract wins and renewals, confirming its position as the main challenger to Royal Mail. Contract wins for 2012 included British clothing company Cotton Traders and high street retailer Matalan, which collectively send over 35 million items per annum. Big names among the contract renewals include BT Group plc, Home Retail Group, Saga, Santander and Barclays, which in total send over 850 million items per annum. RSA, Capita, Direct Wines, Friends Provident and Thames Water have also renewed contracts, sending approximately 100 million items each year.
PostNL has won an Internet Advertising Awards for the campaign Uit‘t hart (from the heart). The IAC is the international award for the best online campaigns worldwide and is awarded by the Web Marketing Association (WMA).
The campaign Uit ‘t hart received the award for the ‘Best Professional Services Online campaign’. People, who shares everything online, experience through the campaign the power of real mail. The emotions that people shared through social media were collected using a smart language filter. This made it possible, for the first time in the Netherlands, to see how people are feeling in real time. Every day the best message received a surprise batch of real mail: all reactions were copied onto post cards, which were delivered in person by Nicolette van Dam.
Watch the video
PostNL announced on 25 March a special stamp featuring the smartest mammal in the Netherlands: the fox. A unique aspect of these stamps is that after scanning with a smartphone a video of a mother with young foxes is shown. PostNL launches the stamps in collaboration with the Foundation for Nature Footage.
After the stamp issue of the squirrel earlier this year, now a stamp of the fox will be issued. Both stamps can be scanned with the Chameleon Explorer app on your smartphone. The app can be downloaded at www.postnl.nl/apps or www.scanfun.nl.
The stamps of the fox are part of the stamp series Mammals in the Netherlands. More information about this series can be found at www.postnl.nl/zoogdieren. The stamps are available separately at Bruna shops, at Collect Club in Groningen and online via www.postnl.nl/collectclub.
PostNL would like to invite everybody in the Netherlands to thank Queen Beatrix personally by sending her a handwritten card. Give the Queen a last token of your appreciation. From 25 March, a set of two greeting cards will be available at all PostNL post offices to thank Queen Beatrix for her commitment and all those memorable moments. With every post office visit, you will receive a set of cards. So write the card, affix a stamp and put it into the postbox as soon as possible. PostNL will collect the cards and present them all to the Queen.
This year, photographer Anton Corbijn will take the photographs for the 65th edition of the Children’s Welfare Stamps campaign. Early this month, Corbijn visited an education project in Ethiopia on behalf of PostNL and the Foundation for Children’s Welfare Stamps. There, he took photographs of children for the new set of Children’s Welfare Stamps, which will be presented in late September. This presentation will mark the start of the Children’s Welfare Stamps campaign on the theme ‘Let children learn’, and schoolchildren will go from door to door to sell the stamps. The proceeds of the Children’s Welfare Stamps are intended for underprivileged children in the Netherlands and abroad.
Education is not available to everyone. Many Ethiopian children cannot go to school, because they have to work or because there is no school in their village. This is why the Foundation for Children’s Welfare Stamps together with its partner organisations and the local population contributes to building schools. PostNL also considers the development of children an issue of great importance. PostNL is omnipresent and thus at the heart of society. Children are the future of our society, which is part of the reason why PostNL has been cooperating with the Foundation for Children’s Welfare Stamps for more than 65 years.
The Human Power Team has presented the new design for its high-tech recumbent. With this bike the students of Delft University of Technology and the VU University Amsterdam want to break the world speed record of 133 km/h in Battle Mountain in the United States. To achieve this, the bicycle has to be as streamlined and light as possible.
Since September 2012, the students have been busy designing the bike, which is called the VeloX. The research for the design was done in wind tunnels and by means of computer simulations and test beds. Next to students of the Delft University of Technology, kinesiology students from the VU University Amsterdam also provided input in the design. PostNL sponsors the Human Power Team again this year.
TNT Post UK has begun to offer apprenticeships to existing and prospective employees who wish to develop and progress toward a career in management. TNT Post expects to support at least 50 apprentices, with a desire for them to become long-term employees and progress within the company. Lasting two years, the apprenticeship scheme has been designed to develop effective senior managers. Apprentices will be based within one of the delivery units and learning is provided through training in TNT Post’s own Learning and Development Centre, combined with classroom education in West London colleges.
Nick Wells, CEO of TNT Post UK says: “TNT Post prides itself on helping to lower youth unemployment levels. By providing sustainable employment opportunities, the company is taking another step to combat the issue. Through personal and professional development, we want to enhance career opportunities for all our employees, and, for our new apprentices, provide each of them with transferable managerial skills for life.”
PostNL has researched that many Dutch companies are lagging behind in the preparations for the introduction of the Single Euro Payment Area, SEPA. Effectively, no preparations are made: more than three quarters (78%) of the SME’s has not yet begun preparations for the European standards and 70% is not yet prepared for the arrival of European standards for money transfers. Many companies hesitate in their preparations: the SEPA process rigging with the dreaded administrative burden or taking large financial risks. However, SEPA offers opportunities to modernise the document structure, because it impacts the financial and administrative processes of organizations.
Kees van den Heuvel, Director at PostNL Billing & Document Solutions, indicates that the last months more companies consult PostNL to scrutinise the document flows of their financial and administrative processes that need to be adapted to the SEPA requirements. "You notice that companies realise that SEPA is more than an IT-project for a new IBAN account number. In fact, all document flows to employees, customers and suppliers are SEPA-related. And time is running out to establish and realise all actions necessary for the document flows."
Retail chain Blokker now also chooses for PostNL for the delivery of large articles bought in their stores or on their web shop. Large products ordered at Blokker, such as garden furniture or large household items, will now be delivered at the doorstep by PostNL Extra@Home. Blokker already uses PostNL Parcels for the delivery of normal size orders.
Duco Avis, director of logistics at Blokker: "With Extra@Home, PostNL offers an unrivalled delivery network for large consumer products in the Netherlands. We can fulfil an important and growing demand among our customers by offering them a choice of direct delivery within 48 hours or by appointment when our client suits best. The cooperation with Extra@Home allows us to deliver the rapidly growing number of orders and continue to offer our customers the best service in the future."
PostNL Extra@Home delivers larger consumer products indoors within 24 hours on a pre-given time. If desired Extra@Home delivers the products ready-to-use, that is to say installed or connected. The evening before, the customer automatically receives an SMS with the delivery time (time window of 3 hours). Just prior to delivery, the customer receives another SMS, with a more precise delivery time.
Jim Fitzpatrick, UK Member of Parliament and Opposition Shadow Minister for Transport, visited and met with members of PostNL senior management and a workers’ council representative on a two-day visit to the Netherlands.
Mr Fitzpatrick, formerly the UK’s Post Office minister, was shown around PostNL’s state-of-the-art parcel sorting depot in Waddinxveen before visiting the new mail preparation centre in Leiden.
The visit was part of Mr Fitzpatrick’s Fellowship with the Industry and Parliament Trust – an educational charity in the UK which seeks to develop greater understanding between businesses and law-makers.
The Esprix Award seeks to reward the most creative and successful marketing campaigns. Effectiveness is key here; only campaigns that have made a clear difference to recipients' behaviour are nominated. PostNL is happy to be involved in this initiative.
PostNL shares Esprix’s commitment to good and effective marketing, especially in the form of direct mail – a marketing tool that can be very powerful in bringing forth a response from recipients.
Campaigns can be submitted till 1 March. The winners of this year’s Esprix will be announced in June.
DA Retail Group and Drogistenunie, the service organisation for more than 400 DA drugstores and their wholesale business, have selected Cargo Service from PostNL Parcels as its logistics partner. Starting 1 January 2013, affiliated DA drugstores and customers from Drogistenunie receive their beauty, health and grooming products through the Cargo network of PostNL Parcels. This will involve about 105 thousand roll containers annually.
Cargo Service is the PostNL entity responsible for carrying out dense palletised and piece cargo transport in the Benelux within 24 hours as well as the delivery of cargo in 23 other European countries. The Benelux network consists of 5 depots. Pallets, roll containers and individual shipments are delivered to business locations in the Benelux on a daily basis using 100 distribution vehicles. Cargo Service employs approximately 40 employees in the Netherlands.
"We are pleased with our new logistics partner. With PostNL we have found a partner that is seen daily in the shopping street, whether it's to deliver a single parcel or a few roll containers" said Gert Bos, Supply Chain Managing Director at DA Drugstores.
Changes in international legislation allow for shipping lithium by mail under strict conditions as from 1 January 2013.
Lithium is a substance often used in batteries and cells. Due to the risks of overheating and explosion, the substance is classified as dangerous. The rules previously prohibiting the transportation of lithium by air have recently been adjusted.
As from 1 January 2013, it is possible to send appliances containing lithium batteries and/or cells abroad under specific conditions. For instance, the lithium content in a battery may not exceed 2 grams per 100 Wh; for cells the limit is 1 gram per 20 Wh. This means that a mobile phone or laptop will be accepted, but a battery for an electric bicycle will not. Additionally, a maximum of four cells or two batteries is allowed in a single appliance per shipment; the batteries must be undamaged and in good working order, and they are not to pose a potential risk of overheating or short-circuiting.
The amended regulations offer new opportunities and possibilities for PostNL and its customers. Consequently, it is now possible to meet the demand of customers who want to send appliances with lithium cells or lithium batteries by air.
Parcels from PostNL has opened a new depot in Sittard-Geleen on industrial Holtum-North. Sittard-Geleen is the eighth depot which is opened as part of the new logistics infrastructure of the Parcels organization of PostNL. Representatives from PostNL, Vixia and the municipality of Sittard-Geleen symbolically fed the first parcel onto the conveyor belt in the new sorting and distribution center of PostNL in Sittard-Geleen.
Vixia, social work / training company of the municipalities Beek, Schinnen, Sittard-Geleen and Stein mans the morning shift with about 35 employees distant to the labor market six days a week. In the evening, the new depot offers work for 50 employees distant to the labor market, mainly from reintegration. In addition, the new depot offers work for about 25 staff and an average of 150 parcel deliverers. Furthermore, Vixia expects to also employ jobs in the secondary processes work for PostNL in the near future, for example gardening, catering and maintenance. The possibility to offer people work and work experience in the depot, fits well with the 600-job-plan of the municipality of Sittard-Geleen, which has employed almost 300 people already.
Two webcams have been installed in the Mail sorting center in Rotterdam, which allows to follow the flow of Christmas cards 24 hours a day.
The footage can be seen at: www.postnl.nl/kerstwebcam
The two cameras allow to track the sorting process of the cards from to different positions. In about three weeks time a total of 160 million Christmas and New Year cards are sent and processed. The center in Rotterdam is one of the six sorting centers in the Netherlands. The sorting center in Rotterdam processed about 30 million Christmas and New Year cards during this period.
The hunt for the Golden Christmas Card has started this week. Every day, PostNL hides a Golden Christmas Card on a PostNL postbox somewhere in the Netherlands. Anyone who is the first to find the postbox with the Golden Christmas Card, who scans the stamps on the postbox with the Chameleon eXplorer app and registers, has a chance of winning €500. This is how sending Christmas cards can bring you money!
From 10 to 16 December, between noon and midnight, PostNL gives a hint on Radio 538 and SlamFM six times about the location of the Golden Christmas Card on that particular day. Once the hints have been broadcast, they will also appear on the promotion page facebook.com/kaartwereld. After you have ‘liked’ the page, you will receive a notification automatically if a new hint is known. If the Golden Christmas Card is not found, it will be worth €1,000 on the next day.
The simple Chameleon eXplorer app works like a scanner. It can be downloaded for free via the Appstore, the Android Play store or via http://www.postnl.nl/voorthuis/klantenservice/app/.
PostNL has won the coveted trophy for the safest, most economical and customer-friendly parcels deliverer of Europe. Piet Hartog and Laurens Tuinhout of PostNL won the IPC Drivers' Challenge by beating teams from Denmark, Sweden, Ireland, France and Belgium. Piet Hartog qualified for this international race by winning the national PostNL Drive Me Challenge measured according to fuel economy and speed.
The IPC Drivers' Challenge was organised for the first time this year, by the International Post Corporation (IPC), an interest group for 24 postal operators worldwide. The Mireval circuit, test circuit of Goodyear and Dunlop in southern France, was the perfect setting for a race that tested drivers' safe driving and fuel saving skills, as well as their customer friendliness. Economic driving is not necessarily about driving slowly. In fact, the PostNL team even recorded the fastest time. The competition was modelled on the Drive Me Challenge, which PostNL has organised every year since 2008.
TNT Post, the international parcel division of PostNL, offers e-retailers a new channel for their international parcels. TNT Post has teamed up with parcel network CollectPlus to offer e-retailers throughout the UK the opportunity to drop off parcels for international delivery at one of the 4,800 CollectPlus stores. As of today small to medium sized web merchants are able to easily send their international items worldwide with TNT Post by dropping them off at their local corner shop.
The new service from TNT Post makes sending international parcels easily accessible for small to medium sized UK-based web merchants. The 4,800 CollectPlus stores are open till late, 7 days a week and this suits the needs of smaller e-retailers who fulfil online orders throughout the week and wish to drop those off at a point nearby. Currently, over 80% of the UK population is within a mile from a CollectPlus location.
With this new service, TNT Post has an answer to the growing number of international orders received by British SME e-retailers. Already 30% of all online cross-border trade in Europe comes from the UK. In addition, a majority of online entrepreneurs in the UK plan to expand internationally within the coming 12 months. Cross border trade from the UK is soaring, with online sales from Greece, France, the Netherlands and Finland increasing by around 20% according to EMOTA, the European online trade organisation. TNT Post, the international parcel division of PostNL, is a separate operating division to TNT Post UK.
PostNL today launches ‘Studio KaartWereld’ (Studio CardWorld), a personal online inspiration platform where you can process, share and transform photos and images of yourself and others, to create original greetings cards in an instant. Each of these proper greetings cards can then be sent through the link with Kaartwereld.nl, PostNL’s existing online cards shop.
With Studiokaartwereld.nl, PostNL is responding to the highly popular and constantly growing online pursuit: processing and sharing photography and inspiring designs. PostNL adds its unique sending functionality. With Studio KaartWereld you decide on your own collection of greetings cards yourself, you share beautiful moments and personal inspiration with your friends and other Studio KaartWereld users via Hyves and Facebook, and you can send the cards as real greetings cards.
PostNL has worked with Hyves for two years to implement card-sending among social media users. Studio KaartWereld is one of the initiatives arising from this collaboration. The Folk Amsterdam agency is responsible for the concept and realisation of Studio KaartWereld.
TNT Post Doordrop Media, the door drop marketing division of TNT Post UK, has won the COGS Award for Direct Marketing Services for an unprecedented third year running. The Institute of Promotional Marketing recognises the brands and agencies that sit behind some of the UK's most influential marketing campaigns and is voted for by clients.
The COGS were launched in 2010 and during the past three years, which have been tough for the sector, TNT Post Doordrop Media has continued to grow and outperform the market through its commitment to delivering campaigns that work for clients. In the past year the company has delivered campaigns for Lidl, RSPCA, Kelloggs, IKEA and SKY.
Online retailers which use webshop software Webwinkelpro are now able to print shipping labels and enter shipments into PostNL’s systems directly from their webshop by means of PostNL Webservices. The use of a separate IT-application is no longer necessary. This makes the preparations for sending received orders even easier and more efficient for online retailers.
Webservices of PostNL is an online service that can be integrated into the administration software, customer service application or order system of the webshop. Only a link needs to be made between the webshop software and the systems of PostNL. This way the online retailer can print barcodes and labels, enter a shipment into PostNL Parcels’ system and access Track & Trace information.
PostNL Webservices is currently only available for Webwinkelpro, but will also be introduced for other webshop software in the coming quarters. Furthermore, it is also already possible to build these links in individual webshops.
ALTERNATE Netherlands, a leading Dutch web shop for computers, components and peripherals, introduces PostNL Checkpay as payment method for online sales. With the introduction of CheckPay, ALTERNATE offers its customers an additional payment method and more certainty because the payment is finalised until after the customer has received the order. ALTERNATE itself has the certainty that the parcel is delivered to the correct recipient.
Leading research into online purchasing behaviour shows that approximately one third of potential online shoppers from the Netherlands refrain from a purchase because they feel online payments are not secure enough. With CheckPay, ALTERNATE can meet a large group of hesitating consumers and the company expands its range of services to customers.
Because the payment is finalised until after the customer has received the order when offering CheckPay, web shops can meet the requirements for the Dutch Thuiswinkel.org hallmark.
Printed matter purchaser Cendris Print Management (CPM) will continue under the name PostNL Print Management as of 1 October 2012. Following the takeover of Marvia, this name change will help PostNL strengthen its position as a supplier of total solutions in the direct-marketing chain.
The services of PostNL Print Management comprise the central purchase and coordination of printed matter and other marketing communication material. Additionally, PostNL Print Management advises its major commercial customers and business customers on efficiency improvements in their printed matter (creation) processes, using various reports and thus realising considerable savings.
As a 100% subsidiary of PostNL, PostNL Print Management is part of the PostNL holding company Data & Document Management (DDM). The activities of DDM include direct and interactive marketing and communication, print, fulfilment, direct mail, transaction mail, e-billing and document solutions.
The PostNL consumer website www.postnl.nl/voorthuis has been nominated for the award of Website of the Year 2012 in the e-commerce category. In this category PostNL competes with the websites of Bijenkorf, Zalando and bol.com among others.
The Website of the Year election is the public prize for the best internet site. The election has been carried out by an independent market research agency for the last 11 years. The Website of the Year election is a national election which is held in eight countries: the Netherlands, England, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Brazil and India.
The Dutch general public annually votes for their favourite websites and judge the websites on their quality. Voting can take place from 17 September up to and including 26 October. The eventual winners will be announced during the festive and exclusive Website of the Year Award show on 14 November. You can vote for the consumer website of PostNL via: http://www.websitevanhetjaar.nl/PostNL
PostNL entered into a partnership with ACCS International in order to further improve its service to Dutch companies with collection of amounts overdue abroad. This company is specialised in collecting consumer receivables outside the Netherlands. This partnership is an addition to the credit management service that PostNL introduced last year. Credit management by PostNL means that all billing services are now available via a single portal: customer acceptance, billing, receivables management, and debt collection through both extrajudicial procedures and legal proceedings.
Many companies have amounts receivable from abroad. Lack of transparency, legislation and regulations, but also language barriers and cultural differences often make collection of amounts overdue abroad a cumbersome problem. Thanks to ACCS International's network of international debt collection agencies and law practices, PostNL can now also assist its customers with international consumer debt collection.
Just like last year, PostNL tops the global Dow Jones Sustainability Index as sector leader in the category Industrial Transportation. PostNL is included in the European and global DJSI index, consisting of the 340 companies that represent the top 10% of leading companies in the field of sustainability. On the criteria of climate strategy and human capital development PostNL managed to hold on to its top score. In the area of labour and human rights its performance was even better than last year. Scores on PostNL environmental reporting and eco-efficiency however were lower, which meant that PostNL had tot cede its position of super sector leader (Industrial Goods and Services) to Siemens. With its score PostNL outperformed competitors such as TNT Express, UPS, Atlantia (Italy), Nippon (Japan) and Canadian National Railway.
PostNL Parcels has opened a new depot in Breda. The depot offers 250 jobs in the region, of which around 25 jobs for workers distant to the labor market in close cooperation with the regional WVS Group. Moreover, a number of environmentally building techniques were applied to underline PostNL’s sustainable ambition. The Breda depot is the sixth depot that was opened as part of the new logistics infrastructure of the Parcels organization of PostNL.
Re-use is a common theme in the construction of the PostNL Parcels depots. The land in Breda is a redevelopment of a former water treatment plant. Moreover, the building is designed to make future re-use easier. This is achieved by adapting the height of the building and by making certain constructions easy to disassemble.
Furthermore, the buildings are equipped with energy-efficient applications, such as the most energy efficient sorting machines, ventilation which recovers heat, light coloured roofing, optimal use of daylight and extra insulation of the offices. Obviously, the energy that is used in the new PostNL depots is green. The new buildings of PostNL Parcels are over 30% more efficient and have an A+ energy label.
Restaurant VOOREENMAAND (red: FORAMONTH) has raised 90,000 meals for schoolchildren in Malawi in a special campaign from 1 August to 2 September. Marije Boogaard received the cheque on behalf of the World Meals Programme (WFP) from Dutch chef Ramon Beuk. Visitors of restaurant VOOREENMAAND contributed meals to the School Meals Programme from the WFP without extra effort. Each diner contributed at least 30 school meals. Ramon Beuk is ambassador of FDBCK®, a new initiative to support the WFP School Meals Programme. PostNL is partner of the Programme since 2002 and sponsor of the immensely successful cookery book Top Chefs for Home Chefs.
Everyone is looking forward to opening parcels with your new smartphone or tablet. But what if you're not home to collect it? From now on, Coolblue customers can have their orders delivered to their door, but also choose to have the order at one of the more than 2,000 PostNL Post Offices. That way they can determine themselves where and when they pick up their parcel. There is ample choice in locations such as supermarkets, bookshops and petrol stations. Coolblue ships over 750,000 parcels this year. When ordered before 22.30 hours, the bright blue parcel can be collected after 16.00 hours. Shipping is free.
Online buyers want to influence
Research on trends in online shopping 'Home Shopping Market Monitor, conducted by Blauw Research in 2012 shows that 80% of online shoppers want to influence where and when an order is delivered. Founder and director of Coolblue, Peter Black, recognises this: "Many customers say they'd prefer to collect their ordered products at a place of their choice. That possibility we can now offer by means of the PostNL-collection points. There is always one in your vicinity. ".
PostNL acquired Marvia, a young software company active in the field of desktop publishing (DTP). Marvia offers an online application that allows customers to design ads, flyers, brochures, POS-material, business cards and posters and send it to printers and distributors. PostNL is able to strengthen its integrated product portfolio with this transaction.
With the online application from Marvia, customers can save costs in the field of DTP and save time during the layout process of print material, while managing the company’s brand. Moreover, customers can support their branches and dealers with their local marketing efforts. Furthermore, the customer enjoys the advantages of the integration with the printers and / or distributors of the material. Marvia's software is based on cloud computing, which means it easily accessible, relatively safe and scalable.
Yesterday, the students of Delft University of Technology and VU University Amsterdam had their last training in the Netherlands with the streamlined record bicycle VeloX2. The students will leave to the USA around early September to make an attempt to set a new bicycle world speed record. This training on the circuit of RDW Test Centre in Lelystad formed an essential component of the team's preparations.
The record attempt will be performed on a completely straight road in the Nevada desert. One of the cyclists is Sebastiaan Bowier, who achieved 130 km/h last year - just a fraction under the current 133 km/h world record. Jan Bos, the former skating world champion, will accompany Bowier to the United States as a cyclist.
During the past few weeks, the students have adjusted the VeloX2 to make it even faster. This significantly improves the bicycle compared with last year's model. "Instead of making round pedal movements, the cyclists move their feet in an elongated ellipse," says Paul Denissen, the Human Power Team's project leader. The front screen was removed, improving the bicycle's streamline. "The cyclists now look out through a screen connected to a camera on top of the bicycle."
The Human Power Team is sponsored by PostNL Parcels. According to Laurens Tuinhout, the Sourcing & Sustainability Director of PostNL Parcels, sponsoring the Human Power Team was a logical decision: "The vision of the Human Power Team is very close to our own: being driven to continuously improve yourself by continued learning and innovation. We do that with each other and for each other. Furthermore, bicycles form a vital and sustainable part of our business operations. We continuously ensure that transport from A to B is as sustainable as possible. Bicycles are the ultimate sustainable and efficient means of transport. We are currently making a study of new cargo bicycle concepts for sustainable parcel delivery in the inner cities."
The first Dutch Junior Climate Change Conference will take place on 21 and 22 June. This two-day event, to be held in the holiday village De Eemhof in Zeewolde (east of Amsterdam), will be attended by children aged 10 to 12 years. The Junior Climate Change Conference is an initiative of Kids Moving the World and Center Parcs, in collaboration with PostNL, WFP, Eneco, Heijmans and Albron.
Taking their lead from the “adult” gatherings like the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro and the climate change conference in Copenhagen, the children will make recommendations on how to pass on a green planet. The pupils will discover what water scarcity really means, how we can produce power, that not everyone can take having a home for granted, and that tomatoes do not grow on the shelves of supermarkets. On the second day the children will present their recommendations, in the form of a "climate compilation", to a Dutch celebrity or person of note.
PostNL feels a close commitment to the world around it. Corporate responsibility is an integral part of the company’s business practices, which can be seen in its numerous green initiatives. Its partnership with the United Nations World Food Programme, for example, has been running since 2002. The Junior Climate Change Conference is a close fit with the company’s green philosophy and supports all it’s green initiatives.
Last week the board of PostNL received certificates in the area of employees, environment and quality. The previous certificates were to expire in June this year and so, over the last few months, two external agencies (Dekra Certification and Investors in People Netherlands) examined all processes relating to these three areas. PostNL was issued four certificates in all: ISO 9001 for quality, ISO 14001 for environment, and OHSAS 18001 and Investors in People for employees.
Not a “done deal”
All the changes at PostNL meant that recertification could not be taken for granted. External auditors carried out extensive audits and questioned dozens of employees. On handing over the certificates, Ries van Voorst of Dekra Certification explained, “Being awarded these certificates is a great achievement; all the same, PostNL needs to stay on the ball and maintain the sustainability of its quality systems in these times of change”.
This recertification also goes to show that a company can achieve certification even when going through a difficult period. Customer & Quality Management Director Kees Klink says in this regard, “What matters is that, when your quality performance drops a notch on occasion, you remain transparent and honest with your customers and let them see that you are taking remedial action”.
There are a number of reasons why these certificates are important. Properly applied management systems help organisations and managers reach their objectives and meet their obligations. Approval by independent external auditors goes to show that these systems meet international standards. This certification is commercially important too, with many clients demanding certification in areas like quality.
The ISO certificates have been issued for the Mail NL and Parcels parts of the company, and Investors in People for Mail NL, Parcels and PostNL Head Office. Other parts of the company have their own separate certificates.
Bouwmaat, thé wholesaler of construction material in the Netherlands, has completely outsourced the processing of orders from its web shop to TopPak, the fulfilment daughter of PostNL. Handymen can order the complete assortment of Bouwmaat on this new web shop. TopPak will perform all logistics activities of small item purchases made on Bouwmaat’s web shop.
TopPak will manage the inventory of the web shop of Bouwmaat. There are 9,000 different products in stock in the modern 14,500 m2 warehouse in Houten, the Netherlands. After receiving the order TopPak will perform the order picking, packages the order, adds the invoices and other documentation and sends the parcel to the client. As an additional service TopPak also manages the returns of orders, a growing trend among online consumers.
From this modern warehouse, which is temperature and humidity controlled, TopPak manages the fulfilment process for various shops. For example, TopPak processes orders of home accessories, fashion, food supplements, books, cd’s, packaged food, toys and consumer electronics. The company processes over six million orders per year for numerous web shops, retailers, publishers, financial institutions and telecom companies.
Last week, Netwerk VSP delivered the UEFA Euro 2012 themed coupon leaflet in a run of 1.5 million copies. This leaflet, featuring coupons for Zalando, bargain website Hebbedeal.nl, Bakker Bart bakery and more, was distributed throughout the Randstad conurbation. Netwerk VSP will be delivering more coupon leaflets this year, with themes like Summer, Back to School, Home Living Month October, Sinterklaas and Christmas.
Research commissioned by PostNL and carried out by the University of Groningen and MetrixLab in March 2012 has shown that a mailing works best when it includes a special deal offered through a coupon (with or without discount). “Coupons make a deal tangible and draw more attention to your mailing,” explains Irma Machielse, senior marketing agent at PostNL.
“Couponing” has become a real trend in the UK and the US, with TV programmes like “Extreme couponing”, featuring the most fanatic bargain hunters, attracting a large audience. Dutch consumers and retailers are now also getting in on the couponing trend. Restaurant chains La Place and McDonald's have been offering coupons in the Netherlands for years already.
TNT Post Italy has launched an app which allows users to create and send mailings from a tablet or smart phone – anytime and anywhere. The new app is able to generate anything from ordinary correspondence to registered letters and postcards, using TNT Post Italy’s Formula Ibrida product. It also allows users to check the delivery status of every single envelope thanks to the satellite technology of the Formula Certa platform, a distinguishing feature of TNT Post’s delivery service in Italy. Available for most popular smart phones and tablets, the app is another demonstration of TNT Post’s determination to pursue innovative opportunities for growth, for example by exploring the ever-expanding possibilities of mobile devices.
PostNL is introducing a new service for commercial customers today: “online customer acceptance”. This is an addition to the credit management service that PostNL introduced last year. Credit management by PostNL means that all billing services are now available via a single portal: customer acceptance, billing, credit management, and amicable collection of amounts owed.
Customers increasingly wish to purchase items on account. Most companies are happy to make that possible because it makes ordering online a lot more attractive. PostNL’s new online customer acceptance service operates online and in real time, checking the name and address and whether the customer has been involved in a bankruptcy. The company can then decide whether or not to allow the customer to purchase items on account.
Kees van den Heuvel, director of Billing & Document Solutions at PostNL explains: “Online customer acceptance is a nice addition to our credit management chain. Commercial customers increasingly wish to have their whole credit management dealt with within a single chain and by a single party. The integrated service makes things clearer and cheaper for them.”
Parcels from PostNL has opened a new depot in Hengelo in the Netherlands. PostNL will provide 250 jobs in the region, of which about 90 jobs for people distant from the labour market, in close cooperation with SWB Midden Twente. Hengelo is the fifth depot to open as part of a new logistics infrastructure being set up by PostNL’s parcel division.
Parcel volumes have risen sharply in recent years, partly due to strong growth in e-commerce. To answer to the increasing volume increases and to modernise the logistics infrastructure the 4 current sorting centres and 37 distribution centres are being replaced by 18 depots, where both sorting and distribution take place. New sites have already opened in Utrecht, Waddinxveen, Elst and Den Bosch. The aim is to have all new sites in operation by 2015, providing PostNL with a scalable logistics network that can handle 140 million parcels. .
The Dutch Antitrust Authority, the Nederlandse Mededingingsautoriteit (NMa), has again decided after research that PostNL did not abuse its position in the postal market. According to Sandd PostNL has distorted competition by giving Netwerk VSP access to the network of PostNL at prices below cost. However, the NMa did not find any indication for such behaviour. In 2009, the NMa already rejected a complaint from Sandd, against which Sandd objected.
Starting today you can buy a unique, durable bag created from original PTT mailbags. Retired from active service after years of use in mail sorting and delivery, these mailbags are being given a new life. The new PostNL bag is available as a shoulder bag and as a holdall, both in limited editions.
A number of the classic mailbags with the Dutch flag and the words “eigendom PTT Post” (property of PTT Post) are still being used in mail operations; no more mailbags of this design are being produced however. All mailbags currently being produced show the new corporate identity, meaning the remaining classic mailbags are in limited supply. With their very own PostNL bag, vintage buffs are not only purchasing a true quality item but are also carrying around a slice of postal history.
The unique characteristics of the mailbag give each PostNL bag its own unique look. The mailbags have been personally selected, carefully deciding which part of the mailbag can best be used in the PostNL bag. The sturdy linen and brown leather exterior make for a bag that will endure for years to come. The reputable Cowboybag brand has been given exclusive rights in the Netherlands to manufacture PostNL bags.
These exclusive bags can be purchased in the standalone PostNL post offices in Amsterdam, The Hague, Rotterdam and Utrecht, and online at postkantoor.nl, twish.nl en kadowereld.nl. For more information visit www.postnl.nl/postzakproducten.
TNT Post Germany has begun using electric scooters to deliver mail in the Rhine-Main area. This pilot project started in Dreieich, a town near Frankfurt. This environmentally friendly delivery method is another useful step to protect against climate change, an important consideration for TNT Post. The company also offers customers the option of carbon neutral delivery. The electric scooter is equipped with a strong 2.4 kilowatt engine which is silent up to speeds of 45 km/h. It takes four hours to fully recharge the scooter, which has a range of 70 - 90 kilometres.
The 'City of the Netherlands' sheetlet won three design awards, including the Yellow Pencil at the 50th D & AD awards presentation. The Yellow Pencil, which is widely regarded as recognition of a genuine creative achievement, was awarded to Gummo advertising agency for its “future in motion”-themed stamp design. The stamp was also nominated for an ADCN award. Another stamp sheetlet, ‘Green Business’, was also nominated for an ADCN award in the category Graphic Design. Gummo applied augmented reality to the City of the Netherlands sheetlet, a technology that allows the stamp surface to be magnified to show examples of as yet incomplete Dutch architecture projects. The use of augmented reality on a stamp was a global first and received a lot of attention both at home and abroad.
Laurens Tuinhout, Sourcing & Sustainability Director at PostNL Parcels, was last week presented with the Lean & Green Award by Nico Anten, Managing Director of Connekt. The government program Connekt, which promotes sustainable logistics, presents this award annually to companies that reduce their CO2 emissions by more than 20%. PostNL Parcels has received the award because of its target to cut CO2 emissions by 24% by 2015 compared to 2010. PostNL Parcels is taking a number of concrete measures to reach this goal. Over the next few years, for instance, it will move its distribution centres to strategic locations, reducing the number of kilometres travelled to a minimum. The new centres and sorting machines are being specially designed to use as little energy and to emit as little CO2 as possible. Vehicles will be subject to additional environmental requirements. This applies to PostNL’s own fleet as well as vehicles operated by the company’s subcontractors. PostNL will also take a more environmentally aware approach to last-mile delivery in city centres by collecting and bundling parcels. Finally, PostNL will be carrying out research into cleaner means of transport for parcel delivery, such as water transport, cargo bikes and electric vehicles.
Ever wanted to tread in the footsteps of celebrated Dutch designers Flow or Marjolein Bastin? Now’s your chance with PostNL’s KaartWereld Design Competition. From 16 April to 6 May, anyone who designs their own greetings card in the categories new baby, birthday, love, just because or get well soon can take part in the competition. You can truly have your say by voting for your favourite card on Facebook, helping decide the new collection. The winning designs will be added to the collection. An independent expert jury will ultimately select the competition’s overall winner, who will get the chance to send cards worth 150 euros for a whole year. For each card sent from this special new collection, the World Food Programme will provide a meal to a child in Malawi.
For more information and the Design Competition’s terms and conditions see: ontwerpwedstrijd.kaartwereld.nl
PostNL is funding construction of 44 homes in the slums of the Philippine capital Manila. The new buildings will house about 300 people now living in shacks made of corrugated iron. The housing project has its origins in the strategic partnership of PostNL Shore, part of Data & Document Management, with SPi Global. Since mid-2010, Vietnam and Philippines-based SPi Global is helping PostNL process mail items with handwritten addresses that cannot be read by PostNL’s mail sorting machines.
Besides housing, both companies are also building a Youth & Development Centre, which will provide education and basic medical care. In Manila, PostNL is working together with the Gawak Kalinga foundation, a government-affiliated organisation that is buying the land and managing the project locally. The beneficiaries of the project themselves are also involved in building their new homes.
'Netherlands earning online’, an initiative to help Dutch companies get more from the Internet, was launched in The Hague on Thursday, April 5. A joint project by Dutch retail organisation MKB Nederland, PostNL, ING Netherlands and Google,‘Netherlands earning online’ aims to help tens of thousands of small and medium enterprises in the Netherlands harness the growth potential of the Internet. The organisations participating in this nationwide initiative will help small and medium-sized businesses set up a website or webshop, as well as develop an online advertising campaign – all free of charge. The ‘Netherlands earning online’ launch event took place in the 101-year old shop of fountain pen specialist Akkerman in The Hague – the first such business to receive a complimentary new website and webshop.
The Postbike has again been added to PostNL’s Kadowereld (Gift World) webshop. In 2011, PostNL successfully introduced the Postbike, which sold out in a few weeks. That is why we decided to offer the Postbike again. From 1 March 2012, four models of the Postbike will be available, including an electric bicycle and a bike for kids.
PostNL launched the Postbike via a cross-media campaign (TV, print and online) with the theme “Getest door weer en wind” (Tested by the elements), to show that the Postbike is a very solid bike with a very competitive pricetag. The company also launched a Postbike Facebook page, where visitors can take part in exciting offers and even win a Postbike! The Postbike commercial is also available on Facebook.
The Postbike is available at PostNL’s Kadowereld.
Cendris has introduced six data shops with comprehensive, accessible customer information. Aimed at entrepreneurs, the webshops Look-a-like shop, CustomerProfileShop, PostcodeShop, TargetGroupStore, DataQualityShop and WebServiceShop will help them to find and retain customers. The shops provide answers to common marketing and sales questions, such as ‘how do I get new leads?' and 'how can I get good insight into the needs of my customers quickly?' Entrepreneurs always want more information about their customers, but often do not know how to quickly and easily get this kind of information. The shops will address these questions using language that is clear and easy to understand. An overview of the webshops can be found on www.vindenbinden.nl.
PostNL’s free Er is post magazine, delivered door to door, has gone interactive, making it easy for readers to respond immediately to the offers featured. Readers can view videos, download apps, buy products, request samples and visit Facebook fan pages. Er is post has one of the highest circulations in the Netherlands. This spring issue, with a print run of six million, centres on the theme "contact". The magazine offers the reader many electronic extras “buried” in a special layer in the magazine, hidden from the naked eye. This special layer allows the reader to respond directly to the offers of PostNL and its partners.
TNT Post UK has been appointed by Tesco to manage one of the country’s largest mail contracts, handling up to 180 million items per year. The deal, which began in February, will see TNT Post handle mailings for a range of Tesco initiatives, including all customer communications from Tesco Clubcard and Tesco Bank. Its Clubcard scheme alone sends several mailings per year to more than 15 million households. TNT Post has grown significantly in the past eight years and now handles in excess of 3.5 billion items of mail a year. It delivers mail for household names such as Barclays, BT, Centrica, Lloyds TSB, npower, Sky and most recently EON.
TNT Post UK, Britain’s largest private postal operator, will conduct a second end-to-end (E2E) delivery trial from mid-April 2012 in West London. In 2010, TNT Post successfully concluded a first E2E trial in Liverpool. The company is using the trial for further testing and analysis of its operations as it would like to roll out a broader end-to-end service when barriers to competition are removed. TNT Post has a long held ambition to launch its own delivery service within the UK but is unable to realise this strategic goal until the Royal Mail VAT exemption on final mile delivery is removed. TNT Post is the second largest UK postal company and currently handles more than 300 million items a month.
Bio Energy Resources Ltd. (BERL), a PostNL co-sponsored initiative for sustainable biofuel production, has won a prestigious clean energy award at the CTI PFAN Africa forum in Johannesburg. Under the BERL scheme, local smallholding farmers in Malawi are encouraged to grow Jatropha Curcas trees around their fields. This small tree yields nuts that can be used to produce biofuel for local use, thereby reducing reliance on imported fuel. The Jatropha crops also provide farmers with additional income. The latest recognition for BERL will make the project even more appealing to investors. More than a hundred potential investors and clean energy experts from Africa and abroad participated in the forum.
TNT Post UK has opened a Vehicle Maintenance Unit (VMU) at its 11,000 m2 depot in Rugby in the UK. The new facility allows TNT Post UK to carry out its own maintenance and repairs to its 150-strong trailer fleet as well as the mandatory inspections that vehicles undergo every ten weeks. Its four vehicle bays offer enough capacity to service the trucks (over 3.5 tonnes) of other local businesses in addition to its own fleet, thus lowering maintenance costs and generating new income. The unit provides new jobs for workers who were previously employed by the local council.
Ten large organizations, among which PostNL, signed the Declaration of Amsterdam. The Declaration is a call to action and consists of 10 points that help ensure improvement in the workplace for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. One of the points urges employers to identify and support leaders and decision-makers (LGBT and straight) that actively strive to create LGBT-inclusive working environments. Another point in the Declaration advocates support of Employee Resource Groups and LGBT programs like LGBT Diversity training for managers. Signatories to the Declaration include corporations such as Accenture, Achmea, Cisco, IBM, ING, Philips, PostNL and Shell, but also UWV (Dutch Employment Services Organisation) and the municipality of the Hague. Research by the Netherlands Institute for Social Research/SCP indicates that at least 28% of gay men and 14% of lesbians in the Netherlands are regularly confronted at work with negative reactions because of their sexual preferences. In Europe, 68% of EU citizens think that it is difficult for a homosexual person to be openly gay in the workplace.
PostNL and FSC Netherlands have partnered. The FSC label guarantees that the materials for wood and paper products are sourced from responsibly managed forests. With this partnership, PostNL will actively strive to increase the proportion of FSC paper on the Dutch market. In negotiations with print and paper suppliers PostNL demands that these suppliers have an FSC-certificate. Packaging material for clients is where possible partially or fully FSC-certified. Through the post offices and shops, we annually sell many millions of euros of cardboard products that are for 80% FSC-certified; for example greeting cards, envelopes and packaging material.
Folders.nl is now also available as an application for iPhone and iPad. This way consumers can browse all brochures to learn about local offers without leaving the sofa. The app allows consumers to “cut out" the offers and add them to a shopping list. You can add your daily shopping needs to the list, which of course can be forwarded and accessed from your iPhone. Also, the addresses and opening hours of more than 50,000 stores are available at the tip of your finger. The app will even show you the quickest route to buy everything on the shopping list. From mid-December, the application will also appear on Android tablets and phones.
The Dutch Prime Minister, Mr Mark Rutte visited TNT Post UK’s depot in Ashton. The visit was part of a Dutch trade delegation visiting the UK with the aim to strengthen the Anglo Dutch trade relations. Mr Rutte arrived in Ashton following separate business discussions with British Prime Minister David Cameron and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and business leaders at Downing Street. During the tour of the Ashton Depot, Harry Koorstra, CEO of Post NL, showed Mr Rutte how mail is sorted using the latest postal machinery and how the company is investing significant sums in its operations. They also discussed how TNT Post plans to create new jobs across the UK as the company grows. TNT Post is the second largest postal company in the UK and handles over 200 million items a month. The visiting delegation focused heavily on innovation, transport and logistics.
PostNL kicked off the second edition of the national Lucky Dip Days in Almere, the Online Shop City 2011 in the Netherlands. Until 6 November, online shoppers have a chance to win amazing prizes by entering their PostNL Parcels track & trace code on a special website. With the Lucky Dip Days, PostNL Parcels wants to reward online shoppers and underline the convenience of shopping online. Research shows that given a choice, 6 out of 10 Dutch people would rather buy online than hit the shops. Busy shops and annoying shop personnel, in particular, are regarded as major drawbacks of "offline" shopping. Men have a stronger preference for online shopping than women. Women especially miss a "nice day out" and still prefer going shopping with friends in the city.
The Drive Me Challenge was organised for the fifth consecutive year with 12 ambitious teams from the Netherlands, Italy and the United Kingdom. On October 13 the teams delivered parcels on a route of 85 kilometers and did special exercises on a track in Lelystad, the Netherlands. A jury assessed the drivers on fuel consumption, speed, customer focus and special manoeuvers, with a focus on driver safety. Economical driving does not necessarily mean that you drive slowly. Quite the opposite, the winners realized the second-best time. Raffaele Bongiorgi from Italy said afterwards: "It was a great experience. We have learned things that we normally would never do, such as the skid pad area and the roll over simulator."
KLM passengers can send a postcard to their loved ones all around the world during the month of October. In this month, PostNL can for once use the blue mailboxes that usually fly at an altitude of ten kilometers. The fun, colorful postcard has been developed by the Dutch duo BLOND. KLM cabin crew will distribute the postcard to all passengers on intercontinental flights and in business class in Europe. The dispatch of the card will be done by PostNL, anywhere in the world. This event is part of the 'From Holland' festival, where KLM passengers can enjoy products and articles with a Dutch touch in October and November.