(Updated June 2011)
Hellmail is a privately owned, UK-based independent online news source run on a wholly voluntary basis. Already established as one of the foremost postal industry news sites in Europe, in November 2010 news output was extended to cover communications and regulatory news, reflecting a blurring of communication platforms and more closely reflecting changes in regulation across Europe. Our output is read by business, consumers and the postal industry - fed directly to Google News, News Now, Feedburner, as well as national and international press - often within minutes which is why so many companies rely on us to distribute the latest press releases. Geographical coverage is worldwide but predominantly centrered around the UK and Europe.
We look at postal, parcel, courier, direct mail, and internet or related mobile services in the UK, Europe and elsewhere in the world, delivering news, articles and features written by our in-house team, industry professionals and others. We remain completely independent of political organisations, postal operators, trade unions, trade bodies postal regulators and consumer organisations but have a strong interest in the future of post & comminications.
Hellmail Postal News has grown rapidly since 2008. Whilst we feel the success of Hellmail has been largely due to its independence, we are open to ideas and do not rule out the possibility of realistic proposals for development on a commercial footing. If you are interested in developing a commercial partnership or similar, please contact the Hellmail ediitor.
The site currently receives up to 50,000 visitors a month , half of which are new visitors. Each day, our headlines are sent to over 1500 email subscribers, a list which grows continually across the world, and a further 800 sites rely directly on our live news feed. In addition, many of our articles are featured in industry trade magazines. We also provide comment and insight for national newspapers (broadsheet & tabloid), market reports and other industry studies.
Our readers include direct mailers, online stores, buyers, mailing houses, print houses, direct marketing services, national and international newspapers and periodicals, postal operators, independent advisors, worldwide postal regulatory bodies, and those who work for, are reliant on, or are in some way connected with post and parcel services. They include:
Uniposta, Fedex, Consumer Focus, Google, UKIP, DSA Post, Secured Mail, Postcomm, News Now, The DX, PB Mail Services, Accenture, Neopost, UPS, Swiss Post, NFSP, Triangle, TNT, Universal Mail, Auspost, DHL Global Mail, Royal Mail, First Scottish, Research International, USPS, Frontier Mail, Communisis, Dmi-News, Parcelroute, One Post, Marketforce, Correos (Spain), Correos (Mexico), Regal Logistics, Deutsche Post DHL, ViaPost, Veri-Data, PTT, Axa Sunlife, Singapore Post, Malta Communications Authority, Toll, Australian Post, Spring Global Mail, The Mailing House, DWC, ATT, New Zealand Post, Remploy, La Poste, Verizon, Rockwave Consulting, Redwood Group, An Post, Elsag Datamat, Mundane, DML News, Bluemail Central, Datametrix, Eagle Couriers, New River, Brokers Worldwide, VideoTron, Fedma, Arrow Light Haulage, Union Network, ABC Mail, Geopost - in fact most postal and parcel operators in the UK, Europe and beyond.
Hellmail actively promotes the work of the British Postal Museum & Archive (and other collections and museums) with news of events and forthcoming talks. We highly recommend visiting the BPMA if you have an interest in our postal history. It is presently based around the perimeter of the Mount Pleasant mail centre in Phoenix Place, London but has plans to move to a larger site and combine its archive with an impressive collection of postal vehicles and other objects into one building. We are happy to extend similar support in terms of promotion, to philatilists societies and other museums related to post and the postal industry.
Hellmail news and articles are licensed under Creative Commons License 3.0.
This means that they may be reproduced but ONLY if credited and preferably if a return link is provided. If you wish to quote particular sections of a news item or article (for example in your own work), you must seek formal approval from the Hellmail editor first. The only exception to this would be where an existing web site is displaying Hellmail content automatically via Feedburner or our Rss feed or Webmaster code and you own that site.
Not all works are covered in this way since some articles may be press releases from individuals or other organisations but we apply a blanket rule so that where enquiries are made to gain permission, we can provide more specific details of who may own the copyright and refer accordingly. Doing so protects the rights of other copyright owners as well as ourselves.
In general, we are happy for Hellmail content to be redistributed provided it is not part of a derivative and that Hellmail is properly credited.
Contacting Hellmail :
- for all other enquiries use the email link at the bottom of this site
We particularly welcome news, articles and information from industry professionals, PR companies, suppliers and manufacturers serving the industry (see Press Releases) but will also consider articles from the general public. We sometimes include thought-provoking articles from these groups which may contain alternative viewpoints or opinion but we try to ensure that over all, we maintain a balanced and varied output whilst remaining free of any singular viewpoint. Hellmail recognises that with so much change going on in the postal industry throughout the world, including the redistribution of labour, some subject areas can be emotive and controversial. However, our main aim is to provide interesting and balanced output that will appeal to buyers, investors and those seeking more information on any of the above areas, plus a growing online directory of manufacturers, consultants, regulators, software designers and advisors,.
Why Are You Called Hellmail?
A reasonable question. Originally, Hellmail was set up as a consumer based opinion forum but as anyone who works in the postal industry will tell you, some days can indeed be hell, and on that basis we see no reason to change the name, even if what we do now is quite different.
The regular news/feature writers include:
Steve Lawson, site editor and consultant. Steve is well known in the post & parcel industry both for his down-to-earth approach to problem solving and his willingness to listen. He has a background in teaching and in the IT industry. He set up Hellmail in 2007 and has worked tirelessly to make Hellmail Postal News a key source of news and debate across much of Europe. Steve also has his own Twitter page which you can follow - it includes all recent Hellmail news and editorial.
Mark White former sub-editor. Mark retired from Hellmail in 2010 and now lives permanently in France.
Timothty D Nestved President of Nestved LLC, a consulting company in the States which focuses on problem resolution.
Franz Groter Franz is based in Berlin and is our European ear.
David Lynch David has a passion for seeing quality maintained for domestic post but focuses on main news stories.
John Cawse - John is actually a regular postie with a flair for producing astute and frequently whimsical articles.
Janet Ames Janet is an established writer (and so she says) - an awful cook. Janet writes material for the blind and has done for over 20 years. She has appeared on Central Television as a panelist. Recently absent due to ill health, Janet has returned once again to keep us entertained with the lighter side of the postal world. Janet is most definately a consumer, and frequently gets lost on her way to the post office - as you'll discover.
Stephen Richardson A postal worker with a balanced view on things. We felt it was essential that at least two members of the regular writing team actually work on the ground although if you read Stephen's articles, you may suspect as we do, that he is in entirely the wrong job!
James Hale A Royal Mail manager with many years service and with a nose for rooting out problems.
Sarah Sharpe Sarah is our administration. She deals with our email and correspondance and keeps track of what we're all doing. She often tells us that she is doing all the work and we can't disagree with that We wouldn't dare. Increasingly she is contributing more to the news section.
Speaking engagement requests
If you would like to discuss the possibility of booking Hellmail editor and writer Steve Lawson to be a speaker at your conference or other event, please contact us via the email link at the bottom of this site. Thank you.
House Style & Output :
Our style is generally 'breezy'. We aim to present issues and developments in as uncomplicated a manner as possible. Not everyone understands industry lingo. Submitted press releases should where possible, follow this format - straghtforward and to the point, although a little humour is always welcome too.
What You Tell Us About Hellmail:
"On the expansion to cover things digital, Hellmail has done exactly what needs to be done. The challenge is going to be to get those in postal to recognize, accept, and embrace the change that's happening all over the world, while still recognizing there's a continuing need for a universal mail delivery network." Gene Del Polito - Postcom.org - US Postal News
"Great website and regularly viewed over my lunch time. Keep up the brilliant content" - Gary Barnett (Mail Handling International)
"As always, you have your finger right on the button when it comes to analysis and I love the new Sunday article" - James Rawlings (Postal Advisor)
"If you haven't found your way there yet, you really ought to check the postal website with the really funky name. It's called Hellmail. Yes, I know, but once you get over the name, you'll find out that it's a postal information rich site that's worth regular visits." - Postcom.org - US Postal News
"Having been on holiday, I have been unable to get my 'daily fix' of keeping pace with your articles. (I am not sad really but simply enjoy your site) How refreshing on my return to discover several articles about the current 'partial sale' of Royal mail. Your articles are as usual informative, constructive and provide varied structured opinions. Keep up the good work!" - Royal Mail Operations Manager
"Hellmail frequently tackles controversial subject matter, providing a real cross-section of opinion that has proved invaluable in our research" - Industry report analysis company (name witheld)
"We regard Hellmail as our British cousin. It has all the latest news and information on the postal business." - Storie Di Posta (Italian Postal News)
"Wonderfully informative, often first off the starting blocks for the latest news and not afraid to speak it's mind - that is Hellmail!" - George Bainbridge (Oxford)
"A festering boil or a listening ear on the postal business? - hard to say. Either way, if it's important, Hellmail will have covered it and we all read it!" - James (Postman)
"One of the few places where you can find out just what IS happening in the postal industry without the trappings of tabloid journalism. Full marks." - Jeff Bowater (London)"
"Gosh, sometimes Hellmail observations make me positively wince, but its great that theres an independent voice thats not afraid to speak its mind in what is an increasingly complicated industry" - Mark Crouch - Independent Postal Consultant
"Thanks a lot - What a great service!" - Website Officer - BPMA
Extended Writing Team
The extended Hellmail writing team (which can include you) is made up of a wide cross section of individuals with expertise in their own particular area of the postal business, including, but not limited to, shipping and forwarding, couriers, postal operations (all levels), direct mail specialists and trade unions, as well as people who operate businesses dependent on such services. We also receive articles written by members of the public.
The views expressed by our extended editorial team may not be the views of Hellmail or its regular writing team and some editing may be carried out to ensure that articles do not cause offence or break publishing codes. This is entirely the decision of the editor and is final. All submitted work is on this basis. We are not interested in matters relating to employment or industrial disputes other than in a general sense but our features section may offer scope for such specialist articles.
How To Submit Your Own Article Or Become A Regular Writer
If you would like to submit an article, press release, or even become a regular writer (and we get many trying to get a start in publishing), simply email us or email your story/comment via the email ink at the bottom of the site. We welcome new articles and features from anyone interested in or wishing to comment on stories featured on Hellmail or on the postal industry. We welcome writers from across Europe, The Far East, Australia and the U.S. who can offer their own unique perspective on the postal, logistics and direct marketing industries.
You may find this page useful if you are not sure where to start or you can ask the Editor for additional help if you need it.
You can email us: email@example.com
Why We Closed The Hellmail Forum
We include this heading as its a question that crops up from time to time and rather than replying to the same question via email, we now refer people here.
On 31st August 2007, we closed our busy and highly succesful forums after almost three years, to concentrate exclusively on news and editorial. 'Successful' does not necessarily mean cost-effective, self-funding or even useful, and with 10,000 visitors a day at its peak, the forum created real problems in terms of bandwidth consumption. It was expensive and enormously time consuming.
Closing the forum was not an easy decision to make and we still, to this day, genuinely mourn the loss of so many valued contributors. The Hellmail forum was the first of its type in the UK, and spawned others. However, the original purpose of the forum was purely to provide information. It was never designed to take the volume of traffic we experienced or the breadth of topics it began to cover. We were faced with a choice between investing in a stand alone server at even greater cost and no feasible way of ever funding it, or concentating on what we set out to be in 2003 - a news and information source. We chose the latter, redesigned the site and have broadened our readership to most of Europe and the rest of the world. We have an extensive news subscriber list and our daily news output is fed to many sites around the world.
In hindsight the decision was a good one and we have not really looked back.
What We Can And Can't Do
We also cannot provide answers to everything otherwise we would have to replicate the entire content of websites owned by Royal Mail, Deutsche Poste, La Post and other postal operators as well as legislative material that applies in individual counties. A great deal of information can be found along the top menu bar relating to official and unofficial organisations, postal operators, as well as specific information for buyers /sellers and/or others with postal queries.
We remain independent but have some wonderful relationships with many organisations which we are keen to maintain and indeed develop. We talk to politicians, advice groups as well as the Media and try to raise important issues at every opportunity. We would particularly like to develop a new section which highlights GOOD things about Mail handlers and carriers - of which there are many.
We very much welcome press releases and are happy to write features about forthcoming events. Click here to submit a press release.
To cover the costs of running Hellmail we have to have semi-sponsorship in the form of advertisements. Without these we'd be running at a loss. We clock up expenses not just on the hosting and bandwidth but on things like travelling expences for meetings, interviews etc. All staff work on a voluntary basis but clearly we can't be out of pocket due to these kind of costs. Ad space is available but some spots sell fairly quickly and in some cases can be for several months ahead, so if you're considering a spot on Hellmail, we need to know early so we can accomodate you. Ads are on a first-come first-served basis. Top banner ads are popular but an equally eye-catching ad can be placed in the side columns on a fixed or rotational basis. See 'Advertising' in the 'Hellmail Pages' section on the menu bars.
Any email or postal correspondance is always treated in strict confidence by Hellmail and its appointees, and no data connected with such correspondance is ever shared or made available to anyone else except where the content of such correspondance is being forwarded to us for publication consideration. In such circumstances, we never publish personal details other than the person's publication name.
All visitors IP addresses are logged to enable us to produce accurate statistics on geographics when considering the content of future news and features (Hellmail increasingly covers new items from around the world).
Site Updates & Service Issues
From time to time we may need to work on areas of the site which could result in a degraded service. Maintenance is generally restricted to quieter times such as evenings or weekends but we may be required to make emergency repairs for which we apologise. Normally down-time only lasts a few minutes. Loading time can be affected by third parties such as sponsors and this is often outside our control.
Like What We Do?
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We have a daily email alert service which is free of charge. You can subscribe or unsubscribe at any time and these are sent out automatically to all subscribers between 5am and 7am GMT. You can also do so by post, please write to:
Hellmail - Postal Industry News, c/o FeedBurner, 20 W Kinzie, 9th Floor, Chicago IL USA 60610
Hellmail - 79 Market Street - Manchester - M43 6DD - United Kingdom
Our email address can be found at the bottom of the site