The Globalization of the Mail Market Through Remail and Direct Entry Mail

Postal History Notes

Alex Gundel


Postal History Notes
ISBN: 978-3-937231-10-5
Veröffentlicht: 2003, -. Auflage, Einband: Broschur, Seiten 308, Format DIN A4, Gewicht 0.83 kg
Lieferzeit: 7 Werktage
Verfügbarkeit: Auf Lager
35,00 €

The Globalization of the Mail Market Through Remail and Direct Entry Mail

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This book presents a study of postal markings, mostly postage paid indicia, which are found on modern international remail covers. In addition, it deals with international direct entry mail. The book has been written for postal historians and for a general audience that seeks information about remail.
Remailing is the export of international mail to be entered into the mails of a foreign postal administration. The era of modern remail began in the late fifties, and a competitive global market for remail developed in the eighties. Remail has been supplemented and partly replaced by a new service for international mail, i.e. direct entry mail, in recent years.
The prominent aspects of the postal history of remail are the routes of covers and all postal services that are not provided for by the Universal Postal Union. In fact, the book suggests that the U.P.U. will become less important in the process of postal deregulation and globalization of the mail market, and that a few large postal services will dominate the market and its laws.
Until 2003, three periods can be distinguished in which the remail market developed in different directions. The pioneer period of modern remail began in the late fifties when the then Japanese company Overseas Courier Service (OCS) that has been founded in 1957 and the Dutch airline KLM started their remail business. In 1958, KLM provided a remail service for the first time. KLM flew magazines for the American publishing company McGraw-Hill as airfreight to Amsterdam and distributed them from its mailroom at Schiphol Airport to customers in Europe via the Dutch Postal Service. The delivery of the magazines was faster and cheaper than by U.S. mail. In 1962, OCS New York Inc. was formed to handle the inbound mail from Japan.
The remail volume increased considerably in the mid-eighties at the same time when the integrators TNT and DHL became interested in the remail market. Their worldwide business operations initiated a globalization of the international mail market. These private remailers dominated the market for about ten years. This period ended when the Dutch public postal operator (PPO) bought TNT in 1996.
In recent years, PPOs underwent large changes. From being government agencies many PPOs have evolved to become a public corporation or even a corporation under public and private partnership. At the same time PPOs have extended their business to foreign countries following the example set by private remailing companies like DHL and TNT. European PPOs have purchased numerous private mailing companies to establish themselves in foreign markets. After DHL has been fully integrated into Deutsche Post, customers may send international mail from many countries to anywhere in the world using the services of the German postal operator. Comparable services are provided by the Dutch PPO under the brand name TNT.
One of the latest examples for the globalization of the mail market is the formation of the joint venture Spring by three PPOs. On March 9, 2000, TNT Post Group N.V. (the Dutch PPO), the British Post Office and Singapore Post have signed an agreement to start establish a global joint venture in cross-border mail.
This book shall help to develop a specialty of postal history by communicating information and ideas. Information about remailers and about the globalization of the mail market has been obtained from the Internet. There are almost no other sources of information easily accessible. Therefore, this book gives numerous web addresses.
The identification of a postage paid indicia (PPI) and its attribution to a remail company needs some experience. The reader is assisted by a geographical index presented in an annex to the book. This index and the table of contents make it easy to find a particular PPI, or a similar one, that is pictured in the book.


(by John Holman in: Gibbons Stamp Monthly, The UK’s Number One Stamp Magazine, November 2004, p. 68, ISSN 0954-8084)

This is an important work about major developments in modern postal history. GSM readers will be aware of the subject from articles by James Mackay (November 1998 and January 1999) and occasional mentions in my 'New Collector' column. Many readers will have received mail sent by the different posts described in Herr Gundel's book, probably without realising their significance. In the past, mail going to other countries was carried individually by the postal administrations of the countries concerned and bore the stamps and postmarks of the country of origin (sometimes with receiving marks in the country of destination). Nowadays much international mail sent by businesses (principally magazines, brochures and the like) does not travel as single items through the mails but is exported in bulk to a distribution point from where it goes into a postal service for delivery either to its addressee or is sent on to another country for delivery by that country's postal service.

Remailing began in the late 1950s, when a Japanese company and the Dutch airline KLM started a service. KLM flew magazines for an American publisher as airfreight to Amsterdam and distributed them from its mailroom at Schipol Airport to customers in Europe through the Dutch PO. The delivery of the magazines was faster and cheaper for the publisher than using the US postal service. From relatively small beginnings, the remailing market grew significantly in the 1980s with big players such as TNT and DHL becoming involved and these private remailers dominated the market for about 10 years. The Dutch PO bought TNT in 1996.

European postal administrations, now being freed from government control and opened up to postal liberalisation, have purchased numerous private mailing companies to establish themselves in foreign markets. The British PO has bought private companies and in 2000, with TNT (Dutch PO) and Singapore Post, set up a joint venture called 'Spring' in cross-border mail.

The first three sections of the book explain the workings of Remailing and Direct Mail, before moving on to a country-by-country look at the different services and the markings found on such mail. The countries covered are (alphabetically rather than in section order): Argentina, Aruba, Australia, Belgium, Bermuda, Brunei, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Israel, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Netherlands, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, UK, USA, and Venezuela. Anyone interested in the modern postal history of these countries is advised to read the relevant sections of this book.

The section on the UK amounts to no fewer than 40 pages with illustrations of well over 100 markings, a fair proportion of them being printed postage impressions (PPIs) to indicate payment of British postal charges once the item enters the Royal Mail service. The UK section covers the services of over 20 organisations such as Air Business Ltd, Crossflight Ltd, Harpers Direct Mail, International Mail Express (IMX), Mercury International Ltd, and Royale Remail Ltd. IMX, for example, has been operating in Europe since 1988, with headquarters near Heathrow Airport and a network of European associates in France, Germany, Gibraltar, Italy, Spain, and Switzerland. On mail received in the UK, IMX applies a PPI (serial PHQ821) which includes an address in Richmond Surrey.

In Spain the IFCC International Mail Post has sold pre-paid tickets for mailing postcards and letters within Europe — a small blue label roughly the size of a definitive stamp, many readers may have seen these on holiday postcards from Spanish resorts. On arrival in the UK a Royal Mail PPI is applied for onward transmission. Similar labels were used by TNT and now by Spring (UK/Dutch/Singapore joint venture). Both IFCC and TNT labels are recorded in this book, as are some colourful stamps/labels used for the remail of tourist postcards from Italy. The stamps were sold at about 100 outlets in Italian resorts and cards bearing them could be put into special Swiss Post mailboxes for despatch by priority service in Switzerland —faster and more reliable than the Italian PO service. The stamps, inscribed 'SwissPost' were issued in booklets and available to collectors through the Swiss PO's philatelic bureau.
Direct Entry Mail, the other part of the book's title, refers to the sending of mail between postal administrations without the usual 'terminal dues' being paid. Signatory postal administrations have access to each other's domestic postage rates, in particular those that require the preparation of mail for automation. Royal Mail mails British journals to Germany by exporting them in bulk to Germany and then dispatching them individually via Deutsche Post without paying terminal dues. Swiss Post International collects journals in the USA and mails them through Deutche Post to German addresses.
There is no doubt that this is a complicated subject and one needs to read the book carefully, especially the introductory sections, to fully appreciate the system. But for anyone interested in modern international mail it will be a worthwhile task. The author appreciates the subject is vast and collectors may want to restrict their collections to certain aspects. In section 1.4 ('How Can Remail and Direct Entry Mail Be Collected?') he suggests several areas: covers of a specific remail company; covers mailed between two countries; remail to a specific country; remail covers involving a special postal administration; tourist postcards that were remailed; and covers with a double application of PPL As yet, he points out, there is no philatelic market in Remail and Direct Entry Mail covers, although there is evidence that some collectors are keeping such covers with the ultimate aim of trying to make sense of their origins and to use them to form worthwhile collections. For them, Herr Gundel's book is an essential tool. He is to be congratulated on bringing together so much information—a truly mammoth task. 308 pages, card covers. (John Holman)

Contact: Gibbons Stamp Monthly, c/o Stanley Gibbons Publications, 7 Parkside, Christchurch Road, Ringwood, Hants, England BH24 3SH, Tel: +44 (0) 1425 472363 Fax +44 (0) 1425 470247, internet:, Email:


Gewicht 0.8250
Lieferzeit 7 Werktage