For more than 1 year we have witnessed a number of indications, sometimes just contradictory rumours, suggesting the elimination of the current system of variable value stamps as issued in the Correos post offices, in favour of other types of franking systems. The confirmation arrived through an article published in the October issue of the Correos magazine 'Abrecartas': the new franking system will be a reality at the end of January 2007 in all the Spanish Post Offices.
It is worth noting that only one new label design has been produced in 2006, which contrasts with the large number of issues of previous years.
For the equipment, Correos announced, during the first quarter of 2006, three public tenders for the purchase of 368 medium and 24 high volume cancellation machines, to be used for the printing of postage paid postal marks. In addition 200 new scales have also been ordered.
In March 2006, Correos, through the Direction of Planning and Finances, announced a new public tender for the acquisition of 200 peripheral scales connected to the Spanish postal software IRIS.
This is nothing new, because Correos have regularly announced this type of public tender when new franking balances were required in the post offices, but the great news about this tender is that the scales are required without any means of printing stamps ... therefore, without the possibility of issuing any type of variable value stamp or ATM.
The winner of the tender was, again, the Spanish company Grupo Epelsa S.L., manufacturer of all the franking scales currently in service in the Spanish post office.
The distribution of the new Epelsa DLI scales amongst the post offices began in the last week of September 2006 and they could be operational by the beginning of October. In no case is it expected that they will replace the current franking balances, they just will complement them. According to the provisional listing, the new scales will be placed in those post offices requiring new equipment on the counters.
In the same way, in February 2006 Correos and its Direction of Planning and Finances announced a public tender for the acquisition of 368 automatic discontinuous cancellation machines for average (medium ? ) production.
In the next month, in March 2006 a new public tender of the Mail Division established the purchase of 24 high production cancellation machines.
In this case, the winner company of both tenders was the multinational Pitney Bowes, that in the last years has already supplied a large number of cancellation machines to Spanish Posts - Correos.
The 368 (medium ?) average production cancellation machines are of the E586 model, a compact equipment adapted from the machines or franking systems, that can cancel up to 150 covers per minute. The installation in the destination post offices was completed in the penultimate week of October.