Director General Bishar A. Hussein says postal services are more than just mail (Photo: UPU/Manu Friedrich)
In his annual message, the head of the United Nations specialized agency says that postal services continue to play a vital role in the exchange of information and goods and that Posts worldwide are redefining themselves to meet customers’ evolving needs.
“Posts remain important facilitators of national and international trade in this constantly evolving world,” he says. “The postal network, with more than 600,000 post offices, remains the largest physical network on the planet and a fundamental infrastructure for large segments of the economy.”
In a special message, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon also urges governments to take advantage of the postal network’s ‘tremendous potential’ for reaching citizens. “Postal services are engines of trade, growth and development,” says Ban as they go beyond physical mail and are redefining themselves for a 21st- century communication landscape.
Re-thinking the business
Although letters continue to generate, on average, almost half of a Post’s revenues, the steady decline in business mail is forcing Posts to rethink their business to meet new consumer habits.
“As e-commerce grows, postal services are positioning themselves as the delivery service of choice for goods ordered online,” says Hussein. Postal financial services are also on the rise, he adds, as Posts take advantage of their vast reach to meet the needs of the unbanked and citizens located in far-flung areas where traditional financial institutions are often not present.
In 2012, Posts globally delivered an estimated 350 billion letters and more than 6 billion parcels. They also processed millions of financial transactions as more and more Posts expand their range of postal financial services.