692m items were parceled in the region in 2016
Africa region’s Express Mail Service (EMS) volume grew by five per cent in 2016, largely as a result of outbound increases by South Africa and through impressive double digit growth by Nigeria and Ghana.
This was made known by the Director-General of the Universal Postal Union (UPU) International Bureau, Bishar Hussein, in Lagos, at the end of a two-day EMS symposium on, Growth for Senior Management of Africa Region, and Workshop on Operational Performance and Quality Improvement, in collaboration with Nigeria Postal Service (NIPOST).
Hussein, who disclosed that based on tracking data, EMS exports for 2016 totaled over 65 million items, representing an increase of over 25 per cent over the last four year cycle, driven by the growth in eCommerce and underpinned by continuous service performance improvement of the EMS network.
He added that while referencing an Accenture report that global Business to Consumer (B2C) cross-border eCommerce market is expected to balloon to $1 trillion in 2020 from $230 billion in 2014.
According to him, traffic of international packages, included EMS, small packets, which travel in the letter-post stream and parcels, was about 692 million items in 2016, an increase of nearly 22 per cent over the previous year.
The UPU DG said the increasingly popular form of online overseas shopping will see a compound yearly growth rate of over 27 per cent over the next five years, double the rate of worldwide B2C shopping as a whole.
“By 2020, at the end of the UPU’s next four-year business cycle, more than 900 million people around the world will be international online shoppers, with their purchases accounting for nearly 30 per cent of all global B2C transactions. This eCommerce boom is generating more business for Posts as they deliver purchases made online, especially for the B2C market,” Hussein stated.
He revealed that these market conditions favour increased growth of EMS over the next four year cycle, adding that while there is a risk of increased national protectionism. This could adversely affect global trade, the continued growth in demand driven by cross-border eCommerce coupled with the execution of the EMS Business Plan 2017-2020 is expected to result in increased market share across the EMS global network.
In his own address, the Secretary General, Pan African Postal Union (PAPU), Younouss Djibrine, said at the last quadrennial cycle, PAPU in collaboration with UPU and the African Union Commission (AUC) embarked on the Electrification and Connectivity Project, aimed at leveraging postal networks. This is to foster socio economic development in rural and remote areas of Africa.
He said the project would assist in dealing with challenges of lack of modern technology as well as enable DPOs, in particular EMS units, to install performance management systems, which will enable them compete favourably in the market place.
He revealed that PAPU in collaboration with AUC are undertaking a project on development of Address and Post Code Systems, which would facilitate home delivery, an important element for any successful EMS and eCommerce endeavour.
To the Post Master General (PMG) of Nigeria, Bisi Adegbuyi, many postal administrations in sub-Saharan Africa are bedeviled with several plights including bureaucracies, with the exception of Morocco, Tunisia, Kenya and South Africa, which are success stories of ICT driven concerns.
“However, we have taken up the gauntlet to build a brand that is reliable and respectable, a modern organisation that can be trusted have made tremendous improvement in quality of service, which has translated into increase in traffic and revenue profile.
We have also sought collaborations with experienced partners in the business on wide range of aspects of postal operations that would further our cause on the journey to postal prosperity,” he stated.
According to him, it is incumbent on operators of postal services in Africa to join forces with a view to not only re-positioning EMS but also working for inclusive, innovative and complete integration of the continent.
He disclosed that in the era of Information and Communication Technology, the importance of postal service in the socio-economic development of our nations cannot be overemphasized as its services unarguably are essential components of every country’s economic and social structure.
The PMG said that in the realisation of the fact that delivery of mail is the main last mile function of the post worldwide, NIPOST has commenced holistic reviews of mail route networks and strengthening of the Enquiry/Track and Trace systems.
He disclosed that NIPOST is leveraging on the exponential growth in e-Commerce, which offers plethora of opportunities for greater business collaboration with medium and small scale entrepreneurs as this would go a long way in improving the agency’s revenue base, creating jobs for the unemployed and ultimately stimulating the nation’s economy.
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