Key Statements

1  Parcel delivery is the lifeblood of e-commerce

As online purchases have been growing steadily over more than a decade, postal operators have adapted their operations to deal with a much larger number of parcels and consumers’ demands for efficient and reliable deliveries across Europe.

We work directly with e-retailers to integrate our IT processes. Down the chain, interoperability between parcel operators is constantly being improved and services in both countries of origin and destination are harmonised. This has led to greater synergies and has allowed parcel operators to deliver parcels more efficiently and quicker to end-consumers.

With the IPC Interconnect initiative postal operators have introduced substantial tools to guarantee a smooth, safe and seamless cross-border delivery:

  • Full track-and-trace capabilities from posting to delivery
  • RFID barcode technology
  • Easy cross-border e-commerce return solution
  • Harmonised processes throughout Europe
  • Rapid resolution of handling customers queries through connecting call centres from up to 180 posts worldwide

2  Europe – a vibrant and diverse e-commerce marketplace, increasingly interacting cross-border

Postal operators are committed to taking e-commerce beyond mature markets and across national borders. Over the years, the share of cross-border shipments in all European online purchases has grown to more than 25%! The ongoing growth of e-commerce itself opens the door to faster, better delivery across Europe. By supporting all kind of online retailers, be they large, medium-sized or small we stimulate the further prosperity of online-shopping on the whole continent – both in mature e-commerce markets and regions still catching up. It is a business opportunity for us and we wish to make sure that growing markets enjoy the benefits and have a variety of offers to choose from.

3  Innovation to meet customer’s expectations – today and tomorrow!

Innovation does not just cut costs and delivery times. It increases flexibility in the way we deliver parcels in response to what our customers want. We offer a broad range of services which were not widely available a few years ago: parcel-lockers delivery, track-and-trace or electronic notifications, to name a few.

Now e-commerce retailers and consumers are our core customer groups. In order to make sure our customers are happy, we are constantly investing in innovative solutions to meet their needs.

4  Postal operator’s e-commerce performance – backbone of supply in the times of crisis

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic situation has proven that the Postal networks are indispensable and resilient. Record numbers of parcels delivered across Europe demonstrated the effectiveness of our operational networks when it was most needed. We kept the commerce alive, helped traditional retailers to expand their business online and provided the population with all necessities when they were required to stay at home. By rapidly adapting our operational standards, increasing our capabilities and widening our services and accessibility, we have been an important factor to get the people of Europe through this major health crisis.

5  Why Europe’s consumers and retailers choose the Post

Postal operators offer a wide range of delivery services with high quality and affordable prices from basic to value-added delivery services. Furthermore, we provide reliable, easy-to-use return solutions – a success factor for ambitious retailers that should not be underestimated. We cater to the specific needs of both consumers and retailers.

Retailers also choose to offer delivery services by postal operators because we are partners in developing e-commerce: we help them sell online through our innovative online platforms, we offer them different pricing options, and we are constantly working on improving our services through new technological and creative solutions.

Above all, consumers are able to benefit through our good service and affordable prices. The retailers can then choose how prices can be passed on to the consumers according to their marketing strategy.

6  Competition is fierce in the parcel delivery market

Numerous new actors have entered the market in the last 15 years. E-commerce undoubtedly provided a great boost to the sector overall.

To their benefit, consumers and retailers can choose from a variety of parcel delivery service providers, nationally as well as for cross-border delivery.  On average, both retailers and consumers can choose from 9 different operators for domestic parcel delivery and up to 8  operators for cross-border delivery.

Competition has intensified with the emergence of new parcel delivery models, e.g. for same-day delivery in cities or the integration of delivery services into online retailers’ business models. In order to anticipate and react in time to rapid market changes, postal operators have to be flexible and fast enough to adapt their business strategy.

When buying online, it is online retailers who establishes the delivery prices customers pay.   Postal operators do not dictate the final price for delivery of products shopped online, unlike with budget airlines, mobile telephony or some other sectors.

7  The Posts – partners in sustainability

When it comes to innovation and sustainable services, Postal operators are at the forefront to implement eco-friendly, sustainable solutions, thus contributing to the EU’s objectives of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.

The Green Deal for Europe sets the framework for the European environmental strategy and defines ambitious objectives to which the postal industry must respond, while at the same time supporting the strong growth of e-commerce, reinforced by the health crisis. There are numerous initiatives that demonstrate the exemplary work of postal sector players to reduce the environmental impact of the last mile delivery. This is notably materialized by the deployment of electric fleets, the introduction of alternative fuels that allow for increasingly sustainable mobility. Optimising delivery routes via highly innovative navigation technology, the extension of traffic-reducing locker networks and diminishing the energy consumption of operational sites are other examples of a greening postal industry.