Is the world is changing in favour of the Posts?

Many observers ten years ago wouldhave said the posts had no real futuregiven the growth of e-mail. In fact,the development of the internet, andin particular e-commerce, is changingthe shape of the postal world in lessobvious ways. E-commerce is driving ashift in doorstep delivery from lettersto packets and parcels. McKinsey estimates that by 2050 halfof retail […]


Many observers ten years ago wouldhave said the posts had no real futuregiven the growth of e-mail. In fact,the development of the internet, andin particular e-commerce, is changingthe shape of the postal world in lessobvious ways. E-commerce is driving ashift in doorstep delivery from lettersto packets and parcels.

McKinsey estimates that by 2050 halfof retail sales will be via the internet.Who is going to deliver the goods?Posts, at least in the developed world,have the best capability to deliver tothe home, not the integrators who arefocussed on the business-to-businessmarket.

The immediate problem for theposts is, of course, electronic substitution.Whilst overall letter volumes aregenerally being maintained, it is thehigh revenue first class mail that is beingsubstituted, in the areas such astransactional banking and credit cardtransactions, as more and more peoplego on-line. This first class decline,combined with the continued growth indirect marketing, suggests that the traditionalpostal model geared to a dailyuniversal service is becoming more andmore outdated as ‘urgent’ mail is nowsent electronically. Arguably, there isnow no need for a daily home delivery.The direct marketing sector wants ‘daydefinite’ more than daily i.e. the timeof the arrival of its advertising by mailon a particular day linked perhaps tolocal television advertising and followupby call centres.