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USPS ranked top postal service in world’s 20 biggest economies

Thursday, December 15th, 2011

The US Postal Service has been named as the best postal service within the world’s top 20 largest economies for access to services, resource efficiency and public trust.

Analysis from UK consultancy Oxford Strategic Consulting put the struggling USPS above Japan Post, Australia Post, Korea Post and Deutsche Post in its top five.

The ranking determined factors including the average number of citizens served by post office in a country, the number of letters and parcels delivered by each postal employee and World Economic Forum data on service reliability and public trust.

The report, which will be published in full next month, takes its data from the three years to 2010, and does not factor in issues like financial sustainability.

Its authors conceded that their analysis did not take into account widespread facility closures and service standard changes on the way at the top-ranked USPS.

Although it is delivering five times more letters per employee than fifth-ranked Deutsche Post, the loss-making USPS is set to begin closing thousands of post offices from May 2012, along with half its processing capacity, while slowing key services like First Class Mail.

“The United States Postal Service’s top ranking belies the political discussion taking place in the US at the time of writing,” the report noted, adding that developments at USPS were being followed closely around the world.

The report out today ranked Royal Mail 6th among the top 20 nations, France’s La Poste 7th, Canada Post 8th and Brazil’s Correios (ECT) 9th, with Russian Post bringing up the rear within the top 10.

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Russia’s postal service proved the fastest improver among the G20 postal services, the report suggested, with 11th-ranked Poste Italiane seeing a significant decline in its performance efficiency.

Japan Post and La Poste led the world’s most trusted postal services, with Canada Post, Korea Post and USPS also scoring well in their customers’s eyes.

Within parcel services, Korea Post and Japan Post were top for performance efficiency, with La Poste, Royal Mail, Correo Argentina, Poste Italiane and Saudi Post suffering particularly from competition with the private sector.

For letters, the USPS “reigns supreme”, delivering nearly double the number of letters per employee as its closest competitor in the ranking.

William Scott-Jackson, director at Oxford Strategic Consulting, said if you could live anywhere in the world and were sending a present to somebody this Christmas, you’d want to live in the US, Japan or Australia.

He said: “People tend to think the internet has made the postman redundant, but postal services provide the backbone for e-commerce deliveries.”

The Oxford Strategic Consulting report stressed the importance of the universal postal service to countries’ economies, as witnessed within the development within major growing economies like Brazil, Mexico, Russia and Turkey.

However, the analysis suggested that within the world’s biggest economy, the United States, a rapid shift towards electronic communications and prospects of First Class Mail service slowing could see physical mail services becoming second best to digital.

“This kind of development would see communications services (postal and internet) enter into a new two-speed area, comparable in logistics to the difference between air freight and shipping,” the analysis suggested.

Source: Post&Parcel/Oxford Strategic Consulting

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