Russian Post and Poste Italiane have signed a new agreement to cooperate further in order to improve the Russian postal system.
The agreement, which was signed along with their technology supplier Selex, was sealed at a trade summit in Trieste during an official visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday, following up earlier agreements between the three companies.
The latest accord heralds a new phase of cooperation in which the three companies will look to develop new integrated physical and digital communication services, such as in the fields of direct mail and hybrid mail, and strengthen international express delivery services between the two countries.
The deal also looks to promote the development of e-commerce between Russia and Italy, based around a new “Made in Italy” online retail platform that will offer Italian products for sale to Russian consumers.
A joint meeting of working groups for the alliance is now scheduled for January.
Massimo Sarmi, the Poste Italiane chief executive, said the new agreement with Russian Post would help Italian SMEs access the Russian market, while also extending his company’s role as an advisor for Russian Post.
He said: “Thanks to this agreement, Poste Italiane will provide an additional contribution to the Italian economy and small and medium-sized exporters. The e-commerce portal to be implemented together with Russian Post will offer the chance for these businesses to seize the opportunities for commercial development in a market like Russia, where the consumption of high-end products is booming.”
Russian has been working with Italy to develop its postal technology since 2004, when the Italian firm Elsag Datamat won the tender to build Russian Post’s first automated sorting centre. In 2009, a formal cooperation agreement came between the two countries to work together to develop communications systems in Russia.
International parcel shipments between the two posts have increased from a few thousand a year to 200,000 in 2013.
Poste Italiane said the new e-commerce platform would bring together payment, shipping and customs clearance services for Italian SMEs, making use of international express mail services.
Along with development of e-commerce and international express mail services, the new agreement aims to develop hybrid mail in Russia for businesses, direct marketing and e-government services. This would allow mailers to send information electronically to be turned into physical mailpieces local to the recipient.
In December 2010, the first formal agreement between nations’ postal operators and Elsag, the forerunner of Selex, was signed.
Russian Post said cooperation with Poste Italiane and Selex so far has helped develop its sorting systems and logistics infrastructure including development of the largest sorting facility in Eastern Europe, which was opened yesterday at Vnukovo airport in Moscow.
Selex said it believed Russian Post’s key investments over the next few years would focus on the areas covered by the Russian-Italian agreement.
Fabrizio Giulianini, the chief executive at Rome-basde Selex ES, said: “We have a long-standing technical collaboration with both Russian Post and Poste Italiane and we’re pleased to be able to bring our international experience to bear to improve efficiency and enhance innovation at both companies.”
Source: Post&Parcel/Russian Post/Poste Italiane/Selex