Speakers at the World Mail and Express Americas show, which Triangle Management Services is hosting in Miami this week, have been singing the praises of “coopetition” in the postal and parcel delivery industries.
This focus on coopetition – or the mutual benefits that business competitors can derive from working together – seems highly appropriate, given that the theme of this year’s show is “Creating Customer Value: Competition and Partnership”.
In the opening session from this morning’s (8 February) programme, Adriana Barragan, President of Colombia’s 4-72, Jose Alexis Jimenez Chavarria, the President of Correos de Costa Rica, and Jaime Moreras, the COO of Correos de Mexico, each offered their unique perspectives on how Latin American posts have been transforming the way they do business and run their operations in order to meet the challenges of a changing market.
Barragan told conference delegates how 4-72 has been rolling out an ambitious four-year plan to boost its performance by re-energising its staff and investing in innovation. The company has been installing new automated systems at its distribution centres and, from 1 April, it will be equipping its postal delivery workers with new mobile devices which will enable final mile tracking and monitoring.
Correos de Costa Rico’s President also focused on his company’s recent investment in new technology, as well as the efforts it has made to diversify its business portfolio by offering financial products and increasing the range of services available from local post offices.
The Correos de Mexico COO offered an insight into how his company was diversifying – by moving away from being an organization which focused on traditional mail into one that is committed to growing parcel delivery capacity and other services. However, Moreras emphasised that even as the company has been diversifying into other areas, it still remains committed to meeting the community’s need for letter deliveries.
The first session concluded with a presentation from Misko Kancko, the Director of Global Strategy at Canada Post. Business transformation and collaboration were again key themes, as Kancko looked at how Canada Post has been “refocusing its organization to enable retailers to delivery their e-commerce strategy”.
In the second session, Guillermo Rospigliosi, a member of the eInstituto Advisory Board, gave an overview of the Latin American e-commerce market, and Jody Berenblatt of GrayHair Advisory looked at what postal operators can do in order to exceed expectations. Deloitte Director Paul Vogel then shared some of his perceptions on how the industry in the Americas has been changing. Vogel said he had been heartened by the presentations from Costa Rica, Mexico and Colombia, which demonstrated that – instead of just bemoaning the decline of traditional mail – the posts have been prepared to transition themselves into progressive entities eager to embrace the “e-commerce revolution”.
The afternoon programme began with “big picture” postal perspectives from Algernon Gomes, the Postmaster General from Antigua and Barbuda, Carlos Modesto Guzman, the Director General of the Dominican Republic’s INPOSDOM, and Tammy Whitcomb, the Deputy Inspector General from the United States Postal Service (USPS) Office of Inspector General (OIG).
Dr Guzman used his presentation slot as an opportunity to call for the public and private sectors of the postal industry to work together and form a “roundtable” to help raise standards and promote business.
Whitcomb looked at the steps that the USPS is taking to re-invigorate the mail industry, particularly in terms of developing innovative solutions which combine physical mail and digital services. In keeping with the general conference theme, Whitcomb highlighted how USPS can sometimes work with private operators like UPS and FedEx, making its final mile capabilities available in the spirit of “coopetition”.
In the final session of the day, Luz Mary Guerrero Hernandez, the CEO of Servientraga, explained how her company has expanded from its base in Colombia to become a major regional player.
Rodrigo Rincon, Vice President of the Valley Group , looked at some the strategic developments in Latin America and Leslie Gamble, the President of Aprisa Express, offered a guide to some of the key trends in the region’s e-commerce sector. Arguing that “in five years, Latin American e-commerce will be what Europe’s is today”, Gamble said that customers are becoming more knowledge and more inclined to dictate timely delivery solutions, as well as being more comfortable with the idea of buying online.
Gamble also believed both customers and etailers in Latin America now have greater expectations than they do a few years ago. They are no longer willing to accept that “there will be delays because this is Latin America”. Customers and etailers now want – and expect – on-time deliveries, no delays in customs, and even full journey visibility.
The final speaker of the session, Aeropost CEO Fredjoseph Goldner, looked at how new solutions are coming to the market to help facilitate more cross-border e-commerce.
The World Mail and Express Americas conference concludes tomorrow (9 February).