Beyond the last mile

Beyond the last mile

European postal operators form an essential network throughout Europe and the world. They link public administrations, businesses of all sizes and consumers of all ages. Mail and parcel deliveries are at the very core of postal businesses.

In a recent report to Commissioner Thierry Breton, as part of our longstanding cooperation with the European Commission, PostEurop had the opportunity to gather and share some preliminary insights which give an indication of how the pandemic has impacted European postal operators so far.

The rapid spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and the containment policies aimed at managing the pandemic have changed the way we live and consume. In terms of transportation for postal operators, the closure of borders with added restrictions and commercial flight cancellations have resulted in delays. This is the new reality the industry faces for an indefinite period of time.

Without a doubt, the greater actions have had a strong and direct impact on postal operators and a negative impact on cross-border letter and parcel flows both within and outside the EU. We see a decline in both domestic and international letter volumes for the vast majority of postal operators.

In the e-commerce area, some postal operators have noted an increase in domestic parcel volumes while others still see a decline. International parcel volumes have also declined for most postal
operators. These developments have the potential to lead to negative financial impacts on various postal operators.

Responding to the pandemic
In most countries, governments have asked their designated postal operator to remain operational given all the challenges. Right from the start, postal operators have taken priority actions to protect postal workers and citizens. They have quickly re-organised their workforce and operations utilising every available resource to ensure deliveries continue and the universal service obligation is being fulfilled, even in the worst affected areas. Over time, postal operators have collectively taken on a larger role to assist nations in the fight against COVID-19 including provision of pertinent information to every household, delivering food, medicines, medical equipment and testing materials.

Postal operators are also reaching out to the most vulnerable in society, going beyond their normal duties to ensure that the elderly, disabled citizens and those living in a remote area, are safe. The
postal service keeps all citizens physically connected.

European postal operators are working in solidarity and are committed to supporting governments, public administrations and citizens during their time of need, in a challenging environment. As an essential service to the social fabric and economic life of the EU, PostEurop and its members look forward to working with the European Commission to address the challenges both in the short and long-term.

Jean-Paul Forceville, Chairman of the PostEurop Management Board. commented: “We are proud of every single postal worker who strives to keep deliveries going and in turn help the community. This crisis has some way to go before we see an end to it, and we expect that it will have a further negative impact for our members. We look to the EU Commission and Governments to support postal operators and help us to help the citizens and businesses in need.”

PostEurop represents 52 postal operators in 49 countries and territories around Europe and handles 60 billion items each year. The industry employs 2 million people, manages 258 million delivery points and accounts for 1% of the GDP.

Visit PostEurop’s dedication Coronavirus page 

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