Escher’s Future of Posts 2023: Lockers on the up, parcels on the down 

Escher’s Future of Posts 2023: Lockers on the up, parcels on the down 

Escher’s Future of Posts 2023 has been published, revealing the impact of the cost of living crisis on parcel volumes – many posts have shifted from high growth to flat or moderate declines while letter volume declines accelerated slightly. These changes had a moderate impact on revenue but a more pronounced impact on profitability.  

Survey highlights for Escher’s seventh annual edition of the Future of Posts report: 

  • Focus returned to falling mail volumes with over three-quarters of respondents listing this as a priority this year (the highest response by far), up from 53% last year.  
  • Posts are split 50/50 on the capacity challenge with 51% indicating they continued to struggle with capacity constraints created by growing ecommerce volumes while nearly half indicated volumes were declining or flat creating utilisation issues.  
  • Large macro-economic challenges (i.e. inflation driven volume challenges, increased cross-border competition) continue to distract postal organisations from their customer’s strategic priorities of accelerating delivery and the need for innovative solutions to deal with an increasing volume of returns. 
  •  Strategic clarity for postal organisations eroded as they grappled with how to maximise return on invested capital for both their retail and delivery networks. Over half are rethinking their strategies for both networks and 15% are actively working to shrink their network size.  
  • Lockers remained a top priority with over two-thirds of respondents listing lockers as a top retail priority, the highest ranked retail priority despite the challenges presented by locker implementations. Over half see lockers as the answer to deal with growing reverse logistics demand.  
  • Transforming the last mile, fixing issues with cross-border deliveries and improving the customer experience remained the most important investment areas. 
  •  Over three-quarters of respondents said they were adopting new strategies and organisation structures to cope with fluctuating ecommerce parcel demand as the market remained chaotic. They also see the dual power of optimisation and automation as key to managing these challenges.  
  • Developing Delivery Duties Paid (DDP) capabilities and gathering required Advanced Electronic Data (AED) to comply with new regulations remain the biggest challenges for cross-border e-commerce. 

Between February and March 2023, Escher’s research partners, Triangle Management Services, conducted an online survey of postal leaders, worldwide. Responses from 270 participants across 90 Posts were analysed to provide Escher with current and future growth plans for the global postal industry.

The research provides insights into posts’ strategic plans and operating methods, including key investment areas, automation approaches, channel selections, sustainability, and the future of their networks.

Download your complimentary copy here.

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