The week that was: 23 December 2011

Summing up some of the top stories of this week on Post&Parcel, including La Poste’s international alliance with Swiss Post… This week, a special festive edition of our popular round-up of the week’s top stories in the world of mail and express delivery.

La Poste and Swiss Post unite to compete on world’s stage

Meeting in Paris this week, La Poste and Swiss Post cemented an alliance to bring together their international mail businesses in a single joint venture.

The new company, partnering La Poste Global Mail with Swiss Post International, could be operational at some point in 2012. The posts said their existing international operations each had a “solid” international presence in key markets including the US, UK, continental Europe and Asia.

They suggested their operations were largely complementary, both in terms of their geographic spread and their product offerings, and that the new joint venture would be in a better position to attract new customers seeking to expand internationally, in a mail market the posts estimated to be worth around $13bn USD a year.

Dutch reforms set to include elimination of Monday deliveries

This week we reported on proposals in the Netherlands to help PostNL cut its operating costs by dropping one day’s delivery each week.

Henk Bleacher, the Dutch secretary for economic affairs, agriculture and innovation has decided that PostNL will be allowed to eliminate deliveries on Monday, the quietest day of the week for its service, despite the fact that businesses would prefer to see Saturdays eliminated instead.

Ministers are set to introduce postal reform legislation in the first half of 2012, but changes to the postal retail network and mailbox coverage are unlikely to be included.

E-commerce reaches record levels, consumer demand patterns change

The UK’s package delivery industry has escaped severe weather disruption in the run-up to Christmas this year, but some companies have been snowed under by the sheer numbers of e-commerce packages coming through their doors.

Industry observers have so far noted that the pattern of pre-Christmas shopping has changed this year, as more consumers tend to complete their shopping much later in December, with shoppers having the confidence to do their last-minute shopping online rather than going out to brick-and-mortar stores.

As a result, rather than a “traditional” peak of consumer shipping activity in the last few days of November and first few days of December, as seen in previous years, this year has seen volumes continuing to surge consistently through to Christmas Eve itself.

FedEx reminded of importance of the individual parcel delivery

At its busiest time of the year, FedEx was rather shocked to find one of its employees starring in a rather unfortunate YouTube video this week.

The video showing a delivery man throwing a customer’s computer monitor purchase over a garden wall was denounced by FedEx as “completely unacceptable” after it went viral, spreading through social media and network US television to be seen by millions.

The US company said it had taken the incident as an important lesson about the importance of getting every single delivery right.

And finally…

As we near the end of 2011, the team at Post&Parcel would like to wish all our readers and supporters around the world a happy holiday season and a successful 2012.

Next week, we will be bringing you “The year that was”, an annual review of the major stories of the year in the mail and express industry.

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