La Poste to streamline courier products and invest in rail transport
La Poste Group has announced plans to streamline its range of courier products, and also to invest EUR 100m in its transport infrastructure. The French postal operator said both moves are designed to improve mail and parcel services for consumers and businesses.
New service range
A new express and parcel range will be launched from the start of January 2015, subject to regulatory approvals, promising more flexible services with better tracking capabilities for shipping documents and small goods.
The new range promises to be easier for businesses and consumers to use, and for post office staff to advise customers. New packaging types of various sizes will be launched alongside the new range.
The new approach will allow the shipping of items of less than 3cm thick under prepaid rates normally used for documents. This would include small e-commerce items like CDs, DVDs and books.
La Poste said it is also planning to begin setting up dedicated areas in post offices where customers can receive assistance in the preparation of shipments. The concept will be initially trailed in 300 post offices.
Along with the refined express and parcels range, La Poste is also promising a new universal service product in the form of a trackable letter delivered within 48 hours, for documents up to 3cm thick.
Meanwhile, La Poste has adopted a new multimodal transport strategy in which it aims to develop its rail, road and air infrastructure, and even use river transport.
The strategy sets goals for a doubling of rail freight connections as the national postal service seeks to improve the environmental impact and reliability of its transport networks.
La Poste said by 2017 it aims to be a major player in the field of combined freight for the carriage of mail and small goods, which will improve mail services for businesses and consumers, and link up with international transport networks for mail and parcels.
The ambitions will involve an investment of EUR 100m over three years, including the construction of a new EUR 23m 21,000 square metre multimodal transport and mail processing facility at Bonneuil sure Marne, in the Val-de-Marne area of the Parisian suburbs.
When completed in 2015, the Bonneuil sure Marne facility will link up economic regions of North and West France, along with the Lyon-Marseille axis. It will consolidate the activities from three existing sites.
The changes to the rail network coincides with the end of La Poste’s use of the TGV high speed train after three decades, which the postal operator said no longer met the changing needs of mail customers.
In future, La Poste said the volume of mail transported by rail will increase, with expectations that from 2017 the volume of mail and cargo will rise by 30% compared to the current capacity on the TGV.
La Poste, which made its services carbon neutral from 2012, said its new strategy should cut its carbon dioxide emissions by more than 1,800 tonnes a year, with rail transport cutting the use of Parisian road connections by 638,000 km per year.
The strategy will contribute to the company’s goal to cut its emissions by 30% between 2008 and 2018.