Postal operator CEOs expect consumers will demand much faster delivery in five years’ time
CEOs and senior executives from leading postal operators from America, Asia Pacific and Europe, gathered on 18 May in Vancouver, Canada for the 2018 IPC Annual Conference. For the first time, interactive voting was introduced in this year’s conference to gather views from participants on key topics.
Holger Winklbauer, IPC CEO, commented on the theme: ‘The postal industry is in a fascinating stage of transformation. With the emergence of new technologies, specifically smartphone-based, and business models, such as crowd shipping platforms, posts and their traditional competitors are facing disruption. These innovations are blurring traditional boundaries and lower down entry barriers to the delivery market, creating new forms of competition. The in-conference poll clearly demonstrated that postal executives expect consumers to demand a much higher delivery speed in five years’ time, when ordering goods from a neighbouring country. Facing these challenges, postal operators have to be creative and innovative and focus on these evolving consumers’ needs.’
This year, the conference speeches and debates explored new innovative platforms that have emerged in the delivery market. With increased smartphone penetration, the e-commerce experience, which is largely linked to logistics of purchased goods, is evolving fast. Innovative technology platforms are providing consumers with last-mile delivery fulfilment. With the emergence of the collaborative economy, crowd shipping platforms and applications provide consumers and retailers with multiple options for the delivery of parcels. Crowd shipping platforms such as Lalamove, who was also among the speakers at the conference, represent for posts what Uber does for the taxi industry. This creates additional challenges for postal operators, in terms of logistics, which have to adapt to new consumer expectations.
Meeting the needs of large e-retailers’ customers remains another key priority for postal operators. As highlighted in the latest IPC Cross-border Shoppers’ Survey, giant e-retailers such as Amazon, eBay and Alibaba account for two thirds of cross-border online purchases. Results from in-conference poll, show that for two-thirds of participants, the launch of delivery networks by large e-retailers is seen as one of the main disrupters.
In this context, postal operators reiterated the importance of reinforcing cooperation, in order to enhance the cross-border experience and thus, respond to cross-border customers’ needs.
During the conference, attendees were asked a number of questions regarding consumer expectations and delivery options. The in-conference poll clearly demonstrated that postal operators expect cross-border e-commerce shoppers to become more and more demanding when it comes to delivery speed. While the majority of voters considered that today’s consumer expectations for cross-border delivery from a neighbouring country are between two (37%) and five (45%) days, they expected this to evolve towards a one-day delivery standard (57%) within five years’ time.