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Postal Services

EFSA attended a meeting at the Dept of Communications and Digital Economy recently with two European consultants employed by the Universal Postal Union (UPU) to explore how the agreements on regional postal hubs in Africa are progressing. The UPU has chosen 4 regional hubs, SAPO is the regional hub for the SADC countries. Meanwhile, industrial action has restarted at SAPO. There is no development on the court case against PostNet brought by ICASA on behalf of SAPO. This challenged PostNet’s last-mile delivery and postbox services. When we look at the services provided by SAPO, it might be interesting to consider what goes on elsewhere.

Recently the European Commission has published a report on the application of the Postal Services Directive (PSD) and a report on the Cross-Border Parcel Delivery Regulation. These reports highlight the role of digitalisation in changing the postal and parcels sector, creating new opportunities and challenges for postal operators, and modifying consumers’ needs and expectations. The Commission stressed the importance of improved transparency and underlined the increasing costs of postal services, even though some Member States had had to reduce the scope of their universal service obligation (these are the services which the POs must provide under law). Furthermore, the reports show that there is little harmonisation in how national authorities analyse tariffs, and that they are only sporadic follow-up complaints against high tariffs.

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