Postal Agencies Diversify to Fight Volume Decline, 24-Country Accenture
Research finds USPS, four other postal agencies saddled with large legacy
ARLINGTON, Va. -- March 19, 2013
Faced with a nearly 50-billion piece decline in global mail volume over the
past three years, rising employee pension costs and increasing competition
from private, commercial postal operators, the world’s postal agencies are
fighting back by diversifying services and leveraging technology, according to
a new study from Accenture (NYSE:ACN).
Achieving High Performance in the Postal Industry: Accenture Research and
Insights 2013 identifies two new trends for the industry: digital mail has not
reinvigorated postal agencies as originally expected and private postal
operators have become more aggressive, creating greater competition for postal
agencies in both the mail and parcel business. Postal agencies in 24 countries
and two commercial companies – FedEx and United Parcel Service (UPS) – are
included in the study.
“Despite a continued tumultuous business climate, some postal organizations
are thriving. They are launching new business lines, combining their products
with new technology and radically changing their cost structures to be leaner
and more agile. As these posts reinvent their business models, they are
emerging as very different organizations that are well positioned for future
growth,” said Brody Buhler, managing director for Accenture’s global postal
The 2013 research was presented at the European Postal Services Conference
here. The 16 largest postal agencies included in the research represent nearly
75 percent of the world’s mail volume.
Since the publication of its first high performing posts report in 2006,
Accenture has conducted ongoing, in-depth research of the postal industry.
Using the Accenture High Performance Business methodology, Accenture has
reviewed and assessed the relative performance of postal organizations.
Starting with the postal systems of 16 countries and extending that research
to include 24 posts and two commercial companies in 2013, the study gives a
comprehensive review of what drives high performance in postal agencies.
The 2013 research shows little movement since 2012 in the top 10 postal
agencies, with the exception of Norway, which jumped five positions to seventh
place and Finland, which dropped eight slots to 15^th place in the 2013 study.
The top 10 highest performing posts, according to the Accenture research, are
Singapore Post, United Parcel Service (UPS) (USA), Austria Post, Poste
Italiane (Italy), Australia Post, FedEx (USA), Posten Norge (Norway), bpost
(Belgium), TNT (Netherlands) and Correios Brasileiros (Brazil). According to
the research, the bottom five postal organizations are straddled with large
legacy costs and limited diversification, often due to regulatory or
legislative limitations: PostNord (Sweden and Denmark), Magyar Posta
(Hungary), Japan Post, Correos (Spain) and the U.S. Postal Service.
Top 10 High Performing Postal Agencies
Rank 2011 2012
1 Singapore Singapore
2 Italy UPS
3 UPS Austria
4 Netherlands Italy
5 Belgium Australia
6 Austria FedEx
7 Brazil and Finland Norway
8 ... Belgium
9 FedEx Netherlands
Source: Achieving High Performance in the Postal Industry: Accenture Research
and Insights 2013
*Digital mail: No postal operator has seen real value or positive financial
impact from the expansion of digital mail. None of the digital solutions
currently in the market have resulted in significant profit nor achieved
*Parcels and logistics: Postal agencies, driven by continuing eCommerce
growth, have grown their parcel delivery capabilities and diversified
services to move into logistics to meet demand. This growth also is
creating more opportunities for private carriers.
*Retail diversification: While some postal operators are questioning how to
leverage their retail outlets, high-performing posts are branching out
beyond stationery, office supplies and greeting cards into convenience
products that include bill payment centers, motor vehicle registration,
passports and other government services.
*Pricing and product innovation: Using technology to add value to
traditional mail and taking advantage of pricing flexibility are having a
positive impact on the industry, driving revenue growth an average of 1.5
*Cross-border eCommerce: Posts are starting to take advantage of this new
trend, expanding beyond domestic delivery to surrounding countries and
regions, and developing solutions for this new market
*Consumer focus: Postal agencies are creating new services that focus on
the recipient – and not the sender – of mail, including narrower windows
of delivery or the ability to redirect a parcel delivery to a new
location. These services are giving consumers more control over package
deliveries and providing postal agencies with a new revenue source.
Posts around the world are finding ways to gain traction in the marketplace,
transforming products with innovation and technology:
*Canada Post Corp.’s new online service, Precision Targeter, is a
self-service tool that is used to prepare and send unaddressed advertising
*Itella’s NetPosti, which sends digital scans of printed mail to its
customers in Finland, grew volume 700 percent between 2005 and 2010.
*Correios Brasileiros (Brazil Post) partnered with Banco do Brasil to
provide financial services. Six thousand post offices are connected to the
internet and offer financial services.
*U.S. Postal Service Every Door Direct Mail allows small businesses to
target mail by neighborhood, ZIP Code or city instead of specific
addresses. The program generated $153 million in new revenue in the first
eight months and is projected to reach $1 billion by 2016.
*Australia Post leverages its 4,500 retail outlets across the country by
offering bill payments and passport applications, and accepts payment for
government services that include motor vehicle registrations and fishing
*Poste Italiane (Italy) offers financial services, telecommunications
services and expanded retail products through its outlets.
*bpost’s (Belgium) RelatioMail has increased the value of transactional
mail to consumers through redesign of the mail piece.
Twenty six postal agencies and commercial logistics companies were analyzed,
including the U.S.-based, private-sector companies, FedEx and United Parcel
Service (UPS). “Achieving High Performance in the Postal Industry: Accenture
Research and Insights 2013” consists of analysis based on 2012 publicly
available information, content published by the postal organizations and
Accenture industry knowledge and experience.
Learn more about Accenture’s work with posts around the world and its global
initiative, Delivering Public Service for the Future.
Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and
outsourcing company, with 259,000 people serving clients in more than 120
countries. Combining unparalleled experience, comprehensive capabilities
across all industries and business functions, and extensive research on the
world’s most successful companies, Accenture collaborates with clients to help
them become high-performance businesses and governments. The company generated
net revenues of US $27.9billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2012. Its
home page is www.accenture.com.
Joanne Veto, 703-947-2590
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