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Doha Postal Strategy harps on technology

Four-year roadmap takes stock of rapidly changing consumer habits

Gulf News

Manama: Members of the Universal Postal Union (UPU) have agreed to improve the efficiency of postal networks by making the best use of technology.

The charter will enable the member countries to apply innovation to improve existing core letter-post and parcels services while diversifying the business. It will also help them enhance the way they leverage each other’s networks.

The agreement is part of the 2013-2016 strategy adopted at the 25th Universal Postal Congress held in Qatar. Around 2,200 delegates have converged in Doha for the UPU’s quadrennial meeting.

The postal roadmap that gives the organisation broad lines of action and defines regional priorities for the next four years was drawn up against a backdrop of declining mail volumes, evolving technologies and rapidly changing consumer habits.

Under the strategy, the UPU will seek to turn into a key forum for exchanging ideas and best practices, to diversify business, and to work on the sustainability of postal business models.

“The rapid pace of change and transformation requires a greater capacity to react and adjust, and to do so quickly,” Terry Dunn, who steered the UPU group in charge of drafting the Doha Postal Strategy, said. “There is a fundamental transformation taking place in the postal business, and this is having an impact on the physical side. People want to receive their messages differently, with the same assurances of trust and security they associate with the post,” he said.

The Doha Postal Strategy recognises that the concept of universal postal service should be understood in a broader sense, according to officials.

“Recent changes in postal business models point to the need for a universal service that is adapted to today’s technological environment as well as to the changing market realities,” Dunn said. “It is up to each member country to define the scope of its universal service.”

Specific programmes in the strategy will allow the UPU to carry out its mission of stimulating the lasting development of efficient and accessible universal postal services.

Signatories pledged to guarantee the free circulation of items over a single postal territory made up of interconnected networks, encourage the adoption of fair common standards and employ technology more widely besides promoting effective technical cooperation and measuring up to customers’ changing needs.

The strategy, drafted after a comprehensive analysis of the global postal environment and consultations among member countries, will provide guidance to postal authorities and governments as they develop their own national postal strategies and policies.

For more information on the Doha Postal Strategy, log on to