Jul 08, 2020: Like so many other industries, the postal industry has faced numerous challenges due to COVID-19 pandemic.
A new report by the Universal Postal Union (UPU), the UN specialized agency for postal matters, titled, “The COVID-19 crisis and the postal sector” shows postal volumes dropping by 21 percent in 2020.
The steep decline is the largest seen by the UPU since it began recording exchanges of electronic data between its 192 member countries in 2010.
“The Post’s relevance has become clearer than ever as citizens reach out to them for essential services as they remain in their homes.
While postal operators around the globe have continued to work diligently for their customers throughout the pandemic, they have also experienced many set-backs caused by the very measures put in place to stop the virus’ spread,” said UPU Director General Bishar A Hussein.
According to the data, which covers the period between January 23 and May 14, international postal volumes decreased by 21 percent in 2020 compared to the same period last year. Only one of every 2.1 items sent are arriving at their destination within the same week, as opposed to 1:1 during normal times.
The report lists transport disruptions, suspensions, capacity shortages and total stoppages, in addition to the impact of the virus on workforce capacity, as major factors blocking the supply chain. It also projects that negative income shocks on households could have a role to play in declining volumes.
Researchers used official postal statistics and indicators constructed from electronic data interchange messages on postal shipments exchanged between countries to paint a picture of the pandemic’s economic impact on the activities of postal operators.