PCK to diversify operations

September 23, 2010
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, NAIROBI, Kenya Sep 23 – The Postal Corporation of Kenya is relying on courier and financial services to diversify and increase its income in the future.

This comes in the wake of declining revenue generated from mail delivery services that has been on a steady decline.

Post Master General Hussein Ali said incorporating technology use in its operations was the only way the State-owned corporation would remain in business.

“In future we will be focusing more on boosting our EMS (Express Mail Service), parcels and financial services businesses as our main streams of revenue as well as meeting changing consumer needs,” Major Gen (Rtd) Ali said.

According to the Post Master General, mail delivery has been on a two percent annual decline with social mail taking the greatest beating from social sites and emailing services.

The world’s posts processed and delivered an estimated 411 billion domestic letter-post items and 5.2 billion international items in 2008, totalling to 416 billion pieces worldwide.

Overall letter-post volumes are declining gradually, and the financial and economic crisis has accelerated this trend.

The bulk of letter-post volumes consist of business mail; personal mail represents only a small portion of overall volumes – between 5 and 11 percent of volumes, depending on countries.

Major Gen Ali said that rather than fighting technology use, the corporation would be taking advantage of it to complement its business.

Kenya is among four countries from across the globe that has been chosen by the Universal Postal Union (UPU) to pilot the .post service in mail delivery system.

According to the Post Master General, the system allows the corporation to use postal addresses on behalf of service providers to deliver mail online.

“The service will be primarily for service providers looking to contact their customers. By using this service they are guaranteed that their customers are able to get bills or any information they would like to disseminate faster and conveniently,” he said.

PCK has also created a clearing and forwarding department to deal with bulk mail handling at the port of Mombasa, which it will be looking to outsource services and generate more income.

The Post Master General was speaking on the sidelines of the Universal Postal Union Strategy Conference where over 550 delegates from 132 countries are meeting.

He said the postal corporation would be using the platform to push for the standardization of certain courier restrictions creating a level playing field for postal unions and private companies.

“At the moment a number of parcels can’t travel by air because commercial airlines are cagey about some of the things contained in the parcels while private operators are at liberty to move whatever they want because they own their planes,” Major Gen Ali said.

UPU Director General Eduardo Dayan said the delegates at the Strategy Conference would look for answers to these questions and probably consider how the worldwide postal sector redefines itself in the face of economic difficulty, the advancement of new technologies and ever-evolving business and customer demands.

“By adopting technology, postal corporations will reduce the gaps between member countries,” Mr Dayan said.

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