UPU´s Development Solution


Operational Readiness for Ecommerce

Program in a Nutshell

Created in 2017

20 activities carried out​


  • Building Skills and Training
  • Technical Assistance and Support
  • Institutional Building and Support to Institutions



Geographical scope​

Regional Economic Status

Partner : UPU

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A seamless and efficient e-commerce environment requires effective postal services to meet the needs of e-shoppers and e-retailers adequately. With a growing volume of e-commerce transactions and parcels crossing the borders, the question of operational efficiency of delivery services has become a priority action for UPU.

In 2017, the UPU started to implement regional cooperation projects to coordinate and improve the quality of service through an integrated postal supply chain approach. The purpose of these projects is to help the designated postal operators (DOs) meet operational readiness targets for e-commerce within five focus areas:

  • Minimum operational requirements ;
  • Visibility ;
  • Data quality ;
  • Supply chain integration ;
  • End-to-end reliability.

At the heart of the programme lies a standard onsite assessment methodology known as Operational Readiness for Ecommerce (ORE) coupled with an efficient use of IT standardized tools and end-to-end systems. By enhancing the end-to-end reliable delivery performance and providing consumers with more visibility, postal operators can contribute to the expansion of cross border e-commerce and achieve the main UPU 2020 goals: «Ensuring the operational readiness of Posts for seamless cross-border e-commerce.»


  • Building Skills and Training

      • Operational and technical skills
      • ORE training workshops
      • In-country specific training
  • Technical Assistance and Support

      • Technical assistance to countries participating in the project
      • On-site consultancy missions in the field
  • Institutional Building and Support to Institutions

      • Capacity of the postal operator to comply with minimum operational and technical requirements for seamless cross-border processing and e-commerce through the electronic data interchange (EDI) among and between posts and their partners along the supply chain
  • Key facts and figures 2017-2018

    • 217
      Programme launched
      Key regional projects developed
      Regional workshops organized in different regions
      + 145
      Designated operators participating in ORE
      On-site consultancy missions
      In-country specific training
  • Key achievements

    • One of the ORE project’s priority areas involves fulfilling the minimum operational requirements, including the use of up-to-date tracking systems such as International Postal System (IPS) and IPS.post, to support the handling of EMSEVT v3, PREDES 2.1 and CARDIT 2.1 messages for electronic data transmissions.
      The main achievements in the implementation of the regional quality of service projects, which aim to ensure the operational readiness of Posts for seamless cross-border e-commerce through an integrated approach, are as follows:

      • To date, 146 designated operators (DOs) from developing countries have participated in this project. Almost all the DOs have prepared roadmaps and action plans to organize the work and establish sys¬tems and processes aimed at improving the quality and efficiency of their supply chains.
      • The number of DOs using the latest versions of tracking systems (IPS, IPS.post, IPS Cloud) increased from 60 in 2016 to 122 in 2018. The introduction of these systems by 62 new DOs promotes the efficient processing and management of international mail flows, increases transparency with regard to postal performance, and fosters clear accountability throughout the entire mail process.
      • The number of DOs using electronic customs declaration systems (CDS, CDS.post) increased from 0 in 2016 to 12 in 2018. This means that 12 new DOs are now able to provide their customers with tools for electronic customs data transmission and customs pre-clearance for postal items subject to customs formalities. This also reduces the time taken for customs clearance, enhances interaction with postal customers sending parcels containing goods, and improves compliance with security requirements.
      • The number of DOs exchanging tracking information using technical messaging standard EMSEVT ver¬sion 3 has increased by 51%, from 64 in 2016 to 129 in 2018. This means that 65 new DOs are now able to send accurate advance information on the senders and addressees of postal items, as well as for import and export customs/security purposes. This increases the efficiency of the entire process from collection/posting to attempted/final delivery, and improves the security and reliability of the postal net¬work.
      • The number of DOs exchanging pre-dispatch information using PREDES 2.1 has increased by 54%, from 59 in 2016 to 126 in 2018. This means that 67 new DOs are now able to provide electronically all the necessary dispatch information to their postal partners. This enables the destination DO to be pre¬pared in advance and expedite the processing of inbound mail, while facilitating accounting and the systematic electronic preparation of international accounts between DOs.
      • The number of DOs capable of exchanging electronic data with airlines using CARDIT 2.1 increased from 41 in 2016 to 120 in 2018. This means that 79 new DOs are now able to exchange information on mail dispatches to inform air carriers in advance of mail flows. This contributes to improving accounting with the air carriers and to sharing, in a timely manner, operational, security and investigative information to ensure compliance with the security measures in place in the international postal transport chain.
      • The number of DOs exchanging customs information with postal partners using ITMATT messages has increased by 87%, from 7 in 2016 to 52 in 2018. This means that 45 new DOs are now able to provide information about each postal item to their partners, customs authorities and Posts. In coordination with other systems and applications, this exchange helps reduce the time taken for customs clearance and improve the efficiency of mail processing, particularly through the advance electronic transmission of customs declarations via CUSITM messages and the receipt of replies to customs declarations via CUSRSP messages.
      • The number of DOs having successfully implemented step 1 of the Integrated Product Plan (IPP) increased from 0 in 2016 to 62 in 2018. Among the new DOs that are affixing a single barcode identifier on small packets containing goods in compliance with UPU technical standard S10, 10 have transmitted cross-border electronic pre-advice.
      Programme launched
      Key regional projects developed
      Regional workshops
      organized in different regions
      + 145
      designated operators participating in ORE
      On-site consultancy missions
      In-country specific training
  • Key areas: E-commerce within the Regional development plans

  • Discover here the other Regional development plans

    • In 2019, the designated operators participating in this strategic project will have the opportunity to work on the following topics in relation with the main five key pillars of the project:

      • Quality analysis and improvement for each of the KPIs, based on the ORE country roadmaps and action plans;
      • Rules and procedures for forwarding international mail (organizing the processing, sorting and forward¬ing of letter-post and parcel-post items in the international service);
      • International transport and improvement;
      • UPU certification system (quality of service, postal security and addressing);
      • Electronic data interchange (EDI) compliance reports;
      • Development and deployment of UPU IT tools to provide standard e-commerce application program¬ming interfaces (APIs) and electronic postal services;
      • Electronic customs declaration using the UPU Customs Declaration System (CDS);
      • Reporting and monitoring systems – Quality Control System (QCS), Integrated Quality Reporting System (IQRS), Global Monitoring System (GMS STAR);
      • Electronic handling and management of international inquiries and customer service.
ExpertsDecision makersMiddle Managers
  • National agencies or bodies

    • Postal operators
    • National customs authorities
    • Civil aviation authorities
    • National border agencies
    • Airlines (international air transport partners of postal operators)
    • Ground handling agents