E-commerce stakeholders talk addressing
Some 150 representatives from Posts, international organizations and the private sector gathered at the UPU Global Addressing Forum April 19 to discuss addressing innovations toward better delivery of e-commerce. (20.04.2018)
Hosted by the UPU within the Postal Operations Council, the forum had panellists from both the Post and private sector—including Amazon, Alibaba and Siemens—examine changing addressing needs in the context of growing cross-border trade resulting from online shopping.
“Accurate and efficient addressing system is a key component to timely delivery of postal items, especially in e-commerce business. Addressing that fails to meet international standards reduces the efficiency of the supply chain and incurs significant additional costs, which must be borne by our member countries,” said UPU Director General Bishar A. Hussein during the forum’s opening.
Panellists touched on the price of bad addressing, as undeliverable items rack up costs as they are returned through the supply chain. Participants identified several urgent needs to prevent this issue, including the need for better communication between e-commerce platforms, origin Posts and destination Posts. This could include more detailed electronic data exchange between players and an international database that would facilitate the validation of addresses.
Mr. Hussein noted that, while the postal sector must find solutions that meet customer demands for flexibility in their delivery time and location, it cannot leave behind the many who lack a physical address altogether.
“We must also recognize that many people in the world do not have any form of physical address, which excludes them from all sorts of services, ranging from banking, emergency services, taxation and physical delivery of goods,” he said.
He added that UPU data shows only one-third of countries or territories update and provide detailed postal addressing data at street level, meaning much of the world’s population is left out of the modern global market.
Both designated postal operators and private partners recognized the Post’s role as an authoritative source of addressing, noting their prime position to implement innovations to further improve national addressing systems.
On the international front, they agreed the UPU was the best place to unite stakeholders and would have a role to play in ensuring an open system is available to the market, promoting international standards and prioritizing addressing in its global strategy.
In his closing remarks, UPU Deputy Director General Pascal Clivaz called on stakeholders outside the UPU’s membership to stay engaged in the conversation with Posts by joining the Consultative Committee, a UPU body that represents the interests of the wider postal sector and provides a framework for effective dialogue.