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ANCOM: We look at the postal services market in the light of e-commerce developments

Romania's courier business is pretty dynamic these days and tends to become more and more high-tech as players are trying to find innovative solutions to keep up with users' need for mobility. Credit card payment on delivery through MPOS, or collection points or parcel lockers that Romanians can access at any time are now a common practice.

2018-04-11 13:59:55

Amid the development of electronic commerce both in Romania and in Europe, the courier segment saw significant increases in recent years, reflected in consistent turnovers.

According to ANCOM, both in Romania and in the EU the deliveries of packages will continue to be the segment with the highest growth potential among the postal services market, which makes its role increasingly important in the context of economic development.
Romania′s market growth goes hand in hand with the increase of the range of services provided, and with the implementation of innovative solutions for clients. Romanians are increasingly interested in online purchases, and retailers in partnership with courier companies are looking for solutions to keep up with users′ need for mobility.

Thus, providers are looking for the implementation of delivery methods that are as flexible as possible, from couriers travelling on bicycle in large urban areas, to the inauguration of collection points in easily accessible areas or installation of parcel lockers that Romanians can access at any time.

ANCOM: We look at the postal services market in the light of e-commerce developments and its implications on courier segment dynamics

Parcel delivery services are certainly the most dynamic segment of the postal services market in Romania, registering increases over the past few years above the overall average of the economy, Sorin Grindeanu, president of ANCOM told The Diplomat-Bucharest.

"This growth is primarily driven by the development of e-commerce," said Grindeanu. "I am glad to see that the suppliers in our country are looking to more developed markets, and that they have also begun to adopt innovative digital delivery solutions. For example, in the EU there is increasing use of postal items collected at retailers′ points of sale or parcel lockers services (and recently developed secure electronic parcel lockers) as an alternative to delivery at home. Germany has a success story with the use of parcel lockers, used by Deutsche Post DHL since 2002, with over five million registered users at this time. And in Romania, suppliers have begun to implement such automated postal delivery / delivery systems, and parcel tracking applications have entered a normal trend."

According to Grindeanu, statistical data collected and processed by ANCOM targets the entire postal services market and there are no special reports for the courier segment.

"In the entire postal sector, the trend would be to stagnate the number of staff," said Grindeanu. "But in the specific field of parcel deliveries, which I was telling you that has seen an important leap, industry is increasingly reporting the difficulty of finding, attracting and retaining qualified staff. At the same time, we can predict that, most likely, the growing demand for these services amid the development of e-commerce will, during this year, result in a trend marked by revenue growth on certain categories of deliveries, a slower pace than increases in recent years."

Grindeanu said the main challenge for the postal service sector in general is to maintain at least a constant level of revenue while ensuring an increase in service quality and adapting to the changing needs of users: "Quality in this area means both speed and security, so all suppliers need to invest to ensure the integrity of postal items content or a proper compensation mechanism in the event of accidents occurring during delivery. In addition, there is a growing price on the flexibility of delivery conditions and the availability of adaptation of services to the needs of customers, which implies innovation, but also the continuous development of human resources."

According to the quoted source, this sector still offers opportunities for both the current players of the market and other companies that would like to enter the Romanian market.
"We are talking about a dynamic market with a high growth rate, a growing competitive market, and opportunities to implement innovative services," said Grindeanu. "ANCOM is working to promote the interests of postal service providers in the European Postal Regulators Group at European level and encourages their participation in the Single European Market. It is our objective that Romanian citizens have access to the same services as the rest of EU citizens, and thus can order online and receive parcels from any virtual store around the world."

More specifically, in 2017, ANCOM took a series of regulatory measures in the field, said Grindeanu, who explained: "We elaborated the Postal Services Regulatory Strategy for the period 2017-2020, aiming at promoting the interests of postal users, ensuring the right of access to the service universally, promoting competition and encouraging investment and promoting innovation. The general authorization regime for the provision of postal services was also revised, with the aim of increasing the transparency of postal services by imposing new obligations on providers to make the relevant information available to users. Also, through the petitions mechanism addressed to ANCOM, the Authority addressed specific problems encountered by individual users of postal services, who either faced non-compliance with the delivery deadline for postal items or damaged postal items."

ANCOM will continue to monitor the quality of the postal services, inform users about their rights in relation to postal service providers and analyse the extent to which postal services available on the market ensure the satisfaction of clients with special needs, according to Grindeanu. "We intend to look at the postal services market in the light of e-commerce developments and its implications on courier segment dynamics to stimulate on-line retailing services. We would like to have more freedom of choice for online shoppers regarding the supplier delivering the package."

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