Liberalisation and Consolidation

Like the railway business, the postal sector was for many years strictly regulated and dominated by state-owned incumbent operators As an alternative model, however, privately owned express service companies and parcel service providers (“integrators”) had been founded already several decades earlier. In the course of ongoing deregulation in Europe, private delivery services joined the market as well.

Liberalisation and consolidation have fostered the emergence of large multi-national groups, blurring the boundaries between the postal, express, and – partly – logistics businesses. Anorganic growth adds market power and scale effects, but it also creates challenges stemming from the integration of different entities, business models, and cultures. Furthermore, steering a global portfolio adds complexity.

All players in this sector, including “pure” postal companies and integrators, are confronted with increasing global competition, forcing them to achieve the highest standards in terms of quality and cost efficiency. For state-owned postal companies, there is an additional challenge: ongoing liberalisation of the national post business cuts into their profits. Key success factors are:

  • Further automation of post and systematised business (parcel / express)
  • Efficient marketing and co-loading of non-systematised business
  • Optimisation of capacity utilisation in pick-up & delivery
  • Mitigation of capacity risks for intercontinental networks through asset-light concepts, blocked space agreements, etc.
  • Thorough cost management both for operational and overhead costs