Digital transformation in the postal sector is moving forward as designated operators around the world make strides with Electronic Advance Data (EAD) requirements with assistance from the Universal Postal Union.Legislation from the United States and Europe pushed the sector to require certain electronic data in advance of shipments — package content data, sender data and receiver data.
However, not all post and parcel delivery organizations have been able to guarantee accurate data collection, said David Avsec, Account Relations and Product Management Coordinator at the UPU’s Postal Technology Centre (PTC). Avsec spoke with Ian Kerr, host of the UPU’s new podcast, Voice Mail, at the Parcel and Post Expo in Vienna, Austria.
“The requirements are very clear and uniform,” Avsec told Kerr. “But the readiness, the compliance, are not the same and that is what we try to solve at the UPU, to make everybody compliant.”
The UPU offers web and mobile applications as well as technology to interface with other systems to help designated operators capture accurate data.
“There’s the threat that mail items will get returned if they come without that pre-advice information,” he said. “So, it’s really not an option. My message is: ‘Act. Work on it. We are here to help,’” said Avsec.
Walter Trezek, Chair of the UPU Consultative Committee, said Electronic Advance Data allows organizations to streamline operations, improving the sector’s ecological footprint.
With 75 percent of e-commerce items weighing less than 2 kg moving within the UPU’s network of designated operators, he said, the UPU is the backbone of e-commerce. Additionally, the UPU is a leader in tackling the post and parcel sector’s global footprint, Trezek told Kerr.
“The UPU was the first specialized organization of the United Nations who is adopting such measures on the global basis for the whole sector,” he said.
Given the global view of deliveries, and the tsunami of packages shipped during the pandemic, the entire supply chain must be part of the digital transformation.
Pascal Clivaz, UPU Deputy Director General, told Kerr that the UPU is talking with airlines, railroads, and other partners who need to be at the same level of development digitally.
The next step, he said, is opening up the UPU to the entire delivery sector.
“We are now in a world where the postal players are not only the postal designated operators,” Clivaz said. “We need to make sure that we, all together, will be in the position to deliver the future.”
To listen to the full conversation with Pascal Clivaz, Walter Trezek and David Avsec on the latest episode of Voice Mail, click here.