In virtually every country, customers can mail letters, packets and parcels to any other country in the world, every day. The staff responsible for defining the operational network for an origin Post must plan transport and transit, also called "Leg 2 – Transportation", to every country in the world, and do so such that it is logical for every day of the week and every season of the year, both for priority mail and non-priority mail.
This can be a very complex task, especially considering the changeability of conditions: daily and seasonal mail volumes, flight schedules, aircraft capacities, office of exchange (OE) working hours, etc. There is added complexity because the operational network plan (e.g. flights and transit arrangements) must be loaded into the dispatch system in a timely manner, so that when the origin office of exchange creates a receptacle label, the routeing information is included. In addition, the quality of this transport and transit planning directly influences the quality of service.
The Transport Group of the UPU Postal Operations Council examines matters relating to all modes of mail transportation. To achieve this goal, it works in direct collaboration with the International Air Transport Association (IATA), through the IATA-UPU Contact Committee. It also works in direct collaboration with Rail Organizations through the UPU-Rail Contact Committee on matters relating to the international transportation of mail by rail.
Safe and secure transportation
Within the Global Postal Model, designated postal operators and mail carriers have roles and responsibilities to ensure that transportation of mail products is safe.
Safety and security are enhanced through the sharing of electronic data among the various transport stakeholders. The UPU and several industry groups and international bodies are combining efforts to promote the correct use of Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) messages in order to overcome the transport challenges in terms of customer expectations and regulatory requirements. EDI interconnects posts and airlines, enabling the creation of an integrated end-to-end network that delivers an enhanced level of customer service through a managed supply chain.
Transport Workshops: UPU and IATA Transport experts share the latest developments concerning postal transport in workshops carried out in various regions of the world to help designated postal operators with implementation of EDI exchange, improvement of Leg 2 performance and meeting all legal requirements.
UPU Publications: UPU Transport publications are important resources either to understand postal transport operations or to plan them.
- Meeting of January 2019
- Meeting of June 2019
- Meeting of December 2019
- Meeting of June 2020
- Meeting of October 2020
- Meeting of February 2021
- Meeting of March 2022
IATA-UPU Contact Commitee
- Meeting of March 2019
- Meeting of October 2019
- Meeting of May 2020
- Meeting of October 2020
- Meeting of March 2021
- Meeting of October 2021
UPU-Rail Contact Commitee
Basic Air Conveyance Rate
The basic rate applicable to the settlement of accounts between designated operators in respect of air conveyance is approved each year by the Postal Operations Council and published in an International Bureau Circular.
0.512 SDR per tonne/km (see IB Circular 2019/69).
0.486 SDR per tonne/km (See IB Circular 2020/63).
0.486 SDR per tonne/km (See IB Circular 2021/72).
Internal air conveyance dues
In application of the provisions of article 33-101 of the UPU Convention Regulations, the International Bureau publishes every year a list of Designated Operators entitled to reimbursement of air conveyance dues within their country.
For this purpose, Designated Operators are requested to send, every year, their data for the weights and costs for letter post forwarded by air within their country, using the questionnaire linked below.
International Bureau Circulars (2021-2020-2019)12.02.2021
Airmail distances and maximum rates
Information for the calculation of air transit/transport costs.
05.11.2020Information for the calculation of air transit/transport costs.
11.10.2021Information for the calculation of air transit/transport costs.
Postal Transport Guide (2018)01.09.2020The guide is an information source for postal staff dealing with postal transport and transit. It deals with all elements of international postal transport and transit.
Electronic Consignment Security Declaration (eCSD) Guidelines (2018)01.09.2020These Guidelines are aimed at the designated operators (DOs) that are implementing the electronic consignment security declaration (eCDS) for mail consignments. The purpose of the Guidelines is to provide DOs with a simple description of how to implement the eCSD and where to find further information.
01.09.2020The CN 68 list contained the airmail information for each country of the UPU or each dependent territory of a member country. The list has been discontinued, and any relevant information has been transferred to the Letter Post Compendium, the Transport section of the UPU website, or the Quality Control System (QCS).
Guidelines for establishing an international postal rail transport service (2018)01.09.2020For all stakeholders, postal rail provides unique opportunities to improve business processes and to facilitate and promote global trade, thus leveraging vast postal and rail networks and promoting regional integration and economic competitiveness. The objective of the guidelines is to provide an information source for designated operators, customs administrations and railway companies dealing with the international transportation of postal items by rail.
01.09.2020Contains international and domestic airmail distances. Domestic routes assigned for international transit cover the countries that send their data to the International Bureau for the weights and costs for mail forwarded by air within their country.
PREDES and RESDES message exchanges: overview and benefits (2019)01.09.2020Exchanging electronic messages PREDES and RESDES allows tracking, assisting in handling anomalies; reducing manual data entry, cost savings; monitoring and analysis leading to quality improvements.
QCS Dispatch - Service and volume report - User Guide28.09.2020This guide is in three parts:
- Part A is intended to provide information and explanation regarding how the report can be used to analyse and improve postal operational processes.
- Part B is intended to illustrate how to use the features of Excel when using the QCS Dispatch - Service and volume report Excel file.
- Part C is a short supplement to part A, primarily to assist in interpreting the report contents.
Framework Service Agreement between an airline and a designated postal operator (2018)01.10.2020The UPU and IATA Air Mail Board members achieve a new historic milestone
Since the very beginning of commercial aviation, mail has been carried on flights. Working together within a somewhat complicated operational environment, air carriers and Posts were nevertheless able to cultivate a mutually beneficial business alliance for many years. As a direct result of this alliance, formal regulations, addressing issues of common interest to air carriers and Posts with regard to the transportation of mail by air, were developed and introduced into the UPU Convention and the 1999 Montreal Convention.
Over the course of the past years, the regular exchange of ideas, cooperation and numerous joint activities between various UPU bodies and the IATA Air Mail Board have resulted in many positive developments and have made it possible for both the air and postal industries to play a major part in the invaluable transformation brought about by e-commerce.
In order to improve the contractual process between air carriers and Posts, which had never formally standardised, resulting in a sometimes complex network of multiple bilateral agreements or, in some cases, no agreements at all , the joint IATA–UPU Contact Committee worked together to kick-start and draft the first version of the Framework for a Service Agreement in 2003. It was intended that this document become a standardized departure point for airlines and postal operators to formalize their commercial relationships. It has been continuously improved and updated regularly since its creation.
In 2018, the latest version was endorsed by the IATA–UPU Contact Committee and, subsequently, by the relevant bodies of both organizations. At the same time, the members of the IATA–UPU Contact Committee agreed to reinstate the Framework expert team, which, since then, has been holding bi-weekly remote meetings. This collaboration has produced the following results:
1. An updated version of the framework, containing more comprehensive articles pertaining to performance, dangerous goods, liability and messaging, while simultaneously reducing the content of the annexes to leave greater scope for the parties to agree on specific details;
2. A new approach to the Framework Guidelines, including detailed information on how to build up the annex section (along with instance tables and examples) and on the tender process;
3. Promotion strategy: the expert team also decided to place special emphasis on the distribution and promotion of the Framework, in order to make it accessible to all industry players and build up the know-how that will enable them to gain maximum benefit.
These efforts will bring more efficiency and transparency to a century-long alliance that has set the example in terms of teamwork and commitment to excellence.
Guidelines for using the Framework Service Agreement between an airline and a designated postal operator (2018)01.10.2020The guidelines aim to provide supplementary information on the provisions of the Framework Service Agreement in order to help designated operators better understand and use them.
EDI Guide: Providing end-to-end airmail visibility07.10.2020By leveraging and expanding, the electronic data interchange (EDI) standards and technology already in place can help your company grow its market share and increase revenues, improve customer service, reduce costs, and promote efficiencies.
07.10.2020Guidance on the use of aircraft configured for the carriage of passengers to safely transport mail.
IATA Unit Load Device (ULD) Guidelines07.10.2020Unit Load Devices (ULDs) are containers very often used by air carriers to transport mail. IATA and UPU are raising awareness among designated postal operators about the importance of the safe use and handling of ULDs by all concerned parties.