The UPU works actively with partners in the supply chain to keep mail moving across borders and ensure that these mail items reach their destination safely and on time.
It does this by developing best practices, regulations, processes, standards and IT tools to ensure that all players involved in moving the mail can exchange necessary data. It also collaborates with other international organizations to facilitate worldwide coordination.
This work is carried out in three main segments of the supply chain: customs, transport and security.
One example of supply chain cooperation is with the World Customs Organization (WCO): the WCO–UPU Contact Committee was established in 1964 at the Universal Postal Congress in Vienna as a means to collaborate on issues related to the clearance of postal items through customs.
This joint committee develops procedures and publications to guide Post–Customs work at the national and international level. The two organizations also engage in joint capacity-building projects, organizing workshops on postal customs issues for developing countries.
The UPU has also developed technical solutions to help facilitate the exchange of post through customs.
The Customs Declaration System (CDS), a solution developed by the Postal Technology Centre (PTC), is the UPU’s answer to modern communication between Posts and Customs.
CDS speeds up the customs clearance process by sending information about postal items to Customs and partner Posts in advance. Customers simply complete their usual customs form online, which is then used to generating a barcode which can be scanned and used to transmit messages about the item to partners in the supply chain, including Customs in the sending and receiving countries.
This allows Customs to automate many of their decisions regarding selectivity, risk management and any taxes payable on items before they can be sent.
The UPU's Transport Group examines matters relating to all modes of mail transportation, including air and rail carriage.
To achieve this goal, it works in direct collaboration with the International Air Transport Association (IATA), through the IATA-UPU Contact Committee. 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 exchange information through electronic messages, improve transport performance and meet all legal requirements.
The UPU 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.
In addition to collaboration with partners, the UPU releases publications, which are another important resource Posts can use in order to plan efficient transport operations.
The UPU recognizes that the safety and security of the postal sector as part of the global supply chain is critical to supporting worldwide commerce and communication.
To facilitate the development and implementation of security standards and best practices among Posts, the UPU has established the Postal Security Group (PSG).
Guided by the motto “Postal Security Makes Business Sense”, the Group, made up of security experts, is charged with the development of global and regional security strategies to assist the world’s Posts in their security missions.
Through training initiatives, consultation missions and prevention programmes, the PSG strives to protect the employees, customers and assets of Posts, and to safeguard mails from fraud, theft and misuse.
The UPU also provides materials to help Posts educate their customers about dangerous goods. Check out the Dangerous Goods campaign to learn more.