Ready to Market Interoperability Group: shaping the future of postal interoperability

The Universal Postal Union (UPU) has launched a groundbreaking initiative called the Ready to Market Interoperability Group (RMIG), which strengthens cooperation between Designated Operators (DOs) and wider postal sector players (WPSPs) to support growth, innovation and sustainability in the postal ecosystem while directly addressing the needs of customers.

Through this new user-funded subsidiary body, the UPU, will pioneer a new approach to funding and creating operational cooperation, ensuring essential services thrive whilst enhancing financial independence. Overall, the RMIG will shape the future of postal interoperability and enable opportunities for a wider range of stakeholders.

“The main objective of the RMIG is to develop a progressive programme that creates greater business opportunities among the parties who join and focus on the needs of customers,” says Vincenzo Aurelio, Chair of the Expert Team on the “Creation of user-funded subsidiary body (USB) on interoperability”and Head of Relations with International Organizations at Poste Italiane. “The different actors, participating voluntarily, will be part of an extended network reflecting the spirit of the Riyadh Congress summed up as “one world, one postal network,” he added.
The RMIG empowers stakeholders to contribute directly to the development and implementation of effective interoperability models, application programming interfaces (APIs) and infrastructure that supports growth. Together, stakeholders can ensure that the costs associated with these vital services are covered by those who benefit most – the users themselves.

To be eligible to join the RMIG, stakeholders must either be a designated postal operator or a member of the UPU’s Consultative Committee (CC), which represents the interests of the wider postal sector and provides a framework for effective dialogue between stakeholders. Currently, the UPU is running a promotional programme to attract “a cohort of members” before the next Postal Operations Council (POC) and Council of Administration (CA) session in October 2024 “to kickstart the initial development of the group,” Aurelio notes.

As a user-funded subsidiary body, the RMIG’s activities will be financed via contributions from its members. Five different contribution classes have been established – from CHF 5,000 to CHF 25,000. “The contribution classes will allow flexibility and voting rights accordingly, from one to five votes,” Aurelio explains.

According to the UPU, by operating as user-funded subsidiary body, the RMIG has the flexibility to explore new ideas, invest in cutting edge technology and deliver unparalleled value to members.

“In addition, a special class called Founding Members, for those who wish to contribute CHF 50,000 will allow members 10 votes,” he continues. “It is also possible to participate as an Associate Member by providing voluntary contributions in cash or kind, in this case no voting rights are allowed.”

There are several benefits of joining an agile, flexible group like the RMIG are; early access to specialist instruments and sector tools developed by the group. The RMIG is a member-driven body that will enable knowledge sharing, provide a platform for sharing experiences and build on best practices creating a value proposition like no other.

“Members can be part of the decision making process and can participate in the General Assembly, contributing to the development and direction of this new group,” Aurelio says. “Furthermore, they can nominate candidates for the governing bodies giving a member direct influence on the leadership and progression of the group; participate in subgroups collaborating and contributing to specific areas of interest or expertise; and draft proposals relating to the RMIG’s activities, including proposals for the 2025 Congress.”

These benefits are in addition to the networking opportunities offered by the RMIG, where DOs andCC members, work together, leading to a collaboration, building partnerships and creating business opportunities within the postal sector.

Looking at how the RMIG will drive innovation and progress, Aurelio says, “The RMIG will change the paradigm of the UPU cross-border services allowing WPSPs to interconnect with the universal postal network. The voluntary participation and capacity building together with commercial and technical knowledge will boost volumes, giving those parties involved the opportunity to streamline the supply chain and build solutions for their customers.”

Over the next two years, it is foreseen that the new RMIG collaboration between DOs and CC members will lead to an increase in global and regional UPU volumes which support new customer demands. “This group opens a new dynamic for members, and in particular for developing countries, enabling collaboration between the parties involved, unlocking the potential of the market and boosting the development of postal networks,” Aurelio concludes.