International Postal Update – Asian ExpansionOctober 1, 2007
POSTAL GROWTH IN CHINA
The postal sector in China has grown 11.6 percent per year on average since 1998, becoming a USD $10.64 billion industry.
Postal delivery in China is still dominated by the state-owned China Post Group, but the sector is undergoing reform. In 1998, the government separated the postal and telecommunications businesses. In 2005 further reforms separated divisions responsible for industry oversight from those responsible for operations. In March 2007, the China Post Group launched the China Postal Savings Bank.
China’s express delivery industry is growing faster than the nation’s economy, according to the State Post Office Bureau. The business revenue of express delivery service increased 25 percent, and consumers found themselves with more choices, as 404 new corporate enterprises entered the business, up 20 percent from the previous year.
China’s e-mail users may have to stick a cyber stamp on their messages. The nation’s Internet regulator has pushed for development of an electronic postal system. The stated goal is not to raise revenue from postage fees but to fight the provision of spam.
Japan Post was privatized on October 1st, in line with legislation passed in 2005. Japan Post will split into four subsidiaries held by a government-owned shell company, covering savings, insurance, mail and over-the-counter services. The government is obliged to sell all stock in two of the four subsidiaries within 10 years, and to sell two-thirds of its stock in the shell company within the shortest possible time.
EUROPEAN DEREGULATION SPURS PRIVATE SECTOR
The Swedish private mail carrier CityMail has announced a major expansion. Launched in Stockholm in 1991, CityMail expanded to other cities following the end of the Swedish postal monopoly in 1993. In September, Chief Executive Mats Forsberg said the company would employ up to 500 new staff as part of a USD $14.67 million expansion in central Sweden. Forsberg said the company would be capable of delivering to 60 percent of Swedish addresses within the next two to three years.
TNT Post UK is planning the first private-sector end-to-end mail service in Britain. The Royal Mail’s postal monopoly ended on January 1, 2006, but since then, competing carriers in Britain have relied on the Royal Mail network for at least some portion of the delivery process, usually the so-called “final mile.” TNT Post, which evolved from the former Dutch monopoly carrier, is developing its own end-to-end network in several UK cities and plans to start trials this year. TNT Post is Royal Mail’s main competitor, handling over 1.2 billion items a year.
DEATH, TAXES…AND ADVERTISING MAIL
Canada Post is cracking down on mail carriers who fail to deliver unwanted and misaddressed advertising mail. Some carriers had been quietly refusing to deliver advertising that households had asked not to receive, or that was addressed to the wrong name. A new Canada Post document says that letter carriers may not divert such unwanted mail.