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The company was founded 2 years ago. Post + BV is a joint venture between In Infinite Mile OÜ, based in Tallinn, Estonia and Cchain Global BV, based in Hoofddorp, The Netherlands which was established in the first quarter of 2019. The two companies joined forces, knowledge, and experience to make one strong team, acting and having presence on a global scale. The main hub of the company is situated in Amsterdam, Netherlands. The commercial office is located in Tallinn, Estonia.
The strongest side of the company are the people who established it. Real competence relies on the board who is very experienced in the field of postal services, international business development, logistics and IT. Most of them have worked for postal services already more then a decade.
Right from the beginning, PostPlus started cooperation with Lithuanian post. In August 2020 it widened its scope and started a partnership with Uzbekistan post. After a year PostPlus had agents in China and USA and had grown 3 times by volume.
PostPlus is a logistics service provider for e-commerce professionals and all those who need a reliable postal and express service. For us, each customer is unique, and we are ready to design the service exclusively for them. We offer origin to hubs, convert cargo into postal, line hauls to postal operators and last mile delivery by post.
Post+ wants to offer customers affordable price level while at the same time offering quality. We deliver packages transparently and compete for the best lead-time. You can always rely on us to deliver results.
As we promised we took the pulse on our newest team member of PostPlus – Bjorn Moberg Head of Global Business Development and we were giving to him few questions what we thought could be interesting for you.
Please introduce yourself and why you joined PostPlus?
“First of all thanks for the warm welcome to PostPlus. My name is Bjorn Moberg, and I am very proud and happy to be part of the fast-growing global PostPlus Team. I joined PostPlus in March, earlier this year, and I am very impressed by PostPlus’ customer-centric approach, and my colleagues’ enthusiastic attitude to do the utmost to help existing and new customers to move their small packages over country borders, directly to online consumers in key e-commerce markets – what we at PostPlus refer to as – “We Deliver Happiness”.
Before joining PostPlus, I have held several management positions within the e-commerce logistics industry. Throughout 15 years in the industry, I have managed and been in charge of business development while based in Europe, China, and the US, which includes the main export markets for small e-commerce packages.
The co-founders of PostPlus and their business acumen together with their experience in the e-commerce logistics industry made my decision very easy to join PostPlus. In addition, the company’s strong value proposition to the market with delivery services for DDU, DDP and Last Mile services via three ETOE’s, and alternative carriers to assure the optimal composition of carriers to enable delivery friendly solutions direct to online consumers. Moreover, the company’s tech savviness and proximity to excellent IT resources in the Baltic region makes integration seamless and connects our solutions with shippers around the world quickly and efficiently.
Being part of PostPlus is very exciting since it is a young entrepreneurial company with a winning mentally that includes a mindset to go the extra mile to win customers’ business. PostPlus adds value by offering delivery friendly solutions from our bonded facilities in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, the new e-commerce center in Europe, to end recipients around the world. PostPlus is an agile company with an action and solution-oriented culture where everything is possible.
Happy to work together with my new colleagues, and together with my solid determination I will add more global customers to PostPlus’ rapidly growing customer-portfolio.”
What characteristics among your team members do you most value?
“The best thing with the competitive team members of PostPlus is their endless strive to support and help our customers’ international e-commerce growth, by continuously enabling more efficient delivery routes that differentiate us from the competitors.
It is also vital with open communication, a winning attitude, devotion and determination to help customers with their continuously changing needs to the surrounding market conditions, such as the changes in de minimis regulations in EU. Moreover, being agile and attentive to customers’ demands are crucial factors to expanding winning teams.”
What do you want to say to your future partners and customers?
“Welcome to the PostPlus Team we are on standby to deliver our promises. Try us we won’t let you down. My colleagues around the world and I are here to help your business grow internationally.
Our target is to be a referable company among demanding e-commerce shippers. We achieve this by offering services that add value to our customers delivery process, by being a qualitative delivery partner for their small package delivery needs, as well as being a competitive alternative to their local postal authorities, courier companies and alternative networks.”
PostPlus: Shopping without borders
Europe is one of the world’s main e-commerce markets.
One recent estimate suggested that, during the course of 2021, orders worth about €392 bilion ($465 billion) will be placed online by consumers across the continent (https://internetretailing.net/rxgeu/rxgeu/european-ecommerce-revenues-jump-30-to-us465bn-in-2021).
Our dependence on e-commerce has, of course, only increased during the Covid pandemic, particularly because lockdown measures in many countries meant that high street stores were closed.
The biggest proportion of sales may have been placed by shoppers in the UK, Germany and France.
However, domestic and international brands are also seeing a rapid rise in online orders placed by people living in other territories.
It is one of the reasons why in launching PostPlus two years ago, we decided to concentrate on offering retailers a better, more reliable and – in many cases – quicker way of engaging with consumers in the Baltic states, Scandinavia and Eastern Europe.
Myself and my colleagues have a lot of experience in quite literally delivering excellent service in all of these areas.
That in-depth understanding of national, local and even hyper-local logistics is quite critical in ensuring fast, effective consignments for e-commerce companies both within and far from Europe.
After all, consumers in the countries to which we ship may use different currencies and speak different languages but they have exactly the same needs as their counterparts in the bigger and more established European markets.
As I’ve been telling Post & Parcel, one of the world’s leading supply chain publications, our approach has struck a chord with our clients and their own customers too (https://postandparcel.info/141334/news/postplus-set-for-further-expansion/).
Within two years of PostPlus starting to trade, we are now handling more than 200 tonnes of packages per month – parcels, packets and printed materials – on behalf of a growing number of businesses.
We now deliver to more than three times as many countries as when we started and, as a result, have seen a substantial rise in our turnover.
Nevertheless, the real measure of our success is the speed and accuracy of our shipments.
Even though ‘bricks and mortar’ stores in the world’s towns and cities are now open to consumers once more, we believe that the appetite for online shopping is now a constant.
In order not only to maintain but to improve our standards of service, we plan to make significant strategic investment to enable our clients to grow sales.
Furthermore, we understand that whilst national postal operators possess trusted capabilities in the important final mile of delivery, sometimes other smaller, local couriers can offer even better quality in some destinations.
As the volumes which we handle increase, so too does the workload for our innovative delivery partners.
With the amount of e-commerce sales outside Europe’s ‘big three’ markets growing, I believe that online brands will continue to place even more of a premium on local experience, expertise and excellence, and that is what PostPlus aims to deliver every time.
All you need to know about post in Austria
In this blog part we would like to introduce countries where we deliver the most in Europe. The first country we are going to talk about is Austria.
Until 1 May 1996, Österreichische Post AG, as the Austrian postal service is called today, was part of the federal administration; then known as the Postal and Telegraph Administration (Post- und Telegraphenverwaltung – PTV), it was the responsibility of the Ministry for Transport.
Österreichische Post AG. Unlike TA, Österreichische Post remains entirely in the hands of the Republic of Austria. Ownership rights are exercised by the Federal Ministry of Finance through the holding company Österreichische Industrieholding AG (ÖIAG). The role of postal regulator, on the other hand, is performed by the Federal Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology (bmvit).
THE POSTAL SERVICES CAN BE DIVIDED INTO THREE CATEGORIES:
Monopoly services: letters weighing up to 50 grams (except mail to foreign destinations, which has been fully liberalised since 1 January 2003)
Universal service: postal items (letters, newspapers, etc.) weighing up to two kilograms and parcels weighing up to 20 kilograms
Services open to competition: All other postal services.
Austrians are behaving themselves conservatively when it concerns e-commerce. For instance, 66% of them prefer paying by invoice. Austrians also have the highest return rate in Europe. 62% returned a purchase within a year.
Postal industry trends in 2020
It goes without saying that the ending year’s most important code word is Covid-19. Like all industries it influenced postal as well. From Post+ point of view we experienced delivery growth of almost 100%.
Since we are a young company who has been in the market only for a year we are mostly investing at the moment in processes, enlarging the team and setting up new departments. But what are the trends which drive this year’s growth in the sector?
Escher has published their third Future of Posts survey which summarizes the insights into the operating methods of 52 national post offices, including key areas of investment, automation strategies, point-of-sales channel selections, and reverse logistical plans.
It is quite logical that the postal industry considers it crucial to invest into key services with parcels and e-commerce. Those areas continuing to take precedence over traditional services, such as mail and financial services. Very similar to last year’s findings, 52% of postal operators use data analytics and 17% plan to implement data analytics within the next 12 months. A huge potential to use this data is still there. Since e-commerce postal traffic made this year a growth which was expected only after a few years, Posts need to manage the trend. More user-friendly, cross-border, e-commerce service features to speed up and smooth the delivery process with increase.
POS channels continue to rely on traditional and physical points-of-service, while diversifying the channel mix to include more automated solutions, such as self-service kiosks and mobile apps, in the next 12 months and over the next five years. Posts are still very keen on their traditions – the majority of participating postal operators (98%) still use post-office counters as part of their channel mix.
Over 43% of post offices across all regions are experiencing a substantial increase in parcel volumes during the pandemic, particularly in the domestic market. 83% adopted new solutions or new approaches to adjust to the new environment. Therefore, postal incumbents need to step up their game by further optimizing their current operations, boosting operational excellence in sorting, transport, pickup, and delivery and – often neglected – business support functions.
What 2021 brings to postal services
Mike: “I guess cross-border B2C logistics will continue rapid (double digit %) growth in 2021. There will be a lot of mess in the EU e-commerce trade in 2021, due to the fact of VAT de minimis of 22 EUR elimination on the 1st of July.” Gunnar: ”It means low value parcels should be declared, and more non-postal companies will be active in the local market besides designated postal operators. Postplus will also be building up a network with local non-postal companies. Focusing on new product development and continuing growth of sales.” Mike and Gunnar think that customers will become more and more demanding for better price and quality. “Out of the box solutions will be something they will encourage us to develop” says Mike. “They search one stop shopping, expecting wide range of services/products to cover their needs,” adds Gunnar. Board members assure that they try to comply with customers demands and even exceed them. Although sometimes this is impossible or barely achievable. “Here, technology comes in. Next year the importance of IT solutions grows further,” Mike admits. “We understand the core role of technological developments in our business and are constantly investing in the IT developments. Now, we are in the process of onboarding new position in our company CIO (Chief IT Officer), who will be responsible for realization of IT strategy of Post+.” “Reliable and customer friendly solutions with automation processes in order to increase operational efficiency as well as customer service will be something we are focusing on.” agrees Gunnar with him.
PostPlus: LOCKDOWN SPURRING ONLINE GROWTH
The last 18 months have created tremendous changes in the way that we live and work.
For instance, as a result of many of the world’s leading economies effectively closing their high streets in order to limit the spread of Covid-19, consumers were obliged to do their shopping online.
The impact of that shift has now become apparent.
A comprehensive report published by Ecommerce Europe and EuroCommerce has calculated that online orders across the continent accounted for €757 billion ($884.4 billion) worth of business during 2020 – an increase of 10 per cent on the year before.
That sales grew while shoppers had little alternative for many months will in itself not surprise too many people.
Nor will many individuals be taken aback to find that the UK remains the continent’s biggest single online market.
Nevertheless, this new data still highlights many emerging patterns in online shopping which will potentially shape the sector in the years to come.
For instance, the biggest rate of growth occurred not in the leading e-commerce nations of Western Europe but towards the east, which saw sales rise by 46 per cent.
Furthermore, the research bears out the experience of myself and my colleagues at PostPlus.
It documents the gradual adoption of online shopping in some of those countries which account for some of the large volume of items which we now ship on behalf of leading e-commerce brands.
One-fifth of consumers from Estonia who contributed to the study told how they had bought goods online at least six times in the previous three months – on a par with some of the much bigger e-commerce territories and only slightly less than Denmark (26 per cent), Norway (28 per cent) and Sweden (25 per cent).
Even more startling was the number of shoppers content with buying items from retailers overseas.
Just under two-thirds (63 per cent) of consumers in Latvia reported having placed orders with sellers based either in or outside of the EU, enough to see it ranked eighth out of the 33 countries analysed for cross-border e-commerce purchases.
Such developments underline the reasons why PostPlus decided to concentrate on providing retailers with more effective and efficient services deliveries to and returns from consumers in the Baltic states, Scandinavia and Eastern Europe.
The growth in online shopping here and in similar territories preceded the pandemic and is broader even than that detected by Ecommerce Europe and EuroCommerce.
What we fully understand is that although some of these markets are less mature than the UK, France and Germany in terms of their history of buying online, their customers expect the very same standards in terms of speed, cost and convenience.
This latest report confirms in very clear fashion how the pandemic has cemented e-commerce in the shopping habits of the modern consumer.
However, I am confident that further data in the months and years to come will demonstrate that they remain happy to order online long after the last lockdown measures have been lifted.
NEW NORMAL, SAME OLD RED TAPE
Over the last 18 months, the global logistics industry has experienced tremendous pressure and historic change.
The coronavirus pandemic, of course, closed a significant proportion of the world’s high streets, driving consumers online.
As a result, the e-commerce orders in Europe during 2020, for instance, soared to €757 billion ($884.4 billion) – an increase of 10 per cent on the year before.
However, the potential to grow overseas sales – and see them delivered in the timely and efficient manner now expected by consumers – was greatly challenged by another feature of the Covid-era logistics sector.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has published figures revealing that available cargo capacity fell by 75 per cent in the weeks after measures to prevent the spread of the virus came into force.
Even though many of those restrictions have eased and the amount of air traffic has increased, the Association has highlighted only in the last fortnight that cargo capacity is still down on normal.
It believes that the situation could create “supply chain bottlenecks” due to production ramping up as we head towards the annual peak season for the parcel industry.
With consumers now keen to receive their purchases quickly, especially if orders are Christmas gifts, will they resist the chance to buy cross-border if there’s even a potential for delay?
In the last few days, I’ve been speaking on the topic to delegates attending the Parcel and Post Expo in Vienna.
I’ve set out how I believe the Universal Postal Union (UPU) – the United Nations agency which co-ordinates postal policies – has a part to play in removing possible deterrents to the growth in international e-commerce.
The UPU is only too well aware of the impact of online retail on volumes handled by its 192 member countries.
One report published in May this year illustrated that whilst the amount of mail fell by 43 per cent in the decade up to 2019, parcel traffic had grown by more than 250 per cent over the same period.
In fact, parcels – most of them generated by e-commerce – account for almost twice the percentage of all the materials dealt with by national posts that it did in 2009.
That said, national posts and their commercial partners still find themselves having to operate within constraints which pre-date the age of online retail.
I quoted one example to the Vienna audience showing how red tape had hampered efforts by one of the world’s leading national posts to clear a large accumulation of mail and parcels which built up because its national airline effectively shut down cargo flights at the height of the pandemic.
After three months, that backlog had grown to 600 tonnes, so the post concerned called in a private operator to help.
With a mixture of ingenuity and hard work on both sides, they managed to reduce the mail and parcel mountain by half.
They couldn’t go any further because the depot owned by the private company involved wasn’t able to quality for IMPC (International Mail Processing Centre) status, something which could have helped clear all of the backlog.
It meant that, in that case and in others, national postal organisations haven’t been able to fully leverage the know-how of commercial partners and identify opportunities for growth.
I think it’s a shame that posts are prevented from fulfilling their Universal Service Obligations (USOs) and their true potential by the current set of regulations, especially in a world radically different from one which we lived in only 18 months ago.
Regulators – both customs authorities and those in charge of the global postal industry – arguably need to show the same sort of willingness as the world’s population in adapting how we all work to move with our rapidly changing times. The failure to do so may limit the ability of postal operators, private logistics specialists and retailers alike to capitalise on the appetite of consumers to buy goods from abroad.