International Post Corporation’s Annual Conference in 25th anniversary year to lay emphasis on e-Commerce trends and challenges

Brussels, 19 May 2014 - International Postal Corporation, whose members are the 24 leading posts from Northern America, Asia Pacific and Europe, is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. The IPC Annual Conference, an invitation-only postal CEO and senior executive event, will take place in Lucerne, Switzerland on 22 and 23 May 2014. The conference will emphasise the anniversary year and showcase some of IPC’s main achievements over the past 25 years.

The key theme of this year’s conference is: “e-Commerce: the new normal”. Global postal CEOs will participate in debates which look into changing consumer needs and expectations, developments in the global e-Commerce markets and the postal response to the cross-border e-Commerce challenge.

The decision taken 25 years ago by posts from all over the world to join forces and create IPC to ensure better and stronger cooperation, in order to achieve better quality of service for consumers, was remarkable and showed strong foresight. A greater integration of postal networks has proven essential to achieve process optimisation and synergies and meet rapidly changing consumer needs”, says Herbert-Michael Zapf, President and CEO, IPC.

The focus of IPC’s activities over the past 25 years has evolved significantly – from an exclusive emphasis on international letter mail at the start, to combining support for the international letter mail business with a growing focus on broader e-Commerce parcels and packets today. These underlying goals of IPC continue to help its members to reduce costs, increase revenues and enhance credibility. As posts are facing an ongoing decline of mail due to the digital substitution, the key mission of IPC is to help defend existing business and expand into new growth areas. 

IPC’s innovative services and technological solutions developed in collaboration with its 24 members are used by more than 180 posts worldwide. IPC solutions play a key role in today’s world postal traffic:

  • Six million IPC trays and 75,000 IPC bags were exchanged in 2013 between posts participating in IPC’s tray and bag pools. This IPC common pool of bags and trays allows for the streamlining of cross-border postal operations and avoids the return of more than 4m empty trays and more than half a million empty bags a year.
  • Over 191,000 test letters were sent in 2013 throughout Europe through IPC’s UNEXTM system. IPC’s UNEXTM international letter service measurement system ensures that non-registered priority letter mail is delivered on time in line with the targets of the EU postal directives. IPC is now monitoring 31 countries, up from 18 at the launch of the UNEX programme.
  • Through its CAPE solution, IPC has tracked 64m receptacles in 2013 compared to 35m in 2007, thus supporting various services and solutions.
  • In 2008, IPC and its members launched one of the first global industry initiatives to address carbon emissions, setting a common target of reducing their overall CO2 emissions by 20% by 2020. With an overall reduction of CO2 emissions of 19.4% between 2008 and 2012, posts participating in the IPC EMMS programme are set to reach their goal well ahead of schedule and are looking to go even further in the future.

With the rapid development of e-Commerce over the past years, IPC has developed solutions to allow posts to boost cross-border e-Commerce and to help them to better respond to their customers’ needs.

  • Over 250 postal call centres throughout the world are connected through IPC’s Global Customer Service System in order to ensure rapid resolution of cross-border enquiries. 182 postal operators use the system against 150 five years ago.
  • Twenty-five posts worldwide offer an easy returns cross-border solution for unwanted e-Commerce goods, compared to five when the programme was launched five years ago.
  • Through the E-Parcel Group managed by IPC, 32 postal operators joined forces to deliver their priority parcel products through an integrated delivery network providing an extended track and trace system.

Coinciding with IPC’s 25th Anniversary, the year 2014 also represents another key milestone for the organisation as IPC was tasked by its members to build the technical infrastructure for posts to offer a reliable, fully tracked, end-to-end cross-border e-Commerce service, building on existing solutions. The new IPC programme aims at responding to consumers’ and e-retailers’ demands for full visibility through tracking and tracing, easy returns, choice of delivery, harmonised labelling and a connected customer service.

Through this programme, IPC will contribute to removing obstacles for consumers and e-retailers to shop and sell online. It will create the best conditions for posts to compete on the cross-border e-Commerce delivery market and to fully reap the potential of e-Commerce. This new programme is illustrative of the key role IPC will continue to play in the next 25 years to help posts to optimise the value of existing services and enter into new business areas.



International Post Corporation

International Post Corporation is a cooperative association of 24 member postal operators in the Asia-Pacific region, Europe and North America. Over the past two decades IPC has collaborated with its members to upgrade the quality of mail service by developing technology systems that bring transparency to the mail processing system and delivery chain. It also manages the system for incentive-based payments between postal operators and creates business intelligence for its members, by providing a range of platforms for CEOs and senior management to exchange best practices, discuss strategy and engage in industry research. IPC represents the majority of the world’s mail, with its members delivering about 80% of global postal volumes.

For further information, please contact:

Eva Wouters

Communications manager, PR and media relations

International Post Corporation

+32 2 724 71 91