The postal industry is going through major challenges: on one hand traditional mail is declining, while on the other hand the rapid increase of e-commerce. Posts are best placed to deliver the goods purchased online, but they are also facing new forms of competition entering the last mile.


The IPC 2025 strategy looks at how IPC can help its members keep and even gain a competitive advantage for cross-border e-commerce delivery through greater cross-border cooperation.

The ultimate goal of the IPC 2025 Strategy is to sustain posts strength in the face of mail volume decline, competition and disruption beyond 2025. To achieve this vision, IPC aims to enhance existing solutions and develop new critical shared services in close interaction with members. The aim is to allow posts to fully benefit from the growth of cross-border e-commerce and take the lead in the e-commerce market.


Ensuring that posts keep their competitive advantage is the main goal of the IPC 2025 Strategy – “Keep posts relevant beyond 2025”. This strategy was endorsed by IPC’s shareholders at the IPC Annual General Meeting in May 2017 in Amsterdam.

The strategy proposals resulted from the work done by the Board Strategy Review Oversight Committee, composed of the CEOs of CTT Portugal Post, Deutsche Post DHL, bpost, USPS, Le Groupe La Poste and IPC, and with the advisory support of The Boston Consulting Group and PostNord.

The IPC strategy is built on the members’ belief that a joint and committed approach building on the strengths of IPC will maximise their chances to strengthen their position in today’s changing markets.

Main trends in the postal sector

Letter mail will continue to decline; a volume reduction of more than 50% over the next ten years is likely.

The Asia-Pacific e-commerce market is forecast to be worth twice as much as North America and Western Europe combined.

IPC members have reasonable starting positions in B2C parcels and a cost advantage in light-weight packets that fit the mail network. Over 80% of goods bought online internationally are below 2kg. 

Cross-border retail volumes are set to grow at an annual average rate of 25%, up from US$300bn in 2015 to US$900bn by 2020 – twice as fast as domestic e-commerce growth.

The B2C competitive field is changing quickly (e.g. a rapid increase in consumer expectations for information about delivery; consolidation of e-retailer volumes towards a few very large players; new competitors entering last-mile delivery).

Key actions

Stimulate postal transformation through market research and strategic thinking.

> Help members to adapt to rapidly changing consumer needs through reinforced market intelligence and consumer surveys in the field of e-commerce.

> Ensure more efficient take-up of IPC services by members through IPC support teams and through new business and IT councils of senior postal representatives.

> Benefit from increasing Asian e-commerce by reinforcing links with Asian posts.

Support posts' competitiveness through a common platform and shared standards.

> Build a near-real-time messaging platform for the exchange of cross-border data.

> Reinforce IPC’s IT system security as the volume of data and the number of applications handled increase.

> Further improve quality of cross-border operational performance according to market expectations.

Strengthen the postal share in e-commerce.

> Extend the scope of current services, including returns, customer service and certification, in close alignment with members.

> Support cost advantages and growth with a high-quality cross-border network that connects trusted domestic brands.

> Leverage the benefits and synergies of cooperation in joint developments for members.

IPC 2025 implementation


To realise its vision, IPC will focus on three main strategic pillars:

  • Packets
  • Letter mail
  • Postal parcels

These three pillars are combined with four “strategic accelerators”:

  • A real-time messaging platform
  • Reinforcement of existing services and additional initiatives to be offered predominantly on a pay-per-use basis
  • Member support teams to enhance the adoption of IPC solutions by member posts, including proactive performance management, training and implementation support
  • Improved interaction with members through permanent councils for business and IT


IPC 2025 roadmap