The INTERCONNECT network was set up to provide global standards for e-commerce delivery, which was divided into three different service levels: Economy, Standard and Premium. After the launch of Economy and Standard services, Premium has gone live over recent months and we can now say that 34 inter-postal links have been established for the INTERCONNECT Premium product, with a dozen additional links close to being opened.
On these links, posts have committed to providing more complete data and ensuring the quality of the data, which enhances efficiency throughout the cross-border process – and thus saves costs – and ensures a better delivery experience for the end-user.
There are still many more lanes to be switched but the launch of these links show that member posts trust the INTERCONNECT network and its features, and believe that these provide the right response to market demands in general and e-commerce needs in particular.
The IPC pay-for-performance reports are now in User Acceptance Testing and it is expected that additional posts will inject their volume. Moreover, eighteen posts have already committed to partially or entirely transfer their EPG volumes to INTERCONNECT Premium in the second half of 2017. Simultaneously, members will then also switch their Easy Return Solution, currently residing under the E-Parcel Group, to the INTERCONNECT Premium returns network. This could amount up to 3m return items per year.
Following an IOSC decision to allow Direct Entry volumes into INTERCONNECT, IPC is now investigating the changes it will have to make to accept Premium flows from France to Belgium, one of the key e-commerce trade lanes in Europe. IPC aims at a go-live date by the end of 2017.