In 2019, IPC celebrated its 30th anniversary. Since IPC was created back in 1989, the world has changed considerably – the postal sector is no exception. IPC has progressively shifted its focus from exclusively mail to also include e-commerce traffic. In its 30-year existence, IPC has become a reference on the global postal market, through its many operational and technical solutions, knowledge and market research. Rather than look back at our main achievements and the past changes in the postal sector, we used this occasion to understand how our members perceive the challenges and opportunities that the future may bring. This will help us identify new areas for cooperation in the years to come.
As reported in the 2019 IPC Postal Sector Sustainability Report, the past year was important for IPC as the 19 postal operators participating in the IPC Environmental Measurement and Monitoring System (EMMS) programme achieved the collective Carbon Management Proficiency target. The two initial targets set at the launch of the programme for 2020 have now been achieved: to achieve a score of at least 90% in carbon management proficiency, and to reduce combined carbon emissions from own operations by 20%, which was already attained in 2014.
The posts participating in IPC’s sustainability programme are continuing their efforts and, building on the successful achievements so far.The programme has been aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), focusing on health and safety, learning and development, air quality, climate change, resource efficiency, circular economy and sustainable procurement.
Moreover, on 20 September 2019, postal operators worldwide launched the first Green Postal Day to highlight the strong efforts made by the global postal sector to mitigate their environmental impact. The posts used the occasion to encourage other sectors to take action.
As cross-border e-commerce volumes and customer expectations continue to increase, IPC focuses on developing solutions helping posts benefiting from the opportunities e-commerce may bring. As one of the major postal undertakings to help postal operators to meet these ever-rising expectations,
the INTERCONNECT network has continued to increase volumes throughout 2019, which now consistently exceed 5m items a month.
The lack of visibility of taxes and customs duties at the moment of purchase is a major barrier for customers from making a cross-border online purchase, as shown by the IPC Cross-border E-commerce Shopper Survey. One of our priorities over the past year has been to set up and launch the Postal Deliveries Duties Paid (PDDP) service, enabling the payment of taxes, duties and handling charges at check-out. The solution is expected to become operational in 2020 and will represent a major step for posts.
IPC was founded 30 years ago with a view on improving mail service quality and has continued doing so. This year was also a special year for one of IPC’s longest-lasting services, Certificates of Excellence, which was launched 20 years ago. Over the past two decades, the service has been auditing members’ offices of exchange in a range of areas to drive operational excellence and quality of service.
As part of its mission to be a reliable partner for its members and customers, IPC puts a lot of importance on data security. Following a full audit, IPC has become ISO27.001 certified, highlighting the strong technical backbone of IPC’s operations and the high degree of professionalism of all of IPC’s staff.
In line with our 2025 strategy, this year we focused on providing the right support to our members, leading to additional services. IPC offers today 43 services to their members and customers. All IPC services are designed with and for our members and are tailored to their needs. In 2019, two new services were launched.
The Post Airline Reconciliation before Invoicing service (PARIS) is a pre-invoice settlement tool for posts and airlines. It offers a solution which automatically pre-settles on receptacles through the usage of Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) messages exchanged between posts and airlines, avoiding the lengthy and costly verification processes. Another new service, Dangerous Substances Monitoring and Alert Group (DSMAG) aims at supporting all members in preventing serious accidents happening while processing dangerous substances through their postal pipelines.
Not only all our current members remain committed to IPC, but we also welcomed one new member. On 1 July 2019, IPC welcomed Croatia’s national postal operator, Hrvatska Posta, as a new member. This brings the total number of IPC members to 25 posts. In the meantime, IPC reinforced cooperation with regional postal unions and with non-member posts across the globe, especially in Asia.
In today’s rapidly challenging environment, global cooperation is key more than ever. All these achievements would not have been possible without our members and customers, nor without the unwavering commitment and professionalism of IPC’s staff. Thank you all for your support.
We look forward to another year of fruitful cooperation.
I wish you all a happy New Year and a successful 2020.