In January 2017, concluding an intensive public procurement process and independent evaluation involving postal quality of service experts, IPC has signed new contracts for panel management activities and test letter mail production for its different UNEX™ measurements. These new measurements, contracted to Ipsos (Hamburg, Germany), Quotas (Hamburg, Germany) and TNS (London, UK) will start in January 2018.
IPC’s UNEX™ system is used to measure the transit times and reliability of the cross-border letter mail between postal operators by using a test mail methodology sent from more than 50 countries on four continents. UNEX™ test letters (envelopes and small untracked packets) are posted by volunteer panellists in one country and pass through the world’s postal networks until they are delivered to the addressee (also volunteer panellists) in the destination country.
The UNEX™ System uses the transmitted data, with the date of posting and receipt, combined with RFID technology to calculate the transit time between specific points in the mail pipeline, allowing postal operators to manage the international mail pipeline in accordance with their delivery commitments. Postal operators can identify where bottlenecks may occur and where corrective actions are necessary.
UNEX™ began in 1994 with just 18 postal operators in 18 countries. In 2017 there are 36 postal operators worldwide participating in the UNEX™ system. The validity and independence of the data is guaranteed by external panel recruitment and management contractors. The current UNEX™ contracts with Ipsos and TNS for panel management and test letter mail production started in January 2013 and will end on 31 December 2017.