Postal & Delivery Markets© Photo Credit: sp4764 -

Postal & Delivery Markets

Digitalisation, e-commerce and sustainability will shape the delivery markets of the future

Universal service

Until the 1990s, nationwide postal services in most countries were provided by state administrations and state-owned enterprises. With the establishment of independent, partially privatised postal companies, legal regulations were needed to ensure nationwide access to necessary postal services of good quality and at affordable prices for all citizens. To this end, the state sets the minimum conditions for postal services and the associated price and quality parameters, the universal postal service.

Declining letter volumes as a result of digitalisation and increasing parcel volumes due to online trade require a further development of the universal service. In our research and in numerous studies for many national governments and the European Commission, we have closely followed these developments with market analyses, evaluations and international comparisons and have made important contributions to the further development of universal service in the postal market.

Market developments

For centuries, the European postal markets were characterised by state letter monopolies, which in most European countries were only completely abolished a few years ago. Despite the opening of the market, significant competition has only been able to develop in a few countries in letter markets. The spread of digital forms of communication and advertising have led to the letter medium losing importance worldwide. At the same time, growing online trade requires diverse, customer-oriented delivery solutions for varied groups of goods.

These developments have increased competitive dynamics in delivery markets. Online platforms and start-ups play an increasingly important role as technology drivers and competitors. Our market analyses serve as a basis for the discussion of competition policy implications at national, European and international level.

„The postal and delivery markets are undergoing a fundamental transformation, driven by changes in societal habits and needs.“

Sustainable logistics

Due to the strong growth of online trade, the CO2 footprint of the parcel industry is increasing. The green transformation of the economy also requires parcel services to adapt their processes. Reducing emissions requires innovative logistics concepts and cooperation solutions in urban and rural areas.

In our research and consulting projects, we analyse strategies and discuss the further development of regulatory framework conditions to support these changes. Through benchmarks and analyses, we identify the need for action and develop solutions.

Smart delivery

Online retail is a driver for innovative solutions in delivery. A wide range of technologies are being used. These include apps for shipment control and tracking by shippers and recipients as well as smart parcel stations or self-driving delivery vehicles.