UPU reminds countries of importance of mail operators

The Universal Postal Union (UPU) and the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) have released a statement jointly encouraging UN member states to continue to support their postal operators, express mail companies and air cargo carriers during the pandemic and to provide support for any future recovery efforts.

“As a critical infrastructure in the provision of essential services, Posts require support to maintain their operations in the face of the major challenges posed by the pandemic. Posts are actively engaged in the transport by air of vital medical and humanitarian supplies, consumer goods, and e-commerce and essential items needed to fight the current pandemic, including information materials for public dissemination and COVID-19 samples and test kits to support comprehensive research into understanding this disease.

The fulfilment of the international postal service mission, as well as that of air cargo carriers and express mail operators, is highly dependent on the support of member countries in recognising the essential nature of these services, ensuring operators’ financial stability and providing their workers with the flexibility required to undertake their duties.

In line with the recommendations and associated global roadmap of the ICAO Council Aviation Recovery Task Force, ICAO and the UPU are calling on member countries to facilitate the flexibility that Posts, air cargo carriers and express mail operators require in order to meet this critical demand, by assisting them with the necessary resources and working with them to understand the challenges and develop common solutions.

Through their memorandum of understanding, ICAO and the UPU maintain long-lasting and regular coordination. Moreover, these agencies recognise that, by working with the right partners and integrating data sources and resources, the potential value of postal big data could be further enhanced as the global supply chain responds to both the pandemic and geopolitical trends.

ICAO and the UPU will step up the analysis of each other’s e-commerce and traffic big data, so as to identify and report on the logistical constraints to e-commerce growth. Analyses of ICAO and UPU big data have helped to identify trends and forecast the growth of different categories of e-commerce items carried by postal authorities using air transport. These analyses and forecasts will continue to play a significant role in aligning member countries’ e-commerce capacity and infrastructure plans with expected growth, thus ensuring that member countries derive maximum benefit from the additional value of e-commerce trade within their national economies, despite the pandemic.

ICAO and the UPU encourage member countries to work in tandem with their designated postal operators and air transport operators to strengthen collaboration between global supply chain stakeholders. Moreover, these agencies call on such stakeholders to work with them in improving supply chain resiliency and dependability through active participation in digitalisation efforts, specifically through the development of standards and updated guidance materials.”