The theme for this week’s UPU World Leaders Forum, taking place at Parcel+Post Expo, in Amsterdam, October 24-26, 2023, is ‘Across borders and beyond limits: Blueprints for lasting innovation’. During this special extended edition of the UPU World Leaders Forum, CEOs from national postal operators and the wider postal sector will come together to define and align their common business goals across four dimensions: logistics and cross-border e-commerce, diversification strategies, trust and security, and sustainability.
On Day 1 (Oct 24), at 9:45am, Marsha Price, postmaster general of the Belize Postal Service, will take part in a panel discussion exploring the latest trends, challenges and developments in logistics and cross-border e-commerce.
What are the biggest challenges in cross-border e-commerce in the postal sector?
The biggest challenges that exist for cross-border-e-commerce within the postal sector are: infrastructure – most posts do not have the proper infrastructure, the proper platform, and systems for the execution of cross-border e-commerce; financial resources – to first obtain systems, to hire employees, to offer track and trace; and training – entrepreneurs need skills and training to facilitate this process.
Can you tell me a bit more about cross-border e-commerce in Belize?
In Belize, it’s mostly incoming packages than outgoing packages, and customers mostly use shipping companies and other couriers to deliver their packages. The posts currently charge by the weight of a package, which can be costly for entrepreneurs to send internationally or regionally. For outgoing packages, the post is basically the only medium to get packages out at a cheaper rate.
What projects, technologies or innovations have you implemented to improve cross-border e-commerce delivery in the country?
Currently, the post is building a website and wants to work with UPU for the .POST system [a sponsored top-level domain (sTLD) available exclusively for the postal sector]. We are also currently working with a business to design some boxes to offer flat rate services. So, it will be a flat rate box, especially for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), so they don’t have to worry about weight and can simply pay a flat rate.
What do you hope the audience will learn from the panel session?
I hope that the audience can broaden their horizons in that there is much more that can be done via the posts. We can offer a lot to entrepreneurs within MSMEs to push cross-border-e-commerce, we have to start from somewhere. It’s just the necessary collaboration in working together to achieve one common goal.
What advice would you give other posts or parcel companies in a similar situation?
First, of all it’s to have the support of those you work with, it is very vital for success. Secondly, it’s to be very strategic with the execution in having a well thought out plan of how and where you want to move the post. Posts need to create better attractive packages for MSMEs, they need to meet with their customers to better understand their needs. Posts need to dream big, and garner whatever necessary support they can for the achievements of their goals and objectives.
Is there anything we haven’t covered that is important to mention?
It would be great to identify a support networking group to help each post push each other and share cost-effective ways of getting business done and achieving our strategies.
Don’t miss the ‘Logistics and cross-border e-commerce’ panel session, on the morning of October 24, from 09:45am-11am.
See the full conference program, here.