In March 2019 An Post revealed an increase in its revenue and operating profit following its business transformation strategy in 2018. The company announced that revenue reached €897m (US$981m) in 2018 – an increase of 7%. It attributed this to a 40% volume growth in parcels in the face of a global decline in mail due to online alternatives.
2018 was the second year of revenue and profit growth since the losses of €12m (US$13m) in 2016. Revenue increases in conjunction with cost-cutting measures saw operating profit rise from €8m (US$8.7m) in 2017 to €40m (US$43m) in 2018.
In March 2019 the company also announced that it has rebranded by unveiling a new green logo and two new financial services. One of the new services is An Post Money, which will allow customers to avail of credit cards, personal loans, current accounts (debit card) and multi-currency FX cards — all of which will be delivered across the Post Office network and digitally through anpost.com. The other new service is An Post Commerce – a new business-to-business brand providing expert e-commerce, mails and mail media solutions for domestic and international businesses.
In addition to new financial services, in April 2019, An Post joined with charities and service providers to announce the launch of Address Point, a ground-breaking, free personal postal address and letter collection service for people who are homeless or living in temporary accommodation.
The postal operator is working hard to continue providing innovative solutions. In March 2019 An Post announced the launch of its Innovation Challenge as part of its technological transformation. Throughout 2019 entrepreneurs and technologists are being invited to take on the challenge of exploring ‘Open Banking opportunities for a challenger bank’ and a ‘Dynamic route and parcel optimization’.
Other new solutions include a new Inflight Delivery Option launched in November 2018, which enables shoppers to pick and choose exactly where and when to have their parcels delivered. The evening before an item from an e-tailer is due for delivery, the customer receives an email or text from An Post telling them it is on its way and allowing them to choose, with two clicks, one of five alternative delivery options, if they are not going to be home to receive their parcel.
Furthermore in October 2018, An Post launched a new Digital Assist service, which will utilize local post offices for the delivery of government services and advice. As part of the service post office staff will assist customers in accessing government or local authority services, forms and information.
An Post is also investing in reducing its environmental impact. In late 2018 the operator pledged to eliminate carbon emissions from all its letter and parcels operations by 2030. In phase one of the ‘An Post Eco Plan’ a new fleet of electric post vans and delivery tricycles will deliver zero carbon emissions in Dublin’s city center by the end of 2019.
United Parcel Service (UPS)
Full coverage of the Parcel and Postal Technology International Awards will be featured in the January 2020 issue of Parcel and Postal Technology International magazine.