Postal services revenue drops $6m in first quarter
THE postal and courier services sector posted a 2,3 percent drop in revenue to $6 million in the first quarter of 2016 as it battles fierce competition from modern information communication technologies, a report has shown.
Zimbabwe has 226 post offices with one post office serving 60 140 people, according to the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz).
In its first quarter sector performance report for the sector, the regulatory body noted a slight negative change in figures when compared to the same period last year.
“A total of $5 955 158 was generated by the postal and courier operators in the first quarter of 2016.
This represents a 2,3 percent decline in revenues from $6 093155 generated in the previous quarter,” said Potraz.
Although the sector generated a sizeable amount, the $137 997 decline in postal and courier revenue was attributed to the decline in postal and courier volumes.
Potraz noted that traffic volumes for postal and courier services have been declining as more people have turned to the use of telecommunication services such as email to send documents locally and internationally.
The telecommunications regulatory authority said: “International incoming postal and courier declined by 11,7percent to record 465 932 from 471 206 recorded in the previous quarter.
“International outgoing postal and courier also declined by 3,8 percent to record 249 013 from 258 830 recorded in the previous quarter”.
A total of 1 521 649 domestic postal items were recorded in the first quarter with domestic letters constituting 98 percent of that figure.
“The postal and courier sub-sector continues to face stiff competition from telecommunication services.
“Growth in e-commerce in the country will present a prime opportunity for the market to make a turnaround as courier services provide the physical delivery services for online purchases,” Potraz concluded.