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The Role of the Postal and Delivery Sector in a Digital Age

The Role of the Postal and Delivery Sector in a Digital Age

Advances in Regulatory Economics series

Edited by Michael A. Crew and Timothy J. J. Brennan

This volume, the result of the 21st Conference on Postal and Delivery Economics (Ireland, 2013), describes the continuing problem of the decline of the postal sector in the face of electronic competition and offers strategies for the survival of mail services in a digital age.

Chapter 23: Finding the conditions for a successful social redeployment combined with diversification of activities

Dominique Bailly and Margaux Meidinger

Subjects: economics and finance, competition policy, public sector economics


Faced with the challenges presented by a combination of deregulation and computerization, the postal sector has undergone a process of transformation in two important ways. A significant modernization of its activities has made it possible to both enhance quality and decrease operational costs, and diversification towards new activities has created new growth levers. The intensity of these changes has been related to the strategy of each individual national postal operator (NPO). Companies that are the most diversified seem to have better withstood the downward trend in traditional activities, as explained in the Accenture study (2010). These transformations have had major social consequences, with reduced employment in the traditional activities (mail, postal network), which has usually been managed by natural attrition or voluntary external mobility. In view of the sharp decrease of mail volumes, however, these measures may no longer be sufficient in the future; new levers to create employment or to redeploy workers must be found. As a result, postal operators today are faced with the need to take advantage of diversification by switching employees between activities, in a way that reflects the shift in sources of revenue. This movement can be supported by two complementary levers. First, employees can be redeployed from traditional to new activities through internal mobility, based on comparable skills and working conditions.

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