Table of Contents

Reinventing the Postal Sector in an Electronic Age

Reinventing the Postal Sector in an Electronic Age

Advances in Regulatory Economics series

Edited by Michael A. Crew and Paul R. Kleindorfer

This compilation of original essays by an international cast of economists, regulators and industry practitioners analyzes some of the major issues now facing postal and delivery services throughout the world as competition from information and communication technologies has increased.

Chapter 7: UK Letter Mail Demand: A Content-based Time-series Analysis Using Overlapping Market Survey Statistical Techniques

Catherine Cazals, Jean-Pierre Florens, Leticia Veruete-McKay, Soterios Soteri and Frank Rodriguez

Subjects: economics and finance, public sector economics


* Catherine Cazals†, Jean-Pierre Florens‡, Leticia Veruete-McKay§, Frank Rodriguez¶ and Soterios Soteri†† 1 INTRODUCTION The postal market in the UK is experiencing a period of prolonged structural change. The key factors driving such change can be seen to originate from two quite different sources: those related to the regulatory and policy-making framework; and advances in technology that influence customer communication channels. This, combined with the deep recession of 2008–09 and slow economic recovery in 2010, has created a high level of uncertainty with respect to both the short- and long-term demand for letter mail.1 Uncertainty is a factor confronted by businesses, consumers and policy makers on a day-to-day basis. Businesses and organizations that have a better understanding of why customers demand their products and what factors underpin that demand are more likely to manage this uncertainty successfully. However, postal operators’ information systems mainly focus on the products they sell, which in the UK primarily relate to speed of delivery and presortation discounts, and tend to contain little information on the types of letter communications customers are purchasing. While letter traffic information based on speed and presortation attributes is essential for many reasons, including a range of operational, financial, marketing and regulatory requirements, it is less helpful in providing insights into the reasons for sending letters and for assessing the likelihood that customers will continue to send mail in the future. Previous UK studies have focused on the demand for letters by speed of delivery and presortation levels (see Nankervis et...

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