The COVID-19 crisis and the postal sector
The report presents an overview of the COVID-19 crisis in the postal sector from an economic perspective. It does so by complementing official postal statistics and a series of real-time indicators constructed from electronic data interchange (EDI) messages between postal operators and consolidated by the Universal Postal Union. The analysis reveals that the crisis has put pressure on international postal supply chains to an unprecedented degree. In particular, cross-border exchanges decreased by 21% between 23 January 2020 and 14 May 2020, compared to the same period the previous year. Delivery and customs clearance times have lengthened and some international postal bilateral liaisons have no longer been open for private dispatches. Given the criticality of postal services for the basic functioning of most economies, the report presents three near-future scenarios for the sector, in order to provide policymakers and postal operators with insights and suggestions on the way forward.