Dear reader, I am pleased to introduce the first edition of our newsletter after the summer break. During the first half of the year, the COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on postal operations throughout the world. More than ever, the COVID-19 pandemic has proven that global cooperation between posts is vital to ensure business continuity. Cooperation will remain essential in the months to come, not only to recover from the crisis but also to meet the long-term challenges and opportunities awaiting the sector.

I am proud to say that IPC played an important role in tackling the crisis by coordinating the exchange of information between posts worldwide. IPC also put together alternative solutions to ensure mail flow within Europe and between Europe and North America, to counter the reduction in passenger flights. Although the COVID-19 crisis seriously disrupted postal networks, it has also shown the resilience of the sector and its capacity to adapt to the crisis. Throughout the crisis, posts continued to serve people and transport essential goods. It is encouraging to see that, even though the pandemic has not passed yet, postal operations are now mostly back to normal.

The crisis also led to a significant increase in e-commerce, speeding up the ongoing trends of digitisation and e-commerce growth. Posts have not stayed still during this sector-wide shift, and neither has IPC. The forthcoming launch of the IPC Postal Delivered Duties Paid (PDDP) solution will further help posts to benefit from e-commerce increase. PDDP will support the payment of taxes, duties and handling charges at the point of purchase by the e-buyer on the e-seller’s website and make the payable amount available to the destination post for payment to the inbound customs authorities. Through PDDP, posts will be in a position to offer an essential functionality, already offered by the integrators, and thus become more competitive on the cross-border market.

The further increase in online shopping should also be reflected in the volumes of tracked items going through the INTERCONNECT network. Another record was reached in July with 9.2m tracked items.

Lastly, on 18 September the second edition of the Green Postal Day will be organised with the participation of posts worldwide. The aim is to raise awareness of the joint postal contribution to the fight against climate change and of joint sustainability commitment. This day is meant to celebrate the positive impact of the postal sector on the world. I invite you to join us in this celebration.