IN AN AGE OF INSTANT MESSAGING, THE POSTAL SECTOR MUST RECREATE ITSELF TO REMAIN RELEVANT AND COMPETITIVE GLOBALLY

Basseterre, St. Kitts, October 10, 2017 (SKNIS): Technology has come a long way, and with it what was considered the traditional mailbox has been replaced to a large extent by the electronic mail (e-mail) box, instant messaging (IM) and social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Whatsapp, which deliver messages in a second.

The Postal Service, under the umbrella of the Universal Postal Union, which was founded in 1874, is struggling to stay “relevant and competitive”, while at the same time “provide efficient and effective postal services of the highest quality.” This requires a renaissance of the Postal Service globally, which has now become known as “snail mail”. It presents both a challenge and an opportunity for re-form.

Recognizing this to be a challenge in a modern day St. Kitts and Nevis, where there are more cellphones than people, and an internet penetration rate of about 80 percent, ranking in the top 50 countries worldwide by “Internet World Stats” (http://www.internetworldstats.com/top25.htm), St. Kitts and Nevis’ Minister of Post, the Honourable Ian Patches Liburd, in an address on World Post Day on October 9, outlined several initiatives that the Postal Services in the Federation is doing to not become anachronistic.

Minister Liburd said that the Postal Services locally “will ensure that the post transforms itself with modern services in order to increase its customer base and attract the younger generation with goods and services.”

“With the changing demands placed on operators our postal software network will have to evolve to these changes. The upgrading from IPS Light to IPS Post by 2018 will allow the post office to be ready for e-commerce and to transition ourselves to be more competitive in our global economy,” he said, while underscoring that “the time has come for the postal sector to be more adaptive to the change globally.”

Another enterprise that Minister Liburd outlined to deal with the challenges faced in the Postal Sector is the introduction of the US Mailbox Service, which he said was introduced on 09th October, 2015, “in response to the worldwide challenges to reduced mail volumes and the growth of e-commerce.”

Additionally, the St. Kitts and Nevis Postal Services officially launched the Postal Code System on World Post Day in 2016. According to Minister Liburd, the Postal Code System “is simply a post code or zip code that identifies addressees’ location and assists in the sorting and delivery of mail items.”

Identifying technology as having an integral role to play in the Postal Service of today, Minister Liburd, who is also responsible for Public Infrastructure, Urban Development and Transport, said he recognizes “the importance of the Post in the socio-economic development of our beloved Federation.”

The theme for World Post Day 2017 is “Transform to remain an enabler of inclusive development and an essential component of the global economy.”

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