On the occasion of World Post Day on 09OCT23, Qatar Airways Cargo announced a new mail strategy. The statement said, “the product offers a comprehensive suite of customizable services designed for both traditional and hybrid postal modes - Express Mail, Priority Mail, Standard Mail and Empty Mail Receptacles.”
CargoForwarder Global published the basics of the product initiative in last week’s issue: https://www.cargoforwarder.eu/2023/10/15/short-shots/.
Following the report, CargoForwarder Global (CFG) spoke with Liesbeth Oudkerk (LO), SVP Cargo Sales & Network Planning at Qatar Airways Cargo, to get a more holistic picture of the carrier’s mail product.
CFG: How much does mail contribute to Qatar Airways Cargo’s total sales?
LO: Mail contributes close to 1% of the total Qatar Airways Cargo business, on both tonnage and revenue. Our top trade lanes include bound shipments, Asia-Europe-Asia and Europe-Middle East.
CFG: What is the proportion of Express Mail, Priority Mail, Standard Mail?
LO: The majority of the Mail products transported is Priority Mail, followed by Express Mail. We transport 17% of mail shipments on our freighters, while 83% of mail shipments are flown on the passenger flights as belly-hold cargo.
CFG: How has airmail been developing overall? Are volumes tending to decrease with the rapid increase in electronic communication exchange? Or are airfreight volumes still growing despite this?
LO: Growing postal volumes are a great opportunity for both post and airlines. While volumes of letter post have decreased for obvious reasons such as the digitalization of communication and regulatory changes that affect small packets, parcel post volumes have greatly recovered and are expected to grow by 8.4% annually, reaching about 200 million items by 2025. Nevertheless, mail is evolving rapidly and is a growing business to tap into.
We, at Qatar Airways Cargo, relaunched our Mail product on World Post Day (09OCT23), and have implemented technology and digitalization across all our 110+ mail stations that offer our customers transparency and visibility.
Our Mail product is in line with IATA and the Universal Postal Union (UPU) regulatory frameworks, and is a modernized solution that is designed to deliver a seamless service for global and local postal authorities. We are able to offer customized services across traditional and hybrid postal modes. The Mail product covers Express Mail Service, Priority Mail and Standard Mail. All shipments we transport, are in compliance with IATA/UPU regulations. We offer our customers an advanced shipment tracking option from start to end, and have rolled out EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) at over 110+ stations that are all equipped with handheld android scanners. We also share RESDITs - the response EDI message that is provided to the postal companies based on scanned actions/events.
Our specialized facilities and handling at our dedicated state-of-the-art airmail facility measuring 4,900 m² in Doha, capable of handling up to 15,000 mailbags per day, includes a 24-hour dedicated operations team, hassle free billing and reconciliation with IATA PASS and PARIS, and short transfer times for tail-to-tail ramp transfer in Doha.
CFG: According to a survey by the Copenhagen Economics Research Institute, the postal privilege of developing countries leads to an underpayment of national postal operators compared to domestic postage of 65% for Canada, 42% for the UK and almost 75% for Norway. This brings up the question if Qatar is classified by the Universal Postal Union (UPU) as a developing country that charges customers less postage for international mail than, for example, industrialized countries such as the U.S., Germany, Sweden, or France, and eventually benefitting from tariff differences to the financial disadvantage of the postal services of the aforementioned category of states?
LO: According to “2022 Postal Development Report” from the UPU, Qatar is categorized as Level 5 in the Postal Development level (PDL) where 10 is the highest. It has a 2IPD* score of 39.5 (Global Average is 35.5 and the highest score is 100). Qatar ranks 70th among the 172 countries and 6th among the 18 Arab countries. The scores indicate that Qatar has a relatively high level of postal reliability and resilience. Qatar’s postal development score increased by 1.8 points from 2020 to 2021, which shows some progress in improving its postal services.
From 2022, the 2IPD scores and the Postal Development Level (PDL) are the only segmentation UPU has where Qatar scores in the middle. With the several investments by State of Qatar and digitalization as well as the focus on continuously improving its services and enhancing customer experience, we will see the score increasing even more.
CFG: Thank you for these explanations.
* The UPU's Integrated Index for Postal Development (2IPD) is a composite index providing an overview of postal development around the world, with 172 countries covered in 2022.
We welcome and publish comments from all authenticated users