In the Precision Software News Round-Up: 7 December 2018, the USPS task force recommends rate hikes; bpost to meet 2018 financial targets; Alibaba to open a hub in Belgium; EU ban on retail geo-blocking comes into force; compliance risks for life sciences companies; and the future looks bright for national posts.
This Tuesday, the Task Force on the United States Postal System called for an overhaul of US Postal Service pricing. The task force recommended increasing rates of mail and parcels. It also recommended removing pricing caps on mail and packages not deemed “essential services”. The report noted that the “USPS has a dominant market position in B2C e-commerce segments.” It suggested that USPS pricing should generate income rather than maximize volume. Despite its dominant position, the USPS experienced net losses of $69 billion between financial years 2007 and 2018. To read more, please click here.
This week, the International Post Corporation released its 2018 Global Postal Industry Report. The IPC — a co-operative of 24 national postal services — found that the postal industry is in good shape for future growth. The postal sector enjoyed 2.6 percent revenue growth in 2017. Furthermore, the sector recorded an acceleration in the first half of 2018 through an increase of 4.6 percent year-on-year. Unsurprisingly, mail revenues are down — 2.3 percent — while parcel revenue is up 11.0 percent. Mail still represents over 40 percent of revenue. However, postal operators are pursuing areas of growth outside of this. Additional sources of revenue are financial services as well as logistics and freight. International revenue has also increased over the past five years. In 2017 this represented almost a quarter of total revenue on average. Shares ranged widely across operators, but most postal services have grown international revenue since 2012. For more on this, please click here.
Belgium’s national post, bpost released a statement this week that it expects to meet projected financial targets for 2018. The company also announced the payment of an interim dividend of €1.06 per share. In the statement, bpost said that it expects a challenging 2019. The postal operator said this was partly due to changing consumer behaviour. In addition, the company aims to improve workloads and the attractiveness of the postal jobs. This should impact bpost’s profitability. However, bpost’s management stated that employee wellbeing was a priority. You can read more on this here.
E-commerce giant Alibaba has entered into a partnership with the Belgian government to create a trade hub. The Electronic World Trade Platform (eWTP) is an initiative by Alibaba’s Jack Ma. The eWTP aims to help small-and-medium-sized enterprises to sell products abroad. Belgium is the first European country to sign up. Malaysia and Rwanda have also joined eWTP. Alibaba is to open a warehouse in Liege, Belgium to transport European goods to China. For more information, please click here.
A ruling by the European Parliament making it illegal for EU retailers to geo-block sales has come into force. Retailers can no longer refuse to sell to consumers in other member states because of their location. The ruling passed in February, but became law this week. Research by the European Commission found that 63 percent of websites did not let shoppers buy from another EU country. However, the legislation does not remove regional restrictions on media. In addition, digital copyrighted content is not covered by the new rules. For more information on this story, please click here.
Trade compliance is a necessity for any company that ships globally. For the heavily regulated life sciences industry, it is critical. There are stringent regulations related to shipping hazardous materials, scheduled medicines and biological matter. Regulations change depending on where you are shipping from or shipping to. Most importantly, compliance delays can have serious impacts on patient outcomes — and destroy trust in a life sciences company.
Many life sciences companies did not have enterprise-wide view of compliance risk. Globalization and the resulting need to work within different regulatory environments adds to the complexity. Furthermore, life science companies are shipping to more places than ever before. As the list of countries where your company does business gets longer, you must deal with more regulations and more risk. In the latest Precision Report we look at how automating compliance can mitigate risk and streamline operational processes. To read the full report, please click here.
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