Sun, Apr 08, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Letter volume to drop 25% this year, post office says

INTERNET:While traditional mail this year is expected to fall to 1.91 billion units, Chunghwa Post said e-commerce has increased the volume of express mail and packages

By Chen Yi-chia  /  Staff reporter

Chunghwa Post said the volume of letters being mailed is predicted to plummet by about 25 percent this year.

According to the state-run company, the volume of letters mailed reached about 2.75 billion units in 2014, a peak in recent years, but the number has since dived by about 100 million units per year, with last year’s volume only totaling about 2.35 billion units.

Chunghwa Post predicts that this year’s number is likely to drop drastically, possibly below 2 billion units.

About 1.91 billion letters are predicted to be sent this year, a 24.94 percent decline compared with last year, it said, adding that the drop in volume would likely be the greatest annual decline ever and the lowest total volume since 1994.

In addition to policies promoting paperless trading, as well as advances in the development of electronic communications and Internet technology, the postal service said that another reason for the plummeting volume of traditional mail was that postal fees were increased for the first time in 26 years on Aug. 1 last year, causing frequent clients of the post office’s bulk mail service to reduce the number of letters sent.

Most of these clients were telecom carriers and banks, it said, adding that some of the companies gradually combined two or three invoices and bills into one piece of mail, or began to send invoices and bills every two months, while many also enhanced their online invoice and billing systems to replace letters.

While the Lunar New Year holiday used to be a peak period for sending greeting cards and postcards, the total volume of traditional mail — including greeting cards, postcards, bills, documents and letters — in February was only about 130 million pieces, a decline of more than 20 percent compared with the same period last year.

However, owing to the rise of e-commerce, the volume of packages and express mail sent through Chunghwa Post has continued to increase in recent years, it said, adding that data as of February showed that the annual volume is growing by a double-digit percentage — with a 15 percent growth in packages and a 32 percent growth in express mail this year.

Chunghwa Post said traditional services are being transformed to keep up with technology development and new needs.

Although traditional mail volume is plummeting, the volume of e-commerce in the Asian region is growing by about 27 percent each year, so the post office is transforming from mainly sending letters to sending packages, Chunghwa Post chairman Wang Kwo-tsai (王國材) said.

Human resource allocations must be readjusted to adapt to the transformation, Chunghwa Post said, adding that most letters sent now are registered mail, so a certain number of personnel is still needed to deliver mail.

To keep up with the growing e-commerce trend and to take advantage of business opportunities, Chunghwa Post is planning to vertically integrate its storage, order handling, tally processing, packaging and distribution systems, thus providing one-stop service with pick-up, fast arrival and other integrated services.

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