Swiss Post to develop network

Swiss Post is aiming to extend the number of its access points from the current 3,700 to at least 4,000, and plans to continue developing its branches from traditional post offices into an agency format. Swiss Post envisages a network of 800 to 900 traditional post offices by 2020. The company states it will avoid closing post offices without replacing them, and will provide alternative solutions in all cases.

Swiss Post states that it is making major efforts to take greater account of its customers’ changing requirements and habits. It has done so by creating new access points such as postal agencies, My Post 24 terminals, acceptance and collection points and other service points, and by expanding their numbers. In contrast, company figures show that over-the-counter turnover has declined by 63 percent for letters, 42 percent for parcels and 37 percent for payment transactions since the year 2000.

In addition to negotiations with the municipalities, Swiss Post will discuss the structure of the network directly with the cantons, beginning this year. The company notes that in addition to the statutory accessibility requirements, allowances will also be made for regional criteria and requirements. For example there may be a need to create or retain access points for residents of remote areas for which there would have been no solution in the planning to date. The regional requirements and criteria may vary from canton to canton.

Swiss Post also reports that it will also earmark traditional post offices in all cantons which will not be eligible for conversion into a postal agency in the coming years. By doing so, Swiss Post intends to create additional planning transparency. The company states that in the event that the ongoing conversion of post offices into branches with partners leads to special, individual requirements with respect to payment transactions, for example in rural areas, Swiss Post will provide appropriate solutions. This might apply for example to elderly people whose mobility is limited or who are still unfamiliar with digital services.

Swiss Post expects that in the course of its network development, around 1,200 employees may be affected by the changes by 2020. The company states that it aims to continue to avoid redundancies, and is looking for solutions for the employees affected.

As with Swiss Post, many postal services face declining mail revenues, and are faced with tough choices. As such, the industry is undergoing significant structural changes in order to more effectively participate in express activities such as last mile delivery of e-commerce shipments. For more information about this transformation, and what it means for traditional postal services, take a look at our latest report, Global Express and Parcels 2016.

Source: Swiss Post