POTRAZ Shifts Focus On E-Commerce

The Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) has set its focus on transforming Zimbabwe’s postal and courier services industry into an e-commerce powered trading zone. The regulator’s efforts are coming at a time when the sector is facing sudden death due to the evolution of digitized economies whose demand for carrier parcels is declining as a result of bureaucracy in various business operations.

Speaking to Mr Kennedy Dewera, the Director for Postal & Courier Services at Potraz during a Community Information Centre commissioning in Centenary two weeks ago, he said that e-commerce is now the last line of defense for the sector whose revenues has been falling in recent years. He attributed the sudden paradigm shift of the sector’s fortunes to the massive adoption of Internet of Things happening across the globe.

Mr Dewera further highlighted that Potraz has begun investing its efforts on transforming all Zimpost centres across the country into e-commerce hubs which will improve domestic and international trade through giving the locals access to diversified markets.

The recent sector performance report released by Potraz shows a continuous decline in postal and courier volumes. This has also led to a massive decline in revenues as most of the sector’s market share is being eaten away by the sudden emergence broadband powered communication models.

The impact of e-substitution on the postal and courier business is expected to continue as the data revolution gathers momentum. The Potraz report went on to state that e-commerce needs to be supported, as it is a key driver of international courier volumes and revenues.

An overall decline of 9.3% in total postal and courier volumes was recorded in the fourth quarter of 2017. Table 9 below shows a quarterly comparison of the postal and courier volumes by category.

As shown above, domestic courier and international incoming postal and courier were the two categories to register growth. The domestic postal volumes above comprised of domestic letters processed by Zimpost. Domestic postal volumes are expected to continue declining with the introduction of electronic utility bills.

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