Zimbabwe’s postal and courier services sector is on the verge of collapse after experiencing a massive decline in volumes handled in the past year, due mainly to the growing use of e-commerce in the economy.
In the third quarter of the year, for instance, volumes dropped 25 percent to 1,002 million articles compared to the second quarter as e-commerce takes root in the country.
All categories from domestic postal letters, domestic courier to international incoming and outgoing parcels registered declined in volume in the third quarter.
The sector’s regulator, the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) says this is because of the growing substitution of most of the services by electronic means, from letters to physical shopping.
“Postal and courier volumes have been consistently declining over the past year. The decline in postal volumes, in particular domestic, is attributable to e-substitution,” it said.
But Potraz says it also sees a silver lining for the postal and courier sector in the expanding e-commerce business in the country, at least in the long run.
While e-commerce is the process of buying and selling goods electronically over the internet, it largely relies on postal and courier services for the movement of goods. — New Ziana.