The European Commission has published the long-awaited Implementation Report of the Third Postal Directive. In the report, the European regulator takes note of the status of the European postal services market and the progress made on creating a more competitive European postal sector. The Commission pays special attention to the way in which postal services deal with delivering e-commerce parcels, as much work is still to be done in that respect.
E-commerce changes traditional post
The role of postal services in the European Union (EU) is changing, as e-commerce and the increasing amount of online purchases is driving the growth of the economy. Ecommerce Europe fully agrees with the European Commission that “The huge potential of e-commerce means that affordable and reliable parcel delivery services are more important than ever to help realize the potential of the Digital Single Market”. Ecommerce Europe has been working closely together with European policy makers to ensure the European postal and parcel market is up-to-date.
Affordable and reliable service still an illusion?
As research by Ecommerce Europe and other parties constantly points out, the quality and the cost of cross-border delivery services are a big barrier for many consumers and retailers to trade online. Affordability, accessibility and availability of cross-border parcel delivery services, the absence of delivery features like track and trace, poor price transparency and high prices are repeated as matters for concern in the European Commission report. The Commission also acknowledges that competition is developing slowly in the letter market, however Ecommerce Europe stresses that competition in the parcel market is also severely underdeveloped, as above mentioned problems show.
Proposed solutions not there yet
Acknowledging the problems are of course a good starting point. However, the Commission does not propose any real solutions to the matter yet. Ecommerce Europe eagerly awaits the European Commission’s proposals to enhance price transparency and regulatory oversight in the market in Q1 2016 and will continue to liaise with the policy makers to ensure the voice of the e-commerce sector is heard. Members of the e-Logistics Working Group of Ecommerce Europe continue to provide their feedback and knowledge to feed in to the proposals.
To read the full European Commission report on the application of the Postal Services Directive, please click here.