Harare. — Revenues generated by local postal and courier companies have continued to decline steadily during the past five years as the advent of new technologies hits on the demand for their services, Portraz has said.
While previously postal and courier services enjoyed brisk business carrying simple items such as letters, bills by companies and money through registered articles, all these services are now being done electronically.
According to the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz), revenues for postal and courier services have slumped consistently since 2010 when $35 million was generated.
The figure went down to $32,6 million in 2011, declining to 29,7 million in 2012, falling to $28,1 million in 2013 and $27,9 million in 2014.
In the first half of last year, the firms generated revenues amounting to $12,4 million with data for the remainder of the year still pending although it is anticipated that the figure will be lower than the previous year’s.
“The decline in the revenues of postal and courier operators is attributed to the decline in postal and courier volumes,” Potraz said in a third quarter of 2015 report.
Both local and international volumes of items sent using postal and courier services have largely been on a decline.
“Postal and courier services continue to face competition from voice, instant messaging and internet services that provide faster means of communication,” Potraz said.
Companies in the sector have been forced to diversify operations to widen their revenue streams and ensure their survival.
Zimpost, the major player in the sector, has expanded its portfolio such that it is earning the bulk of its revenues from playing the role of an agent for other companies and the government.
It has also introduced a widely popular mobile money platform, Zipcash, to broaden its revenues.
The Potraz data also shows a steady rise in the number of postal outlets providing electronic money transactions services, which currently stands at 226 confirming diversification of service offerings from the core postal business. — New Ziana.