The postal and logistics industry and the on-going fourth industrial revolution will soon collide. The logistics Internet is still the missing element of this revolution, and logistics will not only become the new sexy, but it will also totally reshape the way we consume and exchange in the next decade. One certainty: today’s postal and logistics business models will die. And with them, its pricing models as well!

There is no better case to illustrate the future postal and logistics pricing shift than the one of Universal Postal Union’s terminal dues and remuneration systems. For many years ignored by the public, they suddenly became more familiar as a result of the recent international postal crisis between the United States and the rest of the world. At the heart of this crisis, one can find economic distortions created by an unsustainable pricing of international postal exchanges built for the past glorious era of international letter-post.

My purpose with this series of mini-articles on the topic is to try to open a constructive postal dialogue on the future of global postal pricing in the era of global e-commerce. All players could contribute to build a better system together if they were able to start from a fresh perspective on these issues. There is no doubt in my mind that the Universal Postal Union is called and must play a critical role on these topics: it can deliver a much better international postal pricing environment. I am also conscious, after having served as UPU IB assistant secretary during numerous terminal dues governance meetings, of the implementation difficulties entailed by the potential changes I will introduce in the forthcoming articles. However, maintaining the currently scheduled evolutions of UPU’s remuneration systems will certainly not lead to less difficulties and challenges in the years to come. So let us try, together and not against each other, to steer changes in the right direction at least!

I also believe that, given the number and variety of players involved in these issues, a transparent and open debate on the future of pricing models of postal and logistics services is most welcome. This is why I reiterate my invitation to question, challenge, criticise and propose alternatives to the new global postal pricing ideas I will expose! It will start in the next mini-article, so feel free to post your reactions and comments!

PS: I experiment with a very-short-article writing format given the current readers’ preferences on LinkedIn.