Technological progress and advanced electronic communications as well as the recent crisis of the Cypriot economy have created major challenges for the local postal market.
Cyprus` Post responded by exploiting the positive aspects of technological advancement with a view to increasing productivity and effectiveness. The Post also used the economic crisis as an opportunity to adapt its services and simplify processes.
Director of Cyprus` Post Andreas Gregoriou spoke to CNA about the new role and the challenges faced by his Department.
On the economic crisis, he explained that major organisations and clients are trying to reduce their expenses for postage. At the same time Postal Services` budget and development funds as well as human resources were reduced, all together creating functionality problems, he said.
However, as he underlined, Cyprus` Post addressed the situation, by using the economic crisis as an opportunity to adjust its services and simplify processes with personnel management in order to respond effectively to the new circumstances.
Replying to a question on the role of the Post in the new information and technology era, Andreas Gregoriou noted that without a doubt advanced technology affects the postal market globally. “On the one hand traditional postal correspondence is replaced by electronic communications. But on the other hand it created new needs as a result of online trade that has increased the dispatch of parcels and small packets” he explained, noting at the same time that technological progress contributes towards increasing productivity and the effectiveness of postal services.
Notably, he made reference to the service “Parcel 24” introduced 3 years ago by Cyprus` Post. It is addressed to those who regularly receive parcels from EU countries, parcels not subject to customs control. The user fills in the application on the Cyprus Post website and receives on his cell phone a notification/sms for the arrival of his parcel which he can collect it within 72 hours from a device installed for this purpose.
As he pointed out, this is a very successful service, embraced by clients. For the time being three self service machines operate in the District Postal Offices of Nicosia, Limassol and Larnaca. According to Andreas Gregoriou the budget for 2016 provides for the installation of 2 additional devices, one in Paphos and one in Paralimni.
Another service offered by Cyprus` Post involves sms notification when receiving a registered letter or parcel.
According to Cyprus` Post Director, approximately 120.000 people use these services.
Andreas Gregoriou also spoke about the possibility to deliver parcels with drones and indicated that this method of delivery will be an option for Cyprus` Post users in approximately 2-3 years, saying that in order for this to happen some issues should be resolved by drone manufacturers and mainly, a legal framework for the use of these devices should be in place.
“We did not present this option during the event attended by the President of the Republic in order to create an impression” he said, and noted that the Cyprus Post budget for 2016 includes a symbolic amount to exploit this possibility.
Regarding the Citizen`s Centres that operate in the District Postal Offices of Nicosia, Limassol, Larnaca and Paphos, Andreas Gregorioy indicated that they offer all kind of services provided by the governmental Citizen Service Centres (CSCs), such as issue of medical cards, identity cards, passports, driving licenses etc.
He said that citizens have welcomed this initiative and that as a result Cyprus` Post are examining the possibility to open 3 more Centres in rural areas, Kakopetria, Agros and Pano Lefkara.
Talking about philately, he noted that Cyprus` Post promotes philately through the issue of stamps that also promote Cyprus abroad and in this context Cypriot stamps have won several awards in international and European philately competitions.
He also stressed that “in this year`s EUROPA competition, a stamp designed by Cypriot Doxia Sergidou under the theme `think green` and prepared by Cyprus` Post will be issued by the postal services of all member states of European Postal Union PostEurop”.
ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY