Postal Services: Governments and Firms’ Perspective


This paper has aimed to provide information useful to policy makers involved in planning for the management of postal service. Five countries were selected?the UK, France, Germany, US and Japan?and the characteristics of their postal services were described in terms of regulation, liberalization, governance, and strategies. Variations were noted in regulatory structures and liberalization policies. Governance structure and corporate strategies were deemed to be of increasing importance as postal service providers adopt a more corporate company style. The important points made in this paper are summarized as follows. First, variations have been observed in the liberalization of postal services among countries. Two important factors are ownership and competition. Provision by the private sector through privatization is more productive-efficiency-oriented, and it is necessary to introduce competition in situations where monopolistic organizations exist. The general trend in liberalization is toward privatization and competition, with the UK and Germany in the vanguard. Second, it is necessary to maintain the universal service obligation (USO), but procuring financial backing is problematic. Among various financing methods, the USO fund seems reasonable. Third, the governance structure of postal service provider varies from country to country, according to corporate law. As for company type, postal organizations are divided into three groups: the single corporation type (e.g. Deutsche Post DHL and La Poste), the holding company type (e.g. Royal mail and Japan Post), and the public corporation type (e.g. the USPS). Last, as for internationalization strategy, Deutsche Post DHL, La Poste and Royal Mail have taken steps to expand their operations internationally, while the USPS and Japan Post have been slower to make inroads abroad.

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