Shop­ping in online stores is always asso­ci­at­ed with the not always pleas­ant top­ic of deliv­ery. In the past, we have repeat­ed­ly stum­bled upon the unscrupu­lous atti­tude of postal ser­vices to goods and orders: from the loss of small parcels to dam­age to large and frag­ile ones. How­ev­er, mas­sive online shop­ping has led to the fact that the name “Russ­ian Post” no longer caus­es a shud­der in the buy­er. How has the sys­tem changed in just a few years?

Market and competition

Mail has always had a num­ber of advan­tages over its com­peti­tors, which was only rein­forced with the pop­u­lar­iza­tion of acces­si­ble online malls. These ben­e­fits include free ship­ping and large OPS cov­er­age. As the num­ber of pur­chas­es increased, so did the num­ber of parcels. Any­one who had the oppor­tu­ni­ty to pur­chase goods via the Inter­net with deliv­ery by mail in the peri­od 2013–16, cer­tain­ly faced some dif­fi­cul­ties. One of the most notice­able was that the ser­vice was slow, queues accu­mu­lat­ed at the post office, and there were sore­ly lack­ing post office employ­ees.

The post office per­formed sev­er­al func­tions at once, slow­ing down the work in the main direc­tion: trade, pay­ment of util­i­ties, etc.

There­fore, many users turned to alter­na­tive options, such as pri­vate deliv­ery com­pa­nies, which pro­vid­ed a guar­an­tee, ser­vice, speed and trace­abil­i­ty, which was not always pos­si­ble for Russ­ian Post.

Thus, there was not only a require­ment for improv­ing the work of the mail, but also a demand for alter­na­tive deliv­ery ser­vices. On this basis, CDEK, Busi­ness Lines, gained pop­u­lar­i­ty, and for goods from online stores, self-deliv­ery ser­vices such as Boxber­ry came to the res­cue.

At the same time, the mail sys­tem could not cope with the load and lost cus­tomers. It turned out that the very struc­ture of the mail that we know had to change. The role in this was played by the fact that in the first half of 2017, Russ­ian Post suf­fered a loss of 5.453 bil­lion rubles, despite the fact that the num­ber of processed parcels grew. How­ev­er, prob­lem­at­ic sit­u­a­tions have arisen before, for exam­ple, the col­lapse of 2013, in which more than 500 tons of mail car­go got stuck at air­ports and postal exchange points. Let the changes take place slow­ly, but the most notice­able leap still occurs pre­cise­ly in recent years.

What has changed in the work of mail?

The first para­me­ter that turned out to be fun­da­men­tal in order to pre­vent the con­tin­u­a­tion of the trend towards unprof­itabil­i­ty is the growth of duties on parcels. This process has already been launched by the gov­ern­ment and will take place in sev­er­al stages. As a result, it is pos­si­ble not only to equal­ize the con­di­tions for domes­tic and for­eign trad­ing com­pa­nies, but also direct prof­it for the Russ­ian Post. By rais­ing tar­iffs for com­pa­nies, the orga­ni­za­tion has also man­aged to main­tain the pos­si­bil­i­ty of afford­able for­ward­ing of items for indi­vid­u­als.

So, the main points that need­ed to be paid atten­tion to are the prompt deliv­ery of the goods intact, and the ser­vice is already in the post office. Already at the begin­ning of 2018, rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the orga­ni­za­tion announced plans to reduce the deliv­ery time to Moscow from 14 days to 7–8. In order to reduce the load, already in Sep­tem­ber 2018, a new deliv­ery route through Vladi­vos­tok was opened, thus it was pos­si­ble to reduce the deliv­ery time to a num­ber of remote regions, and at the same time increase the through­put of trans­porta­tion through Moscow. In 2018, a logis­tics cen­ter in Kazan was put into oper­a­tion, a sim­i­lar cen­ter in Vnuko­vo was brought to full capac­i­ty, and the num­ber of reg­u­lar flights from Chi­na increased. Thus, the empha­sis was placed on ship­ments from Chi­nese stores such as Aliex­press.

At the same time, con­trol over deliv­ery was also strength­ened, since today almost every par­cel is pro­vid­ed with a track­ing num­ber — in the past, the sys­tem worked inter­mit­tent­ly, which often led to the loss of parcels.

In order to improve the qual­i­ty of ser­vice in the depart­ment, addi­tion­al employ­ees were required and, as an incen­tive, an increase in salaries in this area. Now in the cap­i­tal cities, most of the vacan­cies in the branch­es are closed, so we can say that there is no short­age of per­son­nel.

Con­fir­ma­tion of this can be found in the words of the deputy direc­tor of the Russ­ian Post: “Employ­ees are the most impor­tant link in the entire field of postal work. There­fore, pro­vid­ing them with good work­ing con­di­tions is the main task.”

Are the queues gone?

Recent­ly, the speed of work of the offices of the Russ­ian Post has increased, and so has the turnover. So, for exam­ple, in the 1st quar­ter of 2018, the num­ber of processed items increased by 35% com­pared to the pre­vi­ous year. And in 9 months, more than 258 mil­lion inter­na­tion­al ship­ments with com­mod­i­ty invest­ments were processed.

On aver­age, the time spent by cus­tomers in the post office has also decreased. For exam­ple, in Moscow already in 2017, the aver­age ser­vice time was 6 min­utes. Elec­tron­ic queues work in branch­es, and legal enti­ties are ser­viced sep­a­rate­ly from indi­vid­u­als.

This does not mean, how­ev­er, that the sys­tem has become ide­al. It is worth not­ing that in a num­ber of regions there is still a prob­lem of late deliv­ery, loss of parcels and slow work of offices. As for the reviews, as before, you can find var­i­ous assess­ments of the work of the orga­ni­za­tion. If in 2010 post offices were vis­it­ed main­ly by res­i­dents of set­tle­ments and small towns, today the fig­ures have changed sig­nif­i­cant­ly. In 2018, Russ­ian Post has already tak­en 4th place in the world rank­ing of postal oper­a­tors, where the Sin­ga­pore postal ser­vice took the first place, and the ser­vices of coun­tries such as the USA, Great Britain and France are locat­ed at 55, 66 and 84 places, respec­tive­ly.


At the moment, there are still a lot of inno­va­tions in the organization’s plans, for exam­ple, in Octo­ber 2018, Russ­ian Post signed a mem­o­ran­dum on the deliv­ery of goods for the home of the IKEA net­work.

In addi­tion, a lit­tle ear­li­er, the com­pa­ny intro­duced a new ser­vice for send­ing parcels in 30 sec­onds using elec­tron­ic ser­vices. Also, to speed up the work, sort­ing machines in logis­tics cen­ters are equipped with an opti­cal text recog­ni­tion sys­tem, so almost the entire sys­tem will even­tu­al­ly be auto­mat­ed.

Also, it will be pos­si­ble to reg­is­ter the par­cel online on the Russ­ian Post web­site. All this is designed to pro­vide a high­er speed of ser­vice direct­ly in the branch­es. How this will work, and how soon such ser­vices will reach all cor­ners of the coun­try, we have yet to find out, but the prospects can be assessed as very pos­i­tive.

Of course, it will take a long time before the for­ma­tion of absolute trust in the postal ser­vice, users still pre­fer to make inven­to­ries and care­ful­ly check the parcels upon receipt. But the first steps towards improve­ment def­i­nite­ly inspire con­fi­dence.


От Yara

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