Posta continues to register decline in letter volumes
Posted Tuesday, October 29 2013 at 01:00
The drop is attributed to a shift in modes of communication as people switch to digital communication.
Posta Uganda’s core business of handling letters continues to decline as global focus shifts from traditional communication systems to the digital age.
A 2013 Uganda Bureau of Statistics report indicates that the volume of letters handled by Posta fell by 30 per cent from 3.7 million in 2011 to 2.6 million last year.
This, according to the report, shows that Ugandans are sending fewer letters compared to a year ago.
During the 90s, postal services were the easiest and cheapest means by which people could keep in touch with their distant relatives through letter writing.
However, the emergency of the digital age, including the use of mobile phones, internet and social network sites, has largely eaten into letter writing.
Currently, people are using real time communication models among them short text messaging, calling and the internet.
According to Uganda Communications Commission, Uganda has about 16 million mobile phone subscribers and 6.2 million with access to the internet.
Postal services are currently limited to delivering large parcels and classified government information.
Ms Lilian Rebeccah Akullo, the Posta Uganda manager corporate communications, however, said the company continues to focus on being relevant at a time of rapid technological shifts.
A number of initiatives have been taken, including revamping the Posta Cash early this year to enable customers transact in three different ways, including on site – at any Posta Uganda or gaming International outlet –, on phone and online.
Ms Akullo added that the agency is also in the process of automating all its post offices to enable faster communication and minimise errors and fraud while stimulating growth via delivery of e-commerce.
Despite the general decline, however, the volume of parcels handled increased substantially from 194,856 in 2011 to 256,089 last year.
This was attributed to increased vigilance and security that Posta offers.
“Much as there is widespread use of emails, when it comes to exchange of physical items, people still need to use postal services; whether it is through ordinary postage or Posta’s expedited mail option,” Ms Akullo said.
Value added services; in addition to revenue generated from passenger tickets have offered Posta Uganda alternative sources of income to keep it afloat despite declining letter volumes.