SAPO boosts e-commerce ambitions with Mail Americas deal
The South African Post Office (SAPO) has signed an agreement with Mail Americas that is set to give online traders better access to all of Southern Africa, including rural areas.
“In terms of the agreement, SAPO will provide distribution services to clients of Mail Americas in South Africa and the sub-continent,” SAPO said on Tuesday.
It notes that individuals who buy items online will have greater choice, lower delivery charges, and faster, simpler deliveries and customs clearances.
The agreement came into effect on 1 June.
SAPO says Mail America is an e-commerce platform that specialises in providing cross-border business-to-customer solutions to postal operators. It focuses on connecting businesses with customers in Latin America and Africa.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has seen a shift towards e-commerce in Southern Africa. With 1 500 branches all over South Africa, the SA Post Office is in the right position to give all South Africans access to e-commerce, including those outside cities.
“South Africa is the regional port of entry for airfreight imports, and SAPO – with its sorting centre at OR Tambo Airport – serves as point of entry for mail into the sub-continent. These factors make the SA Post Office the logical choice as partner for Mail Americas,” the post office said.
Clearing the backlog
Meanwhile, several consignments of parcels from Wish.com, an international online trader, have arrived in South Africa since the agreement between the companies came into effect.
The post office has urged customers who have received an SMS requesting collection to collect their parcels from their local branch.
“The emphasis on customer service is part of a drive by the post office to ensure customers receive parcels in the system as quickly as possible. Destination post offices and sorting centres are now clear of any backlog, and work is well advanced to achieve the same situation at sorting centres where items arrive,” SAPO said.
In an effort to clear the backlog, operational managers have volunteered to work during a weekend on sorting floors, processing incoming parcels.
“Customers should soon see a difference in the delivery time frame for the one million items that the post office delivers daily,” SAPO said.