UPU Addressing Forum, 2018

Welcome speech by UPU Director General Bishar A. Hussein at the UPU Addressing Forum during the POC session, 19 April 2018.

Mr. Masahiko Metoki, the Chairman of the UPU Postal Operations Council,

Distinguished speakers and participants of this forum,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Welcome to this forum whose subject is dedicated to one of the most important aspects of a modern postal business: addressing.

Accurate and efficient addressing system is a key component to timely delivery of postal items, especially in the e-commerce business. With the rapid growth of e-commerce, there is urgent need to develop facilitative addressing systems for our supply chain.

By 2020, it is predicted that almost 1 billion people will be buying online goods worth 1 trillion dollars. Increasingly, this will be cross-border trade and therein lies the focus of our Forum today.

Addressing that fails to meet international standards reduces the efficiency of the supply chain and incurs significant additional costs, which must be borne by our member countries.

E-commerce is not only changing individual habits, but it is also changing the postal sector considerably as the recipients take control of the supply chain. Today's customers are ever more demanding, wanting greater delivery options, flexibility, and easy return solutions.

Our forum this morning will consider how postal operators are dealing with problems of poorly addressed items to ensure that customers receive their items in the most efficient and cost-effective way possible.

However, we must also recognize that many people in the world do not have any form of physical address, which excludes them from all sorts of services, ranging from banking, emergency services, taxation and physical delivery of goods. According to UPU data, only one-third of countries or territories update and provide detailed postal addressing data at the street level.

This means there is an urgent need to provide the unaddressed with a form of identification that can enable delivery of goods and items to them. Without an accurate addressing system, it means the majority of the world population is cut off from a modern global trade of purchase and delivery.

In our forum, we will look at how technologies and other solutions can rapidly address the unaddressed.

Posts have long been committed to taking appropriate precautions to deter the use of mail as a conduit for criminal activity. Good addressing helps protect the supply chain from contraband such as drugs and dangerous goods. Increasingly, our partners in customs and the airline industry want clearer information on the destination of an item and its recipient.

At the UPU, we have an important the role to play in encouraging the world to adopt efficient addressing standards.

In this regard, we should support other development organizations and the private sector to provide solutions that will ensure every person in the world has a physical address.

Ladies and Gentlemen, it is my expectation that our interaction today will result in identifying ways and means of ensuring all locations in the world can be properly identified. This is the best way to enhance the strategic importance of the postal sector in the wider economy.

I wish you fruitful deliberations. Thank you for your attention.