By Fredrick Obura
Latest quartely statistics released by the Communication Commission of Kenya (CCK) shows a downward trend in the quantities of outgoing letters. According to the third quarter sector statistics for the Financial Year 2011/2013, a downward trend in the quantities of letters sent was recorded at 14.3 per cent.
Similarly, outgoing international letters experienced a decline of 20.6 per cent. “The decline could be attributed to the increasing preference in the use of Internet compared to letters,” said the report. “Many people prefer using their computers to send mails or more so have a live chat with friends across the country or those living abroad,” it said.
This downward trend in the performance of the postal and courier industry could be reversed with adoption and utilisation of modern Information and Communication Technologies (ICT).
Provision of high quality postal and courier services coupled with a wide range of innovative products that meet customers growing expectation, could also be explored to reverse the negative trend experienced in the industry.
Addressing courier industry stakeholders late last year, Information and Communication Minister Samuel Poghisio urged the operators to take advantage of emerging technologies to grow their businesses.
“The initial storm presented by ICTs and instant messaging technologies have opened new business opportunities for courier and post businesses,” he noted.
“For instance, in the present world, goods are ordered online but delivered by post and courier services.” “In response to the new business environment, the postal industry should exploit ICT to develop new products and services that merge the opportunities of cyberspace with the extensive physical distribution capabilities in order to retain fair portions of the communications market,” he said.
Information Permanent Secretary Bitange Ndemo, earlier said the Government plans to improve infrastructure through the development of a unique national addressing system and high quality data, which the players in the sector could tap into.
The initiative, if it materialises, would promote door-to door delivery of services and make courier operators cash in on the growing e-commerce business.