February 18, 2020: A new e-commerce platform will be launched in March 2020 by the South African Post Office (SAPO) in conjunction with the Universal Postal Union (UPU), as reported by MyBroadband.

"This is a strategic priority for the South African Post Office and viewed as an important new revenue generator," said the SA Post Office.

The UPU is an agency of the United Nations which coordinates postal policies amongst member nations. It has developed an e-commerce solution for the cross-border market named the ECOMPRO parcel which aims to accelerate e-commerce development in national postal sectors.

The minimum specifications of this programme include a maximum parcel weight of 30 kilogrammes and a target delivery time of five days.

The SA Post Office has not confirmed whether it would implement this programme as set out by the UPU to enable its e-commerce platform.

The SA Post Office previously said that it expects e-commerce and financial services to comprise a major portion of its revenue by 2030.

Ex-SAPO CEO Mark Barnes has earlier informed that the platform would focus on the export of South African-made goods.

"It's the Post Office's vested interest to have a platform that promotes exports because the way the postal revenue works is the originator of the postal event gets most of the revenue," he said.

When SAPO steps into the e-commerce game, however, it will compete against private logistics and courier businesses.

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