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Postal Systems Debate whether Amazon Is Friend or Foe

It may come as a surprise to learn that postal services from around the world are openly wondering if Amazon is friend or foe.

It’s normal for online merchants to have mixed feelings about Amazon – it can be a viable channel partner, and it can also be a fierce competitor. But as Amazon is taking more control of the shipping and delivery of its products, some believe it’s a natural step for Amazon to offer those services to other online retailers as well – a possible threat to shipping carriers and postal services.

The topic came up during the Universal Postal Union (UPU) World CEO Forum in Paris earlier this month. During the discussions, participants debated whether e-retailers and e-marketers should be treated as friends or foes, with several CEOs sharing their models for collaborating and competing with private companies.

Correo Argentino CEO Jorge A. Irigoin explained that, while online marketplaces are partners of the Post now, they are likely to expand into logistics in the future. “There is a threat, but, at the same time, an opportunity for us to be more competitive, have a better cost position and deliver higher quality,” he said.

India Post Services Board Chair Boyapati Venkat Sudhakar revealed that it has close partnerships with e-retailers including Amazon.

International Posts are making the transition from the traditional letter-post business to innovative ecommerce solutions – and they’re learning the lesson that partners like Amazon can become rivals.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.