Five myths about Swiss Post
Swiss Post is a state-owned monopoly
The PTT was a state-owned company – but that was a long time ago. In 1998, this federal administrative unit was dissolved. In its place came Swiss Post, an independent institution under public law which then became a private limited company in 2013. Swiss Post’s monopoly on the delivery of letters and parcels weighing up to five kilograms was gradually abolished. Since 2009, Swiss Post has still had a residual monopoly on domestic letters weighing up to 50 grams. Swiss Post provides all other services in competition with other providers on the market. In numbers, that equates to 85.6 percent of its revenue.
Swiss Post runs on funds from Swiss taxpayers
Swiss Post does not receive any subsidies or taxpayers’ money from the Confederation for the provision of the universal service – it finances this service from its own resources. This is in contrast to other public service providers (healthcare, public transport), which are subsidized by the public sector. At Swiss Post, the money actually flows in the opposite direction: Swiss Post pays the Confederation, its sole owner, an annual dividend of 200 million francs. Furthermore, Swiss Post paid around 270 million francs in taxes and levies last year.
At PostBus, the situation is different. The PostBus routes are ordered by the Confederation and the cantons, and any resulting deficits are compensated.
Swiss Post delivers letters and parcels
Yes, but not only that. Swiss Post comprises the following six units: PostMail, PostalNetwork, PostLogistics, PostFinance, PostBus and Swiss Post Solutions. PostMail is responsible for delivering letters, and PostLogistics for parcels; PostalNetwork is the home of branch operations; Swiss Post Solutions handles internal postal delivery in larger companies worldwide; PostBus serves the transport market with its distinctive yellow buses; and PostFinance is responsible for financial business. Nevertheless, letters and parcels are the backbone of Swiss Post, and this will continue to be the case. PostMail and PostLogistics generate more than half of Swiss Post’s operating income.
Swiss Post is reducing its postal network
The postal network is not being reduced. In fact, the number of access points is increasing: there are more and more branches with partners, My Post 24 terminals, home delivery services, acceptance and collection points and business customer points. Only the number of self-operated Swiss Post branches is declining. We are not phasing out our own post offices, as is shown by the fact that we are currently modernizing 300 branches. At the end of October, there were already more than 4,200 access points in the postal network. Of these, more than 1,000 are branches with partners, to which around 200 more will be added in the next few years. By the end of 2020, Swiss Post will have expanded the number of locations with My Post 24 terminals to around 200. These terminals enable customers to use postal services around the clock.
Swiss Post spends too much time on innovation and too little on its core business
No, because it is not possible to draw a sharp distinction between innovation and the core business. The core business – the conveyance of information, goods and cash values – is increasingly taking place in the digital world. Innovation is an unavoidable part of this trend: first and foremost in the existing business, such as the ability to digitally route parcels to a particular collection location. As for drones and self-driving Postbuses, they are not mere gadgets, but offer real development prospects that need to be tested.