Can postal operators ‘lead the way’ in sustainable development?


Peter Kjaer Jensen, Chief Executive Officer: Denmark, PostNord

Ahead of delivering an opening keynote at Leaders in Logistics: Post and Parcel Summit, Peter discusses how postal operators can adapt to growing parcel volumes, how regulation changes have brought sustainability to the forefront of strategic decision-making, and the balance between customer-centricity and environmental sustainability.

As e-commerce rates continue to rise, how can postal operators innovate to process growing parcel volumes and to suit changing customer needs?

Stable postal organizations who can adopt a more agile working methodology will succeed both in an operational capacity and in terms of their customer offering. Agile working has the capacity to leverage rising parcel volumes without adding unnecessary complexity to the supply chain. Processing higher parcel volumes reduces delivery times, allowing for quicker delivery times when ‘next day delivery’ is fast becoming the norm.

To complement this, Posts need think strategically in terms of the digital customer experience. Whether through a website, app or social media, Posts need to adopt a tech-first, user-friendly approach, to keep up with consumer demand for real-time information.

“Posts need to adopt a tech-first, user-friendly approach…”

Regulation changes and growing customer awareness have brought sustainability to the forefront of strategic decision-making in the logistics sector in recent years. In your opinion, what are the key ways that postal operators can integrate end-to-end sustainability?

Postal operators often have the advantageous reputation of a ‘trusted brand’ in the eyes of the consumer. National posts have the potential to bring together politicians, municipalities and other public sector operations, alongside orchestrating multiple private sector operations. This unique position can enable the cross-sector collaboration between the public and private sector that will be the key to achieving true end-to-end sustainability.

In an e-commerce-driven landscape, should postal operators focus on customer-centricity or environmental sustainability? Are they mutually exclusive or can a balance be struck?

Growing customer awareness of environmental issues means that sustainability often naturally fits into a customer-centric strategy. However, postal operators are often required to make a trade-off between these two points. Some sustainability developments often have a direct payoff, generating a clear ROI. Although other advances in a sustainable approach can sometimes take longer to see results, they should still be a priority of the industry. As a fundamental service provider, often a public service and historic institution, postal operators should be seen to ‘lead the way’ in sustainable development.

“Postal operators are often required to make a trade-off between these two points.”

Peter has been head of PostNord Denmark since June 2016 and a member of the Group Executive Team since 2014. Prior to that he was Head of Business Area ‘E-Commerce & Logistics’ for 2 years, giving him a great deal of experience across logistics, and most specifically e-commerce.

Peter will be speaking at Leaders in Logistics: Post and Parcel Summit, taking place in Copenhagen on the 5 – 6 October 2020.