Delivery volumes are continuing to decline due to digitization, and competition is becoming more intense. The future development and profitability of our company depend to a large extent on the content of the new Postal Act and the universal service obligation. A universal service must maintain the margins required by normal business while also responding to changing times and customer needs.
The rapid growth of e-commerce is continuing and, as a result, logistics services related to e-commerce are seeing continued growth in spite of the challenging economic climate. Competition is very intense and this area will see new international partnership networks built in the coming years. Thanks to our strong market position in Finland and Russia, we are very well positioned to participate in globally strong networks.
In spite of the tight competitive situation, we also have many opportunities for profitable growth in other areas of logistics. Temperature-regulated transport, consumer goods logistics, services for the ageing population and other home services, large-scale warehouse outsourcing and the comprehensive management of customers’ logistics chains are examples of such opportunities.
While Russia can be seen as a challenge today, it also represents a long-term opportunity. A particularly promising area is e-commerce from China and other Asian countries to Russia. Finland as a country and Posti as a company are very well positioned to take advantage of the related growth opportunities in the logistics market. We already have interesting projects with major Asian e-commerce operators.
All of these changes will require major investments in the coming years, such as increased automation, particularly in sorting, as well as maintenance, basic renewal measures, new businesses, expanding current businesses and carrying out acquisitions.
In OpusCapita’s operating environment for example analytics and IoT (Internet of Things) automate the ordering of goods and services. Purchase orders, goods receipts, catalogs and contracts all converge and reduce the need for invoices. Suppliers are able to link pricing algorithms to inventory systems, commodity prices and foreign exchange rates, allowing them, in real time, to automate the response to customer requests for quote.
Machine learning allow participants with access to proprietary transactional data to gain long-term competitive advantage. Blockchain is a revolutionary technology set to disrupt everything from supply chain transactions to digital assets. Payment Services Directive 2 will allow for new payment systems to evolve that will support payment terms to become the new competitive advantage.