An opportunity for Swiss Post: small parcels from China

Every day, Zurich-Mülligen letter center processes tens of thousands of small goods consignments from Asia. Shopping apps like Wish are helping to ensure that international online retailing continues to boom. For Swiss Post, this presents a major opportunity.

Technology, fashion, gimmicks and gadgets: you can order it all with the shopping app Wish. With its bargain prices, the online sales platform is especially popular with the kids. Most of the goods on offer are sent directly to Switzerland by Chinese producers, with the support of Asendia’s Hong Kong branch and Asendia Switzerland, a PostMail profit center.

Swiss Post expertise for customers in Asia

“Acquiring a customer the size of Wish is a milestone for us,” says Marina Bartetzko, Head of Asendia Switzerland and Deputy CEO at Asendia Management. “Our team in Hong Kong advises Wish on how the Swiss market works, assists with customs clearance and helps with choosing the right service.”Swiss Post provides Wish with a premium shipping solution: from the moment they are posted, to the time they arrive at Zurich Airport, right through to the instant they are delivered to the recipients’ letter boxes, the barcodes on the small consignments are scanned repeatedly, allowing seamless tracking of the entire logistics process. “Swiss Post therefore generates added value – while optimizing the use of delivery staff capacity. Small goods handling is a welcome compensation for the declining letter volumes.”

Ensuring efficiency and quality

However, the huge volumes and the dimensions of these consignments pose challenges for Swiss Post: the formats do not fit in either the letter or parcel sorting systems. To ensure that it can continue to offer efficiency and quality in the future, Swiss Post has invested in new sorting systems. “We are preparing for the future in good time,” says Marina Bartetzko, “because we see no prospect of the boom coming to an end.” In 2018 alone, the volume of imported small goods consignments from Asia grew by 20 percent. As a result of the Universal Postal Union’s decision to gradually increase the level of remuneration for consignments from Asia until 2021, this volume-based business has also become more profitable for Swiss Post since 2018.

Cross-border mail business

Swiss Post and France’s La Poste conduct their cross-border shipping and delivery activities as partners in the joint venture Asendia. PostMail and Post­Logistics deliver all consignments arriving in Switzerland via Asendia branches. Asendia Hong Kong is the fastest growing branch – thanks in part to its customer Wish.