Strong partner networks for Switzerland 

Promoting Switzerland as a business and research location

To stay in shape for future challenges, Swiss Post works with startups and universities. This networking approach not only strengthens Swiss Post and its customers, but also Switzerland as a research and business location.

How do we reduce transport distances to ensure that prices for letter and parcel delivery stay affordable? How do we use new technological resources to protect employees in logistics from health risks? Where can we make smart use of autonomous robot vehicles? Questions like these are the focus of numerous innovation projects in all Swiss Post units, and they are used to improve existing services and develop new offers. As part of this effort, Swiss Post relies on close cooperation with external partners from the private and research sectors. Agile, specialized startups contribute knowledge, ideas and specialists with in-depth expertise who can focus fully on their projects because they are not tied up in day-to-day postal operations.

A win for everyone involved

These partnerships are a win-win situation for both sides, explains Thierry Golliard, Head of Open Innovation & Venturing: “For some startups in particular, Swiss Post is the first reference customer with whom they have the opportunity to test and develop their technology, product or service. In addition to the challenges that need to be tackled, we offer the experience we’ve built up from our core business and the size required for scalable solutions.” For these fledgling companies, Swiss Post is a sparring partner and a reference in the market that will carry weight in their effort to acquire further customers. The startups – many from Switzerland – grow in tandem with Swiss Post and create jobs. In most cases, the collaboration remains a customer relationship. Swiss Post sometimes also invests in fast-growing technology companies. Apart from a few exceptional cases, however, it holds non-controlling interests to ensure that the startups retain their freedom and flexibility.

Support and assistance to academic standards

Swiss universities play an important role in Swiss Post’s innovation process, providing support and assistance with projects, bringing the latest international research to the table and analysing data to academic standards. This not only yields valuable insights, it also underpins the economic decisions that need to be made. And it means that Swiss Post can position itself as an appealing employer and attract talent on campus. Here again, the partnership benefits both sides, as Swiss Post provides the universities with practical research projects and third-party funding to finance their research and teaching.

In our partner network, we are frequently successful in developing new business models.

Thierry GolliardHead of Open Innovation & Venturing

In addition to startups and universities, Swiss Post’s network also includes public institutions, international postal organizations and other enterprises. “With these targeted partnerships, built up over many years, we are frequently successful in identifying, developing and testing new business models,” says Thierry Golliard. In the first instance, it is Swiss Post’s customers who benefit: in the form of new products, more options and easier access to new and improved postal services – and from the fact that in ten, twenty and thirty years’ time, Swiss Post will continue to meet the right needs.

Contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals

Industry, innovation and infrastructure


Speech to solution

People calling the Swiss Post Contact Center no longer have to choose from a language menu with predefined options. All they need to do is say why they are calling. This system, developed by the company Spitch, converts their speech into text – and seconds later, they will be connected to the right person to help with their query.

Exoskeleton for safety at work

To make lifting heavy parcels easier on the back for staff in logistics, Swiss Post is testing exoskeletons from ETH spin-off Auxivo and Dutch startup Laevo. These are support structures that take the strain off the musculoskeletal system or lend additional strength from the outside to assist with strenuous movements.

Smart luggage robot

During four months of testing, Robi, a semi-autonomous robot vehicle from startup TwinswHeel, carried holidaymakers’ luggage through the car-free resort village of Saas-Fee. This mobility lab project in collaboration with the University of Applied Sciences of Western Switzerland (HES-SO) gave Swiss Post important insights into potential future mobility services.

The optimum delivery round

In conjunction with notime, a startup acquired in 2020, and ETH Zurich, Swiss Post is optimizing its delivery rounds. This project’s algorithms and planning tools use the latest scientific findings to calculate and display several of the shortest possible routes and choose the best option.