Report of the President of UKE on the state of postal services market in Poland in 2011.
Greater competitiveness and major players in the postal market
Recently, the postal services market has been evolving gradually in Poland towards greater competitiveness. The area of services reserved for a public operator is decreasing systematically and at the same time market competition is on the increase.
New opportunities and conditions favourable for the growth of competitiveness have been created primarily due to the EU legal regulations. The so-called Third Postal Directive of 2008 determined the date for a full opening of the internal market until 31 December 2010 and specified the principles of its functioning under the conditions of full liberalization. Poland took the opportunity to postpone the date of the implementation of this Directive by the end of 2012.
In 2011, apart from Poczta Polska S.A., 247 entities were entered into the register of postal operators (as at the end of 2011), compared to 244 registered entities in 2010. It should be also noted that not all operators entered into the register actually operate. There were 154 active operators in 2011 (compared to 152 in 2010).
Poczta Polska is still the key player in the postal market. It is the only entity with the infrastructure necessary to provide universal postal services. Universal postal services are actually the main element of all services provided by Poczta Polska, and the key service in the group of universal postal services is unregistered mail. In 2011, the public operator performed over 2.1 billion domestic and cross-border postal services (universal postal services, contract-based postal services, including courier services), which translated into over PLN 4.8 billion in revenue. This number of services includes approximately 1.6 billion universal postal services, which generated about PLN 4.2 billion in revenue, of which over 1.3 billion were letters which generated the revenue of nearly PLN 3.3 billion.
In 2011, non-public operators provided over 3.7 billion postal services, both domestic and cross-border (including items of correspondence, direct mail, parcels, and unaddressed/unsolicited mail), representing nearly PLN 1.5 billion in revenue. Data submitted by the aforementioned operators show that unaddressed/unsolicited mail represent the highest share in domestic mail services in terms of volume (93.0%), but their share in revenues generated by operators is rather insignificant (10.1%). Parcels are the main source of revenues generated by non-public operators - about 61.4% of domestic revenues and about 71.7% of cross-border revenues.
Postal services performed in 2011
Analysis of postal services performed in 2011 by all operators demonstrates that Poczta Polska is definitely a dominating entity in the area of items of correspondence and direct mail (its shares in revenue amount to - 89.8% and 89.4%, respectively). The share of non-public operators in revenues in the segment of parcels and other contract-based services is significant - it amounts to 59.5%. In the area of unsolicited/unaddressed mail non-public operators have definite advantage (83.3% of revenues). What is important, business activity in this area requires no registration in the Register of Postal Operators; as a result UKE does not have the complete data in this respect and the actual market structure is supposedly slightly different (i.e. the market share of Poczta Polska is much lower).
Postal market on the eve of liberalization
The recently obtained data on the number of non-public operators and the volume of mail proves that after the period of dynamic changes the postal services market started to stabilise. It can be assumed that the decision on the postponement of the date of full liberalisation of the postal market in Poland, as well as the macroeconomic situation of the country, contributed to the slower pace of the development of this market.
Postponement of the date of full liberalization of the Polish postal market to 1 January 2013 was the result of the need to prepare the public operator to functioning on the liberalised postal market and to make it possible for the operator to adapt to a new market situation. The issue of solving problems of Poczta Polska is important as it is the largest player in the area of postal services and the shape of the entire market depends heavily both on the decisions of state authorities concerning the public operator and the measures undertaken by the enterprise.
Opening of the market will affect the size of the reserved area, i.e. this part of the market which is reserved for the public operator. The reserved area, since 2006 covering mail up to 50 g, represents approx. 75% of the entire postal services market (excluding unsolicited/unaddressed mail) and generates about 50% of revenue. It is worth noting that both the size of the volume and the value of revenues in the years 2006-2011 remained at a constant level. The main beneficiary of operations in this relatively stable and attractive market area is Poczta Polska, which is consistent with the intent of the legislator who determined the reserved area in order to finance the obligation to provide universal postal services. However, it should be remembered that lightest mail is sent primarily by mass senders (banks, telecommunications operators, power and gas companies, etc.); it includes bills, invoices, settlements, etc. which are more and more frequently sent electronically. This means that this market segment will gradually shrink and lose its attractiveness. The area of traditional parcel services and courier services has much greater potential which is stimulated primarily by the dynamic growth of Internet shopping.
New Postal Law
An important task for state authorities is to develop and adopt a new Postal Law, not only due to the necessity to implement the provisions of the Third Postal Directive which entered into force in 2008, but also because of the need to organise the legal environment in which postal operators function. The new act should provide operators with conditions for fair competition, and consumers with access to postal services of high quality and reasonable prices. In Poland, the implementation of the provisions of the Third Postal Directive is to be effected by 31 December 2012.
The complete text of the Report is available in the attached file.