The agreement, which comes into effect on June 1, 2021, between the South African Post Office and e-commerce platform Mail Americas will see improved delivery time frames of packages throughout the country, including rural areas.
THE SOUTH African Post Office (Sapo) has signed an agreement with American-based company Mail Americas that will see improved delivery time frames of packages throughout the country, including rural areas.
The agreement comes into effect on June 1, 2021.
Mail Americas specialises in providing cross-border business-to-customer solutions to postal operators. The e-commerce platform focuses on connecting businesses with customers in Latin America and Africa, according to Sapo.
Sapo said the agreement would give online traders better access to all of southern Africa.
“To individuals who buy items online, it means greater choice, lower delivery charges and faster, simpler deliveries and customs clearances.”
Sapo would be providing distribution services to clients of Mail Americas in South Africa and the subcontinent.
Under this agreement, said Sapo, items would come to South Africa with many customs procedures completed in advance. The clearance and sorting process is much simpler and the processing time should be 50% faster.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has seen a shift towards e-commerce in Southern Africa and with 1,500 branches all over South Africa, the SA Post Office is in the right position to give all South Africans access to e-commerce, including those outside cities.”
Sapo further explained that South Africa is the regional port of entry for air freight imports and that Sapo, with its sorting centre at OR International Tambo Airport, serves as a point of entry for mail into the subcontinent.
“These factors make the SA Post Office the logical choice as a partner for Mail Americas.”
Since the agreement between the two companies came into effect, several consignments of parcels from international online trader Wish.com have arrived in SA and parcels in the first consignment have been collected by customers, said Sapo.
The Post Office has urged customers who receive an SMS requesting collection to collect their parcel from their local branch.
“We want to deliver the kind of service our customers deserve. In fact, our focus is now shifting towards an obsession with the customer,” said Sapo chief executive Nomkhita Mona.
Sapo said the emphasis on customer service was part of a drive to ensure that customers receive parcels as quickly as possible.