Studies on the Changing Postal Marketplace: Volume 2
Brazil’s national postal operator, Empresa Brasileira de Correios e Telégrafos (ECT or Correios) is the country’s designated provider of universal postal service. Under the authority of the federal Ministry of Communications, Correios utilizes the terms of its regulatory mail monopoly to manage a comprehensive network spanning the world’s fifth largest nation.
Correios is widely regarded as a world leader among postal providers for its innovative use of strategic partnerships with other government agencies and private companies. The provider consistently enjoys popularity among consumers. Its high-profile relationship with Banco Postal, which leverages its extensive network of retail post offices for the provision of consumer financial services, especially to poor and underserved Brazilians, is the most prominent of these.
Additionally, by allowing post office customers to access a wide range of federal government transactions, consumers enjoy greater convenience while the postal provider receives supplemental revenue.
The absence of a strong, independent regulator, on the other hand, restricts transparency in ways that undermine these benefits in a number of ways:
- Lacking service quality metrics audited by an independent authority, consumers lack the confidence of informed expectations and uniform delivery standards in their use of mail and delivery services.
- Private-sector providers competing against Correios or its strategic partners cannot be confident they are being competed against fairly.
- Assurances preventing cross-subsidization from proceeds of the government monopoly to competitive markets are also lacking, to the detriment of monopoly consumers, taxpayers or private-sector competitors.
This paper discusses the reforms Brazil implemented over the last decade, the partnerships created and the culture of the organization that allows it to thrive.
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