Latvijas Pasts buys postal station chain

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National postal service Latvijas Pasts has acquired the independent Pasta Stacija parcel terminal chain with its 61 terminals from the Baltcap investment fund for 1.8 million euros, said the company’s chairman Marcis Vilcans, cited by the LETA newswire August 22.

Vilcans said customer surveys showed that people would like to receive and send their parcels through percent terminals.

With the acquisition Latvijas Pasts has added 26 parcel machines in Riga and 35 parcel machines in the vicinity of the capital and other cities in Latvia to the services rendered by more than 370 post offices, 1,300 postmen and 100 couriers, as well as a network of 50 Circle-K fuel stations.

Asked about further development plans, Vilcans said that the parcel terminals are just one of the stages. The company has started a procurement to purchase also outdoor parcel terminals.

“We will definitely improve the parcel terminal chain. We have a lot of work to do to offer and integrate the proposal with merchants. We will improve the payment systems,” he said.

The transaction with Baltcap is still in process and the fund continues upgrade of parcel terminals, increasing their capacity. The present average capacity is 850,000 parcels a year.

Also, postal offices will see changes to speed up processes, improve capacity and reduce resources. The company plans to improve accessibility of postal services, and a large part of services will be automated, introducing distance service and self-service opportunities. The company also plans to introduce a number of environmentally-friendly solutions.

Latvijas Pasts had turnover of EUR 89.11 million in 2018, up 17.9 percent against a year before, though the company’s loss grew 18.7 percent on the year to EUR 2.011 million.

Latvijas Pasts is fully owned by the Latvian state and its basic function is providing the universal postal service but is also involved in providing philately, transportation, express mail, financial, press and IT services, as well as some retail trade.

The acquisition came as Latvijas Pasts announced what it called "major modernization plans" to include "automation of a number of services, improvement of customer-oriented care and self-service systems, and the introduction of environmentally friendly solutions in everyday work."

“Latvijas Pasts is one of the most experienced companies in the Latvian communications and logistics sector. I am pleased to see how it is becoming more competitive and modern, while also being capable of drawing on its invaluable experience accumulated over decades. With every step taken by Latvijas Pasts towards more advanced solutions, it contributes to the growth of the sector, as well as to the economy of Latvia as a whole,” Tālis Linkaits, Minister of Transport, said.

A substantial part of the services is going to be automated "in the near future," the company says. The plan involves introducing self-checkouts at the post offices and equipping its call center with virtual assistants, as well as developing a wide range of electronic services. Customers will have the opportunity to use the self-service platform for the making up of postal items, as well as using an improved mobile application, which allows applying for services at the post office remotely and from August also offers redirection of items to a more convenient point of delivery through the mobile phone.

The parcel machines under the brand of Latvijas Pasts will become fully functional after the systems have been completely aligned with each other in autumn 2019.

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