Business is at the moment faring well and there is optimism in the air for the development of many companies and of the sector as a whole. The document and small parcel business has seen a reasonable growth since the start of the year. The growth is mainly attributed to the good performance of the offshore, financial, construction and manufacturing sectors. With the economic boom in the construction industry, their Import Express product has experienced a marked progression. Trade with China and Asia in general has increased exponentially on both the import and export sides. The trend appears to be ongoing and if one looks at the Express business as a barometer then the future in these markets looks extremely promising. According to the Business Development Manager at Mauritius Post Ltd, the EMS traffic is continuously increasing and with the boosting up of the activities in the various economic sectors in Mauritius, they are in an optimistic mood on the potentiality of this business growth.
All companies working closely with the tourism sector, such as UPS, particularly feel that there might be a growth in their market, whereas those relying mostly on the textile industry feel threatened by the small decrease in the turnover owing to the fall in the textile sector. Some company feel worried about the decline of the textile industry. However, although many companies in the textile sector are in decline, there are others who are growing very well, and they have to target these companies. Since UPS works mostly with the tourism sector, they feel that their market will easily expand, relatively to the tourism sector.
Need for new service
As for competition, most companies feel confident to remain in the game. There will always be competition in the field and they have to find a way to offer better services. Fortunately all the courier services in Mauritius started at approximately the same time, so there isnt much to catch up. EMS for example, hopes to improve its services with its new association with Universal Postal Union (or UPU), which groups more than 130 members over the world. Upon registering a membership account with UPU, they receive feedback on their service and an indication on their performance and this will help to improve their services. To the Fedex, the market for the courier industry is small and is not growing sufficiently. Therefore, there is not only a need to offer better services to remain in the competition, but also a need to find new services. There is an evolution, not just competition. The development in Information Technology is encouraging people to send documents through the Internet and they cannot continue to rely on the traditional services they have always offered. They have to understand the new needs of the population so as to create new services. There came a suggestion of regrouping of all companies in the courier industry so as to discuss ethics and gather ideas that can help the courier industry face the new challenges of the industry.
Hopefully, the development in the IT will not only changes in the sector, but can also create new markets. The development in IT can have a positive impact on growth too. While people use Email and it reduces the delivery of documents, it can also open opportunities through e-commerce. With the growth of e-commerce, more goods will have to move, and they will be there for deliveries. One of the issues that worry companies in the courier industry is contraband and drug traffic. Some companies are starting to use the most recent technologies to reinforce security and cut down on paperwork that can cause the delivery to slow down. There is another suggestion that a legal framework be set to define activities in the courier services so as to protect the companies and enable them to grow healthily. Other companies are using the latest technologies and organizing human resources to screen parcels more rapidly. They are also working closely together with the Mauritius Customs Authority to streamline the bureaucracy associated with clearance of express shipments coming into Mauritius. This includes the pre-clearance of small parcels prior to the arrival of the aircraft through the submission of an electronic copy of the manifest and invoice to customs.
DHL has also invested in its own X-Ray machine to identify contraband and suspicious substances packed within parcels entering Mauritius.