Far ahead and beyond European Union liberalization policy: The case of the postal services in Sweden
Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year))Student thesis
European postal market has been challenged by changes in services that have questioned traditional postal service monopolies. The postal monopolies had evident lack of competitiveness, were not customer oriented, services were poor and unreliable. Postal services were traditionally state monopolies which had no tradition of flexibility and independence toward changing demand and growing competition in the postal market. Couple with this, technology advances, shifts in customer preferences and diminution in physical delivery demand, active competition from logistic companies and increasing internationalization brought the European Commission to modernize through a full liberalization of the postal services in each member state of the Union. Liberalization pursues to give free entrance to companies and bring competition, improvement in services, profitability and success. Some Member states are still unwilling to open their markets to competition due to anti-market ideologies, corporatist interests and protectionist reflex. On the contrary to the more conservative countries, Sweden was a pioneer in this regard. Swedish has preceded the EU postal liberalization starting in 1993, before any other member State. Sweden abolished the postal monopoly before first EU directive was released and even before it became part of the European Union (1995). This dissertation examines the liberalization process of the Swedish postal sector and its consequent transformation. The particularity of Posten AB is to be totally owned by the State but having transformed its organization to answer public policies and business objectives. A study of Posten AB’s internal restructuring, business models, key resources and service networking restructuring created an independent public corporation. It also explains a remarkable step toward being an innovative actor in the business of distribution by integrating into its business models electronic messages with physical mail distribution giving more value to the service. The dissertation proceeds to an analysis of competition and competitors faced by each Posten AB’s business division in a fully liberalized postal market. The information obtained is based on secondary research based on reports, articles, European Commission reports, Acts, books, Postal companies’ annual reports and newspapers rated with real customer’s information available in electronic sources. I reviewed and compare the process of partial and full liberalization of the postal sector in different EU member states in different time. This dissertation focused on Swedish liberalization process of the sector precisely because it was achieved before Sweden became part of the European Union. Posten is allowed, beside its public services duties to develop public services duties to develop independent business strategy based on an analysis of market demands. Posten has converted the traditional postal operator into an organization oriented to create and fasten business opportunities and increase competition. Posten brought investments, innovations, state-of-the-art technology and services and products improvements which resulted in sales increases and higher profitability. Posten’s successful experience demonstrates to other European postal services (and around the world) that overcoming actual challenges in postal market, demand to embrace actively the liberalization of services, by organizing its place in the competition and by restructuring toward technology and the accordingly renewed customers demands. The Swedish postal operators demonstrate that the issue is beyond being a survivor of market forces but materialize in the proactive self-organization of its own profitability and success.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. , 77 p.
Liberalization of postal service, Postal Service in Sweden, Posten AB.
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:bth-3327Local ID: oai:bth.se:arkivexAC7C18E00AA8CB72C1257712003F3A28OAI: oai:DiVA.org:bth-3327DiVA: diva2:830631
UppsokSocial and Behavioural Science, Law