Cyprus Post takes digital leap

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Cyprus Post is entering the digital world by introducing innovative and high-tech services that allow it to modernise its delivery service and back-office administration, handling more items, from letters to parcels.

The postal service is also considering developing a drone-delivery system.

Transport and Communications Minister Yiannis Karousos said the 28-month project, tendered to the Greece-Cyprus joint venture Cosmos-CBS-IT, is “the flagship project that will revolutionise the Cyprus Postal Service”.

Costing €2.68 mln, the project includes across the board logistical upgrade of the department, efficient inventory, intelligent sorting, and alerts through artificial intelligence (AI) and optical character recognition (OCR) that will read basic information such as the sender’s and recipient’s details.

It is very similar to the system introduced by the US Postal Service to remain competitive.

In contrast, Karousos also hinted that the USPS has additional tasks, such as responsibility for the electronic voting system in America.

“The strategic goal, as a result of changes in the postal market, primarily the reduction of traditional mail and the development of e-commerce, is the sustainable development and improvement of the level of postal services by providing new postal and other services, upgrading existing ones,” said Karousos.

The new system, dubbed ‘Thalis’, will ensure savings of human resources and costs, managing Cyprus Post’s revenues better, increasing productivity, and cutting down on bureaucracy and administrative burdens.

“The automatic small-package sorting machine, as well as connected customs control systems, will modernise and speed up the management of incoming postal items, which are growing rapidly as a result of a flourishing e-commerce,” the minister said.

Karousos added that already underway is the counter automation system (CAS), which will dramatically improve individual post offices’ operation.

Life has been injected into the post offices network after they concluded a deal with MoneyGram for real-time international cash transfers.

Simultaneously, many of the larger post offices also host the Citizens’ Bureau to process government services for the public.

Karousos said that upgrading the Postal Service role could be a significant contributor to reducing the carbon footprint.

“The Cyprus Post will contribute to the national target for reducing emissions, wanting to leave a strong green imprint.

“This will be done by replacing, in the first stage, the fleet of 220 motorcycles owned by the Cyprus Post with electric motorcycles.”

Digital Innovation and Research Deputy Minister Kyriacos Kokkinos said the entire facelift of the postal services is part of the government’s broader digital reform programme.

“This digital transformation is the core driving force of the new development model that will ensure the sustainability and competitiveness of the Cypriot economy.”