In 1989, the Ethiopian Postal service made the decision to introduce EMS and offer customers in Ethiopia a competitive express delivery service. EMS Ethiopia has continued to develop and since 2015 has more than doubled the amount of EMS items delivered on time. Ethiopia's remarkable EMS service improvements were part of a strategy including investment in staff training and work improving relationships with stakeholders and customers.
The first step was to ensure all staff working with EMS, regardless of their level in the organization, had knowledge of EMS performance criteria and targets. EMS Ethiopia invested time and resources to ensure that staff could access the latest training, including the UPU’s online tutorials. Special rewards and recognition were given to employees working on EMS delivery service.
As well as delivery performance, EMS Ethiopia also invested time to improve their EMS customer care by working closely with the EMS Unit and taking the necessary measures to improve the service offered to customers. EMS Ethiopia could not make the improvements alone, and so looked at ways to improve transport performance by working closely with third-parties that impact their supply chain such as surface transporters and customs.
Key to the growth was responding to the needs of their customers. They worked closely with corporate customers and offered price discounts. In 2017, EMS Ethiopia launched a passport delivery service. In April 2018, a new domestic e-commerce service was introduced and, looking forward, they plan to collaborate with strategic partners for international e-commerce.
Customers have responded to these improvements and the service has seen remarkable double-digit growth for the last five years. For example, from 2016 to 2017, EMS traffic growth in Ethiopia rose 22.8%. The work has not finished and the next steps include further diversification and work to enhance the custom clearance process by implementing CDS (Custom Declaration System).