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EMS members meet face-to-face at the 2021 General Assembly

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EMS members at the 2021 EMS Cooperative General Assembly in Berne
EMS members at the 2021 EMS Cooperative General Assembly in Berne

After a break of 20 months, members were able to meet face-to-face at an EMS meeting. The 24th EMS Cooperative General Assembly took place at the UPU International Bureau in Berne, Switzerland on 18 and 19 November 2021. To cater for those unable to travel, the General Assembly was held in 'hybrid' style with 101 participants from 56 countries attending the meeting (23 members countries were represented in Berne and 33 members countries participated remotely).

Since the last General Assembly, like the rest of the world, the EMS Cooperative has made adjustments to ensure EMS business continuity despite the COVID-19 restrictions. This meeting was able to take place because EMS Cooperative members voted to approve amendments to the Rules of Procedure to enable the holding of a remote or hybrid EMS Cooperative General Assembly.

Members at the two-day event reviewed the work of the EMS Cooperative over the last year. EMS Cooperative member operators reacted quickly to tackle global postal supply chain disruption, for many 2021 was a year of recovery as global trade improved. Throughout the pandemic, EMS operators have met regularly, taking part in over 58 regional meetings where they exchanged information to ensure business continuity for international EMS.

As well as the current status of the EMS network, members at the General Assembly also agreed on the next steps needed to support the challenge of recovering cross-border e-commerce. One major decision by members, was the approval of the EMS Cooperative Business Plan 2021–2025 that was reviewed and updated due to changes in the global market resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. The EMS Cooperative Business Plan clearly sets out how the EMS Cooperative’s 178 designated operator members will continue to work together providing a unified global network and meeting incremental standards to ensure that EMS remains the fastest postal product.

The agenda also included updates and demonstrations on the EMS reporting system, SMART and i-Care, EMS international customer care system. Looking forward, members at the General Assembly approved the 2022 budget and work plan which prioritizes resources to support members in meeting EMS business expectations for 2022 and, if permitted, including the return of Regional Coordinators to the field.