Christine Holgate, chief executive officer of Australia Post. (Photo: China Daily)
Christine Holgate is chief executive officer of Australia Post, an organization more than 200 years old. During the second CIIE, she talked about the company's mission, vision and current development, especially in China.
Q: Firstly, would you please describe your company in a few words, and tell us about its vision and mission?
A: Australia Post is a 210+ year organization that is one of the most trusted and loved within Australia. Our purpose has always been to connect people and businesses to the world. We're not the only postal operator to face challenges in its business – our letters volumes continue to decline.
But we also have enormous opportunities in our business – parcel volumes continue to grow domestically (approx. 10% YOY) and we've introduced more competitive outbound products/ contract volume with volumes up by approx. 25%.
We're investing in our identity services and financial service products along with our partners; we're investing in our network to grow capacity & process more parcels and packets faster, and importantly we're also investing our people.
Q: Could you please tell us more about the international network of Australia Post? How has Australia Post performed globally in 2018?
A: Our international business has, at its core, international postal operations, which refers to the alignment we have with the other postal operators globally shipping smaller items that can go through the postal network. This includes both inbound to Australia and outbound from Australia.
We also have international commercial capabilities where the items being shipped are too big to go through the postal network. AP Global is our commercial logistics business – we acquired it in December last year and in essence what it offers is an end-to-end logistics solution from any origin to any destination. APG has an established presence in key global trade lanes including Asia, Europe and the USA.
We see that there's a massive opportunity for us to tap into Asia and China specifically with more than 460M middle-class Chinese at our door step. The global eCommerce market is growing twice as fast as the Australian domestic market. By 2023 the global online goods market is forecasted to reach USD $3.43 trillion which provides a tremendous opportunity to Australia Post. We also have fulfillment and warehousing capabilities through our joint-venture with China Post called Sai Cheng, which we're really proud of.
Q: What about Australia Post's current development in China? Could you please tell us more about SaiCheng, the joint-venture between Australia Post and China Post?
A: It provides one stop supply chain services with access to 12 warehouses throughout China, 8 of which are located in Free Trade Zones.
Q：With the rapid development of e-commerce in China, what kinds of service can Australia Post provide to Chinese consumers who buy products from Australia?
A: Australia Post is such a trusted brand not only with Australians but also with Chinese consumers who are after high quality products. There are a number of ways that we're supporting both Chinese consumers and Australian businesses connect:
Australia Post's China Direct stores – offers unique products & also shipping online and through bricks and mortar stores in Australia
Events & partnerships including participating at CIIE and partnerships with Shanghai Post, Argyle Group to make it easier for Chinese consumers to access premium Australia products in China
Partnering with leading marketplaces such as Tmall, NeteaseKaola and Red book to set up online Australia Post shopfronts & our core offering of logistics, warehousing and fulfillment – making it easier and simpler for merchants to ship their products to Chinese consumers & for Chinese consumers to receive their items
Q: During the second China International Import Expo, what business opportunities do you think the expo will bring to Australia Post?
A: For us it's about flying the Australia Post brand and Australia flag at the CIIE this year with all the officials and professional buyers who will be in attendance.
We're also really excited to be showcasing the Australian lifestyle at our exhibit. This year, we're joined by more than 30 brands who'll be exhibiting with us including:
Healthcare – Blossom, Ocean King, True Protein, Homart, NaturoBest, JS Health, Australian Naturalcare
Skincare & Personal Care - Aspect Skin, DU'IT, Ego Pharmaceuticals, Earon, Moogoo, Carbon Coco, Sukin, Fox Tan, Omit, SkinB5
Mother & Baby – Bubba Organic, Glitter Friends
Food & Beverage – Blue River Wine, Fonterra, Nestle
Apparel – Culture Kings, Minnow Design, Doyoueven
Lifestyle & Design – AFL, Kikki K, Maison de Sabre
Strategic Partners – Argyle Hotels, AsiaLink, Bank of China
We are proud to participate at CIIE again this year. Come and say hello to us!