The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) has been asked to crack the whip on illegal Courier operators to rid the sector of unlicensed businesses as they pose risks to consumers.
The announcement was made by Joe Mucheru, ICT Cabinet Secretary and called on CA to enhance its surveillance on the unlicensed operators whom he noted have taken advantage of the rise of online shopping since the outbreak of COVID-19.
Data from CA shows that the number of licensed courier operators hit 289 in June 2021 from 263 in June 2019 while the number of private courier outlets grew from 788 in 2019/2020 to 901 in 2020/2021 financial year.
“I am calling upon CA to enhance its enforcement activities across the country and ensure that those firms operating without licenses are weeded out of the market, for they are not only under cutting licensed operators and denying the government of revenues from license fees and taxes, they pose a risk to consumers who have no redress when their items are lost by these firms,” Mr. Mucheru said.
Mr. Mucheru was speaking during the World Post Day which is marked annually globally in October 9th to create awareness to the Post’s role in the everyday lives of people and businesses, as well as contributes to global social and economic development. This year’s theme is “innovate to recover.”
Ezra Chiloba, Director General CA, said the Authority is keenly watching the development trends in the sector in order to provide regulatory interventions to overcome challenges hampering efficient service delivery.
“To ensure that postal consumers receive quality service, the Authority continues to carry out monitoring of the performance of licensees to ensure the Quality of Service offered to the consumers. Postal operators are therefore urged to submit compliance returns as required every quarter as this forms the basis of reliable data that enable effective planning for the sector,” Mr Chiloba said.
He also noted that the Authority is currently carrying out a market study in the Postal courier subsector in order to establish the service access gaps to inform remedies and initiatives towards boosting services access for consumers. The findings will enable the Authority to take some interventions and address some of the noted challenges experienced by players and consumers of postal courier services.
Dan Kagwe the Postmaster General, Postal Corporation of Kenya (PCK) said the new frontier for the postal services sector is e-commerce and logistics, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic era where customers are keen to trade with minimal physical contact.
“We are making efforts to respond to the fast-changing consumer needs in adaptation of new technologies, to enable the development of suitable last-mile delivery networks. We have recently partnered with Swift Lab Limited to roll out drone based last mile delivery services countrywide for medical supplies, e-commerce purchases and essential cargo,” Mr Kagwe said.
The Postmaster General said PCK was investing in the production of drones manufactured in Kenya as it seeks to claw back its market position as the courier and logistics services provider of choice. Under the three-year agreement, Swift Lab Limited, a Kenyan cargo drone company will manufacture and operate drones that can travel up to 70km and carry a payload of up to 4kg.
In the recent past, PCK has also partnered with government agencies such as National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA), Kenya Medical and Supplies Authority (KEMSA) and the Directorate of Immigration Services as it rapidly innovates to recover from the effect of Covid-19 pandemic on its operations.