Thailand Post waives festive mail charges

Thailand Post waives festive mail charges

Move seeks to boost company's image

To encourage letter-writing, greetings cards, New Year's cards and postcards will receive free postage during the holiday season.
To encourage letter-writing, greetings cards, New Year's cards and postcards will receive free postage during the holiday season.

Thailand Post will waive postage charges for New Year's cards and letters from Dec 25 to Jan 5 to rekindle the traditional way of sending best wishes via the written word as well as boost the company's image, says Digital Economy and Society (DES) Minister Buddhipongse Punnakanta.

Thailand Post has also been urged to improve its competency in 2020 in the face of tough competition from multiple international couriers and logistics providers.

Mr Buddhipongse said on Monday Thailand Post will use the holiday season to shore up its corporate image.

People can write good wishes to their family members and friends by hand, or make their own New Year cards. The postal service will deliver these cards or letters for free, he said.

People can put the cards or letters in envelopes, though no stamps are needed, said Mr Buddhipongse. These envelopes must not be sealed and "Happy New Year" or "Sawasdee" must be written on the envelopes to let postal staff sort the holiday messages.

"People under 19 may not be familiar with this practice, but this is one way for them to experience the old ways of communication in terms of greetings," he said.

This could encourage children to learn how to express their love to others via handwriting in the same way their parents used to, said Mr Buddhipongse.

He said in 2020, Thailand Post must improve its services at all offices nationwide and help rural people to make use of its e-marketplace:

Post offices will also serve as point of sale (POS) spots for local products sold via the e-marketplace.

Local merchants can run inventory and sales checks through an application. Payment can be made via debit cards, credit cards or the e-wallet system provided by Thailand Post, said Mr Buddhipongse.

More POS units are needed to improve the local economy, he said.

In the first half this year, Thailand Post booked 14.1 billion baht in revenue, 1.73 billion lower than its target. The company reaped 1.06 billion baht in profit.

Part of the shortfall stems from competition from private firms, which offer lower fees.

In another development, Mr Buddhipongse said the DES Ministry plans to improve WiFi speed for some villages under the Net Pracharat project next year to create more opportunities for locals to earn income.

The speed will be raised from 30 Mbps for download and 10 Mbps for upload to 200/100 Mbps. The TOT-provided internet service covers 24,700 villages.

The minister said he will ask the government to earmark a higher budget to install free WiFi hotspots, but more details about it need to be studied first.

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