DISTRESSED state run postal services company Zimpost received a major boost when it signed a Memorandum of Understanding with China’s largest courier company Shanghai YTO Express (Logistics) Co. Ltd.
Zimpost will be YTO Express’s partner of courier services from China to Zimbabwe and the rest of Southern Africa making it the region largest parcel courier service.
The deal will see the Chinese company buying a stake in Zimpost’s courier subsidiary Courier Connect.
The MOU signed over the weekend in Hangzhou Zhejiang Province says YTO Express and Zimpost will also see capital investment cooperation and investment in cross border e-commerce between China and Zimbabwe.
The signing ceremony was witnessed by Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services Minister Supa Mandiwanzira and YTO Express Chairman and President, Mr Weijiao Yu.
Recent reports have said Zimpost business had declined by 86% from 2000 to date (from 100 million letters per year in 2000 to 14 million to date) as business shift to e-commerce which is fast and convenient.
Speaking to this publication from China Sunday, Zimpost board chairperson Clemence Mabaso said these are some of the ambitious turn around projects under their ‘Beyond the Envelope’ banner meant to increase revenue.
“We are very much excited to be working with a top Chinese courier company in the parcels express industry.
“It’s a major development for us and we promise safety custody of all documents and would like to give credit to Minister Mandiwanzira who initiated the YTO Express deal.”
Early this year, Mandiwanzira cancelled a privatization deal that would have seen local company Pioneer getting a 50 percent stake in Courier Connect in return for four 30 tonne trucks into the company.
Mandiwanzira then described it as a joke.
The minister confirmed the MOU signing but said he was not ready to discuss it with the media.
“Yes, there are good things in the form of courier business coming to Zimpost. I have just come back from China and I need to brief my boss (Pres Mugabe) first then we can talk.”
YTO is said to move more than 13 million parcels per day and had a turnover of S$4 billion last year, the size of Zimbabwe’s national budget.
The company also operates a cargo airline company.Advertisement
The agreement came on the eve of a ‘historic’ state visit to Zimbabwe by the Chinese President Mr Xi Jinping Tuesday who is expected to seal mega economic deals with the government of Zimbabwe.