Oman’s postal sector grows 25 per cent in 2018

The Sultanate’s postal services sector, encompassing both traditional and express mail services, has grown by around 25 per cent in 2018, underscoring the resurgence of a sector that had once been steadily losing ground to modern, electronic versions of communications.
According to the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), which regulates postal services in the Sultanate, traditional mail (TMS) continued to witness steady growth, particularly in the domestic sector. Deliveries surged to 69K articles last year, up from around 25K in 2017 — a jump of 177 per cent.
Traditional mail, combining local and registered postal services, parcels, and registered international incoming and outgoing mail, surpassed the one million mark for the first time in recent times to reach 1,089K articles, the Authority noted.
Registered mail (International incoming) climbed 21 per cent to 884K articles in 2018, up from 731K in 2017. Registered international outgoing articles also surged 33 per cent to 88K last year, up from 66K in 2017. International outgoing parcel services also ballooned 95 per cent, on the back of a campaign by Oman Post — the national postal operator of the Sultanate.
Commenting on the performance of the sector, Dr Hamed Salim al Rawahi, Executive President — TRA, said: “The TRA constantly seeks to regulate the operation of postal services to be consistent with international treaties that the Authority is party to, through monitoring and liberalising the sector and encouraging local and international investment to provide customers with high-quality services at reasonable prices.”
As many as 11 companies have been licensed to operate in the postal services sector as of December 31, 2018. The list includes Oman Post — part of Asyad Group — which handles all of the traditional mail, as well as provides express mail services. Private players licensed to provide express mail services (couriers) are DHL, Aramex, Elite, GAC, Falcon Air, Moon Express Cargo, United Travel, Muscat Post, Blue Moon Inland Cargo, ATS, SkyNet, First Flight, The Best Solution, First Gulf Technology, Advanced Arrow, and Irsal Al Ningal al Saree.
Private licensed couriers handled close to 1.5 million articles last year with ecommerce based shipments accounting for a third of this volume, according to the Authority.