Challenge Project

Ensuring Postal Resilience in the Digital Economy

Use OPEN DATA to develop solutions for the postal sector enabling them to adapt, survive and thrive in 2023 and beyond!


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Link to final Pitch Deck: 📎 Ensuring Resilience in the Postal Economy.pdf


The challenge is to use multiple data sources, but with a specific focus on OPEN DATA, to develop solutions that enhance the resilience of the postal sector in the digital economy. Participants are encouraged to explore various data sources, such as social media, weather data, economic data, postal sector data, and transportation data, to develop innovative solutions that can be implemented by postal companies to improve their performance and service delivery.


The primary objective of this challenge is to leverage open data to develop innovative solutions that enhance the resilience of the postal sector in the digital economy. The postal sector is facing significant disruption due to the rise of e-commerce and the changing expectations of customers, which has increased demand for faster and more reliable delivery services. This challenge seeks to address this challenge by encouraging participants to explore new ways of using data to improve the performance of postal companies.

For: Postal Operators and their various stakeholders in the postal value chain - especially those in regions such as Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP), Middle East & North Africa (MENA) and South East Asia (ASEAN).

  • Postal operators: The primary beneficiaries of this challenge would be the postal operators themselves. By leveraging open data to develop innovative solutions, postal operators could improve their service delivery, reduce costs, and remain competitive in the digital economy. This would help them to maintain market share and increase profitability.
  • Customers: Customers would benefit from improved service delivery, faster delivery times, and increased reliability. This would increase satisfaction levels and encourage customers to continue using postal services.
  • Small and medium-sized businesses: Small and medium-sized businesses that rely on postal services for their operations would benefit from improved efficiency and faster delivery times. This would help them to operate more effectively and compete with larger businesses.
  • Governments: Governments could benefit from improved postal services by ensuring the efficient delivery of important documents and goods, such as election ballots, government forms, and medication. Society as a whole: A more efficient and effective postal sector would benefit society as a whole by enabling the delivery of important goods and services and supporting economic growth.


Traditional postal operators need to develop innovative solutions and ways to adapt and remain relevant. By leveraging open data, it is envisaged that participants in this challenge will be encouraged to develop solutions that improve the performance and service delivery of postal companies.

Specifically, solutions could address challenges such as:

  • improving delivery times
  • optimizing delivery routes, reducing costs, and
  • enhancing customer satisfaction.

These solutions could have a significant impact on the resilience of postal companies in the face of digital disruption, helping them to remain competitive and meet the evolving needs of customers.


Open Data from various sources such as the: UPU, the ITU, other United Nations agencies (see UN Data, UN SDGs Open Data, UN iLibrary, World Bank Open Data, Intergovernmental Organisations, International (non-Governmental) Organisations, Social Media, Statistical Aggregator Websites (Our World in Data and Statista are great starts), National and Regional Transportation Authorities, Meteorological Authorities (start with the WMO, for example), Statistical Authorities, Data Repositories, public APIs and so on. (See this list for a good starting point for a list of Open Data portals from around the world).

A focus should be on sources that provide information on postal services, delivery patterns, customer behavior, and other relevant factors.

  • Social media data: Social media platforms provide a wealth of data on customer sentiment, preferences, and behavior. Teams can use this data to develop solutions that better meet customer expectations and improve customer satisfaction.
  • Weather data: Weather patterns can have a significant impact on postal operations, affecting delivery times and transport routes. Teams can use weather data to develop solutions that optimize delivery routes and improve reliability.
  • Transportation data: Transportation data can provide insights into traffic patterns, travel times, and congestion. Teams can use this data to develop solutions that improve the efficiency of delivery operations and reduce costs. See Open Flight route data, IATA Open API Data Hub, IMO Global Integrated Shipping Information System, and these links to Open Rail Data.

Besides data sources, other resources should include:

  • Technical tools and platforms: Participants could use various technical tools and platforms to analyze and visualize data, develop algorithms, and create solutions. Examples of such tools include Python, R, Tableau, Power BI, Looker, Qlik, and various machine-learning libraries and frameworks.

There are several free, trial and open source options available here.


  • Improved resilience: Postal companies that implement the solutions developed in this challenge would be more resilient in the face of digital disruption. They would be better equipped to adapt to changing customer expectations and remain competitive in a rapidly evolving market.
  • Enhanced customer satisfaction: By optimizing delivery times and routes, postal companies could provide faster, more reliable service to customers, which would increase satisfaction levels.
  • Increased efficiency: Solutions that reduce costs and improve efficiency would allow postal companies to operate more effectively, providing better value for customers and increasing profitability.
  • Better use of data: By leveraging open data sources, postal companies could gain insights into customer behavior, delivery patterns, and other factors that could help them make more informed decisions and improve their operations.

Overall, solving this challenge could have a significant positive impact on the postal sector, benefiting both postal companies and their customers.

High Level Slide Deck

Example of Problem Statement Slide Deck

Link to final Pitch Deck: 📎 Ensuring Resilience in the Postal Economy.pdf

DATA ANALYSIS 📎 Time Distances.csv

Time Distances between Airports calculated as the median time between actual last leg arrival time and actual first leg departure time from UPU Postal Data (EDI Messages).


Challenge Owner: Tracy Hackshaw

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