The Postal Corporation of Kenya, popularly known, Posta Kenya, has been in business for more than 100 years. Over the years, it has dipped its toes in different kinds of business to stay afloat, but that hasn’t worked for it in a long time as the corporation struggles to generate revenues.
This time around, we have learned that the company has now entered the food delivery business following sightings of multiple M-POST branded motorcycles. This puts the company in a tough spot because the logistics business is incredibly competitive right now. The likes of Glovo and Jumia are already in the space, alongside many other firms that are tapping into the supposedly lucrative food delivery business in the city.
But how did the company get here? Well, as said, Posta Kenya has not had smooth sailing for an extended period now. Many years ago, it sought to launch VSAT linkages for all Posta outlets in Kenya. The product failed following a report that it was riddled with corrupt activities.
It then launched a bus service in 2016 named Posta Liner. According to the state corporation, the Liner was to first operate between Nairobi and Busia. It did not succeed, and the company continued to bleed financially as technology threatened its business thanks to a drop in the number of people sending letters.
In 2018, it attempted to enter the clearing and forwarding business, even investing KES 56 million in the venture.
The same year, it considered working with Amazon. The plan, probably, was to allow global shipments into the country, just in a similar manner it works with Ali Express. The Amazon deal, as expected, never materialized.
In later 2019, it launched a genuinely interesting product named M-Post in partnership with operator Safaricom. The service meant that any Safaricom customer could have a postal address linked to their number. We do not know how it has performed over the years, but it is still active, and quite useful, especially for folks in rural parts that do not need to take long trips to distant urban centres just to access postal services.
Will the food deliveries venture work this time around? It is unlikely, but we will keep an eye on it.