(Adds background, quotes from CEO and analyst)
By Alan Charlish
May 30 (Reuters) - Belgian postal operator Bpost said on Wednesday it was teaming up with DHL for e-commerce deliveries in the Benelux region, in a move to boost its position in cross-border deliveries of online purchases.
E-commerce is the major growth business in the postal sector, and cashing in on its rise is crucial for companies faced with declining volumes of conventional mail.
DHL Parcel and Bpost will join forces in a non-exclusive partnership under the name “De Benelux bezorgers”, the Belgian company said.
“The partnership between Bpost and DHL gives Dutch online stores access to a huge potential market of Belgian online shoppers and facilitates cross-border shopping, delivery and returns,” Wouter van Benten, Chief Executive of DHL Parcel Benelux, said in a statement.
Cross-border deliveries are important in Belgium as many of the online stores Belgians use are located abroad, particularly in the Netherlands and Germany.
“Partnering with DHL enables them (Bpost) to better source from Germany for instance, where DHL is strong, and perhaps even combined with DHL attempt to take some share back from PostNL ,” said ING analyst Marc Zwartsenburg.
Zwartsenburg added Bpost had been facing stiff competition from PostNL in cross-border parcels due to the Dutch company’s close relationship with popular online retailers in the Netherlands.
Shares in Bpost rose as much as 5 percent immediately after the announcement. They were up 3 percent at 1004 GMT.
The e-commerce partnership with DHL follows Bpost’s $820 million acquisition of U.S.-based e-commerce service provider Radial in October. (Reporting by Alan Charlish; Editing by Thyagaraju Adinarayan and Mark Potter)