By Joseph Varghese
Staff Reporter

Q-Post, the Qatar National Postal Services Company, will launch several new services soon to augment the e-Commerce market in the country.

"New channels of delivery such as Parcel e-Locker; Home Delivery; Ship 2-Q; Q- Shop and Q- Market are among the services," said Faleh Mohamed al-Naemi, chairman and managing director, Q-Post.

Speaking at Qatar’s e-Commerce Forum on Monday, al-Naemi explained that a pilot programme of some of these services will begin early next year.

Also addressing the forum, HE the Minister of Information and Communications Technology Dr Hessa al-Jaber announced that the postal system in the country will be liberalised and suitable amendments made to the postal law. This might open up opportunities for private operators to provide domestic postal services in the country.

Al-Naemi said the company will provide customers in Qatar with secured and automated parcel lockers solutions. “We will offer customers with alternative and convenience delivery locations such as malls, shopping centres, residential areas, and educational campuses which will encourage the online shopping experience. A pilot programme will be launched in the first quarter of 2016.”

“Q-Post has initiated a pilot project of home delivery services in Al Wakrah using the national address system. Q-Post is currently exploring best delivery options for customers for future roll-out. There will be a new transportation fleet to support the expansion of the services.”

The official noted that a new programme Ship2-Q will be launched in the first quarter of 2016. The initiative is expected to meet Qatar customer’s expectations by providing virtual addresses to shop from America, Europe and Asia.

Al-Naemi said that Q-Shop will be another service that will benefit the customers immensely. “This will build an online mall allowing consumers in Qatar to buy goods from selected brands in one-stop-shop portal. The portal will gather the brands together for consumer convenience and the service is expected be launched in the last quarter of 2016.”

Another service will be to build an online platform for Qatar’s merchants to encourage the online presence of the local market. “Q-Post will manage the retailing and warehousing to facilitate the process and decrease the shipping time. This service will be available from 2017,” added al- Naemi.

The official maintained that Q-Post is the fulfilment arm of Qatar digital government. He highlighted “Q-Post is providing secure and trusted delivery fulfilment services of the different digital government services in Qatar. Q-Post handled around 400,000 government transactions in the last three months.”

However, al- Naemi said that Q-Post is facing several challenges due to the address system, limited number of online payment options, government policy on postal services and cash on delivery culture in the country. He emphasised that Q-Post will expand e-Commerce channels and services in the country and offer innovative and personalised postal services.