Did the mail shape globalization? | Yale InsightsBy
This short monograph is well worth the 15 minutes it will take you. Well before the digital revolution there were letters, and the piece reaches back to the 19th century (and before) to bring to life the early awareness among a few visionaries of the opportunity they had to knit the world together through an efficient global network of postal communication. Those visionaries established the Universal Postal Union.
Their vision of efficient, secure, affordable global interconnection of written communication still has strength.
That need and that opportunity for globalization and integration still exist, and indeed may be even greater than in the day of the hand-written letters which constituted communication within families torn apart by emigration and within the wealthy reaches of early global trading and financial firms.
Less and less is the global communication conducted by letters, although it can be asked if in this digital communication age sealed envelopes are not more secure.
Today, that international message is commercial-it is a parcel. There is quietly occurring a revolution in global retail commerce. Globalization has reached the household level. This is becoming more and more important to economies as ecommerce continues to disintermediate the retail sector, on literally a global basis. It is challenging the posts to continue to fulfill their mission to deliver. It challenges the resources of Customs authorities and transport companies. Revisioning is required in many sectors.
The global postal revolution hasn’t ended. It hasn’t lost its importance. Its interconnected nature across borders is perhaps even more critical than in the 19th century.
It’s just changing its content.