IPC: European postal service below EU standards

The International Post Corporation (IPC) UNEX 2016 performance measurements show that the quality of the postal services in Europe is being ‘challenged’ by changing market conditions.

The IPC measurement results show 83.2% of international priority and first-class letter mail in Europe was delivered within three days of posting and 95.2% within five days. Average delivery time was 2.7 days.

In a statement, the IPC noted: “Posts continue to provide a high quality of letter mail service in Europe despite ongoing decline of traditional mail volumes and the steady increase of untracked e-commerce products going through the mail stream.

“However, for the first time since 1998, performance levels dropped below the European Union’s speed objective of 85% of intra-EU mail delivery within three days of posting, and its reliability objective of 97% within five days.”

Commenting on the results, Holger Winklbauer, Chief Executive Officer, IPC, said: “With more than half of the mail in Europe being delivered on the second day, the 2016 results of the UNEX monitoring of letter mail performance show that postal operators are committed to quality of service. Despite evolving and challenging market conditions, in particular, in terms of mail products mix, posts have demonstrated their ability to maintain a reliable service for customers”.

With international letter mail volumes on the decline, operators have had to find ways to ways to reduce costs. Some have done this by changing their transport options – by switching from air to ground, for example. Others have revised their domestic service standards, which has impacted the international mail transit times from posting to delivery to the addressee.

Winklbauer added: “The need for a process review is emerging to accommodate on one hand the continuous decline of letter mail volume and on the other hand the rapidly increasing volume of mail products related to e-commerce such as untracked packets, including changing customers’ demands. The pressure on the existing traditional postal infrastructure and resources therefore remains high.”  
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