IPC – International European letters take 4.1 days from posting to delivery

The International Posts Corporation (IPC) has published data showing that on average, international priority letters took 4.1 days to be delivered in 2021. This is a significant drop from 4.4 days in 2020.

The speed of delivery was good even through the pandemic, and shows the resilience of postal operators throughout the situation where short staffing and safety precautions were the norm. Around 60% of mail was delivered within three days and 80% in five days.

Staff shortages impacted sorting, collection and delivery of items, while national and international transport disruption impacted new solutions for getting mail out of one country and into another. Where air transport was impacted, so more went by sea.

The data comes from 900 volunteers in the EU, Iceland, Norway, Serbia, Switzerland and then UK, who posted 80,000 test letters. These measured 794 country-to-country letter flows. The test letters were representative of real mail in terms of mail formats, induction and franking methods, delivery methods and geographical spread within each of the measured European countries. Around half of the letters contained RFID tags that were scanned as they passed through postal networks.

Holger Winklbauer, CEO of IPC, said, “The 2021 results reflect the efforts accomplished by posts to guarantee mail flows and ensure that there was a continued service to the postal customers despite the pandemic. Since the start of the pandemic, IPC’s priority has been to ensure mail continuity by facilitating information sharing and cooperation between posts in Europe and beyond and by putting in place alternative solutions to compensate for the lack of airline capacity.”

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