IPC – international mail flows resilient during 2020 lockdowns

The International Posts Corporation’s (IPC) UNEX 2020 CEN index has shown that despite the pandemic, international priority mail still took an average of 4.4 days to get from sender to recipient. More than half of the mail was delivered within three days despite the lockdown measures that were unevenly imposed around Europe.

The IPC UNEX CEN system measures mail speed and reliability from end to end, from posting to collection, sorting and handling to delivery. It showed that all postal operators were impacted by the pandemic restrictions, as well as the issue of air mail hitting flight bottlenecks due to lack of aircraft. Postal operators worked around this including by sending mail overland or by sea.

Some 80,000 test letters were sent and received by 900 volunteers in 32 countries – the EU 27 plus the UK, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Serbia. They were posted in the way normal letters are sent including induction and franking systems, and around half had RFID tags that were recorded on RFID recorders as they passed through the postal operators’ systems. 

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