IPC – quality of mail exceeds EU requirements

According to the International Post Corporation (IPC), the quality of letter mail service in Europe in 2015 exceeded the EU’s speed objective as well as the reliability objective. 85% of mail within the EU arrived within 3 days of posting, where 97% of post arrived within five days.

The IPC used the UNEX measuring system, and found that 89% of international priority and First Class letter mail was delivered within three days of posting. 97.1% made it within five days, and the average delivery time was 2.5 days.

Commenting on the results, Herbert-Michael Zapf, President and Chief Executive officer, IPC, said: “2015 was the 18th consecutive year that the end-to-end performance for priority letter mail in Europe exceeded both the speed and reliability objectives set by the 1997 Postal Directive. The consistent high level of performance demonstrates that postal operators continue to work hard to maintain a reliable service for customers.”

Results of the assessment covered 32 countries – the 28 states of the EU, plus Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Serbia.

Postal performance was conducted by external research companies. 266,000 test letters were sent in 2015, and more than 75% contained Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags. The passage of a test letter at a specific moment in the mail pipeline is recorded when an RFID reader scans the tag. These letters move anonymously through the international mail processing system from posting to delivery.

Where 97% sounds fairly good in terms of percentages, this still suggests that millions of letters go missing every year through the EU’s postal systems, considerably more correspondence than goes missing through the email system. Postal companies need to wake up to this if they are to compete with the system that could well kill off letter deliveries for good.

The UNEX results 2015 brochure is available at: https://www.ipc.be/~/media/documents/public/unex/full%20year%20results/unex_leaflet_2015_en.pdf