Posti reduces mail deliveries in face of pandemic

The pandemic has hit postal volumes at Finland’s Posti, which is significantly reducing its Friday mail deliveries over the coming summer and making temporary layoffs.

Mail volumes in Finland fell 20% after a decline of 15% between January and March. This has been brought about by the economy slowing and many businesses that had sent paper invoices and mail slowing down or stopping altogether.

As well as reducing its Friday mail deliveries, Posti is in negotiations with unions and authorities to temporarily lay off a number of personnel who are concerned solely with mail sorting and delivery. Parcels & eCommerce personnel won’t be affected. The changes are initially to take place between June 1 and August 31.

“Due to the coronavirus restrictions, operations in many service sector businesses have been slowed down or interrupted altogether. As a result, these organisations are not sending paper invoices or advertisements to customers in the usual volumes. In April, the decrease in the volume of addressed letters accelerated to approximately 20%, whereas in January–March the decrease was 15% year on year. This is a dramatic change, as five years ago the volume decline was only 6%. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, also advertisement mail has decreased significantly,” said Yrjö Eskola, SVP, Postal Services at Posti Group.

Early morning newspaper, magazine and parcel deliveries will be unaffected by the changes. Posti service points and customer services will not be changed either.

Eskola pointed out that mail volumes have fallen by 50% over the last 10 years thanks to digitisation and this trend continues as the role of ‘snail mail’ decreases in people’s daily lives.

“The current trend is similar in the postal industry across Europe – the coronavirus pandemic is accelerating the adoption of digital communication tools. Furthermore, in Finland the public sector is giving up on paper mail and also the state is accelerating this process. The impact on Posti’s revenues is dramatic,” Eskola emphasised.