Deutsche Post could cut delivery services to three days per week
Head of the German Federal Network Agency Klaus Müller has said the organisation is considering reducing how many days a week Deutsche Post delivers mail.
Regularity of Deutsche Post deliveries could be reduced
“Deutsche Post is still obliged to deliver six days a week. But our society and our communication behaviour have changed,” the head of the Federal Network Agency (Bundesnetzagentur), Klaus Müller, recently told the Funke Media Group.
Müller says that cutting the number of days that Post workers are required to drop off mail in local letter boxes would help to cut costs at the company, and pointed out that limiting delivery to just two, three or four days per week is normal in other countries. “I am open to something like that becoming possible here as well,” he added.
As a universal service provider, Deutsche Post must fulfil certain service obligations set by the German government, such as postbox accessibility and speed of delivery. If these obligations are fulfilled, the government may allow Deutsche Post to charge prices that mean the business can continue to make a profit. In 2022, the delivery company made a profit of 8,4 billion euros.
Müller has reservations about increasing postage stamp prices
Another prospective change to Deutsche Post services is the company’s plans to hike postage stamp prices. In May 2023, Deutsche Post announced that it had submitted an application to the Federal Network Agency, asking for permission to raise the cost of a standard domestic letter postage stamp.
Normally, postage costs increase every three years in Germany. The last price hike came at the beginning of 2022, when the cost of a standard domestic letter rose from 80 cents to 85 cents and the cost of sending a postcard increased from 60 cents to 70 cents.
Initially, it seemed highly likely that the Post would be granted permission to make the change, but Müller has now expressed his reservations, citing that complaints to the company have already more than doubled in the first quarter of 2023. “Whether to increase postage in this situation has to be carefully considered. There are legitimate interests for Deutsche Post but we also have to keep the customer in mind.”
When it submitted its price hike application in May, the Post cited inflation and higher energy prices as a justification, saying that it was “absolutely necessary” to raise fees. Critics of the policy argue that the cycle of increasing wages by passing costs on to the customers is a clear sign that Germany’s Postal Act must be reformed and that Deutsche Post’s profit demands mean that costs are driven up unnecessarily.
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