Deutsche Post reveals more details of planned two-tier postage system
Germany’s nationwide postal service has announced more details of plans to introduce a two-tier postage system in the federal republic, but not everyone is on board with the plan.
Deutsche Post pushes for second-class mail in Germany
Deutsche Post was planning to raise its prices in 2024, but after its application to do so was rejected, the international company is considering alternative ways to maintain its large profit margin while fewer letters are being sent in Germany.
More details have now been released about the company’s plans to introduce a two-class postage system, an idea that was already floated at the beginning of 2023.
Under the new plan, standard letters will take around three days to arrive. Since Deutsche Post is a universal service provider, the only company that delivers all over the federal republic, it is legally obliged to deliver 80 percent of post by the next day. Instead, with the new plan customers would only receive this quality of service if they purchase a “Prio” postage stamp.
Of course, this would mean paying more for a service which the Post is currently legally obliged to provide indiscriminately, even though it may often fail to do so. The price for the “Prio” letter “would have to be higher than the current postage,” Deutsche Post representative Nikola Hagleiter told the Welt am Sonntag, “but we aren’t talking about doubling the price”.
German posties demonstrate in Berlin against proposed changes
Speaking to Welt am Sonntag, Hagleiter defended the Post’s proposition by saying that the change is necessary to keep up with higher costs. But not everyone is convinced by Hagleiter’s argument; though fewer letters are being posted in Germany, 2022 saw a parcel postage boom with the company banking its highest profits ever, 5,1 billion euros, a 69,6 percent increase on margins in 2020.
October 9, coincidentally World Post Day, saw around 30.000 Deutsche Post and DHL workers demonstrate in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin against the proposed “Prio” pricing changes, which many fear will result in job losses.
“If the universal service provider can no longer be adequately financed then more than 10.000 jobs are at risk,” workers’ council chairperson Thomas Held told SPIEGEL. Around 116.500 people currently work at the company.
Deutsche Post plans add odds with advice from the UPU
The events come just after Deutsche Post was voted by the Universal Postal Union, an agency of the United Nations that “coordinates postal policies among member nations”, as providing the third best postal services in the world, after only Switzerland and Austria.
The UPU report accessed the state of postal services across the world in 2022 based on four Rs: the reliability, reach, relevance and resilience of a service. While Deutsche Post was praised for excellent service, the conclusions made in the UPU report lie in contrast to the decisions being mulled over by Deutsche Post.
The 2022 report “emphasises not only the stark differences across nations but also the substantial impact that a robust postal system can have on a country’s economic wellbeing,” the organisation wrote, urging governments to pay attention to the report’s findings when drawing up policy related to nationwide postal services.
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