Archive:Postal and courier services statistics - NACE Rev. 2
- Data from October 2015. Most recent data: Further Eurostat information, Main tables and Database. "
Main statistical findings
The postal and courier services (Division 53) sector has been characterised by widespread changes that may be linked to the deregulation of markets that were previously dominated by national postal monopolies. Across the EU-28, there were 55.1 thousand postal and courier services enterprises in 2012. Together they employed 1.8 million persons, equivalent to 1.4 % of all persons employed in the non-financial business economy Sections B to J and L to N and Division 95) and 17.4 % of those persons working in transportation and storage services (Section H). They generated EUR 59.7 billion of value added, which was equivalent to 1.0 % of the non-financial business economy total and 12.2 % of the transportation and storage services total.
The apparent labour productivityof the EU-28’s postal and courier services sector in 2012 was EUR 33.0 thousand per person employed, which was below both the non-financial business economy average of EUR 46.2 thousand per person employed and the transportation and storage services average of EUR 46.0 thousand per person employed. Average personnel costs per employee within the EU-28’s postal and courier services sector were slightly below average: EUR 28.5 thousand for postal and courier services compared with EUR 32.4 thousand for the non-financial business economy and EUR 33.1 thousand for all transportation and storage services.
The wage-adjusted labour productivity ratio combines these two previous indicators and shows the extent to which value added per person employed covers average personnel costs per employee. Due to the relatively low levels of labour productivity and only slightly inferior average personnel costs, the EU-28’s postal and courier services sector had a lower than average wage-adjusted labour productivity ratio, standing at 114.0 % in 2012, compared with a non-financial business economy average of 142.6 % and a transportation and storage services average of 140.0 %.
The gross operating rate (the relation between the gross operating surplus and turnover) stood at 8.1 % for the EU-28’s postal and courier services sector in 2012, which was broadly in line with the non-financial business economy average (9.4 %), but noticeably less than the transportation and storage services average (12.6 %).
Around 19 out of every 20 enterprises within the EU-28’s postal and courier services sector were classified within other postal and courier activities (Group 53.2), reflecting the deregulated market structure for this particular activity where internationally known enterprises compete against local competitors for the courier business. However, the postal activities under universal service obligation (Group 53.1) subsector remains a concentrated activity. It was also the largest of the two subsectors for nearly all measures other than for an enterprise count, with almost three fifths (58.7 %) of the sectoral workforce and nearly two thirds (64.5 %) of the added value generated in the EU-28’s postal and courier services sector in 2012.
EU-28 postal activities under universal service obligation recorded somewhat higher apparent labour productivity (EUR 36.0 thousand per person employed) in 2012 than that recorded for other postal and courier activities (EUR 28.0 thousand per person employed); both subsectors had apparent labour productivity ratios that were below the non-financial business economy and transportation and storage services averages. Average personnel costs for other postal and courier activities were EUR 23.9 thousand per employee, while for postal activities under universal service obligation they were, at EUR 31.6 thousand per employee, close to the non-financial business economy average (EUR 32.4 thousand per employee). The wage-adjusted labour productivity ratios for both subsectors were well below the non-financial business economy average (142.7 %) and the transportation and storage services average (140.0 %): 117.0 % for other postal and courier activities and 113.0 % for postal activities under universal service obligation.
For the gross operating rate, the rates reflected quite a similar level of performance in the two subsectors that compose the postal and courier services sector, as the postal activities under universal service obligation subsector recorded an operating rate of 9.1 % across the EU-28 in 2012 (which was close to the non-financial business economy average), while the corresponding rate for other postal and courier activities was somewhat lower (7.2 %).
The postal and courier services sector in Germany employed 510 thousand persons — equivalent to 27.8 % of the EU-28 total in 2012 — far ahead of the United Kingdom with its share of 13.2 %. Nevertheless, the latter accounted for 22.8 % of the EU-28’s value added within the postal and courier services sector, the next highest contributors were Germany (19.1 % of the EU-28 total), France (17.1 %) and Italy (12.8 %); none of the remaining Member States had a double-digit share. While Germany’s share of EU-28 value added in this sector was slightly lower than its average share for the whole of the non-financial business economy (22.4 %), the reverse was true for the other three large Member States, most notably for the United Kingdom with its share of 16.8 % of the EU-28 total for the whole of the non-financial business economy. Collectively 71.8 % of the EU-28 value added in the postal and courier services sector stemmed from the four largest Member States, compared with a 64.0 % share for the same four Member States in the EU-28’s non-financial business economy value added. The United Kingdom, Italy, France, Slovenia, Belgium and Hungary were the most specialised Member States (in value added terms) in this sector in 2012, each generating 1.0 % or more of their non-financial business economy value added from postal and courier services. The least specialised Member States were Estonia and Lithuania, where just 0.4 % of non-financial business economy value added came from this sector.
The pattern of below average apparent labour productivity and only slightly inferior average personnel costs observed for the EU-28’s postal and courier services sector was repeated in most of the EU Member States in 2012, although Ireland was the only Member State where average personnel costs per employee actually exceeded apparent labour productivity per person employed. Apart from Ireland, wage-adjusted labour productivity ratios for the postal and courier services sector ranged from 100.4 % in the Czech Republic to 132.8 % in Estonia. Italy was the only EU Member State (among those with data available) to record a wage-adjusted labour productivity ratio for postal and courier services that was above its non-financial business economy average in 2012.
Cyprus recorded the highest gross operating rate (22.5 %) in the postal and courier services sector in 2012, followed by Italy (14.3 %), Belgium (13.1 %) and the United Kingdom (12.4 %). By far the lowest gross operating rates were registered in Greece (1.9 %) and France (0.4 %).
Size class analysis
The enterprise size structure of the EU-28’s postal and courier services sector is almost completely dominated by large enterprises (employing 250 or more persons). The 444 large enterprises classified to this sector provided 89.6 % of the value added and employed 86.9 % of the workforce in 2012. The employment and value added shares of large enterprises within the postal and courier services sector were the fifth highest shares in 2012 among all of the non-financial business economy NACE divisions; for comparison, the non-financial business economy average for large enterprise was 33.0 % of employment and 42.5 % of value added.
In 2012, large enterprises employed at least half of the postal and courier services workforce in all 11 the EU Member States for which data are available. The shares ranged from 51.4 % in Cyprus to more than 85.0 % in the United Kingdom, Romania, Portugal, Italy and France. The three smaller size classes each employed 10.0 % or less of the workforce in nearly all of the Member States, the exceptions being the shares of micro enterprises (employing fewer than 10 persons) in the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain (all three close to one tenth) and Cyprus (15.2 %); and the shares of medium-sized enterprises (employing 50 to 249 persons) in Denmark, Bulgaria (close to one tenth) and Cyprus (30 %). A broadly similar structure could be observed in value added terms, although the share of medium-sized enterprises exceeded one fifth in Cyprus, Lithuania and Bulgaria.
Data sources and availability
The analysis presented in this article is based on the main dataset for structural business statistics (SBS) and size class data, all of which are published annually.
The main series provides information for each EU Member State as well as a number of non-member countries at a detailed level according to the activity classification NACE. Data are available for a wide range of variables.
In structural business statistics, size classes are generally defined by the number of persons employed. A limited set of the standard structural business statistics variables (for example, the number of enterprises, turnover, persons employed and value added) are analysed by size class, mostly down to the three-digit (group) level of NACE. The main size classes used in this article for presenting the results are:
- small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs): with 1 to 249 persons employed, further divided into;
- micro enterprises: with less than 10 persons employed;
- small enterprises: with 10 to 49 persons employed;
- medium-sized enterprises: with 50 to 249 persons employed;
- large enterprises: with 250 or more persons employed.
This article presents an overview of statistics for the postal and courier services sector in the EU-27, as covered by NACE Rev. 2 Division 53. This division includes postal and courier activities, such as pickup, transport and delivery of letters and parcels under various arrangements. Local delivery and messenger services are also included.
Postal activities under universal service obligation includes the services provided by universal service providers using the universal service infrastructure, including retail locations, sorting and processing facilities, and carrier routes to pick up and deliver the mail. The delivery can include letter-post, in other words letters, postcards, printed papers (newspapers, periodicals, advertising items, and so on), small packets, goods or documents. Also included are other services necessary to support the universal service obligation and the collection of letter-mail and parcels from public letter-boxes or from post offices.
Other postal and courier activities include all other such services falling outside of the scope of the universal service obligation; this also includes home delivery services.
This NACE division is composed of two groups:
- postal activities under universal service obligation (Group 53.1);
- other postal and courier activities (Group 53.2).
The information presented in this article excludes financial services activities (such as postal giro, postal savings activities and money order activities) as these form part of Division 64 covering financial service activities, except insurance and pension funding; note these activities are excluded from the coverage of the non-financial business economy.
- Other analyses of the business economy by NACE Rev. 2 sector
- Structural business statistics introduced
- Transportation and storage
Further Eurostat information
- European business - facts and figures (online publication)
- Key figures on European Business – with a special feature section on SMEs – 2011 edition
- SBS – services (sbs_serv)
- Annual detailed enterprise statistics - services (sbs_na_serv)
- Annual detailed enterprise statistics for services (NACE Rev. 2 H-N and S95) (sbs_na_1a_se_r2)
- SMEs - Annual enterprise statistics by size class - services (sbs_sc_sc)
- Services by employment size class (NACE Rev. 2 H-N and S95) (sbs_sc_1b_se_r2)
- Annual detailed enterprise statistics - services (sbs_na_serv)
- SBS - regional data - all activities (sbs_r)
- SBS data by NUTS 2 regions and NACE Rev. 2, from 2008 onwards (sbs_r_nuts06_r2)
Source data for tables and figures (MS Excel)
- Decision 1578/2007/EC of 11 December 2007 on the Community Statistical Programme 2008 to 2012
- Regulation (EC) No 295/2008 of 11 March 2008 concerning structural business statistics