Reporting period: 01/2016 – 12/2016
The purpose of EU policy in the postal sector is to create a single market for postal services. This is being done in 2 stages:
- introducing competition by gradually opening up markets (completed at the end of 2012).
- ensuring that reliable, high-quality postal services are permanently available throughout the EU at affordable prices.
Member States must ensure a basic postal service is available. This includes:
- collecting, sorting, transporting and distributing letters up to 2 kg and parcels up to 10 kg
- services for registered and insured items
- deliveries at least 5 working days a week
- all at affordable prices
- available to all members of the public.
This is called the universal service obligation.
The postal sector is changing rapidly. Letter traffic has fallen in many countries. This is partly because of the growth in digital communications. However, the growth in e-commerce has increased the number of parcels being handled by postal services. So it is important for the postal industry to make it easier to deliver physical goods bought online.
Facts and Figures
The following figures are based on data collected by the Commission for postal services.
Domestic transit time performance
Transit time describes the time needed for postal items to be delivered. This is measured from the time of dispatch (when a person posts a letter) to the item’s arrival at the final destination (when the postal service delivers the letter to the house or premises of the recipient).
* Member States' revised figures for 2013, compared to the last Single Market Scoreboard
Using the same methodology as the EU postal sector study, the chart above shows the percentage of priority mail delivered by the next working day (D+1), in the same country.
It also shows the targets set for this by national governments.
The chart divides EU countries into 3 groups, reflecting (1) GDP per capita and (2) when they joined the EU:
- Western countries – Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Sweden & the UK.
- Southern countries – Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Malta, Portugal & Spain.
- Eastern countries – Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia.
- Most western countries meet the next-day target in 90% of cases, but performance is worsening in some of them.
- The eastern and southern countries’ performance, with a few exceptions, are deteriorating.
- The performances of Romania, Poland and Bulgaria, which fall far below the EU average anyway, are continuing to deteriorate. In Greece, next-day delivery fell significantly in 2017.
- There is no data on next-day delivery in Spain as the Spanish legal performance standard is "delivery by the 3rd working day". No data are published on Austria and the Netherlands, as confidentiality applies to some or all the years concerned.
- will continue to monitor the EU countries’ performance closely.
- adopted a regulation on cross-border parcel delivery services in 2018 to increase regulatory oversight and price transparency on the parcel market.