Deutsche post is experimenting with no longer delivering letters to some customers every weekday. At the beginning of july, unnoticed by the public, the company launched a pilot project that could fundamentally change the way letters have been delivered so far.
Selected customers can choose whether they want letters delivered as a collective delivery on one day of the week, on three days of the week or on five days, but then to the workplace.
"We are testing new delivery options to explore customer needs", a postal spokesman said on saturday when asked about the match. He confirmed a report in the "bonner generalanzeiger". A year ago, the company was already in the headlines because of alleged plans to cancel monday delivery.
Urgent letters are excluded from the experiment
The post office wanted to find out whether the three new forms of delivery would fall on fertile ground with postal customers. To this end, 18 trained letter carriers had recruited customers nationwide in recent weeks who were willing to forego daily delivery and choose another form during a test phase, said the spokesman. This excludes registered mail, the dispatch of documents or even express letters, which are delivered immediately.
Verdi: numerous jobs in danger
The service union verdi reacted with uproar. She fears that deutsche post, which is legally obligated to provide flat-area basic service, will gradually abandon its obligation to do so. "Our hat is on fire, the newspaper quoted andrea kocsis, deputy chairwoman of the ver.Di union. If letter delivery becomes less frequent in the future, many jobs could be lost.
The mail market in germany is extremely stable. "If deutsche post now offers customers the option of foregoing this service, it will undermine the requirements of a flat-covering basic service and "cut the branch on which it sits", the trade unionist, who is also deputy chairman of the supervisory board of deutsche post, criticized the situation. Experiences from other countries showed that a reduction in delivery frequency and thus longer delivery times made postal services unattractive.
Background: digitization of society
Background to the plan is the letter business, which has been shrinking for years. The increasing digitalization of society with e-mail and messenger services such as whatsapp, facebook, twitter& co displaced the traditional letter. In 2006, an average of 70 million letters were delivered per working day; ten years later, the figure was 59 million. Pure mail communication shrank by 3.5 percent in 2016 compared to the previous year, to 8.2 billion stucks.
Study: mobile work leads to more work
despite all the criticism, the post office is relaxed: the test, which will run until the end of september, is open-ended and a decision is still a long way off. The federal network agency was also informed in advance about the test run. It is not at all clear whether there is a customer need and whether new forms of delivery are operationally viable. The post office will in no way cheat its way out of its supply mandate, the spokesman affirmed.