The Postal Act has not changed for 30 years.
However, the federal government is now considering an innovation – including two-class delivery of letters with far-reaching consequences for consumers.
Berlin – The federal government wants to reform the postal law.
The law has not been touched for 30 years and is therefore obsolete.
The reform of Deutsche Post is a minefield for politicians, but digitization is forcing the group to make major changes.
Among other things, the obligation to deliver 80 percent of letters within one day is no longer up to date.
The federal government has therefore made some suggestions as to how letter delivery can be changed.
Deutsche Post: Two-class delivery and relaxation of the requirements
State Secretary in the Economics Ministry, Franziska Brantner (Greens), explained the proposals for a reform of Deutsche Post
Süddeutsche Zeitung .
One of the main problems that Swiss Post currently has to deal with is delivery.
According to the Postal Act, the post office is obliged to deliver most letters within one day of posting.
But the group is less and less able to do that.
As a spokesman for the
Post put it in a nutshell: “We fly invoices and brochures across the country every night so that they reach the recipient the next day if possible.
That makes neither economic nor ecological sense.” In order to take the pressure off the boiler and at the same time make Deutsche Post more ecological, the federal government is now proposing to relax the time specifications for a large part of the shipments.
A reform of Deutsche Post could increase postage.
© Jens Büttner/dpa
"There are letters that are urgent and must arrive safely the next day, for example because important deadlines are involved," says Franziska Brantner.
In the future, authorities, companies and private individuals will be able to choose a fast letter postage rate for these letters, which also enables digital tracking.
Normal postage would remain for all other letters, but it would not have to arrive quite as quickly.
That could also make Swiss Post more ecological overall.
On the one hand, because the standard letters could then also be transported by rail.
On the other hand, because authorities and companies may then think twice about whether the letter really has to be there - or whether the invoice or the contract could not also reach the recipient digitally.
Postal reform: postage for fast mail would be much more expensive
In a European comparison, letter postage in Germany is cheap.
For 82 cents you can send a letter from a village in Schleswig-Holstein to the Alps.
Other European countries demand more:
Letter postage in euros (domestic, standard)
The average price for domestic postage in Europe is 0.87 euros, as determined by the Federal Network Agency in 2022.
However, there is important additional information about this table that changes the way you look at the numbers: In many other European countries, these standard letters do not have to be delivered within one day.
Instead, there is a separate postage for the service, as the government is now considering for Germany.
However, other European countries also charge much more money for such postage:
Letter postage in euros (domestic, fast mail)
A comparison abroad shows that express letter postage usually costs more than the normal rate.
In Denmark, the price is even quadrupled compared to the price in this country.
Is that before the Germans?
It is possible.
Deutsche Post welcomes proposals for reform
The Post spokesman told the
that, from their point of view, there was little in the way of a two-class delivery.
However, more pressing questions would have to be clarified beforehand: What should Swiss Post actually look like in a digital world?
The market is shrinking in Germany, albeit more slowly than elsewhere.
The figures that can be found for letter delivery in Germany show very impressively how slowly the country of pen pals is getting used to digitization.
Many more letters are still being sent in Germany than in neighboring countries.
The expenditure that Germans spent on letters between 2007 and 2020 fell slightly: from an average of 3.36 euros to 2.35 euros per month according to the Federal Network Agency.
In neighboring European countries, however, far fewer letters are being sent.
Around 3 billion letters are sent in Italy every year.
In Germany there are 18.6 billion.
List of rubrics: © Jens Büttner/dpa