Germany’s standard domestic letter rate is set to increase in at the beginning of next year, for the first time since 1997.
Deutsche Post filed its annual request for postal rate changes with national regulators today, seeking a 5% increase in standard domestic letters up to 20g in weight in 2013, to 58 cents per piece.
It said there was no option other than to increase its postal rates in the light of the current “challenging” economic situation.
The rate for the domestic Maxibrief – large letters up to 1kg in weight – is to increase by 9% to EUR 2.40 per piece.
Other rate increases will be implemented for books and merchandise as well as for international shipping.
Deutsche Post said rates for its Kompaktbrief, Großbrief and postcard rates would remain the same in 2013.
Jürgen Gerdes, board member with responsibility for mail at Deutsche Post DHL said declines in mail volumes coupled with continually increasing staff salaries meant there was no alternative to the rate rise.
“If we want to continue to ensure this level of quality for our customers and to secure attractive jobs for our employees, we cannot forgo a moderate rate increase,” he said.
Deutsche Post last increased its standard domestic letter rate in 1997, and actually reduced its rates in 2003. When adjusting for inflation, Germany’s standard letter rates have fallen by 17% in real terms from 2001 to 2011.
The company said today that an independent study showed 96% of people in Germany happy with their letter mail delivery services.
It claimed the average 2.8% rate rise for all affected postal products would have only a “minimal impact” on households – it estimated an additional nice cent per month cost for the average home.
And, the company said after the proposed rate rise, German standard letters would still have prices “in the mid-range” compared to other European countries.
While some postal rates rise in 2013, Deutsche Post said it was also planning to shut down its direct mail service Infopost, as a result of VAT now being charged on the service and regulators ordering the postal operator to increase its rates.
Deutsche Post’s volumes and revenues for its traditional letters business fell around 3% in its latest quarter, compared to the same period last year, it said last month.
Source: Post&Parcel/Deutsche Post DHL