IPC: the efforts posts have made to stabilise their operations and logistical networks have paid off
The IPC UNEXTM 2022 CEN module results released today show that, on average, international priority letter mail in Europe was delivered in 3.7 days (compared to 4.1 in 2021), showing that posts continue to recover following the Covid-19 pandemic.
Despite remaining challenges, the UNEXTM 2022 results show that posts remain committed to improving their performance, having delivered 63.6% (against 59.9% in 2021) of the mail in three working days (speed indicator) and 85.3% (against 82.0% in 2021) in five working days (reliability indicator).
Holger Winklbauer, IPC CEO said: “After two years dominated by the pandemic, with posts continuously being forced to set up new logistical solutions, the 2022 UNEXTM results show that the efforts posts have made to stabilise their operations and logistical network to transport mail cross-border pay off. Although Covid-19 is no longer affecting all posts directly with lockdowns or constraints imposed by governments, European postal operators in 2022 still are facing challenges related to the post-Covid situation. Throughout the year, IPC has been supporting its members to meet these challenges, including by developing alternative solutions to ensure the continuity of mail flows.”
Transit times continued to be challenged as European postal operators had to use slower road transportation methods for long distance destinations more frequently as airline companies reduced the frequency of passenger flights within Europe, thus reducing the capability to transport mail by air. Many posts were also affected by the workforce shortage which also impacted many other sectors. In the course of 2022, a few European posts have also been targeted by cyber-attacks which impacted mail transportation. Finally, the war in Ukraine has also directly impacted the logistical processes in many border countries. In the absence of the usual direct air transportation link from postal operators into Ukraine, posts in neighbouring countries, despite pressure on their own networks, ensured the continuity of postal flows, receiving mail and support goods from other posts, and transporting them by truck into Ukraine Post facilities.
The IPC UNEXTM CEN measurement is end-to-end: from posting in the origin country, to delivery to the final addressee in the destination country. Due to the end-to-end nature of the measurement, the challenges encountered in the posts impacted their postal partners and vice versa. This includes the postal operations’ time for collection in the origin country, sorting, international transportation, and processing and delivery in the destination country.
The UNEXTM results published today are from the UNEXTM CEN measurement, which is conducted independently by the external research firm Kantar in the United Kingdom.
The 2022 results of the UNEXTM CEN module are based on a total of 106,000 test letters sent and received by 4,400 volunteers spread within 31 countries, participating in the measurement, the 27 EU Member States together with Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Overall, 767 country-to-country flows were measured. IPC’s UNEXTM mail monitoring system measures quality of service performance for end-to-end cross-border priority letter mail. The test letters are representative of real mail in terms of mail formats, induction and franking methods, delivery methods and geographical spread within each of the measured European countries. All test letters contained Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags, which are recorded by the RFID readers as they pass through the postal facilities.