Support builds for five-day postal deliveries in Channel Islands

Jersey Post officially moved to a five-day delivery service earlier this month – dropping Saturdays from its schedule – and now the idea is catching on elsewhere in the Channel Islands. The States of Guernsey held an official consultation on the state of the universal postal service obligation earlier this year, with 57% of responses in favour of reducing deliveries.

This week saw postal users group Postwatch also expressing support for a move to five-day deliveries by Guernsey Post.

Jersey Post is expecting to save GBP 5m per year after cutting Saturday deliveries, effective from May 10.

It has also cut back on collections, replacing an all-island collection at 17:30 with an 18:00 collection at a limited number of late-posting boxes around Jersey.

Mail volumes have declined by 29% in Jersey over the last five years, from around 52m items in 2006, while the number of addresses on the island have increased 10% to a little under 45,000.

Jersey Post receives no government funding, and said it is having to reshape its business in order to remain self-financing.

“Postal authorities worldwide are experiencing continuing declines in letter mail volumes as more and more customers and businesses turn to the internet to communicate and do business,” said Jersey Post chief executive Ian Carr.

“This situation is compounded in Jersey as new housing and office development continues at a pace resulting in more new addresses which Jersey Post must service on a daily basis. Increased competition also means it’s essential we realign our services if we’re to sustain the future of our postal service.”

Guernsey Post, which delivers to the islands of Guernsey, Alderney, Sark and Herm, has said it is up to the States of Guernsey Government to decide on what the universal service obligation should entail.

But, although profitable it has had to contend with a 16% decline in mail from the UK and a 7% increase in charges from the UK’s Royal Mail.

Guernsey’s Postwatch group said the use of postal facilities was “dropping dramatically.

The group’s chairman, Dennis Le Moignan, told the Guernsey Press and Star this week: “You’re talking about a worldwide reduction of about 14 to 16%, so this is not just a local problem. Postal services are looking at ways to economise.”

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