Why you might not receive post in Germany six days a week in future

Post in Germany is currently delivered from Monday to Saturday. But that could change in future.

Why you might not receive post in Germany six days a week in future
Archive photo shows a Deutsche Post delivery person in Ingolstadnt, Bavaria. Photo: DPA

Germany’s Economic Affairs and Energy Ministry announced on Thursday that the frequency of delivering post will be reviewed as part of an ongoing bid to reform the Postal Act (Postgesetz).

“While European law requires delivery five days a week as part of universal service, national law (in Germany) goes beyond this with six delivery days,” said a key points paper on the reform of the law.

Now the Economics Affairs Minister Peter Altmaier wants to investigate “whether delivery on six days is still necessary”. 

“We want to put the issue up for discussion,” said a ministry spokesperson but added: “We have not yet made a decision.”

The amendments to the law will likely come into force in autumn 2020.

There have been several debates recently asking whether delivering letters from Monday to Saturday should continue in the digital age. 

READ ALSO: Postage costs set to spike in Germany

Mail operator Deutsche Post says less than two percent of weekly mail is delivered on Mondays – so it's possible this day could be cut from delivery service. 

Fines could be imposed

Altmaier is aiming to modernize postal law in times of digitalization, and to strengthen consumer rights. 

As part of the proposals, he wants to extend the powers of watchdog, the Federal Network Agency (Bundesnetzagentur).

“The Bundesnetzagentur should be able to act as a strong consumer protection authority in the postal sector,” he said. “Fines could be imposed in the event of significant violations of quality standards,” Altmaier said. 

The proposals are now to be discussed in the government, as well as with the federal states and various associations.

The postal market is currently going through a radical change. The volume of mail is falling due to the increase of digital communication like e-mail. 

However, the parcel delivery market is flourishing, driven by the booming online trade.

“After 20 years, it makes sense to review the existing regulations and adapt them to the changing market conditions and the wishes of customer,” said a Deutsche Post spokesman.

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PostNord to continue Danish deliveries until 2023

The Danish arm of Swedish-Danish post distribution company PostNord is to continue delivering the country’s post until at least 2023 after a new deal was agreed with the government.

PostNord to continue Danish deliveries until 2023
PostNord will deliver Denmark's letters until at least 2023. Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix

Post Danmark – the Danish subsidiary of PostNord – extended its contract to deliver post in the country with the government and its allied left wing parties, the transport ministry confirmed in a statement on Monday.

“Distributions of post is an important societal task which every sitting government must take responsibility for,” transport minister Benny Engelbrecht said in the statement.

A “large proportion” of people in Denmark still “do not receive their post digitally and therefore need to receive their post at their home address,” Engelbrecht said.

“It must be possible to receive a letter from your family and to write to your family, regardless of where in the country you live.

“That’s why the deal with Post Danmark has been extended, so Danes can be reassured that post will get through while political work to secure a new, long-term postal agreement continues,” the minister said.

The Danish government owns 40 percent of PostNord, with 60 percent owned by its counterpart in Stockholm.

The company has faced sharp criticism on several occasions since it began announcing losses in 2012. The Danish state has spent to keep the Danish side of the company afloat. Inefficient mail distribution and poor financial management have been among the criticisms.

PostNord was established in 2009 via a merger of the formerly-national Post Danmark and Sweden’s Posten.