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Why parcel delivery price hikes in Germany are set to be reversed

Parcel delivery prices for Deutsche Post subsiduary DHL went up in January. But they will soon be reversed. Here's why.

Why parcel delivery price hikes in Germany are set to be reversed
DHL workers in Halle, Saxony-Anhalt. Photo: DPA

As The Local reported, on January 1st customers in Germany using package delivery firm DHL had to pay an average of three percent more to send parcels.

However, to avoid what the company has dubbed a “lengthy legal dispute” with the Federal Network Agency (Bundesnetzagentur or BNetzA), and to provide “clarity” to customers about parcel and package charges, DHL is to reverse the price hikes.

The new changes will come into force from May 1st.

So what does it mean? Well, a medium-sized parcel weighing up to two kilos currently costs €4.79 in a DHL branch for domestic shipping.

From May it will return to the price it was in December 2019 – €4.50. And the cost of shipping a 10-kilo parcel will go back down by a euro to €9.49.

The company said the price increase was due to there being more staff and extra transport costs. The last time the company raised its package and parcel prices was in 2017.

READ ALSO: Why you'll pay more to send parcels in Germany


DHL said it had already informed the Federal Network Agency in autumn last year about the planned price increases and explained why it was taking the action.

However, the Federal Network Agency believes the new costs are excessive. 

On January 28th the authority launched a review of the charges.The agency believes that the price adjustments that came into force in the new year will lead to significantly higher revenues than DHL had estimated. 

DHL said it didn't believe this to be the case, but will reverse the price hikes in view of an “otherwise expected lengthy legal dispute with an uncertain outcome”.

The firm said the price increase reversal is only possible from May 1st due to the adjustments needed to IT systems and customer information at more than 24,000 delivery points. 

Until then the current prices will remain in force. From May the branch and online prices for private customers will then apply again, as they were up until December 31st 2019. 


To reverse – rückgängig machen

Package and parcel prices – (die) Päckchen- und Paketpreise

Excessive – überhöht

Legal dispute – (der) Rechtsstreit

Price increases – (die) Preiserhöhungen

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Can you rely on Sweden’s Postnord to deliver cards and presents on time?

Wednesday marks the last day you can send first class letters or parcels in Sweden and still hope they'll make it in time for Christmas Eve. But how reliable is PostNord, the company which runs Sweden's postal service?

Can you rely on Sweden's Postnord to deliver cards and presents on time?

What can you still send and hope for it to be delivered by Christmas? 

The Christmas deadline for letters and parcels outside of Sweden already passed on December 12th, as has the deadline for ordering anything online and hoping for it to arrive on time, with most e-commerce companies advising customers that anything ordered later than December 19th will not arrive in time. 

But if you’re sending first-class letters, pre-paid parcels, and small packages for delivery through the letterbox, you can still send them up until December 21st. The same goes for other parcel services such as Postnord MyPack Home, PostNord MyPack Home small, PostNord MyPack Collect, and Postpaket parcels.  

And if you’re willing to pay a bit extra, you can send express mail letters, express parcels, and first class ‘varubrev’ small parcels up until December 22nd. 

“Those dates still apply. We have written in a press statement that if you send by those dates you can be pretty sure that they will arrive in time,” Anders Porelius, head of press at PostNord, told The Local on Tuesday. 

But can you trust Postnord to deliver when they say they will? 

Not entirely.

The Swedish Post and Telecom Authority, Sweden’s postal regulator, ruled on December 8th that the company was failing to meet its regulatory target of delivering 95 percent of all letters within two working days, with 28 million letters delivered late between June and November. 

An investigative documentary by TV4’s Kalla Fakta (Cold Facts) programme, was sent pictures showing huge piles of late, undelivered letters in one of PostNord’s terminals, and interviewed postal workers who said that they were unable to complete their deliveries now they had been moved from daily to every other day, as they had twice as many letters to deliver on the days when they worked. 

“You get yelled at by the customers, and rightly so, you get yelled at by your bosses, and you scold yourself because you feel like you’re not able to do enough,” said Emilia Leijon, one postal worker. “We pretty much never manage to deliver a whole satchel. There’s too much post and too little time.” 

What is PostNord doing about the delays? 

The Swedish Post and Telecom Authority has given the company until January 30th to carry out an analysis into why it is not managing to meet its targets, and to draw up an action plan of how it is going to improve.