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EXPLAINED: How to send and receive post and parcels in Sweden

When living overseas, and especially during pandemic times, you may be receiving and sending more post than usual. Here's an introduction to Sweden's postal times, costs and quirks.

EXPLAINED: How to send and receive post and parcels in Sweden
Parcels being sorted near Stockholm – but how can you make sure yours get to you? Photo: Marcus Ericsson/TT

Delivery times

Sweden’s postal service Postnord does not deliver post on weekends, although in the three major city regions (Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö) you can often get parcels delivered on Saturdays. It is currently changing its system so that post will be delivered to your mailbox only every other weekday, instead of every weekday.

Two days is the standard delivery time for domestic letters, while for parcels and overseas deliveries it depends on the service used, type of item, and where it was posted.

Delivery costs

If you send post through nationwide service Postnord, delivery of letters is fairly simple. A stamp for a letter up to 50 grams is 12 kronor for domestic post, or 24 kronor to send it anywhere outside Sweden (you can just use two standard stamps, or special international ones).

You can add additional stamps to pay for postage of heavier letters; 2 stamps for domestic letters up to 100 grams, 4 stamps for up to 250 grams and 6 stamps for up to 500 grams.

For a standard domestic letter, expect it to be delivered within two days after postage, or you can pay extra for an express service to be delivered the following business day if it’s a weekday (though some rural postcodes are excluded).

For important documents and letters, you should use a tracked and recorded form of delivery, which from Postnord is called rekommenderat brev and can be used to send post within Sweden or overseas.

Parcel collection

Some deliveries, typically all parcels and anything sent by a Postnord tracked service, will be delivered to a collection point rather than your home. That’s true whether you live in a house or an apartment block, and unlike many countries there is no option to ask to have your items left in a safe place, for example, or even to collect it if you will be at home. You should get a letter through your door telling you when it is ready for pick-up, or an SMS or email, depending on the exact service used.

When you go to the collection point, often located in a supermarket or newsagent, you need the delivery details (which will be either a barcode on the letter or a number in the SMS or email), and usually a form of ID to prove your identity. 

One important thing to note is that postal staff can be sticklers for ensuring the name on your parcel matches the one on your ID. So make sure that friends and relatives are aware of that – even if your address and last name are correct, a nickname rather than your legal name on the parcel (even one that’s a clear shortening of your full name) could mean it’s harder for you to collect your delivery.

When ordering items for delivery online, you may have options beyond standard delivery with Postnord, including having your items sent to an unmanned collection point (where you will get a code to unlock it once it arrives) or have it delivered to your door by courier (in this case, you can usually opt to have the item left outside your door if you won’t be home).

And if sending something that you want to be tracked and go directly to the recipient’s home, use the Skicka Hem service which starts at 51 kronor for items up to 250 grams.

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