Berlin Federal Minister of Economics Robert Habeck (Greens) wants to make the specifications for the period in which letters are delivered more flexible. This emerges from the cornerstones of the Ministry of Economics for a reform of the postal law, which were announced on Thursday. So far, 80 percent of the shipments have to arrive one working day after they have been posted, 95 percent by the second day at the latest.
Because in the age of e-mails it is seldom crucial that letters arrive the next day, the ministry could extend the delivery requirements. How exactly is not yet clear from the key points, but there is talk of “longer terms”.
In return, Habeck’s officials want to ensure that the letters arrive at a certain point in time and not just with an 80 percent probability. Among other things, the Federal Network Agency should be able to carry out checks and enforce sanctions.
As a last resort, a market exclusion of postal service providers is also conceivable if the law is violated. The Ministry is not touching the cornerstones of the current regulations, according to which letters must be delivered on working days – and therefore also on Saturdays.
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The new rules would primarily affect the market leader Deutsche Post. With its proposals, the ministry is also responding to the increasingly poor customer experience. In 2022, the Federal Network Agency received more complaints about Swiss Post than ever before. This mainly concerns delayed and lost shipments. The supervisory authority received around 43,500 complaints last year, almost three times as many as in 2021.
The complaints are directed against the entire German letter and parcel industry, but most against Deutsche Post. According to older information from the network agency, the Post had 91 percent of the bad experiences.
The Economics Ministry is also planning to further open up the postal market and give Deutsche Post’s competitors easier access to the market.
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