Dutch clear way for postal delivery consolidation as letter volumes shrink

Many postal deliver workers are freelancers Photo: Depositphotos.com
Photo: Depositphotos.com

The postal delivery market in the Netherlands has been shrinking for around 10% a year and now the Dutch government has decided to allow delivery firms to merge and consolidate to keep services affordable.

This means that former state monopoly PostNL could now join forces with its private sector rival Sandd, which has made major inroads into the business mail sector in recent years.

‘The shrinking postal market presents major social and economic challenges,’ junior economic affairs minister Mona Keizer said in a briefing to MPs. On the one hand, jobs need to be protected, and on the other the rules need to be changed to keep post affordable, she said.

The number of letters posted has shrunk from five billion a year in 2009 to 2.5 billion now, Keizer said.

While competition is important, it should no longer be a goal in itself, Keizer said. The current situation has led to ‘two or three postal delivery workers walking through the same street, each with increasingly empty bags.’

Rules on working conditions, the number of delivery days and letter box distribution will remain unchanged, Keizer said.

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