ACM: parcel delivery market continues to grow, while postal market continues to shrink


In 2019, the total volume of parcels that were sent increased by 12.83%. The growth trend in this market thus continues. The volume of letterbox-sized mail sent by consumers and businesses decreased in 2019, as in previous years. The growth in the volume of parcels offsets the decrease in the volume of letterbox-sized mail. This is revealed by the 2019 Postal and Parcel Markets Scan, which the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has published today.

Seven letters per person

Last year, consumers sent, on average, seven letters and postcards per person, down from eight in 2018. Consumer mail became more expensive. In 2019, the stamp price was 0.87 euros, compared with 0.83 euros in 2018. Since postal operator PostNL is responsible for the universal service obligation, which is the basic set of postal services in the Netherlands, PostNL delivered the majority of consumer mail. The effects of the merger between PostNL and rival operator Sandd have not yet been included in the 2019 Postal and Parcel Markets Scan, since that merger was only completed in late-2019.

Business mail

Businesses and government agencies were responsible for 96% of the total volume of domestic letterbox-sized mail. In 2019, the total volume of business mail decreased by 7% to 2.05 billion pieces. Prices for business mail with next-day delivery have increased every year since 2015. Business mail that can be delivered later has had a stable price of, on average, 23 or 24 cents per piece for years now. Businesses use the slower services for sending advertising material and magazines in particular. Government agencies use the slower services for sending large volumes of letters.

Parcel delivery

With the delivery of 576 million parcels in 2019, parcel delivery providers were able to generate 10% more turnover than in 2018: a total of 2.79 billion euros. For domestic parcels (both the sender and the recipient have Dutch addresses), the average price of 3.75 euros per piece has remained more or less the same as in 2018. In 2019, the price for international parcels was 8.13 euros per piece, 5% less than the year before.
As in 2018, PostNL was the largest provider of domestic parcel delivery services in 2019.

Consumers send the majority of their parcels using PostNL. Businesses and government agencies that send parcels to consumers mainly do so using PostNL and DHL Parcel.

Parcel delivery providers use a combination of deliverers who are directly employed by them, and subcontractors who carry out the delivery on their behalf. It varies per parcel delivery provider what share of the parcels is delivered by their own deliverers and what share by the subcontractors.

See also

01-07-2020 2019 Postal and Parcel Markets Scan (in Dutch)