uses cookies to analyze how the website is used, and to improve the user experience. Read more about cookies

Like last year, the growth on the parcel delivery market offsets decrease on the postal market

In 2018, more parcels and fewer letters and postcards were sent than in the previous year. This trend was already observed in 2017. However, the combined turnover of these markets did grow: over 3.5 billion euros was generated from the delivery of parcels and mail. This has been revealed by the 2018 Postal and Parcel Markets Scan, which the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has published today.

With the delivery of 504 million parcels, parcel delivery businesses were able to generate 17% more turnover than in 2017: almost 2.5 billion euros. The market for letterbox-sized parcels also grew: turnover grew by 18% compared with 2017.

Consumer and business mail became more expensive

The volume of letterbox-sized mail is decreasing: in 2018, 2.3 billion pieces were sent, which is 9% less than in 2017. These generated 1 billion euros in turnover, which was 7% less than in 2017. Consumer mail makes up 6% of the total volume of mail that is sent. Last year, consumers sent, on average, eight letters and postcards per person, down from ten in 2017. The remaining 94% of mail is sent by businesses and government agencies.

Consumer mail became more expensive in 2018: on average, consumers paid 7% more per item. As the provider of the universal service obligation in the Netherlands, PostNL delivered the majority of consumer mail. In addition, Sandd delivers a small but growing share of the letters and postcards sent by consumers. The regional postal operators also deliver consumer mail, which, combined, amounts to less than one percent of the total volume of mail.

Business mail with next-day delivery also became more expensive: 4% on average. In this market, too, PostNL is, by far, the largest provider. The other postal operators did gain a few percentage points in market share in 2018.

Business mail to be delivered later has had a stable price of, on average, 23 or 24 cents per piece for quite some time now. Businesses use the slower services particularly for sending advertising material and magazines. Government agencies use the slower services for sending large volumes of letters. For the slower mail services, senders have been able to choose from multiple postal operators for quite some time now.

Wider range of services for online stores

In view of the growing parcel market, most postal operators also concentrate on parcel delivery. In addition, these operators also offer extra services. More businesses than in the previous year offer services that start from the moment of ordering until the parcel has been delivered to the consumer (for example, inventory management and order processing). As a result, consumers are able to enjoy extended ordering hours and expedited shipping.

Sending parcels became cheaper in 2018. In that context, PostNL remains the largest provider of parcel delivery services for businesses, but definitely for consumers as well.

See also

23-08-2019 2018 Postal and Parcel Markets Scan (in Dutch)