Postage costs set to spike in Germany

The cost for sending letters, cards and postcards in Germany is set to rise significantly next month.

Postage costs set to spike in Germany
Photo: DPA

A stamp for a standard letter currently costs 70 cents. But the price is expected to jump to 80 cents from July 1st – an increase of 14 percent, Deutsche Post announced on Monday, reported Welt.

The price of sending postcards is also set to rise from 45 cents to 60 cents – an increase of 33 percent.

Graph translated for The Local by Statista.

Meanwhile, a compact letter, which can weigh up to 50g, will likely be 10 cents more expensive to post from July 1st, when it will cost 95 cents.

SEE ALSO: Deutsche Post: Postage costs to increase by 'up to 400 percent'

The regulating authority, the Federal Network Agency (Bundesnetzagentur) still has to approve the new postage price plan. However, it is expected that the agency will give Deutsche Post the green light to raise prices later this month.

Once confirmed, the new prices will be in place until the end of 2021.

Consumers have been told that older stamps bought before the price increase will remain valid.

The current 70 cent stamp. Photo: DPA

Cost of email

The last price hike to the cost of domestic postage took place in 2016, with stamp prices increasing from 62 to the current 70 cents. At the time it was the largest increase since German reunification.

Deutsche Post says price hikes are necessary to keep up with costs, as consumers increasingly turn to email instead of sending post.

The firm previously told RP Online that there were fewer and fewer letters being sent, leading to a decrease in revenue for post operators.

SEE ALSO: Will Deutsche Bank customers soon receive better service?

In recent years, the amount of letters sent annually has decreased by roughly two to three percent.

The Bonn-based group currently delivers around 57 million letter items a day in Germany.

Not the first price increase this year

As reported by The Local in February, postage costs increased by up to 400 percent in some instances from April 1st.

Package prices rose sharply, particularly for international postage. Costs for sending packages to the US increased four fold.

The costs associated with sending small packages was also subject to a considerable increase as it became no longer possible to send CDs or DVDs at the original letter price.

Previously, letters containing CDs or DVDs could be sent at the cost of a card or postcard.   


Postage increase – die Portoerhöhung

Stamp – die Briefmarke

Standard letter – der Standardbrief

Compact letter – der Kompaktbrief

The new prices – die neuen Preise

We're aiming to help our readers improve their German by translating words in some news stories. Did you find this useful? Let us know. 

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Can you rely on Sweden’s Postnord to deliver cards and presents on time?

Wednesday marks the last day you can send first class letters or parcels in Sweden and still hope they'll make it in time for Christmas Eve. But how reliable is PostNord, the company which runs Sweden's postal service?

Can you rely on Sweden's Postnord to deliver cards and presents on time?

What can you still send and hope for it to be delivered by Christmas? 

The Christmas deadline for letters and parcels outside of Sweden already passed on December 12th, as has the deadline for ordering anything online and hoping for it to arrive on time, with most e-commerce companies advising customers that anything ordered later than December 19th will not arrive in time. 

But if you’re sending first-class letters, pre-paid parcels, and small packages for delivery through the letterbox, you can still send them up until December 21st. The same goes for other parcel services such as Postnord MyPack Home, PostNord MyPack Home small, PostNord MyPack Collect, and Postpaket parcels.  

And if you’re willing to pay a bit extra, you can send express mail letters, express parcels, and first class ‘varubrev’ small parcels up until December 22nd. 

“Those dates still apply. We have written in a press statement that if you send by those dates you can be pretty sure that they will arrive in time,” Anders Porelius, head of press at PostNord, told The Local on Tuesday. 

But can you trust Postnord to deliver when they say they will? 

Not entirely.

The Swedish Post and Telecom Authority, Sweden’s postal regulator, ruled on December 8th that the company was failing to meet its regulatory target of delivering 95 percent of all letters within two working days, with 28 million letters delivered late between June and November. 

An investigative documentary by TV4’s Kalla Fakta (Cold Facts) programme, was sent pictures showing huge piles of late, undelivered letters in one of PostNord’s terminals, and interviewed postal workers who said that they were unable to complete their deliveries now they had been moved from daily to every other day, as they had twice as many letters to deliver on the days when they worked. 

“You get yelled at by the customers, and rightly so, you get yelled at by your bosses, and you scold yourself because you feel like you’re not able to do enough,” said Emilia Leijon, one postal worker. “We pretty much never manage to deliver a whole satchel. There’s too much post and too little time.” 

What is PostNord doing about the delays? 

The Swedish Post and Telecom Authority has given the company until January 30th to carry out an analysis into why it is not managing to meet its targets, and to draw up an action plan of how it is going to improve.