Monday. 04.03.2024
BUSINESS

Government group proposes reducing mail distribution to 3 days a week

If approved, the three-day distribution model -which is likely to lead to job cuts - would begin in 2022.

"The coronavirus has accelerated the death of the letter," said the state secretary who chaired the group.

One of the modern mail delivery vehicles purchased by Posti. Photo: Foreigner.fi.
One of the modern mail delivery vehicles purchased by Posti. Photo: Foreigner.fi.

Mail distribution only three times a week to cut costs and deal with the "death of the letter".

That is the main proposal made by the government working group of state secretaries created at the beginning of the year to evaluate the future of postal distribution. If approved, the three-day distribution model -which is likely to lead to job cuts - would begin in 2022.

In a statement issued Wednesday morning, the Government Communications Department said that "due to the significant reduction in the volume of postage, there is no longer a need for five-day delivery."

In that sense, the note also highlights that "reducing delivery days is very important to ensure cost-effective distribution."

Olli Koski, State Secretary of the Ministry for European Affairs and Ownership Steering, who chaired the working group, remarked that "there is no longer a need for distribution for five days," because the volume of physical mail has decreased.

"The coronavirus epidemic has accelerated the death of the letter. It is unlikely that the volumes of distribution recover once the epidemic eases," he added.

Packages, instead of letters

The working group claims that physical mail deliveries are declining in Finland quicker than in other European countries. The reason, according to their assessment, is that "Finland is at the forefront of digitalization." Letters with the traditional stamp are received roughly once every three weeks in Finnish households.

However, the business figures published by Posti do not coincide with this negative view. Rather, they show that where the letter used to be, now the package is.

In fact, last spring Posti reported rising profits of 12.6 million euros in the first quarter of 2020. According to the company's statement, almost 13 million packages were delivered during that period, one million more than the previous year. That increase was driven by the rise of electronic commerce.

Even so, the position of the government secretaries of state is to cut delivery days. In the other Nordic countries, daily distribution of postal mail "has already been abandoned or is being abandoned," the working group stressed.

The group also suggested that the state pay Posti a temporary subsidy of 10-15 million euros a year to ensure daily newspaper distribution in rural and sparsely populated areas.

Government group proposes reducing mail distribution to 3 days a week