Main Developments in the Postal Sector 2013-2016

The postal and delivery market in Europe is growing and has high potential for growth. In 2016, postal and delivery market amounted to a total € 90 billion in the EU, EEA & CH area. This equals to 0,55% of the total GDP.

However, two opposing dynamics in the letter and parcel delivery markets underpin fundamental challenges for all stakeholders.

On the one hand, declining letter volumes create pressure for postal operators to increase prices of universal services and reduce fixed costs, e.g. by closing down post offices. It also creates pressure for policymakers to ensure financial sustainability and affordability of the USO.

On the other hand, growing e-commerce creates many opportunities as well as challenges for the industry to develop distribution networks centered around nationwide parcel delivery. For policymakers, we observe a mounting pressure to adapt regulations to changing user needs, technologies and business models, as well as address financial distortions caused by the UPU terminal dues system.

These are some of the findings of our recent study prepared for the European Commission, Main Developments in the Postal Sector, which reviews the postal sector EU-wide over the last five years.

The main goal of the study is to provide objective elements and evidence to assess the ongoing and future suitability of the current EU legal framework, and to allow a comprehensive assessment of the development in the postal sector.

The project included significant data collection work. The team at Copenhagen Economics engaged regulatory authorities and national postal operators in 32 countries, as well as the employees, consumers and industry associations.

The report is structured around five chapters, providing insights on (1) important market developments, (2) the competitive landscape in the postal sector, (3) employment and environmental developments, (4) developments in the universal service and regulation, and (5) Potential scenarios for the future provision of the USO.

On 19 September 2018, we presented our study at the European Commission’s event in Brussels. Download the presentation from the event

On 4 December 2018, Senior Economist Mindaugas Cerpickis delivered a presentation at the Social Dialogue Committee for Postal Services plenary meeting in Brussels, discussing the role and importance of constructive dialogue between employees and employers for the transformation of the postal & delivery industry and revising public policies across Europe. Download the presentation from the event