Deutsche Post plans adjustments in letter rates for 2014
- Cost of standard letter is set to rise to EUR 0.60
- Rates for other national letter formats and postcards will remain stable
- Prices for domestic parcels to increase by 9 cents on January 1, 2014
The new rate increases are being proposed in response to a years-long drop in mail volume and continually rising material and personnel costs.
Deutsche Post submitted its annual request to the Federal Network Agency today for approval of mail prices for 2014. Under the company's plan, the postal rate for a standard domestic letter weighing up to 20 grams would rise by 2 cents to EUR 0.60. The rates that apply to the other national letter formats (Kompaktbrief, Großbrief and Maxibrief) as well as postcards will remain unchanged. Among its special services in Germany, a slight increase of 10 cents is planned for registered mail and 20 cents for registered mail for letter-box delivery.
For international products, the rate for the Maxibrief (more than 1,000 to 2,000 grams) is planned to rise by 10 cents, from EUR 16.90 to EUR 17. The rates for other base products available in international letter formats and international postcards will remain unchanged. Among special international services, the rate for registered letters and insured international letters is scheduled to rise by 10 cents each.
The basis for these rate adjustments is the current rate regulation process. An amended version of this process was recently approved by the Federal Network Agency. Officials now have 14 days to rule on the adjustments.
Deutsche Post is using the options provided by the rate regulation process to adjust its rates in accordance with the rising costs it faces in a challenging marketplace. For years, the company intensely worked to increase its productivity and was able to avoid rate hikes as a result. These reserves are now largely exhausted.
The new rate increases are being proposed in response to a years-long drop in mail volume and continually rising material and personnel costs. The ultimate aim of the increases is to maintain the high quality of postal services in Germany.
Compared with rates in other European countries, the price of a stamp for a standard letter in Germany would rank in the middle range. This is a reflection of the significantly higher rate increases seen in other European countries.
Announced at an early stage
The planned rate increases are being announced at an early stage so that customers will have sufficient time to prepare for them. They can now use up all stamp supplies before the rate change takes effect. Customers who still have old stamps on hand after the rate increase takes effect can buy supplemental 2-cent stamps in the company's retail outlets or online. As a result, they can still use the old stamps in the new year. No exchange is necessary. The new 60-cent stamps will go on sale in December in the company's retail outlets and online. In addition, individual stamps bearing any desired postage amount can be printed at any time on 3,300 stamp machines available across Germany.
Also on January 1, 2014, the cost of six-month redirection service will rise to EUR 19.90. The price for the 12-month option will increase to EUR 24.90.
Furthermore, Deutsche Post plans to adjust domestic rates for parcels and small packets by 9 cents on January 1, 2014. The rate for small packets mailed through the retail outlets of Deutsche Post will be exempted from this increase and will remain at EUR 4.10. The rate for some international parcel products will also be adjusted on January 1, 2014. For shipments to remote locations, rates will be increased by an average of 99 cents to EUR 1.99. Increased transport insurance coverage up to EUR 500 is included for all international parcels. The main reasons for the rate adjustments are increased transport and personnel costs.
The current rates will remain in effect through the end of 2013 and will not impact the Christmas season as a result. In the new year, shipments that are franked online will remain less expensive than those processed in retail outlets (see www.dhl.de/onlinefrankierung).