Post & Parcel Germany
As Europe's largest postal company, our workforce of some 118,600 mail couriers delivers around 49 million letters and 5.9 million parcels in Germany every working day via our nationwide transport and delivery network. Our products and services in the mail communication segment are targeted towards both private and business customers and range from physical and hybrid letters to special products for merchandise delivery, and include additional services such as registered mail, cash on delivery and insured items.
The postal service for Germany
In the year under review, the German market for mail communication for business customers was worth around EUR4.3 billion (previous year: around EUR4.2 billion). Here we look at the business customer market in which we compete, including the companies that operate as service providers in this market - i. e. both competitors offering end-to-end services and consolidators providing partial services. At 62.6 % our market share remained stable compared with the prior year (62.2 %).
Cross-channel customer dialogue
On request, our dialogue marketing unit offers end-to-end solutions to advertisers - from address services and tools for design and creation to printing, delivery and evaluation. This supports cross-channel, personalised and automated customer dialogue so that digital and physical items with inter-related content reach recipients according to a co-ordinated timetable and without any coverage waste.
The advertising market in Germanyreported a drop of 11.5 % in 2020 to come in at EUR23.8 billion. Our share of this highly fragmented market declined to 7.1 % (previous year: 7.5 %).
Dense parcel network further expanded
We maintain a dense network of parcel acceptance and drop-off points in Germany, which we expanded even further in the reporting year with a focus on Packstations. We plan to double the number of Packstations to 12,000 by 2023 to make it even easier for customers all over Germany to send and receive parcels and to create an environmentally friendly parcel delivery system that puts fewer vehicles on the road. Our portfolio of recipient services allows customers to receive their parcels individually and conveniently. They can decide at short notice whether their parcels should be delivered to an alternative address, a specific retail outlet or a Paketshop. Furthermore, registered customers can now have all items sent automatically to a Packstation or retail outlet of their choice. We support business customers in growing their online retail businesses and can cover the entire logistics chain through to returns management on request.
The German parcel market continues to be subject to competition-driven structural changes. Thus, in addition to the services offered by the established providers, new players have also begun offering solutions, with online retailers and marketplace operators organising delivery of a proportion of orders through their own delivery organisations.
Impacts of the pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the structural transformation already underway in the mail delivery market. As letter mail volumes containing documents continue to decline, volumes of parcels containing merchandise are growing, in some cases substantially.
The dialogue marketing business was hard hit by the pandemic as businesses spent significantly less on advertising due to temporary retail sale closures.
The parcel market, by contrast, is registering strong, pandemic-related growth driven by the shift from retail sale businesses to online sales across all merchandise categories.
Comprehensive measures and regulations to reduce or avoid physical contact were put in place to protect employees, and these in turn had a direct impact on production processes. Shifts in inbound and outbound processing, for example, had to be adapted, as was the case in all other areas in mail and parcel centres where employees work together in close proximity. Delivery operations were subject to staggered starting times. This led, on the one hand, to delays in the processing of items and, in turn, to backlogs which partly resulted in transit time delays. But on the on the other hand, they prevented the need for operational closures and more extensive restrictions.
Fast and reliable delivery
According to surveys conducted by Quotas, a quality research institute, around 89 % of all domestic letters posted in Germany during daily opening hours at our retail outlets or before final collection were delivered to their recipients the very next day in 2020. Around 98 % reached their recipients within two days. This puts us well above the legally required levels of 80 % (D+1) and 95 % (D+2).
In the parcel business, around 80 % of items reached their recipients the next working day in the year under review. This figure reflects parcels collected from business customers that were delivered on the following day. These figures can be deemed very positive in light of the highly demanding operational situation caused by the pandemic.
Our approximately 25,500 sales points were open for an average of 55 hours per week in the year under review, as was the case in 2019. The annual survey conducted by Kundenmonitor Deutschland, the largest consumer survey in Germany, showed a high acceptance level for our exclusively partner-operated retail outlets: 94.6 % of customers were satisfied with our quality and service (previous year: 94.5 %). In addition, customers gave our sales points an average rating of 4.39 out of 5 stars in the Deutsche Post location finder (previous year: 3.96). The fixed-location acceptance and sales network has grown to around 32,000 sites (previous year: 30,000) thanks to the expansion of our Packstation network.