Post & Parcel Germany Division
As Europe's largest postal company, our core business is the transport, sorting and delivery of documents and goods. We maintain a nationwide post and parcel network in Germany as depicted in the graphic opposite, which we continually expand in consideration of digitalisation and sustainability.
The postal service for Germany
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 the delivery of goods, and include additional services such as registered mail, cash on delivery and insured items.
We expanded our range in 2021 with digital products such as stamps with data matrix codes and the introduction of Poststations as an uninterrupted access point for a variety of postal services.
In 2021, the German market for mail communication for business customers was worth around €4.2 billion (previous year: around €4.3 billion). The structural decline in mail volumes was offset somewhat by the high level of mail-in ballots in the German federal and state elections. We monitor the 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. Our market share declined slightly to 61.4 % compared with the prior year (62.6 %).
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 dialogue so that digital and physical items with interrelated content are delivered according to a co-ordinated timetable and without any coverage waste.
The advertising market in Germany grew by 5.9 % in 2021 to come in at EUR28.1 billion after the largely pandemic-related decline in the previous year. Due to an expansion of market data, primarily relating to online activities, those reported here diverge from the presentation in the previous year. Our share of the highly fragmented advertising market declined slightly to 6.0 % (previous year, adjusted: 6.4 %).
DHL Parcel for companies and private individuals
We maintain a dense network of parcel acceptance and drop-off points in Germany, which we expanded in the reporting year. We offer support to businesses to grow their online retail business. Along with the Supply Chain division, we are able to cover the entire logistics chain through to returns management on request. Various services enable individualised and convenient parcel delivery for private customers: parcels can be delivered to an alternative address, a specific retail outlet or a Paketshop at short notice. Furthermore, registered customers can now have all items sent automatically to a Packstation or selected retail outlet.
The German parcel market continues to be subject to competition-driven structural changes, with established as well as new companies are offering their services. In e-commerce, the delivery of a portion of shipments is handled by the merchant's own distribution networks. We will increase the number of Packstations to 15,000 by 2023 to make it even more convenient for customers all over Germany to send and receive parcels and to create an environmentally friendly, traffic-reduced parcel delivery system.
Fast and reliable delivery
According to surveys conducted by Quotas, a quality research institute, around 88 % of all domestic letters posted in Germany during daily opening hours at our retail outlets or before final collection were delivered the very next day in the year under review. Around 98 % were delivered 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 79 % of items were delivered the next working day in the year under review. This 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 and growing number of online orders.
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 the previous year. Consumers who use the products and services offered by Deutsche Post retail outlets primarily operated mostly by retailers are surveyed annually regarding customer satisfaction by “Kundenmonitor Deutschland”. This study attested to the high level of approval enjoyed by Deutsche Post retail outlets: a total of 94.5 % of the persons surveyed were satisfied with quality and service (previous year: 94.6 %). In addition, customers gave our sales points an average rating of 4.31 out of 5 stars in the Deutsche Post location finder (previous year: 4.39). The fixed-location acceptance and sales network has grown to around 34,000 sites (previous year: 32,000) thanks to the expansion of our Packstation network.
Impacts of the pandemic on our business
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the structural transformation already underway in the mail delivery market. As conventional letter mail volumes containing documents continue to decline, volumes of goods shipments are growing, in some cases substantially, although the retail sector was largely open for business in the year under review.
The Dialogue Marketing business unit performed well: the advertising spend in mail-order retailing grew in contrast to the weak previous year, primarily an effect of the pandemic.
The parcel market is continuing to register significant growth driven by the ongoing shift from retail sale businesses to online sales across many categories of goods.