06/05/2018, 10:00 AM CEST

German letter prices affordable compared with the rest of Europe

Lower letter prices are only payable in the five, significantly smaller states of Switzerland, Cyprus, Austria, Slovenia, and Malta.

Lower letter prices than in Germany are only payable in the five, significantly smaller states of Switzerland, Cyprus, Austria, Slovenia, and Malta.

  • Real letter prices are higher in 25 European countries than in Germany
  • Postage EUR 0.14 more expensive year-on-year throughout Europe, while letter prices in Germany remain stable
  • Deutsche Post study determines nominal and real letter prices
The cost of sending standard letters in Germany remains affordable compared with the rest of Europe, as shown by this year's comparison of postage rates published by Deutsche Post. Indeed, taking macroeconomic factors such as labor costs and purchasing power into account in the analysis - which looks at data for the 28 EU Member States as well as the European Free Trade Area (EFTA) countries of Iceland, Norway, and Switzerland - Germany places 26th in the European postage rankings for letter mail. Lower letter prices are only payable in the five, significantly smaller states of Switzerland, Cyprus, Austria, Slovenia, and Malta. In all 25 of the remaining countries in Europe, it is more expensive to send a letter.

If only nominal letter prices are considered, Germany's postage rate of EUR 0.70 remains in the mid-range among its contemporaries, holding a respectable 17th place in European comparison. Since last year, 13 countries have raised their letter prices, with the result that the average letter price in Europe has broken the EUR 1.00 mark for the first time. At EUR 1.02, the average price of posting a standard domestic letter in Europe is now EUR 0.14 more expensive than in 2017. The highest nominal price for domestic letters is paid in Iceland at the equivalent of EUR 4.94, while the lowest is still in Malta, where a stamp costs just EUR 0.26.

The average nominal price for sending a letter in Europe has risen by a notable 56.8% over the past five years - with the most striking price hikes in Iceland (+396%), Italy (+300%) and Denmark (+238%). By contrast, postage for standard letters in Germany has risen by just 21% - around 36% below than the average value - which puts Germany in 18th place in the European rankings.

The Deutsche Post survey of letter prices also looks at how long an industrial worker would have to work in each individual country in order to earn the postage required for a standard letter. The reason being, that this metric is an important factor in establishing how "affordable" the price of posting a letter actually is in each respective country - and the affordability of universal postal service is a fundamental criterion of the EU Postal Services Directive. The survey's findings reveal that Germany continues to follow Switzerland and Malta among the countries with the most affordable postage for letters. A worker in Iceland has to work the longest to earn the money for a standard letter.

Adjusted for inflation, the cost of sending a letter in the countries surveyed has risen by an incredible 55.32% over the past decade. By comparison, the average letter price in Germany has increased by just 13.4% over the same period. As such, Germany's standard letter postage takes up position in the lower, more affordable section of the European rankings at a highly respectable 22nd place.

Alexander Edenhofer

Topics: Postal products and services, Parcel Europe, DHL eCommerce, Mobility (Post Reisen), E-Mobility / StreetScooter

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