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Postal reform: Letters will take three days in the future – and will probably be more expensive

Postal reform: Letters will take three days in the future – and will probably be more expensive

Traffic light coalition agrees on final details of postal reform, the Bundestag is expected to make a final decision by the end of the week. In future, letters will generally only have to arrive after three days, while the post office wants to increase postage.

Postal customers will have to wait longer for letters in the future. According to consistent reports, the traffic light factions in the Bundestag have agreed on the details of the new postal law. Currently, at least 80 percent of letters in Germany must be delivered on the following working day, 95 percent after two working days.

In future, the post office will have three days to deliver 95 percent of standard letters. On the fourth working day, 99 percent must reach their destination. The draft law talks about putting reliability first rather than speed. Hence the target of 99 percent for the fourth day.

No more night flights

This means that the post office can officially do without its night flights for domestic deliveries. The last regular postal flight was cancelled at the end of March in anticipation of the decision.

“Night flights are a thing of the past,” said Green Party MP Sandra Detzer. “And up to 80 percent of emissions can be saved.” Reinhard Houben of the FDP added that the new postal law ensures competition in the parcel market. “Consumers benefit from this.”

Limited protection for parcel delivery companies

The question of whether subcontractors of postal and parcel services are allowed to employ subcontractors themselves was particularly contentious in the coalition. This is often the cause of particularly poor working conditions among delivery workers. According to reports, the ban on sub-subcontractors demanded by the SPD and the Greens is now off the table. Instead, the factions are now relying on relatively strict control obligations. “It is particularly important in the law that we strengthen occupational safety in the parcel sector and take measures against abuse in parcel delivery,” says Bundestag member Sebastian Roloff (SPD).

Delivery companies will also have to register with the network agency in a provider directory. Clients will then have to check their subcontractors for reliability after three months and then every twelve months. This is intended to prevent employee rights from being circumvented via subcontractors. The requirement is stricter than that provided for in the government’s cabinet decision of December 2023.

The postal reform is to be passed by the Bundestag by the end of the week

The compromise is to be finally approved in the Bundestag this week. The Bundesrat could then vote on it on July 5. Deutsche Post welcomed the agreement. “The draft law recognizes the essential realities of the changing postal markets and an increasingly digitalized society,” it said, but the draft also has “significant weaknesses.” The Bonn-based company now wants to quickly conclude the process of increasing postage for letters from next year.

The post office is the top dog in the German letter market and employs around 190,000 people in its letter and parcel business in Germany. However, the parent company DHL has long been making the lion’s share of its profits outside the German letter market in the international express or freight business and with warehousing services.

Source: Stern

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