The European Postal Industry in 2014

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The European postal industry is a key contributor to the European economy. Today, PostEurop’s members directly employ 2 million people full-time and link an estimated 800 million people daily. 

Postal services handle an estimated 135 billion items a year, including 72 billion addressed mail and 3 billion parcels across Europe last year, reflecting a turnover of more than 150 billion euros, or about 1% of the EU and national GDPs.

The industry provides more than 600,000 access points. It operates in 175,000 retail outlets. Europe makes up a quarter of the network worldwide.

Over the last decade, the EU postal market has been gradually liberalised, moving away from a government run service to a market enterprise setting. Operators have adapted to these changes successfully and overall service quality has increased. 

Today, citizens enjoy a wide range of services from postal operators, beyond the traditional mail and small parcels. These changes brought another economic reality – employment in the postal sector decreased by more than 30% over the past decade, where an estimated 375,00 jobs were lost.

The biggest future challenge of all for postal workers – reinventing the postal business in a rapidly changing globalised communications market, where traditional communications lines have blurred.

Today, operators are confronted with an accelerating decline in the core mail business and a challenging financial situation that have also impacted the market trends. At the same time, the e-commerce market is gathering pace and postal operators are trying to benefit from this opportunity. However, the growth of parcels will not compensate mail decline everywhere.

The situation in member states varies greatly in terms of the degree of competition, e-substitution, digitalisation, and the maturity of e-commerce. In order to reach the future goals and ensure that all citizens receive a modern and accessible postal service, the postal industry needs to continue investing, innovating, and collaborating with all key stakeholders. Communication and exchange are key.

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