The development of postal services 2014

The total number of post offices continued to decrease in 2014. Exceptions were SmartPOST parcel points, the number of which is rapidly increasing. The number of letter-related queries and undelivered shipments fell last year. FICORA processes all undelivered shipments; in 2014, their number was 344.

Universal postal services were carried out in accordance with the Postal Act

FICORA monitors and supervises compliance with the Postal Act and any regulations and provisions issued on the basis of it. The purpose of the Postal Act is to secure the equal availability of postal services and, in particular, general postal services in all parts of Finland. General postal services refer to first and second class letter deliveries.

According to the Postal Act, letter deliveries within the scope of universal services are governed by a quality standard: A total of 80 per cent of first class letters must arrive on the first week-day following the day they were posted. A total of 95 per cent of second class letters must arrive on the second weekday following the day they were posted, and 98 per cent on the third weekday.

In 2014, the delivery speed of first class letters fulfilled the statutory requirements. Of all domestic first class letter deliveries, 91.0 per cent arrived on the first weekday following the posting day, and 98.8 per cent arrived no later than on the second weekday. In addition, the delivery speed of second class letters fulfilled the statutory requirements. Of all letter deliveries, 97.4 per cent arrived on the second weekday following the posting day, and 99.0 per cent arrived on the third weekday.

According to the Postal Act, first and second class letters must be delivered to all households on five days a week. On average, the five-day delivery schedule was deviated from in 182 households. The five-day delivery schedule can only be deviated from in 300 households if the household in question is located in an area which is difficult to reach, i.e. in the archipelago.

Postal deliveries pay attention to people of more than 75 years of age and people with disabilities. In 2014, there were 19,271 households where deliveries paid attention to personal special needs.

The number of SmartPOST parcel points has shown rapid growth in recent years

At the end of 2014, Posti Oy had 98 post offices and 784 postal agency service points. The number of Posti Oy's own ser-vice points and postal agency service points has decreased in the 2010s, but remained relatively stable in 2014. In recent years, the number of SmartPOST parcel points has increased rapidly, with the figure being more than 450 at the end of 2014. This is probably affected by the increased popularity of online shopping and the resulting growing number of parcels. In addition to the aforementioned postal service points, Posti Oy maintained 96 parcel pick-up points. In total, there were around 6,770 post boxes and around 3,260 stamp sales outlets.


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Figure: Postal service points in 2006–2014.

According to a Government Decree, postal service points must be placed in such a manner that the permanent residence of at least 82 per cent of the postal service users in the whole of Finland is located no more than three kilometres from the closest postal service point. Furthermore, the distance between the permanent residence of at most 3 per cent of all postal service users and the closest service point can be more than ten kilometres.

At the end of 2014, 83 per cent of the Finnish population lived no more than three kilometres from a postal service point, a pick-up point or a SmartPOST parcel point, and 97 per cent of the population were at a distance of no more than ten kilometres from such a service point or pick-up point. These percentage values comply with the requirements laid down in the decree on postal service points under the Postal Act. There was a postal service point as required by the Postal Act in each Finnish municipality.

Problems in postal deliveries

Posti Oy received some 10,300 queries in relation to regular and registered letters. Of these, some 2,600 letters were found and around 807 remained missing. After the lost and found letters, approximately 6,840 queries remained unsolved. These included letters, the mailing of which cannot have been verified.

A very small portion of postal deliveries are damaged during handling. Queries related to regular letters made up 0.001 per cent of the total volume, and those related to registered letters accounted for 0.06 per cent. The share of damaged first and second class letters was 0.005 per cent of the total volume. This figure also includes deliveries that were damaged before entering Posti's sorting process.

In 2014, there were 344 unreceived postal deliveries. The figure is smaller than in 2013. A delivery is unreceived if Posti Oy is unable to identify the recipient and is not aware of the sender. FICORA is responsible for securing postal deliveries and investigating the recipient or sender of unreceived letters.

This article is a part of FICORA's Communications Sector Review 2014 (1/2015).


Key words: Post, Letter, Parcel, Universal service, Articles, Reviews, Statistics


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