Postal services in 2015
While the number of SmartPost parcel points continued to increase last year, the total number of postal service points decreased in 2015. The number of letter-related queries fell last year.
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 ensure the equal availability of postal services and, in particular, universal postal services in all parts of Finland. Universal postal services are first- and second-class letter deliveries, as well as parcels paid for in cash.
Under the Postal Act, letter deliveries within the scope of the universal service are governed by a quality standard: A total of 80 per cent of first class letters must arrive on the first weekday 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 2015, the delivery speed of first-class letters fulfilled the statutory requirements. Of all domestic first-class letters sent, 82.5 per cent were delivered to their recipients on the first weekday following the day they were posted. Furthermore, the delivery speed of second-class letters fulfilled the statutory requirements, as 95.9 per cent of these letters were delivered to their recipients on the second weekday following the day they were posted and 98.3 per cent on the third weekday.
Under the Postal Act, first- and second-class letters must be delivered to all households on five days a week. On average, deviations from the five-day delivery schedule affected 106 households, while the corresponding figure was more than 180 households in the previous year. 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 2015, there were a little more than 19,000 households where personal special needs had been taken into account in terms of delivery services. This figure was identical to that of the previous year.
With regard to universal service letters, there were disturbances in the fulfilment of the five-day delivery schedule during 2015. However, these disturbances concerned only a very small proportion of all universal service letters delivered. In 2015, at minimum 0.07 per cent and at maximum 1.12 per cent of universal service letters posted were undelivered between April and December. In practice, at least one letter and at most 11 letters remained undelivered every month per every one thousand posted letters. After Posti issued a sufficiently full account of the monitoring of delivery disturbances and related corrective actions, FICORA maintained the obligations based on its previously issued decision, according to which Posti must effectively monitor the fulfilment of its delivery services and, if required, take action concerning disturbances in deliveries being monitored. FICORA has extended until further notice the effective monitoring of the five-day delivery schedule that began in 2014.
At the end of 2015, Posti Oy had 84 service points and 777 postal agency shops. The number of Posti's service points and postal agency shops has decreased in the 2010s. The number of SmartPost parcel points increased by 5 per cent last year, with the total number of parcel points being 480 at the end of 2015. The rapid increase in SmartPost parcel points is partly based on the general increase in online shopping and the resulting growth in the number of parcels shipped. In addition to the aforementioned Posti's service points, Posti Oy maintained 46 parcel pick-up points; this number has, however, started to decrease. In total, there were 6,580 post boxes and 3,260 stamp sales outlets at the end of the year.
According to a Government Decree, postal service outlets 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 outlet. Furthermore, the distance between the residence of at most 3 per cent of all postal service users and the closest service outlet can be more than ten kilometres.
At the end of 2015, 83 per cent of the population of Finland lived at most three kilometres from a postal service point, a pick-up location or a SmartPost parcel point, and 3 per cent of the population had at most ten kilometres to such a service 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. Save the graph data as a CSV file
Figure: Postal service points
Posti Oy received approximately 7,400 queries related to regular and registered letters, nearly one third fewer than in previous years. Queries related to regular letters accounted for 0.00033 per cent of the total volume, and those related to registered letters made up 0.059 per cent of the total volume. This means that the number of queries was very low compared with the total number of letters. Of all queries, approximately 3,300 letters were found and more than 2,100 remained missing. After the lost and found letters, less than 2,000 queries remained unsolved. These included those letters, the mailing of which cannot have been verified.
A very small portion of postal deliveries are damaged during handling. The proportion of damaged first and second-class letters was 0.008 per cent of the total volume in 2015. This figure also includes deliveries that were damaged before entering Posti's sorting process.
FICORA is responsible for securing postal deliveries and investigating the recipient or sender of unreceived letters. In 2015, FICORA handled a total of 122,000 deliveries sent to it, of which it was able to forward 34,000 deliveries to their recipients or senders. Unreceived parcels are handled by Posti Oy. In 2015, there were 295 unreceived parcels.
This article is a part of FICORA's Communications Sector Review 1/2016.