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Posti submits report to Traficom on execution of postal service

The Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom is responsible for overseeing compliance with the Postal Act (415/2011) and the rules and regulations issued under it. Posti has now submitted to Traficom its report for 2021, an exceptional year due to changes in EU legislation, customs and value added tax, and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The universal service covers letters paid for by postage stamp. These account for some 3.3% of the mail sent through Posti. Newspapers and magazines, unaddressed direct marketing mail and most parcels are not covered by the Postal Act.

Under the provisions on quality control of postal services, all postal operators are required to publish annually information on the quality of the postal services they provide under the Postal Act.

Fulfilment of delivery obligation

In difficult to reach areas we deviated from the five-weekday obligation with regard to 165 households (with the maximum allowed being 1,000). The number varies from season to season depending on factors such as the timetables of the archipelagic vessels, etc. Based on special personal needs, an average of 27,257 households were eligible for delivery services for Special Groups (persons over 75 years of age and persons with reduced mobility).

Requirements for the speed of delivery of letters covered by the universal service

The delivery speed requirement monitored by the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency applies to letters paid for by postage stamp (or equivalent payment indication), which are generally sent by consumers.

According to the quality standard set out in the Postal Act, domestic letters shall be delivered so that at least 50% of the letters arrive at the latest on the fourth weekday (J+4) and at least 97% on the fifth weekday (J+5) after the day of deposit. Intra-Community cross-border mail shall be delivered so that at least 50% of the items arrive on the third day and 97% on the fifth day after the day of deposit.

Of the domestic letters delivered by Posti, 97.6% arrived by the fourth day and 99.3% by the fifth day.

The delivery of letters paid in cash involves more processing steps than the bulk mailings sent by businesses. Individually mailed letters are usually left in letterboxes and then picked up to be transported to sorting centers. In sorting centers, postage-stamped letters go through a dedicated processing and sorting procedure.

Inquiries for mailed items

There were 9,911 inquiries for all ordinary addressed letters, or 0.0023% of the volume sent. Ordinary letters are not tracked. Therefore, their delivery or non-delivery cannot be reliable verified. In addition, inquiries relating to ordinary letters cannot be attributed to a given mail item, so the figure may include several inquiries concerning one and the same item. However, 187 shipments were recorded as lost. The number of items recovered was 4,526 and the number of unresolved cases was 5,198.

The majority of enquiries for ordinary letters were directed at international items. The number of inquiries was affected by changes in EU legislation concerning inbound items subject to customs clearance. Starting from March 15, 2021, electronic advance information has been required from the post office of the country of origin for each item arriving in the country. From July 1, 2021, e-commerce purchases and publications from outside the EU have been subject to customs clearance and VAT. These also affected the inquiries with regard to letters. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on international postal traffic was also evident in the inquiries.

There were a total of 3,921 inquiries for registered letters, or 0.2926% of the volume sent. Of those, 2,371 were recovered and 319 were recorded as lost. The number of unresolved cases was 1,231.

Most of the inquiries for registered letters were also related to international items. The number of inquiries was affected by changes in EU legislation concerning inbound items subject to customs clearance.

Damaged letters represented 0.0127% of the total volume. The number includes items that were damaged before entering Posti’s mail sorting process. A cover letter addressed to the recipient was attached to damaged mail items.

The information on parcels includes only items covered by the Postal Act

During the year, Posti processed 1,401 postal parcel inquiries (0.6419% of sent items). Of those, 93 were confirmed as lost. The number of items recovered was 1,168, and the number of unresolved cases was 140.

Items misdelivered by other delivery companies returned to Posti

Besides Posti, there are 16 other delivery companies in Finland that deliver letters. In 2021, approximately 190,000 misdelivered items carried by other delivery companies were returned to Posti.

According to the Postal Act, each postal company must provide a service for returning misdelivered mail items.

In addition, the Postal Act requires that postal companies must mark their mail items in such a way that they can be distinguished from mail items delivered by other postal companies. Therefore, each letter carries on it the delivery company identifier. Posti’s identifiers are Posti Oy, ECONOMY, PRIORITY and POSTI GREEN.

Instead of Posti, the recipient should have returned the misdelivered items directly to the delivery company responsible for the delivery. Errors can be corrected more quickly when feedback is addressed to the right company.

Traficom maintains a register of the delivery companies and their identifiers.

Fulfilment of linguistic rights

Posti monitors the fulfilment of linguistic rights through customer feedback and by monitoring the quality of its customer service. No changes have occurred in the service compared to the previous year.

Posti serves customers in Finnish, Swedish and English through multiple channels. Customers can receive advice and give feedback through Posti’s web pages and forms, Posti’s Facebook pages and online chat and personal service at Posti outlets. Feedback can also be provided by sending an informal letter to Posti.

Number of Posti service points

At the end of 2021, Posti had about 3,300 service points in the whole country, of which about 2,300 were parcel lockers and about 1,000 were personal service outlets.

What is important to the user of postal services is that the network of service points works well. In addition to Posti’s own shops, postal services are available from postal outlets run by several different service providers. Parcels can be picked up from Posti Parcel Lockers in addition to Posti outlets. Posti also offers home delivery.

In addition, there are 4,295 mailboxes for outgoing mail around Finland.

Millions of items pass through Posti every weekday. Mail volumes vary greatly depending on the weekday, the time of the month and the season. The needs of sending customers set the pace for postal work. The transport, sorting and delivery of mail items are carried out by around 13,000 postal professionals throughout Finland.