Deutsche Post continues to have problems fulfilling its branch network obligations, but it has improved significantly than before. While it was not present at 174 locations at the end of January, even though it should have been according to government requirements, this number had fallen to just 73 unoccupied mandatory locations by mid-October.
The Federal Network Agency announced this at the request of the German Press Agency. In recent months, the postal service has made “increased efforts to fill vacant branch locations.” However, we continue to push for the remaining gaps to be closed.
Reform of the outdated postal law
According to its own information, the logistics company has around 12,900 branches nationwide. According to a regulation, there must be at least one stationary sales outlet in every community with more than 2,000 inhabitants. With a population of 4,000 or more, a branch in contiguous residential areas may not be more than two kilometers away.
In most cases, post offices refer to retailers that also have a post office counter, such as supermarkets or kiosks. Structural change in the countryside is a problem for the post office: If the last store in a village closes, the Bonn-based company can no longer find a local partner.
The federal government is currently preparing to reform the outdated postal law. Then the specifications for the branch network could be changed. In the future, machines may also be sufficient for the postal service to fulfill its attendance requirement. These are so-called post offices where you can buy stamps, post letters and pick up and post parcels around the clock.
A spokesman for the postal group DHL said he was pleased with the significant decline in unoccupied branch locations. He cited close dialogue with the mayors in the affected municipalities as one reason for this. “But it remains a challenging environment, because we always have to expect business closures from branch partners and fluctuations in vacancies,” said the company spokesman.
We will continue to work hard to be present at all “mandatory locations” and to offer customers a reliable supply of parcel and letter services. This also includes setting up additional post offices, which are very popular with customers.