Printed letters becoming digital will show as a more significant decrease in the volumes of letters delivered by Itella Posti at the beginning of the year. Compared to 2010, the volume of first-class letters decreased in January and February 2011 by an average of 10%. The expected transition to the more inexpensive second-class mail is a few per cent. The total volume of second-class mail is also on a decrease regardless of the transition.
In recent years, letter delivery volumes have decreased by about two or three per cent per year. It seems that the decrease is currently becoming more extensive. The impact of digital communication is particularly highlighted in bills sent to consumers. So far, the digitalization of consumer billing in Finland has been slower than in neighboring countries.
The Internet, palmtop computers and other channels for receiving electronic messages reduce the need for printed communication. The delivery volumes of printed items other than letters are also decreasing. The volumes of newspapers and magazines delivered by Itella Posti have also decreased.
The number of addressed bulk letters has decreased substantially in recent years. The volume of addressed direct mail increased in recent years, but last year the delivery volumes started decreasing and they continue to do so. Compared to 2010, the volume of unaddressed items delivered by Itella Posti decreased by over 6% in January and February.
Only the volume of parcels delivered has increased as a result of the financial recovery and more frequent ecommerce.
"Now we have to consider our operating methods in a profound way. We will make our operations even more customer-oriented and market-driven, as being a leader is already a strength of ours. However, we cannot continue to operate in a healthy, profitable way with our existing cost structure. The change in the sector is expected to continue and even accelerate in the future, which will erode our capital base. We continue to make our operations more effective but unfortunately, it is not enough. We also have pressure to increase prices to be able to provide postal services throughout the country in the future as well," says Jukka Rosenberg, Director of the Itella Mail Communication business group.