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. 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. Posti has now submitted its 2019 report to Traficom.
In the case of letters, the universal service only covers letters paid for by postage stamp. These account for some 4% of the mail sent through Posti. Newspapers and magazines, unaddressed direct marketing mail and most parcels are not covered by the Postal Act.
Fulfilment of delivery obligation
In areas that are difficult to reach, Posti deviated from the five-weekday delivery obligation for 160–200 households (154 in 2018), with the allowed maximum being 1000. 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 26,741 (26,395 in 2018) 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, 96.7% arrived by the fourth day and 98.2% by the fifth day. These figures exclude the force majeure obstacles to mail delivery caused by the strikes in autumn 2019.
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 1353 inquiries for ordinary letters (738 in 2018) or 0.00025% of the total volume of letters mailed. 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, 63 (75) shipments were recorded as lost. Posti recovered 315 (301) shipments. The number of unresolved cases was 975 (361).
Posti has developed a service (the Plus Sticker), which makes it possible to track ordinary letters paid by postage stamp. An item ID enables the customer to track the shipment in an online service and see when the shipment is ready for delivery to the recipient. As ordinary letters without the Plus Sticker are not tracked, inquiries concerning them normally remain unresolved. The item may arrive after the inquiry has been made.
There were a total of 2410 (1703 in 2018) inquiries for registered letters, or 0.072% of the volume sent. Of those, 1485 (1302) were recovered and 28 (136) were recorded as lost. The number of unresolved cases was 897 (266).
Most of the inquiries for registered letters were related to online purchases from China.
The number of damaged letters was 0.0086% (0.0086% in 2018) 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 data on parcels includes only items covered by the Postal Act.
During the year, Posti processed 1065 (888 in 2018) postal parcel inquiries (0.84% of the volume sent). Of those, 69 were confirmed as lost (62 in 2018). The number of items recovered was 962 (732) and the number of unresolved cases was 34 (121).
Items misdelivered by other delivery companies returned to Posti
Besides Posti, there are 16 other delivery companies in Finland that deliver letters. In 2019, approximately 113,000 (117,000 in 2018) 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, POSTI GREEN.
Instead of Posti, the recipients 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, customer service email, and personal service at Posti outlets. Feedback can also be provided by sending an informal letter to Posti.
Number of Posti service points
Posti has a network of service points covering the whole country – all in all, around 2630 Posti outlets. What is important to the user of postal services is that the network 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 and, for example, lockers for residential properties to receive parcels and other e-commerce purchases, and to send prepaid parcels, letters and postcards. In addition, there are 4687 letterboxes for outgoing letter mail across Finland.
Millions of items pass through Posti every weekday, but mail volumes vary greatly depending on the weekday, the time of the month and the season. More than two billion messages and items are sent through Posti every year. 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.