Postal statistics

Postal statistics

Statistical database provides a dynamic overview of postal development in each country. It contains data from over 200 countries or territories and includes approximately 100 indicators of postal development, grouped in 12 chapters. Information for display is grouped by country or year.

Group by country

The grouping by country shows the information for each year for a given country in the form of a graph. On the right side, you can select a different country, and also show the values of the indicator for each year. When you click on the value of the indicator of a certain year, the information is displayed taking into account the grouping for the selected year for all countries.

Group by year

Grouping by year shows information for each country in the form of a map. On the right side, you can select another year, as well as the indicator values for each country sorted in descending order. When you click on the value of the indicator of a particular country, the information is displayed taking into account the grouping for the selected country for all years.

1. GENERAL INFORMATION

Area and population

Area of territory (km2) and Population (millions) give general data for each country, i.e. the area of territory and the number of inhabitants. The sources of these data are the statistics and population divisions of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs.

Exchange rate

Rate of exchange (national currency for one SDR) gives the rate of exchange applied to convert the financial data. To allow comparison of data between countries, all financial information in this publication is presented in Special Drawing Rights (SDR), the unit of account of the International Monetary Fund. The exchange rate applied for currency conversion is the end-ofperiod exchange rate taken from the International Financial Statistics of the International Monetary Fund.

2. REGULATORY INFORMATION

Postal operators and their staff

Number of licensed, authorized or declared operators shows the number of licensed, authorized or declared operators. These are operators which provide letter, parcel and express delivery services, but which are not necessarily responsible for providing universal services or fulfilling the obligations arising from the UPU Acts. Number of staff of all operators (at 31 December) gives the total number of the postal operators' employees (including part-time staff).

Traffic

Domestic letter delivery services - number of items, Domestic parcel delivery services - number of items and Domestic express delivery services - number of items give the total number of items for letter, parcel and express delivery services, respectively. The figures are limited to the domestic service. For definitions of letters, parcels and express items please consult sections 9 and 10.

3. STAFF

For most designated operators, postal staff consists of full-time and part-time staff.

Total number of staff is calculated as the sum of the number of full-time staff and the number of part-time staff. This total gives an indication of the number of physical persons  employed by designated operators (not of the number of posts filled, full-time).

Full-time staff represents established or unestablished staff under contract to the Post and performing their functions during normal working hours.

Part-time staff work less than the normal number of hours worked by full-time staff. Unless stated otherwise, the data show the number of staff (not the number of posts filled in full-time equivalents).

People employed by contractors and temporary staff taken on during holiday periods or for occasional events are not included in these indicator.

Number of posts (in full-time equivalent) refers to the total workforce, expressed in terms of full-time posts, at 31 December. The number of posts is calculated as the number of full-time staff plus the number of part-time staff, converted to full-time posts.

Female employees as a percentage of total staff represents the proportion of female staff as a percentage of the total number of staff.

Percentage of delivery staff represents the proportion of delivery staff as a percentage of the total number of staff.

Percentage of female management staff represents the proportion of female management staff as a percentage of the total number of staff.

4. POSTAL ESTABLISHMENTS

Postal establishments can be classified in two categories: offices open to the public and offices not open to the public.

Offices open to the public

Postal establishments open to the public are post offices to which customers may go for postal services. Offices open to the public may be staffed by officials of the designated operator or by persons not connected with the designated operator, and they may be fixed (permanent) or mobile.

Offices open to the public include the different types of office shown in the diagram below:

Permanent post offices

Total number of permanent post offices gives the total number of permanent post offices, corresponding to the sum of Number of permanent offices staffed by administration officials and Number of permanent offices staffed by people from outside the administration. It represents all offices open to the public and operating on fixed premises.

Permanent post offices include offices staffed by designated operator officials and offices staffed by persons not connected with the designated operator. Offices staffed by designated operator officials may be full-service offices or secondary offices. Fullservice post offices are post offices to which, in principle, customers may go for all postal services. This category also includes sections of exchange offices or sorting offices offering similar services. Secondary offices generally have reduced services and, in principle, depend on a head post office.

Offices staffed by persons not connected with the designated operator are post offices or other establishments staffed by persons not connected with the operator that provide post office counter services on the basis of a contract with the designated operator.

Indicators of the degree of coverage of permanent offices

Average area covered by a permanent office (km2) and Average number of inhabitants served by a permanent office provide indicators of the degree of coverage of permanent offices in each country, i.e. the average area covered by a permanent office and the average number of inhabitants served by a permanent office.

Mobile post offices

Mobile post offices are offices set up in a train, road transport vehicle, boat, etc. which serve regions without permanent post offices. This category also includes rural delivery personnel providing services similar to the counter services of a post office. Users can deposit parcels, letters or express items with them or make payments to them.

Post offices accepting financial transactions

Post offices accepting financial transactions include fixed offices, mobile offices and delivery personnel providing financial services (money orders, COD, transfers, payments, etc.).

Postal establishments not open to the public

Postal establishments not open to the public are those which carry out postal operations not involving customer contact. As such, they are not open to the public.

Sorting centres

Number of sorting centres gives the number of sorting centres. This category includes offices whose main activity is sorting and excludes delivery offices. Sorting sections of post offices open to the public are not included under this indicator.

Electronic networks

Designated operators are making increasing use of new information and communication technologies in their day-to-day operations. Number of post offices providing public Internet access points represents the number of post offices (whether or not managed by the designated operator) providing public Internet access points.

Number of permanent post offices connected to an electronic network gives the number of permanent post offices connected to an electronic network. An electronic network is a communications infrastructure installed between retail outlets and district, regional and headquarters locations that allows the offices to share information and data.

Number of permanent post offices using counter automation systems represents the number of permanent post offices using counter automation systems, i.e. a computer system and related electronic network installed within postal outlets to automate over-thecounter customer-related activities including retail services, postal financial services, government agency-related transactions and other business transactions at postal counters.

Automated parcel lockers

These are electronically controlled booths for the self-service collection of parcels, packages and oversize letters. These lockers are generally located inside or outside high pedestrian traffic zones (e.g. stations, shopping malls) or in purpose-built designated locations accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

5. FINANCIAL RESULTS

To ensure comparability of the data, the financial results are given in SDR for all countries. The exchange rate used to convert the data is given under Rate of exchange (national currency for one SDR).

Operating revenue (SDR) covers all operating revenue, including:

  • income from the sale of services: postal charges (stamps, franking marks, etc.), income from passenger transport operations, the giro service and the postal savings bank service;
  • remuneration for the transport and delivery of international mail;
  • remuneration from public or private non-postal operators (e.g. road, rail or sea carriers);
  • various subsidies received from the State, community, public or private institutions;
  • other income (e.g. insurance policies sold by the operator).

Operating expenditure (SDR) covers all operating expenditure, including:

  • purchases of tangible assets (including transport equipment, IT equipment, other logistical postal service facilities (e.g. logistical equipment for offices of exchange, sorting centres, etc.), buildings, land);
  • purchase of intangible assets (licences, patents);
  • staff costs, wages, salaries, payroll taxes, etc.;
  • depreciation of tangible assets (amortization);
  • domestic and international mail transport charges paid to third parties (e.g. road, rail, sea or air carriers);
  • remuneration paid to public or private operators, including terminal dues and rates paid to other postal operators;
  • various subsidies paid (State, community, public or private institutions).

Operating result (SDR) presents the operating result (operating loss or profit), while Net result (SDR) gives the net result (net loss or profit).

The financial information supplied by each designated operator obviously results from the application of accounting standards applied by the operator concerned. However, these accounting standards vary considerably from one country to another, and make it difficult to compare the financial information published by the different operators.

6. REVENUE BY POSTAL PRODUCT

Percentage of income linked to letter post, Percentage of income linked to parcels and logistics services, Percentage of income linked to postal financial services and Percentage of income linked to other products give the breakdown of total revenue by postal product: letter post, parcels and logistics services, postal financial services, other revenue. The data are in percentages, sum is therefore 100%.

Income from philately as a percentage of total income gives the share of philately revenue in relation to total revenue.

7. COLLECTION

The data under this chapter pertain to collections of correspondence posted by customers in letter boxes located on streets.

Frequency of collection

Since the frequency of mail collection is not always the same throughout the country, the statistics are given under two indicators:

Number of letter boxes

Number of letter-boxes gives the number of letter boxes located on streets and in post offices for the posting of mail.

8. DELIVERY

The data under this chapter pertain to the delivery of ordinary mail, not including express mail.

Frequency of delivery

Since the frequency of mail delivery is not always the same throughout the country, the statistics are given under two indicators:

Number of post office boxes

Number of post office boxes gives the number of post office boxes (pigeonholes, boxes, bags, etc.) placed in a postal establishment, to which customers' mail is delivered.

Delivery through post office boxes

Percentage of items delivered through post office boxes gives the number of items delivered through post office boxes as a percentage of the total number of items delivered.

Breakdown of the population according to the delivery services they receive

The total population may be classified in three groups according to the delivery services they receive:

These data are in percentages. The sum is 100%. Users who, for personal convenience, prefer to collect their mail at the post office are regarded as having their mail delivered at home. The population without postal services covers the population living in a region where there is no postal network.

Quality of service

Domestic quality standard for priority mail gives the expected end-to-end transit time for domestic priority letter-post items. Usually, it is one (J+1), two (J+2) or three (J+3) days. If different standards apply for different routes within the country, then the shortest one is chosen. Similarly, if multiple standards apply for the same route (e.g. J+1 "speed" and J+3 "reliability") only the shortest one is indicated.

Domestic quality target for priority mail gives the percentage of items to be delivered within the standard defined in the previous indicator. The quality target is usually set by the regulator.

Annual performance level shows the percentage of items actually delivered within the quality standard. This figure should be the annual result of a domestic quality measurement for the given year.

9. LETTER POST

This chapter shows, in numbers of items, the volume of letter-post mail processed by each designated operator:

  • in its domestic service;
  • in its international service - dispatch (items sent abroad);
  • in its international service - receipt (items received from abroad).
Article 13 of the Convention (excerpt). Basic services
2 Letter-post items are:
2.1 priority items and non-priority items, up to 2 kilogrammes;
2.2 letters, postcards, printed papers and small packets, up to 2 kilogrammes;
2.3 literature for the blind, up to 7 kilogrammes;
2.4 special bags containing newspapers, periodicals, books and similar printed documentation for the same addressee at the same address called "M bags", up to 30 kilogrammes.
3 Letter-post items shall be classified on the basis of either the speed of treatment of the items or of the contents of the items in accordance with the Letter Post Regulations.
4 Higher weight limits than those indicated in paragraph 2 apply optionally for certain letter-post item categories under the conditions specified in the Letter Post Regulations.

It is important to note that the definitions of the services and of the categories of items contained in the Letter Post Manual (2013) and presented below apply to the international service. In the domestic service, each designated operator has the authority to establish the rules and conditions governing the classification of items and the operation of the postal services.

Letter-post items basically consist of letters, postcards, printed papers (newspapers, periodicals, advertising, etc.), small packets, literature for the blind and, as applicable in the domestic service, commercial papers, samples of merchandise, "Phonopost" items, postal packets, etc. These items may be given special treatment, such as registered items or insured items. Reference should be made to the Convention and to the Letter Post Manual for a more comprehensive definition of the concept of letter post.

Items per inhabitant

Average number of letter-post items posted per inhabitant gives an indicator of the use of letter-post services, i.e. the number of letter-post items posted per inhabitant.

Number of letter-post items

The statistics on total letter-post traffic are present the total volume of letter-post mail according to the service:

The total volume of mail includes, in principle, both ordinary items and items given special treatment (registered items, insured letters, newspapers) as well as advertising items and hybrid mail.

Number of copies of newspapers

Number of copies of newspapers, domestic service gives the number of copies of newspapers dispatched and delivered by the Post in the domestic service.

Advertising items

Advertising items cover direct marketing mail and unaddressed printed matter ("all boxes" or "targeted").

Total number of advertising items, domestic service and Total number of advertising items, international service - dispatch give the total number of advertising items (domestic service and international service – dispatch). Number of addressed advertising items, domestic service and Number of unaddressed advertising items, domestic service detail the domestic service advertising items (addressed and unaddressed, respectively).

Hybrid mail

Hybrid mail is mail initially consisting of an e-mail message sent by the customer to the Post, which then prints it, dispatches it and delivers it in physical form.

Number of hybrid mail items, domestic service gives the number of hybrid mail items dispatched domestically.

Tariffs

Basic tariff for a domestic priority letter (first weight step) gives the tariff for a priority letter-post item within the first weight step, expressed in national currency.

10. EXPRESS ITEMS AND POSTAL PARCELS

This chapter shows, in numbers of items, the volume of express items and postal parcels processed by each designated operator.

Express items

Express items are items (documents and merchandise) forwarded and delivered in the most rapid way. At international level, this service corresponds to EMS and other similar services. The provisions relating to express items are laid down in article 14 of the Convention.

Article RL 258 of the Letter Post Regulations (excerpt). EMS
1 In relations between designated operators which have agreed to provide this service, EMS takes priority over other postal items. It shall consist of the collection, dispatch and delivery in a very short space of time of correspondence, documents or goods.
2 Aspects that are not expressly governed by the latter shall be subject to the appropriate provisions of the Acts of the Union.
Article 16 of the Convention (excerpt). EMS and integrated logistics
1 Member countries or the designated operators may agree with each other to participate in the following services, which are described in the Regulations:
1.1 EMS, which is a postal express service for documents and merchandise, and shall wherever possible be the quickest postal service by physical means. Postal administrations may provide this service on the basis of the EMS Standard Multilateral Agreement or by bilateral agreement.

Number of express items give the volume of express items according to the service:

Postal parcels

The Parcel Post Manual (2013) provides the definitions that apply to the international service and the general principles governing the international exchange of postal parcels. Each operator has the authority to establish the rules and conditions governing postal parcels in its domestic service.

Article 13 of the Convention (excerpt). Basic services
5 (...) member countries shall ensure the acceptance, handling,conveyance and delivery of postal parcels up to 20 kilogrammes, (...);
6 Weight limits higher than 20 kilogrammes apply optionally for certain parcel post categories under the conditions specified in the Parcel Post Regulations.

These limits of weight and size serve to distinguish postal parcels from "small packets", which come under letter-post items, the conditions for which are laid down in the Letter Post Manual.

Number of parcels give the number of both ordinary and insured parcels according to the service:


11. OTHER TRAFFIC INFORMATION

Total weight transported

Domestic and international dispatch, all categories together denotes the weight (expressed in kilogrammes) of all categories of items transported domestically or bound for international export.

Trackable items

Domestic and international dispatch, trackable items gives the number of postal items equipped with an identifier (e.g. a barcode) which enables their recognition by an electronic tracking system. However, they need not necessarily allow for customer claims.

12. POSTAL FINANCIAL SERVICES

This chapter covers the main financial services operated by designated operators. The present publication covers the following categories: postal payments and giro and savings bank or postal bank services.

Distribution of domestic payments

Payments are cash or electronic money transfers from one party to another. Payments can be processed directly by the postal operator or in partnership with government agencies, money transfer operators, utility companies, insurance companies, microfinance institutions, banks, etc.

Next indicators refer to domestic payments.

Number of government payments gives the number of government payments, i.e. payments processed by a postal operator on behalf of a government agency. They can be initiated either by an individual (person-togovernment payment) or by a government agency (government-toperson payment). They include pensions, social transfers, tax payments and government services' payments, but exclude payments to utility companies.

Number of bills gives the number of payments processed by the postal operator on behalf of an individual to pay for the services of a thirdparty company, generally a utility company (water, electricity, telephone, TV).

Number of money orders gives the number of ordinary money orders (i.e. cash or electronic transfers) from person to person, where the postal operator is used either at the point of issue, payment, or both. They include paper-based as well as electronic money orders.

Total number of payments, domestic service gives the total number of domestic postal payments.

International payments

The financial services that countries agree to exchange in their reciprocal relations are governed by the Postal Payment Services Agreement.

Number of payments, international service - dispatch and Number of payments, international service - receipt give the number of international postal payments for dispatch and receipt, respectively.

Giro

The position of giro accounts is shown by the number of accounts at the end of the period ( Number of giro accounts) and the percentage of dormant accounts – accounts that have seen no activity, other than for posting of interest, in the last 12 months. (Percentage of dormant accounts (at 31 December)).

Postal savings bank or postal bank

The position of the postal savings bank or postal bank accounts is shown by the number of accounts at the end of the period (Number of postal savings bank or postal bank accounts) and the total end-of-year assets in the accounts (End-of-year assets in postal savings bank or postal bank accounts (SDR), which represent the available balance of the accounts.