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Non-urgent post only to be delivered twice a week from next year

The Belgian Post Office Bpost has announced that from next year all non-urgent post will only be delivered twice a week. Currently all post is delivered every day with the exception of on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays. Bpost justifies the reduction in delivery day by pointing to the ever-falling number of letters that are being sent and adding that the measure is necessary to keep it in the black.    

Bpost’s spokeswoman Barbara Van Speybroeck told VRT News that as more and more of us a communicating digitally “We need to adapt our working methods”.

"This is why we are going to group non-urgent letters and deliver then twice a week. Once at the start of the week and once at the end of the week”.   

However, postmen and postwomen will still do their round every day. They will deliver newspapers, parcels and first class “prior” post.

A “prior” stamp costs 5 eurocents more, but guarantees next day delivery. However, the “prior” stamp has not been a great success since it was re-introduced at the start of the year. Registered mail and death notices will also be delivered on the next working day.     

So-called “non-urgent” mail will take three days to reach its destination. 

While the number of letters being sent is falling fast, the number of parcels being delivered is on the rise.  

"Customers expect to be able to receive a parcel every day”, Ms Van Speybroeck said. However, the increase in the number of parcels being sent doesn’t compensate for the reduction in the number of letters.  

"The way in which a letter is distributed is completely different to a parcel. You need different machines and a different organisational structure. So we need to adapt our way of working to deal with a lot of parcels and fewer letters and this is something that we haven’t done until now”, Ms Van Speybroeck added.

The new working methods will be tested at 6 post offices during the summer. The new way of working will come into force across Belgium from next March. Bpost says that the changes won’t have any impact on staffing levels.   

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