Postal service quality in Europe exceeds EU objectives for 18th consecutive year

Brussels, 14 March 2016 – Quality of letter mail service in Europe continues to exceed both the European Union’s speed objective of 85% of intra-EU mail delivery within three days of posting, and its reliability objective of 97% within five days. Performance recorded by the IPC UNEX™ measurement system in 2015 exceeded these objectives for the 18th consecutive year.


In 2015 89% of international priority and first-class letter mail was delivered within three days of posting and 97.1% within five days. Average delivery time was 2.5 days. These results cover a total of 32 countries: the 28 EU Member States together with Iceland, Norway and Switzerland along with Serbia that joined the measurement again in 2015.

Commenting on the results, Herbert-Michael Zapf, President and Chief Executive officer, IPC, said: “2015 was the 18th consecutive year that the end-to-end performance for priority letter mail in Europe exceeded both the speed and reliability objectives set by the 1997 Postal Directive. The consistent high level of performance demonstrates that postal operators continue to work hard to maintain a reliable service for customers.”

This has become more challenging as both domestic and international letter mail volumes are under pressure because of digital substitution. This forces the operators to reduce their international operational costs, e.g. by converting air transport into ground transport methods where possible.

Quality of service performance is measured by IPC’s UNEX™ end-to-end monitoring system which is conducted independently by external research firms. The results for 2015 were based on 266,000 test letters of which more than 75% was containing Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags. The passage of a test letter at a specific point in the mail pipeline is recorded by RFID readers. The test letters move anonymously through the international mail processing system, from posting to delivery.


About International Post Corporation
International Post Corporation is a cooperative association of 24 member postal operators in Asia Pacific, Europe and North America. Over the past two decades IPC has provided industry leadership by driving service quality and interoperability, supporting its members to ensure the high performance of international mail services and developing the IT infrastructure required to achieve this. IPC engages in industry research, creates business-critical intelligence, provides a range of platforms for member post CEOs and senior management to exchange best practices and discuss strategy, and gives its members an authoritative, independent and collective voice. IPC also manages the system for incentive-based payments between postal operators. With members delivering some 80% of global postal mail, IPC represents the majority of the world’s mail volume.

For further information, please contact:

Eva Wouters
Communications manager, PR and media relations
International Post Corporation
+32 2 724 71 91