Herna Verhagen, PostNL’s CEO, said: “This is a key strategic step towards a robust and stable mail business. We are very aware of the responsibility that comes with our leading position in the postal market, which means that we will continue to carefully weigh the interests of all stakeholders to help us create both financial and social value. The consolidation will bring greater quality and continuity to senders and consumers, and enhance job security for our postal deliverers. We’ll be continuing our existing price policies of the past few years.”
Ronald van de Laar, Managing Director of Sandd Holding, commented: “Looking back on two decades of Sandd, I can only say that I’m extremely proud of and grateful for what we’ve achieved together. That said, the time has now come for a single, robust Dutch postal network that offers consumers, businesses and our workforce the best long-term solution. We have agreed a solid way forward for the integration of our networks and for the future of our people.”
PostNL and Sandd announced they were looking to join forces on 25 February 2019. When the Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) ruled on 5 September that it would not grant a licence, PostNL and Sandd invoked Article 47 of Dutch competition law to urge the Deputy Minister of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy to decide otherwise. On 27 September she decided to grant permission on the basis of significant public interest, subject to a number of conditions.
With these two networks combined, both businesses and consumers will have the security of a postal service that meets high quality requirements and remains affordable and accessible across the Netherlands.
The consolidation also provides greater job security for thousands of postal deliverers and will help cushion the decline of the postal market in a socially responsible way. For one thing, Sandd’s postal deliverers will all be offered jobs with PostNL, while PostNL will find alternative positions within the company for other Sandd people, or look for alternative solutions.
PostNL will also continue collaboration with sheltered workplace companies. As a result, the consolidation will not affect employees who face challenges in the labour market. PostNL has drawn up a solid plan to help it complete the integration of both networks in the first six months of 2020. Over the next couple of months, it will consult with Sandd customers to gradually absorb their volumes into the PostNL network, with the bulk of the migration scheduled to take place at the beginning of 2020. Once the integration is completed, Sandd’s brand and stamps will be discontinued.