IPC report shows posts ensured reliability of international letter mail during pandemic

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The International Post Corporation (IPC) has published the UNEX 2020 CEN module results, which reveal that on average, international priority letter mail in Europe was delivered in 4.4 days, despite transit times and service quality being impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic and national lockdown measures imposed in various countries.

The IPC UNEX CEN measurement is end to end: from posting in the origin country, to delivery to the final addressee in the destination country. This includes the postal operation’s time for collection in the origin country, sorting, international transportation, and processing and delivery in the destination country. All posts, as origin and/or destination, were affected by national restrictions put in place to fight the Covid-19 pandemic, at domestic sorting, collection or delivery level due to staff shortages. Due to the end-to-end nature of the measurement, the challenges encountered in the posts affected their postal partners and vice versa.

The time for transportation was also heavily affected by major international transport disruption, in particular the drastic reduction in air transport capacity and capability in Europe, requiring solutions and adjustments almost daily, such as shifting to road or sea transport, using transit countries or finding freight space on the remaining active air connections.

Nevertheless, the 2020 results show that posts still managed to deliver more than half of the mail in three days (speed indicator) and almost four-fifths in five days (reliability indicator).

The results for 2020 in the UNEX CEN module are based on a total of 80,000 test letters sent and received by 900 volunteers spread across 32 countries – the 27 EU member states together with Iceland, Norway, Serbia, Switzerland and the UK. Overall, 802 country-to-country flows were measured.

The 2020 UNEX results brochure is available at https://www.ipc.be/-/media/documents/public/unex/full-year-results/unex_leaflet_2020

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With over a decade of experience as a business and technology journalist working in B2B publishing, Hazel first joined UKi in 2011. After taking 18 months off to bring up her daughter and try her hand at marketing copywriting, she returned in January 2018 to do what she loves best – magazine editing! She is now the editor of UKi's Passenger Terminal World and Parcel and Postal Technology International magazines.

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