3 days a week mail service
Oct 22, 2013 / 9:31 pm
New Zealand's government has agreed to allow its postal service to deliver mail as infrequently as three days a week to most customers from 2015 as the volume of letters declines precipitously in an era of electronic communication.
The move could foreshadow similar changes in other developed nations as businesses and residents increasingly move online to communicate and pay bills.
The New Zealand Government on Wednesday announced it was changing its agreement with the postal service effective June 2015.
Instead of delivering mail six days a week, the service will be required to deliver a minimum three days a week in urban areas and five days a week in rural areas, which tend to rely more on mail. About 12 per cent of customers live in rural areas.
New Zealand Post has been lobbying for the change, saying it was barely breaking even on its mail deliveries and would soon begin losing money unless it was allowed to cut back.
Mail volumes in the South Pacific nation of 4.5 million people have dropped by a quarter in the last decade and the decline appears to be accelerating.
"Around the world postal volumes are declining," said Communications Minister Amy Adams. "In New Zealand, this is at a rate of about 8 per cent per annum."
New Zealand Post spokesman John Tulloch said the new agreement was vital in allowing the postal service to remain viable. He said the service hadn't made a final decision on three day a week deliveries, although given the ongoing volume decline it was a strong possibility.
He said that a move to three-day delivery would be accompanied by a new service under which customers could get their letters couriered six days a week for a premium.
A think-tank commissioned by Canada Post is warning that the Crown corporation will be losing $1 billion a year by the end of this decade.
The Conference Board of Canada says the postal service is being hit by a dramatic reduction in volumes in the age of digital communication.
It estimates that the volume of bills, invoices, advertising and publications handled by Canada Post will decline by more than 25 per cent by 2020.
The volume of parcel delivery is expected to buck the trend and grow by 26 per cent due to online shopping, but the Conference Board says it won't be enough to offset the revenue lost in other areas.
The report says price increases won't be enough to make Canada Post self-sustaining.
Should Canada also look at going down to three days a week for mail delivery? Send us your thoughts to [email protected]
Read more World News
- Progress seen since Typhoon Haiyan
- South Africans hold day of prayer
- Millions of residents hit by storm
- Obama to attend Mandela memorial
- 72nd anniversary of Pearl Harbor
- Egypt court reduces heavy sentences
- Attacks kill 15 in Iraq
- Mandela's state funeral set for Dec. 15
- Hundreds to celebrate pot anniversary
- Woman live-tweets husband's death
- Shanghai pollution at dangerous levels
- Whale rescuers feeling more optimistic
(Click for RSS instructions.)