More expensive postage the solution to Postnord’s chaos: “Something must be done”

More expensive postage the solution to Postnords chaos Something must

Postnord does not deliver the letters on time, the dissatisfaction of the Swedes is great, but whose fault is it really?

In a series of articles reviews News24 why Postnord has become worse and cannot deliver the letters on time.

Here you can read the first part: Harsh criticism of Postnord: “More expensive and much worse”

The second part: The stress at Postnord caused Klara, 20, to crash: “Forgot everything”

Third part: Customers rage at Postnord: “Angry, sad and frustrated”

Fourth part: Protest against the Postnord CEO’s salary – earns 935,000 a month

In the fifth part, the Post and Telecommunications Board answers why Postnord keeps the job even though they do not live up to the requirements, and what needs to be done for the post office to function in Sweden.

Postnord was audited in 2022

In the summer of 2022, PTS began an audit of Postnord because complaints against the company grew when mail did not arrive or was severely delayed.

It showed that the company did not live up to the requirements to distribute 95 percent of domestic letters within two days. A year and a half later, in December 2023, PTS concluded its investigation after Postnord was reprimanded twice.

– During the summer, the operator added all the measures they announced were needed, and they said they would be back on the track after the summer, says Emma Maraschin, head of PTS unit for postal issues, to Nyheter24.

Emma Maraschin, head PTS unit for postal issues. Photo: PTS Dissatisfaction with Postnord is growing

And so it was, for two months. In September and October 2023, Postnord lived up to the requirements. But overall, millions of letters were delivered late during the year, and overall the company fared worse on punctuality than in 2022.

At the same time, Swedish dissatisfaction with Postnord is growing.

– The mail doesn’t arrive on time, so of course people complain that you get bills or doctor’s appointments late, says Emma Maraschin and continues:

– We do measurements at regular intervals where we look at people’s experience, and we can see that satisfaction has decreased.

How do you see Postnord getting worse?

– It is a question we have under the microscope all the time. We have meetings with the operator to ensure that they are doing everything they can to reach the requirement and we continue to follow developments, says Maraschin.

Are you satisfied with how Postnord handles the assignment?

– Our mission is to ensure that society’s needs for postal services are met. It should be remembered that Postnord is the only operator that delivers letters throughout Sweden. So we Swedes are dependent on Postnord, she says and continues:

– Can the permit be revoked? Yes, but then we don’t have an operator that delivers letters throughout the country. It’s a pretty fine balance. We are clear about the requirements and follow up Postnord all the time, but also listen to how they are going to get their business together.

Do you think that Postnord has the resources to make the post work better than it does?

– No, we have to do something. Now Postnord saves on all costs, but there are legal requirements the operator must meet. As the volume goes down, you have to change something, increase income or lower costs further, says Emma Maraschin.

Strong salary increase for Annemarie Gardshol

In the midst of the savings, Postnord’s CEO Annemarie Gardshol raised his salary substantially two years in a row. In 2021, her salary was increased by 21 percent, from SEK 583,333 to SEK 708,333. The following year there was another increase, by 20 percent to SEK 842,000 a month.

According to LO’s review “The power elite – always good times” it corresponds to 30.5 postman wages.

Today, she earns SEK 935,000 a month, according to Postnord’s remuneration report for 2023, which Nyheter24 learned about. But Gardshol’s salary setting is not something that PTS decides.

– It is not part of our mission, says Emma Maraschin.

Postnord CEO’s salary: This is how much Annemarie Gardshol earns

Annemarie Gardshol, CEO of Postnord Sweden. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT”How long can a letter take?”

Postnord has on several occasions expressed a need for financial support from the state. In an interview with Today’s news on September 29, Annemarie Gardshol made two demands:

  • To lower the requirements so that 85 percent of the letters need to arrive within three days and 97 percent within five days.
  • That Postnord should receive government financial support.
  • If they are not met, Gardshol threatened that Postnord would renounce the task of delivering the mail in Sweden.

    But state support for Posntord is not an option according to Emma Maraschin. The reason for that is that there is competition in the market in the form of City Mail, which delivers letters in metropolitan regions.

    – Going in and subsidizing an actor in a competitive market is rarely very good, she says.

    However, PTS is looking at the service requirement that 95 percent of the letters must arrive within two days.

    – We obviously look at the requirements, that they must correspond to the needs. It is possible that the requirements may be lowered in the future. Today, a large part of society is not dependent on letters, says Maraschin and continues:

    – The question is how long it will take for a letter to arrive, but that it is still a usable service.

    Equestrian sport is recognized in a stamp collection. Photo: Janerik Henriksson/TTHigher postage

    To increase revenue for Postnord, the postage for a domestic stamp was raised to SEK 18 on January 1, 2024. This means that the price of sending a letter in Sweden has increased by 176 percent since 2016, when it cost SEK 6.50.

    But compared to many European countries, it is still cheap to send letters in Sweden. Raising the postage rate further would increase Postnord’s revenue.

    – Postage prices may have to be raised significantly. Each letter becomes more expensive to send when letter volumes drop due to high fixed costs, says Emma Maraschin.

    The government has in the investigation “Postal service for the whole penny”, looked at a financing model for the post when it can no longer be self-financed. The investigation was published on January 30, 2023.

    In an email to Nyheter24, the civil minister writes Eric Slottner that he does not want to comment on the matter because the investigation is still under preparation.

    Postnord raised postage – makes a profit of SEK 127 million

    Nyheter24 has on several occasions sought Annemarie Gardshol and the person in charge at Postnord for an interview, but they have declined to participate due to “time and availability”.

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