“In 2011 European priority letter mail service performance exceeded the European Union (EU) objectives for the 14th successive year. The IPC UNEX measurement system showed that 93.0% of letters were delivered within three days of posting and 98.1% within five days. This exceeds the objectives set in the EU Postal Directives of 85% in three days (J+3), and 97% in five days (J+5)”.(International Post Corporation press release, March 23, 2012) http://www.ipc.be/en/Services/Technical%20_Platforms/UNEX/~/media/Documents/PUBLIC/UNEX/Full%20Year%20Results/2010/UNEX_Full%20Year_2011.ashx
The overall speed target (85% in 3 days) was met for the first time in 1998, and the reliability target (97% of letters delivered within 5 days) in 1999. In fact the overall EU targets for intra-EU cross border mail (set in the 1997 Postal Directive) have been met every year since – even after the EU was enlarged to include Eastern European countries. UNEX measures, which in 1994 covered only 18 countries, included last year 35 countries and 964 country-to-country mail streams.
The 1997 quality targets (confirmed in 2002 and 2008) have definitely helped speed up much-needed improvements in intra-EU letter mail operations. There was a time when UNEX data was closely followed by postal CEOs and industry stakeholders. Under-performing country-to-country streams were systematically analyzed, operations managers asked to streamline transportation or sorting processes, and progress was discussed at each meeting of the IPC Board (made up of the CEOs of the Posts members of IPC).
Are the 1997 targets the remnants of the past ? Not quite yet. As noted by Postandparcel.info, last year just 55% of all country-to-country mail streams monitored were meeting or exceeding the three-day delivery target – most of them originating in or destined for the newer member countries of the EU.