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The International Post Corporation (IPC) has released the results of research measuring international letter service performance in 2018.

IPC’s UNEX™ system has revealed that over 50% of international priority and first-class letter mail within Europe was delivered within two days of posting, 78.7% within three days and 94.4% within five days. Average delivery time was 2.7 days. These results cover a total of 32 countries: the 28 EU Member States together with Iceland, Norway, Serbia and Switzerland.

The 2018 performance levels are below the European Union’s speed objective of 85% of intra-EU mail delivery (i.e. delivery within three days of posting), and its reliability objective of 97% (i.e. delivery within five days of posting).

The results are based on a total 62,000 test letters sent and received by 900 volunteers spread within 32 countries, participating in the measurement. Overall, 774 country-to-country flows were measured.

The IPC’s UNEX™ mail monitoring system measures quality of service performance for end-to-end cross-border priority letter mail. The measured transit times cover the whole process from posting in the origin country to delivery to the final addressee in the destination country, including the time for collection, sorting and transportation.

These test letters are representative of real mail in terms of mail formats, induction and franking methods, delivery methods and geographical spread within each of the measured European countries. More than 40% of the test letters was containing Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags, which are recorded by the RFID readers as it passes through the postal facilities

The research is conducted independently by Quotas– an external research firm in Hamburg, Germany. An external audit has proven this module to be compliant with the CEN EN 13850:2012 standard for measurement of the transit time of end-to-end postal services for single piece priority mail and first-class mail.