Postal prices going up

Letters will cost more to send, but a new pricing for packages has mixed results

The Czech Post will change the rates of some services starting Feb. 1. The price of ordinary letters weighing up to 50 grams will increase by Kč 3 going up to Kč 19 from the current Kč 16. Postage for recommended letters up to 50 grams will increase by Kč 6 to Kč 44 from Kč 38.

Prices will also rise incrementally for heavier ordinary letters up to 1 kilogram, which will cost Kč 33 to mail domestically. Recommenced letters up to 2 kilograms will cost Kč 66.

Insured letters will rise to Kč 49 from Kč 43. There are discounts for people using postal service customer chip cards and for bulk mailings.

The cost of mailing packages is also changing, and there will be fewer weight categories. A few categories are dropping in price.

The cost will be the same for a 2 kg package, still Kč 128, but the 3 kg and 4 kg categories will be eliminated, for example. As of Feb. 1, a 3 kg package will go at the same rate as a 5 kg package. So it would have cost Kč 138 to mail a 3 kg package before the increase, and soon will cost Kč 142, the same as a Kč 5 kg package.

But the confusing part is that the price for a 5 kg package actually will drop to Kč 142 from Kč 149, so mailing an exactly 5 kg package will be less. The price for a 10 kg package will also drop slightly.

The number of weight categories between 2 kg and 50 kg will drop to seven from the current 23.

In some cases, the rise due to the new categories will be substantial. A 22 kg package now costs Kč 217 to mail, but at the new rates it will count as 30 kg and cost Kč 284 to ship.

So mailing most packages will cost more, while in some exceptional cases such as exactly 5 kg and 10 kg it will cost less.

Postal services worldwide have been struggling due to competition from other delivery services and also the loss of a lot of market share to email and web advertising. Bulk mailings of advertisements, magazines, and catalogs, a large source of income for most postal services, has largely dried up.

Holiday greetings, birthday cards, and personal letters have also dropped sharply, as email has replaced all of them.

The number or ordinary letters dropped by 11 percent in 2016 alone, based on the latest figures available.

“The goal of Czech Post is to offer citizens of the Czech Republic a portfolio of postal and non-postal services in order to meet all their needs and requirements both in terms of quality and availability,” Czech Post Office spokesman Matyáš Vitík said in a press release.

The price increases are justified as part of an effort to ensure the quality and availability of postal services.

The Czech Post Office (Česká pošta) is a state-owned enterprise. It had 3,868 post offices and 29, 974 full-time equivalent employees, as of 2016. In 2016 some 93.91 percent of letters were delivered domestically the next day, up from 60.40 percent in 1993.

In the communist era, postal services and telecommunications were combined. After 1989, the process of splitting them began so that telecommunications could be privatized.

The Czech Post, independent of telecommunications, became a state-owned enterprise as of Jan. 1, 1993, together with the formation of an independent Czech Republic.

The roots of the current post office go back to 1925 when Czechoslovak Post was organized as a state enterprise.

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