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Using the Postal System

German Post - Quick, efficient, but not cheap As of 2008, the market for postal services in Germany has been totally deregulated, meaning that private companies are now allowed to deliver both letters and packages. For private individuals sending a normal letter, the German postal service however remains the best option. The rates are not cheap (55 cents for a 20 gram letter), but the system is quick and efficient.

Mail in Germany is delivered early in the day, usually before 10 a.m. Sometimes letter carriers will leave packages with neighbors, but there's no guarantee. If you get a package and aren’t home to receive it, you’ll receive a form that tells you where and when to collect it. When you go to pick it up, don't forget to bring identification with you (passport or EU driver’s license).

For packages weighing more than two kilos, you should definitely consider using one of the private competitors which often have better rates than the Deutsche Post. The major private postal companies are TNT Post (www.tntpost.de), Hermes (www.hermes-logistik-gruppe.de) and GLS (www.gls-germany.com). In particular, Hermes has a good network of dropoff points for packages, such as supermarkets, news agents, dry cleaners, etc...which are often more convenient than the post office.

If you want to compare postal prices from several different suppliers, a helpful website is www.posttip.de

For express mail services within Germany, the postal system is as good as any other private company. Actually, Deutsche Post purchased DHL several years ago and it is competing in the private market place. Many letters arrive usually overnight in Germany without an extra charge (part of standard delivery). If you’ve got to be sure, send it express and your mail will definitely arrive the next day. FedEx, TNT and UPS also operate in Germany and can help with express mail outside Germany. Most post offices are well-equipped with supplies so that you can buy a box to hold what you want to mail, wrap it and send it off all directly from the post office.


4 Comments

On December 21, 2009, I sent a very secure small package
from zip code 48433 in the United States to 55278 Mommenheim, Germany by 1st Class mail. (Which is suppose to take 7-10 business days.) As of January 21, 2010, my pack-
age which included 6 children's paperback books, family photos, a holiday card and a personal letter - still has
NOT arrived! I've been corresponding with my half sister
(residing in Mommenheim, Germany) since 2005. We have been
exchanging letter, packages & family photographs. I haven't
had any problems with the German Postal system up until now!
So I called the "German Embassy" in Washington D.C. hoping
they could tell me something about the current situation with the German Postal System. The woman whom I spoke to
said the last three packages she had mailed by priority mail
(to Germany) had taken between 6-8 weeks to arrive, and a
parcel she received from Germany, had taken just as long to
arrive (with some of the contents missing!). Could someone
explain to me why the current mail delivery service between the United States and Germany, has been so poor lately?!


Yours Respectfully,

Linda Adair

Hi Linda,

The German postal system is usually quite reliable and efficient, but there could have been a problem in the pre-Christmas rush. You should have a tracing number and a receipt to track your package. Calling the embassy in Washington will certainly not help to expedite your package.

David

do you have any idea how i track an item i i sent to Germany.It was a registered mail package from Seattle-12/29/10 to Germany.It left NY International postal depot on 1/3/11 i suppose to Germany. as of 1/25/11 the My German customer/recipient hasn't received the item.I just did the US postal trace on the package. i did an online package trace with Deutsche Post ,filled out the forms and such. Is that correct contact from the Germany side to ask for information?

Hi Robert,

It sounds like you have done everything correctly. But just to make sure, you can trace letters/packages with the Deutsche Post here: http://www.deutschepost.de/dpag?tab=1&skin=hi&check=yes&lang=de_EN&xmlFile=1016933

By the way, I also recently had problems receiving a Xmas package from the States. It got hung up in customs, and took about 6 weeks by airmail But it did finally arrive.

Hope this helps

David

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