Dutch Postmen to Hit UK Streets

17 May 2002

Dutch post office TPG is planning to hire its own UK mail delivery staff to compete with Britain's state-owned postal operator Consignia, it has emerged.

Mail regulator Postcom is planning to open up the British market to competition, but most industry onlookers had expected Consignia to be challenged mainly in the collection and sorting of mail; delivery, it was assumed, would be conducted by workers of Consignia’s Royal Mail service.

However, TPG – which already operates the TNT express mail service in the UK – intends to hire its own postmen.

“Lots of people come to deliver stuff to your house,” declared chairman Peter Bakker. “There is nothing special about having my mailman here. There are so many delivery organisations in this country. All we will do is add another one or combine it with our express network if practical.”

However, Bakker added that Postcom should not be too hasty in exposing Britain’s post office to competition – a possibility that has alarmed trade and industry minister Patricia Hewitt and, unsurprisingly, Consignia itself.

“I do not believe it is wise they advocate full liberalisation before other major countries in Europe,” he continued. “If the market is opened too fast Consignia will have no incentive to try hard and the quality of service in the market will go down.”

Data sourced from: Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff