Europe’s largest postal operator, Germany's Deutsche Post, announced Wednesday it expects to receive a licence before the month end to commence letter-post deliveries in the UK, effective immediately.

Initially, the venture will be more a bridgehead than a full scale invasion, UK postal regulator Postcom limiting the number of deliveries to 40 million units annually – albeit far more than that allocated to any other contender, approaching half the volume currently handled by the state-owned former monopoly, Royal Mail.

First, of course, Deutsche Post will have to win those forty million units of commercial bulk mail business on its merits and will mainly use the Royal Mail’s delivery infrastructure. DP is unlikely to handle postal deliveries to and from individuals at the outset, lacking the logistical resources to do so - as yet.

However, many observers expect the German giant to forge alliances or make acquisitions to strengthen its logistical and delivery capabilities. DP already operates in the UK via its subsidiary Securicor Omega Express, primarily a courier and parcels carrier, but which also holds a licence to handle the internal mail of two major banks, Royal Bank of Scotland and HSBC.

Data sourced from: (Germany); additional content by WARC staff