Posted: September 15, 2011 |  AUTHOR: KEN FOX | CONTACT ME


Maybe the U.S. Postal Service can learn something from a German public company. The U.S. postal Service is fighting a record deficit of U.S.$49 billion in 2011. It has raised postage rates, curbed some benefits, tried to appease the Postal Union and has to obtain any change in policy approved by the U.S. Congress. It has recently proposed closing 3,600 plus of its 32,000 post office locations. Their actions, among others, include offering postage stamps and other services in a wide variety of retail stores including Office Depot, Costco and even some UPS stores.

Deutsche Post AG is a public company, based in Bonn, Germany, which went public in November 2000. Wikipedia describes it as a “German postal, logistics and courier company, a successor to the former German state-owned mail monopoly.” The company generated 2010 annual revenue of 51.6 billion Euros (approximately $73.5 billion), and has about 450,000 employees in more than 220 countries. Deutsche Post operates with four divisions, owns DHL and delivers mail every working day. The four divisions are:

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  • Express Division-parcel delivery
  •  Mail Division
  • Financial Services Division
  • Logistics Division (a one stop shop)


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  • Express Division transports courier, express and parcel shipments all over the world, combining air and ground transport, under the DHL brand.
  • The Mail Division provides services across the entire mail value chain, including production facilities at central hubs, sales offices and production centers on four continents, as well as direct connections to more than 220 countries. This division delivers approximately 70 million letters a day in Germany, six days a week. It also offers press distribution and electronic services associated with mail delivery. It launched E-Post Brief in July 2010 which offers a secure, confidential and reliable form of electronic communication.
  • The Financial Services Division operates through its Deutsch Postbank AG subsidiary. It includes a retail bank network in Germany, which has 14.5 million customers, and employs approximately 22,999 employees.
  • The Logistics Division (often called Supply Chain) offers one-stop, end-to-end service, including: warehousing, air, rail and ocean freight, European overland transport and custom logistics solutions.


Most of Deutsch Post’s sales are derived from outside of Germany. Being a public company, Deutsche Post can make acquisitions. It acquired Airborne Express in 2003 and integrated it into DHL. In September 2005 it acquired Excel, a British logistics company.

Realizing that the U.S. has almost three times the number of households than Germany, I wonder if we (the U.S.) could learn some best practices, cost saving ideas or some creative thinking on how to operate a postal service.

                                    Germany                     United States
Population                   81.8 million                 308.7 million

Number of
Households                 38.7 million                 114.8 million

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