Stamp prices to rise next year

As the number of people sending letters continues to fall, Post Danmark looks to make up the shortfall with higher prices

Starting on 1 January 2014, it will cost a bit more to send a letter (remember them?) in Denmark.

Mailing an ‘A’, or first class, letter weighing up to 50 gramme will cost nine kroner – a one kroner, or 12.5 percent jump – to send inside the country, while the corresponding ‘B’ letter will cost 6.50 kroner, a rise of one half øre. Post Danmark noted that this is the first jump in the price of snail mail in two and a half years. Customers, on the other hand, pointed out that the cost of mailing a domestic letter has risen 100 percent since 2004 when the price was 4.5 kroner.

“General consumer prices in the same period have increased by 22 percent,” Sydbank consumer economist Camilla Skovsbo ??Erichsen told JydskeVestkysten newspaper. “It is pretty expensive to send a letter and makes more economic sense to send an email.”

Despite Post Danmark’s claim of competitive pricing, the nine kroner rate for a first class letter amounts to a little over a dollar and a half in US dollars. The US Postal Service is currently attempting to raise its price for a first class domestic letter to 49 cents, just under a half dollar. Post Danmark is asking for three times as much to mail a letter across a much smaller country. Mailing a first class letter from the US to Denmark costs $1.10, less than the price to send a letter domestically in Denmark. 

Post Danmark's prices are also higher than those in neighbouring Sweden, where a first class letter costs six Swedish krona, the equivalent of just over five Danish kroner.

Morten Nielsen from Post Danmark said that the Danish postal service does the job more efficiently. 

“The volume of letters has fallen 60 percent since 2000,” Nielsen said. “Post Danmark has continued to find ways to create savings and be more efficient. I am glad it is still possible to send a letter from one end of the country to the other in one day at such a reasonable price.”

Tactile vs. digital
Nielsen said that as more and more services become digitalised, receiving a paper letter becomes even more special.

“Although Danes are advanced at digital communications, they continue to appreciate the physical letter,” he said. “A letter creates awareness in a way that virtually no other medium can.”

Olsen said that personal mail is valued by everyone, including young people who have grown up with the internet, email and Facebook.