Norwegians have long had to put up with much poorer postal service at much higher prices. Now they’ll only get their mail delivered at home every other day, instead of at least five days a week.
Saturday deliveries have already been halted. The latest round of cutbacks officially took effect from July 1 but won’t be felt until next week. That’s when delivery will be pared pack to just Monday, Wednesday and Friday, followed by just Tuesday and Thursday the following week. Posten Norge has opted, and won political approval for, an every-other-day routine spread over two weeks.
Posten blames the cutbacks on digitalization and a sharp decline in the volume of letters sent via the postal service. It’s also been a self-fulfilling prophecy, however, as delivery times have risen from overnight just a few years ago to as long as a week just to get a letter from one side of Oslo to another. And that now costs NOK 17, or NOK 24 for a slighter larger-than-normal card.
All those still fond of sending and receiving birthday cards and other timely or seasonal greetings will now need to send them well in advance despite having to pay among the highest postal rates in the world: NOK 17 (USD 1.80) for domestic postage, NOK 26 (USD 2.79) for a letter or postcard to another destination in Europe, and NOK 32 (USD 3.44) for a card or letter elsewhere in the world. That’s more than three times the US’ international postal rates.