Austria’s postal service Post said business is “difficult” due to “inflation and uncertainty in the energy market”, stating that the package volume has decreased while their operation costs went up.
The state company’s answer to the challenging scenario is to increase parcel prices, and the changes will be valid starting in October.
Starting on October 1st, prices for posting S letters will go up from €0.85 to €1, M letters from €1.35 to €1.40, S packages from €2.75 to €3 and M packages from €4.30 to €4.50.
“The first six months of 2022 posed major challenges for companies, especially in Europe”, Post said, stating that the “COVID-19 pandemic, its countermeasures and the resulting delays in the global value chain were the starting point for what is now a worldwide inflationary trend.”
“The war in Ukraine has exacerbated the price increases for important raw materials and energy sources. These conditions will continue in the second half of the year. There is also a risk that the energy market will remain difficult to predict and gas supplies in parts of Europe will not be secure.”
Rising inflation and staff shortages
Inflation has been rising in Austria, reaching 9.2% in July, with essential items becoming increasingly more expensive.
So far, the wave of inflation has affected chiefly energy and food prices but has now also arrived in the gastronomy sector, with increasing costs in bars and restaurants across the country.
However, as fuel and energy prices soar, people in Austria will see increases in all sectors, including postage services.
Another major challenge in the Austrian economy is labour shortage – and Post is now having difficulty finding new employees, especially drivers and workers for its distribution centres.
“We have virtually full employment”, Post CEO Georg Pölzl told the daily Der Standard. He said that the company could immediately hire 1,000 people – if they were able to find the workers.