After two great years, PostNL is now also making more and more serious losses. Consumers send fewer parcels, and the higher fuel and labor costs are also hurting the company. The largest mail deliverer in the country is therefore counting on a loss of 20 million euros in the third quarter, compared to 20 million euros profit last year. As a harbinger of the approaching quarterly figures on November 7, PostNL issued a profit warning on Friday. At the opening of the stock exchange in Amsterdam on Friday, the effect of the bad figures was immediately visible: the PostNL share fell by approximately 10 percent. The booming parcel market was the driving force behind good results during the pandemic. 2020: turnover 3.2 billion euros, 197 million euros profit. A year later, that profit had even risen to 277 million. In 2019, the profit was still 135 million euros. But now that the pandemic seems to be over, the parcel market is also collapsing. Bargain hunters are buying again in brick-and-mortar stores and less online. Earnings expectations have already been scaled back three times in the past five months. And the consequences of the war in Ukraine also weigh heavily on PostNL’s results. Consumer confidence has fallen, according to PostNL, to “an historic low.” ‘Due to the headwind’, the results of the parcel market in particular are disappointing. But this profit warning should not only be read as a warning to shareholders, writes Mariska Exalto, trade union director FNV Post & Pakketten, on Twitter. It would also be a “strategy” towards PostNL staff. According to her, the message is: do not expect too much from a collective labor agreement. PostNL has been negotiating with the trade unions for some time about better working conditions for staff. These negotiations will certainly lead to an increase in PostNL’s wage costs in the long run. Deliverers a permanent contract Last summer, PostNL announced that about a thousand mail deliverers will receive a permanent contract. PostNL has more than 37,000 employees. The company also has to hire its deliverers: in the current tight labor market, a dissatisfied postal deliverer can quickly choose another job. In addition to the drop in parcels, the number of letters also declined further in the third quarter: over 9 percent. This is not really surprising: this trend has been going on for years. To cover these costs, the stamp price will increase to 1.01 euros as of 1 January. An “inevitable” choice, according to PostNL. In terms of letter mail, PostNL will have a competitor. DHL announced this week that it will focus on sending heavier letters from 50 grams. A version of this article also appeared in the newspaper of October 22, 2022