Annual monitoring updates on the postal market

26 November 2020

An effective and ongoing monitoring regime is one of the key safeguards of the regulatory framework that Ofcom put in place in the postal sector in March 2012. We also committed to publishing an annual report summarising the results of our monitoring programme.

These annual reports can be found below.

Financial year 2019-20

This report sets out data and trends in the postal sector for the 2019-20 financial year. It also examines more recent developments in the sector due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Ofcom’s regulatory framework is designed to fulfil our statutory duty of securing the provision of a universal postal service, having regard to financial sustainability and efficiency. An effective and ongoing monitoring regime is one of the key safeguards of the framework.

As well as the wider postal market, we look at Royal Mail’s ‘Reported Business’, which is the part of Royal Mail responsible for the universal service. This requires Royal Mail to collect and deliver letters six days a week and parcels five days a week, at an affordable and uniform price to all UK addresses.

2019-20 was a challenging year for Royal Mail. Its financial performance was weaker than in previous years; and issues facing the business due to the changing market and consumer trends were apparent even before Covid-19 started to have an impact.

Royal Mail needs to modernise its network, to keep pace with parcel customers’ changing requirements, as well as manage costs associated with higher parcels volumes. Unless it is able to become more efficient, and adapt to a changing market, there is a risk it will not be able to secure a commercial rate of return for the universal service business. This could put the sustainability of the universal postal service at risk in the longer term.

Annual monitoring update on the postal market: Financial year 2019-20 (PDF, 1.3 MB)

Diweddariad monitro blynyddol ar y farchnad bost: Y flwyddyn ariannol 2019-20 (PDF, 702.9 KB)

Post Monitoring Interactive data

Post Monitoring Interactive data - raw data (XLSX, 123.8 KB)