National postal company Bpost is to get rid of 25%-30% of its red postboxes, CEO Koen Van Gerven has told the national parliament’s infrastructure committee. The total number of postboxes which receive a daily collection is around 13,000 across the country. According to another proposal from Bpost to offer a two-tier service, some new postboxes for priority mails could appear in the future.
“We could easily get rid of 25 to 30% of those postboxes and still be sitting comfortably,” Van Gerven told the committee. “We would not only be paying attention to the volume of mail in the box, but also accessibility. In rural areas, 90% of residents need to have a postbox within 1.5km, while in an urban area that’s 950m. That means more boxes would disappear in the cities than in the countryside.”
Bpost has already announced its intention from next year to create a two-tier system of mail delivery, where customers could opt to pay more for next-day delivery, or pay less – but not less than the current charge – for a later delivery time.
Van Gerven was also quizzed on the acquisition by Bpost of the American package delivery service Radial, which saw some of the company’s market value reduced. The government is still a minority shareholder in Bpost, so some of that value in in public hands.