The Competition Authority has declared state-owned postal company AS Eesti Post, which operates under the Omniva brand, winner of the competition for the license to operate Estonia's universal postal service for the next five years.
By law, universal postal service means the continued and quality provision of postal services at an affordable price throughout the territory of the Republic of Estonia. This also includes the forwarding of items of correspondence weighing up to 2 kilograms as ordinary, registered and insured items, as well as the forwarding of packages weighing up to 20 kilograms as registered and insured items.
Eesti Post is to provide universal postal service throughout Estonia; it will be issued a new five-year license beginning Oct. 9, 2019.
Margus Kasepalu, head of the Department of Energy and Postal Communications at the Competition Authority, told BNS in June that Eesti Post AS' offer was the sole offer received by the authority.
That same month, Eesti Post CEO Ansi Arumeel described the provision of the universal postal service as the main duty and lifeblood of Eesti Post and the service remaining important to the people of Estonia despite its declining popularity.
Services of the universal postal service and periodicals-related services linked to it brought Eesti Post a loss of €4.9 million in 2018. Over the next five years, losses from the provision of these services are expected to reach over €40 million.
While to date, Eesti Post has been covering most universal postal service- and periodicals-related losses with profits from other fields of business, according to its management and supervisory board, this model is no longer sustainable.
Profits, home delivery for all priorities
"The state as the owner is calling for Eesti Post, in addition to providing the universal postal service based on public interest, to also be profitable as a business," Eesti Post supervisory board chairman Bo Henriksson said. "[Minister of Foreign Trade and IT Kert Kingo (EKRE)] has likewise expressed support for the company's wish to increase employee wages and the quality of the service. In order to achieve these goals,the pricing of the universal postal service by the commissioning party must also change."
During a visit to Eesti Post's new logistics center in Rae Municipality in early July, Kingo said that the state company also has to be able to deliver letters to everyone in Estonia, regardless of their place of residence.
"There is certainly a need to increase postal workers' wages, but we also need to consider how to run the company in the best possible way," the minister said. "We are a small country, and we need to reach everyone with a home delivery service, regardless of where they live."
Editor: Aili Vahtla