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MOT: €170m-euro losses for Posti's failing logistics unit

The embattled national mail carrier’s logistics business has been accused of unfair price practices by its competitors.

Oulun Postitus- ja lähetyspalvelu
Profits from the logistics unit were intended to compensate for the loss from a drop in traditional mail volumes. Image: Paulus Markkula / Yle

Between 2008 and 2015, Posti's logistics services -- the storing and transporting of various products for business customers -- posted a loss of over 170 million euros, according to a report by Yle’s investigative journalism programme MOT.

With traditional mail volumes decreasing over the past number of years, Posti had been hoping to develop its logistics services into a profit-making operation to compensate for these losses.

However, financial statements seen by MOT show the opposite has occurred. Over the same period that the logistics unit racked up losses, the traditional postal service generated almost 500 million euros in profits.

In 2016, Posti ceased the practice of publicly releasing final financial figures for each separate division in the company. The firm later decided to merge the traditional postal service and logistics services and their related financial reporting into one unit .

"Aggressive expansion"

Posti’s competitors in the logistics marketplace have repeatedly appealed to the government to curb the state-owned Posti's logistics business.

In a petition filed in 2017, a number of companies complained that the national carrier’s "aggressive expansion with 'unlimited' resources and loss-making buffers from traditional and profitable postal operations is a threat to private carriers".

Earlier this year, five transport companies provided estimates to Sirpa Paatero, minister responsible for ownership steering of state-owned enterprises, detailing how Posti had been providing transportation at rates up to 30 percent cheaper than its competitors.

Posti denies price rigging and claims that it is operating at full market rates.

MOT's investigation into Posti's logistics unit will be broadcast on Yle TV1 at 20.00 on Monday 25.11. The programme is in Finnish.

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