About the mail market

Here are some key facts about the UK mail market. For more detail on some of the issues covered, see also our series of downloadable factsheets, as well as our web pages listing UK market reviews, and outlining the development of competition in the mail market. 

Key facts

Businesses send about 87% of all mail 
in the UK licensed postal market, with the largest 500 companies accounting for 50% of all mail volumes. About 60% of mail goes from business to consumers (B2C), and 27% goes from businesses to businesses (B2B) (source: Royal Mail).
Consumers post the other 13% 
of mail in the licensed area - about 10% goes to other households and 3% to businesses.  
The total letters market
 (in the licensed area) has, dropped slightly - by two per cent in 2007/08 - and accounts for 21.5 billion items. The market is worth £6.6 billion. (Source: Postcomm, with data from Royal Mail. Based on Royal Mail volumes including access, regulated mail and non-regulated mail. Excludes Door-to-Door and International services.) 
Thirty-six licensed operators
can now provide mail services.
Several companies have signed "access" agreements
with Royal Mail, allowing mail they have collected and sorted to be fed into Royal Mail's network for final delivery. Royal Mail made 4 billion access deliveries in 2007/08, compared to 2.4 billion the year before. In 2007/08, access mail was 21% of Royal Mail's total operational volume, with customer direct access making up just under half of this amount (source: Postcomm, with data from Royal Mail). In the four months April - July 2008, access accounted for 27% of Royal Mail's volumes with operator access now being around 60 per cent of the total access volumes.  
New operators deliver nearly 26 million items in the licensed area
providing collection, sorting and delivery,in 2007/08 (source: Postcomm). This is a 15 per cent decrease from 2007/08. However, we are aware that some established operators are trialing delivery solutions in limited geographical areas, and some new operators are setting up local delivery networks.  
But Royal Mail still dominates postal services 
delivering 99% of volume in the addressed letters market (items weighing less than 350g and costing less than £1 to post) in 2007/08 (source: Royal Mail).