Postal service still popular as An Post reports seasonal rush


The demise of handwriting and “snail mail” has been greatly exaggerated.

Or so it would seem, based on the huge amount of Christmas mail being processed and delivered by An Post this year.

The internet has not yet killed off traditional methods of communication, it appears.

“People who do social media do Christmas as well,” a spokeswoman for An Post said. “And you can’t put an email on the mantelpiece.”

The State postal service deals with 2.5 million items a day, including letters, packages and parcels. At the peak of the boom in 2007 the figure was three million.

In recent years An Post has handled about five million items daily at Christmas.

But in the last fortnight “there has been an avalanche” and postal workers have been handling some six million items every day. There has also been a significant amount of international post, both into and out of the State, reflected in the huge increase in emigration.

Ireland also tops the EU league for personal post. According to An Post 10 per cent of post is personal, the highest percentage in any EU member state.

Ireland is also unique in the world because each of its 4,500 postmen and women carries a hand-held computer – a scanner to record and confirm deliveries.

Online shopping for Christmas had started early with steady sales since October. Online shopping has shown a consistent 14 per cent year-on-year growth, the company says., An Post’s online portal for numerous national and international “e-tailers” has also reflected that growth.

Christmas card postage, however, was slow to take off. Sales of books of stamps were brisk early in the month but the cards were not being posted.