ANACOM conducted a series of 22 inspection actions in thirteen postal distribution centres (PDCs) of CTT - Correios de Portugal between July 2021 and January 2022, to check the regularity of postal distribution operations in those centres. During this period, inspections were conducted in the following centres: Chaves, Funchal, Loule, Lousada, Machico, Ovar, Ponta do Sol, Ponte da Barca, Povoa de Lanhoso, Povoa de Varzim, Ribeira Grande, Rio Maior and Santarem.
Actions carried out have revealed that there are shortcomings in postal deliveries carried out by some postal distribution centres (PDCs), particularly with regard to transit times and regularity and reliability of services, affecting the interests of users of postal services covered by the postal distribution of those centres. This concerns significant delays in transit times of priority mail and standard mail, as well as the absence of postal distribution on certain rounds of certain days, situations that last for quite long periods of time.
In particular, it is worth highlighting the Loule, Povoa de Varzim and Santarem PDCs, where it has been verified that, over an extended period of time, a much higher proportion than 5.5% of daily priority mail did not reach their destination within 1 working day of entering the CTT postal network, deviating from the values defined for the quality of service indicators regarding transit times for priority mail and registered mail and measured on an annual basis.
In the case of the Rio Maior and Santarem PDCs it was found that, in the analysed delivery period, a significant part of standard mail received daily in these centres was not delivered to the addressee within 3 working days of being deposited in a mail reception point. This means a deviation from the target that, although applicable to all mail sent throughout the year to and from domestic destinations, has been defined for the routing of these items in the indicator «Transit time for standard mail (D+3)».
The situations found at the Funchal, Loule, Ovar, Povoa de Varzim and Santarem PDCs, where a set of priority mail items, standard mail items or both were randomly selected and a very significant part of the items did not reach their destination within the deadlines set in transit times for the respective type of traffic, are also noteworthy.
It is therefore considered that the situations observed have a negative impact on compliance with quality of service parameters and performance targets associated with the provision of the universal service set by ANACOM.
In this sense, it is essential to correct the identified shortcomings as urgently as possible, putting an end to delays in the distribution of mail that arrives daily at each of the distribution centres that were subject to inspection, with particular emphasis on mail services with priority routing, thereby removing the inconvenience and difficulties faced by populations that use these services.
ANACOM notified CTT of the results of inspection actions carried out, requesting information on measures implemented in the meantime or that the company proposes to implement in order to address the situation and the respective schedule.
In its response, CTT informed ANACOM that it intends to promote measures that will improve the service provided in the coverage areas of PDCs identified as underperforming.