The introduction of the New mail route in 2019 laid the foundation to successfully integrate the extra Sandd mail volumes into our network. Currently, more than 95% of the non-24-hour mail volume is delivered over two consecutive days, such as Tuesday and Wednesday or Wednesday and Thursday. The result is that customers can better manage their process flows, for example in the production of mailings or when handling calls following a direct mailing promotion. For PostNL, the new model means we can make better use of our locations and resources, while improving the efficiency of our transport, thereby cutting costs. This is vital in ensuring that Mail in the Netherlands remains stable in a market in which volumes are expected to continue to decline.
In 2020 we began preparation to expand mail routes by introducing e-bikes and e-cargo bikes, which means we require fewer depots. Operating fewer but larger depots increases efficiency, reducing transport kilometres from the sorting centre to the delivery depots. And using e-transport reduces our CO2 emissions.
At Mail in the Netherlands, we are simplifying our product portfolio, tariff structures and the contracts we have with customers, which will enable us to better meet their needs. For example, customers will be able to arrange more of their postal needs themselves through digital channels. The simplification should also lead to a reduction in costs.
During the year we further optimised the sorting and preparation process. For example, some of the non-24-hour mail is now prepared the day before delivery, which has eased the pressure on the early morning preparation process. This change has made it possible to absorb the Sandd volumes without having to expand the number of locations or facilities. We also continued with the concentration of preparation activities at sorting locations, cutting infrastructure costs.