Closure of Post Offices Continues Across Iceland

Pósturinn postbox

Two post offices in Iceland will be closed and mail handling services in six countryside areas will be discontinued in the near future, according to a press release from Pósturinn, Iceland’s national postal service. It’s the latest announcement in a series of closures at the company in recent years. Pósturinn states that it aims to open more self-service Póstbox parcel lockers where customers can both receive packages.

Pósturinn will close the post offices at Mjódd shopping centre in Reykjavík and in Ólafsvík, West Iceland. Six additional mail-handling services operated in shops across the country will be closed. These are the services operated in Hveragerði, Bolungarvík, Súðavík, Grenivík, Laugar, and Reykjahlíð. Pósturinn will continue to operate other services in those areas, however, including parcel lockers, postal van services, letter carrier services, and land mail services in order to fulfill its legal obligations.

Pósturinn CEO Þórhildur Ólöf Helgadóttir states the company’s focus is on developing services in line with changing needs and demands of patrons. “Demand for post office services has decreased. As a result, it is logical to develop other types of solutions. Our most satisfied customers are those who use Póstbox parcel lockers, and in addition, it is now possible to post packages using Póstbox parcel lockers. Most parcel lockers are accessible 24/7 and are easy to use.”

Postal Service to Close Post Offices in Grindavík, Skagaströnd, and Kópasker

post office iceland

In a recent press release from the postal service, post offices in Grindavík, Skagaströnd, and Kópasker are all set to close by January 2023.

The postal service notes that there will be no layoffs, and that they will instead place emphasis on other services.

Read more: Proposed Changes Could Mean No At-Home Mail Delivery

In the press release, it is noted that mail delivery has seen a 74% decrease since 2010, while parcel delivery has simultaneously risen significantly. The reorganization of postal services in these rural areas is supposed to still provide service, while cutting the costs of maintaining staffed post offices.

Letters can still be posted by placing them in public postboxes, and stamps will be available for purchase through local retailers and also online. There are currently 52 postboxes throughout Iceland, which can be used to both send and receive mail. More locations are forthcoming. Postboxes will be open 24/7.

It will also be possible to send parcels through public postboxes and the post truck as well. Parcels will be delivered daily on working days in urban areas and bi-weekly in rural areas.

Despite guarantees that rural communities will still be serviced under the new plan, some local councils oppose the changes.

Mail No Longer Delivered at Home in Proposed Change to Postal System

iceland post mail delivery

A draft bill has been published on the government’s consultation portal that proposes changes to the postal system, including a reduction in at-home mailbox delivery.

Among other changes, the draft as it currently stands would introduce increased use of mailbox centres over home mailboxes. Originally used in rural areas in order to reduce cost of service, the postal service uses such centres  in order to make fewer stops and to centralize services in lower-population settlements. However, mailbox centres could become increasingly common in Iceland’s urban areas as well, requiring residents to pick up their mail at a separate location.

In the introduction to the draft it states: “it is clear if we look at the future of postal services both in this country and, for example, in Norway, there will be more use of mailbox complexes in the future instead of deliveries to every house, even in larger urban areas. This has resulted in savings and a positive environmental impact.”

All residents have the ability to submit reviews and suggestions for the draft until the deadline of October 2.