In Germany, we maintain a first-class, efficient and environmentally friendly nationwide transport and delivery network consisting of 82 mail centres and 33 parcel centres that process 66 million mail items and some 2.6 million parcels each working day. The high level of automation in our mail business remained at over 90%.
Our customers have come to expect us to deliver the highest quality standards. They rate the quality of our services based on whether posted items reach their destinations quickly, reliably and undamaged. Our quality management is based on a system that is certified each year by Technischer Überwachungsverein Nord (TÜV Nord certification and testing organisation). We attained excellent results in letter transit times within Germany again this year. According to surveys conducted by Quotas, a quality research institute, well over 94% of the letters posted during our daily opening hours or before final post box collections are delivered to their recipients the next day.
In the parcel business, we again achieved the previous year’s excellent transit time results in 2010. Nearly 90% of the deliveries we collected from business customers reached their destination the next day. Since 2008, our internal system for measuring parcel transit times has been certified by TÜV Rheinland.
For international letters, transit times are determined by the International Post Co-operation. According to EU specifications, 85% of all cross-border letters posted within the EU must be delivered within three days of posting. We expect to significantly exceed this requirement again, reaching a level of 96%.
Due to our co-operation with retailers, our approximately 20,000 retail outlets and sales points have increased average weekly opening times from 46 to 49 hours. Surveys of our retail outlet customers are conducted annually by Kundenmonitor Deutschland, the largest consumer satisfaction study in Germany, to determine their level of satisfaction with our services. Our overall service quality has been receiving top marks for years. In the reporting year, postal retail outlets in particular saw yet another increase in customer satisfaction. Our partner-operated outlets received their highest satisfaction ratings since the study began in 1997. More than 90% of customers are served within three minutes as confirmed by impartial mystery shoppers from TNS Infratest, which we hire to conduct around 30,000 TÜV Rheinland-certified tests of the retail outlets per year.
We regard working practices that protect the environment as a key yardstick of quality. In Germany, we therefore employ a TÜV Nord-certified environmental management system in our mail and parcel businesses. As part of our GoGreen initiative, we offer consumers and business customers climate-neutral shipping options. We are also testing vehicles with hybrid and electric drive technology as well as energy saving lighting in our facilities.