This article will give an overview of the major postal services company in Brazil, Correios, focusing on its background, competition, services and current problems.
Established in 1969, the Mail and Telegraph Company – or simply Correios – is a state owned company in charge of the country's postal services.
In 2010, it was ranked the most reliable institution in Brazil, with an approval rating of 82%. Such popularity is the result of the implementation of a new management model in the Brazilian postal sector, which resulted on more efficiency.
A Monopoly in Brazil
As the Brazilian federal constitution establishes the monopoly of postal services delivery, Correios are the only ones allowed to deliver the following services:
- Post cards
- Mailing packages that contain any of the previous ones, even when gathered with different objects.
Another purpose of this monopoly is to guarantee access to postal services to every Brazilian citizen. Private companies classify many areas of the country as unprofitable ones and, therefore, there would be no reason for them to provide their services in these areas.
Correios' basic services (related to the deliver of letters, post cards and telegrams) are available even in the most remote villages, while its competitors are mainly restricted to biggest cities, most of them in the Southeast.
Other Services and Competition
As a monopoly, Correios does not have too many competitors. Those currently competing with it are foreign logistics companies such as FedEx, DHL and UPS.
As these companies are focused on courier and parcel services, they compete directly with Sedex, a segment focused on the express delivery of parcel services and documents.
Another common practice in Brazil is the use of motoboys. Using a motorcycle, these professionals are highly demanded to the deliver of documents, payments and small packages.
They are an option for those who do not have the time to go to a post office and do not want to deal with the delivery time, that is of at least one business day. Motoboys are strongly present in big cities, guaranteeing delivery at the same day.
As Correios is present throughout the country and people are already familiar with it, its services are usually seen as the first option for most Brazilians. In this sense, services like Sedex are a strong competition for courier companies, such as FedEx, DHL, UPS and Jadlog.
Here are some of the services provided by Correios and the average price charged by them:
- Commercial letters: from BRL 1,10 to BRL 5,95;
- Regular letters and post cards: from BRL 0,75 to 5,95;
- Social letter – a one-page letter mailed by BRL 0,01 to anywhere in the country;
- Business reply mail – from BRL 1,10 to BRL 5,95.
- Direct mail – from BRL 0,54 to BRL 0,95, depending on the priority and location.
Even though approved by the majority of the population, Correios has been facing some problems over the last two years.
The first one is related to delays. Affected by the airline crisis, many bills arrived after their deadline and many companies faced losses, as their products were not delivered on time.
Another major complain is the incidence of theft and non-deliveries. Many consumers claim they received empty boxes instead of what they ordered.
Sometimes the reason is that the mailman or the courier (when the deliver is made by Sedex) is robbed .Some areas (like shantytowns) are refused by private logistic companies for being dangerous. Correios does not have the option of avoiding these areas, so its employees are always subject to robbery. In some other cases – rare ones- , the robbery is also performed by employees
Theft and non-delivery problems are rarely solved by Correios, as many times the customer can not prove what was posted and how much it costs.