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Why parcel delivery price hikes in Germany are set to be reversed

Parcel delivery prices for Deutsche Post subsiduary DHL went up in January. But they will soon be reversed. Here's why.

Why parcel delivery price hikes in Germany are set to be reversed
DHL workers in Halle, Saxony-Anhalt. Photo: DPA

As The Local reported, on January 1st customers in Germany using package delivery firm DHL had to pay an average of three percent more to send parcels.

However, to avoid what the company has dubbed a “lengthy legal dispute” with the Federal Network Agency (Bundesnetzagentur or BNetzA), and to provide “clarity” to customers about parcel and package charges, DHL is to reverse the price hikes.

The new changes will come into force from May 1st.

So what does it mean? Well, a medium-sized parcel weighing up to two kilos currently costs €4.79 in a DHL branch for domestic shipping.

From May it will return to the price it was in December 2019 – €4.50. And the cost of shipping a 10-kilo parcel will go back down by a euro to €9.49.

The company said the price increase was due to there being more staff and extra transport costs. The last time the company raised its package and parcel prices was in 2017.

READ ALSO: Why you'll pay more to send parcels in Germany

'Excessive'

DHL said it had already informed the Federal Network Agency in autumn last year about the planned price increases and explained why it was taking the action.

However, the Federal Network Agency believes the new costs are excessive. 

On January 28th the authority launched a review of the charges.The agency believes that the price adjustments that came into force in the new year will lead to significantly higher revenues than DHL had estimated. 

DHL said it didn't believe this to be the case, but will reverse the price hikes in view of an “otherwise expected lengthy legal dispute with an uncertain outcome”.

The firm said the price increase reversal is only possible from May 1st due to the adjustments needed to IT systems and customer information at more than 24,000 delivery points. 

Until then the current prices will remain in force. From May the branch and online prices for private customers will then apply again, as they were up until December 31st 2019. 

Vocabulary

To reverse – rückgängig machen

Package and parcel prices – (die) Päckchen- und Paketpreise

Excessive – überhöht

Legal dispute – (der) Rechtsstreit

Price increases – (die) Preiserhöhungen

We're aiming to help our readers improve their German by translating vocabulary from some of our news stories. Did you find this article useful? Let us know.

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LIVING IN GERMANY

Living in Germany: Battles over Bürgergeld, rolling the ‘die’ and carnival lingo

From the push to reform long-term unemployment benefits to the lingo you need to know as Carnival season kicks off, we look at the highlights of life in Germany.

Living in Germany: Battles over Bürgergeld, rolling the 'die' and carnival lingo

Deadlock looms as debates over Bürgergeld heat up 

Following a vote in the Bundestag on Thursday, the government’s planned reforms to long-term unemployment benefits are one step closer to becoming reality. Replacing the controversial Hartz IV system, Bürgergeld (or Citizens’ Allowance) is intended to be a fair bit easier on claimants.

Not only will the monthly payment be raised from €449 to €502, but jobseekers will also be given a grace period of two years before checks are carried out on the size of their apartment or savings of up to €60,000. The system will also move away from sanctions with a so-called “trust period” of six months, during which benefits won’t be docked at all – except in very extreme circumstances. 

Speaking in parliament, Labour Minister Hubertus Heil (SPD) said the spirit of the new system was “solidarity, trust and encouragement” and praised the fact that Bürgergeld would help people get back into the job market with funding for training and education. But not everyone is happy about the changes. In particular, politicians from the opposition CDU/CSU parties have responded with outrage at the move away from sanctions.

CDU leader Friedrich Merz has even branded the system a step towards “unconditional Basic Income” and argued that nobody will be incentivised to return to work. 

The CDU and CSU are now threatening to block the Bürgergeld legislation when it’s put to a vote in the Bundesrat on Monday. With the conservatives controlling most of the federal states – and thus most of the seats in the upper house – things could get interesting. Be sure to keep an eye out for our coverage in the coming weeks to see how the saga unfolds. 

Tweet of the week

When you first start learning German, picking the right article to use can truly be a roll of the “die” – so we’re entirely on board with this slightly unconventional way to decide whether you’re in a “der”, “die”, or “das” situation. (Warning: this may not improve your German.) 

Where is this?

Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Boris Roessler

Residents of Frankfurt am Main and the surrounding area will no doubt recognise this as the charming town of Kronberg, which is nestled at the foot of the Taunus mountains.

This atmospheric scene was snapped on Friday morning, when a drop in temperatures saw Kronberg and surrounding forests shrouded in autumnal fog.

After a decidedly warm start to November, the mercury is expected to drop into single digits over the weekend. 

Did you know?

November 11th marked the start of carnival season in Germany. But did you know that there’s a whole set of lingo to go along with the tradition? And it all depends on where you are. First of all, the celebration isn’t called the same thing everywhere. In the Rhineland, it’s usually called Karneval, while people in Bavaria or Saxony tend to call it Fasching. Those in Hesse and Saarland usually call it Fastnacht. 

And depending on where you are, there are different things to shout. The ‘fools call’ you’ll hear in Cologne is “Alaaf!” If you move away from Cologne, you’ll hear “Helau!” This is the traditional cry in the carnival strongholds of Düsseldorf and Mainz, as well as in some other German cities.

In the Swabian-Alemannic language region in the southwest of the country, people yell “Narri-Narro”, which means “I’m a fool, you’re a fool”. In Saarland at the French border, they shout “Alleh hopp!”, which is said to originate from the French language. 

Lastly, if someone offers you a Fastnachtskrapfe, say yes because it’s a jelly-filled carnival donut. And if you’re offered a Bützchen? It’s your call, but know that it’s a little kiss given to strangers!

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