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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


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. 


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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REVEALED: The most commonly asked questions about Germans and Germany

Ever wondered what the world is asking about Germany and the Germans? We looked at Google’s most searched results to find out – and help clear some of these queries up.

Hasan Salihamidzic, the sports director of FC Bayern, arrives with his wife at Oktoberfest in full traditional dress. Photo: picture alliance/dpa |

According to popular searches, Germany is the go-to place for good coffee and bread (although only if you like the hard kind) and the place to avoid if what you’re looking for is good food, good internet connection and low taxes. Of course, this is subjective; some people will travel long stretches to get a fresh, hot pretzel or a juicy Bratwurst, while others will take a hard pass.

When it comes to the question on the bad Internet – there is some truth to this. Germany is known for being behind other rich nations when it comes to connectivity. And from personal experience, the internet connection can seem a little medieval. The incoming German coalition government has, however, vowed to improve internet connectivity as part of their plans to modernise the country.

There are also frequent questions on learning the German language, and people pointing out that it is hard and complicated. This is probably due to the long compound words and its extensive grammar rules, however, as both English and German are Germanic languages with similar words in common, it’s not impossible to learn as an English-speaker.

Here’s a look at some of those questions…

Why is German called Deutsch? Whereas ‘German’ comes from the Latin, ‘Deutsch’ instead derives itself from the Indo-European root “þeudō”, meaning “people”. This slowly became “Deutsch” as we know it today. It can be a bit confusing to English-speakers, who are right to think it sounds a little more like “Dutch”, however the two languages do have the same roots which may explain it.

And why is Germany so boring? Again, probably a generalisation, especially given that Germany has a landmass of over 350,000 km² with areas ranging from high rise, industrial cities to traditional old town villages and even mountain ranges, so you’re sure to find a place that doesn’t bore you to tears.

Perhaps it is a question that comes from the stereotype that Germans are obsessed with being strict about rules, organised and analytical. Or that they have no sense of humour – all of these things being not the most exciting traits. 

Either way, from my experience I can confirm that, even though there is truth to German society enjoying order and rules, the vast majority of people are not boring, and I’m sure if you come to Germany you’ll meet many interesting, funny and exciting people. 

READ ALSO: 12 mistakes foreigners make when moving to Germany

When it comes to the German weather, most people assume a cold and cloudy climate, however this isn’t entirely true. While the autumn and winter, especially in the north, come with grey skies and sub-zero temperatures, Germany can have some beautiful summers, with temperatures frequently rising above 30C in some places.

Unsurprisingly, the power and wealth of the German nation is mentioned – Germany is the largest economy in Europe after all, with a GDP of 3.8 trillion dollars. This could be due to strong industry sectors in the country, including vehicle constructions (I was a little surprised to find no questions posed on German cars), chemical and electrical industry and engineering. There are also many strong economic cities in Germany, most notably Munich, Frankfurt am Main and Hamburg.

READ ALSO: Eight unique words and phrases that tell us something about Germany

Smart and tall?

Why are Germans so tall? They are indeed taller than many other nations, with the average German measuring a good 172.87cm (or 5 feet 8.06 inches), however this may be a question better posed to the Dutch, who make up the tallest people in the world.

Why are Germans so smart? While this is again a generalisation – as individuals have different levels of intelligence in all countries – this question may stem from Germany’s free higher education system or their seemingly efficient work ethic. Plus there does seem to be some scientific research behind this question, with a study done in 2006 finding that Germans had the highest IQ in Europe.

So, while many of the questions posed about Germany and Germans on Google stem from stereotypes, we can confirm that some aren’t entirely made up. If you’re looking to debunk some frequently asked questions about France and the French, check out this article by our sister site HERE.