Dutch postal services
The mail, parcel and e-commerce corporation PostNL has been assigned by the Dutch government to carry out the UPD (Universal Postal Service or Universele Postdienst). Besides delivering letters, PostNL is also in charge of delivering parcels. There are also specialised parcel delivery companies in the Netherlands, such as DHL, GLS, Sandd and UPS.
Most post offices in the Netherlands have been closed and the services have been relocated to newsagent’s shops, supermarkets and other stores. You can recognise a store that offers postal services by the PostNL sign on the storefront. Opening times vary depending on the store and some stores offer a limited selection of services.
The PostNL location finder will help you find mailboxes, post offices, stores that offer postal services and pickup/drop off location in case you are not familiar yet with your neighbourhood. The location finder also displays which services are available at a certain location.
How to write Dutch addresses on your mail
If you are planning on sending a mail in the Netherlands, it is good to know how to write an address in the Netherlands. A correctly written address includes:
- Name of the addressee (and possibly business)
- Street name + house number (+ suffix),
- or Postbox number,
- or Business reply number
- Postcode and city/town
Public mail boxes
Dutch mail boxes are usually red or orange, with two separate slots. The right slot is for letters being sent to nearby zip codes, and the left one is for mail to other destinations. Mail boxes are generally emptied every week day at 17.00 hours, except for holidays. If you post a letter before this time, your mail should be delivered some time the next day, if sent to an address within the Netherlands. Letters sent on Saturday, Sunday or Monday are delivered on Tuesday.
You will receive mail at your apartment or house from Tuesdays to Saturdays. If you are not home when your package is delivered, there are three options. Your package may be available for pickup at your nearest pickup point, it will be presented to you the next day, or may be dropped off at a neighbour. In all situations, the mail man will leave you a note informing you of how to get your package.