La Poste changed its postal rates on January 1st 2015, and we noticed a significant increase in all rates for both national and international mail, as well as some changes to the shipping options available at post offices and postal kiosks (images). Small parcel priority shipments for domestic mail ('MINIMAX') and international mail ('Petit Paquet Prioritaire International'), are no longer available. Instead, La Poste introduced a new service, 'Lettre suivie' (tracked letter), for domestic and international mail.

This new shipping option was previously available, but only in the form of prepaid covers ('Prêt-à-Poster'). It allows tracking of letters and small packets with a thickness up to 3 cm., through a code created at the same time as the stamp issue. Unlike registered and signed for options ('Recommandé'), the recipient's signature on delivery is not required, nor does it guarantee any compensation in case of loss or damage.

This new service was available at all postal kiosks from January 1st 2015. Therefore, from the main menu (upper picture, left), the user must select the first option for the franking of a letter or small packet, then the destination (upper, right).
For domestic mail (right picture), the system offers two types of shipping. By normal mail ('Envoi standard'), with three options ('Lettre verte', 'Lettre prioritaire' and 'Ecopli'), or by tracked mail ('Envoi suivi').
On the next screen (right, below), the user can choose between the three current options of tracked mail ('Lettre Suivie', 'Colissimo France' and 'Chronopost'), and see their options.

The 'Lettre suivie' for domestic mail is treated as a 'Lettre verte', with delivery expected within 48 hours (J+2) throughout the country. The stamps include the letters LV ('Lettre verte'), the face value, and the indicator 'LETTRE SUIVIE' (see images below).
In 2015, the rate for the first step of weight (up to 20 g.) was 1.08 EUR.

For international destinations, the system displays the four shipping types available, with their conditions and options (right screen, below).
The 'Lettre suivie internationale' is a priority mail option. The tracking to destination can be done for a few countries and, for the rest, only to the French border. The letters IP (International Prioritaire) are printed on the stamps, and then the face value, and the indicator 'LETTRE SUIVIE INTERNATIONALE' (see images below).
In 2015, the rate for the first weight step (up to 20 g.) for European destinations is 4.15 EUR, and 4.40 EUR for the rest of the world.

There is one piece of interesting news in the launching of the 'Lettre suivie' shipping option at postal kiosks.

When the user selects this option, the machine prints a bar code label, and a tracking receipt ('Ticket de suivi'), along with the corresponding variable value stamp.
The bar code label must be stuck to the mail item, like a registered letter. On top of the barcode and shipment number, the labels for domestic mail include the La Poste and 'Courrier suivi' marks (detail below, left). Labels for international mail include the symbol for express mail (although in reality it is just a priority shipping), a graphic design to indicate that no signature is required for delivery, and the La Poste logo (below, right).

The receipt, to be kept by the sender, includes the information about the postal kiosk and shipment, as well as the tracking number or code.

In 2015, La Poste has three types of postal kiosks installed in their post offices. IER LISA 2 (in two versions), IER 950 Nabucco and Wincor Nixdorf NABUCCO (see article, also published in VARIABLE 22). As can be seen in the next pictures, there are printing differences between the three types of machines.

Postal kiosks IER LISA 2 Évolution (left) & IER LISA 2 XP (right)
Stamp printing by both postal kiosks is identical, except for receipts.
Kiosk IER LISA 2 Évolution

Postal kiosks IER 950 NABUCCO

Postal kiosks Wincor Nixdorf NABUCCO

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This page was created in March 2015
and last updated:  01.04.15 . English edition rewritten by S. Goodman (01.04.2015)