The market for postal services in Germany has been deregulated, meaning that private companies are allowed to deliver both letters and packages. For private individuals sending a normal letter, the German postal service however remains the best option, which runs a quick and efficient system. If you are not at home when a delivery is made, your postman may leave it with the neighbors, or take it to the nearest post office or drop-off point. You can usually collect it there the next day – present a valid picture ID to prove you are the person to whom the package or registered mail is addressed.
To send packages weighing more than two kilos, you might consider using one of the private competitors which often have better rates than Deutsche Post’s DHL. The major private postal companies are TNT Post, Hermes and GLS. In particular, Hermes has a good network of drop-off points for packages, such as supermarkets, news agents, dry cleaners, etc. If you want to compare postal prices from several different suppliers, a helpful website is www.posttip.de