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People have been sending information, letters and goods to one another for thousands of years. Couriers have travelled the length and breadth of countries on behest of their masters; messages have been relayed and have successfully reached the intended recipients.

The dispatch of mail has been more or less organized throughout history, achieving a more stable form in the Nordic countries during the early 17th century. The following is a Danish-Swedish perspective of the way in which the infrastructure for the delivery of mail and goods has developed over time. 

Cycling postman Frans Westerlund at the post office Stockholm 1, 1920th

More about our history

Post farmers and mail carriers

Christian IV’s “Forordning om Post-Budde” (Mail Carrier Decree) was enacted in December 1624. Twelve years later the Swedish council of state approved the ”Förordning om Postbådhen” (Mail Carrier Ordinance). This was the beginning of formal postal services in both countries.

Cross border

Sweden established a permanent post office in Hamburg in 1620. Dutchman Leonard van Sorgen was assigned the task of arranging postal service from Sweden to Hamburg.


Englishman Rowland Hill is usually credited with inventing flat-rate postage, which was introduced in 1840 and paved the way for the use of stamps.


The Danish postal service was quick to exploit the innovation of sending post by train. The first Danish railway line between Altona and Kiel opened in 1844.

By water

Initially, the many islands comprising the country of Denmark made it difficult to establish a reliable postal service to all areas. 


The New York Times reported in the summer of 1904 on a commission dispatched by the Danish government in Europe to investigate the usefulness of the automobile for short postal transports.

By air

Sending mail by air is not particularly modern – the ancient Egyptians used carrier pigeons. The bird of peace was used for postal transport through the Second World War. 

New times

In this era of globalization, there is a growing need for cross-border communication and logistics. Regions rather than countries are important to doing business.