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Correos (Sociedad Estatal de Correos y Telégrafos) is the national postal service of Spain, as recognized by the International Postal Union. With 63,000 employees and 5.4 billion pieces of mail sent each year, Correos is one of the largest postal services in the world. Based in Madrid, it has over 10,000 postal centres all over Spain.


Correos has covered the whole of Spanish territory every day in public service for more than 300 years.

During the Middle Ages, the post belonged to the crown. There was a long period of messengers, royal couriers, runners—like the 80 that the King of Aragón, Pedro el Ceremonioso, had—and of important positions related to correspondence, like the Main Post Office in the court of the Spanish Catholic Monarchs.

Correos headquarters (Madrid)

In the modern era, under the rule of the Habsburgs, the administration of the service was contracted to individuals and Correos started to have a more homogenous structure with a certain similarity to the current service. From 1506, Philip I bestowed the postal monopoly on Francisco Tassis who gave us the system and organisation that he himself had used in Germany. Juan Francisco Goyeneche was the last postal service contractor From the 18th century, with the accession of the Bourbons to the throne, Philip V made Correos into a state service available to all citizens. The service developed through detailed regulations (like those of 1720 and the Postal Orders of 1743) and through the men who managed Correos in the following years; men such as Rodríguez de Campomanes who from 1755 standardised charges, introduced home deliveries and created the post offices and post boxes in them (the precedents of local post) and improved the road network. These were just some of the reforms which led to the modernisation of the postal service in Spain.

In 1850, the first postage stamp appeared in Spain, bearing the image of Queen Isabella II. This had two important consequences. On one hand the cost of deliveries was reduced as the service was paid for by the sender rather than the person receiving the correspondence and on the other, the number of deliveries increased considerably. That year 18,500,000 deliveries were made. In 1889 the Cuerpo de Correos (the Postal Workforce) was created in Spain. From then on the presence of postmen increased in more and more towns and Correos started to become an indispensable element for the unity and structure of Spain.

Correos has continued to evolve until the present day and to adapt to new requirements in society; and these changes have acquired a frantic pace in the last few years. In 1992 it ceased to be a Government Department and became an independent commercial organisation, and five years after that it became a state company. In June 2001 a new form of management was introduced when the company became a Public Limited Company. Nowadays, Correos is moving forwards to a modern and innovative business concept, in tune with the reality of the 21st century.

Facts & Figures

Typical format of Correos post boxes, found all around Spain
  • Almost 65,000 people work for Correos: 38,000 people deliver the 5.4 billion deliveries which Correos handles every year; 11,800 sell a wide range of services in its offices and around 2,000 work on tasks of processing, classification, loading and unloading in their logistical centres.
  • Correos has 12,800 vehicles for the transport and distribution of deliveries with different load capacities, from motorbikes to 24 tonne lorries, which cover more than 340,000Km every day. To put it another way, they cover the equivalent distance of going around the world 9 times in a day.
  • Correos operates more than 10,000 postal centers: 1,987 multiservice offices (visited by more than 250,000 customer and clients every day); 1,980 distribution units; and 8,094 rural service points. The online office, counts 750,000 users every month.
  • In 2005 Correos invested 212 million euros (without including financial investments) to, among other things, improve infrastructure and equipment, information, communications and automation systems.

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