More than 8 billion letters, postcards, printed materials, samples, business papers, and newspapers were transported around the globe in the 1870s. Varying national regulations incurred a considerable expense due to transportation and the calculation of fees. Consequently, on October 9, 1874, the General Postal Union of 21 states was founded in Bern. Even today, all member states form a common postal area with jointly decided rules, which are held by the Universal Postal Union. The Universal Postal Union is one of the oldest international organizations.