Staff at Härkingen letter center now also sort parcels
Swiss Post is responding to the trend of fewer letters and more parcels being sent. At its Härkingen letter center, staff now sort parcels as well as letters. The new parcel sorting plant will allow Swiss Post to capitalize on the synergies between letter and parcel processing in the space freed up by the letter center. Swiss Post is also creating around 80 additional jobs in the Härkingen municipality. “The Härkingen center helps to ensure that letters and parcels are delivered quickly and reliably to every corner of our country,” said Federal Councillor Albert Rösti at the launch ceremony.
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For the first time, Swiss Post is operating a parcel-only sorting plant in an existing letter center, with staff involved in sorting letters and parcels of all sizes at the same location. This is Swiss Post’s response to declining letter volumes and the long-term increase in parcel volumes. In the last ten years alone, letter volumes have dropped by one third. At the same time, Swiss Post expects parcel volumes to increase again in the long term. Swiss Post is responding to this change with the new sorting system.
New flat sorting machine sorts up to 10,000 parcels per hour
Parcels from the region are now delivered from the Swiss Post branches to the center, where they are sorted and delivered directly to the region. The center's location in the industrial district of Härkingen municipality, with its rail and motorway connections, is ideal for this purpose. The new flat sorting machine at the Härkingen letter and parcel center sorts up to 10,000 parcels per hour. That’s up to 30 million parcels a year. Swiss Post has invested a total of 50 million francs in converting what was originally a letter-only center. In doing so, it has created around 80 new jobs in the Härkingen municipality. There are now 740 staff working here in letter sorting and around 160 in parcel sorting – about half of the new employees have moved within Swiss Post.
A perfect example of how the “Swiss Post of tomorrow” strategy is being implemented
Synergies between mail and parcel processing will be maximized in the space freed up by the letter center. “This is a perfect example of how our “Swiss Post of tomorrow” strategy is being implemented. We work hand in hand here to process letters and parcels. This is efficient, conserves resources and safeguards jobs,” says Roberto Cirillo, CEO of Swiss Post. “We're investing so that we can offer modern services. And we're doing this in both the physical and digital worlds. I’m confident that it's the right way to ensure we remain relevant in the future”.
“Letters and parcels for the whole of Switzerland”
Federal Councillor Albert Rösti, Head of the Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications (DETEC), said at today’s inauguration: “It is important that people throughout Switzerland can rely on the services provided by Swiss Post. The Härkingen center helps to ensure that letters and parcels are delivered quickly and reliably to every corner of our country.”
Swiss Post expands its parcel processing capacities
The Härkingen letter and parcel center is the third new parcel processing location that Swiss Post has opened in 2023. The new regional parcel center in Pratteln (BL) started sorting parcels in March, and Swiss Post opened the new parcel center in Wallisellen (ZH) in June. Swiss Post expects parcel volumes to increase again in the long term. This is despite the fact that figures have recently declined slightly due to global supply constraints, subdued consumer confidence and the lifting of the coronavirus measures. Swiss Post’s job is to provide the right infrastructure with the right capacity at the right time. This is the only way it can process parcels efficiently and on time. At the same time, it needs the flexibility to respond to fluctuations in parcel volumes. By expanding its capacity, Swiss Post aims to meet the challenges posed by fluctuating parcel volumes and the needs of its customers, and to provide a high-quality public service to the general public and businesses in Switzerland.