Coronavirus: managing high parcel volumes
Parcel volumes are hitting new record highs every day and are sometimes even exceeding the levels handled over the Christmas period. What is Swiss Post doing to protect customers and employees? And how are mail carriers dealing with the current situation?
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Titus Bütler, Head of the Frauenfeld Parcel Center
“Sorting parcels while maintaining social distancing is tough. Capacity is tight, even during normal operations. As only one person can work on the belt conveyor now, output has been massively reduced. As a result, there are unavoidable delays. We are constantly working on improvements. Logistics can’t be carried out by working from home. I’m concerned about the health of my employees. And I wonder whether we can cope with the increasing volumes.”
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Whether it’s food, furniture or garden sheds, the lockdown means that many people are staying at home and doing their shopping online. Overall, PostLogistics has recorded a sharp rise in consignment volumes for domestic parcels since mid-March.
Parcel volumes are hitting new record highs every day and are sometimes even exceeding the levels handled over the Christmas period. At the beginning of April, the parcel volume had risen by as much as 40% compared to the previous year and the figures are continuing to increase. We’re also missing employees who are at home looking after their children, find themselves in at-risk groups or are ill.
Handling parcel volumes
The volumes can’t be managed by more staff, as social distancing must be systematically adhered to. Various measures have already been implemented to handle the parcel volume, including working on Saturdays, sorting parcels at letter centers and working with other logistics companies.
Manual preliminary sorting at the delivery bases is being increased, the maximum sorting capacity of the regional parcel center in Ostermundigen is being used and additional rounds are being organized in the last mile. The maximum dimensions of bulky goods consignments have been changed and additional measures are being assessed, such as a Click&Collect service where goods are picked up from the branches.
Protecting customers and employees
- Mail carriers are signing registered mail themselves with the customer’s consent
- Parcel carriers are staggering their shifts
- Vehicles are only loaded and unloaded alone and are disinfected after every use