Extra trucks, extra storage space and sorting centers that start earlier and stop later. The measures that PostNL took in mid-November to keep the expected influx of parcels on the right track will also remain in force this month.
“We have scaled up our capacity by more than 70 percent compared to a normal day in early 2020,” said spokesman Heleen Makkinga.
It was an exceptionally busy period, she says. And that is not over yet. “On peak days, we still deliver around the maximum capacity of 1.7 million parcels per day.”
Not only the parcel company itself, the deliverers are also working hard. This takes its toll, sees the association of independent parcel entrepreneurs BVPD.
“In a normal week we deliver 1 million parcels for PostNL, now more than 1.5 million a day. For the same fee,” said spokesman Pieter Paul Slikker.
And that sticks to the entrepreneurs. In the same week that PostNL announced that it would request an extra quarter per package from web shops, to help finance the measures due to the crowds, the tariff negotiations for parcel deliverers were reopened.
“The reasoning at the time was: the volume has increased by 15 percent, so the rates can be reduced by 15 percent because you can work more efficiently. That is not the case,” said Slikker.
From mid-November to the end of December, PostNL contract customers paid an additional 25 cents per package.
- During that period, PostNL delivered approximately 1.5 million parcels per day. Most of this comes from web shops and other business customers.
- In a conservative estimate, this involved 1 million parcels every day for which extra costs were paid. That quickly amounts to 10 million euros.
- PostNL does not want to say exactly what amount is involved. It is also unclear how much their 70 percent capacity increase cost.
“As for our delivery entrepreneurs: they have seen their turnover increase sharply in recent years,” says Makkinga. “Hourly sales have increased by 10 percent in the past 3 years. This is the result of the strong growth in volumes and the annual upward adjustments to the rate model. So delivery entrepreneurs have also benefited from the volume increase.”
Employees who are employed by PostNL will receive 250 euros this month as an extra for their efforts.
Busy busy busy
Parcel deliverers are in themselves quite prepared to work under this pressure for longer, says Slikker. “But then PostNL must offer some perspective. If it becomes too much for an entrepreneur now, they say: go to the temporary employment agency for extra staff. But you have to train that first. Or ask a colleague. Well, they already have them themselves. very busy. ”
The BVPD would like to see PostNL distinguish between essential (food, medicines) and non-essential packages (such as clothing), in order to better handle the flows. “Then you make sure that your deliverers also stay upright.”
Call had an effect
Some restrictions are maintained, Makkinga responds. “Web shops can deliver a maximum number of parcels to PostNL. This also applies to shops that deliver to a PostNL point.”
The call to consumers to wait until the beginning of 2021 before returning parcels seems to have had an effect, she says. “We will continue to experience that in the coming days and weeks.”