Post admits error – too many packages

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Of: Jonas Napiletzki

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Swiss Post admits to making mistakes in the delivery of letters. © Sven Hoppe

Deutsche Post’s delivery problems are still not resolved. Now the group has admitted mistakes and is preparing “intensively” for the next few weeks.

Munich/Bonn – Deutsche Post has acknowledged problems with the delivery of letters, which have not yet been resolved. In Munich, too, the situation is “challenging” – due to the tight labor market, explained Thomas Schneider, Divisional Director Operations at Post and Pacel Germany. According to Post spokeswoman Sonja Radojicic, this means specifically for the region: “In several parts of Munich and southern Upper Bavaria – all places whose zip code begins with 82 or 83 – there may occasionally be one-day delivery delays.” Delivery problems and longer transit times Posten is also currently more frequent in and around Garmisch-Partenkirchen and Stephanskirchen near Rosenheim.

Nationwide, there are days in some places where up to 30 percent of staff are missing, Schneider said. In 100 out of about 50,000 delivery districts, on average, one-day delivery would be eliminated. The labor market is not solely to blame. “We started emergency concepts too late,” Schneider admitted. Such a plan, in consultation with the Federal Network Agency, allows for delivery only every other day to ensure operations.

Longer transit times at the post office: drastic consequences for consumers

The company’s acknowledged “challenges with longer maturities” could have drastic consequences for consumers. As reported, readers of our newspaper are waiting for documents from their health insurance companies, credit cards for their next trip or prescriptions from their family doctor.

The reasons for delays are complex. According to Nikola Hagleitner, member of the board of Post and Parcel Germany, “of course we prepared for Corona”. However, there are unpredictable fluctuations in the letter and parcel sector. In peak months, Swiss Post processes 45 percent more parcels than average and up to 25 percent less than average in other months.

For example, 6,800 employees were infected with Corona in July 2022. However, some of the employees who were recruited during the pandemic are leaving again. “Many are returning to the jobs they learned and loved,” Hagleitner said. New employees must now be won over with a nationwide recruitment campaign. Up to 10,000 administrative employees must also step in in the run-up to Christmas. Swiss Post is legally obliged to deliver at least 80 percent of its letters the next business day. According to its own statements, Swiss Post maintains this value despite the problems – even if the value fell recently.

Letters are getting fewer and fewer, and more and more packages

In the future, however, “structural solutions” are necessary. Letters are getting fewer and fewer, and more and more packages. As a result, delivery is catching up: More and more former postmen are also delivering parcels. However, Swiss Post is less prepared for fluctuations in letter delivery – letters simply take up less space. Another problem arises as a result of the sudden increase in the amount of packages, especially when it comes to group delivery: when it’s tight, packages are delivered first to literally make room. Letters are getting longer.

Hagleitner said that the planned amendment to the Postal Act would therefore address the transit times of the mail. Posten does not want to budge on the six-day-a-week delivery obligation. “We lost driving time in favor of stable operation,” Schneider admitted. But: “We don’t have a nationwide network problem.” Under the logo “Santa’s official partner”, the two board members also made a promise: The latest submission deadlines for letters this year are December 20 for parcels and December 22 for letters and postcards.

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