Photo: Carlo Coppejans
Due to the record volume of parcels that bpost currently has to process, the company can no longer deliver all parcels to your home. Some customers have to pick up the parcels themselves at a collection point, announced bpost on Friday. Business customers must also pay an end-of-year surcharge of 1 euro per package from next Friday until Christmas Eve.
According to the company, this affects “a very limited percentage of the total number of parcels that bpost distributes each day”. Earlier in the day, it was found that this total is currently more than 500,000 per day. From Saturday, Bpost will also work with Decathlon. Some of these shops are used as collection points.
In addition, there is a surcharge for business customers. It’s the first time retailers or companies have had to pay this surcharge, but bpost points out that the price hike was announced back in September last year. “A price adjustment is always communicated and recorded before the start of the new year,” said spokeswoman Barbara Van Speybroeck. The price increase does not apply to regular customers.
Package record is broken
In the past few days, Bpost has delivered more than half a million parcels every day. “We are now breaking records every day. We are above the peak of the first closure, ”it sounds like. After Black Friday, the limit of 600,000 parcels per day could even be exceeded. A second daily presentation is planned in some places and management is also helping to ensure that processing goes smoothly.
The high point with the packages is no surprise. Due to the blocking, many stores had to close and can therefore only sell over the Internet. In addition, there are many shopping moments at this time of year, such as Black Friday next week – where traditionally many discounts are given -, Sinterklaas and the traditional year-end period.
The spokesman notes that agreements have been made with large customers on the quantities to be treated. “We had tailored our business activities to meet these expectations, but orders in all major web shops are already higher than expected. There is also an increase in SMEs. “This means a lot of pressure on the organization of Bpost. “We actually stretch hard. There can be delays, ”the spokeswoman admitted.
Employees under great pressure
According to trade unionist Jean-Pierre Nyns (ACOD), the company is flirting with its maximum capacity. The pressure on the staff is enormous, also because the corona pandemic is forcing more people to stay at home, sick or in quarantine. An agreement had been reached with the unions to add 2,700 additional hires and, according to Nyns, the first 500 actually started this week. According to him, the search for additional staff is going smoothly, partly due to the corona crisis.
The company has also taken a number of measures to deal with the extra crowds. For example, in some regions there is more than one presentation per day. According to the spokeswoman, the management not only helps with sorting, but also with transport. “This is not the first time, but it has happened in the past,” it sounds like.
It remains to be seen whether the packages will reach another peak towards the end of the year. Nyns hopes many people have opted for security by ordering which would make things calmer again in the coming weeks. Many online stores also asked for an order on time as delays had to be taken into account.