Photo: carlo coppejans
Due to the record volumes of parcels that bpost currently has to process, the company is no longer able to deliver all parcels to your home. Some of the customers will have to pick up the parcels themselves at a collection point, bpost announced on Friday. Business customers must also pay an end-of-year surcharge of 1 euro per package from next Friday and until Christmas Eve.
According to the company, this concerns “a very limited percentage of the total number of parcels that bpost distributes every day”. Earlier in the day, it sounded that that total is currently over 500,000 a day. Bpost will also work with Decathlon from Saturday. Some of those stores will be used as a collection point.
In addition, there will be an additional surcharge for business customers. It is the first time that merchants or companies have to pay this surcharge, but bpost points out that the price increase had already been announced 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 rate increase does not apply to ordinary customers.
Parcel record is broken
Over the past few days, Bpost has now delivered more than half a million parcels every day. “We are now breaking records day after day. We are above the peak of the first lockdown ”, it sounds. After Black Friday, the limit of 600,000 parcels per day could even be exceeded. In some places a second daily presentation is scheduled, and the management is also helping to ensure that the processing runs smoothly, it sounds.
READ ALSO. Bpost presents ‘warehouse of the future’: QR codes on the floor teach robots to sort parcels
The peak at the parcels comes as no surprise. Due to the lockdown, many shops have been forced to close and can therefore only sell via the internet. In addition, there are many shopping moments around this time of the year, such as Black Friday next week – where many discounts are traditionally awarded -, Sinterklaas and the traditional end-of-year period.
The spokesperson notes that agreements have been made with large customers about the volumes to be treated. “We had tailored our operations to those expectations, but orders are already higher than expected at all major web shops. And on top of that, there is also an increase among SMEs. ” This means a lot of pressure on the organization of Bpost. “We are indeed stretching hard. There may be delays, ”the spokeswoman acknowledged.
Staff under great pressure
According to trade unionist Jean-Pierre Nyns (ACOD), the company flirts with its maximum capacity. The pressure on staff is enormous, he says, also because the corona pandemic is forcing more people to stay at home, sick or in quarantine. It had been agreed with the unions to make 2,700 additional recruitments, of which the first 500 have actually started this week, according to Nyns. 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 cope with the extra crowds. For example, in some regions more than one presentation takes place per day. According to the spokeswoman, management is also helping, not only for sorting but also for transport, for example. “That is not the first time, but it already happened in the past”, it sounds.
It remains to be seen whether the parcels will peak further towards the end of the year. Nyns hopes that a lot of people may have opted for certainty by ordering now, which would make things quieter again in the following weeks. Many web shops also called for timely ordering, because delays had to be taken into account.