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How busy is busy? 2017 peak season review


How busy is busy? 2017 peak season review

Ian Kerr

It was a big Christmas peak for postal operators and delivery companies across the world in 2017. Here are some highlights:

Australia Post's biggest month ever

Australia Post made more than 37 million parcel deliveries during December 2017, including over 11 million parcels in the week before Christmas.

More than 2000 extra staff were taken on to handle the record volumes. 

"We made more than 37 million parcel deliveries in the four weeks leading up to Christmas, that's almost 20 percent more deliveries per day compared to last year." - Australia Post Chief Operations Officer and Executive General Manager, eCommerce Delivery, Bob Black

It wasn't just parcels, though. Australia Post delivered more than 100 million greeting cards and letters in the week before Christmas.

Parcel volumes remain high thanks to the Boxing Day and New Year sales. 

Overall, online shopping purchases in Australia grew 15 per cent in 2017 compared with 2016.

For more on how Australia Post handled peak season 2017, check out Episode 93 of the Postal Hub Podcast.

PostNL has a big Christmas

PostNL delivered 32.9 million parcels in the Netherlands and Belgium over the past holiday period (whatever that might be exactly), weighing a total 77.4 million kg.

This record number of parcels included over 6.5 million parcels the week before Christmas

"We are delivering parcels in the evening and on Sundays more often and more and more parcels are being picked up from a parcel point.” - Leendert-Jan Plaisier, director of operations at PostNL Parcels

Yodel delivers more

UK delivery company Yodel delivered 11% more parcels in the four weeks up to and including Christmas Eve (compared with the same period in 2016), and saw a 28% increase in parcels in the week before Christmas.

Yodel operated seven days per week during the Christmas rush.

"Despite the snow and ice, and atypical shape of volume, which led to an unusually high number of parcels in the final week before Christmas, we were proud to successfully deliver millions of our clients’ promises." - Mike Cooper, CEO of Yodel

A record-setting December for Swiss Post

Between 1 and 23 December 2017, Swiss Post processed more than 18 million parcels, despite the fact that Christmas Day fell on a Monday meant there was one fewer processing day this year than in previous years.

On 19 December, Swiss Post set a new record: three parcel centres processed more than 1.3 million parcels, more than ever before on a single day. Swiss Post had upgraded its parcel centres with additional high-performance sorting systems, increasing capacity by 25 percent over the past few years. Three new regional parcel centres are in the pipeline to be added to the network. 

During the pre-Christmas period, Swiss Post’s mail carriers delivered up to 18 million consignments (letters, promotional mailings and newspapers) on peak days.

Swiss Post's mail centres were working almost round the clock, including weekends, with staff taking on extra shifts. Delivery staff also worked an extra shift on Saturday, 23 December 2017, to deliver additional parcels in time for Christmas Eve.

An Post has a cracking Christmas

Ireland's An Post delivered 1.74 million parcels in the five week lead-up to Christmas 2017 - an increase of 27% on the same period last year. This is the highest number of parcels ever delivered by An Post in a Christmas season.

Parcel volumes from key customer Amazon alone showed an increase of more than 30% on 2016. 

An Post secured a greater share of the supply-side parcels market (where the supplier pays) due to an improved service specification which includes Saturday deliveries and later cut-off times for next-day delivery. An Post also secured a higher share of the consumer parcels market with the extension of the AddressPal service to include AddressPal USA and a returns service ReturnPal. 

"As the logistics backbone for e-commerce in Ireland for both shippers and shoppers, our staff turned in a dedicated effort, achieving a next day delivery rate over 90% throughout the Christmas period.” - Garrett Bridgeman, Managing Director, An Post Mails and Parcels

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