Hermes Germany informs Coronavirus update

[Last update: Dec 17, 2020] Being a parcel delivery service provider, we are in a position to make an important contribution to the current situation by supporting the security of supply for the public with our services. Our top priority is to avoid infecting our employees, service partners and courier staff. It is equally important to protect our customers to the best of our abilities.

(Photo: Hermes/Willing-Holtz)

[Last update: Dec 17, 2020]

What precautionary measures is Hermes Germany taking?

All our employees and service partners receive detailed information regarding the required hygiene and precautionary measures and are expressly asked to observe and comply with them. These measures are based on the official recommendations of the authorities and the Robert Koch Institute (RKI); they are continuously reviewed and adjusted at short notice if necessary. They include, for example, regularly and thoroughly washing hands, observing sneezing and coughing etiquette, adhering to the rules of physical distancing etc. Since there are many people from various countries employed at Hermes, this communication is multilingual.

To support safety measures, we have also provided all couriers with water and liquid soap, so that the crucial hand hygiene that is required is guaranteed even while the courier is out on deliveries.

In addition, we are in the process of providing the more than 11,000 couriers with masks and we are doing the same for the employees in our distribution centres. We have furthermore implemented far-reaching process changes at our logistics locations. Among other things, people are now working in smaller shifts in order to be able to maintain a distance of at least 1.5 metres from each other, and shift work is organised in such a way that the respective employee groups never come into contact with each other.

Is contactless delivery possible?

The most important protective measure for couriers and customers is that delivery to your door and parcel collection in the ParcelShop can both be contactless.

To make this work, Hermes has developed a solution that does not require your signature on the scanner, with proof of delivery provided by a photo. This ensures that the crucial distance of at least 1.5 metres currently required is maintained when a parcel is delivered. More information can be found here.

Contactless collection from the ParcelShop is also possible. You can find all this information here.

Can deliveries also be made without any contact with the courier at all?

Customers can receive deliveries without any physical contact whatsoever. Thanks to digital solutions, you can choose whether you want to receive your shipment (contactless) in person or have it delivered to a preferred safe place. When your parcel is delivered to outside your front door, in your gazebo, in your garage or to another safe place, delivery takes place without any point of personal contact.

Customers can redirect their parcel to a preferred safe place directly in response to the parcel notification sent by the retailer, in the Hermes app or via shipment tracking. If you want to have your parcels delivered to a preferred safe place on a permanent basis, you can request this here:

We are in close communication with the senders with a view to creating greater awareness of this option among customers when they place their orders online.

Is Hermes Germany currently experiencing higher shipping volumes?

This year, Hermes Germany is carrying a record number of parcels in the run up to Christmas – we have made about 120 million deliveries between October and December. This means approximately 10 million packages per week. Some weeks, we even peaked at 12 million. As a result, we expect to have made a 20 percent increase in profit compared to the same quarter last year.

Hermes Germany is, therefore, successfully managing to process and deliver an unprecedented number of parcels. Our incredibly stable performance in this regard has been made possible primarily thanks to close coordination with customers and the intensive preparations we have made for handling the peak season. These include, for example, an around 30 percent increase in sorting capacity and a considerable increase in our personnel and transport capacity. With around 9,500 swap bodies, we at Hermes Germany have the second-largest network in Europe, and we will be adding additional units here as and when required.

At the same time, Germany’s newly imposed lockdown may trigger another new dynamic shift in our customers’ ordering behaviour. We therefore expect the already very high volume of packages to increase further in the days leading up to Christmas Eve.

Will the Christmas delivery commitment remain unchanged?

The good news is that we remain able to promise our customers the reliable delivery conditions they are accustomed to over the festive period, provided Germany’s coronavirus infection rate does not increase massively. Nothing has changed – for packages dropped off at one of our ParcelShops before noon on 21 December, we guarantee to make our first delivery attempt by Christmas Eve, ensuring that your gifts can be under the Christmas tree on time. Wherever possible, however, customers should still endeavour to send their parcels as early as they can.  We are proud of the fact that our services allow us to facilitate a small amount of normality in these troubling times, especially in the run up to Christmas.

Are there any delays currently?

Delivery procedures are generally stable, yet delays may occur: Customers can continue to count on our high delivery quality in the coming weeks, despite the increased demand, as Hermes Germany is well-equipped to cover all requirements, from drop-off at one of our stores right down to the last mile. However, such high demand may still result in delays, especially when coupled with the challenges we are facing under the ongoing global pandemic.

Any future impact the Covid-19 pandemic may have on our network will be continuously and intensively monitored and assessed, enabling Hermes to react quickly and keep customers abreast of any changes as early as possible.

Can I get infected with the coronavirus from a parcel?

According to the Robert Koch Institut, the main transmission route for SARS-CoV-2 is the respiratory intake of particles containing the virus. These are emitted during breathing, coughing, talking, singing and sneezing. There is currently no evidence that the virus can be transmitted via contact with objects such as parcels, including deliveries from areas with cases of the illness.

Are ParcelShops remaining open in Germany?

The measures the national and regional governments in Germany have taken in an attempt to halt the spread of Covid-19 has meant that not all Hermes ParcelShops are open at present. However, given that the majority of our 16,000 ParcelShops across Germany are located within convenience stores and similar establishments, more than 75 percent of them will remain open during the lockdown.

It is still important that ParcelShop operators control customer access and ensure that queues are avoided. We support the shop operators as best as we can to achieve this and continuously provide them with information regarding the required hygiene measures.

Hermes also offers contactless collection from ParcelShops.

Can Hermes Germany accept additional consignments at short notice?

Of course, personnel resources, capacity at sorting centres, loading equipment, etc. cannot be increased at the drop of a hat. Moreover, the health and safety of our employees and couriers is our top priority. This means that, subject to consistent compliance with social distancing regulations, hygiene measures, etc., a further increase in personnel at our sites is only possible to a limited extent. At the same time, the intensive dialogue we currently enjoy with our customers from the retail sector has proven more useful today than it has ever been – it allows us to ascertain the proportion of our capacity that we can allocate to retail and to those customers who rely on us as their parcel delivery service provider, so as to keep everyone satisfied.

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