Hermes Germany informs Coronavirus update

[Last update: April 15, 2021] 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: April 15, 2021]

What precautionary measures is Hermes Germany taking?

All employees in our sorting centres, as well as couriers and ParcelShop operators, are doing a consistently excellent job to deliver on our service and quality promises each day, despite the restrictions the Covid-19 pandemic has brought about. At the same time, we remain committed to preventing our employees, service partners and couriers from contracting Covid-19. To that end, Hermes Germany implemented a comprehensive range of protective measures at the beginning of the pandemic and we made massive adjustments to our logistics processes – which include introducing contactless delivery – in the spring.

This has allowed us to keep the number of infections among our staff low over the past few months. It is, however, hugely unrealistic to think that the enormously high infection rate Germany is currently experiencing will just pass Hermes by. As such, we are in constant liaison with public health departments and authorities so that, in the event of an infection at one of our locations, we can act immediately to put the appropriate preventive and quarantine measures in place in order to protect our employees accordingly. Such an incident can, indeed, lead to restrictions or delays at individual locations.

All our employees and service partners have received detailed information regarding the required hygiene and precautionary measures since the beginning of the pandemic 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?

For Hermes, the 2020 Christmas season was the biggest and most challenging peak season ever. Whereas we expected around 120 million shipments nationwide from October to December 2020, by Christmas Eve 126 million shipments had been received from online retailers and private customers. This represents an increase of approximately 25 per cent compared to the same period last year.

But in the first quarter of 2021, we also recorded significantly higher shipment volumes compared to previous years. Thanks to the structures created in the Christmas season, we can also handle this shipment volume without any significant restrictions.

Are there any delays currently?

Deliveries are generally stable. Customers can continue to count on our high delivery quality despite continued high demand, as we are well-equipped to cover all requirements, from drop-off at one of our stores right down to the last mile. When coupled with the challenges we are facing under the ongoing global pandemic, an increase in demand may result in delays in exceptional cases.

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?

Due to the coronavirus measures adopted by the Federal and state governments and the lockdown that is currently in force until 18 April, not all Hermes ParcelShops are open at the moment. However, given that the majority of our 16,000 ParcelShops across Germany are located within convenience stores and similar establishments, more than 80 percent of them will remain open during the lockdown.

Our end customers can locate a ParcelShop via the ParcelShop Finder. Shops that are not yet open will not show up there.

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.

Next article