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.
Our Christmas delivery commitment remains 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.
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.
ParcelShops remain open for the most part
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.
Comprehensive measures are being taken to protect against Covid-19
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.
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.