Thursday April 18, 2024

European Posts deliver record volumes of Black Friday / Cyber Monday orders

Parcels flood at PostNord
Parcels flood at PostNord

Postal operators in Europe have delivered record parcel volumes this week as online shoppers across the continent snapped up deals during the recent Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales promotions.  

Amid signs that ‘Cyber Week’ is now rivalling the pre-Christmas week in terms of volumes, several Posts have announced new all-time highs with double-digit growth rates compared to last year. Most delivery companies are expected to have delivered more parcels this week than in the equivalent week of 2018.

In Sweden, PostNord broke its record for a 24-hour period on Tuesday night with more than one million e-commerce items (728,000 packages and 285,000 goods letters) passing through its sorting terminals. The number of packages was well ahead of last year (703,000) and far more than in 2017 (583,000).

“These are intense and fun days in our production, a kind of kick-off for this year's high season. So far, most things have gone perfectly according to plan. Many of the weekend packages are now out with the agents or on their way to them,” said operations chief Mathias Krümmel earlier this week.

Despite a somewhat quieter trend for e-commerce growth during Q3, PostNord's Christmas forecast shows that more Swedes than ever intend to buy at least one Christmas present online (56%). In total, Swedes plan to buy Christmas presents worth SEK 8.4 billion online this year.

Further south, Austrian Post has set a new overall daily record, handling 750,000 parcels on Monday (December 2) compared to its previous 24-hour high of 672,000 parcels on December 17 last year. This growth is a combination of strong organic growth and the takeover of DHL Parcel Austria’s final-mile deliveries earlier this year.

Moreover, these 750,000 parcels were all delivered climate-neutrally, the company emphasised. Austrian Post has delivered all parcels on a CO2-neutral basis since 2011, through a mix of avoidance, reduction and offsetting, and has reduced its CO2 emissions by 13% since taking over the DHL deliveries by consolidating volumes in rural areas. The postal operator has steadily expanded its zero-emission fleet to 1,900 electric vehicles and now generates its own electricity through photovoltaic systems.

Moreover, a recent study by the Vienna University of Economics and Business showed that the company is already very efficient in urban centres. In total, delivery companies in Vienna are responsible for only about 0.8% of total traffic while other commercial vehicles account for about 6%, which is almost seven times as much.

For its part, rival DPD said it expects to deliver up to 270,000 parcels across on Austria on peak days this year as it sets new records “nearly every day”. The company normally delivers about 200,000 parcels daily throughout the year. Over the last two years, DPD Austria has invested more than €30 million in new facilities, its fleet and digitalisation measures.

In neighbouring Switzerland, citizens went on a real spending spree last Friday and Monday and generated a new record for Swiss Post. The postal operator delivered more than 5.9 million parcels in one week, 15% more than in the equivalent period last year, including up to one million parcels on days immediately after Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

To ensure goods arrive on time with the customers, Swiss Post is deploying around a third more staff in parcel logistics for peak season as daily volumes rise from the usual 500,000 during most of the year to more than 800,000 parcels over the holiday shopping season. Swiss Post is currently investing around CHF 190 million in new parcel distribution centres, including the recently opened facility in Cadenazzo (Ticino).

SourcePostNord, Austrian Post, DPD Austria, Swiss Post, CEP-Research

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