Posti is prepared for the unusually quick growth of online sales in the next few months due to the exceptional situation.
The online sales market as well as the number of parcels delivered by Posti have continued to grow for a long time. With the Finnish government entering into force the Emergency Powers Act, the demand for the home deliveries of parcels has also rapidly increased.
“There has been a drastic increase in parcel home delivery orders in the last three weeks. Some days, the volumes have quadrupled. People are staying at home due to the coronavirus, so naturally the need for ordering things to home has increased. In this situation, many retailers are offering their customers free home deliveries, which increases the demand for home deliveries even more,” says Arttu Hollmérus, Vice President, Large Domestic Customers, Parcel and eCommerce, Posti.
Parcels, goods and letters will be delivered normally despite the coronavirus pandemic
According to Hollmérus, Posti was prepared for a growth spike and has therefore been able to manage the increase in demand despite the exceptional situation. It takes Posti roughly one day to process online purchases and parcels sent by consumers. In Hollmérus’s view, the speed of delivery is the greatest advantage of Finnish online stores.
“For the time being, domestic parcels, letters and freight have been delivered normally despite the movement restrictions enforced due to the coronavirus epidemic, although some parcels may experience delays. We will communicate the exceptions on our website. Goods are still moving into and out of Finland, but they are transported via exceptional routes and may subsequently be subject to delays.”
To facilitate home deliveries, Posti changed its booking service. Customers can now make a booking easily directly in the calendar by selecting a home delivery date. In addition, the customers can select the option to leave the parcel at the doorstep, even if the customer is not at home. These changes are already in use in all of the major cities, and soon they will be in use in the whole country.
Hollmérus believes that the demand for online sales as well as the home delivery of parcels will continue to increase. According to the great online shopping survey conducted by Posti, more than half of Finns made online purchases at least once a month last year. In 2019, Posti delivered more than 50 million parcels to its customers.
The storage time of parcels has been temporarily extended to 21 days
Due to the coronavirus, Posti has extended the storage time of parcels in parcel lockers and Posti outlets from the previous 7 days to 21 days. The extended storage time will remain in force for the duration of the Emergency Powers Act. The majority of items are still retrieved in 1–2 days but Posti wanted to make sure that the recipients will have time to retrieve their items despite the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
Posti has been forced to close individual parcel lockers located in closed properties, such as university buildings.
The need for grocery home deliveries has also increased as a result of the exceptional circumstances. Last week, Posti started to deliver the online grocery orders of the Citymarket of Järvenpää to the city’s residents. The employees of Posti’s subsidiary Transval collect the items in the store.
Delivery persons and drivers are everyday heroes
Posti tightened its safety guidelines due to the coronavirus pandemic already before the Emergency Powers Act entered into force. Contrary to the normal way of working, the item will not be handed to the recipient. Instead, Posti’s driver will ring the doorbell and leave the item in front of the door. The driver no longer requests the recipient to sign for the item. Instead, the driver will enter the delivery in Posti’s system.
Hollmérus emphasizes that ensuring safe working conditions for Posti’s employees during the coronavirus pandemic as well as ensuring the customers’ safety are the highest priority for Posti.
“The service sector is facing a very challenging and difficult situation. Posti’s delivery persons and drivers are everyday heroes. They make sure that Finns receive their mail and parcels even in the middle of a crisis. I would also like to extend my thanks to our numerous partners. Parcels and goods are transported by more than 400 local transport companies, and Posti’s service points are run by more than 800 partners,” says Hollmérus.