Swiss Post employees must be able to comply with social distancing
In order to ensure that people in Switzerland can follow the Confederation’s requirement to stay as at home as much possible and avoid shopping trips, mail carriers are currently performing an extraordinary feat. As before, they are still delivering large quantities of parcels every day. Swiss Post is currently processing parcel volumes that are usually seen only during the Christmas period. This includes an above-average proportion of heavy and cumbersome bulky goods consignments, such as sofas, flat-pack furniture, bicycles and garden sheds. In order to relieve and protect employees, Swiss Post has temporarily reduced the size of bulky goods consignments. As an exceptional measure, it will also sort parcels on Saturdays.
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Shops, high streets and restaurants of all kinds have been left empty by the Federal Council’s coronavirus provisions. Within a very short time, our shopping habits have shifted to online platforms. As a result, Swiss Post is playing an increasingly important role in Swiss residents’ lives. It is delivering ordered products or necessary spare parts to front doors, enabling us to stay at home as recommended. Our staff are bringing Switzerland together in this extraordinary situation. The number of parcels delivered to households has risen enormously in recent weeks, and Swiss Post is currently processing similar volumes to those seen during the Christmas period. The amount of grocery deliveries has almost tripled.
The coronavirus crisis is completely novel and poses new challenges for the whole world, including Switzerland and Swiss Post. Swiss Post employees are standing together and performing an extraordinary feat in order to react quickly and spontaneously to the new circumstances. “I am very moved to see how committed our employees are to ensuring they can give their all every day, even though they have worries and concerns of their own. I raise my hat to them and am very grateful for their efforts,” says Roberto Cirillo, CEO of Swiss Post.
Special service on Saturdays
Swiss Post’s parcel centers are running at full steam. Swiss Post has responded to the new shopping habits, and its staff – from parcel acceptance, to sorting, right through to delivery – are currently putting in an admirable special effort. They will now sort mail at parcel centers on Saturdays, an extra service that is usually required only during the Christmas period. However, we can schedule only a limited number of additional employees for processing. This is because these teams also have to adhere to the social distancing requirements. We need healthy staff to ensure that we can continue to serve Switzerland. As in other teams, there are increasing numbers of staff absences in parcel processing, either due to illness or among those who belong to high-risk groups and are therefore not allowed to come to work. Swiss Post can only continue to serve Switzerland and ensure that ordered products still arrive at doorsteps tomorrow and the day after if our employees remain healthy. Due to the high volume of consignments, the regular transport times for parcels cannot currently be respected in all cases during these extraordinary circumstances.
In order to cope with the huge amount of parcels, Swiss Post is working with its customers to plan quantities together. This measure is designed to reduce the peaks to some extent.
Last week, Swiss Post submitted a request to the Federal Council for special authorization to deliver groceries on Sundays. This ensures that people in high-risk groups are less exposed while shopping. The Federal Council has authorized this for all postal service providers. Swiss Post can now provide this service for its contractual partners even on Sundays.
Bulky goods too large for one person
A current major challenge for employees is large and heavy bulky goods consignments, such as bicycles, garden sheds, sofas and flat-pack furniture. The number of bulky goods consignments has increased disproportionately in recent days. These large parcels are extremely difficult for employees to lift on their own, and if working in pairs, it is impossible to find a solution that enables us to adhere to social distancing requirements. For this reason, Executive Management has decided to temporarily reduce the size of bulky goods consignments sent via postal channels, in order to relieve and protect employees.
The permitted sizes for bulky goods consignments will temporarily be restricted to ensure that the items can be carried by a single employee. The maximum lengths for each side are now 150 cm / 80 cm / 60 cm. For the total of all sides, a maximum girth (2 × height + 2 × width + 1 × longest side) of 350 cm applies (instead of max. length of 250 cm and max. girth of 400 cm). The maximum weight will remain unchanged at 30 kg. The change takes effect from Monday, 30 March 2020 and will remain in place until the Confederation has withdrawn its social distancing requirements.
We regret the temporary impact on our customers. We would like to thank them for their understanding and for helping our employees to stay healthy.
Swiss Post Media Unit, Oliver Flüeler, 058 341 21 95, email@example.com