Stand in line with the package under your arm at Christmas, please don’t. Distance and hygiene are a challenge for parcel services. An attempt at a solution on wheels is approaching in Berlin.
Berlin (dpa) – Before the flood of Christmas packages, parcel services are working to protect against infections. DHL is attempting an outdoor task.
A pilot project started on Wednesday in Berlin: customers in the capital can either deliver their shipments to employees on parcel buses or receive them. Five buses have been ready in different districts since Wednesday, with another five to follow in the coming days.
“We want to straighten the otherwise familiar image of branch operations,” said DHL East Germany COO Michael Heimbokel. For this, relief branches will be temporarily opened and additional packing stations will be put into operation.
Competitors of the market leader also ensure that protection against infections is ensured during the Christmas season. Customers have often gotten used to receiving unsigned packages. Contactless delivery and delivery contributes significantly to protection against infection, said the Federal Association for Express and Parcel Logistics (BIEK). Represents DPD, GLS, GO !, Hermes and UPS.
Since the beginning of the Corona crisis, parcel carriers have been even busier than before. In addition to professions such as caretakers and police officers, delivery men also do important work for the community, said Berlin Mayor Michael Müller (SPD), introducing a parcel bus in Neukölln. “Colleagues stood as one.”
As Germans buy more and more online, the number of packages has been growing year after year, even at Christmas. Thousands of additional workers are deployed across the country. According to BIEK forecasts, they will have to deliver around 420 million packages in November and December, a fifth more than in the same period last year.
A smooth delivery is ensured, so the association. However, the advice for customers: send packages earlier than usual. They won’t always arrive after a day or two.
Berliners can still pick up and drop off their shipments on parcel buses until mid-January. Packages must already be franked. The yellow-painted vehicles were rented by Deutsche Post DHL Group from a subsidiary of Deutsche Bahn, which offers tours of the city of Berlin. Since almost no tourists arrive in the capital at this time, the buses were free.