Formulated by UNI AproPost and Logistics Sector
1. Royal Mail delivers PPE to NHS and adult social care locations. May 28, 2020.
2. Canada Post tests the waters for postal banking with pilot projects, funding for study. May 26, 2020.
4. Letter and parcel shipments to an additional five destinations in Asia resumed. May 25, 2020.
5. FEDEX: The actions of everyone and every sector of society matters greatly.
1. Royal Mail delivers PPE to NHS and adult social care locations
May 28, 2020
Royal Mail is ramping up its support in delivering on behalf of the government personal protective equipment (PPE) for key workers in care homes and GP surgeries. As a key partner in the delivery of essential PPE, Royal Mail is working in partnership with the MOD, eBay and Clipper Logistics to support a major government initiative to ensure that frontline health and social care workers receive crucial PPE.
Royal Mail is providing final mile delivery to care homes and GP surgeries. Royal Mail has already made hundreds of deliveries to care homes across the England. Postmen and postwomen have been going the extra mile to ensure that staff who are in lockdown at care homes are able to maintain social distancing when accepting packages.
Health Minister Jo Churchill said: “We are working around the clock to ensure that those fighting this virus have all the equipment they need.
“I want to say a huge thanks to Royal Mail, their postmen and postwomen and all of our partners, who as part of this national effort to help get PPE to the NHS and social care staff as quickly as possible, have been amazing in stepping up to the task.”
Jack Titterton, Care Home Manager at Church Farm Nursing Home in Cotgrave, said: “We received an email from the NHS with a link to access different types of PPE for our care home for free, delivered by Royal Mail. PPE is so important at the moment. It’s Public Health England guidance that we all have to wear face masks in the care home, to protect everyone that lives with us. All the staff here are fantastic and they’ve got to be protected as they’ve got families at home. We’ve got to protect everyone.”
David Gold, Director of Public Affairs and Policy at Royal Mail said: “Royal Mail continues to support the NHS and social care during the coronavirus crisis. We are already working closely with pharmacy companies and NHS trusts across the UK by delivering many prescriptions and hospital appointments and delivering testing kits. We wish to reiterate our thanks to the many NHS workers across the UK who are working tirelessly to help those affected by the coronavirus crisis.”
Changes to protect our people and our customers during the coronavirus crisis
Royal Mail has committed £40 million to buying equipment such as hand sanitiser, disposable gloves and other additional protective measures to keep our people safe as they keep the UK connected during the ongoing lockdown.
The Universal Postal Service provides a lifeline to businesses and communities everywhere during the coronavirus crisis. The delivery of parcels and letters is a key way of keeping the country together and helping many people who may not have the option to leave their homes. The UK Government has recognised Royal Mail as having a key role to play in the national response to this emergency.
Royal Mail’s number one priority is keeping its people and customers safe. Royal Mail was one of the first delivery companies to introduce contact free delivery. Where an item won’t fit through a customer’s letterbox, the postman or woman now places the item at the customer’s door, knocks, and steps aside to a safe distance while the customer retrieves their item. We are also temporarily not handing over hand-held devices to customers to capture signatures. The vast majority of mail can be posted safely through the letterbox without any interaction with the customer at all.
Royal Mail has changed its standard ways of working to ensure that, wherever possible, colleagues stay two metres apart. It has also implemented a new rule so that only one person is in a Royal Mail delivery vehicle at any one time. These new social distancing measures are aimed at offering further protection for our colleagues and our customers. We continue to promote regular hand washing with soap and water. We have also adopted enhanced disinfectant cleaning of communal areas in all Royal Mail sites on a daily basis. Royal Mail continues to follow the preventive guidance of global and domestic public health authorities.
2. Canada Post tests the waters for postal banking with pilot projects, funding for study
May 26, 2020
Canada Post has agreed to study how it could offer postal banking, including through setting up pilot projects at certain locations, as part of a new collaboration with a union representing rural postal workers.
The postal service and the union, the Canadian Postmasters and Assistants Association (CPAA), both confirmed the agreement, which is laid out in a letter of understanding between the two entities that was obtained by National Observer.
Canada Post will allocate up to $500,000 to a committee that will look at how rural post offices in places like the B.C. islands could offer services such as money transfers or cashing government cheques. As part of the study, it will set up "proof-of-concept" projects in "select locations."
The committee’s work has been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, said a spokesperson for Canada Post.
Concern banks won't re-open after pandemic
The idea of postal banking, which existed in Canada until the late 1960s, is gaining traction again as banks move to close hundreds of branches and limit operating hours to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
The issue is of particular concern in British Columbia, where 61 per cent of rural communities had no bank or credit union as of 2014, according to a CPAA study. The village of Fraser Lake, for example, recently got a credit union after spending six months where the nearest in-person banking centre was a 40-minute drive away.
“Particularly right now, with COVID-19, we’re hearing of banks that are closing,” said British Columbia and Yukon branch president Carolyn Elliott, in an interview. “There is concern that they won’t re-open when the pandemic restrictions ease. That’s a big issue right now for a lot of communities.”
The CPAA says postal banking could be key to adding social and economic viability to hundreds of rural communities that don’t have banks, but do have post offices.
But the Canadian Bankers Association, which represents dozens of banks, says there isn’t any public policy reason that would compel the federal government to get into the banking business. There are currently over 800 bank branches across B.C., it noted.
A House of Commons committee recommended against postal banking in 2016, saying the postal service should instead "focus on its core competencies." A federal review of Canada Post in 2018 did not mention the issue, although it did say the postal service should be “generating revenues” that could support both current and future services.
Postal banking pilot projects in 'select locations'
Canada Post already does offer limited financial services like postal money orders through a partnership with MoneyGram, no bank account required.
But its agreement with CPAA, which is dated Jan. 21, 2020, represents the first time it committed during the collective bargaining process with the union to examine the idea in greater detail, said Elliott.
“I think getting this letter of understanding into the collective agreement is a huge step forward in the (postal) corporation acknowledging the possibility,” she said.
The letter acknowledges that “Canada Post operates the largest retail network in Canada,” and that it needs to be financially self-sustaining, so it was important to study initiatives that could generate new revenue.
“Therefore, the parties agree to work together to study potential financial services offerings, as well as test proof of concepts, including, but not limited to, financial remittances and government cheque cashing,” reads the letter.
It says that by the end of April, Canada Post and the union would form a committee made up of two representatives from each side.
The committee would then have 18 months to review potential financial services that could be offered through CPAA’s rural post offices, and make written recommendations, with a preliminary report by January 2021.
"During negotiations we agreed to consider financial services proof-of-concept projects in select locations through a joint committee," said Canada Post spokesperson Phil Legault.
“Unfortunately, in these unprecedented times, the start of the committee’s work has been delayed. Once details are available we will work with the CPAA to make them public.”
Canada Post “will allocate up to five hundred thousand dollars to the committee in order to allow it to carry out its mandate,” the letter adds. The money is expected to cover all costs associated with its work, including any contracted services.
'Lots of what is needed is already there'
Elliott said Canada Post offers good, year-round, well-paid jobs with benefits, and offering financial services would help further support rural postmasters, who can then pass on the benefits to community members.
“The buildings are in place in rural Canada. They have secure post office buildings. There are employees in place. There’s infrastructure in place. There’s reliable internet into the post offices. Lots of what is needed is already there,” she said.
“Our CPAA members have a proven record of providing reliable, responsible, professional, consistent service within their communities — and a lot of cases, they are the only federal presence in a community.”
The position of the banks has not changed. A spokesperson for the Canadian Bankers Association told National Observer on Monday that the organization has “nothing further to add on this issue” since its comments made on June 13, 2016 to the Canada Post Review Task Force.
At that time, it said there was “no public policy objective or existing gap in the marketplace that would necessitate the Government of Canada entering into the business of retail banking through Canada Post.”
“Some proponents of postal banking have asserted that banking services are inaccessible in Canada. Contrary to these claims, banking is more accessible than ever,” it wrote. “In fact, the number of branches in Canada has increased from 6,151 in 2010 to 6,348 in 2014.”
By 2018, however, the number of branches had declined to 5,890, the most recent year statistics from CBA are available. That includes 806 branches in B.C. in 2018, down from a high of 828 branches in 2014.
Meanwhile, while the committee did acknowledge that rural Canadians want better access to banking services, it said many rural locations are "actually operated out of homes or small shacks" which it said was "not appropriate" for banking.
It also said rural broadband internet access should be a priority, to allow for more people to access online banking, instead of Canada Post venturing into an area “where it has limited expertise."
4. Letter and parcel shipments to an additional five destinations in Asia resumed
May 25, 2020
Beginning Wednesday 20 May, bpost will resume letter and parcel shipments to a further five destinations:Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, Singapore and South Korea.
This means that customers will again be able to drop their letters and parcels in the red post boxes and at post offices from this date.
These destinations are added to the list of countries to which bpost resumed shipments on 12 May. These are the United States, Canada, Brazil, Russia and China.
Since the suspension of letter and parcel shipments outside Europe was announced on 19 March, bpost has worked tirelessly to find the right solutions and alternatives to enable the earliest possible resumption of all these activities.
bpost Group will do everything in its power to ensure this mail is delivered as quickly as possible to all destinations.
However, there may still be some delays, depending on the number of flights and available capacity, as well as the local delivery situation.
5. FEDEX: The actions of everyone and every sector of society matters greatly
FedEx is helping the Vietnam Red Cross Society transport thousands of donated medical masks to the American Red Cross in the United States. The donation was mobilised by the Vietnam Red Cross Society to help U.S. communities cope with the COVID-19 pandemic.
This includes masks donated by the Vietnam Red Cross, and masks donated by the Vietnam-U.S. Alumni Club (VUSAC)-Hanoi.
The American Red Cross maintains a limited inventory of personal protective equipment (PPE) in order to maintain readiness to respond to disasters across the country and to support the collection of about 40% of the United States’ blood supply.
President of the Vietnam Red Cross Society Nguyen Thi Xuan Thu said: “The donation is a small contribution compared to what is needed in the U.S., but there is so much love behind every one of those masks. The gifts show the solidarity and friendship between the Vietnamese people and our U.S. counterparts.”
“During these extraordinary times, the actions of everyone and every sector of society matters greatly,” said Hardy Diec, Managing Director of FedEx Indochina. “At FedEx Express, we are proud to contribute by donating essential shipping services and proactively supporting relief efforts to get important, lifesaving equipment to those who need it most. We will continue to work with our nonprofit partners and stakeholders in fighting this public health challenge.”
Earlier in April, FedEx, in coordination with DuPont and the U.S. Embassy in Vietnam transported shipments from Vietnam to Texas carrying more than 450,000 Tyvek protective suits.
Formulated by UNI AproPost and Logistics Sector
1. Tigers Logistics commences e-commerce logistics in new Rotterdam mega hub. May 28, 2020.
2. Swiss Post helps relieve financial pressure on its tenants.
May 27, 2020.
3. We Need A Just Recovery. May 26, 2020.
4. Singapore goes all-out in out-of-home.May 25, 2020.
5. E-commerce continues to grow rapidly: Posti will soon have 2,000 parcel lockers. May 22, 2020.
1. Tigers Logistics commences e-commerce logistics in new Rotterdam mega hub
May 28, 2020
Tigers Logistics has commenced operations at its new Rotterdam mega hub, which will enable it to offer “sustainable e-commerce and low-cost last mile solutions across Europe”.
Tigers, which has had a Rotterdam base for more than 20 years, now offers dedicated account management at its new mega hub, as well as “turnkey e-commerce platform integrations, fiscal representation and duty reporting in compliance with European law”.
Tigers’ new mega hub — which has replaced its old Rotterdam facility — is located 10km from the Port of Rotterdam, is accessible by road and rail, and is part of the company’s e-commerce fulfilment expansion.
The facility measures more than 550,000 sq ft, has 60,000 pallet positions and 550,000 bin locations.
It also features solar panels and energy-efficient LED lighting, and is powered by Tigers SmartHub:Connect freight.
Hong Kong-headquartered Tigers said that e-commerce represents more than half of its business in Rotterdam and that it sees the port city as a key European hub.
Shahar Ayash, Tigers’ regional managing director, Europe, explained: “We are seeing explosive growth in our business-to-commercial (B2C) business, whilst business-to-business (B2B) volumes have reduced during the lockdown.”
“We can help customers explore new ways of moving quickly into B2C, even if they are set up only for the B2B market.
“Companies need to be innovative to keep supply chains moving and to ensure that the ever-increasing demand for e-commerce deliveries can be met in an efficient and environmentally-friendly way.
“Our new Rotterdam hub offers customers the space they need to grow organically and the tools and technology to do just that.”
2. Swiss Post helps relieve financial pressure on its tenants
May 27, 2020
Swiss Post is reducing rent for its tenants who have been severely hit by lockdown. In some cases, it is even refraining entirely from collecting payment. This will enable Swiss Post to support small and medium-sized enterprises during these economically challenging times. Thanks to the emergency relief, companies will receive a boost and planning security. The contribution is designed to help them keep their businesses afloat.
Temporary closure, a ban on operating or a significant decrease in customers: the coronavirus crisis has left many companies fighting for survival. For small and medium-sized enterprises in particular, the economic situation may be precarious and the future uncertain. In light of this, Swiss Post is showing solidarity and commitment to the Swiss economy. Swiss Post is reducing rent for its tenants who have been severely hit by lockdown – and, in some cases, is even refraining entirely from collecting payment. This decision primarily benefits small and medium-sized enterprises. The rent reductions will apply as follows:
§ Tenants who were forced to close due to official regulations will generally be granted a 50% rent reduction for the duration of the closure. Small tenants who pay rent of less than 5,000 francs a month will be completely exempt from paying rent.
§ For tenants who were able to remain open during the lockdown but recorded significant falls in revenue, rent will be reduced on a case-by-case basis.
Swiss Post believes this measure will provide companies with a straightforward form of assistance. It wishes to help relieve financial pressure on companies and to offer them a boost and planning security during an economically challenging situation. The rent reduction is primarily designed to help severely hit small and medium-sized enterprises to reduce their fixed costs and to resume and continue their business activities. Swiss Post has an interest in the sustainable, long-term continuation of its existing rental relationships. By providing this support, it is fulfilling its responsibility as a reliable partner for the Swiss economy. Swiss Post will provide its tenants with detailed information over the coming days.
3. We Need A Just Recovery
May 26, 2020
When COVID-19 abates, there will be a great struggle over what policies and ideas take centre-stage. The public is certainly grateful to frontline workers right now – whether they are cleaners, couriers, medical dispatchers, postal workers, health care workers, or others on the frontlines. We must leverage this support to demand policies from governments that will actually help our society and working people.
We need to push for things like postal banking, an electric fleet at Canada Post, check-ins for seniors and living wages for all. There will be enormous pressure to return to the same dysfunctional policies as before to pay for the costs of COVID-19 and our country’s recovery: austerity, attacks on workers, the poor, and the earth, the push for smaller government, tax cuts for the rich, and dividing workers power by isolating us through working from home initiatives.
This is why, we are excited to announce that CUPW is a supporting partner in the launch of the Principles for a Just Recovery.
The principles are:
1. Put people’s health and wellbeing first, no exceptions;
2. Strengthen the social safety net and provide relief directly to people;
3. Prioritize the needs of workers and communities;
4. Build resilience to prevent future crises;
5. Build solidarity and equity across communities, generations, and borders; and
6. Uphold indigenous rights and work in partnership with indigenous peoples;
You can read more about each specific principle in detail by visiting: justrecoveryforall.ca
These principles are the kind of big-scale vision for what our post-COVID-19 society needs to become. They are not prescriptive, but visionary and offer progressive groups – environmental, indigenous, health, faith, anti-poverty, and others – a common platform to come together and articulate a vision for a better future.
CUPW’s Delivering Community Power already offers many concrete proposals that build off of these principles.
While COVID-19 has been a serious challenge and strain on our systems, it presents progressive forces a once-in-several-generations’ opportunity to fix many societal ills. It is also a pivotal moment to set ourselves up to avoid climate catastrophe, while creating a just transition for workers.
We must work hard to leverage the current public gratitude for frontline workers so that there is no going back, only going forwards.
4. Singapore goes all-out in out-of-home
May 25, 2020
Singapore is leading the way in last-mile innovation, with a national carrier-agnostic parcel locker network. Ian Kerr, Postal Hub Podcast, and Marek Różycki, Last Mile Experts, look at this and FedEx’s out-of-home deal in Singapore.
The island city-state of Singapore is going all-out when it comes to delivery. It is planning an island-wide network of carrier neutral parcel lockers. Also plunging headfirst into out-of-home delivery is FedEx, which has announced that its parcels can now be collected at a range of third-party collection points and parcel lockers across Singapore.
Carrier neutral lockers and PUDOs
The Singapore government is planning a national locker network of 1,000 locations open to all the logistics players and to all e-commerce platforms.
The nationwide roll-out of locker stations follows a successful trial launched in December 2018 by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA). IMDA worked with 18 companies, including e-commerce platforms such as Taobao, Lazada, Qoo10 and Zalora, and logistics service providers such as Singapore Post (SingPost), to deploy 62 locker stations in Punggol and Bukit Panjang.
Results from the pilot showed that a driver was able to deliver up to 250 parcels per day to the parcel lockers, about four times more deliveries compared with doorstep deliveries… and with more coverage and more volumes, this efficiency is expected to grow up to 550/600 parcels per day
One thousand lockers for a city with a 5.6 million population is pretty good at 1.8 APMs per 10,000 inhabitants. Last Mile Experts’ MVP is 1 per 10,000, so this is about double. European countries with the densest out-of-home networks, such as Poland and Finland, will have networks with similar density, as will China. The USA is still behind but catching up fast, albeit mainly via PUDOs as opposed to lockers.
FedEx partners with PUDOs and lockers
Meanwhile, FedEx has set up a collaboration with participating bluPort and Parcel Santa lockers, and Park N Parcel retail collection points. Customers in Singapore can now collect their packages from the extensive network of lockers and collection points island wide, available 24/7.
Customers with a valid mobile number or email address can be paired to their nearest Park N Parcel retail collection point or bluPort or Parcel Santa locker, which will be made available prior to package arrival. For example, customers who may not be available to receive their package delivery will have the option to select a location closest to their home or workplace. All customers will have the flexibility of collecting their packages at their preferred venue and time.
Park N Parcel has 1,600 collection points across Singapore, consisting of PUDO points in partner retail shops and ‘residential parkers’ – private individuals who accept parcel deliveries on behalf of neighbors for a fee. Hermes has a similar scheme in Germany called PaketFuxxen. Crowdsourcing and the sharing economy will be increasingly important as parcel volumes surge, so developments such as this are much needed.
bluPort offers parcel collection from over 100 parcel locker locations.
FedEx is right to go for PUDOs. Other major players in Asia – in particular the Chinese e-commerce and delivery giants – have made the major move to out-of-home in order to be able to maintain e-commerce delivery capacity. Today, the Chinese have over 330,000 lockers and even more PUDOs (albeit lockers are the preferred option there).
So why are PUDOs and lockers so important? As we have indicated in previous articles, these delivery options have almost 100% first-time delivery, which means no expensive undelivered/returned parcels, which are poor for customer experience and can incur extra costs.
Delivery cost for out-of-home is much lower as PUDOs and (even more so) lockers have several and often tens of parcels per stop. Finally, customers appreciate the flexibility and choice that out of home delivery offers when offered as an addition to standard, ‘to door’ delivery options.
Christian Secci, co-founder and CEO at Pakpobox, says that e-commerce growth is pushing the courier industry and city resources to the limit. “Self-collection is becoming more and more popular among online buyers for its speed and convenience,” he told us. “A mix of parcel lockers and PUDOs is the best way to achieve a wider and better coverage. In response, we are deploying agnostic networks open to all courier companies in an effort to re-shape urban commercial transport, and to make our cities smarter and greener.”
“Night delivery is also playing an important role,” he adds. “In Hong Kong, we are shifting deliveries to evening hours, when traffic is lighter, cutting the delivery time in half.”
During the COVID-19 crisis we have observed growth in volumes of parcels delivered to lockers. This growth has been facilitated by smart moves from carriers to make locker delivery (including parcel redirection to lockers) easier for consumers. Sadly, not all carriers have understood the benefits of simple, easy-to-use lockers without laborious sign-up procedures.
When we eventually return to normal delivery around the world, more customers will have developed a taste for parcel locker delivery, so we see parcel lockers being one of the winners in this dreadful situation.
ConclusionsFedEx is right to team up with out-of-home networks. Already, it has teamed up with the Hubbed PUDO network in Australia. In the USA it is partnering with retail chains rather than existing PUDO networks.
When large carriers work together in harmony, they create the basis of a shared and more efficient last mile. FedEx is also delivering parcels in Hong Kong using the Alfred click-and-collect network (lockers plus PUDOs powered by Pakpobox), the largest open network in Hong Kong, used also by DHL, Skynet, 4px/Cainiao, Moring Express (30% owned by SingPost), Royale International and Hong Kong Post. Perhaps this is a sign of things to come in other geographies, especially Europe, where FedEx has been slow to adopt out-of-home delivery capability.
5. E-commerce continues to grow rapidly: Posti will soon have 2,000 parcel lockers
May 22, 2020
Posti is responding to the strong growth of e-commerce by greatly extending its parcel locker network. Over the summer, the number of Posti parcel lockers will increase by over a hundred to 2,000. Posti aims to have a network of 4,000 parcel lockers by 2022.
“Soon, up to 85% of Finns will have a Posti parcel locker less than one kilometer from their home. Finns like parcel lockers because they are located along everyday routes and have long opening hours,” says Heiko Laubach, Posti’s Head of Retail Network.
Posti’s retail network, including pickup points where customers can be served in person, consists of a total of 2,800 service points. By the end of this year, parcels delivered by Posti can be picked up from 3,000 pickup points throughout Finland.
Parcel rush at Posti's Vantaa logistics center in May 2020
The smart technology and back-end systems of Posti parcel lockers are constantly being developed
Posti has significantly increased the use of smart technology in its new parcel lockers. The lock technology of the first 200 white Posti parcel lockers with separate locker locks will also be updated over the summer.
In practice, updating the technology means that items cannot be sent from or routed to the parcel locker during the maintenance. However, parcels that are already in the parcel locker can be picked up also during the maintenance. The parcel lockers and their maintenance schedules can be viewed on Posti’s website.
“We want to introduce more ways to use parcel lockers and use data to develop our back-end systems, which help improve the customer experience. For example, customers will in the future be able to open a locker using the OmaPosti app on their phone,” says Laubach.
Smoother parcel delivery with special arrangements
Parcel volumes have reached record levels due to the current exceptional circumstances. In order to meet the rapidly increased demand for delivery services, Posti has made several special arrangements.
In addition to speeding up the expansion of the parcel locker network, Posti has also established temporary parcel pickup points, which are normally used during the Christmas season. Parcels are also sorted and delivered to Posti’s pickup points according to an accelerated schedule also on weekends in the capital region and larger cities. Home deliveries for Home Parcels are increasingly carried out also on Saturdays.
Popular pickup points fill up quickly, which means that parcels cannot always be routed to the pickup point selected by the customer.
“I understand the frustration customers can feel when their parcel does not end up in the pickup point they wanted to use. The major expansion of the Parcel Locker network as well as the expansion of existing popular Parcel Lockers are examples of the measures we are taking to improve the situation,” says Laubach.