The situation in Estonia is critical due to the rapid spread of COVID-19 and all measures taken to restrict the virus are necessary.
At the same time, these measures also mean restrictions for people and businesses, and the situation is becoming more and more complicated.
E-commerce, 24/7 parcel machines and courier services are more important than ever in this crisis. Our duty as a company providing these services is to help people cope in this situation.
People purchase more and more from e-stores. More specifically from local or European e-stores, because global deliveries are currently unreliable, unfortunately. But regardless of the place of purchase, the anticipated and necessary parcels must be delivered to the client. And last spring, in addition to e-stores, logistics companies also accelerated their development. For us in the logistics industry, this meant a new Christmas season following the actual Christmas period and Chinese New Year, which also impacted global e-commerce, had only just passed.
Parcel volumes are currently growing as well. Ever since the stricter restrictions began and physical commerce was closed, every day has brought increasingly more parcels. People with foresight are already ordering essentials because it is smart to act now, at the start of the growing wave, and receive their items before the general parcel rush begins. If at the beginning of the week only a few Omniva parcel machines were overloaded, then by the end of the week there were more than twenty. Others are probably experiencing similar growth rates. And that is only the beginning.
Of course, the entire logistics sector is prepared. We have all purchased vans or obtained carriage partners, installed new machines and taken care of hiring temporary staff. We fill and empty parcel machines several times per day and are ready to open new temporary parcel issuing points at locations where the parcel machines are overloaded.
But the situation is tense and is becoming increasingly more so. Experience from Latvia and Lithuania, where commerce has been shut down for a while, and last spring’s lessons all tell us that this is not enough.
I believe I may speak for all logistics companies when I say that cooperation is needed to survive harsh restrictions. We ask all people and companies to take small steps and meet us half way. We ask you to pick up your parcel from the parcel machine as quickly as possible so we can deliver another. We ask the clients to offer respect and understanding to all couriers and cashiers who work hard to get you your parcel. If possible, monitor the parcel machine capacities (for example via the website) and if a less popular parcel machine is nearby, order your parcel there. When sending a parcel, be sure to package it safely and securely and add the recipient and/or sender data to minimise possible problems should the address label come off.
We also ask for your understanding and patience and to remain calm. During peak periods we cannot ensure normal next day delivery and the parcel may be in line for sorting or an open parcel locker for a day or two, or even longer. We will notify of such a situation as early as possible so that the e-stores could also amend their delivery promises and manage client expectations. We want the people who order to know when to expect their parcels so they would have no need to call or write us about the parcel movement. The importance of timely warning is definitely a lesson from last spring.
But what can we promise? No matter how complicated the situation, whether due to pileups or delays – we promise that your parcels will be delivered. And as was said before, everyone’s contribution and cooperation is the key to success.