Deutsche Post DHL Group is planning further quality improvements for its mail and parcel business in Germany, following a successful peak holiday season. The improvements include annual investments of up to €150m (US$168m) toward additional personnel, automation, and the expansion of its mail and parcel network.
“We were very well prepared for the 2018 holiday season as a result of quality improvements implemented last year,” said Frank Appel, chief executive officer, Deutsche Post DHL Group. “The success of the peak season shows that our top-quality service is the critical factor, which is why we will continue to work hard on improving service and fulfilling our customer promise. This also responds to demands currently being voiced by lawmakers in Germany.”
A major component of the quality initiative is the investment in Group employees. In 2019, Deutsche Post DHL Group plans to add another 5,000 jobs in mail and parcel with the goal of significantly improving quality of service for the last mile. This will improve the company’s ability to respond to volume spikes and staff shortages due to illness and further reduce delivery delays due to volume-related service interruptions at the end of working hours. An important component of the company’s longer-term staff planning is to train and subsequently hire 450 of its own truck drivers as a response to the driver shortages affecting the transport industry.
The second important element of the quality offensive is further automation of mail and parcel operations. In Germany, the Group is currently in the process of acquiring additional new sequence sorting machines, which pre-sort shipments in mail centers in the most efficient delivery order. This helps lighten the workload for delivery personnel and reduce errors. In addition, Deutsche Post is installing new reading technology in all parcel centers so that shipment codes on parcel labels can be read faster and more reliably. This technology enables more efficient processing in the parcel center and avoids shipment delays.
Deutsche Post also plans to add another 500 partner outlets and DHL Parcelshops, as well as 1,000 additional Packstations, across Germany to further improve service for its customers. In addition, Deutsche Post is testing new retail outlet concepts such as self-service machines and drive-thru counters for posting and pick-up, one of which is currently being tested in Bad Kreuznach, Germany.
The Group also plans to offer customers the option of picking up their parcels in DHL Parcelshops, as well as new options for shipment tracking, such as proof of delivery for business customers for all merchandise shipments.
Deutsche Post DHL Group also plans to invest more in its postal infrastructure, primarily in rural areas, with more than 400 new delivery depots in its combined delivery network that combines mail and parcel delivery into one.
This year the company will open a new mega parcel center in Bochum, Germany, with a sorting capacity of 50,000 shipments per hour, creating 600 new jobs.
The company also plans to deploy an additional 6,000 StreetScooter electric vehicles in 2019 for its delivery operations in Germany, adding to the more than 9,000 StreetScooters already in operation.
“These measures ensure that we remain quality leader and provider of choice for our customers in a very competitive market,” said Frank Appel.