Simona Kijonková on the Current Christmas Season
The Christmas season is an annual marathon for the e-commerce and logistics segment, for which companies have been preparing since January. We were prepared for every possible scenario imaginable after ten years in the market and two years with Coronavirus. COVID-19, however, hit harder than the December frost this year, and it has not avoided our depots as well.
Due to the situation combining the season and quarantine measures, there may now be delays in the delivery of parcels. We want to assure you that we are doing our best to deliver parcels as quickly as you are used to during this time of the year. Read more in the statement of Simona Kijonková, founder of Zásilkovna and CEO of Packeta Group.
“Packeta has entered the most challenging period of the year, for which we always spend 11 months preparing. Every year, the imaginary start of the Christmas season is the weekend after Black Friday. Last year, we processed 584,000 parcels on the Sunday and Monday after Black Friday. This year, we processed 844,207 parcels over the same period (Sunday 28 November and Monday 29 November), which is 44% more than last year. While this is a large increase in parcels and a huge number, we predicted it and tried to prepare in advance. We have 21 depots in the Czech Republic, Packeta has a total of 53 depots of 100,000 m². There are over 1,000 employees and 200 robots working in the Czech branch. In total, Packeta has over 2,000 employees. We have also recruited hundreds of part-time employees and drivers for the Christmas season. Zásilkovna has a fleet of 800 vans and cars and 110 trucks. Although other carriers have raised prices and introduced “seasonal surcharges,” Packeta has not raised prices or introduced seasonal surcharges. Together with large clients, we have to predict the number of pallets they will hand over to us each day – and clients, despite their own predictions, hand over more pallets which other carriers have not accepted. We can manage this. We work three shifts on 53 depots and even our robots are running non-stop.”
“But what we are still struggling with is staff illness and mandatory quarantines. Yes, we have a number of seasonal temporary employees and we know how to substitute employees. But COVID is unpredictable…”
CEO of Packeta Group and founder and co-owner of Zásilkovna
“But what we are still struggling with is staff illness and mandatory quarantines. Yes, we have a number of seasonal temporary employees and we know how to substitute employees. But COVID is unpredictable and employees always report illnesses or quarantines to us on the day of entry – and it is not easy to coordinate the tens of percent of missing people. I’m not making excuses. It is just a fact and we have to deal with it. And we are. We are moving teams from depot to depot, recruiting new part-time employees, and putting COVID teams on standby to go to the affected locations to cover the missing staff. The situation is the same for drivers. They are also affected by illness and quarantines and we have to deal with it. I apologize, but although we are doing our best, some parcels may be delayed during this period. We are communicating with our customers and dealing with everything as quickly as we can. Thank you for your support.”