The Corona pandemic has shaken the flow of goods and parcels. All of a sudden, the team of GLS Ireland faced the task of handling a very high number of parcels, many of which had to be delivered to private consignees. How did GLS keep the goods moving and how are they dealing with the current situation?
Together for quality – mastering crisis and new reality
In the first two weeks of the lockdown, B2B volumes decreased and 2C volumes suddenly spiked – as if Christmas peak season had decided to move to spring. An unprecedented challenge: Usually, GLS, together with its partners, is preparing diligently for months to be all set for peak season in fall. Another peculiarity was that the flow of parcels shifted to private consignees. The share of B2C deliveries more than doubled.
To cope with the flood of parcels, GLS Ireland had to react immediately. Acknowledging the situation, everyone got to work. “Not only the colleagues from the administration helped out with the parcels”, says one depot employee. “Management also was at the sorting belt scanning, picking and stacking parcels. That really kept us motivated!”
Sorting times were expanded, additional line hauls and routes implemented – as in many GLS countries even on Saturdays. Some things were easier than usual: The streets were empty, and without traffic delivery drivers got to consignees faster. On the other hand, they faced the challenge of delivering every package while grappling more individual stops on one route.
Swen Krüger, Managing Director GLS Ireland
In addition, new service requirements had to be accommodated. One thing was clear beyond a doubt: The health of everyone involved has top priority! In order to adhere to social distancing recommendations, GLS Ireland immediately started delivering contactless.
In order to implement hygiene and preventive measures, processes at all GLS Ireland locations were adapted within a short period of time. This included among other steps outfitting every depot with protective equipment and maintaining the appropriate distance on site.
Strengthened towards the new reality
Slowly but surely it became apparent that the Corona crisis had rung in a new reality. Once more consumers realised that shopping online today is convenient and safe. This further boosted the trend towards e-commerce. The share of B2C deliveries at GLS Ireland is still a double-digit percentage above what it was prior to the pandemic.
But in the first weeks of the pandemic most people were home ready to accept their parcels. Now private consignees are out of the house more often and desire hassle-free delivery options. Swen Krüger, Managing Director GLS Ireland: “Our FlexDeliveryService offers a selection of convenient delivery options that ensure parcels are reaching consignees reliably and quickly – this is now more important than ever.”
At the same time, the economy is seeing a new level of uncertainty. “We are expecting extremely volatile volumes, new customer needs and an increasing demand for flexible and digital solutions”, explains Swen Krüger. “Accordingly, by investing in our ability to react to change and standing together as a strong team, we can continue to offer our customers high quality at all times.”
The new importance of parcel deliveries
A special incentive for the GLS Ireland team to work hard during the Corona crisis: For many consignees, the arrival of their parcel is the highlight of the day. The delivery drivers’ stories about how happy and grateful people are when receiving parcels reached the depots and boosted morale.
- Outfitting every location with disinfectant and further protective equipment
- Implementation of the necessary hygiene measures in all areas
- No travel; meetings and conferences only via phone or video chat
- Administration working from home
- Spatial separation of staff as well as working in shifts
- Maintaining social distancing measures
- Contactless delivery
- GLS constantly monitors relevant developments and reacts flexibly with necessary measures.