France: La Poste hires 9,000 new staff in Christmas run-up
La Poste is set to hire double the number of temporary staff to cope with up to "four million parcels per day" before Christmas and extra delivery services but unions say this is not enough
French post office La Poste is recruiting for 9,000 temporary positions - double compared to last year - to cope with increasing demand, including the delivery of up to “four million parcels per day before Christmas”.
La Poste retains about half of the parcel delivery market through its Colissimo service in France.
In preparation for what it expects will be unprecedented demand from the end of November to Christmas, it is seeking to recruit 9,000 staff on temporary (CDD) or intermediary contracts. This is double the number it employed over the same period in 2019.
Recruitment is taking place through Pôle Emploi, independent recruitment agencies, or via La Poste’s own careers site, laposterecrute.fr.
François Laborde, regional manager of La Poste in the Ile-de-France region, told local news source France Bleu Paris: “Over the November-December period, we will see overall traffic of more than 100 million parcels in France. In comparison, there were 80 million last year.”
This represents an increase of 25%. Parcel numbers are higher due to the increased popularity of online shopping, La Poste said, which has been boosted further due to the first and second periods of confinement, as people stay at home and order gifts online.
More online shopping is also expected due to the popularity of Black Friday and Cyber Monday events.
Unions: More staff needed still
Despite La Poste’s plans, unions have said that this will still not be enough.
Union SUD PTT said that the increased demand would require an additional 20,000 jobs, and has demanded that new local depots be opened to manage the expected avalanche of parcels, while allowing staff to maintain health precautions due to the Covid-19 epidemic.
La Poste has already opened two new triage sites; one in Douvrain in the Nord, and another in Thillay in Val-d’Oise. Each is designed to manage 35,000 parcels per hour.
But SUD PTT has said that the sites are already becoming overloaded, and risk becoming saturated already, due to a lack of delivery drivers and postal workers.
La Poste: Extra services to cope with demand
La Poste and Colissimo have announced a number of new services and aims in a bid to streamline parcel delivery over the busy season and beyond.
Second visit in case of no delivery
While Colissimo says that 94% of parcels are delivered on the first attempt, in case this does not happen, the recipient will receive a note giving them a choice to choose another delivery day, or redelivery to another contact point of their choice.
If no choice is made, a second delivery will automatically be attempted the next day at the same address as the first.
Send or return parcels from home
You can now send parcels directly from your own post box.
To do this you need to arrange and pay for delivery on the laposte.fr website or app before 23:00 the night before.
You can then print the required label at home and package the parcel up yourself, and place it in your own letterbox with the label clearly attached, before 08:00 the day you would like to post.
During the busy period, in some areas La Poste is testing a new “call ahead” system, whereby the delivery driver will call the final recipient of the parcel to check that they are in and ready for their parcel to arrive.
This is intended to reduce the number of misunderstandings and “missed delivery” notices.
The client can update or add their number on their client space account on LaPoste.fr, on their La Poste app, or via a post office in person.
If this system is judged a success, it will be rolled out across the entire country in 2021.