La Poste reports 20,000 'errors' with parcels a day

A huge rise in post-Covid mail has seen a surge in delivery problems for La Poste – its Colissimo parcel service is listing more than 20,000 parcels late or missing each day.

9 October 2020
An employee at La Poste scans a barcode on a package. Article: Mail is at an all time high and La Poste are struggling. Photo from Connexion October print editionMail is at an all time high and La Poste are struggling. Pictured: scanning barcodes for Colissimo can save time. Connexion October print edition
By Connexion Journalist

La Poste says a rise of up to 50% in post, including mail order, since May and the déconfinement have caused problems, with up to 2% of mail registered as an “error’” in June and July, meaning it was not delivered on the due date. In many cases, this was because the parcel was too big for the mailbox. If parcels are too big and no one is at home, then La Poste has to try to deliver it again – which leads to backlogs in its systems.

Despite this, consumer magazines 60 Mill­ions de Con­­sommateurs and Que Chois­ir said they received hardly any complaints about Colissimo since the lockdown. La Poste delivers half of all parcels in France, and Xavier Mallet, the head of Colissimo, said the service had seen a rise from 1.2million parcels daily to 1.7milllion – and up to 2million at times.

More on the story: French post admits errors and aims to improve parcel service

Although the 70,000 facteurs delivered 91% of parcels at the first attempt – and this rose to 98% during the lockdown – there were still too many that were being returned for a second attempt. He said they had managed to return the service to its normal level of 1% error but this was still too high for people who were waiting for mail. Mr Mallet said they had invested in new sorting systems, with increased digital scanning, but added: “Delivery is more complicated for the 10% of packages that do not fit standard boxes or require a signature."

“We are working with our e-commerce customers on parcel sizes, so they can fit in standard postboxes and we will activate the sending of an email before delivery, indicating a time range for it. From October 1, we are also testing solutions for Black Friday and Christmas, such as systematic next-day visits in case of absence. Recipients may also be able to reschedule delivery for a day and place of their choice and facteurs may give an automatic phone call before delivery.”

Standard French mailboxes are 26cm high, 26cm wide and 34cm deep, with a compatible lock that postal staff can open.

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