Economy December 2020: the month with the highest volume of...

December 2020: the month with the highest volume of parcel shipments in history

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The coronavirus and Christmas will shoot the parcel to levels never before registered in Spain

The pandemic has been a challenge for the logistics sector. The shopping boom on line, confinements and Christmas, have conspired to make this, the month the December with the largest volume of parcel shipments in history.

The Correos group figures the volume forecast for the months of November and December at 48 million packages, which is 10% more than that registered during 2019, the year in which all records were broken. Correos justifies this growth in “the extraordinary circumstances that are being experienced this year due to the pandemic“.

It is not the only firm that has seen the Covid trigger deliveries. BenjamÃn Calzón, director of excellence in operations at Seur, explains that in 2020 his firm has seen  «volume increases of between 30 and 40% », especially at Christmas, a period that concentrates most of the turnover of the year, which  «are being a record in terms of volume». The figure is especially surprising, because in April Calzón “looked with concern to the future, since during the first state of alarm there were two weeks with a dramatic drop in activity.”

Another businessman in the sector who had a “pretty bad time” in April is Juan Carlos, the sole administrator of Mensacar. In the SME that he runs, “the vans that were distributed to workshops and shops were all stopped and the company was not allowed to enter ERTE because transport was decreed essential”. Only four of the 17 vehicles had deliveries, so it was barely able to bill 6,000 euros between March and April.

However, the situation in Mensacar began to improve in May, when little by little the shops and workshops resumed their activity and there was an explosion in household consumption. Juan Carlos explains that “in Sending (a firm he works with) in June they were like in December, overwhelmed, because they work with individuals. In Correos Express they were also at full throttle, for the same reason. ”

The employer exemplifies this in that his workers loaded “pallets and pallets of beer into the vans, it was no longer a thing of clothing or electronics”. Calzón attributes this boom in logistics to the fact that many companies opened their website and started selling on line even food, and many sectors a priori very distant such as construction have joined the bandwagon. “Before, no one thought of buying a bag of cement online, but today it is in demand“says the expert.

For Seur, the fastest growing products are those related to electronics, pets, sports and textiles, although the latter has taken longer to recover.  «The pandemic and the restrictions to combat it have made many citizens discover online services for the first time», they report from Amazon, and they add that “not only will there be more consumers who resort to purchasing on line, also more businesses will sell online“.

The phenomenon is being especially relevant in communities with more restricted mobility, since there is an increase in E-Commerce shipments, according to Calzón. Seus’ parent company GeoPost, which is the second largest parcel firm in Europe, has seen the same pattern and has registered even greater increases in shipments to Spanish. In the UK and Germany they are especially relevant.

All this makes Calzón think that what is being experienced this December is not a passing fad and that “at least 30% of the new clients have come to stay.” The companies in the sector think like him. Seur has increased its workforce in December by 4,000 peopleWhile last year there were 1,600, Amazon will close 2020 with 2,000 more employees in Spain and Correos will expand its routes with 318 new ones.

However, not everyone is so optimistic. Juan Carlos has hired new freelancers, which contrasts with what he did in 2019, when he chose to expand the workforce with salaried employees and buy new vans. In 2020 the businessman sees it as unfeasible since “billing may have fallen by 30% compared to 2019” and although “November and December are the strong months”, it is likely that “in January the routes will be reduced and 2021 may be hard, We must be careful”.

The businessman explains that there are many people who are coming to logistics and parcels from “sunken” sectors such as the taxi because currently “there is work”, however, he believes that it is necessary to be prudent since he does not know to what extent will maintain consumption “when people leave the ERTE, go to unemployment and have no money“.

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