Complaints about long shipping times are increasing. The Christmas season pushes even industry leader DHL to its limits. But it seems as if a far-reaching change in the delivery conditions is planned – and wants to ask customers to pay for it.

Behind the nice little word “heavy traffic” hides an annual gauntlet run for parcel deliverers. This means the pre-Christmas period, when the number of orders skyrockets and people and machines reach their limits when it comes to delivery services. The “Frankfurter Allgemeine” spoke with board member Nikola Hagleitner about the everyday life of her employees – and plans to bring the parcel and mail chaos back under control.

DHL shoulders 10 million shipments a day

Because on peak days, the yellow messengers deliver up to ten million items to German addresses – a mountain that can hardly be conquered. Complaints about late delivery, missing deliveries and aborted delivery trips are increasing – and burden drivers and customers alike. Apparently, this particularly affects letters whose recipients have been complaining for a while that the delivery deadlines are not being met and that important documents are arriving at their destination much too late.

A solution that would be conceivable for the new Paket-und-Brief boss, she describes in an interview with the FAZ. For Hagleitner, “rigid transit time specifications” for letters are apparently a frequent stumbling block. It is said that the post office has to deliver “80 percent of all letters the next day”, which Hagleitner no longer considers “up-to-date” “in view of the electronic communication possibilities”.

Fast letters should cost more

The board member thinks aloud: “We should consider letting customers choose the delivery times. They could then decide whether particularly fast delivery is worth a surcharge or whether the letters can be sent a little longer. That would allow us to work much more flexibly.”

However, the current model will probably not change any time soon, because the company needs the blessing of politicians and adjustments to the Postal Act for such changes. That, and the closer integration of parcel and letter delivery, is now on Hagleitner’s agenda, writes the FAZ.