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Hermes-Lieferwagen © Hermes Europe GmbH

Hermes expecting far more packages during Christmas business

Hamburg-based logistics service provider preparing for record forecasts with 6,000 extra workers. Stationary retail trade hope Christmas markets draw shoppers

Hamburg’s trade and logistics service provider Hermes is expecting up to 20 per cent more packages this Christmas over 2015. Some 42 million packages have been predicted for December alone. Around 6,000 extra workers have been hired across Germany to deliver the packages while 3,600 Sprinters and trucks have been added to the vehicle fleet.

Online trade still booming

Dirk Rahn, Operations Manager at Hermes Germany, said: “This Christmas business season, we are expecting the highest-volume of packages since Hermes was founded in 1972. In Germany alone, we are expecting well over 2 million customer contacts on peak days and almost as many packages. Hermes has never seen anything like this and it proves that the boom in online trade is continuing undiminished.” Hermes has been undertaking an extensive investment programme since 2014 to cope with constantly growing numbers of packages. The logistics infrastructure is to be fully overhauled and upgraded at a cost of EUR 300 million by 2019. New logistics centres are being set up in Bad Rappenau in the state of Baden-Württemberg and in Ketzin-Havel in the state of Brandenburg near Berlin among others.

Record forecasts for Britain and Austria

Hermes is also bracing for brisk business this Christmas in Britain where it is expecting 9.5 per cent more packages over last year’s peak season. The company is also expecting an increase of 10 per cent in Austria. Meanwhile, stationary retailers are relying on Christmas markets to draw shoppers into cities and increase their turnover which may increase nominally by up to 2.5 per cent over the previous year in north Germany, according to forecasts by Handelsverband Nord. This would mean turnover of around EUR 7.5 billion in November and December.

“More open to atmosphere and ambience“

“Christmas business will account for around one-fifth of turnover by retailers in Hamburg, Schleswig-Holstein and Mecklenburg-West Pomerania,” said Monika Dürrer, Manager of Handelsverband Nord. Turnover in 2016 is expected to come to around EUR 38.5 billion, she added.

Ernst & Young have reached similar forecasts in their latest study. Christmas business offers an opportunity over online providers, according to the study. Thomas Harms, Manager of Retail & Consumer Products at Ersnt & Young, said: “Many consumers switch off their ‘bargain mentality’ when buying presents. They are more prepared to have a shopping experience and are more open to atmosphere and ambience.“

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