As more and more islanders look to the internet to fulfil their Christmas shopping requirements, Jersey Post is forecasting an increase of 40% in packet and parcel traffic over the next four weeks.
“We’ve been in regular discussions with our key network partners who are forecasting huge increases in packet and parcel traffic, and we are beginning to see the effects already,” said Andy Jehan, Director of Postal Operations. “We are continuing to benefit from the local growth in internet shopping which we now believe accounts for a much bigger proportion of the market than in the UK.”
Mr Jehan went on to explain that in order to manage the increases, Jersey Post will be implementing a number of additional measures to ensure that all mail, regardless of size, is delivered to customers as quickly as possible over the Christmas period:
• Extra deliveries from network suppliers in the UK so that no mail backlog occurs in the UK;
• Nine additional packet and parcel delivery routes will be operating over the Christmas period to alleviate peaks in mail volumes locally when UK mail arrives;
• Certain afternoon and early evening deliveries when customers are more likely to be at home, and during December, packets and parcels will also be delivered on Saturdays;
• Extra collections from post boxes on Sundays during December to ensure that mail is collected and processed as quickly as possible;
• Collection and delivery officers will be working extended hours to cover the additional work required;
• An additional 75 temporary Christmas staff will be employed to help cover the extended operating hours that Jersey Post offer during December;
• These extra hours include Commercial Street where customers will be able to pick up packets and parcels between 08:00 and 19:00 from Monday to Friday, 08:00 and 16:00 on Saturdays and 10:00 and 16:00 on Sunday 16 and Sunday 23 December.
Finally, Jersey Post has recently launched an enhanced version of its SecureDrop service which is currently being trialled in Helier, St Clement and St Saviour, to which almost 1,000 customers have now signed up so far.
SecureDrop PLUS offers additional, convenient delivery options from which customers can choose one of the following:
• SecureDrop Postal – direct delivery of items to Rue des Pres or Commercial Street
• SecureDrop Home – nominate a safe, alternative delivery point at your property
• SecureDrop Neighbour – nominate a neighbour to receive mail on your behalf
“The trial will ensure that we are able to fulfil the range of services and iron out any issues before we roll them out to the rest of the island in 2013,” stated Mr Jehan. “It’s a great way of receiving your packets and parcels more quickly and conveniently – we hope customers will find it really useful with Christmas rapidly approaching, especially with the anticipated increase in online shopping.”
In particular, one of the options – SecureDrop Postal – has combined traditional mail with modern digital technology. This service enables customers to opt to have all packets, parcels and items requiring a signature delivered directly to either Commercial Street or Rue des Pres rather than attempting to deliver them to their residential address.
Then, when an item is received, Jersey Post will send a text message and an email to the customer on the day that the item is received, notifying them that an item is waiting for them to collect at their pick-up point of choice. Customers can then collect their item the same day that they receive the text and email.
“With the standard system, customers would need to go home, collect the advice note and visit Commercial Street the following day to collect their item,” continued Mr Jehan. “With a huge number of customers now choosing to use smartphones for all forms of communications, we hope that customers will find this option very convenient, especially in the lead up to Christmas.”
To provide this service, Jersey Post partnered with Airtel Vodafone. Mr Daljit Lobana, Chief Technical Officer stated, “We are very pleased to have been able to work in partnership with Jersey Post and to have been able to offer our technical expertise in the development of this key new service at Christmas. At Airtel-Vodafone, delivering the highest levels of customer service is important to us and we are happy to have helped develop the new SecureDrop Postal system with Jersey Post.”
If residents in St Helier, St Clement and St Saviour have yet to sign up, the trial continues until the end of January and customers join at any point. To sign up, customers will need to complete an application form which is available from www.jerseypost.com/securedrop or by contacting Jersey Post Customer Services on 616616 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.