Building regional parcel centers, using free space at the letter centers, converting the large parcel centers: by 2030, there are major projects to be completed for the strategically planned expansion of parcel sorting capacity. In 2021, Swiss Post reached numerous milestones along this path.
To ensure that the logistics network continues to meet expected market demands, Swiss Post is investing in additional parcel sorting locations and expanding existing ones. In September 2021, Swiss Post began construction of three new regional parcel centers in Rümlang (ZH), Pratteln (BL) and Buchs (AG) and started a conversion at the Härkingen letter center. In addition, Swiss Post is also focusing on synergies with letter processing.
“The fact that parcel volumes are growing exponentially while letter volumes are declining is a challenge,” says Nicole Schnittfeld, Head of the “Processing of tomorrow” Competence Center, “but this development also holds great potential for synergies and for the consolidation of our logistics network with shorter transport routes.” In concrete terms: space that is freed up at letter centers can be used for something else. By 2023, for example, the Härkingen letter center will also become a regional parcel center (RPC), where parcels and letters will be sorted. And the existing modern MixMail system at the Zurich-Mülligen letter center will be converted to allow the processing of small parcels in addition to small goods consignments.
The RPCs are the decisive factor in the expansion of parcel processing capacity. For the greater Zurich North area, the RPC in Rümlang (ZH), with a sorting capacity designed for 5,000 parcels per hour, will start operations in spring 2022. From summer 2022, the converted RPC in Buchs (AG) will follow for the greater Aarau, Seetal, Suhrental and Lenzburg area. In autumn 2022, Swiss Post will start operation of another RPC at the Pratteln (BL) location for posting and delivery sorting for parts of the Canton of Basel-Landschaft and the Fricktal valley. The RPC has a sorting capacity of 10,000 parcels per hour. The duties of its 480 employees will also include postal customs clearance, international forwarding, returns and bulky goods processing, as well as construction site logistics. Three new RPCs in Ostermundigen (BE), Vétroz (VS) and Untervaz (GR) previously came on stream in 2020, with another starting operations in Cadenazzo (TI) in 2019.
By 2030, around 1,500 jobs with a wide range of job profiles are expected to be created and secured in Swiss Post parcel processing.
Johannes CramerHead of Logistics Services
We are securing jobs and creating 1,500 new positions.
The new RPCs will take the strain off the major parcel centers. Once these new capacities are in place, the existing parcel centers in Härkingen, Frauenfeld and Daillens (VD) can be converted and refurbished. This is expected to again significantly increase sorting capacity: for example, from 25,000 to approximately 40,000 parcels per hour at the Härkingen and Frauenfeld parcel centers. Structural, operational and transport aspects are currently being examined in a range of feasibility studies initiated in autumn 2021.
In 2021, Swiss Post processed an unprecedented volume of parcels and delivered them reliably to all corners of Switzerland: 9.6 percent more parcels than in the previous year, which itself was already a strong period. This is equivalent to growth of around 35 percent compared to 2019. Cross-border goods shipments are playing an increasingly important role in these figures: Swiss Post sorted over 11 million consignments for shipment abroad or for delivery to Swiss customers from abroad. Swiss Post harnessed the resources available in letter processing to take the pressure off parcel logistics. The teams efficiently processed up to 150,000 small parcels a day at the letter centers.