The recession did not slow down Christmas parcel traffic. Compared to last year, Itella Posti delivered nine percent more packages in December. The total parcel volume for 2014 was 32.6 million parcels, showing an increase of 800,000 parcels from last year.
Parcel points are gaining popularity as pickup points for online purchases and have become a standard delivery option for online stores. In comparison to 2013, over 50 percent more deliveries passed through parcel points in 2014. Posti's service point network also grew during the year. There are currently 1,450 service points, including 460 parcel points in addition to postal outlets.
During the busiest weeks in December, Posti delivered about one million packages, setting a new record. Posti rose to this challenge by adding extra personnel, shelf space, parcel home delivery, and increasing the rate at which parcel terminals were filled.
"For many consumers, online stores are a natural place to shop. According to our study, over 50 percent of consumers planned to do Christmas shopping online. E-commerce has grown 5-10 percent this year. We are developing ever more diverse services to support e-commerce and to make the daily lives of our customers easier. Posti serves consumers at different service points with extensive opening hours. The new Posti mobile application gives an estimate of the delivery time of a parcel and also has many other useful features. We are continuing to invest in the development of mobile and web services," says Business Director Anders Falck of Itella Posti.
Over ten new parcel points will be installed at the beginning of the year. According to a study by Itella, Posti is the preferred service provider for parcel deliveries.
Tens of millions of Christmas cards spread the Christmas spirit
This Christmas, Finns sent about 34 million cards. Three out of four consumers planned to remember their friends and relatives this way. According to Itella's research, 64 percent of consumers think that Christmas would not feel the same without traditional Christmas cards. A Christmas card is preferred to an electronic greeting mainly because it is better in conveying emotion. A paper Christmas card delights almost all kinds of recipients more than an electronic greeting. In addition to sending cards, many people also send Christmas greetings using social media and text messages.
Posti hired 3,300 seasonal employees for Christmas 2014. Most of them worked in sorting Christmas cards, which is done mostly by hand.
Christmas stamps are an essential part of the Finnish Christmas card tradition. Posti and Kuvittajat ry have launched the competition for the artwork for the 2016 Christmas stamps. The competition is open to members of Kuvittajat ry until March 31, 2015. The goal is to find an image that depicts the Finnish Christmas and Christmas spirit, and that works in stamp size.