Bpost should stop picking up parcels from post offices on Saturdays, the national post office announced.
The news comes as a surprise, given that packages have for several years now been the company’s only growth market; mail deliveries are in steady decline as email and online messaging apps take the place of letters, including commercial advertising.
The reason given is the profitability of the company, according to a spokesperson speaking to the Mediahuis newspapers.
“The vast majority of the volume of packages – virtually 100% in fact – is carried on weekdays,” said Barbara Van Speybroeck. “Nothing will change for large enterprises, who don’t pass by the post office anyway.”
Packages brought to the post office on Saturday will now be dealt with only on Monday, with Tuesday the earliest possible delivery day.
The decision met with opposition from trade unions representing postal workers.
“There’s a crisis at Bpost,” said Jean-Pierre Nyns, director of the socialist CGSP public service union. “By cutting package deliveries from six days to five, they’re able to make savings on staff costs. That means fewer services for the customer. A grandmother who wants to send a package to her grand-child, or a small business who uses the Saturday service, will now have to wait until Tuesday for their package to arrive.”