DHL struggles to cope as online parcel volumes surge

FILE PHOTO: A DHL logo is seen on a DHL Boeing 757 aircraft during a charity fundraising event at the Safi Aviation Park in Safi, Malta May 1, 2019. REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi

DUESSELDORF (Reuters) - Delivery business DHL DPWGn.DE is struggling to cope with a flood of parcels from online purchases due to the coronavirus crisis, forcing it to cut back extra collections from retailers in Germany, parent company Deutsche Post said on Thursday.

A Deutsche Post spokesman said that the extra pick-up trips to retailers had been reduced nationwide, adding that DHL was handling more than 8 million parcels a day, similar to pre-Christmas trade and compared to an annual average of around 5.2 million.

“We are continuously working to synchronise our capacity with demand,” the spokesman said.

The German association of online retailers (BVOH) had earlier highlighted the problem, saying if retailers had known about the bottleneck, they would have sought to rein in sales.

“Now the packed parcels are at the retailer and will not be delivered,” said BVOH president Oliver Prothmann.

Reporting by Matthias Inverardi, writing by Emma Thomasson. Editing by Jane Merriman