The Bad Part
Here’s the collapse.
The Russian Post social networks are overfilled with the thousands of wrathful comments of the clients whose parcels are still not delivered after months since being sent in March or even earlier. When international flights from Russia were stopped, the Russian Post began to reassure customers, saying that the ban applies only to passenger traffic, and mail planes still fly in almost all directions. The company continued to increase orders. In May, the Russian Post recorded an increase in the export of online goods to the United States, Europe, and the Middle East compared with January 2020, the report said on June 2.
The data, however, represents the envelopes and parcels entrusted to the company for delivery abroad rather than delivered parcels. So the actual amount of parcels delivered to the addressee is much less. According to the social networks and forums, the international sorting center Sharapovo is the black hole for most items. The very common situation is when the status of the parcel is changed to “Released from Russia”, but in fact, this status can mean one of the following: the parcel has actually left Russia, but by land/sea (or in a fraction of cases by air) or is stored in the Russian Post export warehouse.
Overseas tracking services make it clear that that the packages were never met in the countries of destination. In the Russian Post, work with export customers is built perfectly. Thanks to this scheme, for many senders it’s easier to send another parcel and just forget about the first one.
Here’s the short dialogue with the specialist of the Russian Post (www.fontanka.ru/2020/06/09/69304858).
Elena: For international shipments, the delivery time is not regulated. To find out where your package is actually located, you need to write a wanted application. We carry out an inspection within two months.
Q: The status “Released from Russia” which you put in the tracking information does not mean that the parcel actually left the country, right?
Elena: Yes. It all depends on how busy the transport directions are. The route in the sorting center is laid by logisticians.
Q: How do you transport goods?
Elena: With the Russian Post airplanes.
In fact, these mail planes carry parcels to and from China. Cargo flights of the Russian Post to China are regular. According to Flightradar24, the pandemic has not changed the company’s logistics much. Since the beginning of May, the airplanes have appeared in Europe just several times compared to daily flights to China. The company does not deny that this is the most profitable direction. Only part of the flights carries mail, but mostly they carry commercial cargo, “in order to increase economic efficiency.” Since March, the Russian Post has not been able to organize the timely dispatch of mail cargo to the West, but they were silent about the collapse of the postal industry for two months. The senders of the disappeared goods made a petition on Change.org asking the Russian government to intervene. It has been signed by over 1,600 online ordering entrepreneurs (including your CosmicNootropic).
This is what’s inside:
The Russian Post continues to accept international shipments for delivery abroad, not being able to ensure this … We receive complaints from customers who have not received their orders so we’re forced to return money for goods that have already been shipped … If shipping by passenger planes is not possible now, the Russian Post and the government should find an alternative way to deliver items, rather than shift this problem to the end-users, Russian citizens, and small and medium-sized businesses.
As we told you in one of our previous posts that according to unofficial information most of the parcels are sent by sea or by land. Now it is officially confirmed by the Russian Post call center. At the same time, all shipments are still accepted for airfare, and its difference with the land/sea rate can exceed 30%. Another malicious business practice of the Russian Post.
The Good Part
A bit later, the Russian Post reacted to the article on collapse with the export of parcels published by Fontanka. According to their words, the company has failed because of a focus on regular passenger flights but not postal aviation. Here’s the answer:
Regular passenger flights have traditionally been the main channel for international shipments. As you noted in the article, the company’s own fleet consists of only two airplanes at the moment. For most destinations, the Russian Post uses transportation contracts with major airlines in Russia and the world […] To normalize the processing of export shipments, the company booked cargo aircraft of third-party airlines, using delivery methods that combine transportation by land, sea and by air. We have booked and dispatched several dozens of sea containers to those countries with which air traffic is impossible or limited. Of course, alternative methods of delivery can lead to longer timelines. The reasons include restrictions and difficulties in the work of postal administrations of recipient countries during a pandemic (for example: USA, Canada, several other countries).
In May and June, the volume of letters and parcels sent weekly from the country exceeds those that customers submit for shipment at post offices. Currently, the number of stuck parcels is being reduced.
In practice, we are observing that some parcels sent in March have recently begun to move for real, and are tracked by overseas tracking services. So we hope that the Russian Post has begun to fulfill its promises finally, but we’re still afraid of giving any guarantees yet.
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