Increase in parcel activity as pandemic sees rise in online shopping – MCA survey

Last Updated on Tuesday, 22 February, 2022 at 1:32 pm by Andre Camilleri

Almost a third of respondents in a Malta Communications Authority survey reported an increase in the number of parcel mail items received in the preceding 12 months, up from 27% in 2018.

The main reason behind this increased parcel activity is the prevalence of more frequent online shopping due to the pandemic.

Meanwhile, 11% of household respondents say they saw a decrease in the number of received parcel mail items during the previous 12 months.

The latter category was however largely affected by Covid-related interruptions and changes in customs procedures, which were deemed to be the two main factors dictating the decline in parcel mail volumes.

70% of household respondents say they had delivery of goods from orders placed on local websites in the past 12 months.

Several providers are active in the delivery service of parcel mail items, with MaltaPost and DHL being the two operators that are mostly referred to by respondents (73% of respondents indicated Maltapost and 57% of respondents indicated DHL).

The survey also shows that 62% of respondents did not see any change in the number of letter mail items received in the previous 12 months, compared to 59% in 2018.

Meanwhile, 31% of respondents reported a decline in letter mail received compared to 34% in 2018. Additionally, 40% of household respondents in 2021 say they did not send any letter mail, compared to 43% of respondents in 2018.

The general trend of falling letter mail activity persists, with respondents to the survey identifying e-communication as the alternative to sending letter mail physically.

The survey found that Maltese households are broadly satisfied (69%) with the quality of the postal services on offer, although a 5 percentage point drop was seen in the number of respondents that are satisfied to very satisfied with the service, when compared to 2018.

This may be partly due to the challenges encountered over the past two years when it comes to, for example, international mail and the disruptions in this segment brought about by the Covid pandemic

According to the survey, 41% of respondents who contacted MaltaPost did so to check their parcel status, whereas 34% contacted MaltaPost to make a postal service complaint.

These complainants make up 6% of all the households surveyed (7% in 2018). Of those respondents who claim to have filed a complaint, 53% were not satisfied with MaltaPost’s handling of their complaint (54% in 2018) whilst only 34% claim to have been satisfied (21% in 2018).

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