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PostNL stories

For 220 years, PostNL has been a significant part of society, ensuring safe and reliable mail and parcel deliveries. And still you can find us in every street, in every town, even globally, working around the clock to make our customers’ lives easier.

PostNL stories

For 220 years, PostNL has been a significant part of society, ensuring safe and reliable mail and parcel deliveries. And still you can find us in every street, in every town, even globally, working around the clock to make our customers’ lives easier.


'The Combibundel is one of those measures that keep the company healthy'

In September 2017, PostNL introduced the Combibundel. Mail deliverer Gert van Manen from Veenendaal participated in the test phase.

‘For us the Combibundel means we have to deliver the mail from two different bundles: one with small items of mail from the sorting machine and one with the rest of the mail,’ he says. ‘It took me some time to get used to it. Untying the bundles and putting them in the mail vest I use are extra tasks for me. All in all, it took me a lot longer in the beginning, but now it’s okay. I find working with the mail vest easier.’

Gert understands why PostNL needs to find ways to save costs. ‘If you look back over the fourteen years that I have worked at PostNL and see the speed with which mail volumes have declined, you can’t avoid these changes. Here in Veenendaal we were anxious, I must admit. It was another change on top of all the other changes. But now you no longer hear anybody complaining. It has become normal.’


Scooter deliverer becomes parcel deliverer

Ilona Goossen-Vissers made the switch from our Mail business to our Parcels business. She had been delivering mail by scooter since 2016, but now works delivering parcels in Breda.

‘Delivering mail by scooter was a good job and we had a very nice team. But I worked 15 hours spread over five days. I have two daughters, Nina is 7 and Emma is 2. When I work, my mother babysits. At Parcels, I can work 24 hours spread over three days. And I have Saturdays off every other week. Besides, Parcels is the future.'

‘I was able to keep my fixed contract when I switched roles and had a few days of on-the-job training before I started. I don’t have a fixed route yet, so I sometimes need to look a bit harder to find an address. And if I get an early shift, I have to ask my mother to take my daughter to school. But it’s worth it.'

‘I do notice that parcel delivers aren’t treated with a lot of respect. If I’m five minutes late, customers will tell you. But I am also a steward at soccer club NAC, so I know how to respond when people become vocal.’

Internationale post en pakketten

International mail and parcels under one roof

For Sami Aissi, team leader Distribution and Transport, it took some getting used to: a new place of work at the International Mail & E-commerce Center (IMEC) in The Hague. IMEC has brought the International Mail units from Amsterdam and Rotterdam and the International Parcels sorting center from Amsterdam together under one roof.

Because he has alternating day, evening and night shifts, Sami still hasn’t got to know all of his new colleagues yet. But that won’t take long. ‘Our department is the engine of the IMEC,’ he says.

Sami and his team have to make sure everybody can get to work without delays and the drivers can get on the road on time. ‘Fortunately my team consists of hard workers with a lot of knowledge. Their experience gives me peace and trust. With these guys we’ll be all right!’

Marley Spoon

Marley Spoon: growing together with PostNL

Young, positive and full of ambition. These are the words of Christian Nauta, Head of Production at Marley Spoon, as she describes the company’s collaboration with PostNL.

‘PostNL is one of the suppliers that deliver our meals throughout the Netherlands and Belgium, thanks to their extensive network,’ he explains. ‘When we asked PostNL if they could deliver in the morning, they arranged it within a few short months. Great for our clients who want to receive their food box before they go to work.’

PostNL delivers Marley Spoon’s meals in reusable cool boxes, which Christian says have a number of advantages. ‘The cool boxes are unique and can keep products such as meat, fish and cheese sufficiently cool for the trip to the customer. PostNL worked with Wageningen university to develop them, and they are a sustainable alternative to refrigerated transport. The challenge for PostNL is to have sufficient cool boxes available for the future. The food market is growing incredibly quickly!’


Creating more trust between coworkers in the parcel sorting centers

At our Parcels business, we have been running a program called With confidence into the future, which uses training sessions to increase trust, engagement and collaboration. Femke de Vries was responsible for the program until 2018.

‘This culture program is aimed at the most important link within our logistics network: the people who work for and with us,’ she says. ‘To be able to work well together, trust is key. You give trust, which is why it is so important that management is the first to set a good example.’

The result of the training sessions is very clear, explains depot manager Peter van Rijn, who participated. ‘Within our sorting center we have created a safer working environment, where you are allowed to make mistakes. And we now also make sure employees see their manager more often.’


Three new parcel sorting centers in 2018

Ivo Peeters is a process manager in the new parcel sorting center in Venlo. Previously, he worked as a driver and a planner both with Mail and Parcels. The opening of the new location in Venlo offered Ivo the opportunity to work closer to home.

Currently, Ivo works alternating shifts with six other process managers, six days of the week. ‘It was really cool when the first parcels rolled of the belt. We ran trials, of course, but it’s still exiting. I spend a lot of time on the workfloor. The process is the same as in Son, my previous location. But this sorting center has eight extra docks. Venlo is also special because it is close to Germany. Big German customers like Zalando sometimes deliver fifteen thousand parcels on one night.’


Well prepared for the December peak

Natalie Abels is program manager SKNJ (PostNL’s name for the period from Black Friday till early January) at the Parcels division. PostNL delivers so many parcels during this period, that Natalie begins preparing for the company’s busiest period already in January.

And her biggest challenge? ‘The machines have sufficient sorting capacity, but that is useless without drivers and deliverers. And our crossdocks can only handle so many transport movements. Together with our customers we find smart ways to spread the peak moments, for example by encouraging consumers to order in time.

Fortunately, in 2018 we opened three new parcel sorting centers, which allowed us to better spread the workload. But you cannot prepare for everything. Nobody expected Black Friday to be such a peak. And if it starts to snow heavily, we immediately have to adjust. It is exciting and hard work, for everybody. Even colleagues from headquarters help out. Although challenging, for most colleagues it remains the best time of the year!’

Lean & Green

How Lean & Green is PostNL?

Leon Simons is Development Manager at BigMile, an initiative of Topsector Logistiek, Connekt and the Lean & Green program, and he has been following PostNL’s sustainability development.

‘PostNL got a second star from Lean & Green in 2018, which means that they have reduced their CO2 emissions by 10 percent since they were last measured in 2015. That is a very decent achievement, given that they have managed it while parcel volumes continue to increase. In addition, PostNL started three new projects to further increase its sustainability. One of them is BigMile. Using BigMile, PostNL can analyse how effective their measurements really are, and then inform web shops and e-tailers of their CO2 impact, right down to the level of a single delivery.’

‘Together, PostNL and BigMile are able to gather a useful transport data. Studying hundreds of millions of deliveries can provide a range of useful insights. Ultimately, our collaboration helps us work towards reaching the climate goals set down in the climate agreement, meaning PostNL can deliver parcels in a more sustainable way.’

Employer branding

Employer branding instead of job selling

Like many companies in the Netherlands, PostNL had to deal with a very tight labour market in 2018. Willemijn Kaal helped develop a campaign that wasn’t so much aimed at selling jobs, but rather at selling the company.

‘We have to compete with companies that offer similar jobs, sometimes with better conditions, so we can’t get away with simply recruiting delivers,’ Willemijn says. ‘We have to explain why it’s worthwhile working for PostNL. What kind of company do you become a part of? The goal is to make people consciously choose for PostNL, because they feel they fit in. They want to play for our team not only because we are the biggest, but because they agree with what we stand for.’

And this is valid not just for the operational positions, explains Willemijn. ‘We see that there is still a gap between the operations and the office. By formulating a clear employer brand, we also connect the different work fields within the company, from the deliverer in the street to the manager in an office. Eventually, everybody who works at PostNL feels part of the same organisation, and understands that we all have to work together.’

City hubs

City hub paves the way for sustainable delivery

In Amsterdam, PostNL is helping the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (AUAS) and the University of Amsterdam (UvA) to take the lead in sustainable logistics. Working together with moving company SimplyMile, PostNL delivers a number of orders from the institutions’ suppliers from one logistic center to 36 different locations within the city center, using electric vehicles.

Susanne Balm, project manager at AUAS’s research program Urban Technology, explains the benefits. ‘Our suppliers used to make 16,000 separate deliveries, driving in total 70 times around the world each year. We knew we had to do better than that. Large suppliers now bring their deliveries to a city hub near Duivendrecht, on the outskirts of Amsterdam. The city hub works like a funnel. The suppliers can leave their goods there and don’t need to drive into the city center themselves. PostNL, working with SimplyMile, does that for them. They sort and bundle the deliveries into one or more trips. This means the number of journeys into and out of the city are reduced, cutting the impact on the environment, while our employees still get their deliveries quickly.’

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