Book Ball at PostNL

The Hague - This month PostNL will be delivering nearly 800,000 parcels containing textbooks to schools and pupils all across the Netherlands and Belgium. That means peak activity in this holiday month. The book parcels occupy a significant percentage of the available capacity in the depots. This tour de force has to be arranged in just four weeks this year, one week less than in previous years.

It’s Book Ball time at PostNL. That’s the code name for the recurring annual logistics operation that continues day and night for a month. Ranking just behind the peak in December, this is one of the busiest times of year. The PostNL Parcels sorting and distribution network is running in top gear to get everything delivered in time. Secondary school pupils and university students start the coming school year with new textbooks.
Nearly 800,000 parcels containing textbooks have to be shipped out from three locations and distributed all across the Netherlands and Belgium. We also have to take this year’s rotating regional school terms into account. School holidays in the north of the Netherlands ended this Monday, followed a week later by the south of the Netherlands, while pupils in the central region of the Netherlands will head back to school last this year. 

Background

Used textbooks are returned at the end of the school year. During the holidays, pupils and students order their books for next year. Suppliers then face a race against the clock to get all those books packed up and shipped out in time. This year is even busier than usual, since the holidays are a week shorter. That also has an impact on what PostNL has to achieve in order to get all those parcels returned as quickly as possible, and then turn around and get them to the pupils on time. This undertaking requires maximum effort from everyone working in transport, sorting and distribution.