Last Mile Brief 10/03/2023: Magyar Posta makes 1,200 layoffs and implies sanctions are to blame
You can read this article in 7 minutes
In today's Last Mile Brief, we bring you news of layoffs at Hungary's national post service, as well as a GEODIS acquisition and a new CEO at Just Eat Spain.
Your Last Mile Brief is brought to you by:
Today’s headline story: Magyar Posta makes 1,200 layoffs and implies sanctions are to blame
Due to the “protracted sanctions-hit energy crisis” in Europe, the Hungarian Post (Magyar Posta) has announced it is laying off 1,200 of its employees. The postal operator adds that it won’t reopen the 300 post offices that it had closed down “temporarily” in November.
Signs of financial struggles at the state-owned Hungarian Post have been obvious for months, if not years, but one of the most worrisome red flags was the announcement of the closure of hundreds of post offices back in the autumn of 2022.
At that time, the organisation referred to the energy crisis as the reason for it downsizing, saying that the increased costs had resulted in approx HUF 20 billion extra costs (which is approximately 52 million euros). The newly appointed management of the Hungarian Post decided to close down 364 post offices from the middle of November and lay off 300 employees at the same time.
Back then, the closures were said to be temporary, and would only be for the winter months to save money on energy bills. With the help of local councils, 45 post offices in 32 towns were to be reopened in the spring.
However, the Hungarian Post has now announced that there it has no means to reopen the rest of the suspended branches. Besides the energy crisis, the war in Ukraine was named as a reason for the decision.
Moreover, the company has come to the decision to let go of 1,200 employees.
In an announcement sent to the Hungarian News Agency, the company explained that the main task of the new management had been to increase the efficiency of the organization, and to establish business processes and service standards that meet the requirements of the 21st century.
“However, the protracted sanctions-hit energy crisis in Europe is creating an increasingly difficult economic environment, which, like domestic and large foreign companies, is increasingly affecting the activities of the Hungarian Post,” the announcement reads.
The organisation started a partnership programme last summer, under which private companies can take over the operation of the post offices in some small towns with less than 2,000 residents.
Now, in its announcement about the pay-offs, the post added that this postal partner program may provide an opportunity for the laid-off employees to continue their work via the contracted partners.
The Hungarian Post also emphasised in its announcement that the scale of the decision was made by the management in a way that the company can still maintain the stability of its operations “even in the economic situation affected by the current sanctions”.
Europe round up
- Íñigo Barea has become the new CEO of Just Eat Spain.
- Getir says it is reducing prices across over 500 essential and non-essential items by up to 50%, as grocery inflation hit a record 17.1% last month.
- GEODIS has acquired trans-o-flex, a German network for temperature-controlled pharmaceutical goods and express delivery.
- Pure-play logistics provider GXO Logistics has installed autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) from distribution automation company Lowpad at a food and beverage warehouse facility in the Netherlands.
- A study of over 1,000 UK consumers by Pricer showed 21% felt they received lower levels of customer service in-store because staff were stretched sorting out online orders and collections, rather than focusing on the customers actually in the store.
North America round up
- The Eighth Notch (T8N), a technology platform focused on sustainable logistics for last mile deliveries, has announced the expansion of its board of directors.
- Canada Post has unveiled its first all-electric C250 delivery truck.
- Bringg to manage delivery operations and expand fulfillment capabilities for Pet Supermarket.
- AI and computer vision parcel software provider Plus One Robotics has raised US$50m in Series C funding.
- Restaurants that use DoorDash are being automatically added to its DoubleDash program, which allows customers to order from two businesses in one delivery.
News from the rest of the world
- Baedal Minjok (Baemin), Korea’s largest food delivery platform operated by Woowa Brothers, is seeking to become a general e-commerce platform so as to overcome its stagnating online food delivery business, according to company officials Wednesday.
- UPS has inked a partnership with India SME Forum to train 500 women entrepreneurs in India in export and related business areas.
Your Last Mile Brief is co-produced by:
Photo: Nyar94 / Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons