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Saigon express services stuck as demand for pre-Tet shipments spikes

Friday, January 20, 2017, 16:00 GMT+7

During the last week leading up to Tet holiday, not only streets, bus stations and airport in Ho Chi Minh City are jam-packed, but also the express delivery services, when packages are more likely to arrive late as orders skyrocketed.

Tet, or the Lunar New Year, begins on January 28, and local residents who wish to send holiday gifts to their distant family members and friends have been facing myriad problems with the overloaded delivery service.

Many local courier companies were forced to stop receiving new orders due to the immense pressure.

Nguyen Thi Thanh, owner of an online fashion shop in Go Vap District, said her customers from across the country have increased purchases prior to the Lunar New Year.

Thanh, who normally ships her products to distant buyers via express delivery, confirmed that she had faced several difficulties recently.

“I had to wait for hours for my turn to send my packages via the courier,” Thanh complained.

An employee at a post office in Go Vap District attributed the problem to the rapid increase of online sales in recent years. Online sellers would turn to post office to ship their merchandises to customers.

“We have stopped accepting requests for delivery to northern provinces,” the employee said.

“Staff members here have had to work extra hours to deal with the large amount of orders.”

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An employee checks the goods at a post office in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Improper response to complaints

Some residents are also shying away from using the express delivery service, fearing that their packages would not be properly taken care of, or even get lost amid delivery.

N.H.N., a recent customer of a delivery company in Tan Binh District, has been infuriated after some of the new year calendars gifted to his friends were delivered late while others were lost on the way to recipients.

What is more infuriating to customers is the way the courier firms response to their complaints over shipment loss or damage.

Incorrect address, abandoned house, and no reply from recipients were among the most common excuses for the failure of product delivery, while clients were still required to pay the service charge despite the loss or damage.

According to Le Duc Thanh, director of Thanh Buoi Transport Company, the firm’s delivery vehicles have been working at full capacity as Tet is drawing near.

The company had to rent additional trucks to meet the promised delivery timeline, Thanh added.

At the FUTA Bus Lines, trucks leave the company’s warehouse every two to five minutes to carry goods from Ho Chi Minh City to other provinces.

According to Nguyen Thi Thu Van, deputy director of the Ho Chi Minh City Post Office, the amount of goods prior to Tet has increased by 20 percent year-on-year.

The agency had carried out measures to boost human resources, transport vehicles, and shipment management since November 2016 to meet the rising demand.

“However, overloaded airline and railway have somehow negatively impacted the delivery quality,” Van stated.

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