Czech Post Office to introduce online booking to reduce wait times

Efforts to become more efficient will benefit the customer and also help return the Czech Post to profit after several years of losses.

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston Published on 16.06.2021 16:32:00 (updated on 16.06.2021) Reading time: 2 minutes

Waiting at the Post Office ranks as one of most people’s least favorite things to do. Soon, people will be able to book times in advance over the internet to reduce the wait.

Česká pošta (Czech Post) General Director Roman Knap promises to make the operation of the state enterprise more efficient.

“A new feature that we are gradually introducing first at the largest and busiest post offices in housing developments, is that a person will be able to book a time online when they wants to be served. This already works for Czechpoint services, where paperwork usually takes longer. Gradually, it will be extended to all services – for sending packages, paying slips and so on,” Knap told daily Právo.

If the service proves popular, it could be used for scheduling workers so that more staff is available when more postal patrons are expected. This could not only lead to shorter waits for customers but also faster processing of packages and bulk mail.

Another innovation to speed up service is the introduction of conveyor belts at parcel counters, similar to what is in airports. The first post office branch to have them is at Mladá Boleslav, in Central Bohemia. They will soon appear in the post office branch in Prague 1.

Overall, Česká pošta is the process of a large restructuring that will see it split into two separate companies for commercial and non-commercial services. A logistics service will be created so it better compete with other delivery services and networks used by e-shops.

Other services such as operating a branch network and delivering pensions will fall under the non-commercial section. Knap said this division will create greater transparency and also increase the efficiency of both parts. Concrete steps at dividing the company will start in January, and the process should be completed in 2023.

Recently, the Czech Post Office adjusted some of its prices, but most popular ones remained the same. The post office also recently announced it will sell its headquarters in the center of Prague and build a new one in Prague's Vysočany district. The post office will keep a section of the historic building Jindřišská Street open as a check-in hall. The reason for the sale is to save money, as operating the space costs CZK 40 million a year.

Last year, the Czech Post Office recorded a loss of CZK 1.38 billion, about CZK 1 billion more than in 2019. Some of the losses in 2020 were due to the coronavirus pandemic, which not only limited hours at post offices but also caused higher expenditures for bonuses and disinfecting.

Knap said much of the loss for 2020 was also due to restructuring, as severance payments had to be made to laid-off workers. He said the post office should return to profit this year.

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