E-commerce deliveries to and from Ireland are getting back to normal following a four day strike by sorting office staff, which saw the country’s national carrier, An Post, ask the public to stop sending letters and parcels.
The strike was called by the Communications Workers Union and affected staff at An Post mail centres in Dublin, Cork, Portlaoise and Athlone. It was triggered after staff employed by contractor IO Systems claimed new working patterns would lead to loss of earnings.
John Tuohy, the CEO of Ireland’s largest independent delivery company, the Nightline Group, reckoned that even if the dispute took days rather than weeks to resolve, its effects would prove “unhelpful” to the delivery industry and the wider economy.
“Any interruption to deliveries – no matter how brief – can be extremely costly to the delivery sector and the companies or individuals it serves.
“The potential damage is not just confined to organisations in Ireland. Such is this country’s growing appetite for e-commerce, in particular, that businesses in the UK and beyond may suffer.
“Even in the hours since the industrial action began, Nightline has already seen an increase in parcel volumes and I would expect other private carriers to see something similar.
“However, any uplift in business amounts to a short-term spike of unplanned-for parcel volumes rather than the more preferable sustainable growth.
“It is in everyone’s interests that this dispute is brought to a close as quickly as possible.
“After all, our economy needs a stable, fully-functioning national postal service as a key element of Ireland’s social and commercial infrastructure.”
Ireland is on course to be become western Europe’s fourth biggest online marketplace, spending some €4.6bn during 2013.
Last year, Nightline released the findings of research into e-commerce in Ireland, which found men are the big spenders when it comes to online shopping in Ireland. Irish men told Nightline they spent an average of €1,259.59 in the course of the preceding 12 months, compared to the €1,010.54 paid by women for their online purchases during the same period of time.
Main image by DubhEire (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons