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Incident bulletin 8th November 2019

Incident bulletins are sent weekly with information about situations that affect postal distribution.

This week’s bulletin contains updates about: Belgium, Italy, Slovenia, Finland, USA, Japan, Hong Kong, India, Botswana.

Belgium

Start date: 4th November
Expected End date: 10th November

Employees of Bpost stage strikes: Belgian media sources indicated on November 6 that employees of Bpost have begun separate strike actions in Charleroi and Liege since the beginning of the week. In Liege, workers at the distribution center went on strike over staff and vehicle shortages whereas about 40 postmen staged a strike in Charleroi over longer working hours. Delivery delays of postal items are likely to occur until the end of the week.

Italy

Start date: 6th November
End date: 8th November

Petrol station workers begin 2-day strike: Media sources indicate that petrol station workers have begun a nationwide strike at 6 am local time on November 6, affecting road and motorway facilities throughout Italy. The two-day work stoppage may lead to long queues at opened stations, associated traffic congestion and fuel shortages.

Slovenia

Start date: 11th November
Expected end date: 11th November

Postal workers plan to go on strike: postal workers of Posta Slovenije together with the Postal Union of Slovenia plan to go on strike on November 11 due to unresolved claims regarding additional staff and salary increases.

Finland – strike

Start date: 11th November
End date: 24th November

The designated operator of Finland, Posti Ltd, asks us to inform other Union member countries and their designated operators that the Finnish postal workers’ union has called a strike, which is taking place from 11 to 24 November 2019. Some transport trade unions have also announced their support for the strike, and members of the aviation trade union plan to target mail handling at airports.

Posti is therefore suspending both inbound and outbound airmail. The office of exchange will not be able to operate during the strike period. This applies to letter post, parcel post and EMS items. Mail deliveries injected by road are still operating, but may be delayed.

United States

Start date: 28th October
End date: 5th November

With the reduction of high winds and the containment of wildfires in California, all offices in California that were affected are now open for business as normal.

Japan

Start date: October 2019
Expected end date: Mid-November 2019

Japan Post has been experiencing delays in handling air containers and mailbags at Narita airport since October 2019, directly attributed to continuously increasing inbound volumes. In particular, e-packet items from certain countries are causing serious congestion at the airport mail handling facility and delays in the handover process from airlines to the mail handling facility and subsequent transport to inbound offices of exchange (OEs).

EMS items are being handled by airlines and ground handling agents with the highest priority in an effort to ensure their timely handover to the mail handling facility. However, EMS items loaded in airlines’ containers mixed with other products are being backlogged before the handover to the airport mail handling facility.

Japan Post is managing and actively addressing the situation, and it is expected that the current backlogs at Narita airport will be cleared by mid-November.  However, as the peak period for international mail is approaching, some delays may continue beyond that time frame.

Hong Kong

Start date: 8th November
End date: Ongoing

The designated operator of Hong Kong, China, Hongkong Post, informs that a series of public events, resulting in blockage of the streets and transportation network of major areas of Hong Kong since Friday 8 November 2019, is seriously affecting the processing and delivery of all inbound, outbound and local mail (letter post, parcels and EMS items). The disruption is expected to continue for a number of days.

India

Start date: 8th November
End date: Unknown

Tropical cyclone to cause disruption: a tropical cyclone named Bulbul has formed in the Bay of Bengal and is moving towards West Bengal and Odisha states. Reports suggested that Odisha is likely to experience strong winds on November 8. Associated heavy to very heavy downpour and high waves are also expected in the coastal area, affecting road and air transportation. The storm is expected to intensify into a very severe tropical storm on November 9.

Technical problems

Botswana

Start date: 4th November
End date: Ongoing

Customs systems failure causes delays: On November 4, the Botswana BURS System has been facing a network issue resulting in a system failure. As a result, inbound shipments have experienced disruptions and could not be cleared by customs. No estimation as to when operations would resume was immediately given.

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