Cold weather can damage packages held in parcel machines

Omniva parcel machine.
Omniva parcel machine. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

During the current cold winter, it is better if customers come and pick up their parcels from automated package machines as soon as possible, as freezing temperatures can ruin some products.

This refers primarily to cosmetics, food, drink and certain electronic products don't tolerate more extreme temperatures, logistics company Itella Smartpost head of customer experience Triin Parmsoo said.

"If these products stay out in the cold somewhere for longer, they can be seriously damaged. I understand that regarding cosmetic products, this actually takes a little time. When the temperature is wrong. the consistency is ruined and products are no longer usable," Parmsoo said.

All Itella Smartpost parcel machines are indoors so its parcels aren't affected by the cold as much, but DPD and Omniva machines are mainly outside.

"Based on my experience, I can say that frost damage is extremely rare considering that from DPD, most packages are taken out in six hours on average," head of sales and marketing of DPD Janek Kivimurd said.

Omniva's head of operations Evert Rööpon said that frost damage is rare during the year because extreme temperatures are rare and people mostly come and get their packages fast. A quarter of the parcels are picked up in the first four hours, three quarters in the same day.

"We're asking people to pick up their parcels as soon as possible. It's a person's own responsibility to minimize the risks," Rööpon said.

He said that the packages can be left in outside conditions despite the supply chain or whether the machine is outside or inside. "When to load the van in the morning with parcels and these parcels are driving in the van all day until they are delivered, then the packages are in minus degrees in the van. So it doesn't matter where it's actually delivered," Rööpon said.

Omniva says it doesn't want to move the parcel machines indoors either because 10-15 percent of parcels are taken out during the nighttime hours, meaning these would be irretrievable if placed inside a mall or other building which was closed overnight.


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Editor: Roberta Vaino

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