Rising demand for courier services during pandemic

WHILE many businesses are facing challenges brought on by the pandemic, parcel stores and courier agents in Penang are seeing increased demand for their services.

A parcel store employee, who wanted to be known only as Ashraf, 30, said the number of parcel drop-offs they received had increased.

“I think during this period, people do not want to move around much so they are turning to couriers and shipping agents.

“They are opting to drop off their parcels and have agents handle them. Our store is an agent for six different courier companies.

“We collect customers’ orders and parcels here at the store. Then we group and pile them up for the different courier companies to pick them up.

“This way, business owners will not have to visit or spend time lining up at courier offices to drop off their parcels to be shipped, ” he said.

Ashraf noted that while most businesses opted to use courier services for interstate shipping, more and more were using courier services for shipments even within the state too.

“Some businesses prefer to send the items themselves if their customers’ orders are in the same state but due to the pandemic, many are using courier agents to help manage their shipments.

“Take a clothing shop in town, for example. The owner may receive an order from someone in Batu Ferringhi, which is not far.

‘However, some will opt for courier service as they do not want to travel to the customer’s home or the courier office during this time.

“So they drop their parcels off with courier agents. We round up the items and get them ready for the courier company to pick up.”

Another parcel store employee, Elain Chong, 27, who is a customer service agent, said during the course of the pandemic so far, they had maintained the number of orders they received for shipping and courier services.

“Our company handles the shipping between Malaysia and countries such as China and South Korea.

“Although the pandemic has somewhat impacted the shipping time frame, the number of orders we take on daily has remained almost the same.

“There is no drop because there is still demand for shipping and courier services, especially during the pandemic, ” she said.

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