Aschaffenburg / Hamburg (dpa) - The parcel boom continues: According to their own forecasts, Germany's logisticians will deliver more shipments than ever before this year's Christmas business.

Both Hermes and DPD expect a volume growth of 20 percent compared to the previous year, as the companies announced.

While DPD, a subsidiary of the French Post Office, did not give an absolute figure, Hermes spoke of an expected 120 million parcel deliveries in the last quarter of the year, a fifth more than a year earlier.

The two companies are the toughest competitors of the market leader Deutsche Post DHL, which does not want to publish its assessment until the end of the month.

The smaller competitor GLS - a subsidiary of the British Royal Mail - also expects booming business.

"This year we are assuming a record amount, which will be driven by higher online orders," said a spokeswoman.

GLS Germany expects an increase of more than 100,000 parcels per day - GLS does not reveal how many shipments it is per day.

According to the industry, the Christmas business begins in October when people order their first gifts for their family and friends on the Internet, and ends with the wave of returns of unsuitable gifts after Christmas.

Parcel shipping has been booming for a long time thanks to increasing online trade.

This year the corona pandemic will act as an additional driver.

How strong this is is illustrated by figures from DPD: In December 2019, the company delivered an average of just over two million parcels per working day in Germany, which was a high for DPD at the time.

This value was surpassed this year by corona-related online shopping in May, when there were an average of 2.2 million parcels.

For the coming December, DPD is again assuming 2.5 million parcels per working day.

In order to be able to cope with the flood of shipments, the companies are upgrading: For Hermes, 3500 additional workers and 3900 extra vehicles are in use every day.

DPD is sending 2,000 additional vehicles onto the streets, and 4,000 seasonal workers are also on duty in the sorting centers and for deliveries.

The company is well equipped to guarantee reliable parcel shipping in the first high season since the outbreak of the pandemic, explained DPD boss Eric Malitzke.

Because of the extra costs, DPD charges its corporate customers a “peak surcharge” of 75 cents per parcel from the beginning of November to Christmas.

At Hermes the surcharge is 25 cents.

Private individuals who hand in their shipments in parcel shops do not have to pay the surcharge.

© dpa-infocom, dpa: 201018-99-984046 / 2