Shippers bulking up for Chuseok

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Shippers bulking up for Chuseok

With the Chuseok holidays only about two weeks away, shipping companies have announced measures to effectively deal with the increased volume of packages.

Before visiting relatives or heading home for the holidays that start Sept. 18, Koreans generally send gift sets to relatives to celebrate harvest day. According to CJ Korea Express, the nation’s largest ground shipper, the volume of packages leading up to Chuseok is likely to increase 10 percent to 20 percent compared with last year. The company expects next Monday to Wednesday to be the peak period for gift deliveries.

“Next Monday alone we expect to handle 2.8 million packages,” said CJ Korea Express. The company will take extra measures through Sept. 24 to handle the increase in business.

Among those measures is a special emergency control room to check logistics in real time and a 10 percent to 20 percent increase in work force, mostly temporary part-time employees.

Other companies also said they will double their work force and beef up transportation next week.

CJ Korea Express said it expects to handle more processed foods or low-priced goods rather than fruits because of the economy and unusually hot summer.

Delivery companies said that to ensure on-time delivery, packages should be sent by tomorrow.

“If you are sending a package containing meat that needs to be frozen, we advise you to send it today,” said a Hanjin Shipping spokesman. “It is also important to wrap fragile shipments tightly because a lot of packages are handled during this period.”

Shippers said consumers should use online services instead of call centers because phone traffic is expected to double, and it will take long time to get through to their employees.

Hanjin said it signed a business deal with various large retail stores and department stores to set up temporary package handling counters in their buildings so people can use delivery services after shopping.

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