Thursday, November 24, 2011

Army Postal Freight Service Struggles With Christmas Logistics Demands

Forces Ask that Senders Only Post to Known Recipients or Donate to Charities
Shipping News Feature

UK - AFGHANISTAN – With the freight and logistics industries in the UK struggling with reduced demand in the last three years it seems novel to report that one part of the sector is struggling to match seasonal demand and asking potential customers not to use their services. However, that is exactly what the British Forces Post Office (BFPO) which serves military personnel in Afghanistan is asking for. According to the head of British military postal services in the country, Captain Chloe Russell, the usual surge in use of the BFPO at this time of year is being compounded by well-wishers sending parcels to troops they don’t know.

It is estimated that one in seven packages to troops at this time of year are sent by ‘good-will’ senders and though the sentiment is appreciated it places extra demands on a service which sees throughput of postal freight increase by 500% from the end of November till Christmas.

“We literally can’t cope with the volume coming through, so we do ask members of the public to try to stop sending welfare parcels, especially at Christmas time,” said Captain Russell.

The fear is that post from well wishers jams up the logistics systems to frontline troops meaning that they don’t receive those parcels and letters from family so vital to morale before the holiday season and can receive all manner of unwanted items such as was actually sent last year – a book of crossword puzzles with all the answers filled in.

The Forces are asking that well-wishers donate to a service charity such as the British Legion or Help for Heroes instead.