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PostNL: Frequently asked questions about the coronavirus as it impacts shipping

During the corona crisis, ordering online is a safe, easy way to get products into your home. The number of parcels and letterbox parcels that we are processing has therefore risen dramatically. The same applies to the amount of post we are processing. For this reason, post and parcels may take longer than usual to be delivered. The same applies to international shipments. Thank you for your understanding.

General

Can I get infected with the coronavirus if I touch a parcel or item of post?

According to the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), there is only a small risk of being infected through contact with surfaces and items such as post and parcels. To reduce the risk even further, their advice is to wash your hands regularly and avoid touching your face after handling post and parcels. Please refer to the RIVM website for more information.

How are we maintaining the 1.5m-distance during deliveries?

Our delivery workers have been given clear instructions on maintaining distance during deliveries so we can continue delivery in a way that is safe. If you think the measures were not adequately met during a delivery, remind the delivery worker of the measures as soon as you see them. A reminder often makes all the difference.

What is the delivery process for funeral post, medical post, medical nutrition and other shipments with a delivery obligation?

At the moment, we are delivering all post and parcels. This also applies to funeral post, medical post, food and medical devices. Extra priority is given to these shipments as standard, and we do everything we can to deliver them on time.

Sending parcels and mail

Can I still send post and parcels?

Yes. Deliveries of post, parcels and other shipments help maintain social traffic. We continue to deliver responsibly and you can continue to send your post and parcels as usual. Since this is an extraordinarily busy period, deliveries may be delayed.

How can I send and return items while avoiding physical contact?

To create a return label, follow the instructions given by the webshop where you placed the order. If you want to send a parcel but you don’t have a label yet, you can create one online. You can then drop off the parcel at a letter and parcel machine or at a PostNL point. To find a shop and its opening times, go to postnl.nl/en/location-finder. If your parcel fits through the letterbox, you can create a label online and post your parcel in an orange letterbox. Letterboxes are also the safest shipping method for letters in terms of avoiding physical contact. If you have run out of stamps, use the stamp code. You don’t need to go to the shop for this.

Can I hand over a return parcel to the parcel delivery worker?

Yes, you can hand over a return parcel to the parcel delivery worker when they deliver another parcel to you. Instructions are available here: postnl.nl/retouraandedeur. Parcel delivery workers follow the coronavirus measures and maintain a 1.5m distance when exchanging parcels. Delivery workers are extremely busy at the moment. Therefore they may not be able to accept return parcels. You can also drop off your return parcel at one of the PostNL points. You can search for the nearest points using the postnl.nl/en/location-finder.

Receiving parcels

How can I find out when my parcel or shipment will be delivered?

For up-to-date information about your parcel, use the PostNL app or go to postnl.nl.

How do I avoid physical contact with my parcel delivery worker?

Our delivery workers do everything they can to minimise contact. They maintain a 1.5m distance and avoid physical contact. Delivery workers no longer hand over parcels. Instead, they ring the doorbell, place the shipment on the ground and wait at a distance until you receive the shipment. If it is raining, they will ring the doorbell and hold onto the shipment. When you open the door, they will ask you to step back before placing the shipment just inside your door so it remains dry.

For contactless deliveries of post and parcels that require a signature, we ask you to have a valid ID (passport, ID card or driving licence) ready. Read out the last three characters to our delivery worker, who will then sign on your behalf.

What is your working method for contactless delivery of shipments that require identification (18+ shipments)?

We ask the recipient to place their ID on the parcel. We maintain a 1.5m distance when exchanging parcels.

Returns

I would like any undeliverable post to be returned to me immediately.

Unfortunately that is not possible. Post that cannot be delivered straight away is temporarily stored. The duration varies for each destination, but it is stored for at least seven days. If the post still cannot be delivered after that, it will be returned to the sender.

How can I send and return items while avoiding physical contact?

For returns, follow the instructions given by the webshop where you placed the order. If you want to send a parcel but you don’t have a label yet, you can create one online. You can then drop off the parcel at a letter and parcel machine or at a PostNL point. A summary of PostNL points and their opening times is available at postnl.nl/en/location-finder.

If your parcel fits through the letterbox, you can create a label online and post your parcel in an orange letterbox. Letterboxes are also the safest shipping method for letters in terms of avoiding physical contact. If you have run out of stamps, use the stamp code. You don’t need to go to the shop for this.

Can I hand over a return parcel to the parcel delivery worker?

Yes, you can hand over a return parcel to the parcel delivery worker when they deliver another parcel to you. Instructions are available at postnl.nl/retouraandedeur. Parcel delivery workers follow the coronavirus measures and maintain a 1.5m distance when exchanging parcels. Delivery workers are extremely busy at the moment. Therefore they may not be able to accept return parcels. You can also drop off your return parcel at one of the PostNL points. Find a PostNL point near you at postnl.nl/en/location-finder.

PostNL points

How can I avoid physical contact when collecting my post or parcel at a PostNL point?

You can show the employee your ID so that they can copy the number. The employee can also scan the QR code on the back of your driving licence. The number is transferred automatically and all you need to do is write your signature on the sales terminal.

What if I don’t want to write my signature on the sales terminal?

In that case, your parcel will be returned to sender.

My PostNL point is closed. Where can I collect my parcel?

Consult the Track & Trace information in the PostNL app or go to postnl.nl for up-to-date information.

How can I empty my postbox if my PostNL point is closed?

There will be posters at the location providing more information.

I’m self-isolating. Can somebody else collect my parcel?

Yes, somebody else can collect your parcel. The person who collects your parcel must show a valid ID (copies are not accepted), the Track & Trace code for the parcel and your address.

International shipments

Can I still send post and parcels abroad?

Yes. Please note however that countries have taken measures that affect the logistics process. Deliveries are delayed in some countries, while other countries have been closed off completely. Those countries are not accepting deliveries at all. Hence, we can no longer accept deliveries to these destinations at our PostNL points. The latest information on international deliveries is available at postnl.nl/isa.

Are international deliveries of post and parcels delayed at the moment?

Many countries have taken measures that affect the delivery of post and parcels. Deliveries are delayed in some countries, and in other countries deliveries have stopped entirely. The latest information on international deliveries is available at postnl.nl/isa.

I have sent my shipment with signature upon receipt. What will happen to it now?

In more and more countries, the delivery worker will sign on behalf of the recipient. This minimises physical contact and the risk of spreading the virus.

In the Netherlands, there are guidelines for physical contact between the delivery worker and recipient. Are guidelines being implemented abroad?

More and more international postal companies also have guidelines that aim to minimise physical contact and the risk of spreading the virus. This can affect service provision, for example when it comes to signing for receipt. In many countries, the delivery worker will sign on behalf of the recipient.

What are you doing with post that cannot be delivered to international destinations at the moment?

We are storing those items of post until their destinations become accessible again. If a destination is inaccessible for an extended period of time, we will return the post to the sender. For most destinations, we do this after seven days of storing the post.
To find out which countries are not accepting deliveries at the moment, go to postnl.nl/isa.

My post has arrived in the destination country. What happens if it can’t be delivered?

This varies for each country. In many countries, the postal company will contact the recipient so that they can deliver the post at the first attempt. We don’t know how the post is returned if this does not work.

Many countries have shut their borders. Can my parcels still be delivered?

In many countries, freight traffic continues. It is therefore still possible to deliver to those countries, although parcels may take longer to arrive. Some countries have closed their borders completely. Find out which countries are affected on postnl.nl/isa.

Destinations within the EU remain accessible for the time being
Measures taken by our network partners may result in delays and closures of postcode areas. In that case, the parcels will be stored until the area becomes accessible again.