Black Friday Online Sales Yield Two Million Parcels to Israeli Consumers, Overwhelming Post Offices

In all of November, some 6.5 million packages were delivered by the Israel Post, and a record of 2 million were delivered over the past week.

Bloomberg

Israelis apparently took advantage of Black Friday sales offered by international retailers online, and now the fruits of their purchases are beginning to reach Israel. In the past week, some 300 tons of packages have landed in Israel, including 110 tons that arrived just over the last weekend.

In all of November, some 6.5 million packages were delivered by the Israel Post, and a record of 2 million were delivered over the past week.

Now the question remains as to whether the Israel Post can handle the glut. Post office officials said they expected this and prepared in advance, bulking up staffing at the package sorting facilities and doubling the number of shifts at the facility in Tel Aviv, expanding transport systems, adding hundreds of new transport carts at Ben-Gurion International Airport, and more.

Yet customers have complained about delays in package deliveries, and long lines at post office branches. As TheMarker reported two weeks ago, following customer complaints about delays in package deliveries, international retailer Asus decided to stop working with Israel Post and instead send packages to Israel via company E-Post. Israel Post CEO Danny Goldstein said the national mail carrier was in the process of improving how it receives and delivers packages, and shortening lines.

In November, millions of customers received SMSes saying their package had arrived. Some 4.5 million messages inviting customers to pick up packages were sent, said the Israel Post.

“We’re seeing increases in orders of packages from abroad from year to year. Israelis have figured out that they can save a lot of money ordering abroad, especially during periods of sales. November broke records in terms of orders, and we’re seeing this trend continue into December, with a massive number of items landing in Israel every day,” said VP-Operations Haim Mizaki.

Most of the packages are coming from China, the United States and the United Kingdom, and most contain clothes, shoes, smartphones and accessories, toys and costumes.

Credit card company Leumi Card agreed with the assessment, stating that customers spent an extra 9.6% on online purchases this November compared to last year, making 51.7% more transactions.

The average transaction was for 197 shekels ($51), noted the company. Overseas orders under $75 are generally tax exempt.