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Germany’s parcel industry is expecting to deliver fewer packages to consumers during this year’s Christmas season than the year before as inflation and rising energy costs push down demand, said the German package and logistics industry association BIEK.

Around 415 million packages are expected to reach consumers this November and December, versus around 445 million parcels during the same period last year, said BIEK. However, volumes are significantly higher than in 2019, before the coronavirus pandemic, recording 355 million shipments in those months.

To cope with the flood of parcels, logistics companies are expected to deploy up to 25,000 additional employees, it said.

BIEK, whose members include Deutsche Post (DPWGn.DE) competitors such as DPD, Hermes and UPS, added that it expects more than 4 billion shipments in all for the year 2022 as a whole.