Orders just came flooding in: Manager
More boxes than they could cope with.
That has been Dragonlink's headache since the pile-up of packages began on Oct 17.
Dragonlink is a courier service that delivers packages from overseas to local addresses.
Mr James Lee, 60, who is in charge of operations at its warehouse, said his employees had not encountered such a situation before. The packages usually arrived from China, mainly Guangzhou and Shenzhen, in quantities that they could deal with.
"Everything was smooth before Oct 17, when suddenly, orders just came flooding in. There were more than we could deliver each day," he said.
As a result, a backlog started building up, worsening by the day as more shipments arrived.
"We're doing our best to deliver every package. We understand some customers may not have received their orders, but they don't have to come down and shout at us," he said.
Mr Lee said the company has spoken to its overseas clients about the issue.
"But how to complain? At the end of the day, we are running a business and they are our clients. We just have to solve this problem quickly," he said.
As there are only about seven workers at the warehouse, Mr Lee said he tried to hire additional helpers.
"But no one took up our offer. So some of us had to stop our own administrative work to help the customers look for their items," he said.
He estimated that all the orders would be delivered by this week.
Mr Marcus Chua, 42, an operations manager who has been in the courier industry for 10 years, said such situations can be prevented by proper planning.
"The sales team must know how much the delivery team can handle. They must communicate," he said.
"It's like if you're alone, but you order food for 10 people, you're in trouble."
But Mr Chua conceded that such situations could still crop up unexpectedly.
He said: "You must have back-up resources, maybe part-time or freelance workers you can call to help settle your extra deliveries.
"If you plan right, you can handle at least 80 per cent of such excess. If not, then you're planning to fail."
"We're doing our best to deliver every package. We understand some customers may not have received their orders, but they don't have to come down and shout at us."
- Mr James Lee