If you order your beloved toy or puzzle online at the Kiki Play Store in Sint-Antonius, near Zoersel, you will now also receive a painted stone or even a paper bag filled with pebbles. “This is the only way to avoid the extra cost on density that Bpost introduced last year for packages that weigh too little,” explains Business Director Pascal Schöpp.
The additional cost of Bpost density aims to reduce the “air” in the parcel and thus save space. This is better for the environment, but according to the managers of the Kiki play store, it completely misses its purpose.
“The extra cost of density is calculated on the density of the packaging,” says business manager Pascal Schöpp. So the weight of the parcel should be big enough in relation to the size of the parcel. I understand that it is frustrating for the Postal Service to send a pair of socks in a large box. Web stores that ship heavy items, such as dog food, are not affected by the additional cost on density. But we send light hugs, puzzles or board games. You can’t fold or crease that hug.”
The result: the toy store now puts the painted bricks in packages to avoid the extra cost. “We came up with the idea of making our packaging heavier by adding stones. Silly, but it works.”
Schupp also adds one painted rock and a note with explanation so the kids can start painting the stones at home.
Co-Director Roeland Ruelens does not understand. “We are a store that specializes in sustainable toys. We order our packages in the neighborhood with the cargo bike. But we can’t do that everywhere. I can imagine that postmen would rather not order boxes that are heavy with rocks. A more loaded car consumes more fuel and is worse for the environment” .
On October 30 and 31, Kiki will celebrate her ninth birthday this weekend, with discounts. “We are expecting a lot of orders, and therefore more parcels. We hope Bpost can review this additional cost by then.”
But Bpost’s Veerle Van Mierlo continues to advocate the additional cost of density, as an incentive to allow companies to make smaller packages. “A lot of air is still sent. Courier services charge the same extra cost. It is a matter of a few cents, by the way, one should not exaggerate.”
“Actually, it’s about 25 cents per package, but if you send a thousand packages, that adds up,” says Schup. “Post.nl lowered those surcharges on density and returned our cents. This is another way to do it.”
Meanwhile, Pascal continues to collect rocks. “There is a lot in the Bpost car park and the temptation is great. But I will leave it there.”