President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Hello, Mr. Akimov.
The postal service is certainly one of the basic industries. It must remain uninterrupted and operate not only during a pandemic, but even in time of war. How is the organization of the company organized at the moment?
Russian Post CEO Maxim Akimov: Mr. Speaker, as you noted, we never stopped working during the pandemic. We have not laid off any employees and have continued to perform our duties, primarily as a federal postal service. Due to the size of our business - we have 42,000 physical locations and 330,000 employees, we are the second largest commercial employer in the country after the Russian Railways, and this fact has created a multitude of challenges that we had to resolve. .
The first problem was to protect our staff. We have invested significant funds, more than 1.5 billion rubles, in personal protective equipment and work shields.
The second big task was to launch new products and solutions that would allow our customers to avoid visiting post offices during this difficult time. We organized online and contactless delivery. The government and the Ministry of Communications and Mass Media have been very helpful in our decision to extend the storage period for uncollected mail, packages and online store items from 30 to 60 days. We have cut courier delivery rates in half. There was an explosive demand for mail delivery, by the thousands of percent. Our use of mobile apps has also grown significantly.
On the other hand, there are conflicting trends as the scope of international trade has dropped dramatically. We have also managed to cope with this task by using our transport fleets, including aviation, to manage traffic from Southeast Asia. Exports and delivery of posts abroad have proven to be a much more serious problem due to the suspension of air communications. We are working hard to resolve this issue by involving shipping and container shipping.
I can inform you that in the last four weeks, our income has increased considerably. Our performance has returned to 2019 levels and we continue to grow towards the plan. The revitalization of consumer activity is certainly a direct indicator of the effectiveness of the measures introduced in accordance with your instructions to provide additional support for families and additional income.
Staff turnover has decreased considerably, by almost 25% compared to last year. At the same time, we have a lot of work to do in order to comply with your instruction to bring wages down to the regional average; however, even a modest income has proven attractive to people and we have created 5,000 new jobs. We even temporarily hired staff who had lost their jobs in offline retail in stores that had to close.
We continued to raise wages. Our third wave of salary increases took place on May 1 and we have not postponed it. It affected 38,000 people. We will be doing the same wave of increases in the regions on November 1. It will affect 48,000 people, and no coronavirus infection will change our plans.
Of course, ensuring operational and financial stability was not an easy task. Taking advantage of our strong presence, I thank our postal team. 28,000 people worked from their home, we tried to organize an online job where it was possible to minimize the burden for doctors. We think it is the largest number in the country. It is clear that the post office operators, sorters, drivers and employees of our logistics centers continued to work in difficult conditions, and we did not close our post offices for a single day, except for a three-day period for disinfection. Even then, we divided the staff: some were still working around the clock.
We have ambitious plans for new products. I would like to tell you not only how the Post is managing this situation, but also what it can do that will be useful to the country. We have two ideas.
The first is a product that we called Post-Business. It is a series of digital solutions related to e-commerce. E-commerce has allowed us a significant increase in revenue for 2019, we have crossed the 200 billion mark, starting with 90 in 2009, it is growing rapidly. And the main increase certainly comes from electronic commerce, mainly domestic.