Nova Poshta: Our main purpose is to save Ukraine
Since Russia invaded Ukraine in February, Ukranian carrier Nova Poshta has transformed its logistics operations and begun delivering medicine, food, documents and much needed humanitarian aid. Marek Różycki and Ian Kerr find out more.
“Putin’s war is a disaster for all of Ukraine.
Ukrainian carrier Nova Poshta’s business has been affected hard; when people are focused on safety and survival, their priorities completely change. The drama in Ukraine has meant that the demand for goods that Nova Poshta used to deliver has dramatically fallen.
During the first week of the war, delivery volumes fell by 95%. Before the war the company was transporting 1 million parcels a day, this suddenly fell to 50,000 parcels or 20 times less than before the war.
Irina Papusha, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Nova Poshta explains: “Despite the apparently disastrous commercial consequences our leadership team understood that with its unparalleled coverage of the country we could help Ukrainians send each other the most necessary things and food while people literally escaped death or injury in their pyjamas. We firmly believe that our people and our country’s survival depends on our work and the work of key infrastructure players like us.”
“Even before the war, discussing risks at a Supervisory Board meeting in January, we decided that the main purpose of Nova Poshta is to save the country, not the company,” she adds.
“If Ukraine is independent and free, business will prosper and the company will grow; if not, the “saved” company will not be able to exist in any case. In its 20 years of existence, Nova Poshta has built a strategic infrastructure and started using it from the first day of the war for Ukraine.”
Nova Poshta rapidly reorganised its logistics completely and started working, where possible, to deliver the most necessary things – medicines, food, documents, clothes, financial services and, of course, much needed humanitarian aid.
Due to the bombing and evacuation, only 29 of Nova Poshta’s 141 sorting centres are operational, and 1,500 Nova Poshta service points are open across the country. This is just 20% of its network. In some cities, there is one service point for three large city districts. Therefore, there are now large queues of 100-200 people in the service points.
Of course, delivery times have increased significantly. Pre-war, Nova Poshta delivered nationwide next day and now it takes 4-6 days or even longer. The main difficulties are overcrowded roads due to checkpoints in each locality and broken bridges or other key infrastructure disruptions. Many main roads have been destroyed and new logistics routes have to be found through the villages. Matters are aggravated by the curfew in Ukraine so linehauls or delivery vehicles cannot operate at night. All this complicates the movement and delivery time increases.
This dire situation has had a dramatic effect on the financial results of Nova Poshta’s business. The company’s revenues have fallen to a critical level.
“Most of our logistics is now focused on the delivery of humanitarian aid within Ukraine and from abroad. Every day we transport 500 tons of humanitarian cargo free of charge, half is international relief from the USA, France, Germany, Romania, Poland, Turkey and other countries,” says VolodymyrR Popereshnyuk, Co-owner of Nova Poshta.
Nova Poshta has also opened “humanitarian corners” in available service points so that Ukrainians can help. Humanitarian cargo is given priority at Nova Poshta sorting hubs – they are sorted and loaded into cars first in order to be delivered as soon as possible where are needed. In fact, in cities close to a humanitarian catastrophe – Kharkiv and Mykolaiv – some of Nova Poshta’s service points work only as points for issuing of relief goods. Hundreds and thousands of ordinary people, including the elderly, women and children are wounded and in hospitals, and Nova Poshta delivers much needed medicines. In addition, the carrier has donated trucks and 100 vehicles from their fleet for the needs of the Ukrainian defence army.
What is going on the Russian-controlled territories in and around the last mile?
Service point and sorting hub employees work in relatively safe districts only.
If the situation in the locality changes for the worse – military attacks or other threats – Nova Poshta close service points or change the work schedule. The situation in the country is reviewed every three hours as are updates to the work schedules of the branches.
Every day, many Nova Poshta drivers risk their lives delivering goods across Ukraine. Many of them are ready to go even to the hottest spots to bring people the most necessary things – food, medicine. The carrier minimise the risks to drivers by carefully plan routes, taking into account potential risks.
“Every single day in our country can be dangerous: you never know where a rocket or shell will hit, where the shelling will come from. But our employees are real Ukrainians, fighters and patriots. We all are very united nowadays. Everyone helps each other and understands that they have a great burden of social responsibility. Some of them become volunteers and work for free”. – adds Volodymyr Popereshnyuk
So who, from abroad, is helping the most?
It seems that help is coming from all over, but traditional friends as well as unexpected allies are playing their part.
“Foreign companies and ordinary people sincerely help Ukraine. I would like to emphasize the contribution of the international community YPO and its members for non-stop participation in the organization of aid. Ukraine has received 20 trucks of products from Lidl and the company promises that this is even less than half of the targeted aid. The greatest tension fell on Poland and the Poles are selflessly helping the Ukrainians. Many thanks to all my friends and colleagues from Poland. The endless flow of humanitarian aid continues to come from OpenDoorUkraine.NL and its humanitarian leader Beja E. J. F. M. Kluiters-Albers, who in 2020 was awarded the Order by the President of Ukraine, „says Irina Papusha.
What does Nova Poshta need to be able to help with humanitarian aid even more?
“Nova Poshta is in dire need of truck fuel and funding to transport humanitarian aid by plane from the United States, Canada and other distant lands. In addition, we are expanding the network of humanitarian aid reception in Europe and are looking for warehouses on the main highways to Ukraine.
“The best thing we can do is try to stabilize the company. That’s why we appeal to businesses in relatively safe regions of Ukraine to continue working, while we aim at increasing the shipment of paid cargo,” says Alexander Bulba, CEO of Nova Poshta.
“We also hope for help and financial support from abroad. Nova Poshta now is one of the main providers of relief goods, but our resources are running dangerously low. We critically need donations: for fuel, for aircraft renting, for our fleet maintenance – our vehicles are forced to drive on broken roads now as a result of shelling.”
The future is in our hands
While the situation today can only be described as tragic, working together we can make the lives of ordinary Ukrainians that little but better and help to rebuilt what remains after Putin’s war. The Nova Poshta team, like many other Ukrainian commercial companies have stood up and delivered at this time of need, can you or your company say the same?
How can you help?
Nova Posta have opened accounts in different currencies for donations. Anyone can make a contribution. Nova Poshta will be grateful for any amount and assure beneficiaries that these funds will only be used for humanitarian purposes.
43 Zhylyanska street, Kyiv, 01033, Ukraine
Branch soft code: 300528
Account Number: UA793005280000026008455061609
Currency: USD or EUR
NOVA POSHTA GLOBAL LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY
03026, Ukraine, Kyiv, st. Stolychne highway, 103
VAT payer certification number 200136922
Reg. code (EDRPOU) 38130410
Payment for international delivery of humanitarian aid
Also, we would appreciate offers of support with infrastructure suitable for storage and movement of humanitarian aid to Ukraine as well as any other practical support that can be offered.
Last mile prophets are happy to offer a free of charge matching service whereby anyone willing to offer support can use. Please just add a comment to this post
and we will ensure that the right person at Nova Posta receives your proposal.
About the authors
Ian Kerr (pictured left), is the founder and host of the Postal Hub Podcast, the weekly podcast for the postal and delivery sectors.
Marek Różycki (pictured right,) is managing partner at Last Mile Experts, specializing in CEP and e-commerce last-mile advisory.