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Editor’s comment: Is the delivery industry facing boiling point?


After Asda hit the headlines a few weeks ago for the state of its delivery vehicles (and a subject BBC Watchdog has promised to tackle again in its show tonight), in the past week it’s been Amazon who have come under fire for the state of their delivery drivers.
It too comes after a BBC undercover investigation which found a reporter working for one of the retail giant’s many agency firms. It found that drivers faced huge pressures in getting their deliveries done and that long hours are affecting their take-home pay.

Of course, the experiences raised make shocking reading and both the agency firm concerned and Amazon strongly refuted the claims made.

But is it any wonder that such drivers are facing such pressure when delivery demands are growing faster than delivery providers can often manage.

Peak trading piles on the pressure

Add peak trading to the mix and pressures rise even more. The latest research from LCP Consulting shows the expected pressure of Black Friday on the delivery process with returns expected to be up by 50% in the week immediately following Black Friday and with around 5 million parcels expected to be returned. Next day deliveries are expected to rise by 20% but of those goods ordered via click and collect only half are expected to be collected next day, according to the research.

By the time you read this we will know the impact of a peak that shadows even Black Friday. China’s Singles Day took place on Friday. Amongst the predictions was Fastlane International’s who claimed that sales would soar by 50% and that it won’t be long before the UK is embracing trends such as Singles Day too.

To help retailers look at how to do that, and ensure they get the delivery experience right too, is a piece from David Poole, managing director sales for UK south at FedEx Express. He provides five helpful tips that will allow retailers to capitalise on annual international events such as Singles Day.

Knowing what’s going on whilst on-road, and having real time visibility of vehicles on the road is one way of helping but in an opinion piece this week Lewis Marston, CEO of Rocket Consulting, says that not enough retailers are embracing the opportunities offered by live supply chain information.

Latest results updates

In latest interim results Sainsbury’s revealed its new collection points rollout is on track to complete by the end of this month – further expanding its reach whilst Halfords announced the completion of its single view of stock project and the impact that has had on online fulfilment as a result in its own interims.

Also improving its online fulfilment is beachwear brand Pampelone Clothing. Rapid growth has meant the two-year old company has outsourced its logistics operations to better manage its order fulfilment to Walker Logistics.

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Image credit: Fotolia

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