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Online delivery volumes drop unexpectedly in May

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Deliveries of online parcels fell unexpectedly in May, according to new IMRG figures.

The IMRG MetaPack UK Delivery Index recorded a 2.9% fall in month-on-month sales between April and May 2015 – the first time in the history of the index that a fall between these two months has been recorded.

Linked to the fall, year-on-year growth was set back to 9% from the previous year-to-date performance of 10.9%. At the start of the year, the Index forecast was for growth of 13% in 2015.

Service quality, however, was positive as measured through on-time deliveries and attempted deliveries. Levels remained high at 94%.

Andrew Starkey, head of e-logistics at IMRG, said: “Previous experience shows that in the months and weeks preceding an election retail performance slows, then bounces back as consumer confidence returns. But the concern is that this might have longer term implications because in online retail the month of June is traditionally lower than May but this year we must hope that, with the election period now out of the way, the market recovers sufficiently to put us back on track for the rest of the year.”

Kees de Vos, chief commercial officer at MetaPack : “While the growth in online delivery volumes has generally performed below expectation so far this year, May was a bit of an unpredictable month with the uncertainty around the general election outcome and unseasonal weather likely impacting on sales for some retail categories, so macro factors could have played a part in these figures. The weather so far in June has been far more seasonal, so it will be interesting to see if we record a pick-up moving into June.”

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