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Online retail delivery order volumes up, on-time deliveries down

By Danielle Wightman-Stone


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Online retail delivery order volumes were up almost 17 percent year-on-year in October, according to the latest data from the IMRG MetaPack UK Delivery Index, however, the percentage of orders being delivered on time was down by 7.4 percent on last year.

According to IMRG’s latest figures, next day and specific day deliveries accounted for 49 percent of all UK orders in October, but just 87.2 percent of all orders were delivered on time. This is due to more people selecting next day and specified day deliveries, which they state puts a higher level of pressure on operations, reducing the scope to carry deliveries over to the following day.

Andrew Starkey, head of e-Logistics at IMRG said: “The lower on-time delivery rate of 87.2 percent appears largely due to a steady shift towards next day as the new ‘standard’ for delivery.

Next day is being widely promoted and often free if spend is above a certain threshold, as retailers seek to use their delivery offers to attract and retain shoppers. The good news is that although on time rates are down, it is likely that more parcels are being delivered faster than ever before and in line with increasing customer expectations.”

Bruce Fair, chief revenue officer at MetaPack, added: “We have seen a gradual increase in volumes across our delivery platform since October and we anticipate that this will continue into the New Year. Black Friday and the Cyber Weekend followed this trend, but with an even greater peak in deliveries than we expected, which will inevitably put continued pressure on express services.”