A study by leading parcel and carrier manager, Global Freight Solutions (GFS), has called for all-weather contingency plans following December’s extreme weather.
Online spending by UK customers reached £6.8 million in December as customers avoided the sometimes treacherous high streets, which in turn dramatically increased the work of courier services.
Extreme weather experienced by the UK in December may have boosted sales but put tremendous strain on delivery networks and GLF argues that more should be done in future to prepare for these conditions.
Neil Cotty, Managing Director of GFS, said: “Our study brought home the importance of year-‘round continuity planning to both carriers and the firms they serve.
“Many of issues, such as the impact of staffing on carriers service levels or the ability for businesses to rely on more than one courier at very busy periods, are present throughout the year.
“However, the combination of factors before Christmas last year made their significance all the more apparent.”
GFS has suggested that a few simple actions could have reduced the chaos, such as having more staff working in the run up to Christmas and retailers urging shoppers to buy earlier.
“Having carriers working extra days in the run-up to Christmas, just as retailers now commonly do, will relieve some of the strain they’re under.
“Likewise, retailers encouraging customers to shop online earlier will reduce the number of parcels in the system at the busiest time of the year and increase the chances of presents getting to their destination in time.”
Retail Gazette reported in January how many delivery drivers went above and beyond the call of duty in making sure people received their products during December.