Analysis

Editorial: It’s getting hot in here… but it’s already time to think about Christmas

Whilst we are basking in the unusually high summer temperatures many are busy thinking about colder times – with planning for peak currently top of mind for retailers and carriers alike.

The news this week then that UPS is to introduce a peak delivery charge to cover the additional costs it incurs as a carrier during the season is an interesting move. Will others in the US follow its lead? Will it impact on business as a result? Getting delivery planning right at peak is a crucial balance of a wide variety of factors and is also something we will be covering in greater depth in a few weeks on eDelivery.net so make sure you keep an eye on the newsletter for more information.

Planning for peak, by its very definition, depends on knowing when peak is going to hit and this year the pattern could be different from the norm, according to ecommerce consultancy Salmon. It believes that this year we could see November overtake December as the year’s peak trading month.

This means it’s more important than ever for retailers to get planning and forecasting right rather than let their customers down. Unfortunately a new report from PeopleVox says this is happening too often. Its study showed that only just over half of those surveyed said they were happy with their fulfilment and warehouse operations and nearly two-thirds of retailers are shipping goods late.

This – inevitably – leads to customer dissatisfaction and the latest research from the Citizens Advice this week suggests that more than two-thirds of customers have had parcels go missing, get damaged or turn up late in the past year alone.

Another report this week, this time from KPS, suggests that free delivery is a key deciding factor for online shoppers across Europe – with customers also ordering more with the intention of returning unwanted items simply to hit free delivery thresholds.

Powering that delivery carriers are increasingly looking to emission free vehicles and StreetScooter and Ford-Werke have announced they are to now partner to manufacture a larger size version of the company’s StreetScooter vehicles, already in use by parent company Deutsche Post DHL Group.

And finally less concerned with perfection and more concerned with reducing unnecessary waste is wonky veg scheme Oddbox which has announced an expansion of its delivery offer into south-east London after initially starting in the south-west of the capital delivering the misshapen or oddly sized fruit and veg that the supermarkets didn’t want.

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