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Online retail parcel delivery order volumes slow

Online retail parcel delivery order volumes saw their lowest year on year growth in 2018 so far in September, according to the latest figures from the IMRG MetaPack UK Delivery Index. Volumes were up by 6.4% year on year. Month on month volumes declined by 15.1%.

Order volumes usually decline month on month at this time of year, according to the IMRG, but there was also a sharper drop between July and August compared to last year too (-7.5% this year compared to -3.4% last year).

However September saw a record number of orders sent next-day with 55% of UK delivered orders sent by next day. On-time delivery continues to linger around the 90% mark.

Andrew Starkey, head of e-logistics at IMRG, said the volume figures could signal uncertainty in the market. “Looking at the order-volume trend line over the past few years, the declining month-on-month growth between July and August and August and September is expected. It has been a bit sharper this year, though not overwhelmingly so; does this suggest that shoppers have been holding off a bit and we’ll be heading for a big Black Friday and Christmas peak trading period, or could it be a reflection that people are perhaps not finding themselves with much disposable income and, given all the uncertainty around the UK economy at the moment, will retailers have to work even harder to hit their targets during the Golden Quarter this year?”

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