Snow, ice and fog are adding to the Christmas chaos in some delivery networks, with home delivery firm ParcelHero stating that the “Arctic weather couldn’t have come at a worse time”.
Delivery delays were already growing because of the on-going strikes, with private carriers such as DPD and Evri citing Royal Mail industrial action as a reason for their own disruption. ParcelHero added a shortage of seasonal workers post-Brexit and global disruption caused by Covid problems in China have compounded delivery pressures.
ParcelHero’s head of consumer research, David Jinks, said: “Snow is the last thing the UK’s traditional postal service and courier networks needed. Even before Arctic conditions hit the UK, deliveries were backing up. Retailers and individuals have all been switching to couriers to avoid the impact of industrial action in the traditional postal network, and this unexpected extra volume of parcels has taken some networks by surprise.
“It’s not only strikes that are impacting deliveries, there’s also a shortage of warehouse operatives and delivery drivers, because many seasonal workers have left the UK post-Brexit. Several UK courier networks have had to take steps to keep parcels moving as retailers abandon traditional mail services. One major courier has stopped all next-day deliveries in some areas.”
The mail strike has also impacted many retailers. Waterstones’ final online order date of 21 December quoted last week has now moved to 19 December. Other stores, such as Currys, have ditched their traditional mail option entirely, in favour of courier services, because of the impact of the strikes. Even so, it has managed to maintain its final order dates of 22 December for small items and 21 December for larger goods. The electrical good retailer advised that orders will arrive before Christmas if its next-day delivery option is chosen.
Superdry had an ambitious last order date of 23 December that it has now “sensibly clawed” back to 20 December and House of Fraser, Harvey Nicks and Cath Kidston have all pulled their final order dates back by at least a day.
“With all this Christmas confusion, ParcelHero has re-launched our popular Christmas tool in the nick of time. You can now discover retailers’ final online order dates in time for Christmas, find out the last mailing dates for presents to UK and international destinations, and see handy packaging and Customs clearance hacks to help ensure gifts reach their destinations in time” added Jinks.