Will deliveries increase for Xmas because of Covid 19?

Online shopping has steadily risen year on year, so it’s no surprise to see a surge in the last few months of the year as the festive season approaches.

However, 2020 is a year like no other and the traditional Christmas surge has been supercharged this year as shoppers rely more than ever on delivery companies to keep them well stocked up for the holidays.

Covid-19 restrictions in various parts of the UK have led to more people going down the online route. Whether it’s reduced opening hours for certain shops or the fear of mixing in large groups in the high street, the coronavirus pandemic has seen a noticeable upsurge in online shopping.

The knock-on effect of this is that there will be more delivery drivers on the road in the weeks leading up to Christmas. Customers will also be crossing their fingers that everything will arrive on time as couriers work around the clock to meet delivery commitments.

Companies got on the ball early

After lockdowns earlier in the year across many parts of the UK, delivery companies already knew that their services were in high demand. Even small, independent retailers had to quickly adapt to the ‘new normal’ of selling online have had no previous experience of doing so.

For retailers, having a reliable courier to partner with was essential in meeting their customers’ needs. Couriers themselves had to learn how to deal with the extra workload while ensuring contactless deliveries go to the people they were supposed to.

Therefore, delivery companies will have not been surprised to see the usual Christmas upsurge increase further due to Covid restrictions.

In fact, in late October, Royal Mail began hiring extra staff to deal with already-high demand. Industry experts have already predicted that online shopping in 2020 will far outstrip the 2019 figure. It is believed that online shopping will increase by almost 35% this year, to over £141 billion and will represent almost a third of all total retail sales.

And it won’t just be the items that people are getting delivered to their own homes to then wrap and present as gifts. With fewer people travelling to see loved ones over the Christmas period, there will be an increase in gifts, food and drink being delivered to other addresses.

Increased deliveries put pressure on couriers

While cars might be sparser on the roads this Christmas, courier vehicles will fill in the gaps. They will have to deal with greater workloads, which means longer hours and venturing to hard-to-reach places that previously experience low demand for deliveries.

The pandemic itself has forced delivery workers to adapt some additional measures. With contact intended to be minimised, couriers often have to leave items on doorsteps, take photos and provide more accurate tracking information.

They have also had to deal with stressed-out customers who have been less than patient when it comes to receiving deliveries. Some have even verbally abused couriers, resulting in Hermes to make a plea to the public to show respect to their over-worked delivery staff.

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