The UK parcel market has seen a surge in the number of customers shopping around for another carrier, according to a major new survey out this month from Triangle Management Services.
The UK Domestic Express Parcels Distribution Survey was based on 900 in-depth interviews with parcel shippers benchmarking their carriers on various aspects of their services.
The report, bringing together the annual surveys on the UK business-to-business and business-to-consumer segments, showed that the number of respondents who “deliberately stopped using a carrier” doubled in the last 12 months.
The year has been particularly challenging for some carriers, with the boom in e-commerce bringing growth in less profitable lightweight packet volumes, as well as a more pronounced Christmas peak for parcel deliveries in November and December.
Robin Parr-Davies, express director at Triangle Management Services, which also publishes Post&Parcel, said the data in the report highlighted the high-than-normal customer losses at a few of the carriers.
“There is some evidence in the survey that ‘carrier loyalty’ is weakening, with the survey average ‘loyalty’ factor dropping from 32.6 in 2011 to 28.3 this year, and a significant increase in the ‘lapsed usage’,” he said.
The Survey is the second annual report from Triangle that combines its B2B and B2C surveys, but the company has been carrying out its annual B2B surveys since 1984, launching B2C industry surveys in 2008. Both surveys are also available as separate reports.
Among the findings of the report, express network APC Overnight was particularly highly rated by its customers, with FedEx and Interlink also scoring highly for their main service criteria.
Leeds-based Hermes was seen to ‘care about’ their customers, while UPS was top for its brand image and DPD appeared to offer the best options for B2C deliveries with its “Predict” delivery service.
The Triangle report comprises 1,238 benchmark service ratings, with respondents detailing qualities for up to two of their carriers including overall level of service, competitive price, customer service, image and provision of information, with carriers also graded on 14 other key service indicators.
Among 14 carriers benchmarked by the survey are the major global integrators TNT Express, UPS and FedEx, along with Parcelforce Worldwide and Royal Mail.
It also features carriers including Yodel, Hermes, APC Overnight, City Link, UK Mail, the two Geopost brands of Interlink and DPD, and freight parcel specialists Nightfreight and Tuffnells.
The Triangle report is seen as the industry standard for the express sector to benchmark themselves against their competitors, while also assessing their own company performance in the key customer interface areas, as well as the success of new initiatives.
Parr-Davies said: “Having produced the Triangle B2B survey now for well over 25 years, we know and understand the value of the UK Domestic Express Survey programme to our clients. This new report is based on a large sample of users of express parcel carriers, both B2B and B2C, and as such is of significant value to the industry in terms of benchmarking.”
More information about the UK Domestic Express Parcels Distribution Survey is available at the Triangle website.
Source: Post&Parcel/Triangle Management Services