One in 10 UK home deliveries failed in June, industry data suggests

One in 10 UK home deliveries failed in June, industry data suggests

The number of failed home deliveries in the UK spiked “alarmingly” last month, according to the latest industry figures. The e-commerce industry association IMRG said on Tuesday that the proportion of consumer parcel deliveries that did not reach recipients first time in June was more than double the rate in May 2014.

Figures from the IMRG MetaPack UK Delivery Index suggested that 9.21% of deliveries saw only a notification card left during June, compared to 4.39% the month before.

The IMRG suggested the rise in missed deliveries could have been the result of couriers familiar with local addresses and the availability of consumers in their patch going on holiday.

Andrew Starkey, the IMRG head of e-logistics, said: “Attempted (carded) deliveries and address queries have spiked alarmingly this month. Could changes in staffing levels and driver allocation — resulting from holiday cover — mean that delivery agents who may be less familiar with addresses and consumers’ availability are finding it harder to make delivery in person?”

Delivery options

The failed delivery figure suggested to parcel management firm Metapack that retailers in the UK need to provide “more convenient” delivery options to their customers.

Angela O’Connell, strategy and marketing director at the London-based company said during the summer delivery services had to be flexible enough to cope with the rise in the number of people spending time outdoors.

“Alternative delivery options such as dropping in parcels at a neighbour’s house, at local pick-up points, at a store or at the workplace will play a key role in reducing attempted deliveries in the future,” she said.

The latest report from the IMRG-Metapack Index also appeared to show that the number of parcels from UK e-commerce merchants delivered overseas has reached a plateau, settling around the 26% mark for the past five months.

Cross-border volumes have risen in line with the increase in overall e-commerce volumes, while there has been almost a four percentage point increase in the percentage of cross-border deliveries going to countries in the European Union compared to May, to 59.5%.

Starkey suggested the cross-border market could be entering a “new phase”, with retailers targeting closer foreign markets than the US or Australia despite the language difference.

“This may suggest that UK e-retailers increasingly targeting the more adjacent European markets which although closer, require a more localised approach,” he said.

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