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Keep track of 2016’s peak period

Each year MetaPack produces benchmarking reports to help the industry understand how peak deliveries are shaping up. The Peak Profile Index and Carrier Performance Heat Map are updated weekly to help you keep track of Christmas peak.

Peak Profile Index

The Peak Profile Index is a visual representation of how a sample set of our eCommerce customers (retailers and brands) perform over the Peak period. MetaPack define peak as 1st November through to 15th January (22nd January for returns). We index all volumes from the beginning of September to show their relative growth during peak which allows for year on year industry comparisons.

WEEK 52 (week ending 25th Dec)

For week 52 (week ending 25th Dec) the week on week growth is -27% for 2016. This compares to -42% for 2015. This shows the benefit of Christmas falling on a Sunday rather than last year’s Friday.

Carrier Heat Map

The Carrier Performance Heat Map allows you to track how the top UK carriers perform throughout the Peak period. Carrier performance figures from September were calculated for each carrier, using a sample set of our customers. We index all figures to allow you to see each carrier’s improvement/degradation in service, relative to their performance in September. The dashboard below is interactive, so feel free to use the filters or click on the table and map to see a little more detail.

WEEK 52 (week ending 25th Dec)

There is no update for week 52.

Updates for previous weeks

WEEK 51 (week ending 18th Dec)

Peak Profile Index: For week 51 (week ending 18th Dec) the week on week growth is -4%. This compares to -0.2% for 2015.

Carrier Heat Map: There is no update for week 51.

WEEK 50 (week ending 11th Dec)

Peak Profile Index: For week 50 (week ending 11th Dec) the week on week growth is -11% for 2016. This compares to -17% for 2015.

Carrier Heat Map: There is no update for week 50.

WEEK 49 (week ending 4th Dec)

Peak Profile Index: The week on week parcel volume for the week ending the 4th December showed 11% growth. This compares to 17% volume growth in 2015.

Carrier Heat Map: Week 49 started reasonably well for the carriers within our heat map matrix. On the 28th November, 5 carriers struggled with the quality of service in Northern Ireland, and Scotland, but all but one of the high volume carriers presented a fairly healthy service across the board in all regions. Carrier B however (high relative volumes) appeared to struggle across nearly all regions, which is a concern. On the 29th, the overall quality of service deteriorated, with even lower volume carriers struggling to manage the increased volumes in regions like Greater London, the South West and West Midlands. The services across carriers steadily improved through the 30th November and the 1st December.

WEEK 48 (week ending 27th Nov)

Peak Profile Index: The week on week parcel delivery volume for the week ending the 27th November illustrates 35% growth. This is the largest weekly delivery volume increase of 2016, as should be expected for the week in which Black Friday falls. This figure compares with 39% growth for the same period in 2015. Given Cyber Monday falls at the end of the month (the 28th November) it will be interesting to see whether a combination of better delivery certainty and the payment of monthly salaries contributes to uplift WEEK 49 delivery volumes beyond the levels of growth seen in 2015.

Carrier Heat Map: Let’s start with good news, great even. Despite the large jump in delivery volume in week 48 (+35%), Carrier F has demonstrated the highest Quality of Services across all regions, throughout the week; this despite the fact that proportionally its volumes are high and the UK had additionally just come off the back of some inclement weather and localised flooding and some significant road chaos. However, during the course of Week 48 we did see a slow but very steady reduction in performance across nearly all carriers, as volumes did take its toll and placed stress on the carrier networks and capacity. On the 22nd of November, for example, we saw each and every carrier suffering to some degree. Carrier B (proportionately high volume) struggled across all regions, but had picked up quite dramatically just a day later on the 24th. Carrier D (high proportionate volume) performed well on the 24th November, but on many of the other days in week ending 27th November, showed signs of stress with below average Quality of Service. Next up is Week 49 & Cyber Monday, the true test.

WEEK 47 (week ending 20th Nov)

Peak Profile Index: The week on week volume growth for the week ending 20th November sits at 7%. This compares to -2% for the same week in 2015. This is the largest volume growth in week 47 since 2011/12. This is particularly interesting given the high visibility of Black Friday promotions by the likes of Amazon. Consumers haven’t held back!

Carrier Heat Map: As the industry enters crunch time, in the lead up to the Black Friday / Cyber Monday sales period, the exact timing of dispatches and service profile during this super-peak have the potential to disrupt the e-retail supply chain. In week 47 this is very evident, with a significant decline in service levels week-on-week. The good news is that 2 carriers are showing up brilliantly – with well above average Quality of Service across all UK regions (despite their volume proportions being relatively high). However, on the downside, 3 carriers show signs of significant stress in their network, with carrier’s D & E of particular concern given their relative volumes. Perhaps these carriers are yet to fully transition into peak mode, perhaps holding back to deal with this challenge in week 48?

WEEK 46 (week ending 13th Nov)

Peak Profile Index: The week on week volume growth for the week ending 13th November is 8%. This compares to 16% for the same week in 2015.

Carrier Heat Map: There is no update for week 46.

WEEK 45 (week ending 6th Nov)

Peak Profile Index: As we enter the second week of November we’re seeing a steady and consistent uplift in volume at 2%; though over the last couple of years we have seen a higher rate of week on week growth for this period (2013 – 9%), (2014 – 4%) (2015 3%). Many factors are influencing this trend. Whilst overall volumes continue to increase, the resulting pattern reflects a picture of managed growth; a combination of better peak planning by retailers and brands (to distribute the peak load more evenly), and consumers being more savvy about Black Friday promotions and future discounting.

Carrier Heat Map: Overall we see a strong performance from UK carriers, though predictably, three carriers are showing a below average level of service in Northern Ireland, and two other carriers are performing below par in both the North West and Scotland. This is consistent with the data seen in previous years. Despite a relative lull in growth in volume – the calm before the peak storm – there are some signs of stress on the network, and this could be because many of the carriers are yet to fully transition into peak mode, perhaps holding back to deal with the challenge to come.