The number of attempted – or carded – deliveries by UK couriers in June was more than double that of the previous month, according to the IMRG Metapack UK Delivery Index. Almost one in 10 (9.21%) deliveries were attempted or carded, up from 4.39% in May, but this may be an anomaly attributed to the nature of the holiday season.

Andrew Starkey, Head of e-Logistics at IMRG, 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?”

Angela O’Connell, Strategy and Marketing Director at Metapack, added: “The increase in carded deliveries could be an indication that retailers need to provide more convenient delivery options to their customers. With the start of the summer holiday season and with people spending more time outdoors, delivery services need to be flexible enough to fit around the busy schedules of online shoppers.  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.

Elsewhere, the proportion of delivery orders going to non-UK consumers appears to have reached a plateau (26.3%) having settled at the same level or below that of last year for the past five months. However, Cross Border volume still continues to grow in line with the increase in overall volumes. The percentage of Cross Border orders being delivered to countries in the EU has risen to 59.5%, up from 55.8% in May. Andrew added: “Another sign that the cross-border market might be entering a new phase is the fact that the volume of orders going to EU destinations (where English is not the first language) is holding above those going to non-EU destinations, with English speaking US and Australian shoppers who like UK brands the main source of these orders. This may suggest that UK e-retailers are increasingly targeting the more adjacent European markets which although closer, require a more localised approach.”

IMRG members can download the full IMRG Metapack UK Delivery Index at