The industry is ready to even out peak deliveries despite record parcel volumes

LONDON November 10th, 2015 – Metapack, the global leader in eCommerce delivery technology, is using its unique data analysis and market insight to forecast a significant and strategic change during  this year’s ‘Peak Period’.  Whilst parcel volumes are predicted to reach record numbers over the Black Friday weekend and in the run-up to Christmas, Metapack believes that the industry is much better prepared than in 2014 and will be providing more flexible delivery offerings to ensure the delivery network can support commitments made to customers.

Using historical and current data analysis derived from the Metapack platform, the company is combining insight into the eCommerce habits of UK and international retail customers with predictions relating to the numbers of parcels that are likely to be dispatched from warehouses and data on when these will be delivered to consumers.

Metapack anticipates that this shift in retailer’s strategies will result in deliveries being offered and managed over longer time periods. The challenging next-day delivery offers of previous years will be replaced by a more measured approach and a number of tailored promotions, for example, prioritised delivery may only be offered to customers signed up to premier services or will be clearly available as a ‘one-day-only’ offer. In addition, three or even five-day arrangements will have the effect of levelling-out the process from initial order through to final delivery. The fundamental aim will be to meet delivery promises and ensure clear communication to customers.

Although Metapack fully expects orders to hit record numbers over the Black Friday weekend and parcel volumes to reach twice their average weekly rates as a result, it anticipates that sustained high volumes will run throughout December with  a second delivery peak forecast to reach the highest numbers  immediately after the Christmas break and before New Year.

“We can see already that retailers have adopted new strategies and are putting in place mechanisms that will help to spread the delivery load over a much longer period of time. This will avoid the unnecessary pressure on logistics and courier services immediately following Black Friday and the Christmas/Boxing Day sales,” said Kees de Vos, Chief Product Officer at Metapack. “Retailers know that delivery is a vital part of their offer to customers and that it is absolutely essential to meet their delivery promises, so we doubt that all will be offering next day delivery, for example, on Black Friday.”

Whilst Metapack fully acknowledges that there will be very high peaks in web traffic and order placement throughout the period, it is convinced that 2015 will mark a change in how and when deliveries are dispatched from retailer’s warehouses and a vast improvement in the management of deliveries to consumers.  Retailers and carriers have demonstrably responded to last year’s challenges and have forecast and planned for this year’s peak period with more evenly spread promotional deals and more flexible and personalized delivery promises.

“We will undoubtedly see an increase in the hundreds of thousands of parcels being delivered, particularly at the beginning of each week during December,” continued Kees de Vos. “But these volumes will be sustained over a longer period, which should result in fewer very sharp peaks. This will allow retailers to ensure the supply chain has more breathing space to manage the process efficiently. Both retailers and carriers are all too aware that the peak period promises huge opportunities and huge challenges in equal measure and are already collaborating closely to provide consumers with a wide range of flexible choices without compromising on the quality of delivery services during this critical time.”

Metapack will track the delivery volume changes as we move through the peak period with particular emphasis on the parcel volumes every Monday. In addition, a separate Carrier Performance Heat Map will illustrate how the top 10 UK carriers are performing in the run up to Christmas.