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Couriers struggle with Christmas deliveries

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Courier companies have warned they are struggling to cope with Christmas deliveries as internet shopping becomes more popular.

Last year saw a delay in Christmas deliveries because of two bursts of heavy snowfall which encouraged more people to shop online instead of risking going to their local shopping centre which saw a 25% increase in online sales.

The severe weather made some days impossible for the parcels to be delivered along with the demand of internet shopping which created a backlog with over 4.5 million parcels not delivered until New Years Eve leaving many people empty handed.

Four million parcels are being delivered already each day which is set to grow over the next few weeks, however if the UK is hit with snowfall or ice we could see the service being at a standstill.

To meet expected deliveries in time for Christmas companies are going to need to pull out all the stops to meet their customer’s orders.

Careful planning has been made and precautions have had to be put into place to ensure all deliveries are met each day so everyone can get their gifts before Christmas.

Even without bad weather, couriers are being pushed to capacity because of the massive difference in how people in the UK now do their seasonal shopping.

The courier system is already up by 15% on deliveries compared to last year and the £7.75 billion is expected to be exceeded.

Simon Veale, director of courier firm Global Freight Solutions said: “We are aware of setting limits on the numbers of items which we are prepared to deliver and others experiencing difficulties because of the sheer volume of extra internet retail.

“It is fair to say that carriers are crossing their fingers that the skies and roads remain clear, allowing them to meet what is a tremendous challenge in the weeks to come and avoid a repeat of last year.”

Supermarkets are also feeling the strain of online shopping food orders with many delivery slots already been taken by shoppers.

Online shopping has become more popular because it takes the hassle out of rushing around the busy high street, it takes one click and your shopping is done.

If the weather stays clear and courier companies keep up with the amount of online shopping everyone will hopefully get their parcels in time for Christmas.

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By Amanda Bainbridge