Many people covet a white Christmas, the snow provides an authentic holiday feeling for families, which may be very well for spending time indoors on Christmas Day but when it comes to Christmas deliveries the powder can cause a multitude of delays for courier services, potentially depriving customers of their eagerly expected gifts.
This year has seen some of the most volatile weather in recent memory; extreme weather struck many parts of the world, whilst more positively the UK saw temperatures soar to a record high of 29.9C in October. The IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) published a report on 17 November detailing the increasing impact climate change is inflicting on weather systems; the panel called for prompt action by government and industry to allay the increasing impact on the environment.
It might be thought that the increasing temperatures would decrease the likelihood of Christmas snowfall, however according to Ladbrokes the odds have changed, with a white Christmas more likely than previously predicted. The warm autumn may well be replaced with a polar air moving in to replace the mild conditions from the start of December the broker’s in-house weather experts told ClickGreen, a prediction echoed by Positive Weather Solutions.
Christmas snow betting is somewhat of a popular novelty, but harsh weather around the holidays could be disastrous for delivery companies and man and van operators. Severe weather has seen the disruption of delivery services in the past especially in the North, even going so far as to force companies including Tesco and Boots to halt online orders.
This year as with years previous, online shopping is set to grow,reaching around£21.3bn by the end of 2011. The increased demand, coupled with wintry weather systems could cause serious issues for Christmas deliveries.
Robert Matthams, Managing Director of Shiply, the online transport marketplace with more than 40,000 transport and removal companies as members, had this to say on the potential impact of changeable weather on deliveries, and precautions both transport providers and customers should take.
“It’s clear that we’ve had a lot of fair weather this year, which might lead people to dismiss the chance of snow over Christmas, but some factors are pointing to the fact that it may be more likely than it seems; and we’ve all seen the impact unpreparedness can have on transport in the past.
Customers can be very demanding of couriers over the holiday period, I would advise them to make sure that they have all their online shopping done, or at least planned well in advance to avoid any disappointment, and be sure to arrange things such as an eBay delivery service in good time should they need to, especially for large item delivery.
I would urge transport providers to start taking precautions for harsher weather, such as switching over to winter tyres and making sure they have de-icer and even appropriate attire for icy conditions prepared.”