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Busiest Christmas for Deliveries Offers Challenge to Couriers Says Shiply

An unprecedented number of online sales this holiday season could provide a considerable logistical challenge according to online transport marketplace Shiply. Making sure that everyone gets their gifts on time will demand a substantial effort on the part of couriers and delivery services.

The week ending December 9 saw a 15% rise on the same period last year with similar increases reported of the first 39 days of the holiday season according to comScore. Sales on “Cyber Monday” and “Black Friday” rose more than 20% compared to 2010.

The coming week tends to be the busiest for online shopping, “Green Monday” coined by eBay often ranks among the top spending days. However new trends such as free shipping days (the last day before Christmas where free delivery can be guaranteed to reach before the 25th) may be challenging for the highest spend.

An unparalleled number of parcels have caused Royal Mail to hire thousands of temporary staff to cope with increased demand over December and potentially January, to deal with the sales. But with the postal service operating at a loss and facing job cuts, online retailers often rely on independent couriers and man and van services to provide affordable delivery, but some delivery companies are already struggling to keep up with demands of four million parcels to be delivered every day.

Robert Matthams, Managing Director of Shiply (www.shiply.com) the online transport marketplace with a network of more than 40,000 transport and removal companies, gives his opinion on the current trends in online shopping and the challenges faced by delivery services.

“Last year’s inclement weather caused a lot of high street closures which led people to turn to online shopping, but because of the snow many deliveries were delayed causing a lot of frustration.

Online shopping is easier and more accessible now and with the growth of mobile transactions and improved security, many people who wouldn’t have shopped online before are now doing so. I doubt we’ll see anything but growth in the future.

November/December is always a busy period for deliveries and I hope that couriers have learned from past experiences that there’s a huge surge in demand at this time of year and made contingencies to cope with it. The government has promised to better cope with any snow this year and have more salt and new gritters to treat roads. So I would say that people can have more confidence in their deliveries or moving goods this year, but I would also advise that customers don’t leave it to the last minute”

Via EPR Network
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Shiply Supports Government Boosts To UK Logistics Sector

The past few months have brought unsettling news for the delivery and logistics sectors as well as other road users; proposed increases in taxes and fuel duty were met with swift objections from MP’s and Motoring Associations.

In a move that will benefit large haulage firms and man and van companies alike, George Osborne has scrapped the 3 pence fuel duty rise that was due to hit road users in January, as outlined is his Autumn Statement; as well as reducing future increases planned for August from 5 pence to 3. The turnaround, a result of increasing pressure from those opposed is no doubt a boost for transportation and delivery companies as the now abandoned fuel duty hike would have seen a haulier operating 10 lorries fuel costs soar by £65,000.

Further, the Department for Transport released its November review “The Logistics Growth Review – Connecting People with Goods” detailing proposed plans and investments for the sector for the future. The review outlined a number of favourable changes for the delivery and logistics sectors including:

– £1bn investment in “growth critical roads”
– Securing commercial funding for logistics developments projects
– £4m investment in skills for logistics schemes and improving the image of the sector
– £8m commitment to lower emissions technologies
The investments are expected to “Improve longer term capacity, performance and resilience of congested road and rail networks”

Robert Matthams, Managing Director of Shiply (http://www.shiply.com/) the online transport marketplace with more than 40,000 transport and removal companies as members, commended the government’s turnaround on fuel duty as well as its increased support of the sector.

“These plans are great news. The logistics business makes up 7% of employment in the UK and with small profit margins (1-3%) it is important that the sector receives support, it’s a huge driver of the economy and I believe it’s significant that the government is trying to create greater confidence for investment. I also think the plans to better the image of the industry is vital, delivery services are enormously important to businesses and customers, so ensuring we invest in apprenticeships, qualifications and encouraging the next generation is key to its continued success.”

Via EPR Network
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