26/11/15: With Black Friday and Cyber Monday now imminent, courier services across the UK are bracing themselves for the most operationally challenging period of 2015. Although the promotional weekend is traditionally scheduled for just 4 days, the reality of online retail sales patterns will mean that the knock-on effect of the influx will actually last for several weeks. As discovered in 2014, the surge in online retail orders over Black Friday will invariably equate to backlogs, delivery delays and depots running over capacity, unless couriers prepare meticulously for the increase in demand.
With online spending pipped to bring in 16% more revenue than last year, purchases are expected to create £2.2 billion for online retailers. With this in mind, the official Spending Season is due to only increase it assault on UK fleets. Courier companies are, therefore, pushed to increase the amount of technology used to complete their operations in an efficient manner. The Winter Operating Insight Paper (www.mbvans.co.uk/industryinsight) highlights that Sunday delivery services, which were previously a rarity, are now a staple in courier schedules. This service has moved from a luxury product of which the customer paid a premium, to an essential part of weekly operations in order to keep up with demand and maintain high standards.
With the amount of deliveries increasing tenfold, it’s only natural that the strain on fleet vehicles is also at its peak. Statistics from MobiloVan (Mercedes-Benz Vans’ free 30 year roadside assistance service) advises that vehicle breakdowns on Black Friday 2014 were up 26% when compared to the equivalent week in the previous year. If the financial forecasts are anything to go by, the number of breakdowns are only set to rise over the coming weekend. Thankfully, reliable services such as MobiloVan are fully prepared to support fleet networks and help them achieve success during this arduous, but potentially prosperous, period of trade.