Courier firms are now looking to pool vehicles for delivery

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You’ve probably had a similar experience to me. In my little street in Sussex, the Royal Mail parcel van comes by earlyish (about 8am) and at some point later in the morning (about 11) we have the postie with letters and more parcels. The courier firms aren’t far behind.

I think the two ladies who come by around noon in their parcel-laden clapped out estate are from myHermes. And then the very grumpy lad from Eastern Europe, bless his heart, who delivers from Yodel can often be seen coming by more than once a day (which I never understand because it makes more sense to come by once) and there are the fast and furious delivery lads who from Amazon  (even on a Sunday) who don’t even stop for breath. You can scarcely see them because they move so fast.

The point being: even in my little street (no more than 15 houses) we have multiple deliveries a day from multiple carriers and couriers. This is plainly absurd. Why don’t the various firms team up for delivery to be more efficient and hopefully improve margins? And that seems to be exactly what they’re finally doing, especially in London. It’s a big problem in the capital: apparently in 2012 vans drove 3.8bn kilometres on London’s roads and yet in 2015 the figure had increased to 4.2bn. Goodness knows how much worse it has since become.

A report from the Economist has been published talking about ‘pooled delivery’. And as they note: “companies are beginning to pool their orders. Regent Street in the West End of London has cut delivery traffic by almost 80% since firms there started combining deliveries in 2008, using a company called Clipper Logistics. This in turn reduces congestion and air pollution. Camden council reckons that its scheme cut carbon-dioxide emissions in the borough by almost 3,000kg last year.”

It makes perfect sense, and should also boost the sometimes minuscule margins for courier firms if they team up for that final mile of delivery. And it’s also good for carbon emissions. More please.

6 Responses

  1. Thats an exceptional idea apart from one massive flaw.

    We do not want any of our parcels delivered by Hermes after huge issues we also do not want any parcels of ours delivered by APC and we also do not want any of our deliveries delivered by Yodel.

    So the thought that we hand our parcels to our carrier of choice at a price reflected in our choice of delivery, only to find further down the line it could be passed to clowns that feel putting items in Blue bins and throwing them over fences in the rain and not leaving notifications and also leaving a £255 parrot cage under a childs trampoline and forging a signature is horrifying.

    So leave my parcels with the company i choose.

    These other couriers have all only arrived on the scene through paying peanuts to monkeys on zero hour contracts who then cut corners and have no pride in their work. Which many online sellers are prepared to put up with for low prices.

  2. Yodel never welcome (don’t want them to have any involvement in my parcels) – no more parcels thrown over my back gate, please. Though I think Amazon have a 4% stake in Yodel – unless I’m out of date on this.

  3. It’s bad enough for consumers trying to deal with a courier which has doorstepped their parcel, or cross-delivered it, or dumped it in the recycling bin, or left it 4 doors down the road and not bothered to leave a card – or simply stolen it.

    Couriers won’t (by and large) deal with the recipient, because they don’t have a contract with them.
    Sellers won’t (by and large) compensate customers for parcels scanned as “delivered”, because they don’t need to, and trust their couriers more than they trust their customer.

    So the entire risk of theft, damage, or other loss, falls on the consumer.

    Pooled deliveries just introduce one more sub-contractor for all parties to blame.

    And if too much risk, hassle and financial loss falls on the consumer, the online delivery market will kill itself. There is a tipping point, and it’s probably safest not to test the system to tipping point.

  4. I think, certainly for the time being, this is aimed at business. Say for example Selfridges on Oxford Street on a daily basis could have deliveries from all the carrier firms, this other company takes all the delveries for them and just then delivers once to the store.

    It may work for private address in the future but only cities and I would imagine only ever a third party would do it.


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