Events around the world are conspiring to extended delivery times in several territories. This could impact your marketplace delivery times and is worth keeping en eye one.
In Europe, several post services have advised heavy snowfall is impacting deliveries in certain regions. As a result, it’s difficult, and in some parts impossible to deliver mail due to road closures and avalanche warnings. Mail transported to Germany, Italy and Austria may experience delays in delivery of up to 24 hours. In particular Switzerland and Austria are also affected but also delays due to snow in France are even impacting deliveries as far afield as Greece according to Royal Mail.
In Greece there was also a postal strike on the 23rd which has created a backlog of post which could take several days to clear leading to further extended delivery times.
There are processing delays on all inbound international traffic arriving in Italy so Royal Mail have updated current transit times with temporarily extended delivery times – Untracked products: 6-8 working days; Tracked products: 4-6 working days; Tracked and Signed For products: 5-7 working days.
In Canada there have been delays in January due to the strikes that took place last November, the last update from Royal Mail on the 4th of January stated that Canada Post continues to experience some delays to delivery services due to the high volumes of incoming mail. Delivery aims for Royal Mail services to Canada are normally 5-7 working days. However, International Standard and International Tracked & Signed continue to be delayed, some items taking 3-4 weeks to be delivered. Tracked & Signed customers are recommended to use the ‘Tracked’ service for a quicker service.
Finally, there are reports that due to the US Government Shutdown, delays are currently being experienced on parcels to the US causing a 24-48hr delay with parcels getting through customs. There is no end to the US Government Shutdown which now at 35 days is the longest in history. Some 800,000 Federal workers won’t be paid again this coming Friday.
Whilst there is little that merchants can do to get parcels delivery quickly when external factors impact delivery services, it is worth considering messaging customers as marketplaces generally have little sympathy when it comes to seller metrics. They may for certain incidents extend some relief and remove poor feedback or late delivery black marks, but with the current wide spread localised incidents they are unlikely to offer seller protection in all circumstances.