GFS Peak Pulse Weekly Bulletin #3

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In partnership with GFS, who power delivery for leading retailers and B2B brands worldwide, we will be bringing you a GFS Peak Pulse Weekly Bulletin coving the current state of the logistics industry and a forecast of expectations for the upcoming few days. Today we publish the third Peak Pulse Weekly Bulletin – check back next week for an update:

Current Outlook

2020 was the best planned and most effective Cyber Week ever! There was no room at the inn – Every carrier trailer and depot was full at the start of the week.

A huge delivery operation the weekend before Cyber Monday focused on delivering as many parcels as possible before the next volume wave hit.

It’s particularly impressive that, given the triple whammy of record volumes, social distancing in Hubs & Depots and contactless delivery, carrier performance has continued to be nothing short of outstanding.

GFS Peak Pulse Weekly Bulletin #3: key headlines

Feedback from retailers shows that forecasts have been blown apart by the pandemic and Black Friday volumes.

In many instances demand has outstripped supply, with the key challenge being delays in receiving imported goods in time for Christmas.

But retailers worked hard to pick, pack and label parcels over Cyber Weekend to prevent any backlog on Cyber Monday – with 60% more labels produced than the previous weekend.

Many retailers were really proactive in scheduling weekend collections – which helped support carrier requests for early volumes and left retailers with spare capacity for Cyber Monday. This also helped clear warehouse floor space and delivered an excellent customer experience as many parcels were delivered earlier than expected.

The GFS Checkout Dashboard shows that the basket conversion rate on Black Friday was 10% higher than the Wednesday and Thursday and conversions remained at similar levels on Saturday and Sunday running into Cyber Monday.

Top performing sectors

Volumes have been exceptionally high across all sectors! As expected, Christmas lines (such as Decorations, Trees, Gifts and Hampers) have seen huge growth.

Also high growth in:

  • Electrical
  • Technology
  • Gaming
  • DIY
  • Fashion & Footwear

GFS have also seen noticeable growth in the Pet Food sector, which is interesting. This perhaps indicates a change in buyer behaviour, with shoppers buying what was traditionally a more store-based product online.

Top international lanes

Domestic and International split has now swung to 85:15 (from 80:20), due to a surge in domestic volumes.

The top international lanes have all seen growth this week, with significant growth for Poland and the Netherlands

  • Ireland
  • France
  • Germany
  • USA
  • Italy
  • Spain
  • Australia
  • Poland
  • Netherlands

The outlook for next week

The focus remains on the final run up to Christmas. The execution of peak planning has been so successful we don’t want to fall at the last hurdle!

The forecast for snow will evoke memories of Christmas past. This week has been the real test for carriers to demonstrate that their significant investments would give them enough capacity to cope with surges in traffic.

Retailers are reporting a “cool down” period, but Mega Monday is coming! Now shops have re-opened, retailers are telling us volumes have dipped slightly but we expect volumes to remain at record numbers throughout December. Mega Monday is the last pay day before Christmas and is traditionally as big as Cyber Monday!

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