How are couriers coping this Christmas?

Christmas is the busiest time of year for UK couriers and although there have been some reports of delivery backlogs, it sounds like they have all been cleared now. All the main couriers appear to be coping well and despite some delays, they are all pretty certain that they will have everyone’s parcels delivered in time for Christmas – Phew!


Yesterday the BBC 4 You & Yours radio programme did a feature on online shopping delivery woes, after many of their listeners were complaining that they had not received their parcels on time. One woman had even sat at home all day waiting for her parcel, only to be told by the delivery company that they had tried to deliver it but she wasn’t in. When she tried to re-arrange her parcel to be delivered again, the delivery company still didn’t manage to deliver it, claiming their were problems with the driver’s technology.

So are couriers really coping as well as they say they are? Well when You & Yours spoke to DPD about the issue their listener had, they claimed it was a ‘one off problem’ as they had trouble finding the address and updating the driver.

They then spoke to some of the other biggest couriers in the UK to find out what measures they had in place to cope with the Christmas rush and this is what they had to say:

Royal Mail – Taken on over 1000 new drivers and 20,000 temporary staff to cope over the Christmas period and has said it is meeting demand.

Amazon – Had it’s busiest ever day on Black Friday with five and a half million orders but says it’s still working to a normal timescale. Unlike other e-tailers Amazon has a significant advantage as it uses so many different carriers that if one has a problem it just sends the orders to another one instead.

Things are also going to plan for both City Link and DX though the latter does admit that they have long waiting times for those ringing up with enquiries.

The only delivery company that really seems to be having issues is Yodel. Last Friday it had to pause orders from big retailers like Argos, Boots and Tesco Direct in order to deal with the backlog of deliveries, which came as a result of increased promotion over the festive period. The backlog has now been cleared.

It’s not all down to the delivery companies

Of course, you have to remember that although carriers should have measures in place to deal with the increased Christmas demand, they can only go on the figures that their clients (the retailers) have given them. It is up to the retailers to estimate the amount of orders they are likely to receive and provide detailed forecasts to couriers.

Another issue carriers are having is hiring qualified drivers. As we mentioned in an earlier blog post, there is a shortage of delivery drivers in the UK and this is causing longer delivery times and higher delivery costs.

Deliveries in time for Christmas

Even though some delivery companies have had a few problems with the amount of orders coming in, it looks like everyone should still receive their presents in time for Christmas!

To hear the full radio programme, head on over to

Merry Christmas

This is our last blog post before the big day, so we’d just like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a Merry Christmas!

Image credit: MTaylor848 & Surfergirl30

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