Sub-standard roads lead to damaged deliveries every month

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A new study has revealed a quarter of UK drivers arrive at customers houses with faulty or broken goods at least once a month, with the majority blaming a bumpy journey caused by cracks and potholes found on UK roads.

Electronic goods were revealed as the most likely products to become damaged during transportation, including laptop computers, mobile phones and tablet devices. 

After noticing an increase in the number of transport, logistics and fleet companies enquiring about how to keep items protected during transportation, provider of tamper evident solutions has conducted a study looking into how often Britons are receiving damaged deliveries, what kind of products are most likely to get damaged and the reasons why this happens.

For the purposes of the research, the team at Versapak polled a total of 1,829 British adults, all of whom were aged 21 and over.

A further 306 individuals currently employed as UK delivery drivers were asked a separate set of questions during the study.

The first group of respondents were initially asked to reveal how often they have goods delivered to their homes after using online shopping or free delivery services etc., with the average answer emerging as three times per month.

When asked if they had ever discovered that an item had been broken or damaged during delivery, almost a third (32%) stated that they had received damaged goods.

When questioned on how often goods carried in their vehicles became damaged or harmed during transportation, the majority of delivery drivers (54%) admitted this happened at least once a month.

A further 21% revealed that, due to the fragile nature of cargo they transport, damage to goods occurs as often as once a day or more. 

To find out what was causing this damage, the drivers who had sustained damaged loads were asked to identify all the causes behind the problems they had experienced.

Almost two-thirds (64%) confessed that the cracks and potholes of British roads were to blame for the accidental damages, followed by inappropriate packaging of products (51%) and clumsy loading of the vehicle (24%).

Both groups were asked to reveal the items that are the most likely to break during a delivery journey, according to their experiences, with the top answers emerging as follows:

1.       Portable electronic devices (laptops, tablet devices, mobile phones etc)
2.       Glass homeware (glasses, mirrors, lamps etc)
3.       Crockery (plates, bowls, tupperware etc)
4.       Television and computer screens
5.       Wooden furniture (tables, chairs, desks etc)

Of the delivery recipients taking part in the study that had been delivered damaged goods, two-fifths (41%) admitted that the negative experiences had put them off ordering goods for delivery from particular retailers in the future.

Furthermore, of the professional van and lorry drivers polled, over half (58%) disclosed to researchers that they believe that the packaging measures put in place regarding deliveries need to be improved in order to improve customer satisfaction.

Leon Edwards, group managing director of Versapak, said: “When taking into account the shocking state of some UK roads and motorways, as well as the amount of pot-holes scattered around, the results of the study do not necessarily surprise me.

“I know only too well how disappointing it can be to be receive an order that has been damaged during transportation, and when it happens to such expensive items as computers, televisions or tablets, it can be somewhat of a nightmare.”

He continued: “As a result of this, here at Versapak we are calling on companies to invest in durable and protective transport bags for the transportation of such high value goods as mentioned in our findings, in a bid to decrease the amount of damage occurring on UK roads at present.”

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  • Philip Hastings - 23/07/2014 13:20

    As a driver trainer, I find the most common cause (contrary to what most drivers claim) is the poor quality of driving. Even whilst being assessed by me, drivers still regularly brake harshly, accelerate hard, and corner in a way which ensures that any light cargo moves around and inevitably becomes damaged. The most common problem has nothing to do with potholes and everything to do with drivers under time pressure accelerating towards green traffic lights and having to brake hard when they 'unexpectedly' change.

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