Yodel deliveries rise by 11% in December

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Courier Yodel delivered more than 15.5 million parcels between December 1 and December 24 - a year-on-year increase of 11%.

On the company’s busiest day, December 1, more than 1.2m parcels were delivered to customers across the UK, more than 40% higher than the carrier’s peak day in December 2013.

The carrier accepted more than 600,000 parcels over and above the forecasted levels agreed with retailers over the Black Friday weekend.

Christmas shopping predictions made by Experian and IMRG as late as November 25, while anticipating online spend to set new records, underestimated the level of sales on Black Friday – November 28 - by 46%, when £810m was spent online, exceeding original estimates of £555m.

Online sales for Cyber Monday (December 1) also exceeded original forecasts by more than 10% with £720m spent online, compared to estimated figures of £650m.

Advance notification of promotions, coupled with a mild winter, meant that shoppers delayed buying presents and winter clothes, resulting in low parcel volumes during November, said Yodel.

Flash sales such as Black Friday triggered a huge and unprecedented spike in parcel volumes coming into Yodel’s network.

Dick Stead, executive chairman of Yodel, said: “The Black Friday phenomenon, which overtook Cyber Monday as the peak online shopping day for the first time, has changed the Christmas peak model, possibly forever, as consumers are changing their online shopping habits, condensing them into a shorter time period.

“We’re reviewing our performance and will be working with our valued retail clients on next year’s Peak plan, setting out a new blueprint for Christmas operations.”

Planning for the peak commenced back in January 2014 when Yodel invested heavily in a detailed Christmas operations plan.

The carrier then upscaled resources to match retail forecasts, boosting the workforce by over 5,000, putting over 700 additional vehicles on the road and procuring 13 extra sites to handle the increase in parcel volume.

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