Fleets preparing for Black Friday are temporarily increasing their fleet capacity, with Nexus Vehicle Rental reporting an ‘unprecedented’ number of bookings for November.
The daily rental provider has seen a record increase in daily van rental bookings, including new contracts for major delivery companies such as DHL, as retailers prepare to meet surge in sales on Friday (November 27).
Industry experts are currently predicting Friday’s sales will exceed £1 billion for the first time in the UK as shoppers begin buying gifts earlier to capitalise on pre-Christmas discounts.
In the past month, Nexus has seen van bookings surge by 50% with long wheel base and extra-long wheelbase vehicles, the vehicles of choice for delivery companies, trebling.
It is sourcing a significant volume of vehicles for new clients including DHL for their busiest periods. DHL is for the first time using Nexus to support their 2015 peak demands.
John Ellis, managing director of Nexus, said: “Last year the explosion in one-day-long pre-Christmas shopping events such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday were a phenomenal retail success, but brought associated delivery headaches with many companies unprepared for the full scale of the impact.
“Factors including the rise and rise of ecommerce, online led sales promotions, click and collect and a general expectation from consumers that products will be delivered in a matter of days has put a huge strain on the delivery network.
“Daily rental provides a solution which not only retains customer satisfaction and loyalty but also means extra capacity can be used only at the time it’s needed.”
The rise and rise of e-commerce is widely documented and the changing shopping habits of consumers is having a massive impact on demand for delivery van operators.
For the first time ever, online retail sales broke through the £100bn barrier for the year in 2014 - representing growth of 14% for the online retail market in the UK, according to the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index.
According to separate figures from Experian and IMRG, an estimated £810m was spent online on Black Friday 2014, the biggest ever day for UK online sales.
The ability to mobilise large volume and specialist rental requirements is a key USP for Nexus which it says has been a fundamental driver in the booking surge.
With access to more than 500,000 vehicles in over 2,000 UK locations the business is able source the widest variety of daily rental vehicles available in the country, from executive cars and construction vehicles to ice cream vans and snow ploughs.
In September Nexus launched a new Management Information (MI) suite enabling customers to more effectively manage their daily rental spend, track trends, review costs and deliver savings from its award-winning online rental booking system.
The new MI suite enables customers to self-serve their bookings as well as providing an overview of spend, giving in-depth analysis into rental behaviour in a highly visual format.