Appreciation of UK delivery drivers surged during lockdown, says McCarron Coates

The appreciation of Britain’s delivery drivers and couriers has surged during lockdown, according to research commissioned by McCarron Coates.

More than half of the general public (57%) say their attitude to delivery drivers and couriers has become more positive during lockdown, as opposed to just 5% who say it has become more negative.

47% say they believe couriers have been key workers during lockdown, with this rising to nearly six-in-ten of those interviewed who were aged over 55. 

35% go so far as to say they do not know what they would have done without delivery people and a third (33%) say they really appreciate how much Britain’s delivery men and women have put their own health on the line during the pandemic.

17% believe it would be right to refer to these workers as ‘lockdown heroes’.

Ian McCarron, director of McCarron Coates, said: “Britain’s van drivers have turned a corner in terms of public popularity and can now build on this, if they maintain good driving behaviours and are courteous and helpful to the customer.”

Men responded more positive to delivery drivers than women and the age group most appreciative was that comprising interviewees aged 55-64, rather than the over-65s.

McCarron Coates says it sees the positivity as a real watershed in the relationship between courier companies and the general public and is urging Britain’s delivery van fleets and start-up businesses to act on the positives and build profitable and customer-focused businesses.

McCarron said: “We don’t want to see any U-turns, now such progress has been made, so we would urge van drivers to capitalise on the opportunity the pandemic has provided, get the right risk advice in place as their fleets grow and build profitable van-based businesses, supported by public goodwill and gratitude.”

Delivery network, CitySprint, has revealed that it saw increase in DIY and home improvement deliveries of over 170% across the August Bank Holiday weekend (August 29-31, 2020) this year, compared to the same weekend in 2019.

The Bank Holiday figure caps an overall year on year (YOY) increase of 123% so far this year for the delivery business in this category.

CitySprint says the rise in home deliveries is prevalent this year, due to the rise in ecommerce and to-home deliveries in light of the global Covid-19 pandemic.

Darren Taylor, business solutions director at CitySprint, said: “DIY deliveries are often bulky and high-weight, making logistics and fulfilment a less straightforward proposition for these retailers compared to their counterparts in areas like electronics or fashion.

“But fast and convenient home deliveries are still a relatively under-exploited area in the DIY sector. These figures clearly show that the appetite for this from consumers is there.”

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