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| On Track & On Target | Sunday deliveries hit top of carriers' agenda
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17 July 2014

Sunday deliveries hit top of carriers' agenda

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Three UK-based carriers, Parcelforce Worldwide, DPD and Hermes, have announced Sunday deliveries for home shopping retailers, and Parcelforce’s parent Royal Mail is also to launch Sunday delivery trials.

DPD claims that its new offering, due for launch in July, is the first full nationwide Sunday service of its kind, though Parcelforce said its service would be available nationwide from June, and in practice Hermes was first off the block with its own version.

DPD will in future be able to collect from business customers on a Saturday for next-day delivery on Sunday, and online retailers placing orders on a Friday will also be able to specify either Saturday or Sunday delivery.

Deliveries will be made between 9am and 5pm on a Sunday and DPD’s network of more than 50 UK depots will be open during those hours.

The Hermes offering, initially available as a next-day service only, is fully tracked. Customers are able to order all day Saturday for a Sunday delivery.

Royal Mail’s Sunday service will initially cover deliveries within the M25 area, and comes in support of a trial under which 100 of its busiest delivery offices will open on Sunday afternoons.

In a separate move, Royal Mail has also announced that its delivery network is now open for receiving consignments from e-retailers later on Saturdays and on Sundays for Monday delivery. This change is already in place.

Significantly, Royal Mail Group says its latest moves have the full support of the Communication Workers Union.

According to Royal Mail Group chief executive Moya Greene: "We are exploring ways to improve our flexibility and provide more options for people to receive items they have ordered online."

DPD chief executive Dwain McDonald says: "We know from talking to retailers and recipients that there is a real demand for Sunday deliveries." He adds: "Saturday has long been the busiest retail day of the week, but with the blurring of the offline and online retail boundaries it can now also be the busiest day for e-tailers."

Hermes chief executive Carole Woodhead comments: "The retail sector has been trading seven days a week for a long time now, and by introducing this service we are giving online shoppers the same service."

DPD is offering its full Predict "in-flight" delivery alerting service with its Sunday deliveries, including the option for recipients to change the delivery day or destination.

Coincidentally, Hermes has now also launched a free delivery alerting service called Parcel Manager, under which retail customers can have dual-branded email alerts of delivery progress sent to recipients automatically. The emails are said to be triggered automatically within twenty minutes of the time when the item reaches various touch points in the delivery journey.



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