Delivery volumes defy expectations in July owing to stay-at-home summer


Online retail parcel delivery order volumes were up +15.2% year-on-year in July, according to the latest data from the IMRG MetaPack UK Delivery Index. Growth traditionally plateaus as we move into the summer holiday season as many people go abroad but, as the temperatures remained very high across most of the UK, it seems people instead opted to stay on home turf this year, which reflected positively in the delivery index – up 2.6% month-on-month on July.
The usage of specified and next-day services remained at an all-time high in July, accounting for 36.5% of all online orders. And while an increase in the reliance on specified-day services means added pressure for carriers, the percentage of successful on-time deliveries remains unchanged at 90%. This is still considerably lower than in previous years, however – just two years ago, retailers and carriers were maintaining an average success rate of 94%.
The average order value in July was again above its relative position in recent years, up 4.6% against July 2017, with the continued hot weather likely to have been a key contributing factor. Most of this year-on-year performance is driven by purchases made by UK-based shoppers, although the strength of the euro has kept European values up too.
Andrew Starkey, head of e-Logistics, IMRG, said: 

“2018 continues to be a solid year for online delivery growth. There have been a number of recent economic indicators that suggest consumer confidence is decreasing and that shoppers are feeling the pinch as we have moved into the third quarter, but there were some more positive findings this month in that the average order value was the highest ever recorded in the Index for the month of July. With European shoppers apparently taking advantage of the strength of the euro against sterling, and UK shoppers wanting to make the most of the hot summer, it’s only the on-time delivery rate that remains a concern over the coming months as we approach the peak shopping season.”