Parcel volumes trend returns to normal after early summer upswing
UK online retail parcel volumes in August fell 12.7% on July – which is the established month-on-month trend for this time of year – as the growth trend returned to normal following a few months of uncharacteristic growth patterns in early summer.
Between April and May the IMRG MetaPack UK Delivery Index recorded a month-on-month drop, before arcing up sharply between May and June – the usual trend is for the reverse to happen.
A drop between July and August is always the case as many people enter into the full swing of the holiday period and do less online when preparing to go away – and the result is that the cumulative growth rate for 2015 (Jan – August) is now back on forecast for the year at 13%; which would result in UK retailers despatching 1.05 billion parcels in 2015 through UK carrier networks.
Andrew Starkey, head of e-logistics, IMRG, said: “It’s interesting to see that we’ve ended up on forecast at this stage of the year – with a slow start to the year being balanced out by strong growth over the early summer period and now the growth trend settling down into an established pattern again. We are now fast approaching the peak shopping period of November and December, when we anticipate that around 250 million parcels will be despatched through UK carrier networks by UK retailers if the cumulative growth rate is maintained.”
Kees de Vos, chief product and marketing officer, MetaPack, said: “We are confident that with parcel volumes already meeting the forecasts, we are still on target to reach that important 1 billion parcels dispatched mark. We wouldn’t be surprised to see higher than expected growth figures during the peak period, so now is the time for retailers to get themselves prepared to take advantage of what will be a demanding, but highly profitable period to the end of the year.”