The impact of COVID-19 can be felt across every industry and part of life this year. One of the industries which has certainly been impacted but not quite like any other is the parcel delivery industry. The pandemic has turned this industry into a key and essential service during a challenging period and the industry has certainly stepped up and delivered, so to speak.
Rise in Online Shopping
With non-essential stores closed, grocery stores often packed and low on stock and people being forced to spend more time at home, it is no surprise that online shopping has risen drastically. In addition to buying groceries and over essentials, people are also buying more non-essential items online as well as products which they would usually buy in-store. This, and people sending packages to loved ones, has put great strain on the parcel delivery industry as explained by Parcel2Go’s Head of Commercial, Ashely Taylor: “Since the COVID-19 Pandemic Parcel2Go has seen an incredible surge in demand. As consumers have been homebound, there has been a surge in online purchases via retailers & marketplaces, as well as people sending items to loved ones. As a result, more & more people & SME’s have been looking for shipping solutions which met their needs. As Parcel2Go offer access to nearly all major UK couriers, we’ve seen over 10,000 new customers a week come to Parcel2Go to access courier services via our website. Couple this with an increase in items being shipped via our existing customers, we’ve seen 400,000 parcels a week being shipped through the comparison website”.
Adapting to Provide Safe Parcel Delivery
Of course, the parcel delivery industry has also had to adapt and consider safe ways in which they can deliver and pick up packages. Protecting public health is the top priority in times like this and this has resulted in changing delivery methods which allow people to send and receive packages with no contact or need for signing (a photo is used instead). People also prefer to have their packages picked up as opposed to visiting the post office, so places like Parcel2Go have encouraged this with discounts on collection products and partnerships with platforms like Gumtree.
Challenges With International Delivery
It has not all been good news for the industry, though, as there has been issues in relation to international delivery which has caused delays when essential supplies need to be delivered. Around 40% of annual global air cargo is transported in passenger aircrafts, which is obviously problematic in a time when flights are grounded and international travel is restricted.
So, what does the future look like? Life is slowly and very tentatively returning to normal, but it is likely that online purchases will remain high as it is so convenient and many consumers will still be cautious while there is still the threat of the virus. This was reiterated by Parcel2Go’s Head of Marketing, Larisha McGurty:
“In the current climate, customers feel safe shopping online and it is likely that these habits, whether it is buying essentials, treating yourself or even buying a gift for a relative will continue for the foreseeable future. Even when the public start to venture back to normality with a trip out to the shops, we expect the positive online shopping experiences during this period to encourage more online purchases than before the lockdown period.”
The parcel delivery industry has certainly stepped up during the pandemic and done well to adapt to the new situation and manage the huge surge in demand. It seems that this high demand will be around for a while longer and possibly even after the threat of the virus has disappeared because it has shown many people just how convenient it is to shop online and how you can buy everything that you need online.