Last Mile Brief 13/03/2023: UK’s home delivery problems highlighted in Citizens Advice report

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In today's Last Mile Brief, we bring you some key insights from the latest Citizens Advice report on the parcel delivery sector in England and Wales, plus an update on strike action in Germany, and stories concerning Amazon, FedEx and PostNord among others.

Last Mile Brief 13/03/2023: UK’s home delivery problems highlighted in Citizens Advice report
Photo © Copyright Jaggery 

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Today’s headline story: UK’s home delivery problems highlighted in Citizens Advice report

A new report by Citizens Advice has shown how UK last mile delivery operators are struggling to meet expectations with regards to home delivery services. The report also indicates that the most common issues consumers have with receiving parcels are associated specifically with home deliveries – arguably reinforcing the need for better out-of-home networks in the country.

Titled ‘State of the Sector’, the report concerns England and Wales, and contains data from the Citizens Advice Consumer Service helpline, views of online advice pages, local Citizens Advice cases and data from nationally representative consumer surveys.

According to the data, 27% of consumers said that having to stay home (or having someone else stay home) to pick up a delivery has been a problem for them. In addition to that, 24% said that the courier had left before they had a chance to open the door. Another 23% said that their parcels had been left at an insecure location, while 10% stated they had encountered issues with parcel theft.

All of the aforementioned problems could in theory be alleviated or completely avoided via effective out-of-home delivery – once again reinforcing the message that out-of-delivery could bring benefits to both carriers and consumers.

Besides the above, the report found that persons searching for advice on parcel problems had increased annually for 3 years in a row. The most significant increase, 27%, occurred last year.

Other obstacles faced by consumers have been contacting parcel delivery companies, with 27% of those surveyed saying they had encountered this issue.

As far as letters are concerned, 13% of respondents said they had missed important documents, with 8% even saying they had missed hospital appointments due to late reception of a letter.

In one case referred to in the report, government vouchers intended to subsidise fuel bills had been delivered late. That saw one household plunged into debt and severe financial difficulty.

Another area covered by the report is the use of Post Offices. The data shows that 86% of respondents used a Post Office last year, with the most common reasons being to send a parcel, buy stamps or return orders. The number of full-time permanent branches has nonetheless fallen by more than 1,000.

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