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Monday, 28 November 2011

Black Friday vs Mega Monday - The Logistics

Today is Cyber Monday or Mega Monday in the UK! What has been the overall impact of online sales for bricks and mortar retailers? As we can see it is a mixed picture, people are still pounding the tills but from today onwards online sales reign supreme, with over 3,000 online sales a minute predicted for today. Online sales will peak on the 6th December!
Last Friday was what is known as 'Black Friday' and records showed it was the best ever year, breaking all records despite the economic down turn and weakened economies. People were still hitting the stores to get their bargains. Today they go online - this being the most unproductive day of the year as workers spend time online purchasing. 10-14% of retailers sales are now done online and this will continue to grow.

Predictions are good for today - with online sales peaking this lunchtime:

With increased online sales the courier network is the behind the scenes link in the chain, the all important cog that keeps internet sales turning. Consumer confidence has been knocked with the last few winters seeing roads closed and warehouses piling up with purchases for Christmas. Many items just didn't arrive in time last year as we saw roads closed and some of the worst weather for decades.

However the some of the stories that came out of the chaotic problems of last year were the most touching - postmen and couriers working round the clock in dangerous and freezing temperatures to make sure items arrived on time and food was delivered to remote areas, often risking becoming stranded themselves.
                                                                                          Deserted A31 Jan 2010

Part of the problem was gritters running out of salt, and keeping our infrastructure open proved to be a challenge. The impact on the economy was massive.  Last year being located next to a salt mine was a huge advantage for us; it meant locally there was easy access to grit - the trucks could get out and deliver and pick up pallets for our retailers, keeping shelves stocked and getting bulk items into warehouses ready for distribution. We utilised our range of trucks differently - opting for smaller mid sized lutons that could navigate the roads more easily and the same day service meant pallets weren't piling up in warehouses but were picked up and dropped off by the same driver, allowing the network couriers to distribute to the consumer.

This year will be different - the milder weather means that the UK won't (hopefully) have the same problems as the last couple of years. Will consumer trust be regained in the delivery network? Today will tell..if online sales break all records like Friday's in store sales then the phones shall be ringing off the hook!

Ruck Courier Service

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