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Trouble shooting parcel couriers

Parcel Couriers can have a terrible reputation and today we find some of it is justified.

For our regular customers we use a third party parcel carrier to deliver the odd parcel that they have. This is a win/win for all of us as we get to look after all the delivery aspects, the customer gets a good price and the parcel carrier still gets the job.

If it goes wrong, the customer let’s us know and we chase the parcel carrier to see what the problem is and resolve it.

The first thing we have to do is find out where the parcel is, easy you may think but the parcel system is not set up to be easy; it’s set up to be fast – see a day in the life of a parcel.

We need to establish where in the “system” the parcel is, on Friday this took us 5 hours and we still didn’t get to find the parcel in question. This morning we did locate the parcel and it is on a van awaiting delivery.

When we asked the parcel delivery company why they didn’t locate the package sooner or deliver it (they sat on it for a week) their response left us speechless.

They said it was undelivered as they didn’t have a driver.

That’s our problem as we thought they were professional. They had lost our business once before and worked hard to get us back, now they have blown it again. Needless to say we are furious, our customer is unhappy but the parcel company is happy. In their small print they have the statistic that 90% of parcels are delivered the next day. They are still getting paid even though their abysmal service has cost everyone else in the chain.

90%? Great! But what happens when your parcel is one of the 10% not delivered?

If our parcel was still in the depot we would send one of our Nottingham based drivers to collect it then complete the delivery. We would make a substantial loss on that package that we could not recover from the customer or the parcel company. It doesn’t sit with our green company culture to do this, but we can honestly say that we did our best.

For your the customer, the one who deals directly with the parcel company life is tougher. It’s you who is losing hours on the phone chasing and tracking your package. It’s your business hours wasted which are billed out at a higher rate than what your package costs to send.

1 x package for national delivery = £12 +VAT

5 x £10 per hour for admin member to chase the problem = £50 + taxes and NI costs

Total = £62 + to send a parcel by a parcel company.

That’s an expensive parcel delivery whichever way you look at it.

For our parcel carrier their slapdash attitude has cost them our few thousand parcels per year, we have sourced a new provider that has a better grasp of customer service and promises 99% of parcels delivered. They cost a bit more than £12 a carton but they will be saving us £62 in wasted time.


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