Ensuring retailers deliver during the Olympics

MetaPack predicts that carriers' deliveries will have to halve in size over the Olympic game period owning to disruptions.
The 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games are going to cause huge disruption to transport in London over a prolonged period. According to Transport for London (TfL) and the e-tail trade body, IMRG, between 21st July (arrival of torch relay in London) and the 10th September 2011 (day after the close of the Paralympics), these restrictions are expected to cause the most wide-ranging disruption to online fulfilment since e-retail began. London deliveries represent nearly a fifth of all deliveries in the UK and the number of deliveries made per driver is expected to halve.

Shiran Liyanage, Head of UK Marketing at MetaPack says, "We are expecting the disruption to affect around 20% of all UK deliveries, with drivers having to reroute to avoid the 109 miles of restricted routes and no stopping areas will mean some drivers will have to carry good further to make the delivery."
Transport for London (TfL) who is responsible for all transport issues during the Games, is promoting a mantra of 'Reduce, Re-time, Re-Route, Revise' to those involved in freight & delivery. In general, this is good advice, but applies mainly to B2B deliveries. Whilst B2B deliveries may be able to adhere to a set of standard rules through forward planning, the dynamic nature of B2C online shopping deliveries and the fact that quality of delivery is regarded as a core part of the online sales proposition, careful planning and managing through an individual, more 'high touch' approach is essential.
Liyanage suggests, "As no retailer wants to reduce sales, re-timing, re-routeing and revising are the only options. However it's communication that is the strongest strategy. Retailers need to inform customers of possible delays in their deliveries and perhaps work to amended SLAs with the carriers. Communication along every step of the way will be even more important during this time. Delivery status updates should be communicated and monitored and for those working from home, change in delivery address and redelivery should be as swift as possible. However, for more advanced retailers, where a fall in the customer experience could cause serious disruption, the ability to both identify parcels destined to delay spots at time of order, and also the ability to automatically re-route these parcels to different services/carriers, will be significantly preferable."
Liyanage continues, "As a side note, even though UPS have been appointed "official carrier" of the Olympic Games, they will gain no advantages over other carriers." Only specifically designated UPS vans with accreditation clearance to use Olympic lanes will be used only to deliver supplies to venues.
MetaPack has compiled an information compendium to help all retailers, and those who deliver to consumers detailing the headline facts they should be aware of, together with solutions and links to additional information and data sets to help you during what is due to be a challenging period for e-Commerce. You can download the information pack here: www.metapack.com/london2012

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