Many retailers are still underestimating the extent of the disruption that could result from the Olympic Games this summer, according to parcel delivery company DPD.
DPD is calling on all retailers to talk to their delivery companies about arranging additional collections or bringing forward their main collection by an hour as well as talking to customers about potential delays between the peak period of mid July and mid September.
Dwain McDonald, DPD's CEO said, "We are fast approaching the period of likely disruption. In our plans we are estimating the maximum period for potential disruption to deliveries to certain postcodes to be up to 50 days between mid July and mid September. Sites like Westfield shopping centre are now "locked down" and the organisers are starting to change road layouts to prepare the Olympic Route Network which will have a significant impact in the coming weeks.
"We have been talking to retailers at length about the impacts and it is clear that many are still playing down the possible disruption both in terms of the seriousness and the period of time. Companies with Head Offices in London are generally being more realistic. Outside London awareness of the potential impact is much lower.
"We have been simulating our revised route network and delivery schedules in recent weeks to understand the exact impact on deliveries and collections. We are very confident in the plans we have drawn up. However, one of the main challenges is likely to be getting the goods from companies at the end of the day to the main London parcel hubs early enough each night to guarantee they can be processed and ready for next day delivery. We are urging online retailers to consider earlier collections and are working with them to build effective plans.
"There is huge potential for delays and inconvenience for customers so it is important that online retailers communicate clearly with customers about arrangements during the Olympic period, especially if they are going to introduce earlier cut-off times for next day delivery or if they are located in the areas likely to be most affected by disruption.
"With three million additional journeys anticipated on peak days and the Olympic Route Network affecting 109 miles of road, the impact during peak times will be very severe."
For a copy of DPD's Olympic Matrix or the company's Olympic Bulletin visit www.dpd.co.uk