The coronavirus has brought the majority of the world to a halt, impacting both consumers and businesses alike. All industries have seen a knock-on effect of the virus, particularly the delivery sector.

As parcel deliveries are seen as crucial to the economy right now, here we’ll look at how the pandemic is impacting the sector. 

How companies are achieving contact free deliveries

One of the key challenges courier companies needed to address to deliver parcels safely, was maintaining social distancing. Contact free deliveries have become the new norm in the sector, ensuring the virus isn’t spread further. 

Hermes has led the way, ensuring parcels are only left in a safe place now with zero driver to customer contact. Drivers are taking a photo of the package once delivered, then sending it to the customer to prove it has been delivered. The Royal Mail and other leading couriers are also stopping customers signing handheld devices to accept deliveries. Instead, the driver signs the parcel for the customer while they are present within the 2-meter social distancing guidelines. Even the popular food delivery company Deliveroo are now providing contact free deliveries

Public Health England have also reassured consumers there is a very low risk of catching the coronavirus from parcels themselves. 

Couriers see increased demand due to lockdown

Another challenge that’s facing the sector now is the increased demand caused by the lockdown. With more people at home and unable to go out to buy the things they need, online retailers are experiencing a huge rise in business. 

While it’s great for the economy that goods can still be purchased online, businesses simply aren’t prepared for such a drastic increase in demand. This has led to delays in shipping, particularly through services such as Amazon Prime. It has also seen services such as Parcel2Go, experience a higher level of traffic as businesses look to fulfil their additional delivery needs. 

International shipping delays expected

While the increased demand is causing delays nationally, other issues are causing problems with international orders. Borders have been closing throughout the world, particularly in the worst hit areas such as China and Europe. This means those who are ordering parcels from abroad could face much longer wait times. 

Of course, many consumers have avoided ordering international goods, particularly from China where the virus originated. So, demand for global delivery has somewhat reduced, while national deliveries have skyrocketed in popularity. 

Overall, UK couriers are doing a lot of things to accommodate for the challenging working conditions during the pandemic. The above are just some of the ways they are having to adapt. The increased demand is causing issues with the speed of deliveries, with many courier companies announcing they have had to suspend their delivery guarantees. On the whole however, they are providing a crucial service in terrible conditions.