ParcelHero’s founder, delivery industry expert Roger Sumner-Rivers, found himself in the media spotlight recently, as national newspapers and news sites sought to find out what had happened to the well-known company.
The sad demise of UK parcel delivery company City Link, which employed some 2,500 people, couldn’t have been worse timed. Its staff heard the news on Christmas day, and most were laid off on New Year’s Eve. Many people’s parcels were still in its system when it collapsed, leading to widespread confusion.
Roger explained to readers of the Daily Mail that retailers using City Link ‘will all require immediate service, which will put a huge burden on every carrier’s infrastructure, from the sales department right through the network to the delivery couriers at the other end.”
Speaking in the Financial Times Roger said ParcelHero estimated a million parcels were stuck in City Link depots. “Thousands of SMEs and even large businesses like John Lewis now have till January 2 to find a new provider, or risk not being able to offer delivery to their customers,” he told the newspaper, adding City Link was one of the few services to charge according to weight rather than by the package. “This has major implications for retailers who ship multiple lightweight boxes to single addresses, who will now struggle to find a courier to charge them on a weight-based structure,” he said.’
As the leading industry figure commenting on the situation Roger advised readers of the Daily Express that “…no further deliveries will be made” but “depots will open again on Monday for customers to collect the estimated one million parcels stuck in its network”.
Roger warned readers of the Independent that the firm’s closure could have a major impact on the UK parcel market. He said there were now “serious concerns as to how the carriers left in the market are going to be able to absorb the estimated 76 million additional parcels City Link delivered each year”.
He told readers of London’s morning newspaper, City AM, “It is small firms – who will often not have established relationships with multiple couriers, and rely on City Link for all their deliveries – that are in the biggest quandary. They will have to find a new supplier and set up account facilities before 2 January or face not being able to deliver orders to their customers.”
ParcelHero itself had a busy Christmas period, with the vast majority of parcels delivered without a hitch, despite the record volumes. In fact US-expat and regular ParcelHero user Suzette Nicolas was featured in the Mail on Sunday praising our successful delivery of all her presents to the US. Glad you were pleased, Suzette!