DPD predicts Covid-19 online sales surge will taper off

With a surge in online sales about to slip away, DPD is to make major changes to its collection and delivery services in response to Covid-19.

Parcel delivery company DPD said that it is to stop parcel collections from its depots and will cease collecting signatures for scanners on doorsteps in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

These moves by DPD are devised to protect customers and staff.

“We will definitely see a fall-off as consumer sentiment starts to go down, with people concerned about spending”

Up to last Friday, the company said it was seeing a 200pc increase in deliveries of electrical goods, with deliveries of food and pet accessories up by 100pc and sports equipment up by 85pc.

While volumes have continued to be incredibly strong, DPD Ireland chief executive Des Travers (pictured centre) said, however, he expected a significant drop in shipments from this week with many non-essential retailers shutting their doors, and the public becoming more conscious of their online spending.

“We will definitely see a fall-off as consumer sentiment starts to go down, with people concerned about spending. Also, the government’s directive regarding essential services has reduced operations in many businesses although several do continue to trade online. It has been really interesting to see how some businesses have diversified to meet the current need.

“For example, our customer The Handmade Soap Company, based in Co. Meath have included a sanitiser in their range and it’s flying out the door, all being purchased via their website. They are dispatching thousands of orders nightly now.”

He added: “Social media advertising costs have gone down as consumers spend more of their time browsing Facebook and Instagram, so many businesses are taking advantage of this opportunity to promote their products.”

European impact of Covid-19

The company said its business was operating as normal in Ireland, but that it was experiencing delays with deliveries and collections in mainland Europe.

Particularly badly affected are Italy, Spain and Portugal, with 136 postcodes in Italy all between the range 24000 and 26016 having to be suspended from delivery and postal code range 9650011 to 9676909 suspended in Portugal.

“Please do not dispatch to these postal codes, we do not want to impact an already challenged environment and there will be a charge incurred for the return,” DPD said.

It also warned customers not to dispatch parcels to delivery locations that are now closed saying these will be returned directly to the sender.

DPD Ireland announced last year it was scaling up its Irish operations by increasing its sorting capacity in Athlone and boosting staff numbers in the country from 1,000 to 1,500. It currently has 33 depots in Ireland.

Written by John Kennedy (john.kennedy3@boi.com)

Published: 7 April, 2020