Must-have things seem to appear on the market every second; and with the economy on the up, it looks like Christmas 2015 is going to be a record spending frenzy. But with more and more choosing to purchase online, not to mention increasingly competitive last minute deals, will our already-pressured logistics industry be able to cope under the strain?

Well, matters are certainly not helped by the demise of City Link Express last year – especially since it happened on Christmas Day. It is widely thought that City Link had been making a loss for almost an entire decade. Though this may seem strange in the world of online shopping and its ferocious parcel volume, incredibly stiff competition and Amazon’s choice to create its own delivery wing have forced prices down. Moreover, the rise of click-and-collect, cutting logistics out all together, hasn’t done much to improve the fate of City Link either. Ultimately, the decline of such an influential player must inevitably undermine capacity, and carriers will have a serious fight on their hands if they are to keep up with demand.

However, while some parcel delivery networks have jumped at the challenge, enthusiastically vowing to take on the extra work; others have taken a more cautious, conservative approach. That being said, it’s a serious dilemma as the case for both strategies is strong. On the one hand, working to enhance overall capacity during the busiest period of the year is a fantastic way to enhance profitability and brand-loyalty alike. Equally, however, vowing to take on projects you might not be able to deliver on could result in a share-price and PR disaster. Indeed, some CEOs are so fearful they even plan to cap daily package volume for regular customers.

To add another twist to the tale, every single parcel delivery company has specifically requested a forecast for increased daily collection from their customers. Although this is a solution no carrier will ever aspire to, sometimes, in order to cope with demand, compromises just have to be made. Furthermore, looking at the average parcel delivery company staffing and vehicle capacity, it’s not hard to see why parcel delivery companies are getting ready for a challenge.

Ultimately, peak-season is never a holiday for those in the logistics business – and it certainly won’t be this year. Most will be working overtime, making sure families get the gifts they deserve. So this Christmas, spare a thought for the man that delivers your parcel, and everyone else in-between.

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