The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a vast increase in demand for courier services, with large delivery companies, independent courier businesses and self-employed couriers benefiting. It is a boom time for the delivery industry, as customers switch to online shopping and food deliveries due to business closures and repeated lockdowns.
Although we are all looking forward to a return to normal life with shops, cafes, bars, and restaurants able to reopen, for many people, online ordering is a new way of life. Those who may never have ordered online in the past are experiencing the benefits, so the increased demand for delivery services is expected to continue into the future. In this article, we take a closer look at the surge in demand for deliveries and how this has impacted the courier industry.
An increase in demand for courier delivery services
Although much of the transport sector was impacted negatively by the COVID-19 pandemic due to travel restrictions, postal workers and couriers quickly experienced a surge in demand in line with the rise in online retail. Most of this demand can be attributed to the online retail giant, Amazon, which is the largest eCommerce business by far. In fact, according to BCG, in the first quarter of 2020 alone, market capitalisation for Amazon grew by 25%, with a boom in the sale of online groceries, health care products, electronics, outdoor equipment, toys, and clothing.
In addition to online retail, the demand for restaurant and takeaway deliveries has soured. In response, delivery services such as Uber Eats and Deliveroo are rapidly adding new restaurants, cafes, takeaways and fast-food establishments to their ever-expanding list of options. As the availability of options continues to grow, the demand for couriers which are able to deliver the orders will continue to rise.
Will the upsurge in demand for couriers continue?
It is clear that the delivery industry has changed as a result of the pandemic, with new solutions, approaches and exponential growth. Many companies are predicting that the upsurge will continue, with <a href=”https://www.parcelandpostaltechnologyinternational.com/features/parcel2go-looks-at-key-trends-in-the-postal-sector-post-lockdown.html”>Parcel2Go</a> explaining how they have also experienced major growth in the number of customers wanting parcels both collecting from their homes and delivering to them directly.
A growing number of people are turning to the convenience of delivery services in terms of ordering online and even sending items to friends and family. In fact, Parcel2Go claims to be experiencing growth at a rate of 10,000 new customers a week, with more than 400,000 parcels being sent through the company each week. In addition, DPD announced the creation of 6,000 new jobs throughout the UK, with more than £200 million being spent on developing delivery infrastructure. Of course, these are large delivery services, however, small-scale couriers are also clearly in demand, a trend which is set to continue into the future.
The pandemic has turned courier services into a safe and essential service for businesses and customers alike, with couriers responsible for keeping many businesses alive during lockdowns. Customers feel safe shopping online and even as shops, pubs and restaurants begin to reopen, we expect many people to remain loyal to the positive online shopping experience felt throughout the pandemic.
How are couriers staying safe during the pandemic?
Despite the increase in demand, it is important that couriers take the steps required to minimise the risk of COVID-19 transmission during deliveries. From PPE such as gloves, facemasks, and hand sanitiser through to new procedures, contactless deliveries and removing the requirement for a delivery signature, the industry has quickly adapted to the pandemic.
In addition to the health aspect, delivery companies are having to rethink their operations to cope with the change in demand. For example, Amazon has adjusted its usual service levels with longer delivery time estimates for certain product categories. They are also expanding capacity within warehouses with more staff, increased use of robotics and more delivery partners and couriers than ever before, as they continue to speed up order fulfilment in line with demand.
Although it is possible to minimise risks, there is always a possibility that an incident could occur. Now is an excellent time for couriers to make the most of the ever-soaring demand, but it is important to ensure that you have the appropriate insurance cover in place.
There are many opportunities for individuals to become self-employed couriers, however, standard vehicle insurance will not provide the cover you need for delivering parcels, boxes, packages and even letters in a commercial way. This is because the vehicle is likely to be on the road for longer and will likely be carrying valuable items. In turn, this increased value makes it more likely to be involved in an accident or theft.
Without the correct courier vehicle insurance, the provider would be unlikely to pay out if you were to claim your standard vehicle cover. This could end up costing you much more overall, and with competitively priced courier insurance available, there is no need to compromise.
Comprehensive insurance for the courier industry
Whether you are looking to make extra cash as a self-employed courier or running a large delivery business that is hiring multiple new drivers, it is essential to consider your insurance cover.
Choosing the most appropriate cover for your delivery service can be difficult, as there are many options available. However, the most popular types of insurance include courier vehicle insurance, public liability insurance, goods in transit insurance, employer’s liability insurance and fleet cover. If you are looking for the highest level of cover, it is advisable to combine multiple policies into one comprehensive insurance package.
As specialist insurers for the courier industry, we can help you find the best possible price, for the highest level of cover. Whether you have previous driving convictions or operate in a high-risk area, we will do our best to find a competitive insurance solution so that you can make the most of the demand for courier services. To find out more or to arrange a courier insurance quote, please contact our team today.