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Online Christmas shopping helps bolster logistics firm's performance

10 January 2013 - 09:53 by Simon Crisp

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UK Mail Group has announced a significant increase in the number of deliveries that it handled during the second half of 2012, with a steep rise in demand towards the end of the year, indicating that the popularity of safe shopping online ahead of Christmas made a major impact.

City AM reports that the firm saw revenues jump by eight per cent year on year, in the final quarter of last year.

Overall, it was dealing with 20 per cent higher volumes in its parcel delivery subsidiary. UK Mail Group is the biggest independent company of its kind and so the trends that it measures can be seen as indicative of broader habits in the industry.

The festive period was a fairly smooth one for those expecting deliveries after placing orders via safe shopping online.

While there were inevitable hiccups that affected some consumers, in general the UK's transport infrastructures held up well, with only the threat of flooding putting a dampener on things in some regions.

The mild weather was a help, because over the last three years there have been serious cold snaps that resulted in chaotic conditions caused by snow and ice.

Inclement climatic elements can delay deliveries, but the companies responsible for these networks are getting better at planning for such issues and working around them as much as possible.

With the rise of click and collect services, many consumers may actually engage less directly with delivery firms, since stores will handle the back end of the process. This saves the hassle of having to hang around at home in anticipation of a parcel arriving, although click and collect does, of course, require that you take a trip to your local bricks and mortar outlet at some point.