Failed deliveries cost industry £1.6bn each year – what can be done about it?


Research the IMRG and NetDespatch, the leading parcel data management platform, quantified the cost of failed deliveries for the online retail industry, looking at the financial impact for the three main groups involved – shoppers, retailers and carriers.

While there may be any number of reasons as to why a customer’s home delivery expectations may not be met, this research focussed on the four most common delivery failure scenarios:

Failed first delivery – re-delivery required Failed first delivery – collection by customer Late delivery – not within the expected time window Order lost – replacement sent

IMRG and NetDespatch estimated the cost of failed first-time, on-time, every-time delivery for all three groups combined to be more than £1.6bn in 2018.

Have failed deliveries rates improved?

Statistically-speaking, the answer is yes but the actual picture is more complex. In the IMRG MetaPack UK Delivery Index, one of the metrics tracked is the level of attempted (or carded) delivery. In 2014 this averaged 4.65%. The rolling average over the most recent 12 months (Mar 18 to Feb 19) is 2.77%; a substantial improvement.

A core reason for this improvement is likely to be related to the introduction of new solutions over the