The parcel comparison site ParcelHero says that the front door will remain the frontline in the fight against coronavirus, even after the Government’s new 1 metre+ distancing rule comes into force on 4 July. It says the easing of lockdown won’t trigger significant alterations to doorstep deliveries and pick-up protocols immediately but that, over time, significant changes will take place for courier services.
ParcelHero’s Head of Consumer Services, David Jinks MILT, says that, despite the new 1 metre+ rule and other changes being introduced in England, contactless deliveries will remain the ‘new normal’ after 4 July:
‘The continued easing of lockdown restrictions doesn’t mean the war against the coronavirus is won. Couriers dropping off and delivering to homes and businesses will ensure deliveries remain Covid-secure. That means they will continue to ring or knock on doors, step back a safe distance and leave the item for the receiver to pick up. Also, couriers will continue to record ‘signed for’ deliveries themselves, rather than asking the receiver for a signature. In some cases, they may also ask for confirmation of the receiver’s name or even take a photo of their door. If people have designated a drop-off point, such as a shed or garden storage box, these will continue to be used.
‘One of the reasons couriers will be cautious about significant changes to doorstep procedures is that cross-border deliveries to Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland will still need to be made following 2 metre distancing rules.
‘Other changes caused by the impact of the coronavirus lockdown are also here to stay. Home deliveries will continue to be a major part of retail following a 60.2% rise in home shopping during the lockdown. Even though more stores will reopen in July, we don’t anticipate shoppers will kick their new online habit, having experienced how easy it is to shop online. One major courier has just announced 6.000 new jobs and significant infrastructure investment to support the online boom.
‘However, the easing of lockdown means we are seeing other parts of the courier service returning to normal. Couriers with pick-up points on the High Street or in stores such as Smiths and Rymans are introducing a phased reopening of these services, while a number of parcel collection points are seeing a return to longer opening hours.
‘Other changes to services introduced because of the coronavirus won’t be easing any time soon, particularly for international parcel deliveries. It’s not widely known, but half of all express parcel deliveries are shipped in the belly-hold of passenger aircraft. Of course, the majority of passenger flights remain grounded. That means ongoing delays to many overseas destinations, resulting in the continued temporary suspension of money-back guarantees on most couriers’ international deliveries.
‘ParcelHero will continue to advise everyone as soon as we learn of any significant changes to couriers’ services and doorstep delivery protocols. The impact of the virus will constantly impact on deliveries, especially to countries and regions where the virus has flared up again.