Hermes UK is predicting its ‘busiest peak period yet’ for Christmas 2019 with year-on-year parcel volumes up 14 per cent and 12.8 million parcels predicted in the first week of December alone.
Martijn de Lange, CEO at Hermes UK, said: “We started planning for the peak period at the start of the year, working with our longstanding and committed retail clients. This ensures we have the required additional capacity to deliver increased parcel volumes at this crucial time of the year, in turn allowing us to deliver a premium service for our customers and clients.
“As a growing business which has made significant investment in the past 12 months, we are confident this peak will once again be a resounding success.”
Hermes said its network can now process up to 2.5 million parcels a day. It has acquired an additional 1,000 trailers and 3,200 scanning devices, while 560 drivers, 7,000 couriers and 32 peak managers will join existing teams to provide seasonal support. Deliveries will be made seven days a week from the beginning of December up to and including Christmas Eve.
In case of bad weather, such as the Christmas peak snowfall in 2010, Hermes has dedicated teams to monitor road surface temperatures and forecasts daily, with grit and snow ploughs strategically placed across the network.
Hermes said it had also invested £1.4m in equipment that will enable it to significantly increase the number of returns it can process. This is part of a £21.5m investment to boost Hermes’ operational capacity across the business in the last 12 months.
In September Hermes completed the construction of a third sortation tier at its fully automated Midlands hub in Rugby. The £16 million project increased its existing output by 40 per cent with the capability to process 1.35 million parcels each day.
By Christopher Walton