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Winter advice offered to companies who provide delivery services

  • Online deliveries will grow 16 percent in 2015
  • This puts extra stress and strains on vans
  • Fleets explain how they prepare for the winter rush

The advent of the internet has transformed the way we purchase and order items, and this has put many strains on the commercial vehicle industry. Now Mercedes-Benz is offering winter advice to companies that provide delivery services, handed down from the big fleets.

Big growth expected for 2015

For the first time, B2C (business to consumer) delivery companies are dominating the sector and this year is set to experience further growth. The next five weeks is the busiest time of the year, with the run up to Christmas, Black Friday and Cyber Monday all occurring.

UK shoppers are estimated to spend £3.49 billion over the next four days alone, culminating in ‘Cyber Monday’ according to the Centre for Retail Research (CRR). More than £2.2 billion of this will be spent online, an increase of 16 percent compared with the same period in 2014.

Meanwhile, Visa Europe has published similar predictions. It estimated that Black Friday shoppers will put £721 million of online purchases on its credit cards, up 17 percent on last year and a 61 percent increase on 2013.

Mercedes-Benz Insights

With all these extra stresses and strains on the work vehicle, Mercedes-Benz is offering some useful insights into how to better prepare for ‘the rush’. Industry Insight will investigate how Britain’s most successful fleets have been preparing for this busy winter operating period, to give more companies the opportunity to learn from the best practice highlighted.

“For courier companies to deliver on their promises, it is crucial that they choose a vehicle that can keep up with their demands,” Steve Bridge, managing director, Mercedes-Benz Vans, commented. “This time of year, not only do courier fleets have to deal with 'Black Friday', but also extremes in weather – we have already seen the first snow of the season, and the gritters are now officially out.”

Call-outs vary from mechanical issues like the clogging of the DPF (Diesel Particulate Filter) due to the high intensity, stop-start work, to component fatigue, like the wearing of door hinges and handles, with one delivery company reporting that each van will have its doors open and shut 150 times a day.

Statistics from MobiloVan (Mercedes-Benz breakdown assist programme) states that during week 48 in 2014, vehicle breakdowns increased by 26 percent compared with the same week in 2013, reflecting the increase in vans on the road during ‘Black Friday’ weekend.

To view the full report, visit www.mbvans.co.uk/industryinsight.