SME e-tailers hire own delivery fleets

Smaller UK e-commerce businesses are taking delivery into their own hands, according to research.

Fleet management software firm Vimcar surveyed 100 small- to medium-sized UK online retailers earlier this month, and almost all of them have experienced an increase in online orders since March 2020.

The survey comes at a time when e-commerce firms are grappling with the impact of delivery driver shortages, Brexit uncertainty, supply chain issues and remaining pandemic restrictions.

The research found that two-thirds (64 per cent) of them have had to invest in their own delivery fleet to meet customer demand.

Over a fifth of the businesses have hired between five and ten new fleet drivers.

Having taken delivery into their own hands, 80 per cent are “positive” about the next 12 months, despite ongoing economic issues.

Three-quarters however admitted that expanding their delivery fleet had made admin “more difficult to manage”.

Ronald Clancy, UK country manager at Vimcar, said: “It is promising to see that business is thriving for e-commerce retailers despite an extremely turbulent 18 months.

“There remain many wider economic challenges for small businesses to overcome, and what this research shows is that many e-commerce SMEs are having to rapidly adapt their business models in order to remain agile and continue to meet customer demand.”

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