UK couriers prepare for Black Friday chaos by hiring 19,000 more vans

UK couriers including Royal Mail, Hermes, DPD and UPS will double their number of vans and lorries delivering parcels this weekend to cope with the immense volume of Black Friday orders, according to a new report.

More than 225 million parcels are predicted to be in transit this weekend, with Sunday being the busiest day, said courier insurers Staveley Head.

The increase in extra lorries and vans means that a total of 82,000 vehicles will be travelling across Britain to deliver Black Friday orders.

“The amount of extra staff and vans hired to deal with the sheer volume of parcels is quite incredible, and can be a very expensive, logistical nightmare for so many companies. It is therefore no surprise that some brands decide to skip Black Friday and focus purely on Christmas during peak season,” said Ashley Peters, Managing Director at Staveley Head.

Indeed, Royal Mail, Argos and Amazon will hire an extra 49,000 seasonal staff to help manage the volume of orders. Amazon UK will be hiring 20,000 extra staff across all departments, with the majority expected to work within the 11 fulfilment centres placed across the UK.

Argos has a staff count of 29,565 people in the UK and will be hiring an extra 10,000 for the Christmas period, while Royal Mail will be hiring an additional 19,000 people to deal with all the deliveries.

Royal Mail is also preparing for a big number of deliveries, after £600m worth of products bought over Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the UK were tied up in return loops according to Clear Returns.

Unwanted parcels cost retailers £60 billion a year, and the average returned purchase in the UK passes through seven pairs of hands before it is listed for resale, according to Staveley Head. Because of their high cost, some retailers consider returns are not worth processing and choose to throw away returned parcels instead of reselling the items.  

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