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Spreading Risk on Black Friday

Daniel Allin, Chief Operating Officer at Diamond Logistics Limited, considers the challenges and opportunities of Black Friday

It’s probably fair to say that Black Friday 2014 didn’t quite go to plan in both the eyes of the retailers and carriers alike. Needless to say that this year, all parties have their eyes wide open and preparations have been underway for some considerable time now.


So, what did we all learn from 2014?  Firstly, this very Americanised sale day really has made its way across the Atlantic – and in a very big way!  The popularity of the sale events really did take everybody by surprise last year, which was then closely followed by Cyber Monday.While the carrier world can prepare as much as possible, it’s an impossibility to achieve the near perfection demanded by the retailers.

Take Yodel as a good example.  They handle on average half a million items per night for the majority of the year, yet in one day alone following Black Friday, they could see in excess of a million. As you can imagine, it’s quite a leap in required resources in one day and there lies the problem.  Wouldn’t it be great if Yodel could have those resources on tap throughout the year, just waiting for that peak period?

Yodel recently conducted a survey of some 6,371 consumers, the results of which could spell problems for many carriers during peak this year. While only 8% of the shoppers surveyed placed an online order on Black Friday 2014, 30% said that they will participate in the internet promotions this year, which will take place on 27 November.

So, what is the answer that will ease the pressure across the parcel sector? Spreading deliveries at this time would automatically smooth the dramatic peak in parcels and create more capacity in those networks that are likely to see the most dramatic increases. Interestingly, 44% of those surveyed said they would be willing to pay more for next-day delivery for orders placed on Black Friday. So, why do retailers put so much pressure on those carriers such as Yodel? There are plenty of alternatives to spread the risk and consumers expect to pay more, it surely concretes the need to use multiple carriers doesn’t it?

The next challenge comes by way of routing deliveries via a collection of partners, particularly just for peak purposes. With many (if not all) carriers adopting a “Non-Sales period” from October through to January, it’s extremely difficult to keep multiple carriers well fed throughout the year to keep the buying rates keen enough to cater for peak.

Without wanting to turn this blog into a sales pitch, Diamond Logistics’ award winning Multi Carrier Solution has this very feature in mind. It’s the reason our unique business model was born. Our clients get to use up to 15 national and international carriers at any given time, all year round, without diluting their volumes with any single carrier. Once a carrier is nearing capacity, we simply switch to alternatives.

Daniel Allin, Chief Operating Officer – Diamond Logistics Limited

Are you looking for logistics support in the run up to Black Friday? Call our team today on 0333 567 0391 to discuss how we can help.


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Diamond Logistics is part of The Diamond Logistics and Technology Group.  

A group of companies that work together to deliver a unique mix of people, technology and logistics that allows them to excel at delivery and fulfilment solutions for UK and international clients. Click on the logos below to visit the other websites.