Almost every one of the UK’s major parcel delivery companies has been forced to adapt its service to cope with the strains of the forthcoming Olympic Games in London.
As the capital nears starter’s orders for the world’s biggest sporting event, Londoners are gearing up for the inevitable traffic jams, congestion and overcrowding on the city’s streets when London 2012 gets underway.
The traditional model of delivery will come under pressure during the London Olympic and Paralympic Games, during which road closures and daytime traffic restrictions will be in place. Some lanes on major routes will be completely shut off for the exclusive use of Olympics officials, athletes, sponsors and the media.
Only myByBox.com, which delivers goods overnight to secure lockers in ultra-convenient locations for collection on demand, has avoided Olympics surcharges, late deliveries, additional facilities and costs, and revised routes.
Some of the major traditional delivery firms have resorted to changing their delivery routes and having team members deliver parcels to customers on foot, and four of the nine major companies will impose surcharges on consumers during the Olympic Games.
By contrast mybybox.com will be able to operate as normal, thanks to its smart method of delivery: customers of ByBox opt to have their parcels delivered during the night to a secure locker, which can be found in convenient locations such as railway stations, supermarkets, shopping centres, storage centres and petrol stations. They are then informed that their parcel is ready for collection and are given a secure code to open the locker at a time that suits them, whether that’s during their commute, while doing the weekly shop, or when filling up the car.
However, to cope with the stresses of the games, one of the nine major delivery firms has introduced a large number of measures to cope with the pressures that the Olympics will bring, including: extra routes; changed routes; deliveries by foot; disruption updates; increased staff numbers; additional facilities opened; earlier than normal and later than normal deliveries; alternative depots; an Olympics specialist to deal with the strains; and a surcharge added to the customer’s bill to pay for the extra services.
Alexandra Korda, Consumer Director of ByBox, said: "While some delivery companies believe these extra measures will put them ahead of the competition during the Olympic Games, we think that these responses highlight the inadequacies of the traditional delivery model.
"Imposing a surcharge because of the disruption is certain to get consumers thinking that there must be a better way. After all, internet shoppers can order their goods at any time of the day or night, wherever they are, thanks to smart technology. At ByBox, we believe that the delivery of their goods deserves an equally smart and modern response and we deliver just that.
"An upsurge in interest in mybybox.com during the Olympic Games is already proving to us that the traditional delivery model is in desperate need of a shake up."
Of the nine major companies compared ahead of the sporting event, only mybybox.com will operate completely as normal.
Five of the nine delivery firms in question have couriers taking to the pavements of London and delivering parcels on foot.
Six companies are drafting in extra delivery teams to cope with the disruption.
Six companies have set up dedicated Olympics project teams in a bid to combat the competition during the games, while two companies have resorted to testing their operation under likely scenarios thrown up by the arrival of the sporting event in the capital.
One firm has introduced motorbikes to its fleet of vehicles.
And only four have committed to provide disruption updates to their customers during the event, which is expected to bring millions of visitors to London.
Ms Korda added: "The Olympic Games is bringing excitement and boosting the sporting prowess of the nation, but it will inevitably bring stress and disruption to the lives of those living in the main areas affected. There is plenty to be worried about – from extra people on public transport and traffic chaos, to our favourites failing to pick up the gold medal – but with ByBox and mybybox.com, receiving your stuff on time and at your convenience is one less thing to worry about."
Being able to collect goods at midnight, at 4am, on Sundays or Bank Holidays – even on Christmas Day – has proved to be a hit with modern consumers who lead hectic lives and for whom the traditional method of waiting around at home or at work for a delivery is simply no longer convenient.
Shoppers at a number of online outlets can already opt for delivery to a ByBox locker and consumers buying from any online retailer can register at www.mybybox.com to request delivery to a secure and convenient locker location.
ByBox is investing £2million during this Olympic year to double the number of locations across the UK, including many more at ultra-convenient locations for customers within the M25.
The delivery firms compared were: APC, ByBox, City Link, DPD, FedEx, Hermes, Parcelforce, TNT, and Yodel.