Read: Delivery Update from IBRAN

Author Ted Bromley-Hall

An update from our CEO

This is not an easy message to post, especially as we head into an even busier period but please let me begin by wholeheartedly apologising for some of our customers' delays to their box-sized deliveries.

This is not to excuse the delays at all (they are inexcusable) but we have set out directly to identify customers whose orders had been flagged as late and send an email to inform them of courier delays and how this would affect likely lead times. We are contacting customers whose orders that we have despatched that are not appearing in the "delivered" section of our courier partners' "live" updates.

Furthermore, you may have even received a text from our courier partners with an automatically calculated delivery date. Please ignore the date and trust only what we tell you. Our lead times are accurate and our staff are checking on deliveries constantly throughout the day and will be in touch straight away to give you as accurate an update as possible. Parcels and pallets will not just appear on your doorstep without our knowledge.

You won't hear this from many other companies or their owners, as publicly broadcasting that a partner's service is struggling is considered poor form.

But couriers are struggling under the weight of excess volumes, due in part to other companies sending their bulk volumes of parcels out with other couriers instead of ParcelForce and Royal Mail whose staff are currently on strike. All couriers are picking up these extra volumes, going into the online Christmas shopping period.

Some of these couriers are protecting their own reputation, leaving parcels unscanned (thereby not being responsible for the parcels) and stacked up in their hubs, leaving their customers to answer for the delays and suffer the reputation damage.

We don't normally allow parcels to leave the warehouse without couriers scanning them first but the drivers are being sent out without scanners - on the promise the boxes will be scanned off the back of the van.

The truth is they're not scanning the parcels until the very last minute, in order to keep above their 95% next day delivery speed target - probably to ensure Christmas bonuses are protected. It's a massive manipulation and the worst thing we've found is that they're not the only courier playing this game and we're not the only company suffering for it right now.

We're trying to be proactive and informative as we know a great many of our customers are trying desperately to complete their projects on time. We firmly believe the bedrock of good planning is on-time, clear and accurate information.

My staff are doing their very best under what have quickly become very testing circumstances, caused by forces very much out of our control; forces out of the control of any small or medium sized business who rely on 3rd party logistics partners. I'm working on a great many options to protect your project's timescales, my employees' morale and the reputation of our amazing company.

I do hope that, whilst this post doesn't get parcels through couriers' hubs any sooner, the info within it helps inform you in any online purchase decisions you make, especially as we head towards the festive break, where volumes will be even greater still.

Again, and I mean this most sincerely, please plan ahead with any projects you want to take on and trust us to keep you informed. As bleak as this post may come across, orders are still being delivered within our advertised lead times and we get it right more often than we don't.

In the meantime, we will keep an eye on your deliveries and update you the minute we see any movement with them whatsoever.

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