Parcel delivery company DPD Ireland has been carrying out significantly more deliveries in several sectors in recent days, with many people in self-isolation due to coronavirus.
DPD, which is Ireland’s largest dedicated parcel delivery company with 34 depots throughout the country handling in excess of 19 million parcels per year, said much of the increase was ecommerce-related.
The company said there had been a 45 per cent increase in deliveries of clothing; 85 per cent in sports equipment; 45 per cent in cosmetics and personal hygiene; 200 per cent in electrical goods; and 100 per cent in pet accessories and food.
However, DPD chief executive Des Travers said he expected demand to fall away next week due to weakening consumer confidence.
“There have been significant increases in shipments of gym equipment, home decor, gardening accessories, children’s games. This directly relates to people self-isolating in their homes and children being off school. With Mother’s Day this weekend, online shipping for gifts also influenced the increase.
“Also, in relation to schoolbooks, publishing companies are showing significant growth,, which I put down to children at home studying.
“However, from next week we expect to see a drop in ecommerce shipments as many omnichannel retailers have closed their doors and undoubtedly online consumers will become more conscious of their own financial situation.
“We will definitely see a fall-off from next week as consumer sentiment starts to go down, with people concerned about spending. It’s important to say this, it will be short-lived.”
DPD also delivers on behalf of many of the country’s pharmaceutical and medical device suppliers.
“Deliveries to hospitals, GP surgeries and pharmacies have all increased, and this trend will continue as the frontline medical personnel deal with the influx of testing and patient care,” said Mr Travers.
“As a key link in the supply chain, we have strong local relationships with pharmacies, surgeries and the hospitals all over the country. The work that they are doing is phenomenal, and we will do all we can to support these efforts by getting vital commodities to them.
“Pharma of course is very strong, and will continue to be. We are a key partner of many pharma shippers.”
DPD introduced contactless delivery last week. “Our drivers no longer hand over the scanners for signature capture,” said Mr Travers. “This mitigates risk for both driver and consignee.”
Separately, An Post said it was endeavouring to maintain collection and delivery services for as long as possible.
“In the interest of everyone’s health and safety, we ask that householders and businesses include their letterbox, doorbell and exterior door handles in their regular cleaning and disinfecting routine,” said a spokeswoman.
“Customers are no longer being asked to sign for mail deliveries requiring signature, rather the post person will sign to confirm the delivery in the presence of the customer.
“Flight cancellations to and from an-ever growing number of countries is seriously impacting international services.”