Evri delivers, or does it?

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Social media sites seem to be inundated with posts from disgruntled customers across East Sussex and Kent who have experienced issues with delivery companies in recent weeks. Parcels going missing, deliveries supposedly delivered but never materialising, parcels delivered to the wrong address and some parcels being dumped. Locally, the finger seems to be pointing well and truly at the delivery company, Evri, formerly known as Hermes.

The problem seems to be worse in Kent were only recently Evri has apologised to customers after huge sackfuls of its parcels were dumped in the woods. The deliveries were found discarded at the end of Beacon Road in Chatham.

A local resident made the discovery while out walking in a wooded area last Sunday. Evri has issued an apology to affected customers and says it has since recovered the items. This may explain why some locals haven’t received their parcels and shoppers have also raised issues over Evri’s tracking app and online help service.

Evri, who recently opened a huge new distribution depot in Aylesford, Maidstone have said: “ We can confirm that we were alerted about a number of parcels that had been dumped at a local fly tipping location.

“Our local team visited immediately and recovered the items. We have contacted the police who are taking the necessary action and we have also launched a full investigation.

“We apologise for any inconvenience caused and would like to reassure the public that this is a rare incident and will not impact deliveries moving forward.”

The spokesman confirmed everyone affected will be contacted and replacements or refunds organised. Medway Council was also notified and is encouraging anyone with information to come forward.

Since the discovery, police have arrested a man on suspicion of theft who has been released on bail until March 6 2023, and the investigation continues.

Deliveries are not the only issue facing online shoppers at the moment. The supply chain for many goods and services is also facing huge logistical issues.

Research by Barclays Corporate Banking shows goods worth almost £2bn are trapped awaiting completion in warehouses in the south east due to supply chain issues. Figures show that £9bn of steel and metals products, £3bn of food and drink, £2.6bn of plastic goods and £2bn of electronics across the UK are unfinished because of supply log jams.

With nearly six in ten businesses facing supply chain difficulties, manufacturers are investing in more storage space and moving suppliers closer to home to ease challenges.

Barclays study, Chain reaction, focuses on manufacturing businesses with over ten employees and looks at the impact of supply chain issues. Their research shows that over half (54%) of south east businesses are currently holding items in their warehouses awaiting completion because raw materials, ingredients or component parts have not yet been delivered from suppliers. On average, this “unfinished business” is worth over £1m to each company impacted in the UK.

The trends are reflective of supply chain disruption that has challenged the manufacturing sector since the pandemic and nearly six in ten (58%) south east firms say they are still facing supply issues. This has been exacerbated by the invasion of Ukraine and the aftermath of the UK’s exit from the EU. Customer relationships are now being impacted: almost two thirds (63%) of south east manufacturers say their customers are having to wait longer for products, with 15% describing the hold-ups as “significant’” To offset rising costs such as energy and transportation, over a third (37%) of manufacturers are planning price increases for their own products, of 36% on average.

Perhaps the frustration of late online deliveries will make us all think about returning to traditional shopping methods by buying more from our high street shops but if the shops are also experiencing supply chain delays then this doesn’t solve the problem either. The winter weather, national strikes and the general financial uncertainty at the moment just exacerbates the situation but what’s the solution? You tell me.

Image Credits: Wayne Coveney .

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11 COMMENTS

  1. Local EVRI driver dumps our parcels on public footpath 200 yds from house so they are either stolen or an honest walker brings them to the house. No other courier does this.

  2. Our last parcel was left on our doorstep, following which an email said it had been “delivered successfully”. A more irritating email followed asking “how did we do?” so I told them.

  3. We’ve all had bad experiences with Evri (formerly Hermes), which are frustrating, but it’s worth considering the human story behind the headline. A year or so ago, I had regular contact with a Hermes driver. He was perpetually stressed and was clearly suffering the health effects of his working life. He was barely getting by on what he reckoned worked out at about a pound a drop, and he was burnt out. If you explore the testimony of Evri drivers online, you can get a feel for what working life is like: they work long hours against the clock, they’re highly unlikely to get breaks, and appear to receive no sick pay. Many report unrealistic work expectations, and morale is allegedly not high. Add to that the difficulty of working in a rural area as opposed to a city, with concentrated addresses. The dumping of packages like that reported is utterly exasperating, especially at this time of year, but perhaps it’s tells it’s own unfortunate story?
    One further point is possibly worth considering. We’re relying on Evri etc more at the moment bcs of the Royal Mail Postal strikes. The CWU have stated that they’re resisting the “Uber-isation” of the Post Office. But is it actually companies like Evri which would inevitably provide the model? And how would that affect consumers and working people alike? It’s part of a bigger question about what kind of a world we want to live and work in. And how we pay for it…

  4. As I recently stated on social media, the quality of delivery and service depends entirely on our LOCAL drivers and not the company. My current Evri driver is sullen and the parcels smell strongly of cigarette smoke. But he delivers, so I should be grateful!

  5. In the part of the country where I now live the problem of parcel mis/non-deliveries is a hot topic of discussion. Evri is particularly notable for its incompetence and some customers are specifying, as a condition when placing an order, that the supplier should not use it for delivery of that order. I don’t know to what extent this approach is successful, but it must surely send a message that this company has an appalling reputation and to not use it.

  6. From personal experience, the service from Hermes/Evri has been appalling for years. I can only imagine the company will go the same way as City Link, go bust.

  7. I have recently noticed that, with firms you can track, deliveries that previously were 110-120 drops are now c.140. This must put so much more pressure on drivers and make a difficult job almost impossible, especially when large rural areas have to be covered. I no longer order from firms who I know use Hermes/Evri as they never rang the bell, just dumped and ran, or left a photo of someone else’s doorstep leaving me to work out whose house it had been left at. The most efficient parcel deliveries have been with Royal Mail via our friendly postman, I hope that will be able to continue.

  8. “Perhaps the frustration of late online deliveries will make us all think about returning to traditional shopping methods by buying more from our high street shops”. Have you tried this recently? Shops now hold very low stocks on many items, and a number of visits to Currys, for example, have seen displayed items on the shelf to handle and compare, but no stock if you want to buy – they will offer to get the item in for you which isn’t a great deal of help if you live in Rye and your nearest Currys is in Ashford. You might as well order online and get the added consumer protection, as well as delivery to your door, that this offers.
    In other stores I have even bought goods that are ordered online by the store staff, for delivery direct to my home; this seems to be actually encouraging the closure of high street facilities by the high street shop. The net result is that I now buy almost all items online, from Fridge Freezers to teabags, from computer parts to a bag of nails, a a tube of glue – all with free next day delivery and a massive saving of both time and fuel. No wonder there are so many white vans on the road…..

  9. I can only speak highly of Evri from my recent experience. You may imagine it was with some trepidation (having read very mixed reviews) that I delivered a package to their collection.point in Ore late on Monday afternoon. It was supposed to be delivered to an address 300+ miles away on Thursday – and it was, intact as well. I would normally use Royal Mail but that was not an option so I crossed my fingers and used a courier. So thank you Evri – not bad given that it is presumably a very busy time for businesses like theirs.

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