Yodel to clear parcels backlog by Monday

Yodel vans Image copyright Yodel

Courier firm Yodel has apologised to customers for delays to its parcel deliveries and says it expects to clear the backlog in its distribution centres by the end of the weekend.

Yodel has told clients there will be no collections from distribution centres while it works on the backlog.

It has blamed the delay on a higher-than-expected jump in online orders following the Black Friday sales.

It hopes to resume normal service on Monday.

In a statement, Yodel said: "Our sort centres will be clear by this weekend and the parcels sent on to our network of local service centres for onward delivery to shoppers over next few days and well ahead of Christmas."

In a letter to clients on Thursday, the company's executive chairman, Dick Stead, said that Black Friday and Cyber Monday had exceeded all analysts' expectations and in many cases orders for UK retailers were double the previous record level set last year.

Parcel volumes then continued to be high on what was dubbed Manic Monday, earlier this week.

"This is not a decision we have taken lightly, but one that we have had to take to protect service levels," he said.

Online records

On Thursday, Amazon, which uses Yodel as one of its couriers, said orders would continue to be processed and delivered in "the normal time frame".

Catalogue retailer Argos said deliveries to customers were unaffected, but that a small number of customers wishing to return goods over the next couple of days would be temporarily affected by Yodel's suspension to its collection service for some retailers.

Earlier this week, Marks and Spencer was forced to extend delivery dates for online orders as a new distribution centre struggled to cope with heavy Christmas demand.

Online retail industry body IMRG recently predicted that Christmas 2014 would be the busiest on record for the UK's online logistics industry, with more than 210 million parcels sent during November and December.

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