Getting Ready for Peak Season With Evri – The New Hermes

Nov 22, 2022

In our previous series, we covered the amazing works by various retail and technology companies such as LululemonSnocksInstacartLoop, and Reviews.io. This time, we are launching an all-new Carrier Spotlight series where we feature achievements made by logistics carriers around the world. 

To start off with our first Carrier Spotlight, we are thrilled to feature one of the United Kingdom's leading delivery companies, Evri (formerly known as Hermes). The company delivers packages for the top retailers in the UK such as ASOS, Next, and John Lewis. In their mission to be the UK’s carrier of choice, they have also committed to work towards zero-emission delivery — starting with their purchase of 168 fully electric vans

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As we inch closer to the end of the year, how is the company preparing for the inevitable parcel boom? Let's find out!

Evri Reports Record-Breaking Parcel Volumes in 2021

According to its official press release, Evri had its busiest and most efficient peak season to date in 2021. The logistics company successfully handled 30.3 million parcels in December alone, representing a significant increase of 24% from the year before.

December 2021 was indeed a record-breaking one as there were 22 separate occasions where Evri managed over 1 million parcels in a single night. That being said, the actual milestone day of the year fell on 4th December when the firm processed approximately 1.4 million parcels in 24 hours.

Commenting on the peak season performance, Evri CEO Carole Wood said the following:

"Our success during the recent peak season is testimony to the meticulous planning between our client managers and retailers, combined with the hard work and dedication displayed by our teams across our hubs, depots and final mile delivery network. Last year we also invested in a secondary sortation tier at our fully automated hub in Warrington, opened another 125 sub-depots across the UK and added another 3,000 couriers to our network for the peak season. This investment has boosted our overall capacity and helped us to deliver a fantastic service in the lead-up to and after Christmas. "

Moreover, Evri's delivery solution myHermes also witnessed a 30% surge in parcel volumes throughout the final month of 2021. In preparation for this year's peak season, the firm will be adding yet another 3000 couriers to its myHermes ParcelShop network, increasing the ease of shipping parcels to more than 190 countries around the world.

Ramping Up for Peak Season 2022

Launch of New AI Tech to Improve Parcel Delivery Accuracy

To prepare for peak season this year, Evri has developed a new software solution that helps enhance parcel delivery accuracy and facilitate customer communications. Leveraging machine learning and artificial intelligence, Evri's software "Parcel Vision" identifies and flags any proof-of-delivery photos that fail to show the location of the parcel. This is particularly useful for cases when the parcel is not clearly visible at first glance, is too close to the camera lens, or something is covering the camera lens.

Using thousands of SafePlace photos, Parcel Vision's machine-learning model was designed to detect any potential issues before informing couriers about what needs to be fixed before retaking the pictures.

“We are always looking to leverage technology to support delivery accuracy and further improve the customer experience,” Evri innovation engineer Sam Greenwood said. “Machine learning and AI is a gamechanger and our team is working on a number of exciting developments in this area.”

Evri Opens the Largest Automated Distribution Hub in Europe

On 20th September 2022, Evri opened the doors to Europe's largest automated parcel distribution hub worth approximately £60 million in Barnsley, near Sheffield. The 320,000 sqft center is capable of handling up to 1.3 million parcels daily, increasing the company’s overall productivity to 4.4 million parcels per day.

As part of its Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) commitment, more than 50% of the vehicles operating on the site will be powered by bio-compressed natural gas (CNG), which reduces carbon emissions by over 80% compared to diesel. The building also features solar panels on its roof, a rainwater harvesting system, and natural grassed acoustic bundles to absorb noise between the site and residential areas.

“This development showcases our commitment to responding to the ever-increasing demand for online shopping and yet provide a service that doesn’t cost the earth. Our continued investment to strengthen our network and infrastructure across the UK is laying the foundations for future growth, creating more employment opportunities and confirming our position as an industry leader," remarked Evri CEO Martijn de Lange.

Hermes' newest distribution hub at Barnsley

(Image Source: eDelivery)

Strong Partnerships With E-commerce Marketplaces

Evri is partnering with e-commerce marketplaces to ensure end-consumers have easy access to accurate updates of their e-commerce deliveries during this peak season. 

One such partner is Etsy, the leading online marketplace for handmade and craft items from independent sellers. As part of the partnership, Evri UK will develop an API to integrate their delivery services with the marketplace, to provide a seamless experience for sellers. With this integration, Etsy sellers will be able to download and upload parcel labels in bulk (as opposed to individually) and set up default preferences for deliveries to save time. 

Evri has also established a strategic partnership with OnBuy, one of the fastest-growing marketplaces based in the UK. This integration benefits both merchants and consumers; merchants are able to offer on-time deliveries at a potentially lower cost, whereas buyers can be assured that their purchases will be safely delivered. In the near future, the OnBuy integration will also empower merchants to develop beyond the UK market as OnBuy sets its sights on an international expansion.

Expansive Parcel Collection Services and Network

One of the trends we have observed over the months is that more and more customers are choosing Out Of Home delivery services (or OOH), which includes ParcelShop and lockers. To provide customers with more options and convenience, Evri is working with Tesco, the UK’s largest supermarket, to expand its ParcelShop network across the nation. 

This expansion makes it easier for consumers to access options for sending, receiving, and returning parcels. Evri predicts that by the end of 2022, 80% of the UK population will be able to reach their nearest ParcelShop or locker within a 10-minute walk.

What’s Next for Evri?

With Evri’s achievements and breakthrough plans in delivery services over the past few months, it is exciting to see how they will develop further in the near future. Other than its acceleration in the last-mile delivery, the company’s involvement in sustainability is also one to watch. In the meantime, do keep a lookout for more carrier spotlights coming your way! 

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