Convey Inc. released a monthly performance index, including data (with MoM and YoY comparisons), trends and insights into how COVID-19 is impacting retail based on tens of millions of packages shipped from more than 500,000 U.S. locations.
The biggest news for May was a 433% jump in fulfillment time for freight. In addition to supply chain slowdowns, there are additional challenges for freight because receiving the shipments often requires interaction with the driver, and in some cases, letting the driver into one’s home for white glove services. However, some consumers are refusing freight shipments because they do not want to interact with drivers due to COVID-19 fears.
Overall shipment volume rising year-over-year
Shipment volume in May increased by 49% YoY. While this is a significant increase, this is less than the 60% increase experienced in April. The stockpiling from earlier weeks of COVID-19 has likely lessened coupled with some store re-openings resulting in less volume for the month of May compared to April.
Freight has seen consistent YoY growth, and has stayed consistent MoM, even going into lockdown. Shipment volume was up 52% in May 2020 vs. May 2019.
Deliveries continue to see delays
Overall, on-time deliveries decreased from 79% in April to 75% in May. On-time deliveries for May of 2019 were at 90%, showing a 15% drop from the same time last year. The surge of shipment volume and decrease of logistics labor in April has likely created some backlogs in various parts of the supply chain.
On-time performance YoY began declining in April for freight, decreasing from 71% in 2019 to 68% in April 2020 and from 71% in May 2019 to 66% in May of 2020.
The biggest decline was at UPS, who saw on-time rates dip from 81% in April to 75% in May. FedEx also saw a slight dip from 77% in April to 75% in May.
Fulfillment time soars, especially for freight
Parcel fulfillment has increased from an average of 16.3 hours at the beginning of April to 25.6 hours at the end of May.
Freight fulfillment time is up over 533%, increasing from an average of 14.1 hours at the beginning of April to 75.2 hours at the end of May.
In addition to supply chain slowdowns, some consumers are refusing freight shipments because they do not want to interact with drivers. Since it is difficult to return/dispose of large and bulky shipments, the increase in shipments that do not have dispositions (i.e. instructions on what to do next with a refused piece of freight) is likely driving up the average fulfillment time.
Negative customer feedback has risen from 33% in March to 41% in May. While proactive communication about delivery issues may have helped decrease negative feedback in April, prolonged logistics issues are likely wearing away at consumer sentiment.