This time of the year is especially busy for online deliveries in South Africa.
Local shoppers are buying gifts for the festive season and spending their end-of-year bonuses, resulting in a big increase in online shopping.
More products being purchased also means more being delivered, and logistics companies usually prepare well in advance for the festive season rush.
This year’s deliveries have been a bit difficult, however, with many orders being delayed due to increased volumes and other unexpected factors.
Delayed deliveries are a major problem across many online retailers, although some are coping better than others.
MyBroadband has received numerous complaints regarding delayed or lost orders from Makro, with many customers still waiting for products they purchased in the last week of November.
This situation is readily apparent on Makro’s Hellopeter page, which is filled with one-star reviews complaining of online delivery problems.
The same is true for many other retailers, with logistics companies struggling to match the pace of online order volumes.
Deliveries are also being slowed considerably by the return of load-shedding, which interferes greatly with traffic.
An internal logistics industry email seen by MyBroadband stated that courier deliveries are being delayed due to load-shedding and heavy rainfall, amongst other factors.
Rain and load-shedding
MyBroadband spoke to Aramex and ParcelNinja about the challenges these phenomena are posing to logistics companies in South Africa.
Aramex confirmed that the weather has hindered the ability to ship orders on time, especially in areas such as Pretoria where rainfall has been particularly heavy.
Load-shedding has also affected the delivery process through both disruption to the company’s operations and the increase in traffic congestion caused by traffic lights being out.
ParcelNinja also told MyBroadband that it was dealing with the impact of load-shedding and heavy rainfall on its operations.
“Both load shedding and the rains have an impact in the number of deliveries a driver can make in a day – simply drive around any major city during load shedding, and the impact is evident – commute times have increased dramatically, meaning less time to deliver parcels,” the company told MyBroadband.
“Couriers have put more vehicles on the road and implemented longer work hours to try to alleviate the issues. This during peak Christmas is not ideal, but we see 95% of deliveries meeting SLA – so things are making an impact.”
“There might still be some deliveries which have major delays, but generally, delivery times are in-line with expectations,” ParcelNinja said.
The company noted that it is far from easy being a courier on South African roads at the moment – especially when experiencing the full impact of load-shedding – and asked customers to empathise with delivery drivers.