According to the latest figures from ParcelHero, returns represent just under half (47%) of all the delivery service’s shipments in the first few days of the year1. As a result, almost two hundred e-commerce retailers have admitted they expect to collapse in the coming year, due to the relentless strain the soaring number of shoppers returning their goods is having on their supply chains2.
In response, Antalis Packaging is reminding businesses that modernising their returns procedures ahead of the New Year could go a long way in making it simpler, more cost-effective and profitable to deal with the unrivalled level of returns expected in the first few weeks of 2019.
Andrew Smedley, head of e-commerce and logistical packaging at Antalis Packaging, comments: “Each year, the UK receives around £2.2bn worth of unwanted Christmas gifts1, which in recent years has spurred a phenomenal growth in returns during the first few weeks of the New Year.
“As a result, many retailers are struggling to cope with the cost of servicing this unprecedented level of returns, which inevitably puts a massive strain on their profit margins. However, there are many ways in which retailers can limit these costs, which often starts with streamlining the returns process to limit the touchpoints each package goes through before it can go back up for resale. Also, ensuring that all packaging is ‘returns-ready’ can minimise any damage that occurs in the rigorous logistics environment, while optimising warehouse operations not only frees-up valuable storage space but can also create a slicker returns process.
“With Christmas fast approaching, the time to start reviewing these operations is now. And given the recent launch of our new Smart Packaging Centre – a state-of-art design facility in Coalville – our dedicated team of e-commerce and logistical experts can demonstrate the latest innovations in packaging and machinery to help create the ultimate robust and cost-effective returns process.”