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E-commerce peak 2021 survival - The shipping manager's ultimate survival guide to EU parcel shipping during peak 2021.

3 September 2021 / 9 minute read

Should we mention C-word? Christmas 2021 really is around the corner. With the peak season this year poised to be bigger than ever and battling against the biggest headwind ever, it looks set to be the most challenging yet for getting orders to your EU customers. Here we share with you our parcel shipping industry secrets to ensure you and your business are in the best possible commercial position to survive and thrive with EU parcel shipping during the peak 2021.

Let’s start off with the most frequent questions we get asked along with our advice on how you can minimise some of these risks to ensure your orders get delivered promptly and cost effectively.

  • Is the HGV driver shortage going to affect my parcel deliveries during peak 2021?
  • Will Brexit affect my EU orders during peak 2021?
  • Will my EU parcels be delayed or get stuck during peak 2021?
  • How do I avoid complex parcel carrier invoices over the peak 2021?
  • How do I reduce the cost of my EU parcel deliveries ready for peak 2021?

Read on or contact us directly. Click here to view our EU parcel tariff and start shipping with us today, Email us by clicking here, WhatsApp us by clicking here. or complete the contact form at the bottom of this page and we'll get in touch to go through your options.

Is the HGV driver shortage going to affect my parcel deliveries during peak 2021?

Yes. This is a chronic situation brought about covid and Brexit emigration. HGV drivers are underappreciated and do a very challenging job on low pay and unsociable hours. They carry out a magnificent service to the country largely unnoticed. Unless there is intervention to increase the lorry driver shortage very shortly, this is an issue that will get progressively worse as business get further and further behind on stock and product location. Anything that is carried by lorry is affected, so that is just about everything. The mainstream parcel delivery companies are very exposed to this problem because they rely heavily on HGV feeder vehicles moving parcels between hubs and delivery depots.

How do I minimise the risk of the HGV driver shortage on parcel deliveries?

  • Avoid parcel carriers that are now surcharging for HGV driver cost increases.
  • In case your parcel carrier lets you down, establish ‘backup‘ parcel carrier(s) for all your requirements.
  • Try and manage promotions earlier in the season, to avoid shipping unnecessary volume during the peak weeks.
  • Look at independents where price deals and service will be superior, don’t go to the national and international carriers only. Click here to view Samos E-commerce EU Parcel service ‘Samos Connect’. We use vans, not HGVs, and we are not having driver sourcing issues.

Will Brexit affect my EU orders during peak 2021?

Yes. This is a scenario that has played out all year and affected UK e-commerce in different ways, from increased costs to restricted items. Most have had to absorb significant cost increases introduced by their parcel carriers. Clearance surcharges, DDP surcharges etc, all conspiring to make EU orders less profitable. Some carriers have also placed restrictions on moving certain items (tariff codes) such food items into the EU, meaning that traditional Christmas food exports could be restricted.

How do I minimise the risk of EU parcels being affected by Brexit during peak 2021?

  • Don’t tolerate the layers of surcharging associated to Brexit. This will only accumulate in line with your peak 2021 volume, leaving you parcel delivery company invoices much higher than peak 2020.
  • Unless you substantially increase charges to your customers and risk becoming uncompetitive, you need to deal with the cost increases from parcel delivery companies brought about by Brexit. There are other ways to ship parcels into the EU which are significantly cheaper using parcel delivery companies that don’t need to line the pockets of shareholders.
  • Not all parcel carriers have the same restrictions on food items. Samos e-commerce can clear far more food items into the EU than you probably thought was imaginable. Get in touch with us and we can go through your items and tariff code lists to show you what we can deliver to your EU customers with no fuss.

Will my EU parcels be delayed or get stuck during peak 2021?

Yes. The mainstream parcel carriers are still struggling with the huge implications that Brexit has brought with clearing parcels into the EU form the UK. These mammoth organisations must be process driven to cope with the volumes. If anything falls outside the process or if there is a different interpretation of the process from within the organisation, the parcel simply ends up in no-man’s-land. As peak 2021 volumes increase the delays will increase in line with it.

How do I stop or minimise the risks of EU parcels getting stuck or delayed during peak 2021?

  • Try not to send any parcels on a DDU service. If you do, the receiver (your customer) will be asked to pay VAT and will have a local handing charge (up to €60) before they can take delivery. This causes delay and backlog. There is also a risk that the customer will refuse the parcel, adding return costs. Use a service where the parcel carrier handles EU import duty and VAT payments so that your parcels are in free EU circulation once cleared.
  • If you do not have an IOSS number, get one. Click here to find out more. You don't have to have an IOSS number to ship with Samos on our enhanced DDU service "Samos Connect" (see below).
  • SAMOS e-commerce can help with our market leading IOSS or enhanced DDU EU parcel service for companies without an IOSS number. Enhanced because unlike DDU, we pay the VAT and duty due before delivery, rather than your customer. This means your customer has no VAT, duty or local handling fees to pay. It is very much like a DDP, but not actually DDP by definition.

We think this service is unique, and it is growing extremely quickly as more and more ecommerce organisations have the same lightbulb moment whether they have an IOSS number or not. Get in touch to find out how we do it. We can also help you get an IOSS number if your need one.

How do I simplify my parcel carrier invoices so I can check them properly?

After peak rush comes the clear up operation and paying for it. Some parcel delivery company invoices are perplexing to say the least. Complex discounting structures and multiple layering of surcharging means that reconciling your costs can be extremely challenging. There will be far more of this as your volume increases over the 2021 peak period resulting in additional time and expense to reconcile.

How do I avoid complex parcel carrier invoices?

  • If you don’t understand your parcel delivery company invoice, or find it too confusing then don’t use them. The complexity would not be tolerated for services provided to the general public, so why should businesses tolerate it? How do you really know what you're paying for and if they are actually correct?
  • Choose a parcel carrier with simple uncomplicated charging mechanisms with all their costs included. They are out there, and you don’t need to compromise on service and cost.
  • Contact SAMOS e-commerce to discuss your parcel carrier invoices. We have a simple per parcel tariff, with no surcharges. What you see on our tariff is what you are invoiced.

How do I reduce the cost of my EU parcel deliveries ready for peak 2021?

Since Brexit, parcel delivery costs from the UK to the EU have more than doubled in price. Most e-commerce companies have remained with their incumbent carriers, thinking that their brand and reputation is the safest bet in an uncertain environment. This is fine in theory, but there're much better services and prices out there.

  • Around September time, and before peak 2021, it your last chance to look at alternatives and trial them before the volume picks up.
  • Don’t just look at your existing parcel delivery company or parcel delivery company brands you recognise. Have a chat with independents that may be far more suitable for your future road map.
  • You can save thousands of pounds without compromising service if you buy your parcel delivery requirements more strategically.

For EU parcel delivery in 2-5 days, fully tracked from £9.99 all in, talk to SAMOS e-commerce. You’ll be staggered how much you could save. Click here to read about our unique EU parcel service “Samos Connect”. You’ll be pleased you did.

Who are SAMOS e-commerce?

SAMOS e-commerce - Alternatively brilliant.

We are a logistics company specialising in e-commerce parcel shipping from the UK to the EU, Russia and Israel. We totally understand the fustrations of using parcel and post delivery services so we engineered these out of our service. Customers always ask us "why didn't we know about you before?" Well, you do now. We can ship all your B2C parcels across the EU whether you're on the IOSS scheme yet or not. If not, you can use our DDP service. We do not surcharge at all, just one ultra-low cost per parcel. Simple. You can find more information about our EU B2C parcel service by clicking here or for more information about us click here.

What Our Customers Say

‘’We are incredibly happy with the service provided by Samos and would recommend their EU shipment services to any businesses requiring a solution for EU logistics since Brexit. Deliveries are fast and our customers are happy. Samos take all the stress and hassle of the new (and confusing) requirements away and provide a comprehensive and fully rounded service for both us and our customers. It’s win-win solution. We were apprehensive about the future of shipping B2C into the EU after experiencing delays in transit and confusion around additional charges, until we joined Samos. They are incredibly helpful, knowledgeable and reliable, it really is joy to be working with them.’’ - Alie Mackintosh, CEO, AYM - www.aym-studio.com.