CourierServicesTriangle Management Services, the specialist services provider to the global mail and express industry, has just released the 2014 edition of the ‘UK Domestic B2B Express Parcels Distribution Survey’, and finds the level of carrier switching up on 2013 and the continued sign of flattening tariffs.

In 2014 some 475 in-depth interviews with shippers were conducted, and a total of 599 benchmark service ratings collected for the two main carriers used for business deliveries by each shipper.  Whilst looking at current carrier usage, Triangle also investigates any instances of shippers deliberately stopping usage of any carriers.  Over the previous 12 months (i.e. largely during the course of 2013), 18% of shippers had stopped using a carrier, compared with 8% in 2012.  This contrasts with 27% in 2011, when businesses were making efforts to improve service levels and find better tariffs.  2012 saw a more stable period, whilst, in 2013, carrier churn rates were on the rise.

The UK’s express market is extremely competitive, and shippers are increasingly well informed, with rising expectations of high service levels and value for money.  Carrier recommendation levels amongst shippers have been slipping.  Triangle’s Carrier Promoter Index for B2B carriers, (based on the Net Promoter Score method), shows the average promoter index falling from 34.0 in 2012 to 31.8 in 2014.

Shipper experiences of parcel carrier rates have also been showing prices flattening out since 2011.  Some 41% of shippers reported no tariff change in the 2012 survey, whilst 52% of respondents reported no price change during 2013 in the current study.  The proportion of those seeing rate increases slipped from 52% in 2011 to 42% in 2013, which contributes to the overall picture of a flat B2B parcels market in recent years and is not good news for B2B specialists.

Triangle’s annual survey benchmarks the carriers on  ‘Overall level of service’, ‘Competitive price’, ‘Customer service’, ‘Image’ and ‘Provision of information’.  There are also fourteen other key service description factors on which the carriers are rated, such as: ‘Collects on time’,  ‘Delivers on time’, ‘Rarely damages parcels’, ‘Rarely loses parcels’, ‘Cares about me’ and ‘Solves my problems’.

Carriers benchmarked by the survey include the major global integrators TNT Express, UPS, DHL and FedEx, along with Parcelforce Worldwide, DPD, Interlink, APC Overnight, City Link, UK Mail, Yodel and freight parcel specialists DX Freight and Tuffnells. A total of thirteen carriers offering UK domestic express parcel delivery services to business premises are rated by their customers, and compared against each other in this study.

Triangle’s ‘UK Domestic B2B Express Parcels Distribution Survey’ was first published in 1986 and remains the industry standard for the express sector to this day. Its status reflects the way in which subscribers, principally the carriers themselves, use the survey to benchmark themselves against their competitors whilst also judging their own company performance in all the important customer interface areas and the success of new initiatives.

Express Director at Triangle, Robin Parr-Davies, commented “having produced the Triangle  B2B survey now for well over 25 years we know and understand the value of the UK Domestic Express Survey programme to our clients. This latest report continues to highlight areas for improvement that the carriers must address in order to retain customers and remain competitive.”

Source: Triangle Management Services

By Alison