Black Friday and Christmas Logistics

The UK is expected to receive over a quarter of a billion parcels after spending billions over Black Friday and Christmas. To get everything sent, retailers need to work day and night. But how do they manage?

HGV and courier insurer Staveley Head takes you behind the scenes: choose Black Friday or Christmas to discover the logistics of retail’s biggest (and busiest) season.

Black Friday 2017: daytime

Before a single package is delivered, Brits pay a serious amount at the checkout. And not only on Black Friday, but before and after, too. So, how much is the UK set to spend this year?

£937,500 will be spent every minute on Black Friday 2017

Spending is 50% higher on Black Friday than Boxing Day.

Retail giant Amazon sells 86 items per second on Black Friday.

£700,000,000 will be spent before 9am on Black Friday – that’s 28% of sales.

Data accurate as of 22nd November 2017.


Select night mode to reveal Black Friday night time logistics

The overnight journey of your Black Friday parcels

When you’ve logged off and finished your day of spending, thousands of workers are walking and driving for miles to bring your order to your front door. So, what does £7 billion look like at night? And how do retailers adapt to cope with the demand?

total courier vehicles on the road
CourierAnnual vehiclesExtra courier vehicles
Royal Mail47,000+6,800
UPSNo info+1,300

Courier Hermes projects delivery of 750,000 parcels on the Sunday following Black Friday.

81% of online Black Friday purchases include a home delivery service rather than collecting in person.

Picking and delivering items costs retailers £3 - £10 per order. Returning costs double or triple that.

A lorry has been known to leave one of Amazon’s warehouses every 1 minute 33 seconds during especially busy periods.

Data accurate as of 22nd November 2017.



How does next-day delivery work?

You place an order one day, and the next, a parcel appears on your doorstep. How does that work? We go behind the scenes to reveal the four-step process behind every next-day delivery…


Once the products have arrived at the retailer’s warehouse, they’re attached with product serial numbers and registered as ‘in stock’ on the retailer’s website. When you place an order online, this is sent to the retailer’s electronic ticketing system, so a warehouse picker can collect it from the shelf.


Orders are prioritised based on your delivery option. So, if you’ve paid for next-day delivery, your order jumps to the front of the queue.


This item is then sent to an internal distribution team that organises the orders by regional destination. Your item is loaded into a large HGV, which carries it to a courier’s depot or warehouse.


The pickers at the courier are then responsible for separating the parcels to be sent to the localised depots. Once your order has arrived here, it’s collected by a delivery driver who will cover a dedicated local area. One of which will include your home address.

How do the top brands do it?

You know the basic process, but how does it differ between brands? We’ve chosen some of the UK’s favourite seasonal retailers – Argos, Amazon, and ASOS – to show the journey each of their parcels take.

Select a brand to reveal how their next-day process works, and see the journey your order takes across the country…

* Staveley Head have no association with the brands mentioned in this asset.




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