Coronavirus: home shoppers should select an outside delivery/pick up point now, says ParcelHero

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As social distancing measures ramp up, home shoppers should select a convenient drop off location such as a porch, garage or shed, make sure all delivery companies know about it and include it on all delivery instructions, urges ParcelHero. That way contact between delivery drivers and customers is kept to a minimum

Following the Government’s tougher stand on social distancing, the home delivery expert ParcelHero is urging everyone to consider alternatives to having drivers enter peoples’ home to make deliveries, to reduce the spread of Covid-19.

Says ParcelHero’s head of consumer research, David Jinks MILT: “As the big switch from store shopping to home deliveries takes place, the front door becomes the front line in the war against the coronavirus. Couriers, mailmen and home delivery drivers are minimising physical contact with people as much as possible, such as by changing their proof of delivery signature requirement,  but shoppers can play their part in minimising contact.

“Many people may well have an alternative drop off point such as a porch or a shed listed with a number of retailers and delivery companies – now is the time to update your accounts and Apps so every regular home shopping and delivery company know where they can drop off items to avoid physical contact.

“As an increasing number of us go into self-isolation, having food and parcel deliveries made across our doorstep increases the risk both for shoppers and drivers. Home shoppers need to help ensure any contact with drivers is cut to an absolute minimum. A number of mail companies are now leaving items by front doors if they are too large for the letter box, standing back two metres and confirming delivery when the customer accepts the parcel. But that is obviously not a good idea in poor weather or for food items.

“If you don’t have an obvious place for dropping off goods, consider one of the many garden storage boxes and cupboards available from stores such as Homebase and Argos. There are a wide variety of sizes available to fit different available spaces and many are very simple to self-assemble.

“If you have elderly relatives who may be facing the need for social distancing and avoiding crowded stores, ensuring they also have a convenient place where goods can be delivered would also be a good idea in the near future.

“Obviously, it doesn’t pay to leave items in sheds and lockers for long for security reasons – and it’s not reasonable to expect already overstretched drivers to start working out locks etc. But sheds, garages and storage boxes could prove invaluable shelter for purchases and offer a little bit of extra security in ensuring items are not clearly visible.

“Our live UK courier services guide will keep everyone updated on what courier services are available to a particular destination as any potential outbreak develops. Be sure when booking shipments or deliveries to include a drop off location wherever possible. For those people planning to send items by courier, these areas can also double as a convenient pick up point that eliminates physical contact.

“With the Government saying it is working closely with retailers to ensure that people who self-isolate at home get essential supplies, there needs to be a single approach to delivery protocol and employee welfare so shoppers and delivery drivers can feel secure.”

For ParcelHero’s latest information on delays, service disruptions and any potential risks, see its constantly updated guide at https://www.parcelhero.com/en-gb/uk-courier-services