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John Lewis looks to reduce dependence on parcel carriers

13 November 2013

Leading retailer John Lewis is looking to decrease its reliance on third party delivery partners in the coming years, said operations director Dino Rocos at a recent retail and home delivery event.

John Lewis makes over 9 million deliveries per year, with three million of these taken care of by external carriers. John Lewis carries out 2 man deliveries in house with the one man sector outsourced.

Rocos explained: "We have good relationships with the carriers, but looking to the future,  we’re aware carriers are not working for us. In some areas demand exceeds capacity. As our volumes grow, we see an opportunity to expand our own fleet. It will not be an overnight transformation. 

"Our preference is to insource unless a third party has an unbeatable advantage on, for example, scale.”

In terms of customer delivery hubs, John Lewis expects to be agile and change hubs to adapt to changing catchments as online orders grow. These hubs have also had ancillary functions removed to reduce size and increase efficiency. They are purely for deliveries and can be re-located relatively quickly as needed.

Rocos added: "There is now little or no tolerance of delivery failure. The days of tip and run are gone. We invest heavily in our delivery crews, with teams possessing certificates to install electrical products, for example. 

"In terms of sameday deliveries, we also think its is a matter of time before we move from a 12 hour clock to an 8 hour clock.”