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Update on carrier performance during COVID-19

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has marked an unprecedented time for eCommerce. Deliverr is seeing record levels of order volume as well as increasing signs of stress and congestion from both our warehouse and carrier partners.

Deliverr aims to manage performance of all our partners to keep our sellers in good standing with marketplaces and meet the expectations of your customers. The pandemic has made this more difficult and in some cases delivery performance has suffered due to unpredictable carrier stress.

We will continue to update our COVID-19 Status Updates page with relevant callouts on the issues that we’re seeing, but wanted to set expectations about carrier performance, ase well as what we’re doing to provide the best service we can given the circumstances.

What are we seeing happen right now?

  • Limited Pickups. National carriers are limiting pickups due to limited dock space at their hubs, resulting in some packages losing a day during transit, especially in southern California.
  • USPS and DHL are seeing general backups such that we can no longer use them for most 2-day orders, in addition to occasional severe delays where packages are delayed many days past their expected delivery times.
  • Carriers are increasingly missing scans for some key events (e.g. pickup from warehouse, arrived at sorting facility, etc.), so we sometimes have more limited visibility into where a package is after it leaves its warehouse.
  • Delays are also extending to premium delivery methods, so in many cases even when we “upgrade” a package to meet a delivery deadline, we are still seeing performance issues; carriers have also suspended guarantees for these methods.
  • Carriers are warning us that their systems are at capacity and in most cases they do not expect things to return to normal until after peak season

What is Deliverr doing?

Because we utilize a whole network of national and regional carriers, we are using our resources to keep your orders moving as smoothly as possible. Some steps we are taking include:

  • Increasing our use of regional carriers when national carriers are backed, including Lasership, OnTrac, LSO and others as we can add them.
  • Moving orders dynamically to the most reliable services available when we see carrier performance problems.
  • Using our relationships with carriers to cut unreliable steps in the process, including driving packages to carrier hubs when possible.
  • Shifting inventory allocations to warehouses that are seeing more reliable performance.
  • Adjusting our fast tag coverage to prevent promising deliveries that we cannot fulfill on time, while still trying to keep fast tags on wherever possible.

Here is what merchants can do

Be alert, but patient

As we have seen an increased amount of Support cases created for delayed orders that do not arrive by the Promise By date listed in your Seller Portal, we ask that you allow an additional 12 business days for the orders to be delivered to your customers. 

While a majority of our orders are arriving on time, if you are seeing that an order has tracking uploaded and is showing movement while in transit, please wait these additional days before creating a support ticket.

As a rule of thumb, Deliverr treats orders that don’t show movement within 7 business days as lost in transit, and during COVID times, we have extended this to 12 business days.

Only after 12 business days have passed beyond the Promise By date without movement, do we ask that you create a support ticket so that we can file a claim with the carrier on your behalf.

Don’t create duplicate orders

While we know customer service is of the utmost importance for eCommerce businesses, we want to avoid you losing double your inventory due to carrier delays. This is why we ask you to wait an additional 12 business days after the Promise By date before taking any action.

Unless the order is truly stuck in transit with the carrier, we will not reimburse sellers for duplicate orders created before 12 business days after the Promise By date. This will apply for all orders regardless of the shipping speed selected.

Set expectations with your customers

Let your customers know that there is a chance that their orders will be delayed. There is plenty of documentation both on carrier websites as well as reputable news sources that detail the constraints and delays that are happening across all US carriers.

To prevent bad reviews or angry customers, and to ensure that customers have appropriate expectations, we believe leading with this information will be beneficial for all parties involved.

Here are some links you can use from the Washington PostWall Street JournalUSPSDHLFedExUPSOntrac and Lasership.

Carrier delays may persist throughout the pandemic and into peak season in some form, so we sincerely appreciate your understanding and patience through these challenging times.

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