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Shipwire Urges UK Businesses to Learn from the Royal Mail Postal Strikes

Business Wire, Nov 4, 2009

Shipwire urges UK businesses to learn from the Royal Mail postal strikes and implement an order delivery crisis plan

Palo Alto, CA—November 4, 2009 Shipwire, the e-commerce order fulfillment company, is today advising small businesses to learn a valuable lesson from the Royal Mail strikes. As reports of Christmas disruptions and weeks of backlogs continue to populate the UK media and the threat of additional strikes looming, the crisis is by no means over. Shipwire believes that this will not be the last strike that small businesses will encounter and that they should heed the warning to avoid impact in the future.

“UK small businesses have been, in the most part, slow to act in the face of the crisis. Royal Mail is well known for a history of industrial action and it’s surprising that many more businesses have not planned ahead. The direct impact has been severe, from sliding consumer confidence to the huge increase in customer service costs,” says Damon Schechter, founder and CEO of Shipwire, and author of Delivering the Goods: The Art of Managing Your Supply Chain (Wiley, 2002).

John Ellen CEO of comments, “The industrial action from Royal Mail no doubt has caused major inconveniences to the day to day running of our business. We have a greater amount of support tickets from concerned customers we have to deal with, as well as the threat of negative feedback for delays in deliveries being posted to our Amazon® or eBay® selling profiles. We are starting to use other independent couriers for larger items and no doubt we will use these more frequently in the future if more industrial action follows. As a mail order business, we cannot be at the mercy of Royal Mail; we need to use alternative carriers where possible to avoid delayed deliveries.”

In an already difficult market, Shipwire believes that businesses need to limit the damage of postal strikes and implement a delivery crisis plan that should safeguard them in the future. While businesses should look at all options available, Shipwire recommends considering the following tips:

  1. Seek alternative carriers. The strike should see the emergence of more companies looking to target dissatisfied Royal Mail customers. Look for smaller and local carriers that are providing an alternative to Royal Mail. Work with your existing fulfillment and drop shipping vendors to ensure you have reasonable alternate carriers available as needed.
  2. Be location smart. Businesses should place goods close to their customers. This will save shipping costs and ensure that the business is not reliant on any one region. This is especially important for merchants that sell overseas. Placing product in the local market can insulate against future Royal Mail strikes and significantly cut your shipping costs by eliminating cross-border international shipments. Global payment services like PayPal® allow you to take credit cards internationally and can be automated with your local distribution center.
  3. Speak to your customers. Businesses should clearly communicate alternative available options to customers and make them aware of any additional measures that they are taking to protect them. This is especially important for orders acquired through marketplaces with active buyer feedback such as eBay or Amazon.
  4. Avoid mispriced shipping rates. Businesses that don’t have alternate delivery methods built into their shopping cart checkout may be mispricing delivery rates, leading to costs that their businesses will have to absorb.
  5. Outsource product fulfillment. By outsourcing product distribution you will gain the expertise of a company who can manage and advise you throughout a crisis and provide alternatives, allowing you to focus on building your business, instead of watching the news page.

Shipwire handles the storage, packing and shipping of products on behalf of manufacturers and retailers from a global network of warehouses in the U.S., Canada and Europe. See the Shipwire response to the Royal Mail strike at

About Shipwire (
Shipwire provides growing e-tailers with e-commerce order fulfillment services powered by a global warehouse network and its Store-Sell-Ship™ platform. Shipwire eliminates the hassle of storage and shipping, so merchants can focus on growth. Convenient facility locations: Warehouse Los Angeles, warehouse Reno, warehouse Chicago, warehouse Toronto, warehouse Vancouver, warehouse London. Shipwire allows merchants to drastically reduce shipping costs by locating inventory closer to buyers. Usage-based plans start at just $29/month, and enable merchants to locate inventory in all warehouses, with no contract commitments. Shipwire is the only warehouse logistics service that instantly integrates with shopping carts and inventory management systems. Shipwire is developer and partner friendly; learn more about our shipping affliate partner program or get our outsourced e-commerce order fulfillment guide at Stay up to date with our shipping fulfillment blog. Print online postage USPS. For a free trial or more information, contact 1-888-SHIPWIRE or visit Shipwire press resource center.

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