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They left it where! Are UK logistics companies delivering?

Delivery has never been more vital to the UK economy, with ecommerce booming and just-in-time supply chains the norm for businesses. At DeliveryApp, we’re dedicated to providing the reliable logistics the nation needs.

In particular, we believe that the hard-working people who collect, carry and deliver packages are the backbone of the business. We acknowledge that drivers have not always been treated as they should be by the industry in terms of pay and working conditions. Our mission is to change that. To treat drivers ethically and reward them fairly. Then our industry can start providing the reliable, efficient delivery service UK businesses, families and individuals deserve.

First we need to know what’s been going wrong

Before we can change things for the better, we need to understand what the industry has been getting right and wrong so far. There’s a perception that lots of deliveries are late, lost or left somewhere they shouldn’t be. But is that a fair and accurate perception?

Who better to ask than the end customers? Rather than relying on anecdotes, we lent an ear to the nation’s conversations about logistics and delivery on social media, via a social listening campaign. So what is the public saying about the logistics industry?

First, some positives

Lots of companies are getting delivery right. There were 4,094 positive mentions nationwide. To get a more precise picture, we also broke down the figures by region, with results from London, Manchester, Birmingham, Liverpool, Glasgow, Newcastle, Edinburgh and Hull. The nationwide rankings were closely reflected in each region.

But, sadly, lots more negatives

If you find yourself thinking that those figures for positive mentions are on the small
side, you’re right. Our social listening survey picked up 56,368 “thumbs down” mentions.

Percentage-wise, positive mentions were in the low single figures everywhere and negative mentions peaked at 52%. Again, this picture was mirrored in each region surveyed.

UK Cities complaints ranked

So, what’s been going wrong?

The evidence suggests the UK’s hard-pressed delivery firms have been finding a variety of different ways to disappoint customers.

Losing packages altogether was the most frequently mentioned problem, followed closely by “fence” (customers aren’t sitting on the fence about this, they’re strongly against having their parcels left there!).

Late deliveries are next in line, with 2,650 mentions—making us wonder how many tales of missed birthdays and anniversaries that raw statistic hides.

Consignments reported as stolen rank fourth in this list of negative customer experiences, while 1,428 arrived damaged and 475 were “delivered” to somewhere in the garden.

Overall delivery complaint rankings

Rubbish receptacles also crop up surprisingly often, with bins in general and both wheelie and recycling bins getting a significant number of mentions.

The relatively acceptable options of having a delivery left on the doorstep (935) or in a safe place (662) were thankfully on the list, as was the surprisingly rare appearance of a “sorry we missed you” card.

Botched delivery rankings

Why so many problems?

Our own experience in the logistics industry suggests that the main cause of unsatisfactory delivery is the unevenness and seasonality of demand. Certain dates, such as Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and, increasingly, Black Friday bring extreme surges in the numbers of packages being sent out. The companies can only cope by bringing in temporary resource and/or piling even more pressure on their permanent workforce.

Delivering a brighter future

Clearly, the delivery business needs to be doing better. At DeliveryApp we’re dedicated to making that happen. We believe that well-treated, properly rewarded, less pressurised people are much less likely to leave consignments in a bin or on a fence.

As well as treating drivers ethically, we’re also harnessing innovation and technology to create a more efficient and responsive service. The app puts the customer in control with live GPS tracking, real time updates, in-app messaging and geo-stamped proofs of delivery.

Why not experience the DeliveryApp difference for yourself? if you’d like to book a delivery, you can do so here. And if you’d like to know more about being a DeliveryApp driver, this is where you can get full details.


The data was collected throughout January 2023, collating over 50,000 social media mentions of the different courier brands and related keywords using the social media consumer intelligence tool, Brandwatch:

• Lost
• Fence
• Wheelie Bin
• Stolen
• Late
• Damaged
• Bin
• Doorstep
• Safe place
• Garden
• Sorry we missed you
• Recycling bin

All mentions were analysed for positive, neutral or negative sentiment and sorted by geographic location to give regional insights into where people were complaining about the specific services online.

Written by DeliveryApp

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