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17 October 2023, London – Every year, over 18.1 billion parcels are delivered across Europe. Although the majority of these arrive in one piece, occasionally things go wrong. Especially during the end-of-year rush, the chances of errors increase. Citing figures from 2022, Sendcloud, the end-to-end  shipping platform, forecasts a 41% higher probability  in lost parcels during the final quarter of this year compared to Q3.

The risk of a lost parcel is highest in  November, when the odds of a package getting lost in shipment increase by as much as 40% compared to an average month. December follows right after, with a 21% higher risk of lost packages. 

Lost Parcel Index

The Hidden Costs of Lost Parcels 

Lost parcels are not only a major frustration for consumers, but also place a burden on the retailers that dispatched them. When a parcel fails to reach its destination, the onus falls on the online store, which is legally bound to refund the purchase price. In the wake of such disappointments, 55% of consumers seek a refund, while 35% wish to receive their initial order after all. 

However, in reality the hidden costs of a lost order are much higher than the economic costs only. Recent research indicates roughly two thirds of consumers (62%) refrain from reordering when a parcel does not arrive, with a quarter (24%) vowing never to patronise an online store again following a negative experience with the proposed carrier. 

Secure Parcels, Secure Peace of Mind 

As carriers struggle to cope with rising parcel volumes during the end-of-year rush, retailers perceive a lack of control over the delivery performance. Rob van  den Heuvel, CEO and Co-founder at Sendcloud, explains, “The chance of a lost, damaged or stolen parcel increases dramatically during peak periods. Retailers not only face increased costs and heightened pressure on customer support, but also potential damage to their reputation. After all, if a parcel does not arrive properly, consumers come knocking on their door.” 

“While automation helps to minimise potential errors, it is worth considering insurance for valuable items like electronics and jewellery. Where retailers normally have to bear the majority of the costs of lost parcels themselves, insurance allows them to confidently cover any replacement costs to safeguard their reputation. By handling claims swiftly, merchants prevent a lost parcel from translating into a lost customer, securing peace of mind along the way.”

About Sendcloud

Founded in 2012, Sendcloud is the end-to-end shipping platform for e-commerce businesses. Backed by SoftBank and trusted by 25,000 companies across Europe, Sendcloud is on a mission to solve shipping globally. The platform enables retailers, marketplaces, and fulfilment companies to scale their shipping operations and deliver exceptional shipping experiences.

Iris Delmee

As PR Manager at Sendcloud, Iris Delmee eats news for breakfast. As part of her role, she is always on the lookout for new trends in e-commerce logistics and enjoys studying how consumer expectations are changing. She loves diving into the data to advise online stores on their shipping strategy based on real-time insights.