Delivery Carriers & COVID-19 | The latest updates

4 minute read
Delivery Carriers & COVID-19 | The latest updates

Covid-19 has meant that delivery has become the most important customer need and retailers depend on shipping carriers to make it happen.


Despite the complexities in logistics arising from the Coronavirus restrictions as well as the increased order volumes to process, carriers are doing a remarkable job of keeping things going and adjusting to the challenges. 


Most carriers are issuing updates on their status, whether it’s expected delays or notifications of surcharges or changes to practices. Scurri has put together the highlights of the most recent updates from carriers.

Health & Safety

To continue to operate safely carriers have had to adjust practices to ensure new health and safety measures are in place. This is to ensure protection for the workers and recipients alike. Carriers have introduced similar measures, here are some examples across carriers: 


  • A contactless drop-off and pick up process
  • Not handing over hand-held devices to customers to capture electronic signatures, instead drivers are logging the names of people accepting deliveries
  • Drivers are briefed on the new procedures
  • Asking customers to specify a preferred location for deliverers to drop-off parcels
covid-19 delivery carrier updates


DPD continues to monitor the development of the Coronavirus COVID-19 situation, and how it affects their services, they post regular bulletins here


The significant reduction in airline capacity has impacted costs for carriers; as a result, DPD has introduced extra charges. These surcharges were introduced on March 17 2020; the actual rates fluctuate with the market, so DPD publishes the Surcharge daily update here.


DHL has also introduced an Emergency Situation Surcharge on April 1st; this applies to all Time Definite International (TDI) shipments. The surcharge is to contribute to increased operating costs of the necessary air network adjustments during Covid-19.


The massive reduction in available commercial air cargo capacity and destinations has necessitated a switch to more indirect routings and the purchase of additional cargo aircraft lift, which is in high demand.


Details of the Surcharge are as follows:

 Billing MethodChargeable WeightCharge Amount
Emergency Situation SurchargeFixed Charge
Per Shipment
Up to 2.5 kgNo charge
2.51 – 30 kg£2.25
30.1 – 70 kg£13.50
70.1 – 300 kg£45.00
>300.1 kg£180.00


The Covid-19 situation has impacted Parcelforces ability to maintain all normal service levels. Here is the list of affected services:


  • Service guarantee for all UK and international services have been suspended
  • Same-day ad-hoc collections suspended. Booked collections may happen after 12pm
  • Express24large and Express48large services suspended as of April 20th. Size & weight allowances. 
  • Timed next day services suspended – While delivery guarantees are suspended, they endeavour to deliver any items sent on express9, express10 or expressAM services during the morning.
  • Age Verification service suspended in order to comply with social distancing rules.
  • Details of International services affected are updated regularly here

Parcelforce say they have secured capacity to operate the service to most international destinations. However, as there is now a considerable reduction in airline capacity for parcels and freight to certain destinations they have had to source new suppliers with increased costs. 


As a result, they are also applying additional charges for customers.


Details of Covid-19 additional charges are as follows:

DestinationDate of noticeEffective date on or beforeAdditional charge per kiloDate additional charge removed
New Zealand07/03/202008/03/2020£3.55 
South Africa07/03/202008/03/2020£1.50 
South Korea07/03/202008/03/2020£3.15 

Royal Mail

Royal Mail are endeavouring to keep delays to a minimum and are maintaining regular deliveries and collections in the UK but report that there some delays in parts of the country due to Coronavirus-related absences.


Here are the latest updates to the UK services:


  • Special Delivery Guaranteed by 9.00 am the next working day will change to by 12.00 pm the next working day
  • Special Delivery Guaranteed by 1.00 pm will change to by 9.00 pm the next working day


Royal Mail is working with airline and postal/courier partners across the globe to maintain services. The number of countries that they can access is changing daily, and they report significant delays to several countries due to a lack of available transport links and suspension of certain country’s postal operations. Royal Mail updates their International Incident Bulletin page regularly regarding International services.


FedEx offers extensive updates on their Services across Europe and globally on this page.  


They have also introduced a temporary surcharge until further notice due to increased costs caused by the disruption and uncertainty in the global cargo industry. The surcharge does not apply to domestic intra-country shipments.


Surcharge Amount (GBP per Kilo)

Origin CountryDestination Country
 ChinaRest of APACRest of the World
Rest of APAC0.800.800.18
Rest of the World0.180.180.18

Parcel Min. Charge: 0.80 GBP / Shipment

Freight Min. Charge: 40.15 GBP / Shipment

Stay up to date with Delivery Disruption Alerts

Want to stay up to date with possible disruptions to your carriers? Get a daily email alert whenever there is a disruption to ecommerce delivery by any carrier across the UK and Europe by registering here.

Take control of your delivery management

Book a Consultation

Get industry insights you won’t delete.

Delivered straight to your inbox.

Sign up here…