Cyber Monday generates unprecedented peak in parcel volumes

This year’s Black Friday was expected to be busy, but according to the latest figures it broke all existing online records. Dutch shipping platform Sendcloud reports processing 136% more parcels on Black Friday than on an average day in 2020, and a staggering 253% more parcels than usual on Cyber Monday.

Many Dutch retailers renamed the period ‘Black Week’ as a way of spreading the bargain frenzy over several days and easing the pressure in stores and distribution centres. That resulted in an 88% increase in parcels compared to an average week.

The biggest peak was seen on Cyber Monday (see graphic below), with 253% extra shipments. According to Sendcloud, a major  e-commerce shipping platform operating throughout Europe, this is partly because many web shops don’t process the weekend orders until the Monday, which tends to make this the busiest shipping day of the week.

Black Week an international success

Sendcloud’s figures show that Black Week generated online success elsewhere in Europe too. For example, the number of shipments doubled in Belgium, France and Germany; France and Belgium saw a 116% increase in the number of parcels and Germany experienced a 112% rise in parcel volumes due to the online shopping spree.

“November and December are traditionally busy months for web shops, but now that so many consumers are shopping online we’re seeing the biggest peak ever,” comments Rob van den Heuvel, CEO and co-founder of Sendcloud. The company is managing to absorb this peak thanks to its strong partnerships with e-tailers, carriers and distribution centres, he adds.

Pressure is still on

Although the Black Friday promotional period has now passed, upcoming seasonal festivities such as St. Nicholas and Christmas mean that the e-commerce pressure is still on, cautions Van den Heuvel. According to him, while retailers and carriers will continue to do all they can to increase their capacity over the coming weeks, consumers may still face longer delivery times than normal.