News - 2012























6th December 2012


Hermes, the UK's largest home delivery courier network, has doubled the number of myHermes ParcelShops in the UK just months after launching the delivery service. Earlier this week, the company opened its 1000th location in Stockport, Lancashire, to support its plans to expand the network to more than 2,500 sites by the end of 2013.

myHermes ParcelShop was launched nationwide in June this year at 500 convenience stores to provide an simple and affordable way of sending personal and business parcels, as well as allowing retailers to offer a cost effective means of returning unwanted online purchases. The service will also be extended early next year to allow people to specify their nearest location as an alternative to home delivery.

Each site is located in highly populated, urban areas, offering extended opening times, with the network made up of a mix of chain and independently owned convenience stores. This includes 80 Co-operative stores, predominantly in the Birmingham, Swindon and Oxford areas, following an agreement with Midcounties Co-operative designed to enhance its service offering.

Andy Cresswell, Deputy Chief Executive for The Midcounties Co-operative, said: "We're very excited about the partnership between Hermes and Midcounties. Being able to offer Parcelshop in our stores will not only provide even wider choice and greater convenience to our members and customers, but also contribute to increased footfall and basket spend instore."

Rob Edson CFO of Hermes commented: "Our recent research found that Internet shoppers are increasingly influenced by the availability of a broad range of delivery options when choosing a retailer. We are committed to providing a range of services to home, work, neighbour, safe place, store or ParcelShop at a time or day that is suitable for the consumer and fits within their increasingly busy lifestyles."

"Our myHermes ParcelShop network forms an important part of our multi-channel approach that offers a convenient and hassle-free delivery experience that achieves high levels of satisfaction and ultimately creates brand value."


30th November 2012


Hermes, the UK's largest courier delivery network, has scooped the Best Home Delivery Service category at the ECMOD Supplier of the Year Awards for the second year running. The company was amongst eleven winners celebrated for their outstanding contribution to the multichannel and direct commerce sector at a prestigious awards ceremony held at the Business Design Centre in Islington, London.

Unlike many others awards, the finalists of ECMOD Supplier of the Year Awards are shortlisted from nominations by their actual clients. These retail and e-commerce organisations vote for the suppliers that really made a difference to their business in the past 12 months. A record 138 supplier companies were nominated for an ECMOD Supplier of the Year Award this year with 34 making the shortlist across the eleven categories.

Carole Woodhead, CEO of Hermes UK commented: "Winning this award for the second year running recognises our continued hard work to meet the precise needs of our retail clients and their customers. We are committed to providing a range of flexible and affordable delivery options that are suitable for the consumer and fit within their increasingly busy lifestyles. This multi-channel approach offers a convenient and hassle-free delivery experience that achieves high levels of satisfaction and ultimately creates brand value."


16th November 2012


New research finds the online consumer increasingly driven by convenience, cost and customer service

The online retail environment increasingly has an ‘open all hours’ mentality with savvy Internet shoppers wanting to be in complete control and make buying decisions based on flexible and convenient delivery solutions, according to the third annual industry research from home delivery specialist Hermes. The 2012 Parcel Deliveries Usage and Attitude Survey found that four in ten consumers were now significantly influenced by the availability of a broad range of delivery options – such as to home, safe place, neighbour, ParcelShop, store or place of work – when choosing a retailer online.

Speaking about the survey, Carole Woodhead, CEO of Hermes commented: "Consumers can now shop whenever they want, so expect delivery options to match their buying habits and fit with their increasingly busy lifestyles. They are wanting high levels of service at all times and failure to meet these expectations can potentially damage the reputation of the retailer and the strength of their relationship with the customer."

The research shows that there is no longer much variation in the most suitable time or day to receive a parcel, although there is a slight preference for a Saturday delivery or early evening between 5-7pm on weekdays, suggesting that more than ever the consumer wants a delivery service that is tailored to their precise circumstances. In fact, in the past two years there has been a 25 per cent increase in respondents stating that the afternoon between midday and 5pm is a convenient time for deliveries.

However, 90 per cent of respondents in full-time employment did say they would find evening deliveries appealing if offered by a retailer, whilst 58 per cent of those living in urban areas would find it appealing if a retailer offered to make deliveries to a ParcelShop. There has also been a rise in people preferring for deliveries to be left with a neighbour or in a safe place when not at home, with an increase of 28 per cent and 43 per cent respectively since the research began in 2010.

Also, it seems that convenience is now a far greater consideration over speed of delivery for the online consumer. The findings show that only 13 per cent of respondents thought that guaranteed next-day was very important when selecting a shipping option, with only 6 per cent saying they always made a decision on the basis of how quickly an order is delivered. In contrast, almost half claimed that the availability of a specified day option was very important in the decision making process.

Despite the demand for greater choice and flexibility, there is little or no appetite from the consumer to pay for any premium delivery options. Whilst 55 per cent recognise that they are shopping online more to reduce fuel and parking costs associated with shopping on the high-street, they are generally reluctant to pass this saving on to an online retailer to cover delivery, increasingly expecting services to be offered free of charge.

In particular, half of the respondents are unwilling to pay more than £1.00 for guaranteed next day delivery, increasing to more than six in ten for a specific day service. Furthermore, when asked at what level of expenditure did they expect a delivery to be free of charge, 17 per cent thought that even with orders under £10.00 delivery should be free, whilst a further 40 per cent said somewhere between £10.00 and £30.00.

Meanwhile, the research highlighted the increasing importance of effective customer service to resolve any delivery issues. It suggested there was a need to respond to an enquiry almost immediately with 58 per cent of consumers saying they wanted a reply within an hour and 60 per cent expecting any problem to be resolved first time. Failure to do so posed considerable risk to the retailer with 69 per cent claiming that a bad customer experience would have a very negative effect on their decision to use a particular website again.

Email and telephone still remain the preferred communication method for customer enquiries, but the findings do suggest an increasing role in the future for emerging online channels such as webchat. Furthermore, retailers and carriers alike will need to consider the potential impact of social media because almost one in four consumers would tell people about a bad delivery experience using Facebook and one in ten via an online forum.

"The delivery expectations of the consumer are higher than ever and the findings of the survey underline the importance for carriers and retailers to work together to develop highly flexible, responsive and efficient solutions that meet the precise needs of the Internet shopper. The consumer is shopping online because of the convenience and savings that can be made, so the delivery needs to reflect these motives," concludes Carole Woodhead.

The Parcel Deliveries Usage and Attitude Survey is conducted amongst 1,000 people that had taken deliveries from online retailers at least three times in the preceding three months. Now in its third year, the research tracks trends in end-user purchasing habits, delivery requirements and attitudes to existing services and needs.


13th November 2012


Leading home delivery specialist Hermes is setting out on a tour of the UK to promote its successful C2C delivery service,, whilst helping people to get ready for Christmas and raising money for a great cause. The company has teamed up with the British Heart Foundation and will be attending Christmas Fayres and markets at major cities across the UK in a giant bus.

Visitors to the bus will benefit from an extra 10% discount on top of the 25% off promotion that is already available during the months of November and December for all their parcel deliveries. They can do this by registering with at computers located in the bus, where they can order their delivery online and get their items collected direct from their door by a local courier, without having to visit the Post Office. Alternatively they can opt to visit one of the myHermes ParcelShops, located in local convenience stores in the area and typically open from 8am – 10pm, and drop off their items.

In addition local volunteers from the British Heart Foundation shops in each area will be on hand to offer a free Christmas present wrapping service in return for a charitable donation.

Other attractions include a competition to win an iPAD, free chocolate bars to giveaway and an onsite photo booth.

Jonathan Bennett, Head of Marketing Communications at myHermes said: "Getting ready for Christmas is a stressful time for most and so we have decided to hit the road and help make life easier for people. The myHermes home delivery service and myHermes ParcelShops are all about convenience and choice and giving customers a service that they can fit round their busy lives. We also offer the cheapest service on market, starting at just £2.07+VAT per parcel, and we are fully tracked and secure."

Further details including a full list of locations and activities on board the myHermes ParcelShop tour bus can be found here:


8th November 2012


Hermes, the UK's largest home delivery courier network, is preparing for a 25 per cent increase in year-on-year parcel volumes during the peak Christmas period with substantial investment in the company's operation. This has included the creation of more than 480 temporary jobs and the introduction of an additional 500 courier rounds to provide a massive boost to Hermes' delivery capacity.

The jobs will cover a wide range of positions across the business so that Hermes has the necessary people in place to handle all operational and administrative requirements during the year's busiest trading period. In particular, an additional 350 warehouse and transport staff across its nationwide supply chain, as well as 70 customer service advisors based from home or in a new mini call centre located at its Coventry depot.

The 500 courier rounds will supplement the existing network to provide added scale and resilience during peak, whilst providing the local resources to handle an upturn in consumer-to-consumer business and returns. In addition, Hermes has invested heavily in its mobile computing system with the purchase of additional handheld devices. This will help ensure parcels are delivered safely and on-time with the correct tracking details and real-time data is readily available to manage any client enquiries.

Meanwhile, Hermes has undertaken considerable expansion in its network to boost capacity with new sites in West Thurrock, Maidstone, Coventry and Carlisle, the expansion of its Bridgend facility and the opening of a temporary hub in Nuneaton. The company has also extended the automated sortation system at its national hub in Nuneaton to increase throughput by more than 20 per cent, equating to an additional 6,000 parcels per hour.

Carole Woodhead, CEO of Hermes commented: We have been preparing in recent months to ensure we have the infrastructure and processes in place to deliver the most successful peak trading period yet to our customers. This has required considerable investment and planning to ensure we are best placed to handle the predicted surge in volumes."


19th October 2012


John Lewis has consolidated its packets and small parcels home delivery requirements with the award of a new contract to Hermes. Under the three-year deal, Hermes will handle the delivery and returns process for items up to 15 kilograms across the retailer's online range of fashion, toys, homewares, electrical and gifts.

Hermes will provide fully tracked 48-hour delivery for online orders, collecting from the respective John Lewis fulfilment centres. A combination of stand trailers and sweep vehicles will be used for collections on a six-day a-week basis.

Consignments will be transported to Hermes' national distribution hub in Nuneaton, Warwickshire for sorting and onward delivery to the company's regional depot network. From there, orders will be distributed to more than 7,500 lifestyle couriers for delivery to households across the UK.

Customer returns will be handled via the online service. John Lewis customers will be able to access the free returns solution over the Internet, enabling a courier collection to be arranged on a specific day direct from their home.

Justin Cox at John Lewis commented: "Having carried out an extensive review within the carrier marketplace, we determined the Hermes courier model offered the best fit in terms of service and value for this element of our delivery proposition. The myHermes solution will also form an important part of our returns service moving forward, enhancing this aspect of our online shopping experience to our customers."

Carole Woodhead CEO of Hermes in the UK said: "Our offering is designed to meet the precise needs of our retail customers. Our high-quality doorstep service is supported with industry-leading technology and product innovation to provide the consumer with a convenient and hassle-free delivery service that achieves high levels of satisfaction and ultimately creates brand value."


10th October 2012


Hermes has strengthened its senior management team in the UK with two board-level appointments to support its business strategy and ongoing growth within the home delivery sector. Gary Winter and Jane Naumkin have joined the company as Sales & Marketing Director and Human Resources Director respectively.

In his new position, Gary will be tasked with achieving continued expansion within key markets using a breadth of experience in key account management, strategic marketing, and business and new product development. He possesses longstanding industry expertise and in his most recent role was Business Transformation Director at Parcelforce Worldwide. Prior to this he was Head of Business Development for Royal Mail packets and has previously worked for UK Mail, Pitney Bowes and PFE International.

Meanwhile, Jane will have ultimate responsibility for all people-based strategies and brings a wealth of HR knowledge including learning and development, talent management and organisational development. She is an experienced HR professional having spent the past 14 years in director-level roles for a number of UK and global businesses such as BAE Systems, Rolls Royce, Vernacare and most recently Thermo Fisher.

Commenting on the appointments, Carole Woodhead, CEO of Hermes in the UK said: "Both Gary and Jane bring considerable experience to their roles and moving forward will both contribute to helping achieve our long term business strategy and growth targets. These latest additions to our senior management team are the latest steps to ensure we have the correct people in place to drive the company forward and build on our position as a leader within our industry."


28th September 2012


Hermes, the UK's largest home delivery courier network, has extended its nationwide infrastructure with the opening of two depots in Coventry and Carlisle, creating more than 100 new jobs. The facilities will increase capacity within Hermes' 24-strong depot and hub network, enabling the company to better serve customer needs and accommodate the expected growth in parcel volumes.

The Coventry depot, situated on Progress Way in Binley, will provide 53,000 sq ft of office and warehousing space and is expected to handle an average of 24,000 parcels a day, rising to 43,000 during the Christmas period. The depot is conveniently located close to the Coventry ring road, providing easy access to the M6 motorway and Hermes' northern and national hubs. It will create a total of 61 full-time and 10 part-time jobs, with a further number of temporary roles during peak.

Located on the Kingstown Industrial Estate on the north side of the city, the Carlisle depot measures 15,800 sq ft and is well connected to the UK motorway network. The site will be responsible for all parcel traffic in Cumbria, North Lancashire and Dumfries & Galloway, handling an average of 6,500 items a day. Approximately 30 jobs will be created as a result of the opening across a range of warehouse, driver, administrative and managerial roles.

Carole Woodhead, CEO of Hermes in the UK commented: "These are the latest in a series of depot openings in recent months which clearly illustrates our commitment to investing appropriately to support current and future growth. They will boost capacity in key areas and ensure we are best placed to meet the home delivery requirements of our retail customers."


12th September 2012


The Hermes Retail Week Supply Chain Awards took place last week to recognise and reward excellence across all areas of the retail supply chain. More than 500 of the UK’s top retailers along with their supply chain partners attended a prestigious event at Grosvenor House Hotel in London to celebrate the achievements of the past year.

Stand-up comedian and writer Simon Evans hosted the ceremony, performing a hilarious routine before introducing each of the twelve awards to an enthusiastic audience. The categories were strongly contested by major retailers and supply chain specialists with all finalists demonstrating industry-leading innovation and expertise.

Carole Woodhead, CEO of Hermes in the UK, presented the National Delivery Service and Hermes Grand Prix Award categories, as well hosting as the VIP Drinks Reception in the build up to the ceremony. Speaking about the event she commented: "Congratulations to the winners who have all shown high levels of excellence and best practice. The quality of the finalists this year underlines the integral role the supply chain is playing within the UK retail sector, so we are delighted to be main sponsors of this event that offers individuals, teams and companies the opportunity to showcase their success."


6th September 2012


Hermes, the UK’s largest courier delivery network, is extending the automated sortation system at its national hub in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, to increase the throughput of the site by more than 20 per cent. The new conveyor system will possess the capacity to process 6,000 parcels per hour and is in response to the increasing volumes that are being handled at the site.

The solution will be installed in an existing area within the 85,000 sq ft facility, which is located at Bermuda Park. It will include an Interroll vertical cross-belt sorter with four Sovex unloading infeed boom conveyors and a manual infeed for containerised traffic. As with the existing sortation system, it will also feature a dual-top camera system to provide the option to record picture images of all parcels.

Carole Woodhead, CEO of Hermes in the UK commented: "The national hub is forecast to handle more than 55 million parcels this year, an increase of more than 15 per cent when compared to the previous twelve months, so we are extending the automated sortation system to ensure we are best placed for the peak Christmas period and beyond. This latest development is part of an expansion programme for our hub and depot network that is designed to meet present and future requirements, supporting our ongoing growth strategy."


22nd August 2012


Hermes has expanded its depot network in the South East of England with the opening of two sites in West Thurrock and Maidstone to handle expected increases in parcel volumes during the peak Christmas period and beyond. The West Thurrock depot at Weston Avenue is an additional location to the company’s nationwide network, whilst the Maidstone facility at Quarry Wood Industrial Estate replaces an existing depot in Rochester and doubles warehouse capacity.

The West Thurrock facility totals more than 52,000 sq ft of warehousing, office and ancillary space. The warehouse includes six loading bays and the fenced site provides secure loading and yard areas. The depot is located close to Lakeside Shopping Centre and the QE2 Dartford Bridge, with access to the A13 and M25. More than 60 jobs will be created in a range of management, administration, warehouse and driver roles.

Meanwhile, the 47,000 sq ft Maidstone depot includes 32,017 sq ft of warehousing with six loading bays and 7,660 sq ft of office space, providing a maximum throughput of 40,000 parcels per night. The Quarry Wood Industrial Estate is located close to the A20 giving good access to the UK motorway network via the M20.

Carole Woodhead, CEO of Hermes in the UK commented: "We are experiencing considerable increases in parcel volumes within the south east of England, so we needed to increase capacity within the region to meet current and future requirements. These latest developments are part of a nationwide initiative that will see a number of enhancements to our depot and hub network in the build up to the peak Christmas period."


9th August 2012


JD Williams has extended its contract with Hermes for the provision of a UK and cross-border home delivery solution until 2017. Under the agreement, Hermes will continue to be responsible for handling more than 15 million items each year as well as enhancing the existing delivery offering to help keep the retailer at the forefront of the direct home shopping sector.

Hermes provides a range of standard, next-day and added value delivery services on behalf of 32 JD Williams brands across the UK and to mainland European destinations. It collects from two distribution centres in Shaw and Hadfield with up to 15 trailers each day, along with a direct dispatch service involving more than 300 suppliers.

All consignments are transported to Hermes’ northern hub in Warrington for sorting and onward delivery to the UK depot network or onto international partners. All UK volumes are then distributed to more than 7,500 lifestyle couriers for delivery to households nationwide.

Ian Carr, Logistics Director at JD Williams commented: "We have found that Hermes’ speed of service is consistently good, and since working with them, our lost-in-transit rates have improved year-on-year and are significantly better than we experienced with previous carriers. We are working closely with them on a number of areas to take advantage of their delivery expertise and understanding of our business, ensuring our supply chain strategy is inline with our future aspirations."

Carole Woodhead, CEO of Hermes in the UK said: "This latest contract extension demonstrates the value we are providing our clients and our ability to support their ongoing business strategy. We are committed to continually enhancing our offering to enable them to offer the most flexible and convenient delivery solutions on the market."


13th June 2012


Morley-based Hermes has scooped two industry accolades at the Motor Transport Awards. The home delivery company received the prestigious awards in the Customer Care and Team of the Year categories at a glittering ceremony held at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London.

Representatives from Hermes were amongst the sell-out audience of nearly 1,600 professionals from the road transport sector to collect the awards that celebrate and recognise best practice within the industry. The evening was compered by comedians Jimmy Carr and Sean Locke, with awards presented in a total of sixteen categories.

Commenting on the awards, Carole Woodhead, CEO of Hermes in the UK said: "We were one of only two companies to win two awards at the ceremony so this is an outstanding achievement for Hermes. We are delighted to receive the industry recognition in these critical areas, which is great reward for the hard work that has been undertaken across the business.

We are committed to providing an affordable, convenient and hassle-free delivery service to consumers and these awards highlight the high levels of satisfaction we are consistently achieving."


11th June 2012


11 June 2012, London: Leading home delivery specialist Hermes, has launched 500 myHermes ParcelShops across the UK in a move designed to enable its retail clients to offer their customers the most flexible and convenient delivery solution on the market. Retailers will initially be able to offer the myHermes ParcelShops as a cost-effective means of returning unwanted online purchases, with plans to extend the service to allow consumers to specify their nearest location as an alternative to home delivery.

The branded myHermes ParcelShops are located in local convenience stores such as Spa, Nisa, Premier and Co-op as well as local independents, in major urban locations that have been specially selected based on population density and home delivery demand. The initial network of parcel shops is expected to be increased by a further 500 locations by the end of the year to extend the nationwide reach of the service.

Each store offers extended opening hours, typically 8 until 8, and in the first phase will be providing a drop off service for people who want to return goods they have purchased online. This will help retailers to address the difficult area of returns providing a quicker, simpler and more efficient option to their customers and giving them an alternative to the current courier collection option.

According to independent research carried out by Hermes last year the returns process remains a continuing issue for online shoppers. The research showed that 16 per cent of people return at least one item per order and, while more than 50 per cent use the Post Office to return goods, they find it inconvenient and slow.

The launch follows discussions with key retail customers and consumer focus groups and builds on the highly successful Parcel Shop model operated by Hermes in Germany, Austria and Russia. Leading mail order specialists Redcats is one of the first to sign up for the new service.

Carole Woodhead, Chief Executive at Hermes UK: "This launch now confirms our position as one of the UK's leading multi-channel service providers with an unrivalled offering and product portfolio. Over the last year we have successfully introduced a number of key enhancements to our service in response to changing retail requirements, all of which are designed to give our retail customers a competitive edge."

The introduction of myHermes ParcelShops is also good news for niche online retailers and anyone who wants to send a parcel. It can be used in conjunction with the current service which offers an affordable delivery solution that can be quickly ordered online with items collected direct from the door or as a standalone service.

Both options eliminate the need to queue at the post office but by opting to take items to a myHermes ParcelShop, rather than have a courier collect them, parcels are delivered on a 2-day service (rather than 3-5 day), making it a comparable service with Royal Mail (2nd class) but cheaper (over 1kg) and fully tracked, for no extra cost.

Jonathan Bennett, Head of Marcoms for, said: "This is now a highly flexible and convenient service for consumers and small businesses such as eBay Powersellers, Amazon Marketplace sellers and other niche retailers, who can choose to take their parcels to the ParcelShop early or late and have a shorter delivery timescale or enjoy the convenience of a collection from a local courier."


30th May 2012


Online and catalogue retailers are expecting webchat and social media to take a far more prominent role in customer service moving forward according to home delivery specialist Hermes. This was one of the findings from a survey conducted amongst the company's key retail customers, which found that whilst phone and email remains the preferred routes to customer service, new communication channels are expected to drive improvements in the future.

In particular, two in five believe that webchat will become an integral part of customer communication, with Twitter (21 per cent) and Facebook (15 per cent) also playing a greater role. With speed of response or inability to contact customer service contributing to the most dissatisfaction amongst shoppers according to 42 per cent of the respondents, these new communication channels may provide an effective means enhancing the customer experience.

When asked what home delivery innovation had contributed most to improving customer service in recent years, parcel tracking (35 per cent) and proof of delivery (20 per cent) were chosen as having the greatest role. However, SMS reminders and alerts have yet to make such a significant impact with only 13 per cent selecting them.

Dawn Redman, Head of Customer Service at Hermes commented: "Enhancing the customer experience is a key driver for all online and catalogue retailers, so we are working closely with our customers to identify and take advantage of the latest innovations within the marketplace. Enabling greater access to customer service in the most effective way will enhance the home delivery process, achieve high levels of consumer satisfaction and ultimately creates brand value."


23rd May 2012


Companies operating under the Hermes brand were again able to grow their global revenues in the financial year 2011. Overall revenues increased to 1.8 billion euros, up by more than 4.7 percent year on year (prior year: 1.724 billion euros). Both Hermes UK, successful on the British home delivery market, and Hermes Einrichtungs Service, specialised in delivering furniture and bulky items, achieved record figures for sales and shipment volumes. Given the positive trend across all four business units – sourcing & product, transport logistics, fulfilment and distribution – the Hamburg-based enterprise was able to employ 773 more staff worldwide. Thus, by the end of the prior financial year 2010/11, the twelve Hermes companies were employing 11,011 staff in over 20 countries.

"Our strategy of establishing Hermes as a worldwide service partner for the retail industry has come up trumps. An increasing number of international retailers are making use of our individual service modules or are combining them, such as procurement and transportation. In the future, we are looking to become more involved in e-tailing – by also expanding on our own web-enabling activities. Ultimately, it is highly likely that clients who we can encourage to use the web as a sales channel, will also be calling on Hermes for other logistics and retail-related services," says Hanjo Schneider, CEO of Hermes Europe and member of the Executive Board Services at the Otto Group. "In 2012, we will be building on and internationalising our digital services significantly, always with an eye on emerging markets in BRIC countries. The online offerings of many retailers, for example those in Brazil, provide enormous potential that we are looking to tap, bringing in our experience in the clothing and consumer goods segments."

As a globally unique company, Hermes offers its clients all the services they need along the whole of their value chain. The services provided begin with the sourcing and quality assurance in Asia, for example, and extend from international transport logistics and warehousing through to fulfilment and B2C logistics. In this respect, the requirements of both small medium-sized companies as well as large enterprises are uniformly serviced, with customized services provided for both pure Internet retailers as well as multichannel retailers.

"The start of the new business year has been promising, and even now, although transport logistics and distribution are particularly susceptible to high fuel prices, we are ahead of our figures for last year. And despite the continuing uncertain economic prospects, we remain optimistic about our growth chances in 2012 and about achieving our ambitious sales targets. To this end, we are looking to employ a further 500 new staff in 2012," summarises Hanjo Scheider the prospects for the coming financial year.

Distribution: Good result despite increasing competition and growing cost pressure

Hermes parcel services shipped around 430 million items in 2011, 389 million of which were parcels. This represents an increase of five percent on the volume of 371 million parcels shipped in 2010. Roughly 65 percent of the parcel volumes are attributable to non-Otto Group clients. In Germany alone, seven of the top ten distant sellers use Hermes to deliver their goods to customers' homes.

Hermes Logistik Gruppe Deutschland (HLGD) contributed the largest proportion of total Hermes revenues; at 986.3 million euros this marked an increase – for the eighth year in succession – of three percent compared to the prior year (958.4 million euros). With the launch of its small packet service - just in time for the Christmas business in 2011, and the consistent expansion of digital services in all matters relating to parcel shipments, HLGD is planning to continue its profitable growth into 2012. Significant investment in its last mile structures is aimed at increasing the quality of deliveries to the end consumer.

Parcel business: Cooperation with delivery partners is being certified

With this in mind, HLGD has developed a certification system in collaboration with specialists from SGS-TÜV Saar GmbH. All general contractors across the country that cooperate with Hermes in home deliveries will run through the certification process in 2012. Besides examining aspects such as processing quality and compliance with operational security guidelines, the certification process will also be paying particular attention to the working conditions of couriers and compliance with labour law regulations. Both HLGD and the general contractors operating in the last mile are looking to use this certification system – the first of its kind in the industry – to demonstrate their corporate responsibility particularly with respect to fair working conditions in the home delivery market.

In being awarded the certificate, tested general contractors can use the seal of quality for their own promotional purposes. Companies that are not certified, or whose certification is subject to conditions, have to follow up their work together with HLGD, or discontinue their work with Hermes.

Growing presence in the European parcel market

Developments at Hermes Einrichtungsservice GmbH & Co. KG (HES) were also highly encouraging. The market leader in the delivery of furniture and bulky items delivered 3.5 million items of furniture, electrical and household goods to end customers across Germany, a rise of 15 percent year on year (2010/11: 3,018 million items). On top of this, the company secured top marks in quality tests conducted by TÜV Saarland.

Hermes UK was awarded the prize of 'Best home delivery/service solution 2011' by ECMOD jurors at Britain's main annual distance selling and e-commerce event. In 2011, the company grew its revenues by 22 percent from 248 million euros in 2010 to 303 million euros, thereby reinforcing its position as the country's second largest home delivery service. In addition, the company works with such renowned clients as Cloggs, MandMDirect and New Look, with constantly high parcel volumes. What's more the Hermes UK network was expanded to include another hub in Warrington and a depot in Gatwick, and now embraces a total of 20 sites. Drawing on the successful German model, around 1,000 ParcelShops – particularly in retailers in urban regions – are to be opened by the end of 2012. These provide customers the chance to pick up their parcels and/or drop off returns.

Since the end of 2011, Hermes has also been providing customers in Russia with an alternative, reliable delivery service in a growing B2C market, that has been tapped with particular success by the Otto Group in its distance selling segment. Together with DPD, a joint venture has been founded that is pursuing a strategy of developing a powerful network of ParcelShops. To date, over 300 ParcelShop have been set up in a variety of cooperations with retail chains in eight major cities, including Moscow, St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, Novosibirsk and Nizhny Novgorod. The aim is to establish a network of 1,500 shops in 44 cities across Russia by 2014.

Fulfilment: Internationalising business

E-commerce does not recognise country boundaries. Ever more fashion retailers and brands are becoming international through their webshops. This is why service providers are increasingly required to follow retailers into new markets and to integrate more countries. Hermes Fulfilment supports their customers in their international expansion. This is one reason why the company expanded its collaboration with the American logistics provider Kenco Logistic Services. The collaboration aims to provide a service on both sides of the Atlantic to European web-retailers looking to set foot in the American market and to American companies targeting online business in Europe using a provider they know from their home market. In this way, client can make use of the expertise of a local logistics partner that is familiar with local conditions.

One of the companies that is already benefiting from the Kenco/Hermes collaboration is the Austrian clothing manufacturer Wolford. Hermes Fulfilment has now set up the webshop for the luxury brand in 14 European countries and in the USA. Other markets in Europe and abroad are to follow, thus driving the company's internationalisation process. Hermes NexTec, founded in 2010 is responsible for shaping the country-specific character of the Wolford online shop. The company is specialised in developing and managing online shops for fashion and lifestyle brands and together with the services of its parent company, Hermes Fulfilment, rounds off the full-service, e-commerce package for Wolford. On top of this, Hermes NexTec has implemented the online shop for the maritime fashion brand Arqueonautas, including the development of an iPad app. Plans for 2012 include helping retailers set up e-commerce activities in China and Brazil.

Transport logistics: New services for medium-sized companies

Having previously focussed on efficient network transport, Hermes Transport Logistics (HTL) significantly expanded its services in ground transport during the past financial year. With its 'HTL Direct', the company is increasingly addressing medium-sized clients looking for a more customized response from its logistics partners. Correspondingly, new regional offices have been opened in Hamburg, Berlin, Stuttgart and Dortmund and more will follow in 2012. Transport capacity has been enlarged to include 120 trailers, largely used for a key account from the furniture segment. These are added to the 7,500 swap bodies used to date.

The 'Sea & Air' unit has added fashion label Gerry Weber to its client base, which processes 90 percent of its air freight and its complete sea freight with Hermes. To provide clients with an operational contact at key air freight sites, Frankfurt Airport was added to Leipzig as another air freight support base.

Sourcing and Product: New non-Otto Group clients

In 2011, Hermes-OTTO International (H-OI) was able to expand its business with clients outside the Otto Group. Of the 15 largest clients the production and procurement specialists have, five are not part of the Otto Group. In the course of the past financial year, an exclusive contract was signed with the LHD Group, the leading providers of work clothes and protective equipment in Germany. In addition, H-OI is now focussing on developing its online activities still further. In December 2011, KeenOn Fashion, the world's first B2B trading platform for international brand fashion, was started. This organises the complete processing of order, payment and logistics for retailers and branded-goods providers.

Over 1,300 retailers are currently making use of the service to supplement their product ranges with about 40 brands, partly unknown internationally and in Germany. Minimum order volumes have been consciously kept low in an attempt to meet the needs of smaller fashion retailers. With 360° views, the platform provides high transparency in the presentation of goods, thereby granting interested fashion retailers with optimum purchasing conditions. The aim is to increase the number of retailers registered on KeenOn Fashion to 2,500 in 2012 and the brand portfolio to 100 providers.

In 2011, Hermes Hansecontrol, specialised in accredited testing services and consulting services for consumption goods, expanded its client base to include renowned brands such as S. Oliver, Marc O'Polo and Reno shoes. In 2012, the company is planning to strengthen its sales activities in Germany as well as to production sites in China, India, Bangladesh and Turkey.


16th April 2012

MYHERMES.CO.UK CELBRATES TWO MILLIONTH PARCEL is celebrating its remarkable growth with the delivery of its two millionth parcel. The online delivery service has experienced record volumes in recent months as it becomes the solution of choice amongst a growing number of consumers, eBay Powersellers, Amazon Marketplace sellers and other niche retailers. handled the second million parcels in just nine months having reached the one million milestone in June last year. This follows high levels of demand over the Christmas period, which saw volumes double during the busiest shopping week and more than 60,000 parcels handled in a single day.

The second millionth parcel was sent by eBay trader Lee Otter, from Lincoln, who was received a £50 Love 2 Shop voucher to celebrate the landmark. He has been using for over a year, sending up to 300 items a month, and switched to the service due to cost and convenience when compared to the Post Office.

"By using I have been able to save on delivery costs whilst removing time-consuming trips to the Post Office. I mainly sell toys via eBay and I sometimes have fifty parcels to send at once, so offers a really convenient and reliable service that takes some of the hassle from my day," explains Lee.

In fact, Lee has become such a regular user of, he has built up a great rapport with his local courier. "I'm able to contact my courier, John, direct to agree collection times that suit me, which really helps me when I am behind or struggling for time."

John Tobbell, Commercial Director of commented: "This latest milestone recognises the appeal of the service, especially amongst online traders and niche retailers. The growth of is really gathering pace as more and more consumers and small businesses are realising the benefits they can achieve in terms of cost savings, convenience and reliability when compared to other services in the marketplace." is operated by Hermes, the UK's largest home delivery courier network handling more than 140 million collections and deliveries each year on behalf of leading retailers such as Next Directory, ASOS, Debenhams and Tesco. The service is designed to meet the unique delivery requirements of businesses using auction sites, marketplaces and other Internet sales channels.

As a result, offers a delivery solution that can be quickly and cheaply ordered online with items collected direct from the door, meaning it is no longer necessary to go to the post office. It is possible to send and receive a parcel six days a week that is picked up on a specified day from as little as £2.75 + VAT to addresses across the UK.


29th March 2012


New Look has awarded a five-year contract to Hermes for the provision of a home delivery solution for its fast growing ecommerce operation. Under the multi-million pound deal, Hermes will handle more than three million parcels per annum to households across the UK.

New Look has teamed up with Hermes to ensure its customers receive a convenient and effective delivery service for orders placed via its website. The solution will cover all clothing, shoes and accessories for men, women, teens and children available online utilising Hermes' standard 48-hour and next day delivery options.

Daily collections of parcels will be made from New Looks third-party fulfilment house in Lichfield, Staffordshire and transported to the Hermes national distribution hub in Nuneaton, Warwickshire. Orders will then be distributed to more than 7,500 lifestyle couriers, via the company's regional depot network, for onward delivery to customers.

Pat Lee, Group Operations Director at New Look commented: "Last year over 365 million customers visited New Look either online or at our stores and we are now the market leader in value clothing and accessories. In order to facilitate and continue our successful ecommerce growth it was vital that we selected a partner that we could work closely with in order the maximise first time delivery rates and ensure service quality."

Jon Tobbell, Commercial Director of Hermes UK said: "This long term commitment from New Look recognises our ability to provide an effective home delivery service for leading online, catalogue and high street retailers. Our courier network approach offers an unrivalled solution that combines quality doorstep delivery, with a friendly and local service."


13th March 2012


Dear Client

I wanted to make you aware of the steps that Hermes are taking to plan for the impact we anticipate on our clients and their customers as a result of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, which are to be held in London from 27th July to 9th September 2012.

As a first step in managing the impact on our clients, we have put in place a Hermes Olympic Committee. Part of the Committee's role is to attend meetings with the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA), a division of Transport for London. We aim to understand, analyse and define the strict logistical criteria being issued within the effected areas over the relevant time period. In addition, the Committee will also give you, our client, periodic updates as to what steps we are taking to minimise the impact on Hermes' deliveries and so maintain the excellent customer experience that you enjoy today.

The Hermes Committee is being overseen by Liam Tucker, Hermes Operations Director.

Over the period of the Games, we expect our service to be severely impacted by the enforced road access restrictions and closures around the Olympic venues in London in particular and the road network as a whole across central London. We believe that this could impact up to 10,000 individual parcel deliveries each day.

We have already engaged with all the necessary stakeholders, and have a clear understanding of our objectives. We are planning to undertake trials of our operational solution for delivery of parcels, within the constraints as we believe they will be proposed in early 2012.

Please be assured that Hermes will do everything that it can to maximise service, and minimise disruption, through the period affected and that all clients will receive the same service's.

Should you require additional information at this time please contact your client manager, who will be able to respond to your request.

We thank you for your continued support.
Jon Tobbell
Commercial Director


6th March 2012


Express Gifts Ltd, the mail order, catalogue shopping and ecommerce retailer, has awarded a contract to Hermes for the provision of a home delivery solution. Under the agreement, Hermes will deliver 3.5 million parcels and packets each year on behalf the company's retail brands including Studio and Ace.

Express Gifts took the decision to switch to Hermes from a downstream access solution due to the uncertainty surrounding the UK postal service. In addition, Hermes' ability to provide fully tracked next-day and 48-hour services with a range of proof of delivery options was a key consideration during the selection process.

Hermes will collect online and catalogue purchases on a daily basis from three warehouses located in the North West of England in Accrington, Chadderton and Failsworth. Consignments will then be transported to Hermes' distributions hub in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, and Warrington, Cheshire, for sorting and onward delivery to the company's regional depot network. From there, parcels will be distributed to more than 7,500 lifestyle couriers for delivery to households across the UK.

Dave Sanderson, Operations Director at Express Gifts Ltd commented: "Hermes was able to develop a home delivery solution tailored to our precise needs that offered total visibility and peace of mind. We are confident that moving forward this partnership will enhance the shopping experience for our customers."

Carole Woodhead, CEO of Hermes in the UK said: "The ongoing investment programme in our infrastructure and service offering has meant we are best placed to meet the precise delivery requirements of high street, catalogue and online retailers. We work closely with companies such as Express Gifts to create quality solutions that offer high levels of value, satisfaction and insight."


25th January 2012


Hermes, the UK's largest courier delivery network, has taken delivery of eight double deck trailers from DON-BUR to achieve greater efficiency in the company's trunking operation. As a result, Hermes is expected to make savings of almost £400,000 per annum whilst reducing its overall carbon footprint by as much as two per cent.

The added efficiency will enable Hermes to significantly reduce vehicle running on key routes between customer locations and its nationwide depot network, cutting miles travelled by 684,000 miles each year. This equates to an annual saving of more than 300,000 litres of fuel and 800 tonnes of CO2 emissions.

The stepframe double deck trailers with hydraulic lifting deck will operate from a customer site in Wath-on-Dearne in South Yorkshire. With a capacity of up to 6,000 parcels, around double that of a traditional trailer, they will allow for a single tractor unit and trailer to be sent to around 50 per cent of Hermes' depots on a daily basis where previously it had required two.

Carole Woodhead, CEO of Hermes in the UK commented: "We are looking at specific areas of our business where we can achieve high levels of financial efficiency, operational productivity and environmental responsibility. This investment into the double deck trailers is expected to provide considerable benefits and we will look to see if there are further opportunities for similar projects elsewhere in the trunking network."


5th January 2012


The surge in Internet shopping has contributed to a dramatic increase in parcel volumes over the peak Christmas period for home delivery specialist Hermes. As a result, during December the company delivered almost 15 million items on behalf of leading high street, online and catalogue retailers, representing a rise of 40 per cent compared to a year earlier.

The 1st of December was the busiest day of the month with 710,000 parcels handled in the network, representing an increase of 30 per cent over the 2010 peak day. This record day was more than a week earlier as consumers looked to avoid the disruptions of the previous year caused by the widespread snow across the UK. Overall, Hermes experienced a total of 16 record days of deliveries over the course of December, handling more than 600,000 items on 8 different occasions.

Jon Tobbell, Commercial Director, of Hermes in the UK commented: "With Internet sales breaking all records this Christmas we have seen increased demand for our flexible, high-quality home delivery solution. The supply chain is a critical part of any retail operation, especially during the peak trading period, so we are working closely with our customers to provide a first-rate consumer experience."

"We are now partner of choice for an increasing number of retailers within the UK handling more than 140 million parcels each year."