Next week will be the busiest home delivery week of the year according to analysis of more than a billion home delivery vehicle kilometres by telematics and fleet management company Microlise.
Data scientists from the company, which helps 13 of the UK’s 15 largest retailers to deliver goods efficiently and effectively, reviewed anonymised home delivery data from its customers. It found that the 21st and 22nd December have been the busiest days in each of the last three years, with an increase in distance travelled of 34% over the long-term average.
The analysis also found that 17th to 23rd December is the busiest home delivery week, with the average distance travelled by home delivery vehicles in this period 20% higher than normal.
In total, Microlise tracks more than 250,000 vehicles worldwide with billions of miles of data captured every year. Researchers looked at 14 million home delivery journeys taking place over the course of four years with a total driving time in excess of 31 million hours.
Contrary to common sense expectations, the number of “harsh braking” incidents per kilometre, in which brakes are excessively applied, were 11% lower in the busiest week compared with the average.
“It’s not really a great surprise to see the week immediately before Christmas is the busiest,” said Matt Hague, Executive Director – Product Strategy, Microlise. “But a surge in distance travelled by more than a third does highlight just how much strain retailers and delivery companies are under during this busy period. The trend towards less harsh braking is a surprise – one might expect more traffic, and higher workloads, to mean more incidents.”
Microlise, which works with the UK’s largest four supermarkets, spends millions each year on research and development and has established a data science research team.
In 2018, the company will be launching a new product to harness the power of Big Data and identify trends in real-time to help fleet operators to clearly understand risk on the road. The new offering will combine vehicle data with information from other sources such as traffic, accident and weather reports, to provide a complete picture of risk on the road and conditions.
Microlise also organises Europe’s largest road transport conference, which will welcome more than 1,200 delegates in May 2018. Royal Mail and electric vehicle manufacturer Arrival are the first confirmed speakers. Arrival has provided Royal Mail with nine 3.5-tonne, six-tonne and 7.5-tonne vehicles capable of travelling for 100 miles on a single charge. With the introduction of the London Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) in 2019 Microlise is seeing an increase in support requirements for electric vehicles.