Menzies Distribution has launched Highland Parcels for residents in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland who face disproportionate delivery charges.
A Citizen’s Advice Scotland (CAS) ‘Postcode Penalty Report’ was published last year which concluded that unfair delivery fees, from furniture to clothes and tools to toys, impact those living in the north and north-east who pay at least 30% more for delivery than consumers elsewhere.
Fraser MacLean, Menzies Distribution General Manager of Parcel Logistics, stated: “Customers in the Highlands were charged an extra £15 per delivery on average, with some customers waiting as long as 35 days for delivery compared to the rest of the UK.
“It’s unfair and a challenge that we wanted to take-on. Menzies drive 135,500 miles every day, reaching from the hearts of major cities right out to the most remote communities in Britain. As a result of this, we’re lucky to be in a position to offer Highland Parcels as a new service for communities that face surcharges and restrictions due to their location.
“Our Highland Parcel service is straightforward and accessible to all. All you need to do is take a couple of minutes to create your Highland Parcel account, order your parcel using our central belt address for delivery and we’ll get this to your local depot for £4.99, regardless of your postcode.”
The Scottish government held a ‘parcel summit’ last year to discuss ways of improving parcel delivery services in Scotland.
Moray MSP Richard Lochhead, who has been leading the Fair Delivery Charges campaign, praised the new Highland Parcels service stating: “It is hugely encouraging that a major courier is responding to the public concern in the Highlands over the absurd delivery surcharges being imposed on households and businesses throughout the region. This is a creative solution that has the potential to cut costs for many people and I wish Highland Parcels well and urge other couriers to follow their example and look for ways to eradicate or at least minimise delivery surcharges.”
It’s not just individual online shoppers that could benefit from Highland Parcels. Businesses that often pay over and above to receive the supplies, as their location is considered ‘isolated’ or undeliverable, can take advantage of the new service.
George Lavery, Owner of North Harbour Bistro based in the Outer Hebrides stated: ‘We’ve had suppliers insisting that we are only eligible for free delivery to the north of Scotland if we spend a minimum of £1000. It puts smaller businesses in a really difficult position and can sometimes have a really negative impact on cash-flow. Highland Parcels seems like a fantastic offering and we’re looking forward to using the service moving forwards’.