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Tamebay Black Friday visit to myHermes

By Chris Dawson November 27, 2015 - 12:18 am

With Black Friday just hours away, we though it would be interesting to take a look at how couriers are gearing up to handle the increased traffic levels.

myHermes were kind enough to invite us up to their Warrington depot, which earlier this year had a second tier of conveyor belts added to increase their capacity. They can now handle up to 1,000,000 parcels per day.

As always seeing inside an operation like this is fascinating, and whilst the video gives a flavour of the business, in real life it’s immense. Trucks arrive one side of the building, parcels progress through the system, largely without human intervention with the exception of the loading and unloading and that in itself is a mammoth undertaking – it can take an entire shift just to unload a single trailer load of parcels!

Many thanks to myHermes for inviting us behind the scenes to see their operation:

  • Rob
    2 years ago

    Good to see my parcels getting thrown about on to the trailers. For all the stick MyHermes get thou I very rarely have damaged or lost parcels from them thou.

    • 2 years ago

      Realistic packaging is the answer…. although people should worry more about their parcel being buried under the weight of thousands of other packets more than their parcel being tossed up to the top of the trailer ;-)

    • Gerry007
      2 years ago

      ,

      Well good ol’ Hermes managed to ‘smash’ a 30 year old industrial router casing made of cast iron, making it worthless.

      It had survived for 30 years of hard work in various woodworking workshops and ended it’s days at the hands of someone (or a conveyor belt) that could not hold a parcel.

      Although this place is pretty impressive…..but still yearn for my lost friend!!

    • Tinker
      2 years ago

      Yep the packaging needs to be more aerodynamic so it flies easier for the frisbee thrower at the end of the belt

    • 2 years ago

      My jaw dropped when I saw the guy just throwing them in to the trailer so obviously. I get there isn’t time to place every item one by one – but he doesn’t even throw them gently.
      Impressive set up for sure and thank you Chris for showing us this – you will never get 100% trouble free with couriers unless you pay £15 per box… but certainly if you know someone is doing a video you would at least try to make it look like you care.. he obviously didn’t.

    • Jon
      2 years ago

      Hi Darren, I don’t see anyone throwing anything in this video at all. Has it been edited since you saw it?

    • Tinker
      2 years ago

      Your right the guy in the bobble hat has had his staring part in this epic reduced
      thats so disgenuine this has been edited since this morning

    • 2 years ago

      I emailed the youtube link to my boss and shipping manager first thing – only reason we spotted the edit is that they both came back and said the video had been removed. Back to the article and see the ‘new’ version minus the chucking…

    • Jon
      2 years ago

      The honest unedited version of this video would have helped many sellers show their customers why returns need to be packed properly. There is no courier in the land that offers a better option for the price paid. Hermes is the cheapest due to the 3-5day delivery yet all couriers throw stuff about because it would take twice as long to deliver or twice the price. If they didn’t throw parcels about they would shout very loudly about it in their advertizing. It’s up to the sender to understand the process & use sensible packaging. The unedited version would have been a benefit for everyone. Very disappointing that someone has edited the honesty from this post.

    • Gerry007
      2 years ago

      .
      TINKER

      YOU ARE RIGHT…… I watched this @ 3am this morning,(see tthe timed post above) and the guy with the bobbled hat was throwing at least 5-10 packets over the top of the cartons in the front row….

      Editing the truth out, appears to be quite common nowdays…!!

    • Paul
      2 years ago

      In my experience, Hermes are as good at handling parcels as UPS.

      I work from the same warehouse as a the local Hermes lot work from. Watching them, one can see that the local agents pack their cars carefully in reverse order (parcels to be delivered first are at the back of the hatchback/taxi/van), and stacked carefully.

      UPS have bigger vans, with shelves, so obviously handled well.

      I have respect for the Hermes guys as the way they work means that parcels are actually unlikely to get damaged due to the small physical size of their vehicles.

      Compared to some of the more well known ‘couriers’, Hermes treat parcels well with the minimum of ‘handling’. The cheap courier companies (you know who they are) have drivers with large vans who will gladly walk over all the other parcels to retrieve one at the back of the van.

      Small vehicles work.

  • Gary
    2 years ago

    For all the automation and frisbee throwing it is the last mile that causes most issues. Any decent seller will package the item to make it frisbee throwing proof. If they don’t then they deserve all the ebay defects that come their way. Why do you think couriers won’t ship glass or won’t insure it against loss if you do?

    • 2 years ago

      Hi Gary, couldn’t agree more, and one of the next things I’ll be writing is about some of the truly shocking bad packaging I saw while I was up there…

      Honestly it has to be seen to be believed how badly packaged some of the parcels going through the courier networks are!

    • Tinker
      2 years ago

      Bad packaging is a copout ,we package for normal and reasonable handling . Not for olympic discus throwing or for jamming little Johnny in the fiat 500 while mum does the school run before deliveries

    • Jon
      2 years ago

      I don’t see any frisbee style throwing anything in this video. Not one item is thrown anywhere. It must have been edited since you saw it?

    • Tinker
      2 years ago

      Yep edited ,guy in bobble hat was quite adept at launching packages
      This video. Has just lost all credibility

    • Jon
      2 years ago

      Honestly it has to be seen to be believed how badly packaged some of the parcels going through the courier networks are!….Seeing is believing eh Chris.. Who edited the honesty from the video then? I can only guess that Hermes were not happy with it. If they didn’t throw parcels about they would shout very loudly about it in their advertizing. It’s up to the sender to understand the process & use sensible packaging. The unedited version would have been a benefit for everyone. All couriers do this & trying to hide the fact just perpetuates the problem.

    • james
      2 years ago

      its largely customer returns i reckon. i genuinely cant believe the audacity of some people, just throw it in a bin bag and dont give two hoots if its smashed on the way back, but if their order arrived to them like that, you’d never hear the end of it.
      cant believe the disgrace of some parcels coming back here, and we still need to issue a refund. if they walked into a B&M store trying to return an item like that, i’d tell them to leave.
      – although, it is better than the “didnt like it, so i threw it in the bin. wheres my refund?” morons.

  • Simon M
    2 years ago

    Great video, thanks

    I loved the part where the parcels seem to jump off the belt themselves down the slide at 2:00!!!

    Although the chap at 2:45 looks like he was less than happy being caught on film…..

    S.

    • 2 years ago

      All those black lines on the conveyor belts are individual side ways mini conveyor belts… you can’t see them move on the video and even standing right next to them it all happens so fast it was hard to see them moving… does make it appear as if the parcels jump around by magic :-)

  • 2 years ago

    I notice this has been edited to remove the guy chucking the parcels behind him like confetti. Let’s just hope the original footage is being used as a training video (on how NOT to do it) now!

    • tinker
      2 years ago

      it was edited because the guys was not doing it properly hes only supposed to throw the ones marked fragile

    • Gerry007
      2 years ago

      ,
      Ha, ha, ha….Like!!

  • james
    2 years ago

    why did you edit the video Chris?

    • Jon
      2 years ago

      Give us the unedited version so we can show our customers why robust sensible packaging is crucial when they return a parcel.

    • james
      2 years ago

      in my own opinion, it seems to me theres more interest in keeping tamebay “on-side” with ebay and the powers that be, than in things like “honesty” “integrity” “truth” or “facts”. but thats just my opinion.

    • tinker
      2 years ago

      were all in business and the facts are

      My hermes are much more likely to provide the Christmas pudding [possibly a little squashed] on Tamebays table than I am,

    • James H
      2 years ago

      Less and less of TB articles are about eBay. Certainly their more interesting articles are not about eBay. The blog’s foundations are in eBay but I think if it will be successful long term, just like any eBay seller has realised in the last 2-3 years, there’s a much bigger world out there.

      Can we get more content on Google Adwords, website conversion strategies general eCommerce business news, tips and articles etc etc. Sorry off point I know but this is one of the UKs biggest eCommerce blogs and its time everyone started to realise that :)

      In terms of the point, sure the video showed a myHermes driver “mishandling” a package and sure my Hermes were going to request it to be removed. If Tamebay denied that then will they ever get a chance to visit a logistic depot again? Let’s not make a big deal out of this. Spend more on package protection, couriers workers have deadlines and aren’t paid to neatly place packages on trucks

    • Jon
      2 years ago

      We all know this James H but our customers do not read Tamebay so emailing them a link to a video of how parcels are handled is goldust. Lowering the risk of inadequately packed returns is beneficial for all parties. Being invited to see how they operate & then demanding a cover up is somewhat stinky. Did we find out anything we didn’t know already? No. Even the editing of the video was predictable. It’s not mishandling it’s bog standard.

    • Gerry007
      2 years ago

      .

  • 2 years ago

    Frankly, the amazing thing is that anyone believes Royal Mail or other couriers DON’T throw stuff around too! How on earth would they get the job done? Nevertheless, it always warrants restating – quality packaging and common sense are a must.

    Other than that, you’ve got to tip your hat to these guys. Aside from the odd mishap (and even then their loss refund process puts RM to shame), can you seriously even begin to imagine the logistics, complexity, maintenance let alone start-up costs involved in such an enterprise.

    Credit where it’s (almost always) due.

    • PayPalUser
      2 years ago

      I would agree with you normally, however here is an example of Hermes incompetence.

      We sent an item via Hermes which was not delivered. The customer asked where it was, we asked Hermes and they said they had tried to deliver it three times, and would be returning it. We informed the customer who demanded a refund, Fair enough?

      But unfortunately for some reason Hermes tried to deliver it again, twice, and then eventually found the addressee at home who then signed for the item.

      Following this so far?

      So now the buyer has the goods and a refund of £74.95.

      We contacted the buyer and they deny receipt.

      Contacted Hermes and their CS, have so far dragged their feet, saying that this will be dealt with within 24-48 hours, they have said that twice so far and it’s already been two weeks – pretty piss poor I think.

    • Gerry007
      2 years ago

      .

      I found a great way of ‘helping them, to respond effectively when things go wrong’, really simple and it works well…….

      OPEN A PAYPAL DIPUTE, that gets their attention…!!

    • tinker
      2 years ago

      of course other delivery firms cut corners and miss handle
      but there not trumpeting
      how wonderful they are in this vid and showing how not to do it(until someone pulled their trousers up)

  • Craig
    2 years ago

    Yes the video was edited and we did see it before the edit. Couldn’t care less. I had a little giggle when I seen the guy throwing the packages. However, it was very clear that these were very light packages and some would be clothing.

    There are 2 options here.

    1: Have all couriers individually hand place every item and say goodbye to express delivery.

    2: Pack your products well. packaging is not just a container for handling the goods. Its protection for them also.

    We receive some packages from companies that is just awful. It results in damages and also it gives a bad impression. First impressions are important.

    Problem solved. In my opinion!

  • tinker
    2 years ago

    the point here is not packaging its integrity

  • John S
    2 years ago

    8 hours to unload a trailer! Could fix that easily by fitting hydraulic rams at the front of the trailer. When it arrives at the depot, tip the parcels straight onto the conveyer (need a funnel shaped channel thing to direct the parcels).

    Could go a stage further and have trap doors on top of the trailer for loading. Open the doors, run the end of the conveyor over the trailer, and drop those suckers straight in (suitably packaged of course).

    • Gerry007
      2 years ago

      .
      eddie stobart biomass trucks will do this job…..

      Saw them on GH 5, big rams oush the load off the back at depot….

      I am surprised Hermes don’t have cages for their bulk shipemts, much easier than unloading by hand….

    • 2 years ago

      The unloading by hand is so that every parcel ends up with the label readable by the scanners – no point sending parcels around with the label underneath the parcel where it can’t be scanned…

    • 2 years ago

      The thought of rows of trap doors in the roof of the trailers fills me with horror. The loaders build a wall of larger boxes to protect the small parcels from bouncing against the walls of the trailer while on the road. The trapdoors would make such a practice more difficult. Also I would guess that the trapdoors would be vulnerable to leaks. So water would drip or run onto the packages and do them no end of good. As the trailer got older it could be expected that normal wear and tear and the trapdoors would leak even more water onto the packages below. As an example this week is supposed to be foul weather just about all week. So if I was sending packages by Hermes I could expect a fair percentage of them to be wet when delivered.

  • John
    2 years ago

    I’d like to use Hermes but trying to get them to reply to email request for an account is like trying to travel to the moon

  • dan
    2 years ago

    I have a problem with the delivery side of things at my door,

    hermes have in the past month or so.

    1. tracking says delivered and left on porch, so i look at my CCTV and theres noone approaching house. email them and they say will be delivered 2 days later, why lie! and say its left when it wasnt.

    and 2. there couriers have a habit of knocking quietly once, or ringing bell once, and as im opening the door, they are already back out onto street, leaving me shouting them back – given my office is 2 rooms away from the front door, they must be quick, knock once and run, so they dont have to deliver!

  • Andy M
    2 years ago

    Seems dodgy that the video had the packages being thrown, then was edited to take it out with no mention of it. Hits the credibility of the reporting a lot. Likely was after a message from Hermes asking for that favour.

    I don’t think it’s that bad to throw small light weight packages to the top of a pile, but it looks bad to erase the fact then make no mention/reply about it.

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