New app may help fight against unfair delivery charges

A new Scottish government app is supporting ongoing action to make delivery charges more transparent across rural areas.

It is hoped that the Parcel Delivery Map & Interactive Data Hub will help reduce unjust delivery practices in places including Shetland.

The Scottish government commissioned Alma Economics to determine when and where delivery charges were unfair. In its findings, the study found that people living in the Highlands and Islands faced 21 per cent higher postal charges on average compared to southwest Scotland.

The analysis also found that in Shetland, Orkney and the Outer Hebrides, residents faced average surcharges of at least 25 per cent compared to Glasgow and had virtually no access to home delivery.

The new app was welcomed by Highlands & Islands SNP list MSP Maree Todd.

She said: “Too often residents across the Highlands and Islands are faced with unfair delivery charges. I very much welcome the launch of The Parcel Delivery Map & Interactive Data Hub which will help increase transparency around delivery costs in Scotland.”

Users can use the new online tool to benchmark delivery prices paid against Scotland-wide average, track pricing discrepancies across postcodes, and find additional resources to explore unjust delivery pricing.

Too often residents across the Highlands and Islands are faced with unfair delivery charges.

Maree Todd

Last week, retail giant Argos announced that it will deliver large items to over 98 per cent of residents on the main Scottish islands. The new service will bring Argos deliveries to 41,000 more homes and another 56 islands including Shetland, Orkney, the Inner Hebrides and the Western Islands.

Ms Todd said: “It’s encouraging to see retailers, like Argos, working to eliminate disparities in its home delivery service and extending their delivery options to the islands.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has been responsible for a dramatic increase in online sales across the country, this has worked to highlight the inequalities in delivery prices which we know are mostly felt in the rural and remote locations across the Highlands and Islands.

“I hope to see more retailers follow in the footsteps of Argos as people across the Highlands and Islands deserve fair delivery prices, not discriminatory pricing models.”

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