UK two-man delivery firms benefit from supply chain innovation in £1bn market


The UK two-man delivery market has grown considerably in recent years and is now worth close to £1 billion a year.

Driven by people buying furniture, large appliances, garden equipment and other large items online, the leading providers have benefitted from changes in retail supply chains.

In the past, items would have been stored at a local branch of a department store or other retailer and the goods would have been sent out to the customer on the store’s own vehicle, or via a local subcontractor. Now, it is increasingly the case that goods are stored centrally at a warehouse run by an independent specialist two-man delivery provider such as Panther, ArrowXL or BJS and when orders come in they are trunked to its regional depot and the two man delivery is carried out from there. At no point does the retailer touch the goods it sells.

Sometimes the retailer will not even be involved in the supply chain. For example, Panther, under its contract with BSH Bosch & Siemens appliances), carries out all of its UK deliveries. Therefore customers purchasing BSH products through retailers which use other delivery providers will nevertheless receive a Panther delivery.
The leading national two-man specialists have benefitted from this trend, gaining significant market share from in-house provision and small, local subcontractors. This has encouraged others to enter the market, such as XPO, which has set up its own operations and Rhenus, the German logistics group which acquired a small UK provider in 2017.

However, a significant proportion of sales of large items is associated with house moves, so a weaker housing market is a potential concern.

More information on the market in the UK is contained in our report UK Two Man Home Delivery Market Insight Report 2018.

We will be looking at two-man delivery in other European countries in the new year – let us know if you’d like to be notified when our report is released.