In April, on-time package delivery rates reached pre-pandemic levels, according to data from delivery experience management vendor Convey Inc. But carriers are still not matching the on-time performance of two years ago.

Convey’s researchers found that 82% of parcel shipments were delivered on time in April 2021, up from 77% in April 2020, soon after the COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States. However, on-time performance hasn’t caught up to April 2019 levels (89%). That’s due primarily to performance issues at FedEx Corp. in 2021, according to Convey data.

The firm analyzed data derived from tens of millions of packages shipped from more than 500,000 locations in North America in April 2021.

Convey attributes more packages delivered on time to a reduction in volume-related stress on the carrier network than in April 2020, when many consumers were panic buying and physical stores were closed, says Carson Krieg, co-founder and director of strategic partnerships Convey. He says that carriers also have “caught up to new processes” and have fewer problems related to staffing.

Bob Goodliffe, president and CEO of welding equipment supplier J.W. Goodliffe & Son Inc. and (No. 909), says Convey’s data is consistent with his company’s experience with parcel delivery carriers this year. But that doesn’t mean things are back to normal.

“Our largest challenge remains actual product availability from our vendors. Normal stocking items that typically have three- to five-day availability carry lead times up to eight weeks. This is caused by shortages in everything from electronic components to polycarbonate,” he says.

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