Online retail delivery volumes were up 25.2% year-on-year in May and 10.4% on April according to the IMRG MetaPack UK Delivery Index, the strongest growth recorded so far this year by some distance.

This strong performance was building on particularly weak year-on-year growth in May last year (+2.5%) and the contrast is interesting – last year the UK was heading into a highly uncertain general election which seemed to dent shopper confidence, although the EU referendum didn’t seem to have the same effect this year despite the outcome also being very much in the balance.

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As has been a consistent theme over the past year or so, the quality of service has continued to perform well compared to previous years. The percentage of ‘on-time / attempted delivery’ was up almost a full percentage point on the same time last year at 94.9% for May 2016.

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The strong performance of the delivery index was also consistent with that of the sales index, where revenue growth was up 17%.

Andy Mulcahy, editor at IMRG: “The contrast between how the index performed this year compared with last year could hardly be more stark – as the general election appeared to deter shoppers somewhat until they knew who was going to be in government (and what tax policies they might enact). Despite the potential impact of a Brexit being far more profound than a simple change of government, we didn’t appear to record a hit to delivery volumes at all – perhaps the arrival of the hot weather in May was a far more determining factor in the mind of shoppers.”

Kees de Vos, chief product officer at MetaPack: “What seems very evident is that the strong growth in online sales during April and May, has boosted delivery volumes accordingly. To some extent this is to be expected, but the most important finding is that the quality of deliveries continues to improve year-on-year.”