90% of parcels do not require a recipient’s signature and 41% of “undelivered” packages are refunded without proof. This is the conclusion of a doctoral student at the University of Antwerp who investigated the weaknesses of a webshop’s ordering system.

In response to peak parcel seasons (Black Friday, Sinterklaas, Christmas), UA Antwerp’s Department of Transport and Spatial Economics investigated issues within the parcel industry. UAntwerp Transportation Economist Roel Gevaers said: “All of these packages were delivered to my home and I have further analyzed how it has been done.”

90% of deliveries did not require a signature on proof of delivery.

Roel Gevaers, Transportation Economist

This led to some surprising conclusions. “In 90% of deliveries, buyers didn’t have to sign proof of delivery, which is more than pre-Corona.” Keeping more distance seems to be the new habit. According to UA, this opens the door to fraud and consumers may report their packages never arrived.

Researchers briefly tested whether a web shop would resend the ordered product or issue a refund if the consumer indicated that the package had not arrived. even so. “Forty-one percent of parcels allegedly not delivered were refunded without reconfirmation.” Further investigations were launched in his 12% of cases. In 47% of these reports, consumers were asked to sign a “death of honor” to initiate an investigation or refund.


Mostly large international webshops refund quickly. “They want to satisfy their customers through good service. It sounds good to the consumer, but it’s actually theft.” . “It is the government’s responsibility to follow up on this issue because it creates unfair competition between small and large companies.”

Online stores suffer losses and raise prices to cover costs

Roel Gevaers, Transportation Economist

UAntwerp advises web shops to work more precisely. “Especially during times like this, they want to deliver packages cheaply and quickly. So I advise shops to double check everything with a check or signature at the end of the delivery.” If that doesn’t happen, the webshop could go bankrupt. “Webshops lose money and have to raise prices to cover costs. It’s very dangerous.”

Bypass amount for free shipping

UAantwerp researchers found it easy to play with minimal shipping. “Many shops charge a minimum amount for free shipping, say €50. Then I order enough items to reach that amount, but then only €5 items, for example. Until, I sent most of that package back.It was left.But that’s how we got free delivery.In all cases the webshop didn’t ask about additional delivery costs .”

You can buy Eurocent dresses from China delivered by air.how it is economically possible

Roel Gevaers, Transportation Economist

Another observation is that parcels from China are still very cheap. “You can easily buy a dress for 1 euro cent. The dress will be shipped by plane. How can it be economically feasible? The shipping cost alone costs 5 to 6 euros,” UAAntwerp said. I want you to take action. “Flying such a cheap product is not environmentally friendly and seriously distorts competition against Europe.”

Source: vrt


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