Delivering Christmas

Delivering Christmas

How the UK’s van community is coming to the rescue this festive season.

In a year of unprecedented challenges and changes, Christmas 2020 is shaping up to be different for all of us. With shopping centres and brick-and-mortar stores facing an

unpredictable calendar of restrictions, customers are relying on internet shopping to get their gifts – and the van community is under pressure like never before.


Rising to the challenge

With many businesses stepping up their online ordering services or even moving their entire operation online, 45% of the van community have said this year has been one of the busiest years of their careers.

From grocery orders and garden supplies to everyday essentials and emergency services, the van community have been working tirelessly to keep communities moving.

Despite the challenge, over a third (35%) say that they feel they’ve coped well with the increase in demand, and 31% have said they’ve proved to themselves just how well they can work under pressure. But as Christmas approaches and the increase in online orders looks set to soar even higher, how will the van community manage?


Digging deep to keep Christmas moving

For the van community and fleet operators, Christmas doesn’t mean a hard-earned rest. They’ll be the ones helping make sure our stockings are stuffed and our fridges are full this year, and their commitment will mean they’ll be making some personal sacrifices.

In fact, two thirds of the van community have said they’ll be surrendering their own merrymaking this year by working throughout the Christmas period – with 56% planning to work on the big day itself.

Steve Bridge, Managing Director of Mercedes-Benz Vans, points out: “the van community plays a crucial part of the festive period, as so many of us depend on them to deliver… but given the unprecedented level of demand already this year, and the impact that has had on their fatigue and wellbeing, drivers will have to dig deep to keep going.”

So what exactly is driving the van community to put their own celebrations aside for others? We set our researchers on the task, speaking to over 2,000 members of the van community – and the answer may surprise you.


Committed to delivering festive cheer

According to our research, 28% of the van community are committed to working over Christmas simply because they know how many people are depending on them. With around a third (33%) having only learned this year how much customers rely on them, it seems that the work is its own reward – with 25% saying they’re doing it just because people are so grateful.

50% also report that their families have been the motivating factor in keeping them moving this year. Perhaps it’s no surprise that they want to help others celebrate with their nearest and dearest by delivering some festive cheer.

“That so many of them are working as hard as they are to make sure that everyone else has a good Christmas further highlights what true heroes the van community are” - Steve Bridge.

So when you’re topping up on turkey, sipping your sherry and giving your gifs this year, spare a thought for the members of the van community who helped make it happen. Because this Christmas, Santa has some helpers working extra hard to help keep Christmas moving.

Want to send a thank you to the van community for their hard work? Use #bizbarometer and join the conversation.

The Mercedes-Benz Vans Business Barometer is a nationwide quarterly survey of businesses large and small, created to help us understand the economic landscape and discover what van owners and drivers need to keep their business moving. For more information visit:

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