Hermes is set to roll out an improved delivery window service this year, which will narrow its delivery slots down to just a couple of hours.

The carrier’s chief executive Carole Woodhead told the service should be launched over spring and summer of this year.

End-customers will, at first, be given a four hour delivery window, but Woodhead said she hopes to get this down to two hours when possible.

“The most important thing for people is that there is a level of certainty, so we'll start with something that we know we can fulfil.

“As we get better and our couriers get more used to doing it, and we get more of those time delivery successes, then we'll refine the length of that time window.”

She added that unless another carrier “pips [her] to the post”, Hermes will be the first standard delivery service to offer this level of service.

“When customers have a one hour delivery window, that’s what they’d associate with as a premium service, and they’re likely to pay a premium price for that” Woodhead told, talking about DPD’s Predict.

“What I'm doing is bringing a version of that - a larger time window but still a very good one – for the standard parcels market.

“It's usually any time in the next two to three days, so by Hermes telling you the night before that your parcel is coming tomorrow morning is a significant improvement on the service that's offered by the industry today in the standard sector.”