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Courier rates and surcharges are likely to rise as people move increasingly towards working from home arrangements, according to ParcelHero.

It said the high failure rates of home deliveries make them much more expensive than office deliveries and pile on delivery costs to parcel firms.

Research recently carried out by ParcelHero showed that only 20% of professionals want to work full time from their office post-Covid and employers such as Unilever have already announced their staff will never return to their desks five days a week.

David Jinks, ParcelHero head of consumer research, said this driver towards new business practices would result in rising courier delivery prices: “There are two, key reasons why most couriers far prefer B2B deliveries,” he said.

“Firstly, business deliveries are likely to be concentrated around high streets and industrial estates, thereby reducing delivery times and fuel costs.

“Residential deliveries, on the other hand, tend to be far more spread out.

“Drivers may have to cover many miles to make just one or two deliveries.

“Secondly, people are certain to be at work premises to take delivery during office hours,” he added.

Jinks said the cost of failed deliveries to business was estimated to be around £1.6bn before the first lockdown and was now likely to climb to around £2bn.