Hermes chief executive Martijn de Lange has apologised after a barrage of complaints about missing parcels.
Moray MSP Richard Lochhead asked the courier firm boss to tackle the issue, after hearing from many frustrated constituents.
One told Mr Lochhead that they ordered three packages with different suppliers over Christmas and none of them had arrived yet.
Last month, a shortage of delivery drivers across the country was “being exacerbated” by staff absences caused by Covid, according to the courier service.
Covid isolation issues and Christmas parcel surge
The Hermes chief has said that Covid isolation issues and a festive parcel surge has caused major delays.
Mr Lange said: “Firstly, let me apologise for the delays and problems your constituents have been experiencing.
“A combination of large parcel volumes due to Christmas, coupled with higher than normal depot, courier and driver absences due to Covid-19 isolation rules in Scotland had a huge impact on our operations there through December and into the new year.
“These issues sometimes meant that our tracking information and the information we make available to consumers was unclear or wrong.
“For example, parcels which arrived with us but which were not processed due to staff shortages did not display the correct information.
“So consumers knew we had their parcel, but did not know whether it was in a depot or out for delivery.
‘We are very aware of the importance of parcel delivery in rural communities’
He added: “We are very aware at the importance of parcel delivery in rural communities and the fact this has become even more vital during the pandemic.
“My operations and customer service colleagues are working hard to clear the backlog of parcels in Scotland and ensure we are fully staffed across all our sites.”
Mr Lochhead said: “In recent days I’ve been contacted by a number of constituents who are still waiting for deliveries they were expecting around Christmas time and are struggling to find out what’s happening with their parcels.
“Understandably, this is causing a great deal of frustration for consumers and that frustration is exacerbated by the difficulties folk are having when they try to make contact with Hermes.
“I welcome the quick response from Hermes regarding parcel delivery delays here in Moray.
“It is helpful to understand the root of the problem and Hermes have offered assurances to people in Moray affected that teams are working hard to clear the backlog.
“However, I’ve sought further clarity from Hermes about timescales for returning to normal service, given that some people have been waiting around four weeks for parcels to be delivered.
“I’ve also urged the company to look at how they can better communicate with customers affected – people will understand that the pandemic has impacted services but they do need to know what is happening with their orders.”
Backlog concerns in Inverness
Earlier this month, Inverness father Mike Kendrick questioned why Hermes keeps accepting delivery jobs in the Highland capital despite its depot facing a backlog.
He was waiting for five parcels that were sat in the Inverness depot.
One parcel from Amazon containing sticky labels, hand soap, fabric conditioner and coconut milk had been left there since December 3, 2021.
He said: “I would be willing to pick them up from depot if I had to.
“I appreciate they may have real issues due to a lack of staff, in which case they should no longer be accepting deliveries for Inverness until they’ve sorted the mess out.”
The 51-year-old said that he had tried several times to contact Hermes to solve the problems.
He added: “There are no contact details for the Inverness depot and you struggle to find a number.
“They also say there is a major backlog so I’m not sure when the parcels will arrive.”