Birmingham experienced the “worst day and worst week so far in 2018,” for late, and mixed-up, deliveries because of newspaper and magazine “bunching”, according to an NFRN report on Smiths News.

Wholesaler data for 16 February revealed 76% of newspaper supplies arrived within 30 minutes of the cut off time from publishers. Meanwhile, 33.5% of supplies arrived within 30 minutes of the cut off time during the week begining 12 February.

Peter Williamson, news operations manager at the NFRN, said too many newspapers arrived at one time, called bunching, causing an influx where orders can be easily mixed up. “Wholesalers have to handle thousands of papers at once, they make mistakes,” he said.

Smiths News said it will continue to work with publishers on inbound performances.

A spokesperson added: “Our inbound supplies can provide challenges for our teams.”