May 17, 2020

APC Overnight's fast track to the top

Supply Chain Digital
Next Day Delivery
UK Next Day Shippin
Freddie Pierce
4 min
Owning the UK’s largest next-day delivery network, APC Overnight sets itself apart in the courier industry
Written by Iestyn Armstrong-Smith Each month, APC Overnight collects, routes and delivers more than 1.4 million parcels throughout the UK. It is the ne...

Written by Iestyn Armstrong-Smith</p>
Each month, APC Overnight collects, routes and delivers more than 1.4 million parcels throughout the UK. It is the next day delivery courier of choice for many thousands of small and medium sized enterprises; the very companies that are essential for getting the nation back to a healthy economy. APC is the UK&rsquo;s largest next day delivery network with more than 120 local depots covering all geographic areas, which enable entrepreneurial companies to gain easy access to a range of next day delivery services that suit their business needs.</p>
APC specializes in timed deliveries, offering a choice of convenient morning or afternoon options as well as a Saturday service. It is owned and managed by independent local delivery specialists connected into a strong managed system. It was originally created by a consortium of 47 UK same-day delivery companies in the early 1990s.</p>
The company recently announced an increase in pre-tax profits to &pound;3.4 million for the 2010-2011 period, with its revenues growing by 10.34 per cent and its turnover reaching almost &pound;58 million. Due to the ever-expanding business, APC Overnight will embark on building a new purpose-built multimillion pound hub soon. The new 128,000 square-foot midlands sortation hub will have more than double the capacity of the existing site in Essington near Wolverhampton.</p>
The company uses innovative technology, including scanning systems carried by drivers to online ordering and tracking designed to keep customers up-to-date and to integrate with company ordering systems. It regularly upgrades its fleet of local delivery vehicles and HGVs. It recently invested in new tractor units and aerodynamic trailers that give improved fuel consumption and lower emissions and it is investing in innovative lifting deck trailers that improve both safety and efficiency.</p>
What makes APC significantly different from other courier firms is its industry leading delivery performance and customer service, together with its unique personal service approach. This has expanded business at a local level and is helping SMEs to lead the UK out of recession. APC&rsquo;s &ldquo;Handled with Care&rdquo; services are also helping fresh produce, wine and food companies extend their reach nationwide. Handled with Care allows forward-looking food producers reach all areas of the UK with their fresh food without complicated refrigerated transport arrangements. They simply send their products in suitable packaging for next day delivery, with APC ensuring they arrive fresh and in perfect condition.</p>
For example, Cheshire fresh meat producer and retailer Chestnut Meats has seen its business grow by 25 per cent year on year since selecting APC Overnight &ldquo;Handled with Care&rdquo; next day deliveries. The fast and accurate service ensures that Chestnut Meat home farm reared goat, beef and pork products reach customers in perfect condition without the need for specialized refrigerated transportation.</p>
&ldquo;We&rsquo;ve been able to grow the business with APC Overnight looking after our next day deliveries. The local APC depot is flexible and supportive. Each member of the team understands our business and the importance of ensuring meat orders are handled carefully and delivered on time,&rdquo; says Tim Dobson, co-owner of Chestnut Meats.</p>
&ldquo;With fresh produce, deliveries need to be treated with urgency because there are no second chances and APC knows how critical this is to us. Even at busy times, such as Christmas and other holidays, the depot has been there for us and made sure we provide good service to our customers.&rdquo;</p>
The local APC branch installed a special web-based parcel collection booking system for Chestnut Meats. This is called NetDespatch Velocity (many APC customers use this system to help speed order fulfillment). This provides fast and simple booking, label printing and consignment tracking with proof of delivery. By interrogating the system, Chestnut Meats can locate any consignment and find out who signed for it. This provides the traceability the company needs for its fresh produce.</p>
APC branches, like their customers, are very entrepreneurial. For example, APC Western Couriers in Caerphilly, Wales, saw a gap in the local market for a high street style parcel post service for the public. The &ldquo;retail counter&rdquo; uses the same web-based booking and tracking system mentioned above.&nbsp; The retail counter is open until 7 p.m., Monday to Friday and until 12 noon on Saturday. It is fully equipped with weigh scales and offers a packing facility should customers require it. Customers simply call in with their consignments, pay with cash, credit or debit card and the job is booked in using the web system.</p>
Other depots such as APC Thistle Couriers, the local depot for Aberdeen, Scotland, are making use of other web technologies to extend service offerings. Using special web software (NetDespatch eTrader), customers can send a parcel to anywhere in the UK from the comfort of their own home and without setting up an account with the courier. Customers simply book a collection online and the courier collects the parcel from their doorstep. The innovative system provides security of payment for APC Thistle Couriers and a competitive, high-quality traceable door-to-door delivery service for customers throughout the UK.</p>
For more information on APC Overnight and its unique, high quality, cost-effective next day delivery services, please visit <a href="//"></a></p&gt;

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Jun 8, 2021

DHL Claim Multi-Sector Collaboration Key to Fighting COVID

3 min
Global logistics leader DHL’s new white paper highlights what supply chain professionals have learned one year into the pandemic

Since January, global logistics leader DHL has distributed more than 200 million doses of the COVID vaccine to 120+ countries around the globe. While the US and UK recently rolled out immunisation plans to most citizens, countries with less developed infrastructure still desperately need more doses. In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which currently has one of the highest per-capita immunisation rates, the government set up storage facilities to cover domestic and international demand. But storage, as we’ve learned, is little help if you can’t transport the goods.


This is where logistics leaders such as DHL make their impact. The company built over 50 new partnerships, bilateral and multilateral, to collaborate with pharmaceutical and private sector firms. With more than 350 DHL centres pressed into service, the group operated 9,000+ flights to ship the vaccine where it needed to go. 


Public-Private Partnerships

With new pandemic knowledge, DHL just released its “Revisiting Pandemic Resilience” white paper, which examined the role of logistics and supply chain companies in handling COVID-19. As Thomas Ellman, Head of Clinical Trials Logistics at DHL, said: “The past one year has highlighted the importance of logistics and supply chain management to manage the pandemic, ensure business continuity and protect public health. It has also shown us that together we are stronger”. 


Multisector partnerships, DHL said, enabled rapid, effective vaccine distribution. While international scientists developed a vaccine in record time—five times faster than any other vaccine in history—manufacturers ramped up production and logistics teams rolled out distribution three times faster than expected. When commercial routes faced backups, logistics operators worked with military officers to transport vaccines via helicopters and boats. 


In the UAE, the public-private HOPE Consortium distributed billions of COVID-19 doses to its civilians as well as other countries in need by partnering with commercial organisations such as DHL. For the first time, apropo for an unprecedented pandemic, logistics companies made strong connections with public health and government.


“While the race against the virus continues, leveraging the power of such collaborations and data analytics will be key”, said Katja Busch, Chief Commercial Officer DHL and Head of DHL Customer Solutions & Innovation. “We need to remain prepared for high patient and vaccine volumes, maintain logistics infrastructure and capacity, while planning for seasonal fluctuations by providing a stable and well-equipped platform for the years to come”. 


How Do We Sustain Immunisation? 

By the end of 2021, experts estimate that we need approximately 10 billion doses of vaccines—many of which will be shipped to areas of the world, such as India, South Africa, and Brazil, that lack significant infrastructure. This is perhaps the greatest divide between countries that have rolled out successful immunisation programmes and those that have not. As Busch noted, “the UAE’s significant investments in creating robust air, sea, and land infrastructure facilitated logistics and vaccine distribution, helping us keep supply chains resilient”. 


Neither is the novel coronavirus a one-time affair. If predictions hold, COVID will be similar to seasonal colds or the flu: here to stay. When fall comes around each year, governments will need to vaccinate the world as quickly as possible to ensure long-term immunisation against the virus. This time, logistics companies must be better prepared. 

Yet global immunisation, year after year, is no small order. To keep reinfection rates low and slow the spread of COVID, governments will likely need 7-9 billion annual doses of the vaccine to meet that mark. And if DHL’s white paper is any judge of success, multi-sector supply chain partnerships will set the gold standard.

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