APC News Archive 2010
Ultimate Angling nets more customers with APC services
APC Overnight “Handled with Care” services are helping Ultimate Angling expand its nationwide Ultimate Direct online and mail order business. It sends thousands of parcels containing rods and accessories to every corner of the UK through the APC Overnight network. Beginning six years ago as a small fishing tackle retailer with some online sales, the company now employs a team of eight angling enthusiasts to service its tens of thousands of Ultimate customers.
“We chose APC Direct Logistics in Goole as our next day delivery partner following many recommendations from other satisfied customers. We have never looked back. The company has a thorough understanding of our requirements and customer service is excellent. APC Overnight will also deliver on a Saturday if we need it and for high-value equipment we can use the company’s Security Service,” says Seb Blow, Ultimate’s General Manager.
Running alongside the Ultimate Direct order processing system is the advanced NetDespatch online booking, labelling and tracking system. This not only streamlines fulfilment it also provides security for each order. “APC Direct Logistics set up our NetDespatch Velocity account. We use this to book collections, print labels and track each parcel. The system also provides proof of delivery with signature capture. It is very easy to use, effective and secure,” says Seb Blow.
“It runs in tandem with our back office system, which we use to process customer orders and create a pick list for the warehouse. The customer order details, unique customer IDs and delivery addresses from the pick list are then input to NetDespatch, quickly and easily. This intelligent online system speeds response and order fulfilment and helps with maintaining our high levels of customer satisfaction; about 70 per cent of our customers are repeat buyers,” he adds.
Ultimate is one of the biggest names in fishing. The company’s own brands – irange, ULTIMATE, PRIMEVAL, VISION and BADGER – command great respect in the coarse fishing world and are sought after by match, carp, and pike anglers alike. Customers use the company’s website and mail order catalogue to select and buy state-of-the-art rods and poles, reels, clothing, seating and accessories. Angling is a huge sport in the UK, with an estimated 3 million anglers who enjoy coarse, game and sea fishing. Last year the environment agency sold over 1.5 million fishing rod licences.
Wine Merchants Toast APC Overnight Next Day Delivery Service
“Handled with Care” delivery services from APC Overnight are proving a crucial link in the wine supply chain throughout the UK. Companies such as Berry Bros & Rudd, Slurp, Tanners and The Colchester Wine Company rely on the next day Wine Delivery Service to fulfil mail order and online sales, with tens of thousands of bottles being shipped each night to customers throughout the UK via the APC network.
Next day wine delivery is part of APC Overnight’s Handled with Care portfolio of services offered for transporting fragile items from the vendor to the customer. This unique service uses cages and a separate sortation technique for careful, fast sorting of liquids and other fragile items. This has earned APC Overnight a reputation for safe delivery of whole boxes to single bottles of wine, all arriving with customers in first class condition.
Dr Jeremy Howard, Executive Chairman, of Slurp.co.uk says: “Slurp.co.uk is the fastest growing online wine shop in the UK and we have a reputation of supplying a wide range of quality wines backed by high quality service. Our local depot – APC Scarlet Couriers – works closely with us to ensure we can turn around orders quickly and to our customers’ satisfaction.”
Steve Lloyd, head of wine distribution for Shropshire-based Tanners’ Wine Merchants comments: “The online booking and tracking is fantastic. We find the local APC Station Couriers depot to be very flexible with collection times, the next day delivery is extremely efficient and we have received excellent customer feedback.”
Mark Cronshaw, The Colchester Wine Company's General Manager Sales, agrees: “We never exceed 48 hours from taking orders to shipping the consignment. Our aim, however, is to turnaround orders within a day whenever possible, and the ability to track parcels is very useful when we need to respond to customer queries.”
Remembrance Day Two Minute Silence
On the anniversary of the Armistice on Thursday 11th November 2010 the APC Overnight hubs at Essington and Belshill, and many of our depots around the country, will be observing a Two Minute Silence of Remembrance. We invite you to join us in this mark of respect for those who gave their lives in the two World Wars and other conflicts, and to ask for your understanding that operations will be suspended and phones not answered between 11.00am and 11.02am on this day.
Pie maker pieminister delivers overnight with APC
Bristol’s award-winning pie maker pieminister is feeding the nation with next day ‘Handled with Care’ deliveries from APC Overnight. Each year the company sends more than 100,000 of its handmade speciality pies in specially designed chill packs to customers nationwide – anywhere from northern Scotland to the southern coast of Cornwall.
“We have more than a hundred customers with regular weekly orders – so that adds up to about 200 chilled pie parcels containing 2,400 individual pies each week! We recently broke all records during British Pie Week in March when we despatched more than 3500 pies in 5 days!” says Kate Walshaw, pieminister's Customer Accounts Minister.
Local Bristol depot APC Priority Express works closely with pieminister to rush supplies through to eager pie connoisseurs. “We have been with APC Overnight for nearly 3 years and do all our transactions online. With APC Overnight, we are confident that all the pies will arrive in perfect condition and on time,” adds Kate Walshaw.
Brothers-in-law Tristan Hogg and Jon Simon began pieminister in 2002. pieminister pies are sold throughout the UK as well as in pieminister cafes in Bristol, London, Oxford, Trentham and Derby. The PMobile (pies on the move) is a regular attraction at summer music festivals. In 2008, the company opened its Bristol PMHQ to accommodate the surge in demand for its gourmet offerings and the PM website features a mail order service delivering chilled fresh pies direct to customers’ doors.
APC Overnight goes mobile with Strategic Support Vehicle
APC Overnight has invested in a custom-built Strategic Support Vehicle which provides an emergency depot solution, mobile exhibition stand and classroom for depot staff training. With advanced mobile communications, touch screen computers, printers and high-speed broadband, it connects to APC Overnight’s systems and network as if it was a permanent site.
“The Strategic Support Vehicle serves many purposes. It can be utilised as a disaster recovery vehicle should the need arise. The vehicle can be mobilised immediately and despatched to any part of the UK and used as a temporary depot. It has all the equipment required to operate as fully functional administration department, just like a normal operational depot within the network,” says Colin Clark, Network Projects Manager at APC Overnight headquarters.
The vehicle has appeared at several important events, including the Kent County Show, Three Counties Show in Malvern and the Royal County of Berkshire Show. “We invite other exhibitors and visitors on to the vehicle where we can demonstrate our IT systems and service offerings. We can also use it as a mobile classroom for onsite training,” adds Colin Clark.
APC Overnight nationwide deliveries provide first aid to Physio-Med Services
Next day delivery services from APC Overnight are working hard to transport rehabilitation and physiotherapy products throughout the UK for Physio-Med Services. The Derbyshire-based company is the UK’s market leader and stocks 8,000 product lines, ships over 150,000 items a year, and is the largest supplier of ‘rehab’ and ‘physio’ products to the NHS.
Physio-Med Services ranks excellent customer service as a priority and the local APC Overnight depot – APC Nationwide Express Parcels – helps the organisation achieve and preserve its lead position. David Brightmore, Operations Manager Physio-Med Services, highlights the benefits of working with a local logistics partner.
“APC Nationwide Express Parcels is a local firm working within a national network of customer-focused depots. The depot team takes a keen interest in Physio-Med Services and is consistently helpful. The team is always ready to go the extra mile to ensure an efficient, cost-effective next day delivery service to our customers, whether they are an NHS client or a private individual,” he says.
“We use dedicated software for booking collections and print parcel labels. Our customer service team likes the system as it easy to use. This also provides track and trace of all our consignments should we need it. The system gives visibility of our parcels regardless of destination and it also provides proof of delivery,” concludes David Brightmore.
Run 4 It wins online business race with APC Overnight
Run 4 It, Scotland’s largest chain of specialist running shops, is expanding its online business thanks to UK-wide next day deliveries from APC Overnight. Working with the local APC operator, APC Thistle Couriers, Run 4 It online serves customers as far north as Orkney and the Shetland Isles and as far south as Cornwall.
Hannah Glasscoe, Run 4 It Website Administrator, highlights the need for a supportive and reliable next day courier service for its expanding e-commerce business. “We now have over 11,000 regular online customers and we get more than 30,000 visits to the website each month. The local APC Overnight depot – APC Thistle Couriers – provides a flexible and rapid service. Indeed, a good courier is essential to running a successful online business.”
“Run 4 It has a unique approach to customer service. The company was set up by running enthusiasts. We stock all the top brands and importantly our staff are highly knowledgeable and experienced. They receive ongoing training to ensure we provide the best possible service to our customers. This reflects in the growth in the number of traditional retail outlets and our increasingly popular online shop.”
APC Overnight’s Handled with Care services boost CNM Online customer service
Yorkshire e-commerce company CNM Online is benefiting from APC Overnight’s ‘Handled with Care’ next day deliveries. Before awarding its parcel courier work to the local depot – APC Direct Logistics – the company was suffering costly breakages. Now, reports company MD Carl Simpson, products are reaching customers intact, as despatched from CNM’s warehouse.
“One of our key reasons for choosing APC Overnight was to reduce breakages. The organisation’s care and attention is saving us the cost of having to replace broken products and this also boosts our customer service levels,” says Carl Simpson.
CNM has a thriving online business supplying a huge range of electric appliances, hygiene hardware products, garden equipment and outdoor games equipment to over 100,000 customers nationwide. Many customers place repeat business with CNM because of their satisfaction with the products and end-to-end supply chain service.
Orders are captured by CNM’s sophisticated website and these are batch-processed using web software. “The system frees us from manual input and it would be a mammoth task to fulfil orders without it. It is a useful tool and saves a huge amount of time that we can then dedicate to customer service. We can complete order fulfilment quickly and with the flexible service provided by the depot, our customers are assured of rapid delivery wherever they may be located,” concludes Carl Simpson.
APC Team C Couriers wins the UK's biggest Depot of the Year competition
Norfolk-based APC Team C Couriers has won the 2010 APC Overnight Depot of the Year Award. This is the biggest competition of its kind in the UK and recognises “above and beyond” service performance throughout the past year. Ivor Skinner, APC Overnight’s MD, presented the award: “I am pleased to present the APC Overnight Depot of the Year award to APC Team C Couriers. The number of votes received shows the depot team is ready to go out of its way to provide above and beyond service. It is a proactive depot that is consistently helpful to other depots in the APC Overnight network,” he said.
In common with the APC Overnight ethos of putting the customer first, APC Team C Couriers constantly reviews its services to meet the delivery needs of its growing list of customers. The depot is also a past winner of the Annual Development award from APC Overnight.
The APC Overnight Depot of the Year competition involves more than 125 independent companies operating within the UK's largest delivery network who vote on how depots have supported one another throughout the year to provide consistent and excellent customer service.
“This is an important national award for APC Overnight members. The Depot of the Year award reinforces that we operate a tight knit and cooperative network of likeminded local delivery specialists that provides a seamless collection to delivery service for our customers throughout the UK,” concluded Ivor Skinner.
APC Overnight helps to double business for award winning butcher
Derbyshire-based family butcher J W Mettrick & Son has doubled online sales thanks to efficient ‘Handled with Care’ next day deliveries from APC Overnight. Awarded Best Online Butcher by Good Housekeeping magazine, J W Mettrick & Son works closely with the local APC Overnight depot to ensure fresh, pristine delivery of locally sourced and produced meats for customers throughout the UK.
Through its website, J W Mettrick & Son can offer all the advantages of a local butcher supplying quality products while reaching the entire nation via the Internet and the APC Overnight network. This service has proved a big hit with customers nationwide – particularly in the south of England where there are fewer local butchers because of the domination of supermarkets.
John Mettrick, director, says: “You may be a good butcher, but you also need a good courier and an efficient system to expedite deliveries to your customers. APC Nationwide Express Parcels provides us with an excellent service that ensures our customers get their meat orders when they need them and in first class condition. Our customers are very happy with the APC Overnight ‘Handled with Care’ delivery service and it has been instrumental to the growth of our Internet sales. We see it very much as a 50:50 relationship essential to our award winning business.”
Wild Food Business Grows With APC Overnight
Cornwall-based wild food forager Anne Misselbrook picks next day deliveries from APC Overnight as the essential ingredient to the success of her business. Each year, thousands of kilos of leaves and berries make their way from Cornwall through the APC Overnight network to pioneering chefs and restaurants. Customers include Heston Blumenthal, Fifteen Cornwall (part of the global social enterprise set up by Jamie Oliver) and Nathan Outlaw.
When Anne Misselbrook set up her full-time professional foraging business five years ago, she turned to APC Carn Logistics as her preferred next day parcel delivery service. She relies on the local depot to provide the network input for a wide range of wild foods, including three-cornered leek (a form of wild garlic), nettles, sea beet and sea radish, black lovage, sorrel, black mustard, wall pennywort and various berries.
“Demand for wild foods is growing, particularly with high profile chefs promoting the benefits of naturally grown and UK sourced produce. The mild climate of Cornwall suits many species and with APC Overnight’s help I can be sure that my customers get their orders in first class condition and in time for their needs.” says Anne Misselbrook.
APC Overnight Puts EcoStream Double-decker Trailer To The Test
APC Overnight is trialling the latest Don-Bur aerodynamic trailer in the first stage of a major project to replace its entire trailer fleet. The double-decker, curtain-sided “EcoStream” trailer is fitted with an innovative lifting deck enabling safer, quicker loading and unloading – and unique to this unit is the option to use the rear doors where access is an issue. Roll-out of the new slope-roofed trailers is planned for 2010.
The EcoStream trailers will complement the advanced DAF CF85 tractor units which APC Overnight has recently added to its fleet, enabling improved fuel consumption. Together, the trailers and EURO 5 rated tractor units will provide efficient transportation with reduced carbon footprint.
“The EcoStream is a cutting edge design that scores points all round for reducing emissions as well as improving safety. The upper lifting deck is lowered for loading and then raised to allow access to the area beneath, which not only improves safety but also speeds up the process. We were also keen to solve the problem of limited access to the decks which we've achieved by configuring the design to allow loading and unloading via the rear doors. This flexibility enables faster turnaround of the trailers,” says Syed Ziaullah, Operations Director, APC Overnight.
“Aerodynamic trailers are the way forward for APC Overnight. These trailers overcome the problem of inertia and rolling resistance, allowing the tractor units to perform more efficiently. Less drag caused by the trailer means better fuel consumption and lower emissions. This is important as our investment in EURO 5 rated equipment is enhanced with the EcoStream trailers, and even with older tractors there will be an improvement,” he adds.
Staffordshire-based Don-Bur is a market leader in the design and manufacture of the complete range of commercial vehicle trailers and rigid bodywork. The company’s innovative and flexible approach to engineering and manufacture provides cost-effective distribution solutions to maximise operational efficiency and profitability.
APC Overnight Captures Sashimi Fish Deliveries
UK-wide next day deliveries of fresh produce by APC Overnight are a key to the success of Cornish fish producer, Kernowsashimi. The specialist supplier of fresh locally caught fish, including sashimi-grade produce for Japanese restaurants, based on the Slow Food principles, works closely with the local APC Overnight depot to ensure that its produce gets to customers in pristine condition by 12 noon each day, regardless of their location.
“We have provisional order lists for each of our customers, but until we have actually landed the fish we don’t have a full view of our available stocks. To ensure that our produce is of the highest quality and freshness, we have to work quickly. As soon as we know the day’s catch, we contact our customers to confirm their orders and pack and despatch each consignment. These are collected by APC Carn Logistics and then fed into the APC Overnight network for morning delivery. Speedy delivery works extremely well for us and ensures freshness,” says Dylan Bean, co-owner, Kernowsashimi.
Family-owned and managed by the Bean family, Kernowsashimi is a member of Slow Food UK which aims to protect and preserve the traditional foods of the United Kingdom, defend biodiversity and promote food education.
APC Depot Purchases Unique ‘Eco Urban’ Trailer
APC Overnight’s depot in Burry Port, South Wales, has purchased a first of its kind Eco Urban trailer from Yorkshire-based W Trailer Co. The aerodynamic design of the trailer includes a double deck in its front section allowing greater carrying capacity, but with reduced fuel consumption and lower emissions. APC Celtic Couriers will use the 10-metre trailer for deliveries into city and town centres throughout the SA (Swansea) postcode region as well as for trunking to the APC Overnight national hub in Wolverhampton.
“We needed a manoeuvrable compact trailer that would allow us to get in and out of town and city centres. In addition it had to be as fuel and emissions efficient as possible as well as provide good load capacity. By meeting these requirements within the design of the Eco Urban trailer, it allows us to provide customers better services and keep costs down. W Trailer Co has produced a totally practical solution for APC Celtic Couriers and we are proud to be the first depot in the UK to take delivery of the new trailer,” said Gareth Jenkins, Logistics Manager, APC Celtic Couriers.
Stewart Burton, W Trailer Co, reports that although the Eco Urban is the first of its kind built by the company these new shorter aerodynamic trailers are the way forward for urban collections and are replacing traditional rigid bodied trucks. They offer more flexibility for the operator and improved service to the depot customers and the reduced running costs make economic sense.
“APC Celtic Couriers briefed us on what the company needed as an efficient delivery solution and the Eco Urban is the result. The trailer uses the same roof design as our standard Eco Deck Trailer. It provides extended 26-pallet row capacity within a standard 10-metre length and the aerodynamic design reduces environmental impact. We have been building urban trailers for many years and we have seen a shift in demand for these shorter trailers as they can be used with existing tractor units, reducing the need to invest in additional vehicles such as rigids. They are becoming the preferred equipment for getting deliveries easily in and out of town. We have since extended our Eco family to include both urban and rigid products,” said Stewart Burton.
APC Overnight Selects Award-winning Greener DAF Tractor Units
The two award-winning EURO 5-rated 410 hp, 6 x 2 tractors operate at 44 tonnes and will be added to APC Overnight’s midlands’ fleet. The investment in the vehicles represents APC Overnight’s approach to using the latest truck technology to provide superior customer service, while actively reducing the company’s carbon footprint.
The trucks use the most advanced technology on the market, including the innovative AS-Tronic gearbox to harness the power of their 12.9 litre, six-cylinder engines, making it an effortless and safer driving experience for the drivers. The intelligent drive-train technology coupled with the specially developed air management kit provides high performance with class-leading fuel economy and low emissions.
“After trialling various manufacturers, DAF delivered an overall better solution to meet our requirements on efficiencies, performance, driver satisfaction and value for money. Also, DAF has a strong presence in the UK, with a significant amount of manufacturing and assembly work performed here. APC Overnight’s strategy is to support British business and to play our part as the UK fights recession,” says Syed Ziaullah, Operations Director, APC Overnight.
“The new tractors represent our view on investing in the future of our fleet while taking a proactive approach to our environmental responsibilities. The DAF CF85 is proven to be among the best vehicles available for demanding applications and the two new units will take pride of place in our midlands operations,” he adds.
Rob Binnion, Retail Truck Sales Manager, Greenhous DAF says: “We are delighted that APC Overnight has selected Greenhous DAF to supply the new tractor units. APC Overnight is a forward-thinking company that puts service first and we are confident that the DAF CF85 will provide superb all-round performance. Moving forward, we hope that we shall build a long-term relationship with APC Overnight as its fleet supplier of choice.”
APC at Scotland’s Trade Fair and Speciality Food Show
APC Overnight will be showcasing its ‘handled with care’ parcel delivery services at Scotland’s Trade Fair and Speciality Food Show. The combined event is being held at the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (SECC) in Glasgow, 24 to 26 January.
APC Overnight’s business has thrived in Scotland after the company began a dedicated Scottish service in 1998. With the expansion of its Bellshill parcel hub employing a local workforce, APC Overnight retains inter-Scottish consignments north of the border. One of just two parcel carriers offering this facility, it provides significant benefits to Scottish businesses including later collection times and earlier deliveries.
Visitors to the Speciality Food Show will be particularly interested in the fact that APC Overnight offers a unique ‘handled with care’ service. This is designed for fragile goods such as speciality foods, fresh produce and wine.
By handling all inter-Scottish consignments at their Bellshill hub, APC Overnight are also making crucial fuel savings, reducing their carbon footprint whilst providing faster response times. The service is proving particularly popular with the luxury food sector, with fresh produce businesses such as meat, pie and bacon suppliers finding APC Overnight’s early deliveries the best choice for their perishable items.
“APC provides a quality of service, that our customers within Scotland have had difficulty sourcing elsewhere. This stems from a true passion, from the ground upwards, to be the best service provider available. This passion for service has enabled us to build strong relationships with major clients from the fine foods industry,” says Colin Lynskey-Nonis APC Overnight’s Scottish Manager.
- Ultimate Angling nets more customers with APC services
- Wine Merchants Toast APC Overnight Next Day Delivery Service
- Remembrance Day Two Minute Silence
- Pie maker pieminister delivers overnight with APC
- APC Overnight goes mobile with Strategic Support Vehicle
- APC Overnight nationwide deliveries provide first aid to Physio-Med Services
- Run 4 It wins online business race with APC Overnight
- APC Overnight’s Handled with Care services boost CNM Online customer service
- APC Team C Couriers wins the UK's biggest Depot of the Year competition
- APC Overnight helps to double business for award winning butcher
- Wild Food Business Grows With APC Overnight
- APC Overnight Puts EcoStream Double-decker Trailer To The Test
- APC Overnight Captures Sashimi Fish Deliveries
- APC Depot Purchases Unique ‘Eco Urban’ Trailer
- APC Overnight Selects Award-winning Greener DAF Tractor Units
- APC at Scotland’s Trade Fair and Speciality Food Show