I wanted to give you a further update on our work to champion ‘key workers’ in the delivery and logistics sector.
On the 7th April 2020 I wrote a letter to the Secretary of State at BEIS which highlighted the important work of every player in the UK household delivery supply chain during this pandemic and asking him to ensure that the Government continues to support everyone in the sector during this time.
I am pleased to say that I received this week a very positive reply (click here to view) from Paul Scully MP Minister for Small Business, Consumers & Labour Markets and Minister for London. Within the letter he stated; “The Government recognises the important role that delivery workers play in serving customers and supporting businesses across the UK. Their willingness to maintain deliveries during a time of increased social isolation and when many people cannot leave their homes is vital.” He also went to say, “It is clear that the UK’s delivery sector is having a real impact on the lives of individuals as well as charities and businesses. The Government appreciates the work and efforts of all delivery workers in the coronavirus response and will continue to do what it can to support all companies in the sector.”
This is really good news and demonstrates that the government does acknowledge what we are doing to help you our customers meet the needs of consumers during what is a very challenging time. Ultimately this support will help maintain the continuity of your delivery supply chain giving you confidence in our stability which will help you grow as a business.
CEO Whistl UK Ltd
I just wanted to update you on the work we have been doing to champion ‘key workers’ within the delivery sector. As I previously mentioned, I wrote to the BEIS Secretary of State and also shared the evidence we have received from you with Ofcom about the positive role we are both playing in keeping Deliveries moving and meeting the core needs of consumers.
I am pleased to share with you that in recent days we have started to see acknowledgement within Government and Ofcom about our collective efforts. On 8th April the BEIS Secretary of State wrote an open letter ‘To everyone working in the UK’s retail sector’ he said:
“The Government has always been clear that online retail can continue to operate and is encouraged, and that postal and delivery services will continue to operate. I want to pay tribute to all of you who continue to work tirelessly in the retail sector to ensure that the public can continue to access the goods they need in these challenging times.”
This letter received some good coverage in the media with headlines like these:
“Government confirms Online Commerce is encouraged”
“Alok Sharma personally thanks UK’s retail sector for following the Government’s direction”
“Retailers urged to continue trading online amid COVID-19 chaos”
“Business secretary thanks retail sector”
In addition, Ofcom have published advice for consumers for sending post and parcels and has commended the sector by saying:
“The UK’s postal workers and parcel deliverers are playing a vital role – working hard to keep letters and parcels arriving at homes and businesses across the country.”
Thank you once again for all your feedback and sharing the experiences of your customers. Please continue to share with us the positive experiences of the role we are all playing during this crisis so we can continue to celebrate our key workers and ensure that their work is recognised by the Government and the Regulator.
CEO Whistl UK Ltd
We are now in our fourth week since ‘lockdown’ was announced for the UK and as a business we are continuing to deliver a high quality service through strong customer relationships and the ongoing commitment with a ‘can do attitude’ of Parcelhub employees.
We have seen a continued increase in packet and parcels volumes and fulfilment requirements as a result of people increasingly buying online whether it is essentials or ways to keep themselves and their families busy at home.
As a business we continue to operate with daily collections from our customers and a quality handover to our carrier partners, but with challenges on some SLAs in certain parts of the country.
Parcelhub is and remains open for business across all our services and we thank you our customers for continuing to work with us to help continue to deliver an uninterrupted service and meet the needs of both your and our businesses.
I just wanted to thank you for all the support and feedback you have provided to the team here in terms of the continuity and quality service we are providing to enable your business to continue to be able to deliver for your customers.
As you know, ‘Key worker’ status applies to many within the country who are providing essential services from the NHS and emergency services through to supermarkets.. We feel it is important that the Government should also acknowledge the role of those in the delivery and logistics sector and recognise their vital contribution.
To highlight the work we are all doing I have done the following:
1. Written a letter to the Secretary of State at BEIS which highlights the important work of every player in the UK household delivery supply chain during this pandemic and is asking him to ensure that the Government continues to support everyone in the sector during this time. (click here to view the letter).
2. Shared with Ofcom some of the evidence many of you have provided of the positive role we are both playing in keeping deliveries moving and meeting the core needs of consumers.
Here are just a few of the examples of feedback we have received (click here to view more customer comments).
“Postal donations are a lifeline to charities at this moment in time and it is great to see that the mail system is working just fine. Could you please feed this back to the team at Whistl as it really does make a difference as we need to maintain our donations so that we can continue to support people living with Cancer.”
– Dave Sharp, Head of Procurement, Macmillan Cancer Support
“The service has been really helping our customers in need. Particularly all of the mums and dads who have kids at home. The packages the team deliver are helping to educate the nation and it’s making a big difference too many families’ lives. Not all heroes wear capes!”
“Here at musicMagpie we are helping our customers to work, connect and play from home with safe, contact-free delivery. Our customers have been able to access a huge range of items to help them through these difficult times – with boxsets and keep-fit DVDs proving to be top-sellers, along with iPhones and tablets to keep in touch. Whistl have then done their usual sterling job in collecting these from us and processing the deliveries out to our customers. They have been fantastic in supporting us – with regular contact and updates regarding any changes to processes or potential delays, particularly internationally, and helping us to react where needed. As usual, contact from all levels of the business has been swift and professional, and they have also reassured us that they have taken all the necessary steps to protect their own team by implementing the required working practices. As a retailer on marketplaces, we have to abide by their strict performance metrics, and our customer feedback hasn’t altered over the last few weeks – and Whistl will have played a key role in delivering that for us.”
– Paul Bird, Customer Service & Operations Manager, musicMagpie
“SharkNinja sales have clearly been affected by Covid-19 and, while we’ve seen a small increase in ecommerce sales, we are still facing a very challenging retail environment. Like most UK businesses, we are having to be prudent with expenditures and are focusing on sustaining our operations. We are sustaining our business thanks to the work and dedication of Whistl employees and other third parties employees. We truly appreciate your team has provided a life line to our business………”
– Nick Fournier, VP Operations at SharkNinja
We are also sharing your feedback with the rest of the team here so everyone understands how much they are valued not just from the Whistl leadership team but also you our customers.
CEO Whistl UK Ltd
I just wanted to update you on how Whistl and Parcelhub are operating as a business during this difficult time to meet the needs of you our customers.
We continue to see significant increases in Tracked parcel volumes as more people are ordering online as they cannot shop in the normal way and we are working daily with our carrier partners to inject these into their respective networks as quickly as possible.
All of our depots and fulfilment sites are open and operational. Although not fully staffed we are able to process items and fulfil orders with limited delays.
The safety and wellbeing of our employees and our customers is paramount and we continue to have this as our priority. We have issued detailed guidance to our operational teams in ‘how to stay safe at work’ from loading and unloading, processing and to what precautions to take when in communal rest areas. Ensuring at all times, where practically possible, that the 2 metre social distancing rules are applied. Our transport teams are also applying this guidance, minimising interaction with customers without having any significant impact on collections.
Our support teams are predominantly working from home but are in constant contact with colleagues, working together to handle any queries or questions, you our customers, may have. We have received positive feedback from our customers which has been fantastic and greatly appreciated. This feedback really does demonstrate the team effort that everyone is making across Parcelhub to ensure we continue to deliver to a high level of service despite these difficult times and we really do appreciate the thanks.
We acknowledge that this may not be the experience of all of our customers. We are working hard with those of you who have had some issues to find alternative collection/delivery solutions to meet your needs and we do thank you for this cooperation and flexibility. We are also in daily contact with all our carrier partners liaising with them on delivery slots, timings and forecasting volumes, which is challenging in these times, in order to maintain the best level of service possible.
Delivery management of parcels and packets, fulfilment of online orders and management of customer services are all important services at this time and key for many people who are unable to leave their homes. We will continue to put every effort into delivering the most comprehensive service we can but also ensuring we follow government and public health authority guidance.
We will continue to monitor the situation and we will communicate with you further as events dictate and if actions are required which will impact on our operational ability to provide services to you.
CEO Whistl UK Ltd
Subsequently if your business is closing due to the recent announcement, please contact your Account Manager as soon as possible.
We are also asking for the health and safety protection of our drivers and your staff, that where possible please place your parcels as close as possible to your goods out door so our and your staff remain at a safe distance and to minimise interaction between Parcelhub drivers and your staff.
Yesterday the government released the list of key workers in critical sectors who will be prioritised for education provision if required. The list included those in postal services and deliveries which is reassuring for you our customers and for Whistl as this will help support our business continuity plans. It will also help to support the continued communication requirements of your business.
Please be assured of our commitment of providing you with the best possible service through these very challenging times.
Firstly, we want to reassure you that although the current situation is challenging and uncertain for everyone, we are taking it very seriously and taking all necessary steps to protect the continuity of service that we provide.
Here at Parcelhub we always strive to provide the best possible service to you our customers. Under the current circumstances we have reviewed what we do and have put plans and processes in place to further protect our colleagues and our business, ensuring we continue to deliver a good and robust service for you.
• All our depots remain open and we are processing as normal with all the advised precautionary steps being taken.
• We are working with all our suppliers to prepare for a potential drop in staffing levels to ensure continuity of service
• All our preferred cleaning suppliers have confirmed they have good levels of stock and we have products available in all our sites to maintain good levels of hygiene. We have also put preparations in place for potential deep cleaning should the need arise following government guidelines
• We continue to issue regular/daily communications to all our internal and front-line colleagues based on the latest government guidelines. We have limited all non-essential travel with immediate effect and have instructed all face to face meetings to be switched to Skype or alternative ways of holding group discussions.
• Where a role allows, we are encouraging our colleagues to work from home. However, all offices are being kept open to ensure those that need access to office facilities are able to do so.
• Anyone who is displaying symptoms or lives with someone displaying symptoms, however mild, are now self-isolating in line with government guidance.
At Parcelhub we are keen to keep you updated on our progress as the crisis develops and our plans evolve. Our commitment to you is that we will provide regular updates on this web page to ensure that you are kept informed of the steps we are taking to protect our service to you. In addition, we will communicate via email or your Account Manager on changes that impact on specific elements of our service or are specific to you as individual customers.
We will continue to keep you updated on what we are doing, but if you have any queries please contact your Account Manager.
The health and safety of our team has always been our top priority, so as of this week, over 90% of our customer service, sales and back office teams will be working remotely. We will continue to provide the full professional support our customers expect, and at this stage there will be no change in service.
Our Parcelhub Head office implemented a work-from-home scheme from this week where possible, and people in the office will be upholding social distancing measures that we have put in place to help contain the COVID-19 disease. Our Operation will also remain open, and we are working hard to ensure that contingency planning is in place to ensure that collections continue with as little disruption as possible, as will our Parcelhub Fulfilment operation.
We will ensure that we keep you up to date with carrier specific communications as they are presented to us for both domestic and international shipments so that you have all the information to hand too make the best decisions for your business in these challenging times.
If you wish to make any changes to your normal collection due to the current conditions please contact your Account Manager or our Sales Admin Team.