An innovative approach and adoption of best practices is key to managing and fulfilling the additional demand for deliveries over the festive season, according to Leeds-based freight and logistics company Walkers Transport.
Following the warning put out by Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin "advising" festive shoppers to do their shopping quickly because of fears that a shortage of lorry drivers will disrupt deliveries over the festive season.
But Walkers dispelled those concerns by advising companies to perform a 'Logistics Health Check' to ensure their distribution suppliers are able to meet customers' delivery and storage requirements during the run-up to Christmas.
To improve on productivity, Walkers Transport, part of the Palletways Network and operator of its northern hub, has installed TomTom's LINK tracking device across its service fleet. This will not only help with route planning but also verify timesheets, automate mileage reporting and fulfil Duty of Care obligations.
They have also implemented a staff retention programme including an above industry-average pay scheme, flexible working hours and extra days off, to make sure they retain and recruit the best, most experienced drivers.
Graham Short, Managing Director of Walkers Transport said: "Logistic companies are facing pressure resulting from an increase in demand for their services yet resources are shrinking, this is especially of concern as we enter the busiest trading period of the year.
"As a business we take measures which ensure we can deliver a reliable and consistent service for our customers whatever the season. Key to this are our drivers, without whom we couldn't operate, they are highly valued by Walkers and our practices ensure that we can retain the best, most experienced people.
"Such measures in addition to steps such as the installation of our new Tom Tom tracking device has resulted in a 15 per cent increase in productivity in the average number of jobs completed by our drivers each day, not to mention much greater fuel and times efficiencies."
Walkers Transport has been operating for 30 years in express distribution of palletised goods across the UK (including offshore islands), Ireland and Europe. As well as managing a wide range of storage and distribution services for a number of companies, from small enterprises to large household names.