Some of the leading players in the UK parcel industry have pooled their resources and expertise to manage the nationwide collection and delivery of Covid-19 home testing kits into testing laboratories.
The test collection programme feeds into a study coordinated by Ipsos MORI in partnership with Imperial College London for The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) to assist in understanding the prevalence of the virus across England.
Created by Warrington-based The Delivery Group, The Carrier Consortium includes Yodel, Menzies, DX, Diamond and UPS – major names in what is typically a highly competitive parcel industry. Now, in an industry first, these businesses are working together to provide access to over 10,000 vehicles, 200 facilities and a combined workforce in excess of 16,000 employees.
The Carrier Consortium is operating seven days per week on a massive scale across England, delivering a strictly controlled cool chain solution which ensures the temperature of the tests remains constant from pick-up to delivery.
The Delivery Group manages the operation, allocating home collections, bulk consolidation and timed delivery into the testing laboratories for analysis. Additionally, The Delivery Group has created a booking website, developed with technology partner Mosaic Online Systems, and a dedicated telephone helpline centre at Warrington. Recipients can book their test collection slot online or over the phone using a unique URL.
Kelly Beaver, Managing Director, Public Affairs, Ipsos MORI, comments: “The Consortium has been a fantastic partner to Ipsos MORI, Imperial College and DHSC. With a solutions-focused, innovative team at the helm they have rapidly ensured delivery of what is a new and incredibly challenging logistics process at scale.”
James Wilkins, Operations and IT Director, The Delivery Group comments: “Our Consortium members and service suppliers have reacted magnificently and achieved the impossible, creating a new UK service from scratch and against the clock. Together, we will continue to improve processes and create an even better consumer experience as we progress through the next phases.”
Mike Hancox, CEO at Yodel, comments: “It’s been an honour to work with industry peers on what is a critical task for the country, and we look forward to undertaking the next phase of the programme. We have opened up the Yodel network at weekends to further support the collection infrastructure and our staff across the board have delivered a truly excellent service.”
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The Delivery Group
The Delivery Group specialises in mail and package distribution. The business operates a national and international network of e-commerce and specialist mail services, and has the capacity to handle some 1 billion items via its multi-carrier platform. The Delivery Group was subject to an MBO from Next Wave Partners LLP in May 2018 headed up by Steve Stokes, James Wilkins and chairman Paul Carvell.
With a turnover in excess of £250m and employing 500 staff, The Delivery Group operates from four highly automated facilities at Warrington, Luton, Bristol and Maidstone with an additional Central London satellite in Bermondsey, SE16.