We’ve been working with The APC for over a year now, sending up to 900 parcels a day at our peak times of Father’s Day and Christmas.
One of the biggest worries for any online retailer is ensuring that their products are delivered quickly and efficiently. When the majority of your parcels are sent as gifts, the need for a reliable courier is even greater.
Before we set up Best of British Beer in 2011, we hadn’t stopped to think how the courier business worked and how parcels were moved from one end of the country to the other in less than 24 hours. Six years on and 100,000 parcels later, we thought we’d grasped the basics, that was until we were invited down to the APC hub in Cannock to see how our beer is transported.
APC has 114 depots throughout Britain and each one covers a specific postcode area. Once every local delivery van has returned to base with their collections, the parcels are put into cages and loaded onto line haul trucks, which then drive to the hub. We prefer APC to other couriers as they minimise the use of conveyor belts and pallets, preferring to put all of our fragile parcels in these moveable cages; keeping our boxes safe and secure.
You cannot fail to be impressed by the sheer size of the operation at the hub, with the main warehouse covering the size of 3 football pitches and over 300 staff working across the site. The trucks start to arrive from the local depots around 9pm, with the Aberdeen and Plymouth lorries last in at 1am. A team of forklifts empty each truck in just 4 minutes and every cage is then emptied by hand, the parcels scanned and placed in a different cage, ready to be loaded onto the wagon and driven back to the depot. By 2am, every wagon has left and the operation starts to wind down and prepare for the following day.
With over 150,000 parcels processed through the APC network every day, it’s no wonder that the whole operation is so slick. We’re delighted to be working with the UK’s largest independent delivery network and we trust them to get our beers to our customers quickly and efficiently.