Independent UK parcel carrier sees 50% surge in profits during pandemic

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UK-based next-day delivery specialist The APC has announced record results for the 2020/21 financial year, with profit before tax of £9.2m (US$12.3m), a 53% year-on-year increase.

According to APC, the effects of the pandemic were seen early in the financial year, with home deliveries becoming more popular than deliveries to businesses for its 35,000 customers.

As a result of the e-commerce boom, APC saw significant growth across all services, especially within its niche services of fragile and liquid, with the food and drink sector forming the largest sector of growth in the year.

Jonathan Smith, chief executive at APC, said, “Throughout the pandemic, we’ve seen growing demand for parcel services, driven by a surge in consumer e-commerce activity and the preference for home delivery. But perhaps most impressively, in response to this shift in purchasing habits, we’ve seen so many of our SME customers quickly adapt, proving their resilience and entrepreneurialism, and thriving as a result. It’s this resilience of the SME community that has largely contributed to the growth we’ve seen across our network.

“We’ve worked tirelessly to support our 35,000 customers, recognizing their changing needs and investing in our business to support this evolution. The pandemic has fundamentally changed the shape of distribution, and in fact, the whole dynamic of the industry; how people are shopping, how people need deliveries and their delivery expectations. It has required a structural shift in our business and will continue to shape our priorities in the coming months,” he said.

In response to growing demand across its network, APC made significant investment to support delivery operations and increase capacity at its secondary hub, including sortation equipment and additional handheld devices. The business also invested in its service offerings, to meet the shift toward the business to consumer market, introducing Saturday as a full delivery day option.

Anticipating the continued demand for delivery services, APC has also planned for further investments in both its hub operations and the London delivery region.

In addition to the investments in its business operations, APC also committed to further investment in its workforce. At the start of the financial year, the business concluded its shared ownership structure, allowing all depots within The APC network to take a shareholding. The company also introduced a share option scheme, which rewards all long-standing employees with over 10 years’ service.

Corina Forman, HR director at APC, said, “This year has understandably proved challenging for many. Throughout this time we’ve worked hard to maintain job security and opportunities for all our employees, continuing to provide them with the training and skills they need to fulfil their potential. But we also understand the importance of focusing on, and providing staff with, initiatives that support their health and well-being.

“We firmly believe that investing in our people this way pays dividends in the long-term. People who feel supported and recognized within the company tend to identify strongly with our values and they develop secure social networks – these factors combine to support great service delivery.”

Smith added, “The experience, knowledge and commitment of our people is a key part of our success. Supporting and investing in our people is therefore essential to ensure they feel recognized for their important contribution to our business, and continue to see the long-term career opportunities available to them.”

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Dan originally joined Parcel and Postal Technology International in 2014 having spent the early years of his career in the recruitment industry. As online editor, he now produces daily content for the website and supports the editor with the publication of each exciting new issue. When he’s not reporting on the latest technological developments, Dan can be found on the golf course or apprehensively planning his next DIY project.

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