A leading courier franchise is preparing for its biggest Christmas period yet, investing millions in technology this year to minimise delays in the leadup to its peak period following an 80 per cent increase across its national delivery network since lockdowns.
Since the shutdowns, CouriersPlease (CP) experienced 80 per cent growth in deliveries nationally – and 150 per cent increase in Victoria. CP responded to the growth in delivery volumes by increasing its franchisee network by more than 40 per cent, their staff by 30 per cent and hired hundreds of extra drivers.
From its humble beginnings as a small metropolitan courier business in Brisbane with 30 staff, CP has grown into a major parcel delivery service and one of Australia’s largest franchise businesses.
In its 37th year, the CP network geographically covers 95 per cent of Australia and processes an average of 120,000 parcels a day.
Between March and October, deliveries across the network grew by 80 per cent nationally compared with the same period last year. Victoria experienced the strongest growth across the country, up 150 per cent during the same time.
CP responded to the growth in delivery volumes by increasing its franchisee network by more than 40 per cent, their staff by 30 per cent and hired hundreds of extra drivers.
They opened six new facilities in NSW, Queensland, WA and ACT to improve processing capabilities, and improved its technologies to minimise potential delays and enhance the delivery experience. All of this has been implemented whilst strict safety controls and social restrictions have been mandated across its operations.
Their recent expansion has also prepared its operations to cope well with demand during the current December quarter peak period.
“Like all local logistics companies, CP has been operating in unprecedented times. The situation is extremely fluid as retailers struggle to accurately predict actual volumes; however, CP has worked closely with their customers and forecast a 35 to 50 per cent growth in deliveries in the lead up to Christmas on top of existing volume growth,” the company said in a statement.
While the company experienced its strongest growth to date this year, it has not been without its challenges: CP was required to deal with border closures and social distancing restrictions, which delayed delivery times early on.
CP invested millions in technology – introducing new ones and refining existing products – to minimise delays, particularly with peak period around the corner. Specifically, there was significant investment in sortation technology designed to boost efficiency for franchisees and get parcels in the hands of consumers much quicker.
Additionally, CP rolled out its new driver app, CPGo. This technology provides optimum route planning and prioritisation and gives consumers visibility and control of the delivery experience.
In response to the challenge of reverse logistics, CP launched its self-service returns platform, Boomerang, which enables retailers and consumers the choice to return unwanted or faulty items via a contactless pick-up from home or by dropping items off at one of 1700+ drop points, through its partner Hubbed – an Australian parcel pick-up and drop-off network.
“CP has been extremely fortunate and privileged to continue operating as an essential service during the pandemic, to help millions of Australians access goods online while the retail sector on the ground was constrained by the pandemic,” Mark McGinley, CEO of CP, said.
“We were quick to implement improvements across the business when we experienced the first spike in volumes and forecasted that the growth would continue,
“We are an agile and responsive logistics partner working closely with our customers to provide them the products and service levels that they require to grow their business during these uncertain times. As a result, we feel we are in the best position we have ever been to respond to the expected exponential demand this quarter.”
Mark said due to the passion and commitment of our staff and franchisees, CP have handled the extremely high volumes of work with “great efficiency and have maintained our high service levels.”
“We are proud to have provided our franchisees and employees a safe working environment and we are delighted to have been able to support hundreds of others with financial support when other industries were forced to close down.”