It might be too early for Jingle Bells but express parcels carrier City Link’s Peak Planning team is already collating volume forecasts and putting in place the resources to ensure that this December is just another month for its Business to Business customers and also that its Business to Consumer customers get all their festive goodies delivered for the big day.
Planning for Christmas 2013 is well underway with over 200 tonnes of rock salt ordered, over 300 additional fleet collection and delivery vehicles, 130 more trailers, 32 additional forklift trucks and 1000 additional hand held scanners. And of course there is the extra staff to make sure that Christmas deliveries go without a hitch: 200 extra warehouse staff, 65 extra operations staff and 450 additional drivers.
This detailed planning includes everything – from how many grit and snow shovels will be needed to preparing summaries on how the depots will operate during peak.
Such is the scale of the operation that this year City Link is planning an extra site for London to mitigate peak volumes in three London sites and moving postcodes in three other depots into neighbouring sites so as to utilise their capacity – this should become operational towards the end of November 2013.
City Link is tackling Christmas deliveries in a systematic, organised way with a peak "control room" based at the company’s Coventry hub that will also be ready to go live during November. The control room will be manned by members of the project team throughout the peak period to ensure that any network issues are dealt with effectively and efficiently through one single point of contact. The control room will also have regional "SWAT" teams that can be sent into assist any depot that may be experiencing problems.
"Buddy" depots have been set up to provide further support for each other during the busy period such as additional driver resource and management and operations support.
Additionally a dedicated project manager has also been appointed to co-ordinate, internal peak intranet site for all information and plans for the business to access.
Louise Whitehouse, Head of Network Support & Service, City Link commented: "Planning has continued apace over the past month with all our project staff working on the detailed plans that will ensure the business delivers a successful peak. The depots have also been actively recruiting temporary drivers, warehouse and operations staff and also talking with agencies to ensure we secure enough staff for peak.
"Christmas is a busy and stressful time so City Link is doing everything in its power behind the scenes – including contingency planning – to ensure that both consumer and business deliveries arrive safely and on time."