City Link, the UK’s premium express delivery company, is pursuing its aim of offering the industry’s most secure parcel delivery network with a series of innovations for its customers within the technology sector.
Designed to protect customers’ goods, especially those of high value, from collection to delivery, the innovations include trailer trackers and security cameras on vans.
The carrier already operates an established ‘caged network’ that minimises the handling of parcels, and has the ability to remotely monitor all of its depots across the UK from a central control room in Coventry in real time.
Russell Mannix, City Link’s Head of Security, said: "Taken together these new developments should offer City Link customers a truly end to end secure delivery service.
"I am not aware of any other carrier which provides the security we can offer, with the use of trailer trackers, VanCams, and remote monitoring of our depots around the clock.
"We want to show customers within the sector that their goods are safe and secure at every step of the City Link journey."
All of City Link’s curtain-sided fleet is to be fitted with a tracking device that will automatically alert City Link’s central control room if a trailer deviates from its route or makes an unscheduled stop.
An unique feature of the tracker is that it is fitted to the trailer containing customers’ consignments, rather than to the tractor unit, acting as considerable deterrent to theft.
An alarm will also sound at City Link’s central control room if anyone tampers with the electronically-sealed bonding that secures the curtainsiders to a trailer without permission.
"Customers think the trailer tracker is absolutely fantastic," said Mr Mannix. "The key for them is that we track the trailer, not the tractor. We will know straightaway if one of our trailers goes off its pre-planned route.
"Furthermore our drivers have instructions not to stop between collection and delivery. If there is an emergency, they have to notify our control room."
A trial last year proved so successful that City Link is rolling out trailer trackers across its entire fleet of curtainsiders.
City Link is also introducing more security at the final stages of a parcel’s journey by fitting CCTv cameras that can be remotely monitored onto its delivery vans.
Each van will have four cameras, two focused on the van doors, one internally in the freight hold area and one in the ‘driver’s cab’, all continuously monitoring collection and delivery activity.
"VanCam is the perfect solution," said Mr Mannix. "Customers like it and the initial trials were very successful."
The cameras automatically record which parcels are loaded onto a van, what happens inside and around the van and which parcels are unloaded. Depending on where the van is parked, they can often record the actual moment of delivery, capturing images of a driver at a consignee’s front door or premises.
"We want to provide as much accountability as we can to our customers and the VanCam will certainly help us do that," said Mr Mannix.
"It is also a great deterrent against attacks on drivers and vehicles."
City Link’s ‘caged network’ reduces the chances of a parcel going astray by minimising the amount of handling . Parcels are usually pre-sorted by postcode, at customers’ premises or local City Link depot, into steel cages. Once at one of the Hubs, the cages are unloaded from incoming trailers and taken by forklift truck directly to the appropriate outgoing trailer for their final destination.