Following an extremely successful first series of the Eddie Stobart: Trucks & Trailers observational documentary, Channel Five will be broadcasting a one-off ‘Christmas Special’ at 8pm on Monday 10 January 2011.
The hour-long show, entitled Eddie Stobart: Trucks, Trailers & Tinsel, gives some idea of the seasonal challenges experienced by the Eddie Stobart transport company during one of the harshest Decembers in the firm’s 40-year history – and the dedication from its drivers to ensure ‘Stobart delivered Christmas’ to UK consumers.
The show goes behind the scenes to follow the drivers who help transport 375,000 Christmas trees from the far north of Scotland, nearly 5 million toys to shops and warehouses and 200,000 turkeys during the weekend before Christmas.
It shows how the logistics company battled to keep its depots open and trucks moving through some of the worst snowfall in years. In conditions that nearly crippled the UK transport network and brought many businesses to a complete standstill, the Stobart staff fought hard to keep supermarkets and stores fully laden with festive food and drinks.
As delivery volumes increased in preparation for the Christmas period, so did the pressure to deliver and Eddie Stobart had to add 500 extra trucks and 1,000 trailers to its fleet to cope with the increased demand.
The company made 9,000 deliveries a day in the run-up to Christmas and the filming crews from production company Princess Productions were with them every step of the way to bring you an access-all-areas insight into the challenges faced.
The arctic conditions experienced by the UK last month saw some unprecedented situations for the company’s traffic planners. On one night alone they had over 100 drivers stranded in the snow and they were in constant contact with customers to advise on delays and re-schedule deliveries.
But Stobart’s industry-leading planning and vehicle tracking software revelled in these conditions. It provided live tracking of vehicles and loads giving customers unrivalled visibility of their goods.
Stobart’s multimodal expertise also shone through. The Stobart Rail low-carbon rail freight service battled through, when motorways were blocked and roads were closed, ensuring goods made it to their destination on time and in a sustainable fashion.
Last season’s opening series of Eddie Stobart: Trucks & Trailers achieved fantastic viewing figures for Five and resulted in a raft of new members joining the Stobart Members Club. Stobart’s promotional department was inundated with requests for information on the company’s fleet of 2,000 trucks as ‘Stobart Spotting’ fever spread throughout the UK and sales of its merchandise and model trucks reached record levels.
William Stobart, Chief Operating Officer of Stobart Group, said: "Operationally, the Christmas period is our most complex and busiest time of the year. Volumes of chilled produce and supermarkets goods increase dramatically and it requires expert planning and everyone in the company to work together to keep food on the shelves and toys in the shops. But this Christmas was made even more difficult with the adverse weather conditions. It’s a credit to our drivers and all the staff that we were able to keep the trucks rolling and the shelves full."