First 4 Logistics grows its parcel facility by over 140% as online shopping boom continues
First 4 Logistics, part of The APC network, has opened a new operational parcel depot at Beach Road, Newhaven. The opening comes following significant growth for the business, spurred by a huge surge in online shopping across Brighton and East Sussex amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
First 4 Logistics launched its business in Newhaven back in October 2018, joining over 100 depots across the UK that are part of The APC network. It has quickly grown to become one of the top growth depots within The APC network – with 30% growth on deliveries and 100% growth on collections across the region compared to 2019’s average - which it largely attributes to the region’s thriving SME community and its specialist offering of local people servicing local businesses.
Today, the business has an employed workforce of 40 and is now looking to recruit an additional three permanent staff and five temporary staff in the coming weeks, in order to meet continued demand from the region’s thriving SME community.
The new depot provides 17,000 sq. ft. of premium warehouse space, an increase of 10,000 sq. ft. compared with its previous site in Newhaven. This additional space will allow the company to expand its overnight parcel collection and delivery service offerings to local businesses across all BN and TN21 postcodes, enabling local SMES to service a national customer base. Additionally, the increased space will allow First 4 Logistics to offer storage and fulfilment facilities to support start-up businesses in the local area.
Chris Aldridge, Director at First 4 Logistics, said:
“Since the day we launched, the small business scene across Brighton has continued to thrive, with the region proving a top destination for start-up businesses in the UK. Now, at a time when SMEs across Brighton are having to adapt their businesses and accelerate their online presence, we remain committed to helping them succeed and expand, offering them the very best local service and tailored delivery solutions.
Across the region, First 4 Logistics’ top 10 customers have achieved an average of 100% growth between March to July. Among these customers, the food and drink sector has shown the most significant growth locally, as consumers have found new ways of sourcing products they depend on through the pandemic, and in turn many SMEs have quickly adapted their business models to meet demands.
One example of this is local business, Malpass Butchery, which increased its online presence in the very early days of lockdown to support changes in consumer shopping trends. Within a week the business was sending out over 200 orders a night, ensuring that through an online presence and local delivery service, it could continue to supply the local community through the pandemic with goods they rely on.
Jonathan Smith, Chief Executive at APC Overnight, said:
“Throughout this pandemic, the resilience and entrepreneurialism of SMEs has continued to shine through. The dedication and hard work of our colleagues at First 4 Logistics has helped support this resilience, ensuring local businesses always have a local team on hand, working hard in partnership with them, to support their business and customers.”
“Whilst many industries have seen considerable downturns as a result of the pandemic, the logistics industry continues to expand as consumers have found new ways of sourcing products they depend upon. The increase in online ordering has meant that businesses have had to rely heavily on carriers to get these items delivered. Supporting our SME customers by recognising their needs and by developing strong working relationships is key, as SMEs are ultimately the backbone of the country’s economy.”
With recent announcements from The Government of further tightened measures being put in place in the run up to Christmas, The APC’s focus on a national level is now turning towards peak - and preparations for what is likely to be a record-breaking period - predicting year-on-year growth of up to 20%.
For those delivery companies such as The APC, that specialise in SMEs, ensuring that these businesses have access to their communities as they prepare for another surge in online shopping, has never been more important.
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