Coronavirus Updates

March 2020


Find all the latest company updates regarding the current Coronavirus pandemic here.

Lastest Update - 01/05/2020

 

Dear Customer,

I wanted to give you a further update on our work to champion ‘key workers’ in the delivery and logistics sector.

On the 7th April 2020 I wrote a letter to the Secretary of State at BEIS which highlighted the important work of every player in the UK household delivery supply chain during this pandemic and asking him to ensure that the Government continues to support everyone in the sector during this time.

I am pleased to say that I received this week a very positive reply (click here to view) from Paul Scully MP Minister for Small Business, Consumers & Labour Markets and Minister for London. Within the letter he stated; “The Government recognises the important role that delivery workers play in serving customers and supporting businesses across the UK. Their willingness to maintain deliveries during a time of increased social isolation and when many people cannot leave their homes is vital.” He also went to say, “It is clear that the UK’s delivery sector is having a real impact on the lives of individuals as well as charities and businesses. The Government appreciates the work and efforts of all delivery workers in the coronavirus response and will continue to do what it can to support all companies in the sector.”

This is really good news and demonstrates that the government does acknowledge what we are doing to help you our customers meet the needs of consumers during what is a very challenging time. Ultimately this support will help maintain the continuity of your delivery supply chain giving you confidence in our stability which will help you grow as a business.

 

Kind Regards,

Nick Wells

CEO

Latest Update - 28/04/2020

 

Please find all international delivery updates in regards to COVID-19 on this page here. 

Latest update - 14/04/2020 12 pm 

 

Dear Customer,

We are now in our fourth week since ‘lockdown’ was announced for the UK and as a business, we are continuing to deliver a high-quality service through strong customer relationships and the ongoing commitment with a ‘can do attitude’ of Whistl employees.

We have seen a continued increase in packet and parcels volumes and fulfilment requirements as a result of people increasingly buying online whether it is essentials or ways to keep themselves and their families busy at home. 

However, volumes in both mail and door drop have reduced primarily due to the reduction in advertising and marketing spend but also in overall activity with mailings being postponed or cancelled.

As a business we continue to operate, collecting from our customers and handing over to our carrier partners and Royal Mail, but with challenges on some SLA’s in certain parts of the country.

Whistl is and remains open for business across all our services and we thank you our customers for continuing to work with us to help continue to deliver an uninterrupted service and meet the needs of both your and our businesses.

 

A message from our CEO, Nick Wells - 06/04/2020

 

 

Dear Customer,

I just wanted to thank you for all the support and feedback you have provided to the team here in terms of the continuity and quality service we are providing to enable your business to continue to be able to deliver for your customers.

As you know, ‘Key worker’ status applies to many within the country who are providing essential services from the NHS and emergency services through to supermarkets.. We feel it is important that the Government should also acknowledge the role of those in the delivery and logistics sector and recognise their vital contribution.

To highlight the work we are all doing I have done the following:

Written a letter to the Secretary of State at BEIS which highlights the important work of every player in the UK household delivery supply chain during this pandemic and is asking him to ensure that the Government continues to support everyone in the sector during this time. (click here to view the letter).

Shared with Ofcom some of the evidence many of you have provided of the positive role we are both playing in keeping deliveries moving and meeting the core needs of consumers.

Here are just a few of the examples of feedback we have received (click here to view more customer comments).

“Postal donations are a lifeline to charities at this moment in time and it is great to see that the mail system is working just fine. Could you please feed this back to the team at Whistl as it really does make a difference as we need to maintain our donations so that we can continue to support people living with Cancer.”

Macmillan Cancer Support

“The service has been really helping our customers in need. Particularly all of the mums and dads who have kids at home. The packages the team deliver are helping to educate the nation and it’s making a big difference too many families’ lives. Not all hero’s wear capes!"

Blackwell's

“SharkNinja sales have clearly been affected by Covid-19 and, while we’ve seen a small increase in ecommerce sales, we are still facing a very challenging retail environment. Like most UK businesses, we are having to be prudent with expenditures and are focusing on sustaining our operations. We are sustaining our business thanks to the work and dedication of Whistl employees and other third parties employees. We truly appreciate your team has provided a life line to our business………”

Shark|Ninja

 

We are also sharing your feedback with the rest of the team here so everyone understands how much they are valued not just from the Whistl leadership team but also you our customers.

Kind regards

Nick Wells
CEO

 

 

A message from our CEO, Nick Wells - 01/04/2020 

Dear Customer,

I just wanted to update you on how Whistl is operating as a business during this difficult time to meet the needs of you our customers.

We continue to see significant increases in Tracked parcels volumes as more people are ordering online as they cannot shop in the normal way and we are working daily with our carrier partners to inject these into their respective networks as quickly as possible.

All of our depots and fulfilment sites are open and operational. Although not fully staffed we are able to process items or fulfil orders with limited delays.

The safety and wellbeing of our employees and our customers is paramount and we continue to have this as our priority. We have issued detailed guidance to our operational teams in ‘how to stay safe at work’ from loading and unloading, processing and to what precautions to take when in communal rest areas. Ensuring at all times, where practically possible, that the 2 metre social distancing rules are applied. Our transport teams are also applying this guidance minimising interaction with customers without having any significant impact on collections.

Our support teams are predominantly working from home but are in constant contact with colleagues, working together to handle any queries or questions, you our customers, may have. We have received positive feedback from our customers which has been fantastic and greatly appreciated. This feedback really does demonstrate the team effort that everyone is making across the Whistl Group to ensure we continue to deliver to a high level of service despite these difficult times and we really do appreciate the thanks.

We acknowledge that this may not be the experience of all of our customers. We are working hard with those of you who have had some issues to find alternative collection/delivery solutions to meet your needs and we do thank you for this cooperation and flexibility. We are also in daily contact with Royal Mail and all our carrier partners liaising with them on delivery slots, timings and forecasting volumes, which is challenging in these times, in order to maintain the best level of service possible.

Delivery management of parcels and letters, fulfilment of online orders and management of customer services are all important services at this time and key for many people who are unable to leave their homes. We will continue to put every effort into delivering the most comprehensive service we can but also ensuring we follow government and public health authority guidance.

Kind regards

Nick Wells

CEO

A message from our CEO, Nick Wells - 24/03/2020 

Dear Customer,

Due to the unprecedented times we find ourselves in I wanted to let you know the actions that we have taken to ensure the well-being of our employees and you our customers, in response to the growing threat from Coronavirus.

I wanted to reassure you that we have in place a business continuity plan that outlines specific steps the Whistl Group has and continues to take, to safeguard employees’ and our customers’ health and well-being. At the same time also ensuring that we have the ability to maintain fundamental operations and continue providing essential services to you our customers.

As you know our core business is part of the postal sector and the Government has attributed “Key worker status” to the postal sector and therefore to the Whistl Group. So in essence we are vital to keeping the communication flow running throughout the UK during these exceptional and challenging times.

We have implemented and are continually updating our business continuity plans in line with the evolving guidance from Public Health England and the Government.

The plans that we have in place are committed to ensuring that our service to you remains as uninterrupted as possible and have taken the following measures:

  • Provision of additional resource to cover processing, collections and handover
  • Working closely with Royal Mail to help facilitate and achieve consistent handover at IMC’s
  • Working with our parcel carrier partners to provide alternative solutions to reduce any impact on deliveries
  • Offering customers that our drivers will load their vehicles unaided to reduce contact
  • Asking customers who use our small van collection service to leave collections in a safe place, near the entrance of your building to avoid too much interaction between our drivers and your staff.
  • Frequent and consistent customer communications

Whistl is a people business and we are doing everything we can to ensure that our employees operate to the best of their ability in a safe and supportive environment.

We have put in place a number of measures to ensure the welfare of our employees which include.

  • Ability to work from home if their role is able to do so
  • Daily communication to all staff on any changes.
  • Regular calls to staff working from home to check on their wellbeing.
  • Social distancing in all sites where it is necessary for employee to be present on site
  • Letters to support employee’s status as key workers.

Our commitment to you is that we will work with you to ensure that we do everything we can to help you to operate during these current extreme circumstances.

Please do not hesitate to speak to your account manager if you have any questions and we will keep you up to date on developments that may affect how we work with you during the Covid-19 crisis.

Thank you for your continued support of the Whistl Group and we wish you and your family’s good health and stay safe.  

Kind regards

Nick Wells

CEO


 

Latest update - 20/03/2020 11:54 

Key Workers – government list released

Yesterday the government released the list of key workers in critical sectors who will be prioritised for education provision if required. The list included those in postal services and deliveries which is reassuring for you our customers and for Whistl as this will help support our business continuity plans. It will also help to support the continued communication requirements of your business.

For any inbound and outbound international updates please visit this page here.

Latest update - 19/03/2020 14:19

As you are aware it is a rapidly developing situation with Coronavirus and here at Whistl we wanted to update you on the current preparations and decisions we are making. 

Firstly, we want to reassure you that although the current situation is challenging and uncertain for everyone, we are taking it very seriously and taking all necessary steps to protect the continuity of service that we provide.

What have we done at Whistl

Here at Whistl we always strive to provide the best possible service to you our customers. Under the current circumstances we have reviewed what we do and have put plans and processes in place to further protect our colleagues and our business, ensuring we continue to deliver a good and robust service for you.

Continuity of Service

  • All our depots remain open and we are processing as normal with all the advised precautionary steps being taken.
  • We are working with all our suppliers to prepare for a potential drop in staffing levels to ensure continuity of service
  • All our preferred cleaning suppliers have confirmed they have good levels of stock and we have products available in all our sites to maintain good levels of hygiene. We have also put preparations in place for potential deep cleaning should the need arise following government guidelines

Protecting our workforce 

  • We continue to issue regular/daily communications to all our internal and front-line colleagues based on the latest government guidelines. We have limited all non-essential travel with immediate effect and have instructed all face to face meetings to be switched to Skype or alternative ways of holding group discussions.
  • Where a role allows we are encouraging our colleagues to work from home. However, all offices are being kept open to ensure those that need access to office facilities are able to do so.
  • Anyone who is displaying symptoms or lives with someone displaying symptoms, however mild, are now self-isolating in line with government guidance.

At Whistl we are keen to keep you updated on Whistl’s progress as the crisis develops and our plans evolve.  Our commitment to you is that we will provide regular updates on our website to ensure that you are kept informed of the steps we are taking to protect our service to you. In addition, we will communicate via email or your Account Manager on changes that impact on specific elements of our service or are specific to you as individual customers.

We will continue to keep you updated on what we are doing, but if you have any queries please contact your Account Director.
 

Latest update - 18/03/2020 12:00

In these extraordinary and challenging times, and as organisations across the world respond to the outbreak of the Coronavirus, we want to update you on what Whistl is doing to continue to deliver our services to support you.

The health and safety of our team has always been our top priority, so as of today, all of our customer service, sales and back office teams will be working remotely. We will continue to provide the full professional support our customers expect, and at this stage there will be no change in service.

We are making every effort to push your items through our network and into our Tracked carrier partners and Royal Mail, as quickly as possible and there is currently no risk to our service levels. We have Business Continuity plans in place to mitigate any impact to our network and we will continually review these as the situation develops.

Handover & Delivery

Tracked Domestic & International items: We do not envisage any issues with handover to our Tracked Domestic and International carrier partners.

UK Deliveries 

Domestic Carriers are not experiencing any delays in delivering parcels into areas within the UK.

International Deliveries 

International Carriers are currently experiencing delays with a number of countries cancelling flights between Europe and the rest of the World. Countries within the EU are shutting borders and some are or have gone into lockdown. This means that almost all international mail and parcels will be delayed regardless of country of destination as many pass through EU borders. Please click here for a detailed update on mail and goods shipped from the UK to EU and ROW destinations.

Mail, Part Tracked and Untracked items: Whistl have successfully been able to handover mail to all of the 36 Royal Mail Inward Mail Centres (IMC’s) so far.

Collections

Currently, no collections have been impacted.

We are in close communication with our transport and operations teams to provide you with an update on collections affected as soon as we know.

Our Customer Service team will continue to work with you to re-arrange or adjust your collection requirements should your business need to make the necessary changes to production.

In preparation for continued changes, we have taken the following actions to mitigate any impact on our customers. They include:

Provision of additional resource to cover collections and handover
Working closely with Royal Mail to help facilitate and achieve 100% handover at IMC’s
Putting in place a contingency plan for additional/alternative consumables to be supplied to customers.

If you wish to make any changes to your normal collection due to the current conditions please contact your Internal Account Executive in the Customer Service Team.

 

Please be rest assured of our commitment of providing you with the best possible service through these very challenging times.

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