70 jobs on offer as The APC continues to grow through pandemic

A parcel delivery business, which has its UK headquarters in Cannock, is continuing West Midlands recruitment in 2021 with 70 jobs immediately available.

Chief executive Jonathan Smith
Chief executive Jonathan Smith

The APC has seen demand for its APC Overnight services soar from its mainly small and medium-sized business customers during the coronavirus pandemic.

Chief executive Jonathan Smith said that another 70 people were still needed at its main base at Kingswood Lakeside, Cannock, and site at Essington.

The business currently employs 802 and has 150 trucks routes come in and out of Cannock as a nightly average.

"We are nearly a year into Covid-19. Our original growth plan for 2020 was modest but Covid changed everything.

"By and large our 35,000 customers have coped really well with many changing their methods.

"We have seen monthly increases in deliveries of up to 50 per cent and the lowest of up to 20 per cent

"Every time there has been a lockdown we see a peak.

"This year we are running at 35 to 40 per cent above pre-Covid levels," said Mr Smith,

APC Overnight national sortation centre at Blakeney Way, Kingswood Lakeside, Norton Canes, Cannock

He described the Christmas trading period as "crazy busy".

"The Government changed its decisions on tiers week by week and we saw a massive increase in traffic in London when the tiers changed there.

"It was a record month for our 26 years. New records were set on eight nights over the course of the month."

The business has seen increases in demand for deliveries of food and drink, particularly craft beer and wine, and fashion.

There has been increased delivery to homes which currently makes up 80 per cent of deliveries with the rest to businesses.

The APC is now planning for when Covid is overcome and Mr Smith says he does not think things will just return to normality.

"So many people have changed their behaviour and we think they will keep a proportion of that and demand for deliveries will be maintained," he added.

Mr Smith said that The APC itself had found that it could operate with staff working remotely and there had been benefits in reduced mileage for office staff.

A number of new staff have been taken on since the start of the pandemic and the vacancies currently include forklift drivers, warehouse sortation workers and head office posts.

The APC is also getting involved in the Government's Kickstart scheme and will be offering work placements for 18 to 24-year-olds.

Many of the 103 member businesses that make up the network are also taking on new delivery drivers because they have grown on the back of APC's growth

Mr Smith said it was too early to say what impact Brexit would have on the business.

"It has been camouflaged by Covid, but we have seen some drivers migrate away and some of our sortation team have returned to their home lands," he added.

Mr Smith said that investment would be focused on making the business quick and nimble.

"When the country recovers SMEs will be a massive part of that. I think as people lose corporate jobs they will be more inclined to do their own thing and start their own businesses.

"Our success depends on the success of the SME community especially here in the West Midlands," explained Mr Smith, who said that The APC and other logistics businesses were now seeing the industry become a leading career choice.

"It is a real growth sector with the future looking pretty good.

"We are seeing our van drivers also become sales assistants because they are the only ones directly interacting with customers on behalf of the company."

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