In this article we review City Link, a major parcel delivery company. In addition to the company’s background and more recent developments, we also look at the services offered including benefits and pricing, safety considerations and tracking services.
Enter City Link Tracking Number:
Consignment tracking and tracing with proof of delivery operates twenty-four hours every day and almost in real time. Customers have full Internet-based visibility of all deliveries using their access to ‘My City Link’, which is available to account holders.
Tracking and support by online chat is also available on the Parcel2Go site for occasional senders.
The company – progress and profile
City Link was founded in 1969. Since those beginnings the company has been delivering parcels and letters for over forty-five years and has grown into one of the main delivery couriers in the United Kingdom. It currently delivers in excess of a reported 76 million parcels and letters annually, in over 50 million consignments. The company considers itself to be a market leader within its sector, offering premium service. The most recent performance figures available at the time of writing report a gross annual turnover of over £320 million from its operations within the UK, Ireland, mainland Europe and worldwide.
With over 2,500 delivery and collection vans in its fleet of vehicles, City Link operates from some sixty depots in Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Additionally, there are a further seven depots in the Irish Republic. In terms of staff, the company directly employs a proportion of its delivery drivers and also works with a number of self-employed.
In 2013 City Link updated its information technology systems, infrastructure and supplier agreements with the aim of improving efficiency and customer service. With an investment of approximately £500 million with three key I.T. suppliers, this project aimed to update communication, telephony facilities, cloud storage and data services with the overall aim of strengthening company competitiveness and performance.
At the end of 2013 the company decided to invest in 86 new double deck transport trailers, designed to maximise performance and the usage of available transport space. The first twenty of these new units came into use over the busy Christmas period that year, with the remainder following in early 2014. The trailers were specifically designed to maximise operations, improve the quality of handling, reduce loading time, improve safety and increase environmental and cost efficiency.
The company supports recycling and implements other environmentally conscious ‘green’ policies. They recently appointed a leading waste and recycling company to assist them in their target of recycling 80 per cent of company waste.
During 2014 City Link has increasingly used social media and networking such as Facebook, Google Plus, LinkedIn and Twitter to communicate more with its customers and to answer any queries or problems as quickly as possible. The company reports that it has even integrated its Twitter feed into its computerised customer management systems so that it can interact in real time.
City Link Benefits
Although it is a large company, City Link mention that they aim to offer a specialist yet individualised service to local businesses. The company values its reliability and prides itself not only on being available, but also offering a high standard of customer service.
Parcel and letter delivery services offered include same day and guaranteed next day UK delivery, along with delivery at specific times. Other specialist services are also available. For those customers with bespoke requirements, the company advertises its adaptability and customer-focussed approach in helping to find a solution.
Same day sending may be booked on line by account holders.
For those businesses that plan to send more than five parcels a week, City Link request completion of their online form in order to apply for an account. On receipt of this the company advise that a member of their local sales team will contact the business sender to discuss and agree rates based on individual distribution requirements. Services supplied include full track and trace and management reporting facilities.
In 2013 City Link commenced a partnership with Parcel2Go, a UK-based online service. The new ‘Click and send’ web-based operation is aimed at low volume and one-off customers. This meant that for the first time, occasional customers were able to use the services of City Link as a premium carrier without needing to open up an account. It also made the company’s services available to individual customers – private senders instead of businesses only.
From mid-February 2014 the company launched an innovative facility named ‘On Our Way’ which gives recipients of parcels an estimated delivery time within a two-hour window and the option to reschedule delivery if necessary. This service is free of charge and initial trials were so successful that the system was quickly extended. SMS text messages, emails and a web interface are used to provide this extra customer service feature.
Specialist services include heavy and bulky items, storage, single delivery of multiple parcels and delivery to a specific room or department in larger companies and buildings for the customer’s convenience. Some of these specialist services or heavy items may be subject to surcharges as published by the company.
Sending of certain items may be prohibited or restricted. Dangerous goods by air must be sent by road or sea instead. The company prohibits any items that are illegal, dangerous, hazardous, pornographic and those which contain unencrypted or sensitive personal information. Restricted objects typically include those of high value and such items as tobacco, large televisions, live creatures etc. as published on the company’s list and available on their website or on request.Safety
City Link’s parcel and letter handling system uses a network of cages to improve handling and to minimise possible incidences of damage or loss.
Deliveries are secure; all vehicles have GPS tracking. Receipts and deliveries are scanned and there is a central control room that monitors depots using CCTV security systems. Company sites have secure access procedures; entry and exit is controlled.
In addition to its centrally located transport hub in Coventry, City Link operates in and from the following UK locations (listed alphabetically):
- Cowes (Isle of Wight)
- London (four depots: West London, City, Heathrow and Gatwick)
- Milton Keynes
- West Bromwich