One of the UK’s largest independent parcel firms has announced that it is to accelerate plans to increase the size of its Irish operations.
CAE Delivers has described how it is in the process of recruiting 80 additional drivers across the Republic of Ireland.
Managing Director Jamie Knapper has explained that the firm is also preparing to make a further series of senior management appointments in order to maintain service standards following a dramatic rise in business over the last 12 months.
He added that CAE Delivers - the leading specialist in UK-to-Ireland shipments - had exceeded its own forecast for the volume of consignments carried in the run-up to Christmas as a result of launching a faster and more direct Irish service earlier this year.
“What we have seen fully justifies our investment in personnel, infrastructure and services over the last 18 months or so. It also underlines how important a marketplace Ireland has become for UK-based consumer brands, in particular.
“We have tried to anticipate developments rather than risk impacting on our ability to service our growing roster of clients by simply reacting to changing circumstances.
“That approach enabled us to cope with a doubling in parcel volumes compared to the previous pre-Christmas peak.
“Due to that performance, we feel that it’s only prudent to bring forward the next stage of our planned expansion.
“Given that we are dealing with so many online orders placed with UK retailers by consumers not only in the large cities but right across Ireland, we are looking to take on 80 drivers, especially those experienced in handling small, multi-drop deliveries which are so typical of e-commerce.
“This latest move is a statement of our intent to develop our operations further in order to reinforce our ability to ability to service so many leading brands.
“We regard drivers as the public face of our business and endeavour to reward them appropriately for the very important job which they do. We also provide the opportunities for career development to retain the very best talent.”
Mr Knapper mentioned that CAE Deliver’s Head of UK Operations, Clint Rylance, had spent 25 years with the company after joining as a delivery driver.
In November, CAE Delivers revealed that it had established a new and dedicated 12-strong Customer Services team to underpin delivery operations.
It comprises client liaison staff at the firm’s Manchester headquarters and “flexible, fast-response” teams at its Irish depots to provide more immediate contact with consumers.
The unit is headed by Julie Hilton, who joins after almost a decade as a senior manager with FedEx UK and earlier spells with CityLink and Amtrak.
Mrs Hilton is the latest senior hire for CAE Delivers, following the appointments of Dean Lycett as Group Business Development Director, National Sales Manager Tim Quinn and IT Director Paul Cullen.
Mr Knapper outlined how CAE Delivers had taken on an additional 20 drivers in Dublin and Belfast during the last year, taking the total employed between the two sites to more than 70.
He said that the firm had been “inundated” with applications from others wanting to be part of its success.
“Our strategy is all about growing in a sustainable fashion so as to support our clients as well as we possibly can.
“That requires appointing capable individuals at all levels of the business and we expect to announce other significant hires in the very near future.”