To manage the huge increase in customer orders during lockdown, Tesco has recruited more than 4,000 new drivers and 12,000 pickers since the crisis began, with new driver training aided by Mercedes-Benz Vans.
In normal times Tesco temporarily reassigns vans from its home delivery fleet to examine their suitability for continued use or driver training. However, given the unprecedented volume of online orders now requiring fulfilment, all of these vehicles are needed to serve customers.
Mercedes-Benz Vans has provided 15 Sprinters on a loan basis for a minimum of three months, and longer if needed. Allocated to assessment hubs nationwide, nine of these vehicles are new, the other six being pre-owned examples. As standard panel vans, they cannot be used to make home deliveries, but they are suitable for driver evaluation purposes – with Tesco’s focus on assessing the ability of candidates to handle a 3.5-tonne van safely and responsibly. Crucially, using non-refrigerated vans for training frees-up front-line units for the home delivery work that is Tesco.com’s priority.
Mercedes-Benz Sprinters account for approximately half of the 5,000-plus vehicles on the Tesco.com delivery fleet. This year alone the manufacturer will supply 1,105 new 314 CDI chassis cabs, which are being fitted with insulated bodies by Solomon Commercials and Thermo King refrigeration systems.
Mercedes-Benz Vans managing director Steve Bridge said, “Our commitment is always to do whatever it takes to keep our customers’ businesses moving. Tesco.com is a perfect case in point, so we were delighted to ensure they are able to evaluate new drivers who will go on to serve even more people through this most challenging of times.”
Britain’s biggest retailer recently picked 10 million items in a single day for the first time. It has also achieved a weekly total of 1.2 million online deliveries, twice the typical average prior to the Covid-19 outbreak.