An Post Extends its Reach with Post Logistics
One of Ireland’s most firmly established companies is taking a step into new territory with a new logistics business. Liam O’Sullivan, Director of Mails Operations for An Post, sat down with Linkline to discuss why Post Logistics was the next step for Ireland’s mail delivery service.
Delivering 2.5 million items of mail using a road fleet of over 2,600 vehicles and 1,600 bicycles, it’s fair to say that An Post know a thing or two about how to deliver. Now, with a new logistics division called Post Logisitics, they will deliver pallet shipment and freight forwarding services for thousands of Irish SMEs.
The new service will utilise an extensive ground forwarding network for Groupage and Less Than Truckload (LTT) shipping to provide a dedicated UK and European delivery service for SMEs looking to export up to seven pallets at highly competitive rates.
To deliver the European-wide service An Post partnered with the logistics arm of Deutsche Bahn, DB Schenker, which has 720 branches in 36 European countries, and a highly extensive ground freight forwarding network.
The Post Logistics fleet is already one of the largest nationwide fleets in Ireland and is comprised of 18-foot and 28-foot rigid box trucks. With its feet firmly established in the mail delivery game, it’s no surprise to hear that Post Logistics is in this for the long haul. Liam O’Sullivan the Director of Mails Operations for An Post, spoke to us further about the how the operation came into being and where he sees it going in the future.
How did Post Logistics get started?
Basically we’re in business to do business. We have an unrivalled logistics network, a trusted brand and a proven track record in getting letters and parcels delivered domestically and internationally. We currently handle over two and a half million items every day, which is a hell of a lot of logistics experience.
But we still could not be sure that our capacity, matched by our drive to carve out new business, would be enough to attract new customers confident enough to use a new service. We started with a hunch but then developed that through research. We examined the market, spoke to prospective customers, and developed what we believe is a pretty strong business case for Post Logistics. We actually asked the market what they needed and then worked to match what we could offer. In many ways it was the customers who shaped what Post Logistics is all about.
What exactly does the Post Logistics service offer?
Post Logistics is a high-quality, dependable, standardised freight-forwarding and groupage service for SMEs exporting to the UK and Europe. An Post’s new service for exporters is based on reliability, simplicity, speed and value and it is linked to global logistics operator DB Schenker.
Are you concerned or optimistic about the effect of Brexit on Irish freight operators?
Two of the words which commonly appear with the word ‘Brexit’ are ‘uncertainty’ and ‘insecurity’. Our view is that we have to counter them with ‘certainty’ and ‘security’. Brexit was not part of our thinking when we built Post Logistics but it is part of the landscape in which we will now operate. We do believe that the level of research we invested in Post Logistics will stand us and our customers in good stead. Our customers have to contend with so much uncertainty around currency rates, markets and transit times. Post Logistics guarantees unrivalled reach, excellent value, know-how and the peace-of-mind of dealing with one of Ireland’s most trusted companies. This is the certainty and security we offer.
What advice would you give to someone starting out in logistics?
Basically the key word is ‘research’. Ask the questions, ask your prospective customers, test the waters and heed what you learn. Be armed by the confidence of what you can achieve but be guided by the information you have gleaned.
Where do you see the future of the industry going?
At this stage we have no clear idea what the future holds. We will watch Brexit unfold and see how both our country and Irish business renegotiate a new future in that post-Brexit world. What An Post will do is bring our strengths, our existing national network, logistics capacity and our commitment to world class customer service to bear in providing the tools Irish business need to compete and succeed.