2018 news jul ioc history timeline


The evolution of the Courier sector  

Express, home delivery is a new and evolving sector, rooted in the courier sector and driven by e-retail and internet shopping. Today more than a quarter of all retail value is delivered to the home. (Dec 2017)

Nick Langdon, boss of Royal Mail Parcels commented (2017) ‘ Express delivery numbers are exploding.’ IMRG figures show over a quarter of retail value is home delivered in 2017, yet the first internet sale only took place in 1994.

The evolving courier and express sector is hardly twenty five years old, continues to explode in numbers each year and is representing a change in our time from bricks and mortar high street retail shopping to home delivery of goods.

An evolving sector of exploding numbers has been well argued during the last ten years, ‘Online retail marketing has revolutionised the product purchase behavior and service expectations of consumers’ (Fernie, Sparks, McKinnon. 2010). The e-retail market is evolving with exploding numbers, trusted data from the Interactive Media in Retail Group (IMRG) reported 27% of retail value was home-delivered in 2017.

2018 imrg online sales uk to q1

The history of the IOC

The Institute of Couriers is entangled in the very history of this new sector that sees a move of retail from bricks and mortar high street to home delivery.

‘The courier and express sector is in great need of regulation and recognition of best practice.’

Viscount, Lord Falkland, president of the IOC

The first two themes that evolved with the IOC.

    1. development of proper training for riders and drivers  -  Combination of programmes for the unemployed and employee develop and then recognised by award of NVQs and later QCF qualifications, industry demand for quals etc for higher level roles leads to work on degrees and degree apprenticeships

    2. Professionalism, sector leaders wanting a collective space leads to development of IOC heads of industry/fellows group as a forum for professionalism in the sector and to provide a place for like-minded fellows to work together for the good of the sector. The Sunday email briefings begin.

The first theme: qualifications.

The first sector NVQ qualifications arrive in the nineties championed by Carl Lomas, NVQ delivery funded by the Training Enterprise Councils, TECs, uptake for final mile bike couriers is strong, the sector looking for training in a time of growth and need for professionalism. Recognising the impact of the training for the sector, then transport minister Steve Norris presents TEC candidates who have passed their transporting goods by road NVQs at the Alexandra Palace bike show in 1996 and the National Courier Awards are born.

The second theme: a voice and platform for the evolving sector.

The National Courier Awards had begun to recognise sector excellence but had no voice in the operational activity of the sector. Strong bonds with the sector had arose through the National Motorcycle Council and various links to govt via the awards and the awards saw a run of transport Ministers. Lord Falkland on the all party two wheel group recognising there was no formal body responsible for the couriers education, alongside Steve Norris, he lays the seeds for such as a body with Carl Lomas to chair. Lomas lobbies an employer group of recognised names in the sector.

Putting the second theme into reality, The founding fellows of the IOC are announced at the National Courier Awards in 2005. In 2006 a tradition of fellows gowning began. Lord Falkland hosted an annual gowning of fellows at the house of Lords which has taken place every year since from the founding fellows in 2006. It has become a whos who in the senior roles of the sector.

The two themes have gone forward to develop aims and roles of the IOC.

Taking vision from the second theme looking at leaders beyond the immediate sector, honary fellows have been appointed each year bringing great breadth knowledge transfer into the sector.

Honorary fellows

2017 - Leon Daniels – surface transport TfL
John Holland-Kaye, CEO Heathrow airport
Mike Brown MVO commissioner TfL
Sarah Bell, Traffic commissioner
Sir Peter Hendy, chairman Network Rail
Prof Liz Barnes, Vice Chancellor  Staffordshire University
Dr Mick Jackson, former skills council CEO

Web location of www.ioc.uk.com was achieved early in the body's evolution and web and email has remained at the heart of the communication of the IOC.

2016 as Lord Falkland turned eighty it was recognised he himself had not been gowned, fellows gowned their president and in the same year began documenting both the IOC history and the sector history. In 2018 there was a move from a narrative representation of the history to a more graphic internet pictogram.

A communications landmark took place at the beginning of 2016, fellows had been receiving email, internet briefing notes on a regular working day, weekly basis. During an edit of the briefing it was mistakenly sent out on a Sunday in Jan 2016. Response from fellows on the Sunday evening was substantial, the ‘Sunday email’ has become a marker of knowledge opening the week in the sector. The ‘Sunday email’ has become a sector wide focus, with demand beyond the fellows a further extract version is sent to wider sector audience in excess of ten thousand individuals every week.

Narrative of history timeline for the IOC

1980s – Affordable transistor radios bring reliable communication to bike couriers
1990  First NVQ qualification for bike courier
1992 Steve Norris appointed transport minister
1994 First goods sold on web ‘Sting' album
1996 National Courier Awards launch at Alexandra Palace
1997 New Labour parliament
2001 David Jamieson appointed transport minister
2002 Vision for a sector institute for courier as National Courier Awards are hosted at IoD
2003 Transport minister David Jamieson is at National Courier Awards
2004 On-line retail sales value hit 25 billion pounds
2005 Founding fellows of IOC named
2006 Lord Falkland hosts IOC gowning ceremony – Minister Dr Stephen Ladyman is at National Courier Awards
2007 First-ever services to industry award goes to Jeffrey Riterband, CitySprint
2008 John Scott GLH awarded services to industry at National Courier Awards
2010 On-line retail sales hits 50 billion pounds
2011 Minister Mike Penning attends National Courier Awards
2012 Sarah Bell, Traffic Commissioner becomes honorary fellow
2013 Minister Norman Baker attend National Courier Awards.
2014 On-line retail sales hit 100 billion pounds
2014 Mike Brown TfL boss becomes honorary fellow, military distinction award launched
2015 IOC form Trailblazer apprenticeship group for new qualification standards in Express.
2016 The fellows briefing email becomes the Sunday email.
          John Holland-Kaye, Heathrow boss becomes honorary fellow
2017 Former transport minister John Hayes becomes an IOC vice president
2018 IOC builds sector code of practice following Taylor reviews of employment practice in the sector.