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NCA 2021 - Corporate awards

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For the twenty-fifth year of the National Courier Awards, the Institute of Couriers is pleased to recognise distinction in the following categories: Individuals working Together, COVID Safety & Wellbeing (David Jamieson Award), Teams, Corporate Inspiration, Clean Air and Step Change.

Awards before dinner were presented by DEFRA minister Jo Churchill MP.

Awards after dinner were presented by TfL Commissioner Andy Byford.


Individuals working together

Chris Shuttleworth & Wayne Foster – Smiths News - Blood donation thanks from Matt Hancock


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IOC CEO Tracey Worth comments

Two people working together, giving more than sum of the parts is exemplary. Our sector is proud of Chris and Wayne for their contribution



Having had COVID they gave something back. Two take time out from delivering the nightly media miracle of Smiths News and get thanks from Matt Hancock.

Jon Bunting comments, ‘We are so proud to share with the IOC that two of our colleagues at Smiths News donated their blood plasma to COVID-19 patients, in an effort to give back to the NHS. Both Chris Shuttleworth and Wayne Foster contracted COVID-19 early last year and were supported by the NHS, recovered they chose to give back with their own blood. They both received an amazing letter from Matt Hancock himself, thanking them for their donations that are helping to treat patients with COVID-19!


Nigel and Angela Salt – Yodel Wrexham - showcase ‘flexibility of our sector’


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IOC Chairman Carl Lomas commeents

A magic team of Mr & Mrs that just shows our sector has flexible working options that when working together brings better results



Ambassadors - Yodel husband and wife team – 14 years of express

Showcasing jobs in our sector to be a flexible option. Nigel and Angela Salt, a husband and wife team based at the Yodel Wrexham depot.
After looking for a job where they could work together, Nigel and Angela have since built a career by delivering customer promises for the past 14 years. Angela said, "We love the customer interaction and that each day is different. Being a courier with Yodel is rewarding and challenging, and offers Nigel and myself flexibility to work together when and where we can".


COVID Safety & Wellbeing (David Jamieson Award)

These awards are inspired by our IOC Vice President, former Transport minister, former police commissioner, David Jamieson.


Jacqui O’Donovan - Road Safety & COVID Well-being


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IOC President Lord Falkland commented

Jacqui is an inspirational leader for her initatives that assist workers in our sector and for road safety



Jacqueline O’Donovan is a true inspiration and an undisputed leader and ‘disruptor’ in the male-dominated sector, multi-award winning, she is an influential trailblazer - passionately advocating for road-safety, environment and best-practice, she has championed improved standards, resulting in a cleaner, safer and more responsible sector. During the pandemic, Jacqueline has prioritised continuously contacting all her staff over the past 17 months, ensuring their anxiety levels were managed.

Her passion, drive and determination not to settle for anything short of excellence has earned Jacqueline immense respect. She is perceived as a pioneer within the industry and beyond through her work to bring road safety to the top of the agenda for all road-users, tirelessly highlighting the need for continuous advances in road safety and reduction of emissions. Collaborating with industry bodies, Mayor’s Offices and community-groups, Jacqueline has helped fundamentally change the face of transport policy in the UK and the EU. Jacqueline played a pivotal role working with HGV manufacturers to redesign better lorry-cabs, resulting in safer direct-vision designs to improve road-safety for all.

A key visionary element of her CSR-led training strategy is the compulsory initiative for her HGV drivers to go out cycling with instructors regularly to experience the challenges cyclists face.

O'Donovan’s policies prioritises staff mental-health as well as physical wellbeing, improving the industry and championing initiatives for other companies to follow. She herself is a qualified trainer and has written two accredited Driver CPC training courses that are delivered to others, (including competitors) to help improve safety and share knowledge in the sector.

Leading by example, Jacqueline herself is one of only two women in the world to achieve the first-ever Demolition Management Master’s degree, which was developed and launched at the University of Wolverhampton.



Jon Bunting – Smiths News – A safety net - COVID Well-being while delivering the nightly media miracle


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IOC President Lord Falkland commented

Contibution to others wellbeing and safety is paramount and Jon has exemplified this action



CEO of Smiths News, IOC fellow, Jonathan Bunting had a chance encounter with a homeless person one evening and after buying him a sandwich and a hot drink and talking with him about how he became homeless, he knew he wanted to do more to help. So, he started the charity Pass It On with a team of volunteers and they began donating essential items to the homeless. Now a registered Charity, the Pass It On team work hard to provide tangible benefits to homeless and vulnerable people, primarily in the coldest months of the year.

Jon Bunting, Smiths News CEO and the Executive board then looked internally at how the business would protect colleagues who fell into hardship due to COVID-19. A safety net was introduced.
This sensitive objective was to provide rapid, direct and non-bureaucratic support to colleagues and their families who were experiencing particular hardship as a result of the C-19 pandemic.
The Government's employment support measures are helping us to keep colleagues employed and pay salaries via furlough, but we recognise that many families and individuals will be facing difficulties and challenging circumstances.


Colleagues with a partner who can’t now work and are self-employed or unsupported by their employer, reducing household income

Those who are self-isolating to protect a family member and therefore only receiving sick pay
Colleagues with partners who are working in the NHS or other key roles and may be struggling with increased childcare and other related costs.

Even where colleagues are receiving full or furlough pay, there may be unexpected or usual events that require financial support, with the normal channels of support not being available.
An example,

Family and childcare costs. Due to the unique situation created by the C-19 outbreak, colleagues and their partners may need help to fund additional care for children or vulnerable relatives.

A colleague or family member dies leaving the family struggling to pay the total cost of the funeral.


Team awards

Louise Bloomfield, Wellingborough


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Paul Wildman, Operations manager, FedEx Wellingborough accepts the team award on behalf of Louise Bloomfield from Rt. Hon. Jo Churchill MP

IOC Chairman Carl Lomas commented

Louise's team proved that under duress and with zero error rate expected, as a team they delivered until the last



FedEx - A team delivery against availability.

Louise has been instrumental in participating and promoting the Women’s Inclusive Network (WIN) in the station and has encouraged female members of staff to have a greater understanding and to participate themselves. And the team.

Louise Bloomfield, Wellingborough, went above and beyond her normal duties to support her team in ensuring she fully understood the Purple ‘Pick-up and Delivery’ PUD processes by changing shifts, visiting other depot stations and ensuring she had plenty of knowledge to pass on to her direct reports. With incidents where drivers were reluctant to change, Louise ensured that they had the full support to embrace the change.

The greatest contribution Louise has made in the last year has been taking over a new team, which did not come without challenges. Louise scheduled personal 1-2-1 sessions with the team, created a positive working atmosphere while providing a clear understanding and direction on what the team should be focussing on. The team have seen an increase in one of our key service priorities with an improvement in ‘Delivery against available’ from 94 to 97%. Louise is fully focused on delivering the Purple Promise and making every customer experience outstanding and has now expanded her network to include a wider team.

As a result of the improvement she has created a more positive team around her. With two new supervisors, Louise has been instrumental in their training and progression and ensured that we are now one team and all working to the same goal, providing an excellent service to the customer.

Another great asset is that Louise is now able to cover for the Operations Manager in absence and has a greater understanding of planning and costs.


Mark Broad's Team - Whistl, Belfast


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Dave Twiddle receives the Team award on behalf of Mark Broad's team at Whistl, Belfast from Rt. Hon. Jo Churchill MP

IOC CEO Tracey Worth comments

the Whistl team went over and above the call of duty to hand-deliver A-level results from a failed collection.



Until the last letter was delivered -  ‘A-level results’.

In August 2020 one of our college collection points was left unattended and seemingly had no mail to collect on the day in question.

They in fact had A-Level exam results which had to be delivered the next day. The next morning we were informed of the error and acted quickly to resolve the situation for the customer, as well as the students anxiously waiting on results.

Some of the drivers carried out deliveries whilst on their routes and some operational staff came in early and took their own cars to ensure the job was completed, even working well over their normal hours which was an amazing effort by all.

Mileage combined for this is unknown at this stage but the whole of Northern Ireland was covered, even near the border and as far away as Derry (90 miles away). These were obviously going to residential address, some off the beaten track nor on sat nav’s, but everyone stayed until the last letter was delivered.

The college in question was beyond thankful that we acted responsively to mitigate the situation, we as a team were happy that we could deliver in person and see some of the students open their results to their joy.

The following staff went over and above the call of duty to hand-deliver A-level results from a failed collection.

Michael Kane, Phil Brown, Jim Magee, David Blakeley, Paul Grimes, Sammy Spence, Neil Anderson, Stuart Costello and David Elwood.



Corporate Inspiration awards


DPD and ASOS - ReLove campaign


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IOC CEO Tracey Worth comments

Providing free of charge collection, sortation and delivery, all in aid of charity is inspirational action for others to follow, Well done



DPD & ASOS launched during lockdown an initiative to collect pre-loved clothing and deliver it to charities free of charge ‘Don’t throw it away – Throw it our way’

ReLove: New circular economy initiative enables customers to quickly and easily donate clothing to Scope, Marie Curie, British Heart Foundation, British Red Cross or The Children's Society. DPD, and ASOS, this week announce a new circular economy initiative that will see DPD collect pre-loved clothing donations from ASOS customers' doorsteps and deliver them to one of five leading UK charities, free of charge. DPD's ReLove service will launched 15th April to coincide with charity shops reopening in England and Wales. From that date, ASOS customers expecting a DPD delivery will be able to use the YourDPD app to select the option to donate pre-loved clothing to one of five charities: Scope, Marie Curie, British Heart Foundation, British Red Cross or The Children's Society.

DPD will then collect the pre-loved consignment at the same time as making the ASOS delivery. Customers will be encouraged to re-use DPD or ASOS packaging and can either hand the package to their DPD driver or leave it for collection in their ‘safe place'. The driver will check the packaging and take it back to the depot, where DPD will label it and deliver it to the selected charity, who can then sell it to raise money for their cause. Donating garments to charity is currently one of the more responsible ways that consumers can dispose of pre-loved clothing in the UK, as charities sort through products to resell those that are ready for a second home and recycle any that aren't fit for resale. With no infrastructure or systems in place in the UK for households to recycle textiles themselves, an estimated 350,000 tonnes of clothing is sent to landfill each year in the UK, potentially worth around £140m. The ReLove initiative will support both customers and charities in diverting clothing from landfill in a simple and convenient way.

Olly Craughan, DPD's Head of CSR commented, "DPD leads the way on sustainability in the delivery space and I'm incredibly proud of the team for getting behind initiatives like this. We are continuing to invest in the decarbonisation of our fleet, but the challenge is about much more than just buying electric vehicles. We want to go a lot further. It is about pushing ourselves to look at every aspect of our operation to find the green alternative and the smarter way of doing things. "ReLove is another way for us to help cut carbon emissions, reduce waste and raise money for charities at the same time. It is also great to team up with ASOS on another really smart solution for their customers. We're already delivering to these addresses, so it means one less trip and less miles travelled overall. The DPD app now has over 9 million users, and it has become a really powerful tool for us. It plays a key role in helping us deliver a fantastic service for customers and it is driving innovation like this."

Patrik Silén, Chief Strategy Officer at ASOS said: "Our focus has always been on providing our customers with an outstanding retail experience, and a key element of that is giving them opportunities to shop with us more responsibly. We know that our customers are very active in donating their pre-loved clothing and that they see it as a great way of keeping products in use and out of landfill, so partnering with DPD on the ReLove initiative is a natural fit for us. We're proud to be joining forces with the team to drive sustainable solutions and look forward to seeing our customers' response over the coming weeks."


Ocado  - a Friday fire at Erith caused by collision of three bots - Team was operational again by Monday


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IOC Chairman Carl Lomas comments

An amazing team effort that saw Herculean efforts to get the depot back in action, thinking only of the customer. Proud of the Erith Ocado team



The fire at our Erith CFC last Friday (16th July) was caused by the collision of three bots on the grid. The correct protocols were successfully implemented including the evacuation of the building, the activation of the sprinkler system, and the presence of the London Fire Brigade. No one was injured. The damage was limited to a small section of less than 1% of the grid having been successfully contained by our fire attenuation measures, many of which were implemented following our thorough fire safety review in 2019.

Monday (19th July) The CFC is in good condition and is now operational with colleagues delivering customer orders from our Service Delivery spoke in Erith from 5am this morning. Bots are already at work on the grid and we are planning to see the first orders fulfilled in the Erith CFC going out this week. While the incident has caused some short term disruption to operations, the vast majority of customer orders are being fulfilled in other parts of the Ocado network and the focus now is for us to work hard to restore normal service at Erith as soon as possible. We thank customers whose orders are affected for their patience.
‘We would like to also thank the London Fire Brigade and all the other emergency services for their hard work and professionalism in dealing with this incident.’




Clean Air awards

Absolutely London - Zero-emission Eco-hub in WC1

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IOC Chairman comments

Our sector embraces clean air initiatives and Absolutely have created the ultimate eco-hub in the City of London.



Absolutely Couriers, Central London. They have been instrumental in supporting TfL’s LoCITY/Clean Air campaign, They are supporting a net zero vision vision with a passion, and focus, in adopting zero emission vehicles resulting in the largest Electric Cargo Bike fleet across London. They have created a dedicated cargo bike hub in WC1.

If this wasn’t enough, in 2020 they also migrated all company cars to Electric and in January 2021 invested in their fourth London location with a first zero emission ‘Eco Hub’ in WC1. They wanted to operate with a pure electric fleet from this location to demonstrate ongoing commitment to making the world a cleaner, and safer place, to live and work. The feedback from clients and colleagues has been exceptional

Working in partnership with CEVA Logistics, Livetts, NHS Trust and Guys & St Thomas’ Hospital, Absolutely successfully collected medical supplies from Butlers Wharf for onward delivery, via an electric Cargo Bike to the hospital. A truly pivotal time to demonstrate the power of water and zero emission vehicles and, importantly, a desire to deliver sustainable change to make things happen!

Absolutely are continuing their focus on Clean Air with further initiatives including electric mopeds, electric vans, increased pedal power circuits and more locations to reduce stem mileage with a passion and dedication towards our goal of being a net zero courier by 2030.



Hermes - double gas truck numbers for clean air linehaul

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IOC CEO Tracey Worth comments

Alternative fuels are changing our success to deliver responsibly. Hermes have taken this to a new level with their fleet of gas trucks.



Hermes CNG truck fleet becomes largest in the UK parcel sector

Doubling the gas fleet for clean air in trunking linehaul. Hermes UK added a further 80 units to its fleet of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) fuelled vehicles this year in a move to further reduce emissions. This brings the total to 160 – around 50% of the company’s core hub tractor fleet. Driven by its commitment to reducing climate, Hermes’ use of alternative fuels makes it the largest UK parcel company fleet to employ CNG vehicles, bettered only by retailer John Lewis and Partners.

Each of the new model IVECO S-WAY units being introduced reduces CO2 emissions by over 80% when compared to a Euro 6 diesel vehicle. This is a reduction of 150 tons of CO2 per vehicle and over 24,000 tons of CO2 across the 160 CNG vehicle fleet annually. Other benefits of the CNG vehicles include huge reductions in air pollution impact, such as 70% less NOX, 99% less particulate matter, 90% less NMHC and 88% less methane.

This follows Hermes’ recent announcement that it is one of the first companies to trial the IVECO Eurocargo, a new 12 tonne vehicle, which also runs on CNG.

Hermes currently uses an electric vehicle fleet for its Central London routes, so if the trial is successful the company will be able to have an alternative fuels vehicle option for all of its journeys, something that is in high demand from Hermes’ retail clients.

David Landy, Head of Fleet at Hermes, ‘Sustainability is a huge focus for us as we recognise our responsibility as one of the UK’s largest consumer delivery companies. We are committed to putting sustainability at the heart of every aspect of our business, through innovative products and processes. As such we were an early adopter of CNG as an alternative fuel and are continuing to increase its presence in our fleet, to drive down emissions. ‘



Tuffnells and Don-Bur – Aero trailers for clean air

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IOC Chairman Carl Lomas comments

Tuffnells' commitment to make positive change is the suceess of this partnership, making every part of the delivery responsible for clean air success



An innovative “urban Mini-Wedge” trailer in an industry first

Getting aero in urban locations. Tuffnells has partnered with Don-Bur to develop a new, innovative easy-access “Mini-Wedge” trailer for urban use, providing enhanced collection and delivery services for customers. The new concept will increase efficiency by providing higher manoeuvrability in areas usually served by Tuffnells’ larger 18-tonne vehicles, and through maximising the utilisation of its tractor units for daytime distribution, reducing reliance on 18-tonne rigid chassis vehicles that can then be deployed on other customer routes. Supplied via TIP Trailer Services, the first 9m long single axle concept trailer has just rolled out of the Don-Bur factory and is destined for a brief trial to ensure the new equipment dovetails perfectly with existing delivery and collection operations around Tuffnells’ 33 nationwide depots.

Its unusual sloping “wedge” shape is tailored to allow easy access from ground level at the rear and also incorporates side access double folding doors and fold-down ladders for easy side loading and kerbside deliveries. The side door design also allows pallets to be loaded, if needed, through the side when making customer collections. Being an urban trailer with a short kingpin position and set back axle, it has excellent manoeuvrability, offering maximum flexibility for a multitude of uses within the last mile delivery and collection sector.

Despite its small stature, the new “Mini-Wedge” trailer design can carry an impressive 13,000kgs payload; far more than could be afforded by a mid-weight rigid vehicle. It also comes fitted with a host of safety features, such as additional lighting and specialised load restraint to cater for irregular dimension and weight (IDW) parcels and diminishing loads.

Tuffnells Services Director, Simon Parsons comments, “Working on this joint project with Don-Bur and TIP has been a privilege. We have taken a collaborative approach, combining design and engineering skills with our industry knowledge to deliver a practical, common-sense solution. The ‘Mini-Wedge’ will be of great benefit to our customers.” Tuffnells Tuffnells is the leading UK-based B2B carrier of items of irregular dimension and weight (IDW). Our unique directional trunking model provides ultra-efficient collection and delivery services for customers across the UK. From bicycles to tyres, wheel barrows to curtain poles, packaging to flat pack furniture - we handle the items other carriers can’t. Tuffnells is based in Sheffield, with a 100+ year heritage in the city.


Step Change award

Yodel Direct - Store to Store and Store to Door Send services.

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IOC Chairman Carl Lomas comments

Step change for the sector leads for others to follow. Inspiring new ways to deliver is innovative and step change for the industry norms



Jenny Harden & Emma Drever explain how they made it happen.

Yodel recently launched their Store to Store and Store to Door Send services, Yodel Direct. Leading the project was Technical Delivery Manager, Jenny Harden, and Customer Experience Manager, Emma Drever who discuss the challenges & rewards of implementing the new services, the level of detail involved, and the level of stakeholders involvement to make it all happen

“When we began the process of relaunching Yodel Direct, our shared goal was to be the go-to carrier in the C2C market and to provide our customers with an option to send parcels directly through the Yodel network," Jenny states. "To launch Yodel Direct, we worked closely with the team at Parcel2Go, utilising their expertise in delivering growth in a C2C environment. We worked together with their teams to create a white label website that is so far proving effective and provides a fantastic UX.

Through collaborative working with P2G, we identified key areas where their expertise could enhance our C2C offering including customer service queries and My Account, which allows customers to manage their parcel deliveries all in one place, whilst Webchat functionality on the Yodel Direct website allows the customer service teams to handle queries responsively and effectively.”

Emma adds that, “One of the main challenges of relaunching the Yodel Direct Send service was ensuring that all stakeholders’ visions were aligned with the overall strategy – The Yodel team were extremely excited about the relaunch of Yodel Direct. Communicating the objectives of each output and solution ensured that all relevant stakeholders were informed and involved in the planning execution of the relaunch at every step.
When working with Parcel2Go, it was important for us to define the Yodel vision to their development teams so that they had a strong understanding of our expectations, brand and our values when implementing this on the website and throughout the communications to customers and clients."

A Yodel colleague for nearly 14 years, Emma continues, "Collaboration was one of the most important factors when working on the project, particularly as we were working closely with external stakeholders on a day-to-day basis. It was important to stay close to the team so that when each stakeholder involved had feedback or input, we could use that to our advantage."
Jenny, who oversaw the day-to-day planning of the launch, stated: “The project, as previously mentioned, was a cross functional collaboration between the team at Parcel2Go who we spoke to daily. Internally we had our software development teams, solution design team, database teams, finance and billing and our IT infrastructure teams heavily involved. In addition, the commercial team and customer experience team played a key role in the overall success of the relaunch.

It was vital to make sure that our key stakeholders were kept up to date. From the way our customer service solution is handled to making sure that the process for this was fully documented and communicated. It was also important to ensure that our commercial team were kept in the loop with any changes or challenges that we overcame - the impacted stakeholders within the businesses were continuously engaged throughout."

Emma explains, "There were initial delays in commencing the project due to the pandemic. Careful planning, daily checkpoints calls, and open lines of communication were central to keeping things on track

Ultimately, the introduction of Yodel Direct allows us to increase our marketplace integrations, offering sellers a wider audience when sending parcels. We now have a bigger platform for our customers who wish to use our Send solution via Yodel Direct. From customers who may ship a single parcel every month, to our partnered sellers who ship hundreds of parcels a week, we have made it easier from them to do just this."


Last modified on Friday, 29 October 2021 13:04

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