Dispatch News - 2008

Rate this item
(0 votes)



December 2008

Ian Kerr reports on the Birmingham Bike Show for IoC.

It seems amazing that this is the 20 th year that the Motorcycle Show has been located at the Birmingham NEC complex. The days of dingy displays at Earls Court are long gone, as are most of the machines that once headlined show reports from London. While the show may now be the very last of the major European shows with no major launches, it is still the first chance we in the UK have to actually have to see the new 2009 bikes in the flesh without needing to get on a plane. Despite the lack of actual bike launches, it was still a very exciting event even in the current economic crisis and there was plenty to see and do as well as few surprises.

On the first day World Superbike star Ruben Xaus dropped in to unveil the awesome new BMW S1000 RR Superbike project, while manufacturers Yamaha and Kawasaki launched new racing teams in British and World Superbikes respectively.  Harley-Davidson and KTM also announced new, one-make race championships. Celebrity round-the-world explorer Charley Boorman kept his profile high by testing out the Batman Batpod which was on display to perhaps give a glimpse of the future! The Hairy Bikers debuted their new custom machines that will feature in their TV series, in fact the place just buzzed with enthusiastic celebrities (if not any politicians) as well as brand new (to the UK) bikes looking to tempt the cash from your pockets.

It is impossible to cover every new model, but for some Honda stole the limelight with their V4 Concept machine, which they claim shows the power of technology. Honda have stated their intention to bring back their legendary V4 format engine with this concept model and this could be the way biking goes in the future. But there was a lot more there apart from the new machines, including new technical clothing ranges and other equipment that will make motorcycling an even more attractive (financially!) proposition in the current doom and gloom!

Sept 2008

Top Brass judges for the 2008 job find the Best of the Best Sameday.

Billed the courier event of the year companies large and small, national, London and network have booked up for an evening to remember. The National Courier Awards for 2008 gala celebration dinner will be at the Institute of Directors, Pall Mall.London. Tracey Worth co-ordinated nominations and chairman of the judges Marc Cheauveau held the meeting of the panel on Tuesday September 9th in the presence of Steve Norris former transport minister and Vice President of the Institute.

ecisions and discussion covered most of the day for a run of short-listers that drew the highest quality seen in the history of the awards. Lunch was an opportunity for the top brass to take on thoughts from Steve Norris that covered transport, green issues & push bikes, congestion and business needs for same day transport. There was no easy answer to find the winners who remain a secret until the evening, Don’t miss the results, 2008

The 2008 Short-listers

Two wheel – Gabriel Alves-Dias / TNT, Will Hepworth / Connections, John Powell / Post Haste, Agni Tokaraz / Pink Express, Pablo Valverde/e-couriers.

Four Wheel – Colin Foster / Comet Couriers, Boris Atanasov / Pink Express, Philip Connolly / Point to Point, Mel Gabitas / MPC Excell, Harry Holland / TNT, Anthony Rudder / e-courier.

Contract – Shane Barclay / Pink Express, Raymond Beer / TNT, David Green / Post Haste, Paul Johnson / DHL.

Office – Mark Davies / Swift Liverpool, Ros Grinham / Prestige, Jooshna Khan / e-couriers, Lee Lloyd / MPC Excel, Jean Lowe / Pink Express, Kenny Muir / DHL.

Services to the industry and the Safety Award are top secret until the evening. See you there.

July 2008

Review of the Renault Kangoo 2 by Ian Kerr. Quite the Courier Van of the 21st Century!

Inside both ‘Compact’ and the larger ‘Express’ have a capacious bright cockpit that is more in line with a car or MPV than a courier vehicle. Space and practicality seem to have been the design key words as there is space to securely fit an A4 clip board on the dash, store two lap-top computers in the glove box, as well as a capacious overhead shelf. With fully adjustable seats and steering wheel, cruise control, air con, parking sensors, automatic headlamp and wiper activation; driving is not going to get too stressful. Safety is high on the list with pretensioner belts and airbags all round if required. The cockpit forms a rigid non deformable survival cell to protect its occupants in the event of a crash and you have a choice of bulkheads or safety bars behind you. With ventilated discs front and rear ABS, brake assist ASR traction control and ESC under-steer control, along with a load limiter its more like a top of the range car.

The larger ‘Express’ is 4.21 m long and can now take loads between 3 and 3.60 cubic metres. The width between the rear wheel arches is 1.21 metres, which means that europalette format loads will just slide in. The ‘Compact’ is 3.83 m long with load capability of just 2.3 to 2.9 cubic metres, but the turning circle and ease of manoeuvrability is well worth opting for it if you do not have large loads to carry. Both have asymmetrical rear doors that have been beefed up and designed for constant use. Powering these new versions are three diesel engines, 70, 80 and 85bhp versions of the 1.5dCi unit. The lower two have CO2 emissions below 140g/km.

So what is it like to drive? Tested in France, fully loaded around hilly, rural and town areas. Built on the ‘Scenic’ chassis, it gives a level of handling not normally associated with a van of the genre. With a wider track and a longer wheelbase compared to the existing version, the vehicle is very stable with little roll and pitch being noticeable even when loaded. The electrically assisted power steering is very useable and predictable at all speeds. On the Compact, its turning circle is superb and on the tight backstreets that formed part of my test route, it put its sibling to shame. Both test versions used the 85bhp motor mated to a five sped gearbox and it showed itself to be more than up to the task.

eally there is little to comment on, the new Kangoo is better in every way and Renault has managed to achieve a replacement that is still as recognisable as its predecessor and even better! Quite an achievement, Quite a Courier Van!


May 2008

Review of the VW Caddy by Ian Kerr. Size has been achieved by increasing the overall length by 47 cms and now means that the Cady Maxi has a load capacity of 4200 litres making it one of the largest models amongst the small compact transporters. It has a payload of 800 kilograms and a cargo area of 2250 millimetres in length depending of the configuration of the interior. A solid partition between the driver’s area and the load space can either be solid or have a window in the top area. Motive power is provided with a choice of two efficient turbo diesel engines that meet all current standards. A 1.9 litre TDI PD with 105 PS starts the list that can be mated to the advanced DSG ‘auto’ box or a five speed manual version. One step up is the 2.0 litre TDI PD 140 PS for those who need a little extra in the way of pulling power and performance. This has a six-speed manual box as standard.Quite rightly a whole host of safety features come as standard, ABS brakes, Engine Braking Control (EBC) and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD and Traction Control (TCS). To these can be added ESP plus which can include a trailer stabilisation function for those who order a tow hitch when trailers are a regular addition to the working day. As with any VW product it has an element of class and solid build, with doors closing with a reassuring feel to the fit and finish. The driving position is comfortable and there are a whole range of adjustments to make sure that one size fits all. To use the old cliché, ‘all controls fall easily to hand’ and visibility is good with very little being obscured.

On the open road the Caddy Maxi cruises happily at all legal limits and there is sufficient pep from the engines to get you there as well as being useful around town in the traffic light GP. The steering is relatively light and positive and should not prevent anybody from driving this vehicle. Away from the straight and narrow, the Caddy Maxi handles surprisingly well for a van and there is little roll around bends. In fact there is very little to criticise this new variant from the now well established Caddy range of vehicles. With a starting price of £12,650 it is competitively priced and well worth a look.


March 2008

2008 House of Lords fellows gowning was awash with the colour of IOC silk ribbon for a fabulous gala ceremony to recognise individuals respected at the top of their industry.Two former transport ministers took new IOC roles. Steve Norris and David Jamieson became vice presidents of the IOC, with President Lord Falkland at the head this brings unparalleled recognition for the same day courier industry. Steve Norris (Conservative) and David Jamieson (Labour) took on their roles at the fellows gowning ceremony with gowns finished in fur but not ermine. David Jamieson had detailed thoughts on transport and couriers to share with fellows of the Institute of Couriers in a heart felt delivery speech.

Tracey Worth orchestrated the new fellows gowned on the evening, they included operations director of Skills for Logistics Mick Jackson. Steve Purkiss of Reuter Brooks, a National Courier Award winner stepped up alongside Mark Davies of Swift Despatch Liverpool with almost a decades service to the National Courier Association. Neil Michaeloudis head of Finance at GLH was gowned, Am Pall of CitySprint Fleet and Specialist Services responsible for Quality Management amongst other roles, Richard Howard of Post Haste, Greg Hoy of Excel Couriers, Mike McCartney of Road Runners Swindon also on the executive committee of the National Courier Association all took the robes. Director of Lewis Day Joe Sheehan responsible for Medical Services both having received recommendation for their work within the company and industry. Steve Deverson Director of Sales, DHL and Steve Hemingway of Point to Point join them in dedicated quality service to the industry.

Steve Norris spoke on behalf of the guests and in tradition of the IOC existing fellows formed a line orchestrated by IOC Chairman Carl Lomas MBE and then they all welcomed the newcomers, before guests, friends and family clapped them out of the Lords Terrace for formal photos. Food followed, drinks flowed and all had a tremendous evening to remember, Lights of the London Eye, Florence Nightingales hospital, St Thomas across the Thames, City Hall and moonlight for an industry recognition of individuals recognised at the top of their success.


February 2008

This Years Date set for National Courier Awards -Tuesday 16th September 2008 IOC Chairman Carl Lomas MBE called on Graham Westcott RHA and pending master of the Carman livery to announce a chairman for the 2008 panel of judges. Graham Westcott announced Marc Cheauveux FFIoC of MPC Excel as the new chairman of judges. Tracey Worth remains co-ordinator and will champion the nominations. To a drum role of applause, Marc Cheauveau then opened the envelope and named the 2008 panel of judges

In the presence of the IOC President Lord Falkland Mick Jackson FIoC announced the location of the 2008 National Courier Awards, 'It will be the Institute of Directors on Pall Mall London West End. The date Sept 16th 2008' Mick Jackson proposed the support of the Transport Skills Council, Skills for Logistics to be the key sponsor of the 2008 gala event recognising the very best of the best same day industry.


January 2008

Easy road to own number plate. Corporate logo’s have long been round but now our fleet is an important extension of that. The ability to place graphics all over our vehicles has changed the clients ‘quality’ view of the service offered. It is now seen as a modern ‘quality’ symbol for companies to see these personalised vehicles. It is necessary to do more than just put your name on the side of a van or top box. The service industry is always looking for new ways to promote their service and this time of year is no exception. Pens, Christmas Cards, Calendars and even clocks are used to remind the customer of you.Well here is a new idea from DVLA.

DVLA provide online and a telephone service to order your own number plate, you just tap in your ‘wish’ letters and numbers and the DVLA computer will tell you the number plate nearest to what you want. It’s easy. You could run a competition, a raffle or a draw for your client to win a personalised number plate relating to their company. Everyone in the company will get to know you and remember who you are!


Last modified on Sunday, 11 October 2015 15:56