Tesco takes yet more Sprinters

Welwyn Garden City, UK: Tesco has taken 15 Mercedes-Benz 15 Sprinters on loan, nine new and six used, for driver assessment.

Mercedes-Benz Vans is working with Tesco.com to evaluate new drivers needed top meet growing home deliveries now running at 10 million items picked in a day.

Tesco has recruited 12,000 pickers and more than 4,000 new drivers since the coronavirus pandemic began .

In normal times Tesco temporarily reassigns vans from its home delivery fleet to examine their suitability. However, given the unprecedented volume of online orders now requiring fulfilment, all of these vehicles are needed to serve customers.

Mercedes-Benz Vans has therefore loaned Tesco 15 Sprinters for a minimum of three months, and longer if needed. As standard panel vans, they cannot be used to make home deliveries. But they are suitable for driver evaluation which frees 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 with insulated bodies by Solomon Commercials and Thermo King fridges.

Tesco.com has made 1.2 million weekly online deliveries, twice the typical average prior to the Covid-19 outbreak

Tesco has taken various other steps to manage the enormous surge in demand, including increasing its order for new Mercedes-Benz vehicles and retaining others that would normally have been stood down after five years’ service.

It is not essential, though, to use a Tesco.com vehicle for driver evaluations. The company’s focus is on assessing the ability of each candidate to handle a 3.5-tonne van safely and responsibly. It is therefore irrelevant as to whether or not that van is refrigerated.

Steve Bridge, managing director, Mercedes-Benz Vans said: “Our commitment is always to do whatever it takes to keep our customers’ businesses moving. This is particularly important during the pandemic, though, when those businesses are providing essential services and their own customers include some of the most vulnerable in society.

“Tesco.com is a perfect case in point, so we were delighted to work with its team to ensure they are able to evaluate new drivers who will go on to serve even more people through this most challenging of times.”



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