Mercedes-Benz Vans has supplied Tesco.com in the UK with 15 Sprinter vans for a driver recruitment plan that will help to meet record-breaking demand for home deliveries.
The supermarket chain recently achieved a weekly total of 1.2 million online deliveries – twice the typical average prior to the Covid-19 outbreak – and picked 10 million items in a single day for the first time.
As a result, Tesco has recruited more than 4,000 new drivers and an extra 12,000 pickers since the crisis began. It has also committed extra resources to the teams responsible for assessing potential candidates for driving jobs.
In order to carry out driver assessments for potential candidates Tesco temporarily reassigns vans from its home delivery fleet but because of the unprecedented volume of online orders, all of these vehicles are needed to serve customers.
Mercedes-Benz Vans has stepped in, providing 15 Sprinters on a loan basis for a minimum of three months, and longer if needed.
Allocated to assessment hubs nationwide, nine of these vehicles are new, the other six are pre-owned.
As standard panel vans they cannot be used to make home deliveries but are suitable for driver evaluation purposes. With the additional Mercedes-Benz Sprinters Tesco can free-up frontline units for the home delivery work.
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, which are being fitted with insulated bodies by Solomon Commercials and Thermo King refrigeration systems.
Tesco has taken 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.