Up to 2,000 jobs at risk as Whistl ends E2E services

Richard Stuart-Turner
Thursday, June 11, 2015

Postal delivery service Whistl has stopped its end-to-end (E2E) delivery service, on the same day as a Whistl lorry was involved in 13-vehicle pile up.

The UK’s second largest postal operator announced the decision yesterday evening after assessing alternative scenarios for the service. This followed private equity investor LDC, a division of Lloyds Banking Group, pulling out of a proposed investment to fund the further roll-out of the service.

Around 2,000 employees are understood to have worked in Whistl’s E2E delivery operation.

In a statement, Whistl said: “The PostNL and Whistl management team have undertaken a thorough strategic review of the operation and have concluded, unfortunately, that there is no viable alternative solution that will ensure a sustainable future for the current service and therefore it will not continue.

“The roll-out of E2E began in 2012 and was put on hold due to numerous regulatory issues. These delays impacted on our ability to invest in the service, expand our coverage, and ultimately to meet the targets of the original business plan and deliver a long-term sustainable service.”

Whistl said it is in ongoing consultation with the affected employees through their union and employee representatives to minimise the impact of this decision.

Les Bayliss, national officer at Community, the recognised trade union at Whistl, said: "This is devastating news for our members because for so many of them working for Whistl was a route out of unemployment.

"Since the company suspended its E2E business we've been exploring every avenue and option to save jobs and give people a future.

"We had identified £5m in annual savings and suggested a different business model, but clearly this wasn't enough for the company.

"Unfortunately, PostNL were not in a position to fund continued losses, despite the savings identified."

The news was made public just hours after a Whistl lorry was involved in a 13-vehicle pile-up in Southborough, Kent, yesterday afternoon (10 June), which led to three people requiring hospital treatment.

33-year-old man from Northfleet was arrested and currently remains in police custody. 

A Whistl spokesperson said: “We have begun an internal inquiry and are also assisting with Kent Police with their investigation to establish the cause of this incident.”

The other parts of Whistl; Packets and Parcels, Doordrop Media, Logistic Solutions and its downstream access (DSA) service are unaffected by the move and the firm said it remains committed to further developing activities in these areas.

Whistl collects and sorts over 80 million items of mail a week, accounting for 55% of the DSA market. The E2E service handled three million items a week.

Whistl, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Dutch delivery firm PostNL, was previously called TNT Post UK prior to a rebrand in September 2014. The business had been a subsidiary of TNT Group until 2011.

The company has UK depots in Leeds, Warrington, Bristol, Iver, Rugby, Coatbridge and Newtownabbey while its head office is in Marlow.

It began delivering in London in April 2012 and later rolled out its E2E in Manchester and Liverpool.

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