Achieving Van Excellence

Fast-growing JMHC Logistics has set the seal on a memorable year in which it became one of the first courier companies to secure Van Excellence accreditation from the Freight Transport Association, by commissioning a new fleet of 33 Mercedes-Benz Vito vans.

Highly commended in the ‘Delivery Operator’ category at the recent Commercial Fleet Awards, JMHC Logistics is committed to raising standards of professionalism and improving public perceptions of a sector that has not always enjoyed the best of reputations.

Its new vans are all Long-wheelbase 111 CDI models with advanced, 1.6-litre powerplants that offer outstanding fuel economy of 45.6 mpg (combined cycle). Other Vito variants are available with rear-wheel drive, but the 111 CDI engine’s 114 hp output is transmitted to the front wheels.

JMHC Logistics operates from headquarters in Tadcaster, North Yorkshire, and a nationwide network of 24 delivery stations. Its mixed-marque fleet of 360 vans comprises some which it owns outright, and others which are the subject of lease and rental arrangements.

Supplied by Mercedes-Benz Vans’ reigning Retailer of the Year Northside Truck & Van, the new vehicles are the first it has owned to wear three-pointed stars. The introduction of these premium quality vans represents another significant step forward in the company’s development.

JMHC Logistics was founded in 2011 by husband-and-wife team James and Rebecca Hall. At that time, it had only one van and one route. Today, their company is a ‘final mile’ service partner to several of the biggest names in the parcels delivery industry, and operates in most major UK cities between Glasgow and Plymouth. As well as commissioning additional vans, it is actively striving to recruit more drivers to maintain its growth trajectory.

James Hall gained his first experience of the sector in 2005, and traded for the next six years as JM Hall Couriers. “This industry has undergone massive change over the last 12 years,” he explained. “When I started out we were carrying products for customers who’d filled in forms and sent off cheques, then sat back and waited up to 28 days for delivery. It’s all next- and same-day delivery now, and in some cases parcels are reaching their destinations within the hour.”

He continued: “Unlike some who work in this sector we take our corporate responsibilities extremely seriously, and this Vito order speaks volumes for our determination to bring compliance and professionalism to the market. We’ve rented Sprinters in the past, so know from experience how reliable Mercedes-Benz vans are. They also lead the field in terms of comfort and safety, while commanding strong residual values.”

JMHC Logistics’ new fleet is the subject of a flexible, low-cost Agility funding agreement with Mercedes-Benz Financial Services. “The deal was attractively priced and will give us a variety of options at the end of the term, which is sure to be of benefit to the business,” he said.

“Given that these are premium quality vehicles, we’re not just giving them out randomly. Instead, we’re making sure they go to the right people – long-serving drivers with good incident records who’ve proved they can look after their vehicles by keeping them nice and clean.”   

Like all Mercedes-Benz vans, the Vito is backed by a three-year unlimited mileage warranty and comes with MobiloVan cover, which includes free emergency roadside assistance.

Mr Hall added: “The support we’ve received from Mercedes-Benz Vans Regional Fleet Sales Manager Mike Parrott, and from Northside, has been brilliant, while after sales back-up was also instrumental in persuading us to place this order.

“We’re a 24-hour business and the same is true of the Mercedes-Benz Network. The fact that Dealers can maintain and repair our vehicles at night and weekends is going to be invaluable when it comes to maximising uptime. It’s great that a driver can drop off his van at 6pm and pick it up first thing next morning – I’d have loved that when I was working as a courier; it would have saved me a lot of hassle.”