06 August 2012
Sweet (Olympic) dreams are made of these.…..
We’re already into week two of the Games and our Olympians have certainly done us proud with Team GB now sitting pretty in the overall medal league table – well done to all!
Saturday night in particular was astonishing and, whether or not you’re a dedicated follower of sport, you can’t help but be moved by some of the stories unfolding in the Olympic venues.
And away from those sporting arenas, from a Wincanton operational perspective, it’s also been a case of so far so good.
We've been planning for the Olympics, and the impact it might have on our and our customers’ operations, since September last year. Part of that has been to work side by side with Transport for London to prepare our teams and drivers, and set expectations and recommendations for our customers.
As a result, a cross section of our London-based operations are providing TfL with simple daily status reports and, against most assumptions, we’re reporting that most roads, whilst still busy, are in fact quieter and more free-flowing than widely expected.
And, as well as monitoring things like traffic flow to ensure we keep the London supply chain moving for our customers, we’re also seeing what we can learn from the unique opportunity the Games present from a freight point of view.
For instance, a lot was made ahead of the Games about the Olympic Route Network (ORN), and so far our experience of it has been extremely positive, so positive in fact that some of our transport managers would like it to stay in place after the Games have been and gone – we’ll keep you posted about what response we receive from the authorities about that!
Another concern before the Games started was about London’s ability to keep the massive influx of visitors fed and watered. Interestingly we’re not seeing any noticeable increases in volumes at convenience stores in the capital – with the exception of those near Olympic venues, such as Stratford, Marble Arch (for Hyde Park), Southfields (for Wimbledon) etc where volumes are up by at least 50%.
As a side comment, demand for alcohol is up too, particularly near Hyde Park and Whitehall, where it's a challenge to deliver it in fast enough!
Staying with convenience stores, we’ve only had to move about a tenth of our store delivery times, and then only by a few hours, i.e. instead of 7am, deliveries are being made at 4am. In total we’ve moved some 90 per cent of another customer's store deliveries from day to night time without a single complaint from the public, which again is great news.
However for another customer we did receive one complaint about our switch to night time deliveries in central London. With the support of our customer, our transport manager rescheduled deliveries so that they take place late evening, rather than the early hours, and we have since had confirmation that the member of the public is now getting a better night's sleep!
Sweet dreams and let’s hope the medals keep coming!
The Wincanton team