2000 jobs go as Whistl ends last mile deliveries

By Chris Dawson May 11, 2015 - 11:25 am

whistlWhistl, the postal service formerly known as TNT Post has suspended deliveries with possible redundancies for 2000 delivery workers. Deliveries will still take place, but Whistl will revert to using Royal Mail for the last mile delivery to the letterbox.

The cut backs are as a result of LDC (a division of Lloyds bank) pulling out of an investment in Whistl. Whilst the company will continue to operate, lack of funds mean end to end delivery services are no longer viable.

Whistl has been criticised by Royal Mail for cherry picking services in cities such as London, Manchester and Liverpool whilst leaving the national postal service required to maintain the Universal Service to the whole country including the less profitable rural areas.

There are two ways to view Whistl suspending deliveries, apart from the human cost to the employees who are likely to lose their jobs. Firstly it puts Royal Mail in a stronger position to ensure the Universal delivery will remain in place. However on the other hand less competition in postal services and consolidation of the courier market may give Royal Mail the ability to edge prices up which won’t be welcome news to sellers.

Whistl are unlikely to go bust, they still own a 14.7% stake in TNT Express and it was announced earlier this year that TNT Express is to be sold to Fed Ex for some €4.4 billion so an influx of capital is on the cards at some point in 2016.

Whistl Statement

Following the announcement from LDC that it would not proceed with the proposed investment to fund further rollout of E2E, we have now commenced an extensive review of the viability and potential for the rollout of an E2E postal delivery service in the UK.

To stem the losses from the operations we have taken the difficult decision to suspend the current E2E service during the review process and all mail will now be delivered through our long-standing downstream access service until we have concluded the review.

As part of this extensive review, we will begin consultations with the relevant employees who are affected by the suspension of the E2E service, and with their union representatives, with a view to identifying and exploring viable proposals to secure the continuation of this service.

  • Gerry007
    2 years ago

    Well that didn’t last long…..

    If they have a 14.7% stake in TNT Express and it to be sold to Fed Ex for some €4.4 billion, why did they need LDC to inest?.

    Royal mail may get a good deal on state of the art sorting machines though……

    • Andy
      2 years ago

      Whistl don’t have a 14.7% stake in TNT Express. PostNL do. An entirely different situation, as Whistl (formerly TNT Post UK) only accounts for a smallish proportion of PostNL revenue.

    • Gerry007
      2 years ago

      I only copied what Chris had said above^^.

  • James
    2 years ago

    Sad news – UK desperately needs some competition in this space – anything to break up this overpriced / shoddy service RM monopoly.

  • Mr Jones
    2 years ago

    Just to clarify, Whistl is still going. It is their E2E end to end final mile delivery offices that are closing. They are closing their private final mile offices and contracting final mile delivery back to Royal Mail via downstream access agreements.

    Whistl “end to end” was a disaster, partially because there was no return to sender mechanism. This was a major problem.
    Royal Mail manage this database, and it’s not open to competitors.

    Some points to note for end to end:

    1) Whistl end to end cherry picked postcodes with high density housing such as flats and terraced housing. Something was going to give eventually.

    2) End to end never did bother with e-commerce large letters / packets. It’s cheaper to give to Royal Mail !

    3) Holding back mail until a round has enough volume to warrant delivery. Waiting 7+ days for mail is unacceptable.

    4) Trust, Whistl employed some questionable characters via back to work schemes and on zero hour contracts.

    • whistl postie
      2 years ago

      Mr Jones… Several inaccurate assumption on your part there. Here are some facts.

      1) Whistl end to end roll-out picked postcodes with high density housing. To lauch a national service requires profitability to be established. You cant start in areas that don’t make profit. They come with time.

      2) End to end did bother with some e-commerce. Graze boxes, book depository, kellogs spoons, pampers samples ( large letters / packets) were some of the mail carried by whistl.

      3) No mail was held back until a round had enough volume to warrant delivery. Waiting 7+ days for mail didn’t happen. Whistl delivered every other day to addresses. ie, mo, we & fr to one area, then tu, th & sa to another. Once volumes rise the aim was to go daily. You cant run at full capacity when you haven’t yet got the need.

      4) Trust, Whistl employed human beings that had been crb checked. How they found the job doesn’t really matter. The fact that 50% of the original starters remained after 1-2 years is testament to the fact that they weren’t shirkers or ‘questionable’. They were on zero hour contracts and have been royally done up like kippers.

      Yes, whistl”s business plan was flawed, but lets not make sweeping inaccurate assumptions.

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