Mercedes-Benz Vans is working with Tesco.com to enable the online grocer to evaluate the driving skills of thousands of new drivers recruited to meet the retailer’s record-breaking demand for home deliveries.
Britain’s biggest retailer is achieving 1.2 million online deliveries weekly — twice the typical average prior to the coronavirus outbreak.
To manage this huge increase in customer orders Tesco has recruited an extra 12,000 pickers and more than 4,000 new drivers since the crisis began. It has also committed extra resources to the teams responsible for assessing potential candidates for driving jobs.
Pre-crisis, Tesco would have reassigned vans from its home delivery fleet to assess the suitability of new recruits. However, given the unprecedented volume of online orders now requiring fulfilment, all vehicles are required to serve customers.
Mercedes-Benz Vans has supplied 15 Sprinters on a loan basis for a minimum of three months, and longer if needed. Allocated to several assessment hubs nationwide, drivers are being assess on nine new vehicles and six approved used Sprinters.
As standard panel vans, they cannot be used to make home deliveries, but are suitable for driver evaluation purposes. The company’s focus is on assessing the ability of each candidate to handle a 3.5-tonne van safely and responsibly.
The two companies have a long history. Mercedes-Benz Sprinters account for approximately half of the 5,000-plus vehicles on the Tesco.com delivery fleet. This year alone Mercedes-Benz will supply 1,105 new 314 CDI chassis cabs, which are being fitted with insulated bodies and refrigeration systems.
Mercedes-Benz Vans Managing Director Steve Bridge said: “Our commitment is always to do whatever it takes to keep our customers’ businesses moving. This is particularly important during the pandemic, though, when those businesses are providing essential services and their own customers include some of the most vulnerable in society.”
“Tesco.com is a perfect case in point, so we were delighted to work with its team to ensure they are able to evaluate new drivers who will go on to serve even more people through this most challenging of times.”