Wey Couriers [as it was known then] started in 1982 with just a single motorbike and its current director, Chris Jacobs. The business was formed initially for photographers and their assistants to get film from studios in Surrey to London quickly. The small courier business was a fast-growing success and soon there were 12 Motorcyclists and the company was moving film, documents, and goods for dozens of local businesses such as JTI and GSK. Wey Couriers undertook work spanning the globe, becoming a well-known name to Surrey businesses small and large.
The courier industry started to change in the late nineties and early noughties with the widespread adoption of email, enabling people to easily transfer files worldwide. To adapt to the changing market requirement, Wey Couriers invested more into its international and overnight services and changed its name to Wey Group International. Building connections with various international agents around Heathrow, WGI was able to offer its customers a tailored express-delivery service overseas. For the UK overnight branch of the business, WGI helped found APC Overnight which connected reputable couriers throughout the country meaning packages could still get to their location quicker and more securely than via the postal service but at a lower cost than a same-day courier.
In 2008 as we all well know, the financial crisis struck and WGI was affected as many local businesses cut costs, moved overseas, or closed completely. However, there continued to be a need for goods to be taken to their destination safely and quickly and as online shopping habits increased, WGI’s UK overnight division became its biggest asset. Wey Group alongside APC invested in their technology and operations over the coming decade. APC created booking and tracking apps and spent £14 million on a new central hub ensuring efficient national operations for the future.
Fast forward to now, it’s 2021. The country is just beginning to emerge from its [supposed] final national lockdown. During the past year, many local enterprises have, for the first time, started selling their goods online and people shopped online more than ever before. The national overnight courier industry was the busiest it’s ever been and WGI’s experience was no different, with days similar to the Christmas rush every day through the peak of the pandemic in the UK. The business had to adapt its operations and fast; recruiting more drivers, changing sortations to allow for distancing, changing delivery policy to avoid contact, providing PPE, working from home and the list goes on. However, it’s expected this overnight usage will soon tail off as people return to in-person shopping and habits change, once again. And so, WGI looks at how the business will next shift focus and adapt in the coming months and years.
With Brexit & pandemic uncertainty WGI is finding people are moving away from booking international shipments through an online faceless organisation as they come up against red tape, unknown transport times, and customs complications. Instead, people are returning to the value WGI started its international division with; experienced international advisors to competently manage shipments and effectively communicate with customers. Concurrently, the acceleration of online shopping habits has led to consumers expecting their goods even faster with some retailers offering delivery same-day, otters even offering within fifteen minutes, meaning B2C companies now have more of a need for same-day delivery options. Meaning WGI is providing solutions to businesses that allow not just for one or a few deliveries to be made same-day but instead making multiple deliveries throughout the day for the same seller to different addresses.
And so we go full circle. With the focus for Wey Group International’s business growth, now once again focussed on their same-day and international division, just as it was when the company started in 1982.