Connection Express Same Day Courier is very much a family business. Brothers Alistair and Christopher Malkin have run the company together since the early days. In this interview we chat with Alistair and discover what technical innovation has meant for Connection Courier and Alistair personally as their traffic consultant. Alistair also shares the story of one of his most challenging deliveries in the aftermath of the Great Storm of 1987.
“I have worked at Connection since 1987 or as it was first called CJM Couriers after our MD Christopher John Malkin.”
“In the early days, I spent all my time on the road clocking up about 80,000 miles a year. As the work increased, the company employed more drivers. My experience of driving over so many years gave me a great skill base for planning, maintaining and developing routes and systems.”
“In the early years, our couriers carried radio pagers. The office would ring a number, the pager would bleep, and the courier had to find a telephone to respond. The use of pagers at the beginning was useful but stressful. You knew a customer needed an important collection, but it was often difficult to find a working phone quickly. So once I had my first car phone, it made life so much easier.”
“As the last question, mobile phones have made it so much simpler. Being able to keep in constant contact is a critical necessity for same day courier. Also, the obvious, satellite navigation. Satellite navigation is a tremendous invention as long as it’s used as a tool and not relied upon. However, the main advance has been in the last five years or so with 4G phones. The ability to have a computer with us at all times makes our service so efficient. Checking addresses on google earth makes life so much less stressful. Searching for remote or hard to find places using Google Maps and being able to track our drivers and the road conditions enable us to monitor our delivery times exceptionally effectively.”
“For the first ten years, I was averaging 80,000 miles a year.”
“Too many to mention! However, I remember one in particular. We had a direct delivery to Cornwall just after the Great Storm of 1987 hit. I was driving down the M5 near Bristol in the middle of the night. The storm had caused a major power cut throughout the region, and there were a lot of lorries overturned on the roads. The police didn’t want any traffic to go through the centre of Bristol. They let me use the bypass with caution. (This was in a time before this total correctness world we live in today. The Police made a reasoned judgement and allowed me to continue). I happened to go through when the recovery people were having a break, so I had to zig-zag through overturned lorries in total darkness, with no one about it was so eerie. It was almost like driving through a Post-apocalyptic scene from a movie. We delivered on time .!!!”
“The Planning of complicated routes and seeing them work as expected.”
“Gosforth is a great place to work. As the office is near the High St, not only is it an excellent location to reach Newcastle and most of the NE quickly, It also has all the shops you would need within walking distance.”
Connection Express Same Day Courier offers collection and delivery of all consignments on the same day.
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