Logistics UK is celebrating the 11-year anniversary of Van Excellence - a scheme that promotes the safe and efficient operation of vans.
As the organisation celebrates its anniversary, the organisation’s head of consulting and standards, Sharon Mitchell, says now is the ideal time to celebrate the determination of van drivers to support UK society and the economy during the Covid-19 pandemic.
She said: “From March 2020, the van community stepped up to serve the nation, from delivering food shopping to the most vulnerable to keeping businesses moving behind the scenes and their efforts were recognised with official acknowledgement as ‘key workers’ by government.
“80% of businesses in the van industry said they had adapted their services to better serve their community, with van drivers reporting working an additional 20 hours a month, according to the Mercedes-Benz Vans Business Barometer.
“Operators in the Van Excellence scheme – who represent the best in the community – are no exception; we would like to thank them for their incredible efforts over the past 12 months as we mark one year since the first lockdown.”
Launched in 2010, the Van Excellence scheme provides operators with the opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to safer, more efficient, and sustainable van fleets by passing a series of tests.
Mitchell said the scheme has gone ‘from strength to strength’ since its inception 11 years ago – with company’s including NHS Foundation Trust, Venson, National Grid, Wayfair and Sainsbury's – achieving certification.
She said: “Whether a business is operating a fleet of a 100 or a small fleet of one or two, the need for safe, compliant and efficient operations remains the same, and thanks to Van Excellence, more vans than ever before are being operated to the highest standards.”
Stephen Turner, sales director vehicle enhancement division at Bott, said: “Our organisation is both a long-term Van Excellence Gold Partner and a recognised Van Excellence van operator.
“We embrace the aims of the scheme in improving best practice amongst fleets of all sizes and we provide advice and mentoring to help others gain this valuable recognition.
“The improved efficiency and safety, coupled with the knowledge that the vans are being operated legally and to current standards, helps to enhance an operator's reputation.
“We have also been proud to play our part in assisting with driver wellbeing initiatives launched by Logistics UK as part of the scheme.”
The scheme is sponsored by its Gold Partners: The AA, Bott Ltd, Brigade Electronics, Hertz UK Ltd, Lex Autolease, Quartix, and TVL.