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Making good time

From flowers to contact lenses, we now have more than 30 businesses signed up to our popular LAT service

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It’s been just over a year since the UK roll-out of Later Acceptance Times (LATs) and teams across the country have been stepping up to meet customer demand for this popular service.

We now have more than 30 businesses signed up to the service, and one area where LATs have proved a big hit with our customers is in Kent.

‘We’re in a good position to offer LATs because we have the network to do it,’ said Medway distribution manager, Stewart Twinn. ‘We have the ability to move mail through our hubs and to fast-track services down to the delivery offices.’

Stewart said that in order to accommodate LATs, our pipeline has been reorganised, so transport networks, delivery offices and mail centres work more closely and, as a consequence, are more effective.

‘The introduction of LATs has been successful in terms of our ability to get them out to the customer, but we have capacity for more,’ he added. ‘It’s growing – when we first started we were getting, say, 12 items a day, now we’re getting between 200 and 300.’

We now have five regional distribution centres, 34 mail centres and 304 delivery depots running LATs.

Folkestone postwoman, Sharon Atkins (pictured) has seen her delivery area expand. ‘I’m thoroughly enjoying it because each day is different,’ she said. ‘Sometimes it’s town and sometimes it’s rural – the amount of Kent I’ve seen is phenomenal.

‘People order next-day delivery for a reason, so it’s really important we make every effort to get them their parcels on time.’

The companies taking advantage of LATs vary greatly and our people are seeing everything from clothes to fresh flowers and even contact lenses.

‘We’ve got to do this to compete,’ said Medway postman, Alan Thomas. ‘People want their items as soon as possible and if the customer demands that service, then we have to deliver. It’s all about competition and we need to be number one.’