Discover the manual sorting process that sets XDP apart

Value-driven logistics

When XDP Ltd (XDP) began trading in 1996, the company initially supplied the security and electronics sectors, specializing in parcel carrier services. But entry into these fast-evolving markets was an immediate recipe for growth. It wasn’t long before XDP transitioned into the Irregular Dimension and Weight (IDW) market, adding a two-man service to its initial one-man offering.

Since then, XDP has grown to become the largest privately owned freight network in the UK. The company boasts a fleet of over 500 vehicles, and a network in excess of 30 depots nationwide, along with 15 corporate sites, and two distribution hubs. It’s a significant footprint, and one that XDP has been able to build thanks largely to an emphasis on customer-focused logistics, prioritizing reliability and quality of service.

As a privately owned freight network, XDP sits between the parcel and pallet sectors. The company’s full manual-sort offering also enables it to carry fragile items – typically those smaller in size, but which can’t be run through the ordinary mill of automated belts found throughout the parcel sector.

“Our strength lies in the combination of old and new worlds,” are the words of Isabella Wayte, Managing Director at XDP, when speaking to Transportation & Logistics International. “The old world of the manual sort and a real person on-hand to speak with, combined with the latest and greatest technological innovation and AI capabilities.

“We carry predominantly for the B2C market for some of the UK’s largest retailers,” she continues. “XDP offers both a one-man and two-man service across mainland UK and offshore. We also provide dedicated loads and trucking.”

It’s been an interesting time for logistics. The industry underwent a boom in the wake of Covid-19, as repeated lockdowns saw consumer purchases soar. But increasing business has its challenges. For XDP, it was a challenge to the company’s technological and physical infrastructure.

“As a business, our flexible and agile operation was certainly put to the test with the large increase in online shopping,” Isabella confirms. “Many lessons were learnt, which paved the way for many of the new technologies we’ve since put in place – including contactless, QR signing, as well as resource efficiency and performance quality.”

Despite its significant business growth, XDP remains true to its core values. The company remains the only freight network to provide a fully manual operation, a fact that distinguishes it amid a competitive field. “Our operational offering means we’re able to carry a wide variety of goods that, due to either size or product type, aren’t able to travel the conventional way without damage,” Isabella explains. “Providing a fully manual sort allows us to carefully handle all items and manage quality.”

It’s in pursuit of this same quality that XDP continues to introduce innovation throughout its operations. Most recently, this has taken the shape of the company’s ground-breaking new DriverX platform.

“Our real-time DriverX platform delivers enhanced performance, communication, and visibility of all our one-man and two-man deliveries,” Isabella reveals. “The app enables next-stop notification, contactless QR signing, proxy consignee contact, and dramatically improves tracking visibility for customers. It represented a big project for the business, and although – as with most large investment rollouts – we encountered some inevitable teething issues, its impact has been revolutionary.”

Moving forward, XDP is rolling out a series of IT innovations to further enhance RFT, customer experience, and performance. A second phase DriverX platform and second-phase Consignee App will also be rolled out in the coming months.

“We’ve also invested in some more developments for our two-man offering, to further improve customer experience,” Isabella tells us, with those expected to go live within a couple of weeks of our conversation. “Furthermore, we’re working hard to reduce our carbon footprint by ensuring we maximize trailer fill, and are currently trialing electric vans in central London. We’ve recently undertaken a complete review of our customer services department, and we’re in the process of a complete rebrand that focuses on next generation customer care.

“People are imperative to our business,” she adds. “We’re proud that some of our staff have done the full 26 years with the business, and we continue to pride ourselves on a culture of leading by example, and allowing staff a real voice within the business. We’re constantly looking to add further talents to our fantastic and long serving team.”

With eyes firmly fixed on the future, XDP already has a full year of development work scheduled for 2023. “Although we won’t be immune to much of the economic uncertainty currently facing the UK, we remain well-positioned to face these challenges,” she concludes. “Our tenacity and determination are the skills that will be key in the upcoming years. Our focus remains on quality, and on our people, as we look to provide all our customers, old and new, with a fairly priced and quality service.”