ASDA – “Better Off” – With Van Excellence

As the UK leading supermarket once said “you’re better off at Asda.”  The top retailer has recently ensured that its home shopping fleet vehicles are “better off all-round” and have been accredited by the FTA Van Excellence scheme.

Asda currently operates over 1,800 LGVs across the UK in order to meet the needs of the increasing popularity of home-shopping, and recognises how important high standards of van operations are to deliver to their customers on a day-to-day basis.

The online shopping industry is now estimated to be worth £117.6bn to the UK economy alone. In supporting those shoppers – home delivery fleets traditionally face unique challenges and undertake many thousands of hours of intensive urban driving every year, as well as being subjected to the normal rigors of a commercial van fleet.

Asda’s National Home Shopping Fleet Manager, Sean Clifton said:

“At Asda the customer is number one and at the heart of everything we do. Providing a reliable, seamless, consistent online experience is engrained into our DNA. So we’re extremely pleased that the FTA have recognized, through their Van excellence accreditation scheme, that our appetite for high standards across not just service, but safety and compliance is being replicated across our entire Home Delivery fleet.”

Van Excellence, the national accreditation scheme for van operators, is backed by the Freight Transport Association was launched in 2010, and is open to van operators of commercial vehicles of 3.5 te GVW or less.  The scheme was established by the freight industry for the freight industry in order to promote high standards of van operation and driving by accrediting operators against a code of good practice.

Since its launch Van Excellence has attracted the support of a variety of large commercial operators, and with the addition of the supermarket giant has now accredited over 100,000 vehicles.

Mark Cartwright, FTA Head of Vans and Commercial Vehicles said:

“We are delighted that ASDA has recognised the importance of the value of the Van Excellence Code of practice and how it can enhance its van operations, particularly with the rapid growth of home deliveries.  Van Excellence has established itself as the operating standard for light fleet operators across all sectors.”

The Van Excellence Code was agreed by operators acting as a Governance Group, and requires systems to be in place to check vehicle roadworthiness, driver entitlement, load security and other safety aspects.  The standard exceeds the minimum requirements of the current law and selects and adapts the requirements of O-licensing normally applied to trucks for the van sector.