TNT Post incarnation Whistl suspends service, 2,000 jobs at risk

Follow @SamJermy and @SupplyChainD on Twitter.Delivery firm Whistl isthe latest UK company to hit financial trouble in what is proving to be one of the ...

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|May 12|magazine7 min read

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Delivery firm Whistl is the latest UK company to hit financial trouble in what is proving to be one of the most cutthroat industries going.

Whistl, who were formerly called TNT Post, announced it had suspended door-to-door delivery operations on Monday and are now consulting 2,000 staff on redundancy.

Nick Wells, chief executive of Whistl, wrote to staff informing them that their jobs were ‘at risk’ after private equity investors LDC failed to back an expansion of the end-to-end, or “E2E”, service, where the company sorts and delivers letters to the door rather than paying Royal Mail for the "last mile" service.

In a statement, the company said: “Following the announcement from LDC that it would not proceed with the proposed investment to fund further rollout of E2E we have now commenced an extensive review of the viability and potential for the rollout of an E2E postal delivery service in the UK.

“To stem the losses from the operations we have taken the difficult decision to suspend the current E2E service during the review process and all mail will now be delivered through our long-standing downstream access service until we have concluded the review.

"As part of this extensive review, we will begin consultations with the relevant employees who are affected by the suspension of the E2E service, and with their union representatives, with a view to identifying and exploring viable proposals to secure the continuation of this service."

Whistl is owned by Dutch operator PostNL and had been in talks with LDC, the private equity arm of Lloyd's Banking Group, to fund a major expansion.

LDC took the decision not to invest in the Whistl project due to the "ongoing changes in UK postal market dynamics and the complexity of the regulatory landscape". The Manchester Evening News carries what it says is a copy of the letter to employees, which says most of the staff were on zero-hours contracts and will not be paid during the consultation process.

This devastating news for the British workforce comes off the back of CityLink going out of business on Christmas Eve, with many workers finding out of the news of Christmas Day itself.

However, this latest news has brought about brighter consequences for Whistle and CityLink rivals. Royal Mail for example, have just experience a yearly peak in shares at 500p, which is still vastly more than the 330p it floated on the stock market in October 2013.

Stayed tuned into all Supply Chain Digital platforms for the latest developments in the cutthroat industry of British parcel delivery.