Courier Firm Makes Delivery to Memory Lane

by Melissa Clark

Thursday, January 16th, 2014

25 YearsEagle Couriers, Scotland’s largest independent courier firm, has marked a special business birthday in Glasgow this month.

The anniversary is also shared by Airdrie native Jerry Stewart, one of three directors at the firm, who started his career with the company in 1988.

Jerry joined the company 25 years ago to establish the Glasgow Office. In 2013, the Glasgow office accounts for over half of Eagle Courier’s business in Scotland, with 55 vans based in the city.  A further 45 vans are based in Edinburgh.

Marking his own personal anniversary with the firm, Jerry cited a family cat driven 478 miles home from Plymouth to a family in Penicuik and a life-size Horace the Haggis costume hand delivered to Sally Magnusson’s book launch as two of his favourite deliveries.

Jerry said: “One of the things I cherish the most about Eagle Couriers and the industry is that no two days are ever the same. We meet interesting people with interesting requirements every day from all over Scotland which is a great incentive to come to work and enjoy what we do.”

“People in Scotland have come to trust our name and reputation which leads them to call us for all their courier needs, which includes the safe transit of valuable items, meaningful keepsakes and on the rare occasion, live animals.

“People may have the impression that our jobs are routine, but we are met with quirky requests every day that keep us on our toes and keep us looking forward to business in the future.

“Our customers will always come first, so we maintain that no job is too big or too small – or even too obscure. Hearing people’s stories and meeting their needs is an integral part of our business.

“Celebrating 25 years in business is a great achievement for us – we look forward to 25 more, with more interesting deliveries and stories to share.”

First established by brothers John and David Bennett in the 1980s, Eagle Couriers was set up as a sister company to Edinburgh business, Osprey Travel.  As a promotional push, it offered to deliver travel tickets and documents from Osprey Travel directly to business customers’ desks.

In the years before the internet went mainstream the service proved so popular the brothers quickly realised the desk-to-desk delivery service could form a standalone business, just as the concept of courier firms was taking off in London. At that time it was estimated there were 24,000 self-employed bicycle couriers in the English capital.

Jerry added: “Before email, Eagle Couriers’ services were based around quick, short deliveries on bicycle delivering documents from one office in Edinburgh to another. The business grew extensively with a huge demand for desk to desk services, starting from £1.50 per job. This boom in trade allowed for a new office in Glasgow covering urgent deliveries across the central belt and beyond.”

“Once the 1990s came, the internet arrived and everyone switched to transferring files electronically. Advances in technology eliminated the need for desk-to-desk services, which could, in theory, have seen the end of our business.

“Instead, we thrived on delivering time-sensitive packages that couldn’t be transferred through email such as medical supplies and parts for field engineers, all over the UK.”

In 2006, Jerry Stewart partnered with Graham MacPherson and Fiona Deas to complete a management buyout of the company.  Eagle Couriers was then developed with each of the three company directors managing a different sector of the business.

Eagle Couriers has 20 members of operational staff across Scotland and a 100-strong team of couriers. It has its HQ in Bathgate, West Lothian and additional offices in Edinburgh and Glasgow. The company provides safe and quick logistics services to organisations across the private, public and third sectors as well as working directly with consumers.

Boasting a 3500-strong client base including the BBC, the Government Procurement Service and the NHS.  Further information on Eagle Couriers can be found at  www.eaglecouriers.co.uk  or on 0845 123 1230.

 

 

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