Brolly Good Show as Couriers Deliver Umbrella Wrapping Machine

by Scott Douglas

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

Dripping umbrellas are a problemMAchine wraps wet brollies to prevent dripsCurious couriers are praying for rain after delivering a clever brolly wrapping machine to the transport giant which runs Glasgow’s subway.

Staff with Eagle Couriers are desperate to see the unusual gizmo in action, when it goes on a one month trial in Buchanan Bus Station.

Jerry Stewart, director with the company, which is Scotland’s largest independent courier company, said his staff were buzzing when the delivery order came in from Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT).

He said: “There are days when we receive unusual orders that get everyone talking – and this was definitely one of those.

“None of my team had ever heard of a brolly wrapping machine, let alone seen one in action and everyone is now thoroughly intrigued.

“Even though we’ve all had enough of wintry, wet weather, we’re looking forward to at least one more day of rain once the machine is installed so that we can try it out.

“Glasgow being Glasgow, I don’t think we’ll have too long to wait. One thing the city doesn’t lack for is rain, so I suspect this machine could be a big hit with commuters.

“These machines wrap wet brollies in clear plastic to stop them dripping on floors in places where there a lot of people. It sounds like a great idea to prevent slips and it will be interesting to see how the SPT trial goes.”

Safe handover

Eagle Couriers, was called in to collect the unusual machine from J&M Partners in Limerick, Ireland, the company behind the Wet Umbrella Guard technology. Eagle then ensured it was safely handed over in Glasgow less than two days later.

Scots are familiar with the sight of umbrella users vigorously shaking off their brollies when they come indoors during wet weather, but even that won’t prevent them from dripping.

Wet Umbrella Guard promotes its technology to shopping malls, hotels, exhibition halls, banks, museums and other places which see major footfall.

When the machines are fitted at entrances, people passing through can swiftly have wet brollies sheathed in a sealed plastic bag for free. That reduces the accident risk posed by wet floors and lowers clean up costs, while helping protect merchandise. It also means owners can keep their brollies with them, rather than leaving them at front doors or in drying off areas.

Brothers Jaroslav and Martin Mlaka, originally from Presov in Slovakia, launched the business after Jaroslav was travelling in Japan in 2009 and saw one of the machines in an Osaka hotel.

He said: “I couldn’t work out what this machine was for, so waited around for 10 minutes in reception until I saw someone using – and just thought ‘wow’. It was pretty amazing stuff, yet so simple.

“I spoke with a few suppliers and realised no-one was selling this technology in Europe. My brother Martin was already living in Limerick, where there are 220 rainy days a year, so that seemed the perfect market.

“I’m told the weather is also pretty wet in Scotland, so we are delighted to have this chance to have the Wet Umbrella Guard in a major bus station, as it is the ideal place.”

Jerry Stewart, boss of Scotland's biggest independent courier company

Special delivery

It is the first time Wet Umbrella Guard has seen its technology trialled in Scotland, though it is already used by a number of high profile clients including Citibank in London, Office Concierge in London, which provides reception services at more than 100 building and with Bunzl, the facilities management, catering and cleaning giant.

Jaroslav said they were contacted by SPT after the transport giant carried out online research for possible ways of reducing the risk of wet floors caused by dripping umbrellas. The SPT has taken delivery of a two slot machine, which will wrap golf umbrellas as well as smaller brollies.

Eagle Couriers has 20 members of operational staff across Scotland and a 100-strong team of couriers. It has just celebrated its 25th anniversary in 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.

Scottish PR agency Holyrood Partnership provides media relations expertise to Eagle Couriers. Contact us to find out how your business could benefit from our superb storytelling, photography and video skills

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