Mercedes-Benz Vans is working with Tesco.com to ensure the online grocer is able to evaluate the new drivers it needs to meet record-breaking home delivery demand.

Britain’s biggest retailer recently picked 10 million items in a single day for the first time. It has also achieved a weekly total of 1.2 million online deliveries, twice the typical average prior to the Covid-19 outbreak.

To manage this huge increase in customer orders Tesco has recruited an extra 12,000 pickers and more than 4,000 new drivers since the crisis began. It has also committed extra resources to the teams responsible for assessing potential candidates for driving jobs.

In normal times Tesco temporarily reassigns vans from its home delivery fleet to examine their suitability. However, given the unprecedented volume of online orders now requiring fulfilment, all of these vehicles are needed to serve customers.

Mercedes-Benz Vans has therefore provided 15 Sprinters on a loan basis for a minimum of three months, and longer if needed. Allocated to assessment hubs nationwide, nine of these vehicles are new, the other six being pre-owned examples.

As standard panel vans, they cannot be used to make home deliveries. But they are perfectly suitable for driver evaluation purposes. Crucially, this frees-up front-line units for the home delivery work that is Tesco.com’s priority.

Mercedes-Benz Sprinters account for approximately half of the 5,000-plus vehicles on the Tesco.com delivery fleet. This year alone the manufacturer will supply 1,105 new 314 CDI chassis cabs, which are being fitted with insulated bodies by Solomon Commercials and Thermo King refrigeration systems.

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