, the UK's largest home delivery courier network, is being rebranded as Hermes as part of an ongoing strategy to create the first cross-border business-to-consumer delivery solution.
Direct catalogue retailers JD Williams and Land's End have become the first companies to use the new service, with consumer goods collected in the UK for onward delivery to private addresses across Germany.
The move to create a pan-European network comes after Hermes Logistik Gruppe, Germany's largest home delivery provider, expanded its operation from Germany into Austria in 2007 and, in October 2007, acquired a stake in the Italian logistics provider Porta a Porta. Via Parcelnet/Hermes in the UK and a French logistics group, Hermes says it is now established in markets generating 80% of Europe's parcel business and the network already account for 22% of all home deliveries across Europe.
The new cross-border solution offers a dedicated home delivery service, with a daily freight route operated between the UK and Hermes Logistik Gruppe’s hub in Hucklehoiven, Germany. Full online tracking is available from collection to delivery, with three to five day delivery as standard from collection in the UK.
A full returns service is also available using Hermes Logistik Gruppe's 13,000 Paketshops or home collection, with all parcels collated at Hucklehoiven and transported back to the UK. The service will be rolled out next in Austria and Italy, with France, Spain and northern Europe to follow shortly after.
"Adopting the Hermes brand name represents a new journey for the company and is yet another exciting step in the evolution of our business," says Carole Woodhead, CEO of Hermes in the UK. "As an integral part of the largest privately-owned pan-European delivery network, we are already seeing benefits in terms of investment, business synergies and product development, enabling us to provide more delivery options and an enhanced service to our customers."