Using a dedicated vehicle and driving team, the client’s urgently needed printed goods leave for Paris, France. Their trans-European courier collects from two Southern England locations on Thursday and Friday. The clock’s ticking and delivery in central Paris by 07:00 on Monday morning is critical. To make things tougher, the second pick-up is only ready at 16:00 on Friday – minutes before the collection point closes. The curtain-sided Sprinter van makes both collections on time, heads across La Manche and reaches central Paris as dawn breaks over Sacré-Cœur. It’s another example that demonstrates the power of dedicated-vehicle express freight deliveries within Europe…

In this article, we explore the role – and benefits – of using a European dedicated express courier van service. Every day, across the UK and Europe, such European courier runs demonstrate the value of dedicated-vehicle couriers. Often, but not exclusively, couriers – they’re so much more than just a ‘man in a van’ – make such trans-European runs with Sprinter-type or Luton vehicles. Where dictated by the cargo, 7.5 tonners and even Euroliners also see dedicated-vehicle duty on same day, next day or three-to-four day assignments to Europe’s furthest corners.

A dedicated-vehicle European courier is a ‘lifesaver’
The demands that make express dedicated-vehicle deliveries so valuable – often, business ‘lifesavers’ – are as diverse as business itself. As you read on, we challenge you not to see applications for this type of ‘white glove delivery service’ in your industry. Think dedicated, often double-crewed, vehicles travelling door-to-door from the UK to Italy, Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands and all points between. Whether for routine contract runs or for emergency shipping, these deliveries help business and industry make money, save time and protect hard-earned reputations.

Double-crewed, dedicated vehicles
Whether for import or export, what’s the secret of European dedicated-vehicle deliveries? The heart of a dedicated-vehicle delivery service is a reliable, often-double-crewed, vehicle that travels point-to-point with a single client’s cargo. Forget load consolidation, groupage, and unloading and reloading at intermediate depots en route. Whether it’s same day or next day, a dedicated-vehicle delivery means that only your freight is carried across Europe. And all the time, it’s guided by experienced drivers and sophisticated GPS tracking and navigation systems.

Ultimate cargo control
Dedicated vans (or 7.5 tonners, or Euroliners) deliver perfect control over fragile, time-critical, cargo as diverse as high-value artwork, urgently needed aircraft parts, designer goods or broadcasting equipment. Such an express courier service is perfect where freight handling must be minimised, where terminal times will be extended, or where consignments are attractive to thieves. And then there are deliveries where the courier vehicle crew must do more than just ‘unload’.

Perfect for precisely-timed deliveries
Consider for example a delivery – like all this article’s examples, from real life – where the arrival at a European destination is precisely timed. In this case, a double-manned Luton van travelled from Berkshire, England to a chateau in the heart of France. Achievement of the strict timing was assured by sending two drivers. Furthermore, the van crew then moved the consignment of high-value electronic goods into the historic building and carried them up to the first floor. They then positioned the items to the client’s precise instructions. Deliveries with dedicated vans or trucks really can be that bespoke.

Clients’ bespoke loading and unloading requirements
Very precise, specific client requirements typically lie at the heart of dedicated-van deliveries. Consider now a multi-pallet consignment of life-sized fibreglass/composite resin models. On this occasion, they were sent from South West England to Germany – the inverse of the ever-popular express freight from Germany delivery. Such were the models’ characteristics that the client insisted on individually wrapping each pallet after loading onto the tail-lift-equipped 7.5 tonner. That was on Tuesday. With the consignment securely loaded and protectively packaged, the vehicle and crew set off across Europe to Germany. They made the door-to-door delivery – without reloading en route, on time and with the freight in perfect condition – the next day. By the weekend, the bespoke models were unpacked and installed in a Cologne shopping centre. Another express delivery to Germany was successfully completed.

No consolidation or reloading en route
Why is it so important to avoid consolidation of consignments during express haulage? Avoiding consolidation is a regularly-cited advantage of using dedicated-vehicle courier services between the places as far apart as Aberdeen and Athens, or Malmö and Milan. Without en-route interference with freight, control of load safety and security is maximised. Matt Everard, Managing Director of UK-based Barrington Freight, explains:

‘Imagine moving £400,000-worth (€472k) of valuable broadcast equipment from Southern England to the Swiss Alps for a major international event. For various reasons, including its effect on delivery speed, groupage wasn’t considered. We chose a dedicated 7.5 tonne van for the journey across Europe – under ATA Carnet for temporary import – to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Not only was the journey, leaving England on Tuesday and reaching Davos 48 hours later on Thursday, in a dedicated van, but our client stipulated a bilingual, English-German speaking driver. Everything went perfectly. The consignment reached Davos on time. It was offloaded by specialist fitters and set up by the time the event’s international guests arrived on Saturday. We’d successfully completed another rapid bespoke delivery to continental Europe. “Die Lieferung nach Davos wurde erfolgreich abgeschlossen”’.

Double crews maximise driving time
When time is tight, double-crewing delivery vehicles helps minimise delays caused by a solo van driver’s extended breaks. Double-crewed deliveries are a key to achieving the fast, accurately timed, door-to-door road freight deliveries that dedicated-vehicle couriers are so good at.

Same day from the UK to Germany or a next day delivery to Switzerland? With rapid dedicated-vehicle couriers, secure next day delivery within Europe is no problem. With a dedicated double-crew Sprinter or Luton van it’s eminently achievable and could be a lifesaver for your business. Not least because moving freight consignments this way is often faster and more cost-effective than multimode deliveries within Europe. Yes, over shorter distances, road freight really can outperform air freight.

Express courier saves the day: Italy to the UK
Such was the case when 10 pallets of designer goods were delivered to the UK from Milan, Italy after urgent rework. The original consignment had been rejected on arrival and returned to the Italian factory. With remedial work finished, the clock was ticking to get the goods to the UK for a product launch in Derby. The solution? Again, it was a 7.5 tonner that left Lombardy and crossed the Alps en route to the Channel crossing, the English Midlands and one very relieved customer.

Air-ride vans for fragile consignments
Those designer goods were easy to palletise and convey; the biggest challenge was timing. But what do you do when your express delivery to Italy consists of two massive bronze sculptures? In another case study, two artworks travelled from England’s south coast to a sculptor in central Italy. Eight months later, after the Italian artisan worked his magic, the sculptures made the return journey from Italy to the UK. Yet again, a dedicated 7.5 tonne curtain-side truck fulfilled the assignment – double crewed by the courier’s best drivers. What’s more, given the sculptures’ fragility, another measure was important. For further protection the courier specified air-ride vans of the kind used to deliver easily damaged aeromotive components.

European courier services for every industry
What kind of industries benefit from non-stop dedicated-vehicle European courier deliveries? The aforementioned examples give a snapshot of industries that regularly use dedicated-vehicle deliveries. Imagine aircraft operators faced with grounded planes (the ‘Aircraft on Ground’ scenario), automotive, pharmaceutical and design-industry clients. They all value fast, dedicated shipments. It’s not only when things go wrong or revenue-earning assets are at standstill either. To be honest, it’s hard to think of any industrial sector that doesn’t benefit from these pan-

European courier services.
For one Newcastle, UK, engineering customer, a combination of regular contracted 2–3 day delivery services and dedicated-van deliveries was a key distribution tool. In this case study, the business delivered metal construction parts, fabricated rig accessories and large structural components across the North Sea from England to the Netherlands using express delivery from UK to NL.

Adéu Barcelona!
From the North Sea separating England and Holland, it’s about 1000 miles (1560 km) to the warmer waters of Barcelona, Spain. That was the destination for a tail-lift LWB Sprinter van, loaded with high-value electronic superyacht equipment. After leaving the UK and crossing France, the van made a precisely-timed delivery in Spain. It’s exactly the kind of task that express delivery in Europe was designed for. But why was such precision needed in this case? Firstly, the yacht was only in port for the weekend. Secondly, the driver had to meet fitters at a set time. It’s all in a day’s work for Europe’s express delivery drivers. The consignment was on time, the fitters received the goods and the yacht – with equipment installed – could leave for its next Mediterranean voyage.

Trans-European reliability, security and precise timing
Viewed by anyone who hasn’t used express European couriers, their reliability, security, precise long-distance timing, and bespoke services, can seem magical. In reality, it’s all down to experience, well-honed skills, correct vehicle and crew selection, and meticulous planning. However, such is the diversity of demand for trans-European delivery that even professional magicians use express courier services.

That’s magic, express courier style!
Smoke, mirrors and sleight of hand might be enough to make assistants disappear and delight audiences. However, in another European courier example, transporting a consignment of flight cases from Belgium to North West England and back required a very different magic. This time, a top illusionist ‘loaned’ a breathtaking magic trick to another magician for a world magic convention in Blackpool, England. The loan required timely delivery of several flight cases containing the unique signature trick. Using a dedicated LWB Sprinter van, the consignment was safely delivered – ahead of time, no less. Afterwards, as soon as the curtain fell, the same express carrier collected the equipment with another dedicated van. Within hours, they’d whisked it back across the English Channel to Belgium in time for the owner’s show the following weekend. That’s trans-Europe express shipping magic for you!

Helping you make money and protect your reputation
Do you need to ‘pull a rabbit from a hat’ to save your product launch or make a time-critical cargo delivery across Europe? What would you do to get your production line running again if you needed to import a critical part from a factory on the other side of Europe?
As you’ve seen, it’s in situations like these, with time and profitability on the line, that a trusted European courier using dedicated vehicles really can hold the key to effective logistics, business success and protecting reputations – including yours!

Since 2006, as one of the leading European courier companies, Barrington Freight has delighted demanding clients with tailor-made solutions across the UK and Europe. The Essex, UK-based freight forwarder can access thousands of vehicles and a pool of reliable drivers. That’s perfect for the challenging same-day, next-day or 2–3-day time-critical, dedicated-vehicle deliveries the company makes. Typical European destinations include Sweden, Germany, France, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Italy and Spain. Learn more about Barrington Freight’s cost-effective dedicated-vehicle express courier services to and from Europe.