A two-man revolution: Panther celebrates a decade of pioneering next day two-man delivery excellence


Panther Logistics is celebrating 10 years of its dedicated next day two-man delivery service which revolutionised the industry – sparking the Northamptonshire-based business’s meteoric ascent.

Ever since Panther Logistics stepped into the two-man delivery arena in 2011, the trailblazing company has consistently raised the bar through its game-changing service offering.

Having provided general haulage for two decades, Panther identified a gap in the marketplace completely changing its business model to focus solely on premium, next day, white-glove two-man delivery.

The introduction of next-day delivery in the two-man market was an industry first and was instantly embraced by retailers and consumers alike. For the first time, customers were able to experience the immediacy of the high street when they shopped online for larger items.

MD Gary McKelvey says the service was as much of a seismic shift to online retail as when the parcels sector introduced an overnight service more than 30 years ago.

He added: “The importance of next-day to our industry is hard to fathom and we are extremely grateful to the vision and foresight of its architect, former MD Colin McCarthy.

“Even after his achievement, Colin went on to develop a series of innovations that held the end-user in mind to give Panther’s customers a competitive edge, such as providing delivery to choice of room and removal of all packaging.

“He recognised that customers were increasingly expecting the same level of service for two-man delivery as they enjoyed in the parcels arena.

“It’s a remarkable achievement.”

Driven by Panther’s burning desire to push the boundaries and provide the ultimate in customer service, innovation after innovation followed.

They include nominated day delivery, wet and dry installation, seven day a week delivery, 10pm cut-off times for next day delivery, two-hour delivery slots, and a recycling service to minimise landfill. The company also persuaded retailers to open their warehouses on Sundays and Bank Holidays.

Colin’s expertise and guidance culminated in Panther’s acquisition by global transportation leader AIT Worldwide Logistics in December following an exit by private equity firm LDC which had invested in Panther as part of the management buyout four years ago.

The deal will see Panther secure its position as the leader in specialist two-man delivery while providing a platform for service improvements and further growth.

Panther’s current management team have remained in post to support its continued development.

Colin, who is gradually stepping down as former Commercial Director Gary takes the reins as MD, said: “The last 10 years have been transformative for Panther and I’m incredibly proud of our dedicated and innovative staff.

“They deliver a best-in-class service and embrace our core philosophy that the final mile delivery experience is crucial and an extension of the retailer’s customer service journey.

“Our strength is our ability to respond to ever-changing customer demands, which has led to Panther developing an enviable service portfolio underpinned by state-of-the-art technology.”

And the innovation continues. Having seen an increasing desire by customers to move away from holding their own stock, they responded by opening a storage facility to enable them to offer a full end to end pick and pack, fulfilment and delivery solution.

Recognised as a disruptor within the sector, the company boasts an impressive customer base including Wayfair, Silentnight, Dunelm, Samsung, Decathlon, and LG.

These successes have also drawn the attention of the national press. Panther has been featured in The Sunday Times Fast Track – twice – and was also listed in the FT’s 1000 Europe’s Fastest-Growing Companies.

Turnover has soared from £1m to £70m and depots have grown from a single site in Crick to nine facilities nationwide.

“While we can be justifiably satisfied with the last 10 years, Panther never rests on its laurels,” Gary added.

“We continually strive for excellence through the development of new services and technology further reinforcing our position at the forefront of the market.

“The acquisition by AIT gives us the perfect foundation for future growth and I’m excited to see how the next 10 years will unfold.”