Amtrak secures government parcel distribution deal

Amtrak Express Parcels, the franchised overnight parcels network, has formed a partnership with Government to deliver mail and parcels nationwide on behalf of government departments, agencies and associates. Part of a five-year contract with the Government Car and Despatch Agency (GCDA), Amtrak will be providing a full range of next day services.

The GCDA's InterDespatch Service (IDS) already provides distribution and mail related services for government and the wider public sector; mainly carrying mail between different government agencies and departments. The Amtrak partnership will allow IDS to expand its services to meet all of the nationwide delivery requirements of government as part of a new one-stop-shop service.

With guaranteed next day delivery to any destination nationwide, IDS will be able to offer best value services across government. By matching the best capabilities of established public and private enterprises, the partnership will allow Government to single-source all mail and parcel requirements, reduce costs and improve efficiency.

In addition to its timed next day services, Amtrak will bring to government a host of specialist services, including nationwide same day, international courier, secure overnight and the handling of sensitive or hazardous goods. A special Government Mail document bag service provides secure collection and/or delivery of documents.

The GCDA was established as an Executive Agency of the Cabinet office in 1997 and is now part of the Department for Transport (DfT). This year is the 60th anniversary of the Government Car Service whose origins date back to the Second World War when the service was predominately female drivers; as portrayed in the popular TV drama Foyle's War. Car Service chauffeurs also started carrying documents between Government departments and this was the origin of the InterDespatch Service.

"Our aim is to be the first choice supplier of secure transport, distribution and mail related services to government departments and the public sector. The partnership with Amtrak allows us to handle just about any collection and delivery requirement and guarantees next day delivery nationwide. This one-stop-shop capability means that our customers across Government can cut their administration and reduce costs by simply using their own InterDespatch Service". Says Roy Burke, Chief Executive of the Government Car and Despatch Agency (GCDA).