Leeds-based airport taxi specialist Arrow Cars has established a partnership with nationwide distribution company Yodel to help deliver food and other goods during the Coronavirus crisis.

An initial three-month trial between the two companies is running in the West Midlands, with five Arrow Cars drivers each carrying up to 120 parcels daily for Yodel and providing flexible cover for the Yodel Coronavirus operations. If the scheme is a success, it could be expanded across the regions where Arrow operates, and could involve up to 1,000 Arrow Cars drivers.

Consumers are increasingly embracing online shopping in the lockdown, and carriers such as Yodel are exceptionally. Arrow will provide additional capacity to enable them to keep parcels flowing more flexibly.

Arrow Cars is the official taxi partner at five UK Airports: Newcastle, Leeds Bradford, East Midlands, Birmingham and Bristol. Arrow has itself launched an online food delivery service for its customers, called Arrow Fresh.

Nationwide figures show a surge in online retail sales in March 2020, with 74% growth in average transaction volumes compared with 2019, according to data from ACI Worldwide. Yodel has reported a 25% rise in business, and is introducing new initiatives to ensure it is able to meet this excess demand.

Carl Moore, Chief Operational Officer of Yodel, said: “As consumers continue to stay at home during the Covid-19 pandemic, there has been a significant growth in ecommerce as shoppers are unable to make purchases in person.

“As a result, demand for our services has increased and we’re constantly working to develop new agile options to cope with extra volume. We’re delighted to be joining forces with Arrow Cars to provide some additional resource during this period.

Arrow Cars Managing Director Daniel Graham said: “As taxi usage dropped off completely at the end of March, we researched the best national couriers that we could offer our services to and got in touch with Yodel.

“Our expertise lies in local knowledge, our multi-site operations and our large capacity so we are well positioned to support with seamless deliveries. We look forward to making a success of the partnership and being able to build a long-lasting relationship with Yodel.”