How Swift Began…

Swift Despatch started trading in 1984 and was Liverpool’s first dedicated motorcycle courier service . It was started by Vince Friery from Liverpool, a keen motorcyclist, he was amazed that nobody was already providing this service. Spotting the opportunity he launched Swift Despatch initially as a one man operation and over the next 6 months it quickly developed into a flourishing business with a reputation for providing a quality service.  After 2 years Swift opened a second office, in Warrington and shortly afterwards took over an existing courier operation in Chester.

In 1988 Swift Despatch became a founder member of the National Courier Association (NCA), which was set up to maintain standards in the industry and to improve inter trading relations between companies throughout the country. In 1994 Friery was elected Chairman of the NCA for that year. The National Courier Association still plays an important role in the day to day functioning of Swift Despatch and offers our clients rapid collections throughout the UK with access to over 2000 same day couriers nationwide, as well as providing vital backup in the event of a mechanical breakdown.

and then evolved…

As the recession hit in the mid nineties customers sought to rationalise their courier spend and to find more cost effective solutions. There was a movement away from same day towards next day delivery. Swift Despatch initially tried other national carriers only to quickly discover that no network appeared capable of providing a service to match Swift’s hard earned reputation for quality. In talking to other members of the NCA Swift discovered that it was not alone in experiencing these problems.So in 1996, Swift Despatch together with other same-day courier companies, formed its own overnight parcel network called the Alternative Parcel Company (APC). APC has proven to be an enormous success story simply by delivering on its promises. It employs more than 250 people and has a turnover in excess of £50m. In November 2000 Friery was voted onto the board of APC as Director of Communications.  Swift Despatch now has a turnover approaching £6 million and is proud to employ more than 60 people.

In February 2006 Vince Friery was honoured by being made a Founding Fellow of the Institute of Couriers in a ceremony at the House of Lords. Two years later he was followed in to the institute by Swift Despatch director of Operations Mark Davies and finally in 2017 by fellow director Debbie Charlton.

At the start of 2017, after more than 32 years at the helm of Swift Despatch, Vince Friery announced the appointment of Mark Davies as Managing Director and took on the new non-executive role of Company Chairman, giving him more time to pursue his other interests.

With over 150 years of combined experience in the courier industry, much of that working for Swift Despatch, we can offer you the best solutions to all your courier needs.