Supply chain services specialist Walker Logistics saw a 400% upturn in ecommerce orders processed at its Berkshire-based fulfillment centre in April compared to the same period last year.

The company saw a leap in demand for foodstuffs, personal care and well-being products during April.

It also shipped tens of thousands of hand sanitizer gels, face masks and other items of personal protection equipment to Uber and Ocado delivery drivers across the country.

William Walker, Walker Logistics’ sales director, said: “April was like a constant Black Friday with B-2-C online orders reaching unprecedented levels.

He said the company had anticipated that the Covid-19 lockdown would create a sharp upturn in ecommerce activity and was able to bring in extra temporary staff.

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The company also introduced strict social distancing measures.

Walker said: “Work stations have been reconfigured to provide more space for packing operations while we are providing hygienic wipes and gels along with face masks and disposable gloves to all operatives on a daily basis.

“In addition, senior managers constantly liaise with both office and warehouse staff to provide an open forum for discussion so we can be sure we are offering all the necessary support at this challenging time.”

The company is expecting online demand to remain high as the public change their shopping habits in the face of the ongoing pandemic.

Walker said: “With non-essential high street retail outlets likely to remain closed for many weeks to come, the indications are that online sales will remain high and we suspect even when the shops fully re-open consumer habits will have changed for the foreseeable future. The first days of May have shown no let-up in April’s levels of demand.”