Essential information for end of life vehicle dismantling, depollution and recycling

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Copart’s Surge Management Capabilities Prepared for Climate Change

Copart, a global leader in online vehicle remarketing and recycling talks about the preparations they have made and continue to make in order to future-proof their business when it comes to climate change.


Copart's Surge Management Capabilities Prepared for Climate Change f
Surge Management Team Members (L-R) Gary Chant, Rob Brown, Gary Appleby, Jim Chalmers and Tony Ashfield

As extreme weather events become more common, here at Copart we have future-proofed our business with well-established, global emergency response capabilities and unrivalled vehicle storage capacity, establishing our position as an industry leader. 

With a recent report from the independent Climate Change Committee predicting that climate change will hit the UK harder than first thought, being prepared for handling unexpected extreme weather events has never been more important.

The report warns of an increase in severe heat waves, particularly in big cities, and more intense levels of rainfall, with an increased flood risk across most of the UK.

According to a separate report published jointly by the Association of British Insurers (ABI) and Flood Re, flooding is the greatest natural disaster risk in the UK, creating losses of around £958m a year.

At Copart, we have a well-established emergency response strategy in place alongside market-leading technology, which enables us to rapidly recover and handle large volumes of vehicles following flooding or other extreme weather incidents.  

We have specialist teams always on standby for such incidents, ready and prepared to be deployed to the affected areas at short notice. They use a wide range of mobile technology solutions, giving them the ability to assess, image, and process vehicles on-site.

This is supported by our UK-wide transport fleet, which following significant investment over the last year has now expanded to over 400 owned and branded vehicles. Alongside a network of centrally coordinated roamer recovery drivers, we can provide fast and efficient nationwide collection services. 

Once the vehicles are collected, they are distributed across our network of 15 Operation Centres, strategically located throughout the UK. Our operational locations, including a further 2 operational sites at our sister company U-Pull-It, provide unrivalled storage capacity of over 400 acres for our customers. 

This level of latent capacity puts us on a different level to our competitors when it comes to dealing with the fall-out of unexpected extreme weather events. 

Having this amount of physical space at our disposal also allows us to store damaged vehicles on the ground in secure compounds, without having to stack them. 

Some other companies have traditionally stacked cars on racking to save space. This adds the risk of damage when the vehicles have to be moved and extreme weather could even cause the racking to fall down. There are also further safety and environmental concerns around cars leaking fluids onto the cars below, or into the ground. 

Every vehicle we collect on behalf of our insurance customers is a valuable asset that we have a responsibility to look after, so our ability to store vehicles separately and safely on the ground provides huge benefits. 

Last year, our strong and unique operational capabilities enabled us to respond to an unprecedented number of flood-damaged vehicles in the South-West. We were assigned over 3,000 flood-damaged vehicles on just one day, following three consecutive weekends of heavy rain. 

Copart's Surge Management Capabilities Prepared for Climate Change p
Copart UK’s Newbury Operation Centre

This was the largest number of vehicles we had ever had from the insurers we worked with on one single day and demonstrated the devastating impact of floods on businesses and communities. 

We are always very conscious of the emotional impact that severe flooding can have, and we know how important it is to collect and process vehicles as quickly as possible. Entire car dealership forecourts containing hundreds of vehicles can be damaged in one go, and people living in affected areas who are already dealing with damage to their homes are also often losing their cars too. 

Our unique and robust emergency response services, coupled with cutting edge mobile technology for receiving and imaging vehicles on-site, enables us to alleviate a stressful situation by rapidly resolving claims for our insurance customers’ policyholders.

But it’s not just the UK that benefits from our emergency response expertise, as Copart is a truly global family, which was demonstrated last month when we joined forces with the Copart US CAT Team to support a huge recovery operation in Germany.

Following extreme flooding, a truly global effort enabled us to combine our experience and expertise and process around 6,000 flood-damaged vehicles.  

The deployment of our UK team into our European markets illustrates how our customers and the communities we work in benefit from our global strengths. 

No matter what the scale or circumstance of a demand surge, Copart has the strength and depth to react appropriately, and can facilitate the fluid movement of resources across the globe.

Copart's Surge Management Capabilities Prepared for Climate Change JP
Jane Pocock

Jane Pocock, Managing Director of Copart UK & Ireland, said:

“Unfortunately, these large-scale incidents are going to become more common in the future as we continue to see more extreme weather all across the world, and that’s why we are continually investing into strengthening our operational capabilities.

“Our ambitious reinvestment strategy is now in full flow, combining a programme of land acquisition with continuous improvement at existing sites, and extensive reinvestment in our transport, services, and technology.”

Our Bristol Operation Centre is currently undergoing major expansion works to become a 63-acre Super Centre for the South-West. Further expansions are taking place in Sandy, Wisbech and York and plans have been announced for a new 31-acre site in East Kilbride, which will double our operational capabilities in Scotland. 

In addition to our proven track record, we are also proud to hold the ISO 22301 Business Continuity Management Standard, a globally recognised standard designed to help businesses prevent, prepare for, respond to, and recover from unexpected and disruptive incidents. 

This gives our insurance customers and their policyholders further reassurance that Copart is robust, resilient, and prepared, whatever extreme weather events may lie ahead. 


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