- Danielle Wightman-Stone |
Parcel delivery firm DPD has announced it will be adding 6,000 new UK jobs alongside a major infrastructure investment in response to what it is calling the “unprecedented boom in online shopping” caused by Covid-19.
The firm, which delivers for many of the UK's leading retailers including Asos, has announced that it will invest 200 million pounds this year to expand its next-day parcel capacity, including 100 million pounds on vehicles, 60 million pounds on 15 new regional depots, marking 10 more than originally planned in 2020, as well as improvements to its technology.
This move it states is to meet the “new normal” demands from online retailers, as even before lockdown restrictions were announced in March, demand for DPD's seven days a week, nationwide next-day delivery service had risen significantly as people started increasing their reliance on online shopping. The trend it added has continued, with existing retail customers experiencing an online sales boom and new customers developing online propositions to maintain sales during lockdown.
The new recruitment drive will include 2,500 new full-time jobs including depot, hub and management positions, as well as 3,500 new drivers nationwide.
DPD plans to have this new infrastructure investment and recruitment in place before Black Friday as the firm prepares for what it predicts will be the busiest Cyber Weekend and Christmas period, in its history, as it is forecasting the growth to continue this year.
Increase in online shopping leads to major infrastructure investment from DPD
Dwain McDonald, DPD's chief executive said in a statement: ”We are experiencing the biggest boom in online retailing in the UK's history and we are making this unprecedented investment in our infrastructure and people to ensure we can continue to meet the high levels of demand for our services.
"DPD has been one of the fastest-growing major companies in the UK in the last 10 years, due to the growth in e-commerce. But what we have seen in recent months is potentially a much more significant shift in behaviour, and we believe elements of it will be permanent. As a company, we've been dealing with rapid growth and ongoing investment cycles for a long time, but this is a very significant moment.”
McDonald, added: "I do think the high street will bounce back from where things are now, but we have to base our modelling on our conversations with retailers and their projections. It looks like there will remain a much greater reliance on e-commerce in the future - that's going to be our ‘new normal'. This investment and expansion mean that we will continue to be right there for our retail customers, alongside them, with the capacity to cope with the demand they are seeing online.
"Since this began, we have been handling parcel volumes more akin to the festive seasonal peak than this time of year. For example, volumes over Easter were double last year. The business has performed incredibly well, with service standards at record high levels, as more people have been at home to receive parcels and the roads have been quieter. All this while the operation has had to start scaling-up and adapt to social distancing and contactless deliveries.”
Image: courtesy of DPD