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DPD investment in 6,000 new UK jobs and major infrastructure

By Chris Dawson June 18, 2020 - 6:34 am

The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in unprecedented online spending on everything from food at supermarkets to home and garden as bored, furloughed workers do up their homes. Naturally all this stuff the nation has been splurging on has had to be delivered and so the announcement of a massive DPD investment with 6,000 new UK jobs and major infrastructure shouldn’t be a surprise.

Even with the high streets open again in England and Northern Ireland, no doubt soon to be followed by Scotland and Wales, traffic on the high street on the first day of opening in England was down a third compared to expectations in more normal times. The images in the press and on our TVs might have looked great but the reality is that numbers may creep up a little but the first day back excitement will soon wear off and the forecast is online will remain strong and as redundancies start to reveal how many jobs have been lost online bargain hunting for reduced budgets isn’t likely to slow down any time soon.

DPD Investment

The £200m DPD investment this year will expand their next-day parcel capacity, including £100m on vehicles, £60m on 15 new regional depots (10 more than originally planned in 2020) and the remainder on technology.

The new jobs will include 3,500 new delivery and HGV drivers, with a further 2,500 new full-time jobs for warehouse staff, management positions and associated support staff, including mechanics.

Even before lockdown restrictions were announced in March, demand for DPD’s seven day a week, nationwide next-day delivery service had risen significantly as people started increasing their reliance on online shopping. The trend has continued, with existing retail customers experiencing an online sales boom and new customers developing online propositions to maintain sales during lockdown. DPD is forecasting the growth to continue this year, despite shops reopening, as households continue to rely on online deliveries for a greater proportion of their shopping, including food and drink.

The new DPD investment in infrastructure and recruitment will be in place before Black Friday as they prepare for what they predict will be the busiest Cyber Weekend and Christmas period, in their history.

“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 ecommerce. 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.
 
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 ecommerce 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.
 
I’m incredibly proud of what our team has delivered during this crisis, including our work with the NHS and food retailers, and I have no doubt that they will continue to provide our customers with a market leading service.”

– Dwain McDonald, CEO, DPD

  • NorthCrystal
    5 months ago

    Hey RM, fancy some progress up or down.. ?

    Or will I have to just accept 2-3 WEEKS for RM24 that is classified as 1-2 working DAYS… ?!

    And no compensation for business users (big fat middle finger here..). So you say ‘send tracked’. So I do such. “Your item is at X DO and will be delivered today 21 April”. It’s 18 June. FFS. I made a claim – 30 working days to review the claim. It’s a royal joke.

    On positive news, I hope DPD will stay as good as they are currently and perhaps the investment will bring prices down(?).

    • 5 months ago

      Yeah, Royal Mail are a total joke at the moment, thanks to their First In Last Out policy to handle backlogs and excess parcels. That has to change to a First In First Out policy, otherwise they’ll lose a lot of business. It doesn’t matter how hard they’re working in sorting offices or out on the streets, if they’re leaving sacks of mail for weeks before tackling them, it’s an abuse of the terms. Maybe not legally, but morally.

      I’m now looking at items which normally would be sent via Royal Mail and thinking, can it be sent via DPD instead and still make a profit on the sale? If the answer is yes, then RM won’t get the business, DPD will.

      I know DPD are struggling to cope with the increased volume of parcels as well, but they’re just about managing and they’re doing something about it. Royal Mail should take note. That’s how it’s done.

    • NorthCrystal
      4 months ago

      Totally agree Gav. I also started sending smaller parcels (below 2kg) with either DPD or DHL. Cannot afford for RM to wait for this surge to go away as it may never actually go away.

      If RM would change to FIFO model without investment here and there it would be end of it. Their own metrics/performance reportd will be soaked in red blood and all investors could turn their backs….

  • NorthCrystal
    4 months ago

    Btw we have some 12 parcels with RM Tracked posted on this past Monday that RM tracking shows nothing for these. AWOL.
    It’s Friday and the parcels should be delivered Wednesday the latest. Not looking great.

    Tracked was/is reliable so far – sometimes only takes 48h to deliver to N.I which isn’t bad for price comparable with that “great” Hermes.

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