DPD announces £200m infrastructure and jobs investment

Seeing a coming boom in demand for next day deliveries, DPD has announced plans to create 6,000 new jobs and to considerably grow its fleet and ground infrastructure.

This year the company is investing £200 million in its next-day delivery business. £100 million of this is to be on new vehicles, £60 million on 15 new regional depots and the rest is to be spent on technology.

The new positions at DPD will be delivery and HGV drivers, warehouse staff as well as management positions and support staff.

The company was already seeing strong growth before lockdown began in March with demand growing considerably for its seven-day-a-week, nationwide next day delivery service. Lockdown has boosted this considerably as many companies had strong online growth in the period.

The investment comes as even with high street shops opening, the company forecasts that much of UK retail sales will continue to remain online as shoppers don’t revert to shopping in town.

The infrastructure and jobs are to be in place before the 202’s Cyber Weekend that marks the start of the peak online shopping season. DPD expects this to be the busiest such peak season in the company’s history.

Dwain McDonald, DPD’s CEO commented, “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.

“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.

“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.”