DPD is to ramp-up its operations, recruiting 6,000 employees and adding 15 regional depots to its network, in the face of what it describes as the “biggest boom in online retailing”.
The express parcel carrier said it would invest £200 m this year to expand its next-day parcel capacity, including £100m on vehicles, £60m on 15 new regional depots – 10 more than originally planned in 2020, as well as investments in technology.
There will be 2,500 new full-time jobs in depot, hub and management positions, and DPD will recruit 3,500 drivers across the country.
DPD said that the infrastructure investments and recruitment would be in place before Black Friday as part of preparation plans for what it is predicting to be the busiest Cyber Weekend and Christmas period in its history.
DPD chief executive Dwain McDonald said: “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.
“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’.
“Since [the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown]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.