DPD will spend £200 million on new vehicles and depots in the UK in a bid to meet new demand for online retail after the pandemic.
The France-based parcel carrier plans to spend the funds on expanding its next-day parcel capacity in the country in advance of what it predicts will be the largest ever Black Friday peak.
The investment will include £100 million on new vehicles, £60 million on 15 new regional depots and £40 million on technology.
The firm will also hire 6000 new employees, including delivery and HGV drivers, warehouse staff, managers and support staff such as mechanics.
Dwain McDonald, DPD CEO, 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.
“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.”