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DHL and UPS invest in Europe for peak

Shipping companies DHL and UPS have announced heavy investments in their European operations ahead of peak period.

DHL has said it is investing over £17.5 million in its network after this year’s surge in ecommerce shipments.

The company plans to double its footprint and handling capabilities at five strategically important distribution centres.

These are the new sites Eastleigh, Sheffield, Lincoln, Norwich and Perth, which make use of the company’s newest automated sorting equipment.

Operations at the Fareham depot are being migrated to the Eastleigh site, which opened last month and will offer processing capacity of up to 20,000 parcels per day. In Sheffield, DHL has moved into a new 79,000 square foot facility, which will add the same amount.

Peter Fuller, chief executive of DHL Parcel UK, says: “The global pandemic has driven huge uplift in ecommerce and accelerated our network upgrade plans.

“The new infrastructure will improve our parcel handling capabilities enabling us to support our customers’ ongoing ecommerce growth.”/

DHL said in October it expected “unprecedented online shopping and shipping volumes” during the 2020 peak.

The firm predicted that volumes in the DHL Express global network will riseby over 50% compared to 2019. This will come after 35% ecommerce volume growth across the year as a whole.

UPS said in a tweet today (2 December) that it had invested $2 billion in its European network to prepare for peak season, which has included adding 12 flights and 727 vehicles to its fleet.

Overall, the company said it now had capacity to handle an additional 32,000 parcels per hour.