Delivery firm DPD has announced 6,000 new UK jobs and a major infrastructure investment following huge demand caused by COVID-19.
The firm is investing £200m 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) and the remainder on technology.
The new jobs will include delivery and HGV drivers, warehouse staff, management positions and support staff, including mechanics.
The increased investment comes as a direct result of rising demands from COVID-19 and the ensuing nationwide lockdown and its impacts on online retail. DPD’s CEO, Dwain McDonald, dismissed the notion that the delivery industry would return to pre-lockdown levels, commenting that the “greater reliance on e-commerce” will be the “new normal”, although he believes the High Street will bounce back.
DPD is forecasting the growth to continue despite shops reopening, as households continue to rely on online deliveries for a greater proportion of their shopping, including food and drink.
The new infrastructure investments and recruitment will be in place before Black Friday, as the firm prepares for what it predicts will be the busiest Cyber Weekend and Christmas period, in its history.
McDonald 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.
“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.
“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.”