Parcel carriers Hermes and DPD have both been opening new depots to help them cope with the forthcoming festive surge in packages.
Leeds-based Hermes, part of the Germany-based Hermes Logistics Group, has opened depots in Carlisle in the north of England and in Coventry in the English Midlands, which are now operational.
DPD, part of the La Poste-owned GeoPost Group, has opened new facilities in London, Southampton and Dundee, which should be fully operational later this month.
Hermes had already opened two parcel depots in the South of England earlier this year, and earlier this month said it was expanding the processing capacity at its Nuneaton site in Warwickshire.
Its latest new additions comprise a 4,923 square metre depot in the Coventry area and a 1,467 square metre site in Carlisle, bringing its network to a total of 24 sites.
The new Coventry facility is located on Progress Way in the Binley area, close to the Coventry ring road and access to the M6 motorway, which will link to the company’s northern and national hubs. The depot will handle around 24,000 parcels a day, but is capable of handling 43,000 per day during the Christmas peak.
The smaller Carlisle facility in the Kingstown Industrial Estate will handle parcel traffic for Cumbria, North Lancashire and Dumfries & Galloway.
Hermes said it was creating more than 100 new jobs with the new depots – 61 full-time positions and 10 part-time in Coventry, with about 30 new jobs in Carlisle. Further temporary positions will be created for the Christmas rush.
Carole Woodhead, the Hermes UK chief executive, said the series of depot openings in recent months “clearly illustrates our commitment to investing appropriately to support current and future growth”.
She said of the new facilities: “They will boost capacity in key areas and ensure we are best placed to meet the home delivery requirements of our retail customers.”
Meanwhile, DPD said yesterday it is investing GBP 4.3m on its three new depots, creating 150 new jobs in the process as it extends its network of 42 depots.
The French-owned company said its additional capacity was responding to the significant increase in business-to-consumer volumes it says has been driven by its “hugely successful” Predict service, which offers consumers a one-hour delivery window for the delivery of their online purchases.
The 4,500 square metre new London depot on Mandela Way, Southwark, will serve the centre of Britain’s capital. The GBP 1.5m facility will relieve pressure from DPD’s existing sites at London Bridge and Kings Cross.
The GBP 2.3m facility at the Hamilton Business Park in Hedge End, close to the M27 just outside Southampton, offers 4,000 square metres of space and replaces DPD’s existing facility in Chandler’s Ford, north of Southampton near Eastleigh. DPD said the new location would offer improved transport links and would make it easier for customers to visit the depot when picking up parcels.
The new Dundee facility will extend DPD’s network in Scotland to five sites – two in Glasgow, plus facilities in Edinburgh and Aberdeen – with 2,700 square metres of capacity on Fowler Road in the West Pitkerro Industrial Site. The GBP 500,000 facility will service up to 50 new routes to customers in the Dundee-Perth area, who had previously been served by the Edinburgh facility 60 miles away.
Dwain McDonald, the DPD chief executive, said there had been an “unprecedented” increase in his company’s parcel volumes in recent years.
He said this was “mainly” because of the Predict service, which was launched in March 2010 to give customers more certainty regarding when their parcel will be delivered, with customers sent a text message with a one-hour delivery window they can then either accept or rearrange.
DPD UK attributes the service to more than GBP 50m in new business.
“Deliveries on behalf of the ecommerce industry now represent half our business and we expect this growth in retailing to continue to go from strength to strength,” said McDonald.
Source: Post&Parcel/Hermes UK/DPD UK