DPD breaks ground in Germany on largest depot in network

Parcel and express delivery company DPD held a groundbreaking ceremony on Thursday what is set to become the biggest parcel distribution centre in its network. The company, part of La Poste’s GeoPost Group, is investing EUR 42m in the facility at Erftstadt, in western Germany about 20km south-west of Cologne.

On an 83,000 square metre site – the equivalent size of 11 football pitches – the 13,000 square metre hall is expected to open in autumn 2012.

It will boast two 400-metre-long Vanderlande sorting systems, which combined will offer capacity to process up to 18,000 parcels each hour. The equipment will allow parcels to be weighed, scanned and measured automatically as they are carried along at 2.5 metres per second, before being channelled to one of 320 individual loading bays.

After 11 months of construction, DPD is planning on moving operations from its depot in Frechen to the new facility at Erftstadt, moving 300 staff and up to 350 drivers.

The new facility will serve 120 long-distance transport routes, compared to 80 served at the current Frechen depot.

DPD regional director Armin Margardt said: “The new depot in Erfstadt is the biggest and most important investment made by DPD in the last three years.

“In terms of capacity and technical sophistication it will beat all our other 75 depots, and the new centre will also play a decisive roe in DPD’s European network.”

Following the current trend for greener logistics depots, the new Erfstadt facility will make use of recyclable building materials while drawing energy from renewable resources including a solar power system and geothermal heating and cooling system.

Large windows and “intelligent” lighting systems will also keep energy efficiency at a maximum, while the building and its processing equipment will have noise-absorbing features to keep the noise level in the hall under 70 decibels.

Benelux

Separately, DPD said today that the chief executive of DPD Netherlands, Michaël van Ooijen, has been appointed head of the company’s operations in the Benelux countries.

It means Van Ooijen, 52, will have overall responsibility for operations in Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, as well as his current duties in the Netherlands.

Van Ooijen, who has been working for DPD since 1995, will be working closely with recently-appointed DPD Belgium and Luxembourg managing director Marc Morioux.

Commenting on his appointment, the new DPD Head Cluster Benelux said: “The focus of the organisational changes within the cluster will mainly lie on creating win-win situations. We want to look at how quickly and efficiently synergy advantages can be achieved in a pragmatic manner.

“By means of a more intense collaboration with my colleagues in Belgium and Luxembourg, I expected to be able to continue the successful growth of DPD in the Benelux.”

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