German logistics firm will spend £482m across its UK e-commerce business amid online shopping boom
The logistics firm DHL is set to expand in the UK following the increase in home deliveries, creating new depots and expanding others, which will eventually create over 4,000 jobs. The German company said it would invest £482m across its UK e-commerce business, DHL Parcel UK, in response to a 40% increase in volumes since the beginning of 2021, when the coronavirus pandemic led to a jump in online shopping.
More than £190m will be spent on setting up 10 new collection and delivery depots across the UK, while 20 more existing sites will be enlarged. This is set to provide 3,500 jobs at the depots.
The locations of the new sites have been picked out to minimize the distance required to attend to customers, allowing further rollout of electric vans and enhancing the speed of service, the company said.
Around half of the overall investment will help in building a new 25,000 sq metre hub in a Segro warehouse park south of Coventry airport, which can hold over 500,000 items every day and is predicted to create over 600 new jobs, including driver, warehouse, management, and administration roles.
The hub will have a 48-door cross-dock facility so that products from a manufacturer are delivered immediately to customers, with little or no storage needed. Also, it will use high-speed equipment for the automatic organization of items of different sizes and weight.
DHL is spending £64m on upgrading its fleet, buying 30 liquefied natural gas trucks, six fully electric trucks, and 18 electric tugs. Overall, parent company Deutsche Post DHL Group intends to spend €7bn (£6bn) on clean technologies and sustainable fuel by 2030.
The chief executive of DHL Parcel UK, Peter Fuller said the expansion would position the business “at the forefront of sustainable and digital logistics” and help it profit from future market growth. “E-commerce is going to continue to shape the world around us.”
Notably, the UK is in the midst of a warehouse boom to aid the rise in online shopping. Segro, the UK’s largest warehouse and data centre operator, has been constructing big sheds across the country. Gerry Grimstone, the minister of investment, applauded the expansion as a success of the government’s development agenda.
“With investment comes jobs and a boost to local economies, so I look forward to seeing the Midlands continue to flourish and promoting our commitment for a cleaner and greener future.”