Black Country-based DPD to create 6000 jobs as it expands to meet online demand

DPD, which already employs around 2,800 across the Sandwell borough, will be investing GBP200 million to expand its UK network to meet the "unprecedented" surge in demand for its next-day parcel services. The company, which has its head office at Roebuck Lane, Smethwick, and a major depot at Broadwell Road, Oldbury, is spending GBP100m on vehicles, GBP60m on 15 new regional depots and the rest on stepping up technology. Other businesses in and around the M6 in the Black Country and Staffordshire involved in delivery and logistics, such as APC at Cannock and Pallet-Track at Ettingshall, are seeing a big surge in demand during the lockdown.

DPD, which also has a new site at Vaughan Trading Estate in Tipton and a depot at Walsall, will be taking on more delivery and HGV drivers, warehouse staff, management and support staff, including mechanics. The business is forecasting that growth in demand for its services will continue this year, despite shops reopening, as people continue to rely on online deliveries for much of their shopping, including food and drink. DPD plans to have most of the investment and recruitment completed by October and before Black Friday in December.

It is preparing for what it expects to be its busiest ever Christmas.

'Rapid growth'

Advertising Chief executive Dwain McDonald said: "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. "DPD has been one of the fastest growing major companies in the UK in the last 10 years, due to the growth in e-commerce.

"But 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.

DPD is to open 15 more depots

Advertising "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." Mr McDonald said that he did think the High Street would bounce back from where things are now, but DPD had based its modelling on conversations with retailers and their projections.

"It looks like there will remain a much greater reliance on e-commerce in the future - that's going to be our 'new normal'. "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. "Since this began, we have been handling parcel volumes more akin to the festive seasonal peak than this time of year.

For example, volumes over Easter were double last year. "The business has performed incredibly well, with service standards at record high levels, as more people have been at home to receive parcels and the roads have been quieter. "All this while the operation has had to start scaling-up and adapt to social distancing and contactless deliveries.

"I'm incredibly proud of what our team has delivered during this crisis, including our work with the NHS and food retailers, and I have no doubt that they will continue to provide our customers with a market leading service," said Mr McDonald.

Most jobs full time

Most of the jobs DPD is creating will be full time, with drivers having the option of an owner driver franchise, which is a self-employed contract the company has run for more than 20 years. DPD said even before lockdown restrictions were announced in March, demand for its delivery service had risen significantly as people started increasing their reliance on online shopping. Employment minister Mims Davies said: "Clearly many sectors continue to feel the impact of Covid-19, but there are opportunities in other sectors and growing areas.

These jobs span several regions of the UK and are hugely welcome as we switch our focus to renewing and rebuilding our country. "Not only is this positive news for the jobs market but also the economy, with signs people are spending and increasing demand for logistics. With roles ranging from drivers to mechanics to managers, these positions are open to jobseekers with a range of skills and provide fresh options for those seeking employment."

Pallet-Track has begun taking on more fork lift truck drivers for night shifts at its massive national distribution centre in Millfields Road and APC is also actively recruiting.

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