Parcel firm DPD has confirmed that it plans to build a new £100m parcel hub at Hinckley Commercial Park in the East Midlands.
The company has appointed property group Goodman to develop a 330,000 sq ft parcel hub on the site, close to J1 of the M69. Subject to planning permission being granted, the facility will create upto 1,000 new, permanent full-time jobs in the area when fully operational in 2015. DPD hopes to begin building work in September of this year.
The project is part of investment plans announced by DPD in November 2012 and follows a period of unprecedented growth for the parcel carrier, thanks to its unique Predict service which provides customers with a one-hour delivery window so they do not have to wait in all day for their parcel. The company won a record £70m of new business from online retailers in 2012 off the back of Predict. More than 97 per cent of the millions of parcels delivered each year with Predict are delivered 'right first time', meaning fewer wasted trips for drivers redelivering parcels or customers having to go to the depot to pick up a missed delivery.
The new hub, which will be the largest of its kind in Europe, will be capable of handling 70,000 parcels an hour and will increase DPD's overall parcel capacity by 65%. In total, the site will cover an area the size of 19 football pitches (33 acres) while the hub building itself will be around 470 metres long.
The Hinckley site was chosen primarily because it provides the optimum location in terms of motorway links for the whole of the UK. However, developing a major hub site in the East Midlands also has other strategically significant long term benefits. DPD's three other hubs are all located in the West Midlands around Smethwick where there is potentially less scope for major increases in capacity on the road network in future and the firm is already one of the largest employers.
Dwain McDonald, DPD CEO, said; "It is very exciting to be able to announce our plans for the East Midland hub today. This is fantastic news for DPD, the region and our customers. DPD is the fastest growing parcel company in the UK and I'm incredibly proud of what we have achieved over the past few years. But we aren't standing still. We are investing significantly in the brand and delivering the network capacity we are going to need in the future for our customers. By continuing to invest in infrastructure and technology we will secure not only the 6,700 jobs we already provide in the UK, but also create another 1,500 new jobs across the UK in the next two years.
"This is a long term strategic decision, based on our success in recent years and our projections for the online retail channel. Retailers really like Predict because it help ensure their deliveries get to their customers first time, and in turn that encourages more repeat purchases. Our network capacity is fine at the moment but we need to make sure that, as demand increases from our customers, we have the potential for growth and we have more flexibility to handle increased capacity right across our network."
In November 2012 the company announced a £175m package of investment which also included the refurbishment of two existing hubs and a major expansion of its nationwide network of depots including ten new depots over the next 15 months. Other investments include the replacement of all the handheld devices used by drivers for route optimisation and parcel administration and ongoing investment in security and IT upgrades.