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3500 new drivers are being recruited in the United Kingdom for the parcel delivery firm DPD that has announced 6,000 new UK jobs and major infrastructure investment in response to the unprecedented boom in online shopping caused by Covid-19.

The new jobs will include delivery and HGV drivers, warehouse staff, management positions and support staff, including mechanics.

DPD will also invest £200m this year to expand its next-day parcel capacity, including £100m on vehicles, £60m on 15 new regional depots (10 more than originally planned in 2020) and the remainder on technology.

Even before lockdown restrictions were announced in March, demand for DPD’s seven days a week, nationwide next-day delivery service had risen significantly as people started increasing their reliance on online shopping, says the company. The trend has continued, with existing retail customers experiencing an online sales boom and new customers developing online propositions to maintain sales during lockdown.

DPD is forecasting the growth to continue this year, despite shops reopening, as households continue to rely on online deliveries for a greater proportion of their shopping, including food and drink.

The new infrastructure investments and recruitment will be in place before Black Friday as the firm prepares for what it predicts will be the busiest Cyber Weekend and Christmas period, in its history.

Dwain McDonald, DPD’s CEO commented, „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.

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.”

Photo: DPD UK

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