DPDgroup says it expects to handle up to 14 million parcels on peak days across Europe in the coming months, which represents almost a 100% increase on current daily volumes. From April to June 2020, when lockdown measures were a reality in most European countries, the company says it delivered 425 million parcels throughout Europe, a 26% rise on 2019. Although many people expected a return to the pre-pandemic norm for volumes once lockdown cities progressively reopened, these higher volumes, especially for B2C, have been consistent since July.
The group says it is continuing to experience a very strong increase in volumes even today: +30% between September 2019 and September 2020, with B2C volumes up 68% over the same period. Boris Winkelmann, chairman and CEO of GeoPost/DPDgroup, commented, “DPDgroup has maintained full operations and activity over this challenging first semester of 2020. Our business units have responded successfully to country-specific contexts thanks to their strong in-market position and talented ability to adapt quickly. They have taken great initiatives to counteract the pandemic, supporting local businesses and national efforts. All these actions will be maintained as we enter the second wave of the pandemic.”
After six months of unprecedented volumes, the company says that a second peak period is about to begin, corresponding to the traditional end-of-year volumes, in a context where health measures will further increase online shopping. “Customer satisfaction is DPDgroup’s top priority, and maintaining quality of service will be one of the main challenges. Our volumes have already increased by 30% compared with last year. We are working hand in hand with our customers to agree on daily forecasts over the peak period; even forecasts are harder than ever to define. We will beat our record as we do every year, but 2020 is exceptional and highly demanding,” explained Bas Janssen, European operations director at DPDgroup.
The group says it is adapting its operations to meet this surge, including the opening of 120 additional depots and extending opening hours or shift times across its 1,200 hubs and depots. Additionally, it has taken on 5,000 temporary staff in its depots, alongside extra routes and an additional 17,000 drivers.