Hermes invests in new UK depot to address rising demand

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UK delivery company Hermes has announced plans to open a purpose-built depot in Bolton, Lancashire, in autumn 2021. The development will form part of the company’s ongoing investment in its infrastructure, designed to support the significant volume increases that saw a record 630 million deliveries in 2020, an increase of 250 million parcels on Hermes’ 2019 annual deliveries figure.

The Wingates Estate Bolton depot will replace an existing site nearby, with all current staff transferring and being joined by an additional 100 new recruits across a range of roles, including traditional warehousing roles as well as a variety of management positions across customer services, compliance and finance. The site will be able to handle 220,000 parcels per day.

With Hermes touting sustainability as a key goal, the site will feature EV charging points and energy efficient measures including smart lighting and will be built to BREEAM-certified specifications. The ability to sort more parcels locally will be increased, which the company says will enable it to reduce parcel-miles annually, ultimately decreasing each parcel’s carbon footprint.

Carl Lyon, COO at Hermes UK, said, “The pandemic and lockdown restrictions have expedited the already significant growth of online shopping and we are continuing to make bold investments to ensure we can continue to meet current and future demand. Bolton is a key location for us and forms a vital part of our growing infrastructure.”

Hermes saw strong growth in 2020, with parcel volumes doubling in April, May and June compared to the same months in 2019. It also had a very busy peak period, delivering almost 72 million parcels between Black Friday and Christmas Eve compared to around 42 million in the same period in 2019.

To support this growth, Hermes opened four operational hubs and five new depots in 2020. It increased its fleet by 2,500, created more than 10,500 new roles across the business and added 13,000 couriers to its nationwide network.

Martijn de Lange, CEO at Hermes UK, said, “As a result of the pandemic and lockdown, we had to fast forward our five-year plan and deliver it in just five months. The level of parcel volumes that we handled was what we had originally planned for in 2025.

“We aren’t seeing many signs that this demand is slowing down so far in 2021 and are continuing our ongoing investment into developing our infrastructure and proposition, supported by an award-winning and industry-leading app, and new products and services that are designed to continue to enhance the customer experience. This includes a new local customer service model with agents situated in our depots across the country. We’re focusing on providing strong communication and added assurance and convenience to all of our customers.”

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Lawrence has been covering engineering subjects – with a focus on motorsport technology – since 2007 and has edited and contributed to a variety of international titles. Currently, he is responsible for content across UKI Media & Events' portfolio of websites while also writing for the company's print titles.

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