DHL eCommerce Solutions to invest £480m in UK e-commerce operation

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DHL eCommerce Solutions is to invest £480m (US$576m) across its UK e-commerce operation, DHL Parcel UK.

According to DHL, nearly half of the investment will be in a 25,000m² hub in Segro Park Coventry Gateway, located south of Coventry Airport in the UK. The facility will have the capacity to handle over 500,000 items per day and is expected to create over 600 jobs including warehouse, driver, administration and management positions. The hub will feature secure bonded storage and customs capabilities to support international e-commerce, a 48-door cross-dock facility and mechanization, enabling the automatic sortation of mixed-sized and weight items through high-speed sortation equipment.

The building has been designed to achieve BREEAM ‘Excellent’ status to minimize its environmental impact through design features such as 7,000m2 of solar panels, LED lighting and landscaping to protect the natural biodiversity of the area. As well as incorporating EV charging points for cars, the site will also be equipped with large goods vehicle (LGV) electric charging points throughout and sustainable fuel capabilities to pre-empt future technology developments in larger vehicles.

An initial £64m (US$76.5m) will also be invested in upgrading the company’s fleet with a focus on alternative fuel vehicles. The fleet investment includes six fully electric 18-ton trucks, 30 liquified natural gas (bio-LNG) trucks and 18 electric tugs. This rollout will be followed by further sustainable fleet investment going forward. Finally, the business will also invest over £190m (US$227m) to create 10 collection and delivery depots across the UK, and 20 more existing sites will be expanded. The new and expanded depots will create an additional 3,500 jobs across the country. The locations of the sites have been chosen to reduce the distance required to serve customers, enable the further rollout of electric vans and improve the speed of service.

The investment in sustainable infrastructure and vehicles forms part of Deutsche Post DHL Group’s sustainability strategy which is in line with the Paris Agreement through the Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi). In total, Deutsche Post DHL Group will spend €7bn (US$7.1bn) in sustainable fuel and clean technologies by 2030. The investment comes following a 40% volume uplift since the start of 2020 and demand for its e-commerce and B2B services. The expansion project is designed to deliver the infrastructure required to facilitate growth and ensure sustainable and digital logistics.

Peter Fuller, CEO of DHL Parcel UK, said, “This investment is a real demonstration of the excellent work our people and partners have delivered over the past two years to get us to the level of growth where major expansion is required to meet customer demand. E-commerce is going to continue to shape the world around us; this investment, along with the strength of the DHL brand and our leading approach to digitalization and sustainability, will put us in a strong position to take advantage of market growth.”

Lord Grimstone, UK Minister for Investment, said, “DHL’s investment into the heart of the Midlands is testament to the success of inward investors in the UK, and is the latest example of our investment strategy and the government’s leveling up agenda delivering results. With investment comes jobs and a boost to local economies, so I look forward to seeing the Midlands continue to flourish and promoting our commitment for a cleaner and greener future.”

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