DPD invest £175m to expand across UK
UK parcel firm DPD is to invest £175m to expand its capacity, creating 10 new depots, one new parcel sorting hub and creating 15,000 jobs in response to the online retail boom.
The parcel firm plans to spend £100m on a new parcel sorting hub in the East Midlands in addition to refurbishing two of its other hubs to increase the number of parcels it can handle each night.
The investment follows a period of growth spearheaded by the company's Predict service (launched in March 2010) which has generated over £70m of new business to date and over 1,000 new full-time jobs in the past 12 months, as a flood of major retailers switched to DPD.
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Predict offers customers the option to book a one-hour delivery window, which reduced the number of wasted trips, where parcels are taken back to the depot.
DPD plans to invest $20m in its nationwide network of depots, with $20m assigned to upgrade a number of its existing 40 locations and build ten new depots over the next 15 months.
Dwain McDonald, DPD CEO, said: "I'm delighted to announce this very significant investment in new jobs and infrastructure. DPD has been expanding year on year and is now the fastest growing major carrier in the UK. This investment will allow us to expand our network capacity further to meet the demands from our customers and maintain our very high service standards.
"The online retail market is expanding rapidly with consumers now prepared to buy a much wider range of goods online. With Predict we have a product which gives retailers greater confidence that their goods can be delivered both on time and straight into the hands of their customers. That helps them improve their customer service and helps encourage more repeat purchases."
Cainiao Network Launches Customer-Centric Logistics
As the logistics division of the Alibaba Group, Cainiao Smart Logistics Network has decided to provide its Southeast Asian customers with unsurpassed service during its annual shopping festival. Based on customer feedback surveys, the company will expand its real-time customer service support and speed up delivery times. ‘By expanding and deepening our services, we aim to provide a stronger logistics infrastructure that can bolster the booming eCommerce sector, support merchants’ expansion into new markets and diversify retail options for consumers’, said Chris Fan, Head of Cross-Border, Singapore, Cainiao Network.
Who Is Cainiao?
According to TIME Magazine, Cainiao ‘is far from a typical logistics firm’. The company controls an open platform that allows it to collaborate with 3,000 logistics partners and 3 million couriers. This means that merchants can choose the least expensive and most efficient shipping options, based on Cainiao’s real-time logistics analytics. The company’s goal is to ship packages anywhere in the world in under 72 hours—and for less than US$3.00.
For countless small business owners around the world, from coffee-growers to textile-weavers, this could change everything. Usually, it costs about US$100 to ship a DHL envelope from Shanghai to London in five days. Cainiao aims to change that. Said its CEO Wan Lin: ‘The biggest barrier to globalisation is logistics’.
What’s Part of the Upgrade?
Throughout the Tmall festival, Cainiao’s logistics upgrade will be divided into four critical segments:
- Real-time customer service support. Cainiao has launched a direct WhatsApp channel for customers to receive logistics updates and ask questions.
- Expansion of air freight parcel size and weight limits. Packages can now be up to 30 kilograms or 1-metre x 1.6 meters to help ship large items such as furniture.
- Daily air and sea freight connections. Shipping frequency will almost double to seven times weekly to maintain resilience and efficiency.
- Compensation for lost or damaged packages. Customers will be reimbursed up to RMB 2,000 (US$311).
Where is the Company Headed?
From June 1st to June 20th, the finale of Tmall, Cainiao will ensure that its customers feel confident in the company’s ability to deliver their packages. Despite global shipping delays due to COVID, the show will go on. Said Fan: ‘This series of customer-centric logistics upgrades reaffirms our goal of pursuing value-added services to enhance customers’ shopping experience while mitigating challenges posed by external factors’.
Furthermore, Cainiao has recently expanded its Southeast Asian operations, achieving revenue growth of 68% year-over-year. In Malaysia, the logistics operation has partnered with BEST Inc. and Yunda; in Singapore, the company has partnered with Roadbull, Park & Parcel, and the Singapore Post. And if its recent measures help retain and grow its customer base, the company will be well-poised to lead the industry in resilient and customer-centric global logistics. ‘COVID-19 made everyone realise how important the logistics infrastructure backbone is’, said Wan. ‘And it gave us a peek at what Cainiao should look like in three years’.