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DHL is set to invest £482m across its UK e-commerce operation, DHL Parcel UK, the company announced this week.

The investment follows a 40% volume uplift since the start of 2020 and soaring demand for its e-commerce and B2B services, DHL said.

An initial £64m will be invested in upgrading the company’s fleet with a major focus on alternative fuel vehicles.

The fleet investment includes six fully electric 18-tonne trucks, 30 bio-LNG trucks, and 18 electric tugs. This roll-out will be followed by further sustainable fleet investment going forward.

The lion’s share of the investment will be in a brand new 25,000 sq m hub in SEGRO Park Coventry Gateway, located south of Coventry Airport.

The new facility will have the capacity to handle over 500,000 items a day and is expected to create over 600 new jobs including warehouse, driver, administration and management positions.

The new hub will feature secure bonded storage and customs capabilities to support international e-commerce, a 48-door cross dock facility and state of the art mechanisation, allowing automatic sortation of mixed sized and weight items through high-speed sortation equipment.

The building has been designed to achieve BREEAM ‘Excellent’ status to minimise its environmental impact through design features such as 7,000sq m 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 LGV electric charging points throughout and sustainable fuel capabilities to pre-empt technology developments in larger vehicles over the coming years.

Finally, the business will also invest over £190m to create 10 brand new 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 new sites have been strategically chosen to reduce the distance required to serve customers, enabling further roll-out of electric vans and improving speed of service.

Peter Fuller, chief executive 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 digitalisation and sustainability will put us in a strong position to take advantage of market growth.”

Minister for Investment, Lord Grimstone, 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 levelling 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.”