Tesco is adding 20 Iveco Eurocargo 18 tonners to its fleet in a move which marks the first Iveco trucks to be operated by the supermarket chain.

Tesco has been forced into issuing an apology after its distribution director posted a message on social networking site Twitter that appeared to celebrate the closure of a number of distribution depots.

The tweet, posted by Steve Strachota, Tesco’s UK and Ireland distribution director, highlighted the closure of five depots and opening of three new ones, adding: “Awesome teamwork, courageous leadership, a bit of luck”.

It referred to the ongoing restructuring of Tesco’s distribution centre network, which includes the closure of three regional DCs at Harlow, Weybridge and Chesterfield and the opening of new sites in Reading and Dagenham. Tesco is also closing part of its Daventry site after the re-opening of Fenny Lock, where it has consolidated all its non-food online distribution, and will also be shutting down the Middlewich site operated by Ceva Logistics.

In a letter sent to the supermarket giant on 1 July, Harlow MP Robert Halfon said he was “really disturbed” by the tweet, adding that senior managers at Tesco “appear to be wallowing in what they have done”. Halfon also said the retailer seemed “callous in their treatment of workers”.

In a statement, Tesco said: “This tweet was intended to acknowledge that difficult decisions had been taken in order to make significant changes to our distribution network. Steve has spoken to our colleagues at Harlow in person to explain this and they recognised that it should be seen in that context. Nonetheless, we sincerely apologise if the tweet caused any offence.”

The tweet has now been removed.

A spokeswoman for the retailer declined to say whether Strachota would face any disciplinary action. Strachota himself was not available for interview.

Around 800 staff have opted to take redundancy across the Weybridge, Harlow and Chesterfield sites, with 300 other staff moving to alternative roles within Tesco, said the spokeswoman. All affected staff at the Daventry site have also found alternative roles within the group. The opening of the new DCs in Reading and Dagenham will create 2,000 jobs, she added, while 300 more have been created at Fenny Lock.

The Weybridge site has already closed, with Harlow to follow in August and Chesterfield in mid-September. The Daventry operation is due to close on 8 July with Ceva’s Middlewich site shutting down in August.