DPD teams up with Vanderlande to stay ahead in the dynamic UK parcel industry

November 14, 2016
The UK (along with the USA) was one of the first nations to embrace the rise of e-commerce. However, the rest of Europe is now catching up and expected to follow suit. Vanderlande’s history with DPD in the UK is a reflection of these changing times. 
DPD is one of the UK’s leading express parcel delivery companies and the relationship between both parties began around 15 years ago. The partnership has gone from strength to strength since then.
Changing times
“When we first started doing business together, we offered DPD the chance to see our demonstration area and they loved what they saw,” says Vanderlande Service Account Manager Alex Ogden. “Now we have a presence at 25 DPD sites and they are all performing well.”
“The parcel and postal market has seen enormous changes over the past 15 years,” adds Vanderlande Business Development Manager UK Mike Codd. “However, the surge in e-commerce presents some unique challenges to our customers. There is increasing pressure to sort larger volumes of parcels in less time, and facilitate track and trace services.”
Automation is key
The growth in e-commerce has resulted in the need for significant investment in extra capacity across the UK’s parcel networks. In addition, cross-border e-commerce has meant that the larger air hubs have had to inject additional capital into automated technology to help them meet new challenges. 
“Automation has helped parcel carriers respond to demand,” continues Codd. “It not only reduces labour costs, but allows faster processing of higher parcel volumes, and enables automatic track and trace at key points.” Indeed, one of the main reasons that DPD is so distinguished in its field is that it was one of the first parcel and postal companies to embrace automated solutions.
Vanderlande has continuously been at the heart of DPD’s automated ambitions from day one. “We began with the PAXORTER, then the TRUXORTER and today it has a portfolio of distribution centres,” adds Alex. “These are state-of-the-art facilities built around the POSISORTER.”
Innovative technology
The POSISORTER is a unique sliding shoe sorter that utilises advanced conveyance technology to ensure high-capacity sortation and careful product handling. It processes over 6,000 items per hour for DPD’s parcel range, but is capable of handling over 10,000 cartons per hour if required. 
Shoes slide across the carriers and push products to output spurs diagonally, and the system is suitable for single- and dual-sided sortation. It is especially useful in batch-picking processes and cross-docking systems, and as a shipping sorter.
Looking to the future
The productive relationship between Vanderlande and DPD continues to gather momentum. In fact, five more POSISORTER sites have been commissioned by DPD at key locations such as Cardiff and Liverpool. 
Initially, Vanderlande proved that such a system could work at a site in Edinburgh, which convinced DPD to invest in other locations. There are also plans for further development as it looks to widen its network, and support its growth strategy. 
“As DPD continues to expand its operations, it may need to replace older systems and invest in life-cycle services,” says Alex. “We are of course able to help and have always been able to meet their requirements. We prefer happy customers and to be a reliable partner. Thanks to the support network at Vanderlande, and a great team effort, we are confident that this excellent relationship will continue to flourish.”
As e-commerce influences the way parcel and postal companies operate, it is also important to look to the future. “Robotic applications are already being developed within the parcel handling sector, and I also predict an increased focus on sustainability,” concludes Mike. 
“Vanderlande’s customers can achieve significant improvements with our GREENVEYOR and CROSSORTER. As an established market leader, we have the experience to continue delivering a wide range of effective solutions.”