5. November 2020 | Press release

DPDgroup deploys extraordinary measures to cope with the unprecedented and exceptionally high volumes of the new Covid peak period

5 November 2020 - DPDgroup expects to handle up to 14 million parcels on peak days, which represents almost +100% compared to current daily volumes.

DPDgroup’s operations are now prepared throughout Europe with:

  • Contactless delivery, masks and social distancing;
  • 17,000 additional drivers;
  • 5,000 additional in-facility operators;
  • Up to 400 additional international linehauls.


Six months of peak volumes

The Covid-19 pandemic has lastingly strengthened e-commerce worldwide. Delivery players are referring to a “continuous peak” with booming volumes from online retail sales that shifted the parcel delivery sector, boosted by the BtoC volumes. As a matter of fact, global revenue from online sales in the second quarter of 2020 skyrocketed 71% year-over-year[1]. The delivery market is responding to this ongoing peak initiated by the pandemic in March.

From April to June 2020, when lockdown measures were a reality in most European countries, DPDgroup delivered 425 million parcels in total throughout Europe, a 26% rise compared to 2019.

While many expected a return to the pre-pandemic norm for volumes once lockdown cities progressively reopened, these higher volumes, especially for BtoC, have been consistent since July.

DPDgroup is continuing to experience a very strong increase in volumes even today: +30% between September 2019 and September 2020, essentially in BtoC volumes: +68% over the same period.

“DPDgroup has maintained full operations and activity over this challenging first semester of 2020. Our business units have responded successfully to country-specific contexts thanks to both their strong in-market position and talented ability to adapt quickly. They have taken great initiatives to counteract the pandemic, supporting local businesses and national efforts. All these actions will be maintained as we enter the second wave of the pandemic.”
Boris Winkelmann, Chairman and CEO of GeoPost/DPDgroup.

By the end of this year, the Courier, Express and Parcel industry will have witnessed significant, record-breaking business contexts, including a worldwide pandemic, permanent change of local regulations and e-commerce becoming for the long term the safest and easiest way to shop. In 2020 more than ever, online sales are about to exceed the previous year’s record, starting in China with “Singles’ day”[2] (11 November), followed by “Black Friday” (27 November), “Cyber Monday” (30 November) and finally the week preceding Christmas. This busy period will continue into the first half of January, with online gift reselling and returns.

DPDgroup expects the highest shipping volumes ever, and the Group will do its best to support its customers through this record-breaking season.

Preparing an exceptional 2nd peak season

After six months of unprecedented volumes, a second peak period is about to begin, corresponding to the traditional end of year volumes, in a context where health measures will further increase online shopping.

“Customer satisfaction is DPDgroup’s top priority, and maintaining quality of service will be one of the main challenges. Our volumes have already increased by 30% compared to last year. We are working hand in hand with our customers to agree on daily forecasts over the peak period; even forecasts are harder than ever to define. We will beat our record as we do every year, but 2020 is exceptional and highly demanding,”
explains Bas Janssen, European Operations Director at DPDgroup.

DPDgroup expects to deliver 293 million parcels Europe-wide over the whole peak period. Compared to last year’s 10 million parcels delivered on 2 December 2019, this represents an estimated increase of 30% along with a slated, record-breaking 14 million parcels on peak days (30 November 2020 for Cyber Monday, and the week before Christmas).

DPDgroup is adapting its operations with measures to best manage this second peak period:

  • Contactless delivery, masks and social distancing remain the norm, protecting staff and customers;
  • 120 additional depots and extended opening hours or shifted times are in place throughout the 1,200 hubs and depots;
  • Recruitment processes have taken on additional temporary staff of 5,000 in-facility operators;
  • Extra routes and an additional 17,000 drivers have been added to the pick-up and delivery organisation;
  • An increased capacity of the DPDgroup network has been implemented in more than 120 locations, including Amsterdam, Birmingham, Brussels, Budapest, Paris and Warsaw;
  • Up to 400 additional international linehauls have been added;
  • Earlier pick-ups are assessed in close communication with the customers.

Along with these exceptional measures, DPDgroup provides carbon-neutral delivery for all parcels at no extra cost for the customer. Despite the pandemic, DPDgroup is continuing the roll out of its ambitious plan to reduce its environmental footprint in major European cities. This has already been achieved with 1,600 low-emission vehicles delivering 88 cities, including Dublin, Hamburg, London, Madrid, Paris, Rotterdam and Warsaw.


[1] Source: Salesforce’s Shopping Index
[2] Ninja Van (a South-East Asia delivery expert, in which DPDgroup has a minority share) expects a volume peak for upcoming 11 November 2020 of +150% compared to highest daily peak volume in 2019


About DPDgroup (2019 figures)

DPDgroup is the largest parcel delivery network in Europe.
DPDgroup combines innovative technology and local knowledge to provide a flexible and user-friendly service for both shippers and shoppers. With its industry-leading Predict service, DPDgroup is setting a new standard for convenience by keeping customers closely in touch with their delivery.
With 77,000 delivery experts and a network of more than 46,000 Pickup points, DPDgroup delivers 5.3 million parcels each day – 1.3 billion parcels per year – through the brands DPD, Chronopost, SEUR and BRT.
DPDgroup is the parcel delivery network of GeoPost, which posted sales of €7.8 billion. GeoPost is a holding company owned by Le Groupe La Poste.