Work starts on Royal Mail's largest parcel hub in Northamptonshire ahead of 2023 launch
MP: 'This will give a welcome boost to the local economy'
Construction on the largest Royal Mail parcel hub in the UK has started in Northamptonshire, the firm has announced today (Thursday, February 4).
The 840,000 sqft site at the Daventry International Rail Freight Interchange (DIRFT) will be fitted with state-of-the-art parcel automation machinery processing more than one million items a day.
The centre near Crick, due to open in 2023, will include a vehicle operating centre, a fleet workshop facility, new staff facilities and a rail terminal, enabling an increase in the amount of mail transported efficiently and sustainably.
Daventry MP Chris Heaton-Harris said: “It’s great news that Royal Mail has decided to make such a substantial investment in a parcels hub in my Daventry constituency. This will give a welcome boost to the local economy.
"With the boom in online shopping, my constituency is exceptionally well positioned via both road and rail networks to ensure these items are delivered as quickly as possible after purchasing. I look forward to visiting the new automated site when fully operational.”
Royal Mail has seen parcel volumes grow strongly in the first half of the year, driven by online shopping which has been further accelerated by the coronavirus pandemic.
Chief executive Simon Thompson said: “Our business is accelerating and this state-of-the-art parcel hub in the Midlands will allow us to seize the market opportunity and continue to deliver great service for our customers at 31 million doorsteps up and down the country.
"I am sure our team are looking forward to the first day of operation as much as I am.”
As part of the build, Royal Mail will deploy a number of sustainability initiatives ensuring the environment and local communities are placed at the heart of the development.
The design of the hub will maximise the amount of natural light entering the building, saving energy and improving employee well-being.
The building will also feature energy efficient heating, ventilation and LED lighting installations on motion and daylight sensors ensuring high sustainability standards.
Phil Oakley, from Prologis UK, the firm behind the construction, said: “Royal Mail’s decision to locate its largest UK parcel hub at DIRFT is great news for the local economy and the ecommerce companies located on Prologis DIRFT who rely on the company’s delivery services.
"Proximity to the new Royal Mail unit means companies can confidently extend order picking times and still achieve next day delivery for their customers.”
Beumer Group Logistic Systems is responsible for the new parcel automation machinery and divisional director Stephan Heessels is proud to be involved.
"The hub will enable Royal Mail to process parcels more efficiently across their network in turn helping ecommerce companies quickly get their parcels to online customers," he said.
"The new automation not only means processing more parcels faster, but the modern design of the system also supports workflows to be performed in a safer more secure way - than ever before."