DPD Ireland (La Poste) launches nationwide Food Logistics Delivery service

DPD Ireland, majority-owned by GeoPost - a subsidiary of La Poste, has entered into the agri-food market with the launch of a storage and fulfilment facility dedicated to the industry. To date the company has invested €500,000 into its new division.

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DPD now provides ambient, chilled and frozen storage at its newly expanded logistics facility in Athlone. Through an integrated warehouse management system they can link directly into the shipper’s order management software and provide tracking details from storage to fulfilment to dispatch to delivery. DPD has a range of “smart boxes” available to control temperature throughout the delivery process, including specially designed totes containing eutectic and insulation plates. 

Gavin Warwick, General Manager Logistics at DPD Ireland commented, “Food logistics and delivery in Ireland has enormous potential. The challenge for the supplier up to now has been to ensure delivery within very strict time limits in order to ensure freshness and quality on delivery. The DPD Food offering, which includes the ‘Predict’ messaging service, provides the consumer with the exact hour of delivery and offers them the flexibility to opt for delivery to a neighbour or to a safe place. This ensures that deliveries are made speedily, punctually and reliably.”

The company’s newly expanded hub and logistics facility was officially opened by An Taoiseach Enda Kenny in January. DPD has 38 depots throughout Ireland, North and South. DPD Ireland delivers over 12 million parcels annually while their parent group, DPDgroup delivers over 4 million parcels across Europe daily.

Two of DPD’s customers currently using the DPD Food storage and distribution services are Pow_Cow.com and Amazonia.organic who are both involved in the health food market, a hugely growing market in Ireland. Amazonia supplies superfoods derived from palm, coconuts and sea minerals, as well as organic Fair Trade green coffee bean and Ecuadorian cacao. Pow­_Cow.com produces high protein, low fat frozen yoghurt, made in Ireland, from Irish milk.

Laura Arnold, Territory Manager for Amazonia in Ireland said that Amazonia chose DPD to manage the logistics and distribution of their range because of DPD’s high end logistics facility and speed and efficiency of delivery. Their star product, Amazonia Organic Açai, is picked by local farmers, pulped, frozen and packed within 24 hours, a process that is necessary to achieve premium grade quality. “Açai is extremely sensitive, and its medicinal qualities can be compromised if not handled carefully.  As well as the açai range, Amazonia is the first company to import certified organic frozen coconut and pitaya to Europe, both of which need to remain frozen to keep all the nutritional goodness intact. With direct access to the DPD delivery network, the service can be achieved in under twelve hours within Ireland which is imperative to maintaining the standard of our products”.

Online food retailing is a huge growth market. Bord Bia reports that online grocery shopping in the Republic of Ireland is valued at €170m, but that this is relatively underdeveloped as it only represents 1.2% of overall sales. This figure is expected to rise rapidly over the next few years to reach 4.5% by 2021. Current trends in the UK show that online grocery shopping is the fastest growing channel there, both in terms of value and growth and a recent IGD (Institute of Grocery Distribution) report said that online grocery retailing would increase by 68% between 2016 and 2021.

On this basis, DPD Ireland developed its DPD Food solution to ensure that they can manage the needs for food storage and distribution of their existing and future customer base.

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