Case study

DPD Polska

Even though Panattoni Park Mysłowice is a logistics facility, not specifically designed for courier services, it is a good example that together we can find solutions that will be appealing to a company in our sector – decides Tomasz Swat, director of operations, DPD Polska.

In the 20 years of operations in Poland, DPD has developed from a local company Masterlink into an international branch of Europe’s leading courier network. How does it compare to other European branches?

We started off as a local courier company, with a modest warehouse, small fleet, but loads of enthusiasm. Over the last decade, we grew twentyfold. We can boast extensive infrastructure and network of depots throughout Poland. By getting access to the DPD’s European network, we have gained capacity for international operations, without losing local dynamics at the same time. The flexibility of GeoPost Group, wherein we classify among the 6 best European subsidiaries, allows us to freely adapt to the needs of Polish customers, providing them with a broad portfolio of domestic and European services. The highly sophisticated automatic sorting systems, used by German, French and English couriers, will soon come to DPD Polska. Also, we are using more and more effective branch facilities equipped with roller systems and fully compliant with health and safety standards, and soon we will be working under a fully automatic sorting system. So, we are catching up with European leaders.

In 2009, the company finalised implementing the Diamond operating structure. What is it about?

The Diamond involves creating several dispersed sorting centres across Poland. It is a sub-hub solution, which consolidates goods from the nearby branch offi ces, facilitating more effective sorting and fi lling up truckloads for linehaul. It can be said to be quite a standard logistics solution for mature couriers, which shortens the time in transport from the sender to the recipient. The sorting facilities are currently located in Gdańsk, Warsaw, Poznań, Łódź and Katowice.

 

Tomasz Swat

A large number of courier gates, wide manoeuvre yards, optimised office
space – from our perspective, these are the most advantageous qualities
of Panattoni Park Mysłowice.

Tomasz Swat, Director of operations, DPD Polska

 

What are the unique characteristics of a courier facility?

Looking at the changing supply of warehouse space from the point of view of a courier business, one can now see growing fl exibility on the part of developers. Topics which were hard to tackle as recently as early 2009, are now encountered with understanding for the specifi c needs of a non-standard customer, e.g. by the development of BTS projects. The most desirable facilities for couriers are those with cross-docking, with a relatively small width, access to two or three sides of the building, which can be equipped both with standard docks as well as courier gates at 0-50 cm. Other necessary features include good access roads and above-average manoeuvre space. A standard development project provides for 800 sq m of space per dock. Yet, companies that need to rotate the goods stored in their warehouses quickly would expect that this kind of space will feature e.g. four docks and 30 smaller gates for loading and unloading. Moreover, it would be desirable for the facility to be located near the main road arteries and provide easy exit towards central Poland – in the case of DPD Polska, towards Łódź, where our company’s Central Sorting Plant is located. There are still few such facilities available, outside the large cities, but it is changing. Perhaps the crisis has been helpful – courier companies attracted the attention of developers, who offer more and more facilities suited to our needs.

DPD leases warehouse space at Panattoni Park Mysłowice, which was chosen by the customers as the best industrial facility in Poland in the Eurobuild competition. What custom-tailored solutions can be found in your warehouse?

The modular structure is a good solution for contract and internal logistics, where only a few docks are needed. However, it does not answer the needs of courier companies which need – colloquially speaking – a facility with a Swiss cheese structure, with many holes in all the walls of the building. This is because it is not only important for large linehauls to have good access, but also to send our courier vans out fast. At Panattoni Park Mysłowice we have managed to find a mutually-beneficial solution. As the part of the facility occupied by DPD Polska is not very wide, a large number of courier gates have been installed on the three walls. At the same time, we have wide manoeuvre yards, which are of key importance for the efficient replacement of the arriving linehaul trucks. The facility also provides optimally planned office space which, despite being located within the walls of the building, does not take up the so badly needed warehouse space.

What are the company’s plans for this year?

This year, we are seeking new locations for our offices in Tarnów, Nowy Sącz and Jelenia Góra. Next year, for Wrocław, Gdańsk, Opole, Częstochowa, Rybnik, Zielona Góra and Kalisz. Besides, in the next few years at DPD Polska we will be focusing on the construction of our central hub – the biggest project of this kind in Central and Eastern Europe. This cutting-edge investment will be erected in the heart of Poland, at the crossroads of the most important domestic transport routes. It will be one of the most modern sorting facilities in this part of Europe. The new hub will include environment-friendly solutions, and its features will reflect one of DPD Polska’s strengths – flexibility. It will be equipped with a separate sorter for small parcels and will act as a branch facility and a hub where parcels and pallets are sorted. At the same time, to adapt our operations to the launch of the central hub, we will reconstruct our operating system, focusing on automation, acceleration and continued optimisation. It is a very long process and even though it is not very visible, it is bound to bring about enormous change in the entire philosophy of our company operations.

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