Parcel delivery firm DPD says it expects food and NHS deliveries to increase rapidly in the coming weeks, following a new tie up with supermarket giant Morrisons and additional deliveries to hospitals and other health sector locations.

The news follows the Department for Transport’s (DfT) clarification that the work of the logistics sector is essential and should continue during the Covid-19 crisis.

DPD is now delivering Morrisons food boxes in addition to handling an increase in deliveries for existing food and recipe box shippers.  Total food deliveries have topped 200,000 a week and DPD is planning for that number to rise significantly.

Morrisons has created a Meat Eaters Food Box and a Vegetarian Food Box.  Both cost £35 and contain a range of chilled, fresh and tinned food stuffs, designed to help feed a couple for up to a week.  DPD will deliver the boxes the next day, for orders placed before 3pm.

DPD is also now making thousands of additional deliveries for the NHS including hospitals, GP surgeries, out of hours centres, pharmacies, adult care homes and hospices.  DPD has recently delivered 10.3 million masks, 6.7 million gloves and 5.2 million aprons for the NHS.

As part of DPD’s response to Covid-19, the firm has introduced full social distancing measures throughout its operation which includes everyone staying two metres apart during briefings and for all processes such as loading and unloading vehicles.  Driver start times have also been staggered to ensure there are far fewer drivers in the depot at any time and extra cleaning measures have been introduced at all depots and parcel hubs.  Meanwhile, on the doorstep, all deliveries are contactless, with the driver maintaining a distance of at least two metres at all times.

Dwain McDonald, DPD’s CEO commented, “At a time when many people are still struggling to safely get hold of fresh produce and essential supplies, we have partnered with Morrisons to provide next-day delivery for their food boxes, with our full one-hour delivery slot service.  It is hugely reassuring for people to see that they can order these goods easily and know exactly when they will be arriving.

“I’m delighted to see the Government confirm the essential status of our industry at this difficult time.  It is recognition of the role we are all playing in keeping supplies moving, while keeping our customers and our people safe.

“Our depot and hub teams have been fantastic. They are doing an incredible job and the feedback the drivers are receiving from their customers has been amazing.  They are doing an essential job and it is hugely appreciated.”