Royal Mail's largest UK parcel hub launches in Northamptonshire as part of Daventry International Rail Freight Terminal
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The largest Royal Mail parcel hub in the UK, spanning 53 acres and totalling 840,000 square feet of warehousing space, is fitted with modern parcel automation machinery processing more than one million items per day and approximately 235 million parcels annually. Approximately 1,600 vehicles travel through the hub every day.
The DIRFT site benefits from an integrated rail link to facilitate intermodal deliveries connecting the parcel hub to one of the nation's main rail routes, the West Coast Main Line between London and Glasgow. More than 3,000 truckloads of parcels, or up to 16 trucks per day, can be transported annually by the train that leaves from the special rail link.
Royal Mail’s Midlands Super Hub is the most recent advancement in a major expansion and development programme currently being progressed at DIRFT.
Sally Duggleby, head of leasing at Prologis UK, said: “DIRFT is our largest logistics property asset in the UK and second largest outside of the US, so to welcome Royal Mail’s Super Hub to the site’s portfolio is a fantastic addition. With a growing number of customers choosing to increase their operations at the site, DIRFT will continue to go from strength to strength.
“As a multi-faceted location, comprising three rail terminals, warehousing, a lorry park, Lilbourne Meadows nature reserve and a logistics training facility, Prologis UK’s sustained investment in the facility’s development is evident.”
The Hub at DIRFT is a specially designed training and recruitment facility that offers job training and career development through the Prologis Warehousing and Logistics Training Programme (PWLTP).
The initiative, which began in 2021, recently accomplished a significant milestone by providing training to those aspiring to work in the logistics industry, amounting to almost £22 million in social value. According to Prologis UK, nearly 1,000 individuals participated in PWLTP's free training courses, which connected participants with a range of positions at Prologis' clients at DIRFT.
The 1.5 million-square-foot logistics real estate investment on the site currently includes Royal Mail's Midland Super Hub and the DC6 and DC7 units leased by Warrens Group in February 2023. The DC628 and DC327 units reached practical completion in the summer of this year, with DC628 now leased.
Prologis UK said that DC628 and DC327, which include roof garden spaces with a wellness-focused amenity area to boost employee work experience, are examples of their approach to design improvement. The design maximises the amount of natural light entering the building with second-tier windows above dock doors. These two units are among the first to run entirely on solar PV array energy generation.
In addition to new distribution centres, Prologis UK has made additional investments to create a 130-bay truck park for the drivers who service the park. The new lorry parking area accommodates overnight stays and provides around-the-clock security monitoring by DIRFT’s onsite team and police community support officers.