Parcel delivery firm DPD has been accused of putting lives at risk due to poor working conditions and putting drivers under intense pressure.
The delivery giant recently opened a bespoke built depot in Porthlethen, moving there north-east operation from Altens in Aberdeen.
Packages travel from the DPD sorting facility in Hinckley, up to the regional delivery depots all over the UK. The Portlethen depot receives these packages, via lorry, in the middle of the afternoon, later than most depots, due to the distance.
In order to meet the same-day-delivery commitment drivers are required to deliver parcel’s to businesses before they close at 5pm. Whilst also balancing the need to deliver customer chosen time- slots at specific times. Should a driver fail to deliver a time-slot delivery parcel, they will receive a breach of contract notice. Repeated breach of contract will lead to dismissal.
An anonymous source who works as a self-employed driver in Portlethen spoke to the Press and Journal about the working conditions at the depo saying: “We could find ourselves getting out at 3pm trying to clear as many businesses as possible, but then we have to shoot across our area at speed to try and hit a 3pm-4pm delivery to then shoot back and carry on with the other deliveries. It’s pretty dangerous, as far as I’m concerned.”
The courier giant disputed the allegations, with a spokesman saying they did “not recognise” the complaints: ” There are operational challenges presented by the depot’s distance from Hinckley and the geographic spread of customers in Scotland, but we have discussed alternative practices with the drivers at Portlethen and they decided to remain as they were. We were unaware of any grievances until you contacted us.
“The safety of our drivers and other road users is paramount. Drivers have control over open delivery ‘windows’ on their rounds to avoid having to rush between deliveries.”
Commenting on Twitter yesterday, Andrew Bowie, the Member of Parliament for West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine confirmed that he had already spoken to drivers regarding the unsafe working practices and was working to achieve a resolution.
I’m deeply worried about these allegations in today’s @pressjournal regarding the DPD depo in my constituency. I have already spoken to drivers regarding these claims and will be doing what I can to help achieve a resolution pic.twitter.com/o1amHOvVXS
— Andrew Bowie MP (@AndrewBowieMP) July 17, 2018