GMB Experts in the World of Work
Join GMB today
 Follow @GMB_union

DHL Closure Could Cost 520 Jobs

Monday, December 12, 2016

Logistics firm offers ‘kick in the teeth’ to hundreds of loyal workers now facing redundancy, union says.

Hundreds of DHL staff across the country could lose their jobs as the company looks to close its UK business. [1]

The logistics firm DHL Freight UK has announced a period of consultation with a view to close its UK operations due to continued losses in profits.

They say stagnating volumes and poor quality revenue have led to increased losses during 2016, exacerbated by very low peak volume.

The proposed move could lead to the loss of 520 jobs, and the closure of its depots at Aberdeen, Bellshill, Newcastle, Warrington, Wakefield, Coalville, Norwich, Andover, Bristol, and Exeter sites.

Cardiff and Hemel Hempstead sites have closed in the last few months, and Exeter partially closed during the recent period too.

This has already resulted in a loss of nearly 100 jobs.

DHL Freight UK has also said that a fixed cost base cannot adjust quickly enough to volume fluctuations and is adding to the losses.

In the past couple of years the firm has attempted to restructure, with the aim of increasing business and volumes.

This approach was altered in early 2016, and a period of restructuring resulted in closing a couple of depots, and reducing employee numbers whilst outsourcing some of its business.

The company have admitted to GMB that implementing restructuring has not delivered the expected results.

Mick Rix, GMB National Officer, said:

"This announcement is a kick in the teeth to the loyal, hard-working and highly trained workforce across the DHL Freight UK network.

“The constant false hopes, tinkering and change in direction of the business has contributed to the lack of customer confidence, which in turn has led to a loss of business.

“DHL Freight UK has made this announcement two weeks before Christmas and the festive period.

“I am sure most staff will not thank the company for the worst Christmas present ever.

“It appears that the UK management team has given up on this business and its employees.

“GMB Union will work hard, to ensure our members are treated with the respect they deserve, and if the business cannot be saved, jobs are found for the highly trained and skilled workforce."


Contact: Mick Rix on 07971268343 or at or Bob Crosby on 07872377531 or at

[1] Letter sent to staff attached, contents below:

8 December 2016 Freight UK – Announcement to all employees


*I have an announcement that I need to read to you, and to ensure that I do not miss any of the detail, I will read this verbatim*

As you are aware, the business has not been in a profit making position since 2006. This has been due to a number of factors, such as, increased competition in the market place which has led to customer churn and the fact that we have not been able to fill our network with profitable business. This has led to a significant decline, particularly in the last three years. To address this a country wide strategic review of the DHL Freight UK operations has taken place and it has been identified that we need to make fundamental changes to our UK Operation. Part of these changes could involve synergies with DHL Supply Chain, and it is proposed to realign and integrate some of our current service offerings to mitigate further financial losses and leverage support from the wider DPDHL Group. The services which we believe would be compatible with the Supply Chain business include Gerlach, Euroline, BMW and Euro Connect and the potential transfer of some domestic customers. However, further assessment on the viability of this proposal will need to be considered and shall form, together with the remaining proposals, part of the collective consultation process. Unfortunately, we do not believe that these synergies extend to domestic Terminal Based Operations and associated overheads. Therefore, we are proposing changes which involve a restructuring of the UK Business, in particular, ceasing to operate unprofitable service offerings. In addition, there may also be some proposed outsourcing of services/products to external parties. We propose to investigate further with Supply Chain and other DPDHL Divisions to mitigate some of the impact these proposals bring, should they proceed. As part of this announcement, it is to inform you that we are commencing collective consultation with all Freight UK employees over the potential redundancy and TUPE situation based on the business proposals outlined today. Page 2 We will consult fully with the Trade Union and Management (via elected Reps) and will also undertake individual consultation with all employees. It is important to highlight that no decisions have been taken at this stage and the aim of the consultation process is to consider your views in order to reach agreement on the business proposals. The business is fully committed to considering any counter proposals or suggestions that you or your Trade Union may have. During the course of the consultation process, viability assessments may be conducted in order to test whether potential proposals or counter-proposals are workable. If, despite consultation, the proposals do proceed then there would be a full review of all opportunities within DPDHL that could mitigate potential redundancies through redeployment and TUPE transfers either internally or to third parties if applicable/possible.

Next Steps: • Collective Consultation has commenced with the GMB Trade Union today, the 8th December 2016, for a 90 day period and in line with the collective agreement • Management Consultation: In order to collectively consult with our Management Colleagues, we will shortly be sending out further communication, including the election process of Management Representatives. We will also consult with our Management population who are outside of the collective agreement, for a 90 day period, commencing today the 8th December 2016. • Individual Consultation: As part of our consultation process we will be organising individual one to one’s with all colleagues and these will commence in the New Year. We fully appreciate this is a very challenging and difficult time for everyone in Freight UK and we are totally committed to providing regular communications throughout this period to ensure you are kept up-to-date and involved in the process.

Share this page