The French courier company DPD is investing €60 million in new depots in our country. The lion’s share (€50 million) is being pumped into a brand new, fully automated sorting centre on a Montea site in Vilvoorde. This partnership between the two companies is no coincidence: e-commerce is booming in Belgium like never before due to the coronavirus crisis. This consideration and the strategic location of the site, have moreover induced DPD Belgium to commit immediately to a minimum of 27 years so as to make parcel delivery in our country even smoother.
Belgian e-commerce is on the up and up. Belgian web shops generated a combined turnover of € 8.2 billion last year. That is an increase of 17% compared to the situation in 2018. In the meantime, the number of transactions is also going up and the number of Belgian web shops is growing robustly, as can be gauged from the most recent E-commerce Barometer. Experts expect these figures to increase even more in the coming months due to the coronavirus crisis.
Riding on that crest, Montea and DPD Belgium have just entered into a long-term agreement. DPD Belgium (part of the French Postal Service) wants to invest even more in Belgium, because the market for e-commerce continues to grow in our country also. In addition, the French company is investing €60 million in new depots in Belgium, €50 million of which in a fully automated sorting centre of approximately 9,000 m² to be located on a Montea site in Vilvoorde (59,500 m²).
The site where the two-storey innovative building is to be erected is located on the Tyraslaan near the Vilvoorde exit on the Brussels Ring Road and close to several approach roads to the centre of Brussels. Given its strategic location, DPD wants to commit itself for at least 27 years, while investing in the development of the building. This project will enable DPD to bolster and continue its growth in Belgium. A sustainable delivery is clearly vital in this context. A survey by the French player has in fact shown that no less than 66% of Belgian online shoppers expect companies to take their responsibility towards the environment.
For Montea, this naturally means another long-term investment in a strategic location. The site was acquired in 2017 with the growing e-commerce sector and the future importance of fast distribution in our country in mind. Montea was therefore also looking for a suitable partner to set up a successful joint project. As a result of this partnership, Montea remains the owner of the land and DPD leases it by means of a long lease while remaining the owner of the building for the term thereof. The transaction is carried out at an initial yield of 6.0% and was supervised by Jones Lang Lasalle.
"The Coronavirus crisis is fuelling the demand for regional distribution centres. In the wake of the development of DHL Express on Blue Gate, this project is once again responding to this demand. Furthermore, we are particularly proud to be involved in the first two-storey distribution building in Belgium --- an innovation for the sector that addresses the need to use scarce space sparingly. " Jo De Wolf, CEO Montea.