International delivery company dpd will have hired 20,000 new workers across europe by the end of the year in response to the surge in demand for parcels because of the coronavirus crisis.

The hiring spree underlines the sharp boost to business for groups such as amazon, hermes and dhl express as they recruit thousands of extra staff to cope with soaring orders due to the pandemic.

Dpd, which is owned by frances la poste, expects a 23 per cent increase in package deliveries this year, to 1.6bn, while revenue is forecast to rise 30 per cent to more than 10bn.

Since easter there has been a tsunami of parcels, said chief executive boris winkelmann, who took charge in june. he said orders rose 30-35 per cent in the second quarter and had now stabilised at 20 per cent higher.

He described extra demand as a growth catalyst that had fast-forwarded us three years in our trajectory, with the company earmarking 500m for new depots in the uk, france and holland next year.

The parcel boom has also prompted ecommerce platform amazon and parcel delivery group hermes to add a combined 20,500 recruits in the uk alone since july, while logistics company dhl express europe has hired more than 3,000 extra people.

Dpd, which accounts for a third of la postes revenue, said a quarter of the new staff would be direct employees, while the rest would be taken on as subcontractors.

It stressed the hiring spree was not seasonal to help with the run-up to christmas. all workers would be needed for permanently higher levels of demand, the company said.

Dpd is also committed to the uk, despite worries of a no-deal brexit, hiring 6,000 drivers, warehouse staff and mechanics in the country as part of the 20,000 new recruits.

It considers the uk fertile ground with nearly 90 per cent of people in britain purchasing an item online by the end of 2019, according to eurostat the highest of any european country.

But, with more drivers on the roads delivering personalised orders, dpds mr winkelmann expects carbon emissions to rise.

The 2018 european air quality report said goods delivery vehicles were responsible for up to 30 per cent of co2 emissions in cities.

As a result, dpd plans to spend a further 200m over the next five years to green 225 european cities, adding 7,000 alternate delivery vehicles to its fleet of older trucks, which will gradually be phased out.

The company estimates the measures will result in a 7.1 per cent reduction in co2 emissions in the first and last mile of van deliveries.