International e-commerce and logistics company One World Express is expecting to create 140 jobs in Birmingham with a £6 million investment in a new distribution hub.

The company has announced today it has signed a 100-year lease on a new 60,275 sq ft site at Woodgate Business Park near Quinton for £3 million.

One World Express is currently recruiting for 60 roles in logistics, sales, marketing and customer service but said it was hoping to employ 80 more staff in Birmingham over the next three years.

The new site will comprise a warehouse and office space and its total investment in the city, including the refurbishment of the new site, is expected to reach £6 million.

Headquartered in Hayes in Greater London, One World Express currently has a workforce of more than 50 people and an additional warehouse in Hounslow.

Its new site in Birmingham is the first UK investment the company has made outside of the capital.

The firm was founded as a courier service in 1998, targeting the African market, since when it has evolved into a specialist e-commerce and software provider for companies and consumers across the world.

It said the trend for shopping on websites such as eBay had boosted significant levels of trading with China, becoming the company's main market and prompting it to launch an office there in 2014. It also has operations in the US.

Atul Bhakta, managing director of One World Express
Atul Bhakta, managing director of One World Express

Managing director Atul Bhakta said: "We have continually outgrown our premises since One World Express was founded and decided in 2014 we needed to expand outside the South East.

"Birmingham's central location and international connections, with Birmingham Airport offering direct links to our key markets, provide us with the ideal platform for further expansion.

"Although our new site in Birmingham will become a central logistical hub for One World Express, we are also employing a large number of people in customer services."

Birmingham City Council, which owns Woodgate Business Park, has assisted One World Express with local recruitment through its Employment and Skills Service.

Leader Coun John Clancy added: "It is great news that One World Express has chosen Birmingham as its first UK base outside London, demonstrating how competitive it has become as a business location.

"By locating in an area of Birmingham that is outside the city centre, the firm will also help to spread local employment opportunities more widely across the city.

"Attracting new investors is critical to Birmingham's economic regeneration by providing the local workforce with new training and career prospects."

Inward investment agency Business Birmingham, which is operated by Marketing Birmingham, worked with the company to help it find the site.

Chief executive Neil Rami said: "One World Express joins a growing number of London-based firms that have identified Birmingham as having the best location, skills and business support to help them reach their full potential.

"The city's transport connections are also expanding quickly, with Birmingham Airport welcoming a record numbers of passengers in 2015 and our HS2 link to London on the horizon."