Royal Mail has opened its new state-of-the-art North West Super Hub in Warrington, northwest England, which can process more than 800,000 parcels a day.
The 32,000m2 Super Hub will operate seven days a week and houses the latest scanning, sorting and tracking technology, enabling it to sort up to 40,000 items an hour.
With domestic UK parcel volumes up more than 30% compared with pre-pandemic levels, the hub will support customers’ growing demands for next-day delivery and delivery of larger items. Located near major urban centers including Manchester and Liverpool, and the warehousing and fulfillment sites of online retailers, it will employ around 600 people at full capacity.
As part of Royal Mail’s Steps to Zero environmental plan to achieve average per-parcel emissions of 50gCO2 e and reach net zero by 2040, the Warrington hub is also home to a fleet of 20 bio-compressed natural gas (bio-CNG) HGVs in a fleet of 80 vehicles across the business that will be fully operational by spring 2023.
Simon Thompson, CEO of Royal Mail, said, “Royal Mail is now a parcels business that also delivers letters. Our new parcels Super Hub will allow us to give consumers exactly what they want – being able to order products very late in the day to have them delivered the very next day, seven days a week.
“This is a giant step forward in our journey to 90% parcel automation by the end of next year. We can compete and win in the parcels market, which will give our team the job security they deserve both today and tomorrow.”
Andy Carter, MP for Warrington South, said, “It’s been brilliant to officially open Royal Mail’s brand-new Super Hub based here in Warrington. The sheer size and scale of the place are so impressive – the facility is four-and-a-half football pitches in size and able to sort up to 40,000 items per hour.
“Given the disruption of the pandemic and the increased demand for online ordering, it’s great to see Royal Mail investing in facilities fit to meet these challenges, as well as creating hundreds of jobs for local people in our region.”
Royal Mail is pursuing an ambitious automation program across the business. This year, it has installed 10 parcel sorting machines in mail centers across the country, including in Nottingham, Chester and Cardiff. Its Midlands Super Hub in Daventry is on track to open in summer 2023.
In March 2022, Royal Mail reached the milestone of handling 50% of its parcels autonomously, up from 33% last year. The company aims to reach its overall target of 90% parcel automation by 2023-24.