The UK’s Royal Mail reports that the third quarter of the financial year to December 2020 was the busiest the business’s parcel service has ever seen. At its peak, 11.7 million parcels were delivered on a single day, 32% higher than the busiest day it recorded during the UK’s first national lockdown in spring 2020.
Keith Williams, non-executive chair on the Royal Mail board, commented, “The third quarter saw unprecedented parcel volumes in Royal Mail, driven by online shopping and the peak Christmas period, with 496 million parcels handled, the busiest in our company’s long history.
“The decline in addressed letter volumes slowed to 14% in Q3, with a decline of 9% in December, compared to around a third earlier in the year, excluding the impact of elections. GLS also saw elevated volumes and delivered 228 million parcels in the third quarter, growth of 27%.
“Given these record volumes, we recognize that at times our service during the period was not always as we would have wished. But thanks to the efforts of our team, the retention of around 10,000 of the 33,000 flexible workers from the Christmas peak, and the introduction of new processes, we have been making encouraging progress. We are resolutely focused on delivering a comprehensive service despite the challenging circumstances.”