Royal Mail has announced it will be investing around £1.8bn (US$2.2bn) in the UK’s postal service over the next five years, focusing on customer service improvements, digital initiatives, network enhancements, and new ways of working to deliver more productivity and efficiency.
As part of the plan, the company is introducing a second delivery for parcels that will expand in line with demand and be fully operational by 2023. This second delivery will consist of Next-Day parcels, typically purchased online from retailers the evening before, and larger items more appropriate for van delivery. In many cases, the delivery will be less than 24 hours after the order is made. Customers will continue to receive a delivery of letters and all other parcels earlier in the day via Royal Mail’s network of postmen and women.
As part of the move to a second daily delivery, three new fully automated parcel hubs will be built, representing a significant investment in the regions in which they are located.
The company has had preliminary discussions with the Communications Worker Union and is committed to working collaboratively on the strategy, detailed design and deployment, including a trial for separate van delivery.
In another plan element, Royal Mail will collect returns from customers at their homes, including both consumers making returns and small marketplace sellers fulfilling sales. Royal Mail will also offer a range of inflight redirection options where consumers are not going to be at home when their parcel is scheduled to arrive.