Royal Mail has unveiled its first large-parcel conveyor at Gatwick Mail Centre in the UK to support the automation and customer tracking of larger, bulky parcels weighing up to 30kg.
Designed to process around 3,000 large parcels per hour, the machine is fitted with a dimension, weight and scanner system to handle bulkier items. This is expected to provide Royal Mail with more accurate data to enable managers to efficiently pack and route collection vehicles, thereby reducing operational carbon emissions. The conveyors handle parcels classed as Format 3 and 4, which are items measuring a maximum of 610 x 460 x 460cm and up to 30kg (which is equivalent in size to a parcel containing a microwave oven). The new conveyor also supports improved customer tracking for larger parcels as Royal Mail’s customers send higher volumes of larger parcels and want more information on the progress of their items – from posting to delivery.
The post’s second large parcel conveyor will launch in its South Midlands Mail Centre. Gatwick and South Midlands were chosen because they are the mail centers that process the largest number of oversized parcels in the Royal Mail network. These installations form part of Royal Mail’s program of automation, in which it aims to reach its overall target of 90% parcel automation by 2023-24. In March 2022, it reached the milestone of 50% of parcels automated – up from 33% the previous year.
Grant McPherson, chief operating officer at Royal Mail, said, “We are working hard to transform the Royal Mail operation to process all parcels more efficiently so that we can deliver an even better experience for our customers. By investing in machines that can process bulkier and heavier parcels, we are putting in place the building blocks for higher levels of customer tracking and transparency. This new large-parcel conveyor is just another example of how we are investing in reinventing Royal Mail for the future.”