Investing in our future

Progressing our automation strategy to take advantage of accelerating trends

We have signed a contract for the installation of four new parcel sort machines (PSMs) into our operation.

The new PSMs will be deployed in our Tyneside, Medway, Nottingham and Southampton plants. Build will commence on the first PSM shortly after Christmas in Tyneside Mail Centre. The first machine is planned to be operational in late Spring, the others later during 2021/22.

Becoming a parcels-led business is a key part of our strategy. As parcel volumes continue to rise significantly in our network, and letter volumes fall, we need to move forward with our strategy to increase parcel automation to better equip our business to take advantage of the accelerating trends.

Chief operating officer, Achim Dünnwald, said: ‘This is really good news for us. The world, and demands of our customers, are changing. With significant rises in parcel volumes – 34 per cent in the first five months of the year - automating parcels will create the opportunity to invest in our future.

‘We have already made significant investment in the design and installation of 20 PSMs fully operational in 16 plants across the country. The new PSMs will be of similar size and capacity to the 20 already in place, capable of processing up to 10,000 parcels per hour. We will also be working with the contractors to further improve their design and performance.’

This is as well as the investment we have made in progressing with the recent signing of an automation contract for our North West Hub in Warrington and the start of building work for our Midlands Hub in Daventry.

Look out for a feature from Tyneside Mail Centre as it prepares for its first PSM in RMtv later this month.

Great achievement

We have also reached a milestone in our parcel automation journey. Project, engineering and operational teams have been working together over the last few months to reduce the level of parcels rejected by the PSMs to be manually sorted.

Starting from 16 per cent of parcels rejected to manual, we last week achieved the 9 per cent parcel automation project target – improving our efficiency and enhancing quality of service to our customers – well done to everyone involved.

12 Oct 2020