15 September 2019
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Parcels

We are the UK’s number one parcels carrier, delivering around 1.3 billion parcels in 2018-19.

As part of our five-year strategic plan, set out in 2019, we are investing to extend our UK parcels capability and meet the changing needs of our market.

We expect parcels volumes in our addressable market to grow by 4-5% per year as e-commerce continues to grow. We want to outpace market growth.

Here are some of our key initiatives over the next five years:

Extending our network to handle small and larger parcels more efficiently:   

  • We plan to introduce a second daily delivery for larger items and parcels purchased online from retailers the evening before. This will be fully operational by 2023 and enable us to meet growing demand for next day delivery.

  • Three new fully-automated parcel hubs will be built to handle next day, large and smaller Tracked parcels. A separate van delivery for these items will be routed through potentially 200-300 of our large delivery offices.

  • Our existing combined daily delivery of letters and small parcels will continue as is.

A major increase in automated parcels sortation:

We are aiming for over 80% of parcels to be machine sorted within five years, helping to improve the efficiency of our operation. We plan to install parcel sorting machines in our mail centres in the coming years.

Major new initiatives for customers and e-retailers coming on stream:  

  • In the single biggest repurposing of our postbox network in over 160 years, we will introduce around 1,400 parcel postboxes across the UK. This gives more posting options for small businesses and marketplace sellers who might be running a business in their spare time and not keeping regular office hours.

  • We will also begin collecting returns from consumers at their home, and offering more in-flight redirections for individual parcels; as well as introducing shorter delivery windows.

  • Further initiatives will follow.

Cross-border parcels

We are combining the strengths of Royal Mail and GLS to meet the growing demand for cross-border parcels.