Despite further talks between Royal Mail and the CWU they’ve failed to reach agreement and as you’re probably already aware, the country is facing a further three days of strike action affecting postal services across the UK.
On TameBay we’ve discussed alternative services, but one option for getting parcels delivered during the industrial action hasn’t been highlighted – simply ignoring strikes and posting as normal.
We asked Royal Mail how their network was coping and specifically how packets and large letters are faring during the strikes. They replied that they expect the total volume of mail delayed by last week’s strikes by the CWU to have fallen to around two million items by close of play yesterday, almost all of which are items awaiting delivery in London. They added that Royal Mail continues to do all it reasonably and legally can to clear mail delayed by the CWU’s strikes and get the post to their customers as soon as possible.
I’ve been able to glean one other fact, that 98% of priority mail, which includes Special Delivery and Royal Mail Tracked items have been delivered on time. Even though the normal service agreement on delivery times is suspended during the strike action in most cases it’s being met as per normal.
Royal Mail have commandeered five warehouse along with up to 30,000 temporary staff to handle the backlog and keep parcels moving. Unlike letters, parcels can’t be sorted by automated machinery and they, along with large letters, still need to be sorted by hand. I understand three of the warehouses are now operational whilst the other two sit idle. The final two warehouses will come online when needed, probably when packet business increases closer to Christmas, but currently the volume of post simply isn’t there to need the extra capacity available.
I’d be interested to hear from other sellers on how fast their Royal Mail items are currently being delivered. Personally I’ve used a mix of carriers with only the lightest of items sent by post, but so far all sent by Royal Mail appear to have been delivered.
Are you continuing to post as per normal and are your products getting to your customers?