Royal Mail need your parcel shipments as letter volumes continue to decline

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Royal Mail are going to focus on their overseas business for growth. In their full year results for the 2016 – 2017 year, they handled 6% fewer letters but revenue from GLS, their overseas arm, grew 9%. However the Internet is racing to the rescue as they handled 3% more parcels than the previous year.

Overall the results, which did deliver a rise in profits from £267m to £335m, seem to have pleased investors.

“GLS is performing very well and is growing revenue organically and through acquisitions. Its deep expertise and focus on B2B parcels in multiple geographies – now 41 European countries and seven states in the US – positions it to be a greater force for growth for the Company. We will continue to invest in careful and focused international expansion by GLS.”
– Moya Greene, CEO, Royal Mail

It’s pretty evident that the letters business will continue to decline, just about every company I deal with from Utilities, mobile phone, Internet provider and even my bank are forever begging to do away with paper bills and move to online billing. We’re sending fewer greetings cards as a nation and emailing rather than popping a letter in the post.

So if we’re not going to send as many letters, Royal Mail really needs your ecommerce parcels business to keep their UK business turning over. What do Royal Mail need to do to keep (or win back) your business?

15 Responses

  1. We have just stopped using Royal Mail this wee for small parcels under 2Kg and started using UK Mail instead. We don’t do huge volumes of the smaller stuff, maybe 200 a month, but getting them in the postal system is too much hard work – so they have gone.

  2. RM’s new £25 charge if you get something wrong in your posting is a great new revenue stream for them!!! So far this year over £300 worth of charges mostly over very petty things, one parcel in 400 was 0.5mm to big ?

    Top customer service from them…

  3. the day they charge us for petty errors is the day we stop using royal mail

  4. We only use RM for Large Letters, International post & the odd Out of Area Parcel.
    Stopped using Royal Mail Parcels after the strikes, switched to couriers & currently using DPD whom charge £4.25 for Next Day.

    To get more business, they would at a minimum need to;
    Increase Large Letter width, should be standard Letter Box size
    Reduce the price of their Small Parcels, to compete with other private co’s.
    Offer End to End Tracking with the new 2D barcodes, rather than just delivery confirmation.

  5. As a postman in West Yorkshire i really dont see the decline in mail hardly at all. We are made to walk over 5 hours, and with the length of some walks can not complete. Simply put Royal Mail is killing its own business by cutting man hours!!

  6. If you don’t have volume better off using a reseller for parcels like Parcel Monkey, very cheap especially for overseas shipping and heavy or large parcels.

  7. Biggest issue we have with Royal Mail is the new confirmation number when you download it you cannot use it without a tricky long winded technical alteration as Excel does not recognise the length of the number.
    It only needs to have 1 letter in it to work fine. but they say that’s too much hard work on their part so will start looking at alternatives. As trying to upload the tracking now is a nightmare.

  8. Not sure what the cost difference is for large eCommerce retailers between Royal Mail, dpd, Hermes, Yodel etc. But I wish retailers would think a little bit more about the whole user experience rather than just focusing only on the lowest price.

    As a customer in London, DPD are the best followed closely by Royal Mail. The other delivery companies are just awful in my experience.

    So hopefully Royal Mail can keep business by focusing on the higher-end of the market and not get sucked in a race to the bottom.

  9. At present I’m happy with Royal Mail (Large Letter), but look at the options every now and then.

  10. Our problem with Royal Mail is the cost of international tracking.. It really is ridiculous.

    With Amazon forcing sellers to pay for returns if you sell into their international marketplaces, the cheapest way to arrange a return is to book through the local national postal service express.g. Deutsch Post, La Poste etc. The cost of tracking a small packet is around the same cost of recorded delivery. So to get a small packet back it comes in at under €4. If you send the same packet via Royal Mail by International tracked or signed you are looking at North of £8! The stupid thing is that we can send to these countries for a few pence less by courier for up to 30kg.

    If Royal Mail really want to win a lot of business they need to offer something middle of the road – around the £4 mark. They can’t say that due to their reciprocal relationships with select international postal operators they have to charge so much as clearly it half the price on the continent..

    If you regularly use these services move to a courier for less and open up the higher weight bands. Who knows RM might get the message and come up with an intermediate level tracked service at a reasonable price.


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