3 new services I’d like to see from Royal Mail

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This post is inspired by an exchange I had with a local Royal Mail postman just after the cyber weekend. I asked how his day was and he said “Hardly anyone is in, so I’m taking all these parcels for a nice walk.” He motioned to his trolley laden with parcels, many of which were presumably Black Friday purchases.

Royal Mail remains the UK’s largest parcel carrier in terms of volume. And yet it’s also relatively unsophisticated when it comes to the options available to parcel recipients. And encountering that poor postie got me thinking about possible innovations and services Royal Mail could be offering to not only provide added convenience to parcel recipients but also save precious resources. It’s a significant waste of time and money to send a postie out to so many houses that are inevitably empty on a weekday. Here are some ideas. You might have some more.

Defer until Saturday service
Plenty of people simply aren’t in during normal postal hours during the working week. Parcels get taken for a walk from Monday to Friday and then on Saturday the recipient schleps up to the sorting office. How about offering a service whereby you can indicate online that you won’t be in during a particular week when a parcel is due, and ask that parcels aren’t delivered until Saturday?

Royal Mail Lockers
Once a delivery has been missed and I have the card, I can opt to have that parcel redelivered to a post office branch in the area for a small fee. That’s less convenient since my local Crown branch was shut down last year but others are handy enough. It’s time for Royal Mail to embrace lockers like other national mail providers do. They could be in branch or in shopping centres and it would be useful to opt into this for parcel deliveries. Correos in Spain allows people to have all mail delivered to in branch lockers for the cost of €10 a month. If I know I won’t be in, it would make sense to opt for parcel delivery to a Royal Mail locker which Imcan pop to at my convenience.

Sundays and evening deliveries
Whilst the Royal Mail and CWU are currently wrangling over how late the letter post should come during the day, in the real world other carriers are delivering at ever more convenient times. Amazon, for instance, is delivering parcels on Christmas Eve which is a Sunday this year. Royal Mail doesn’t deliver at all on Sundays or in the evening. It’s time to reconsider that inflexible, old- fashioned notion.

13 Responses

  1. I wholeheartedly agree with all these points. Lockers and evenings are the way to go.
    However, as an eBay seller and fulfilment house I would just be happy if RM started tracking as soon as an item was posted and not just when delivery has been attempted. How hard could that be!!! Please RM please…….

  2. A simple issue to resolve many problems would be the end point scan. Currently they scan a parcel at the end point which just says delivered.

    Wow what technology that is.

    Then the customer telephones us and explains they have not got the parcel and were out, asking us where it is (like we know). We then ring royal mail who cannot help either so the merry go round of claiming begins.
    They contact the delivery depot who say the postman cannot remember what he did with it. That just 2 days later seems very hard to swallow as an ex delivery driver doing 200-300 catalogue drops per day. I could always look at a house even weeks later and think if they were not in what would i have done.
    Secondly no card left so no help there then. and finally the scanner should say a simple code for instance H handed to customer N52 meaning neighbour at 52 or an O for outbuilding and R returned to depot.

    Not rocket science is it. They brought in the technology and its like a beautiful new motorway leading to a river but they forgot to build the bridge to finish it off.
    That save a lot of calls and headaches for customer and seller at not a great deal of cost for their IT department.
    Then use the money lost on time wasting to fund more innovations.

  3. Being the unpaid local pickup point for all my neighbours for RMG, DPD, that annoying Hermes one and nearly everyone else.
    PICK-up points in local shops (let’s be honest would like people coming in) would be good. First thing you see is Amazon lockers when you walk into Morrisons here. Would they do a Correos????. why not??? again they could use local shops.

    Our Posties take undelivered parcels to a different town around here???. You dont see them walking about with them, they send vans around however, we are fairly rural.
    Evening drop off for parcels would probably work. Defer to Saturday would not work on a site like eBay with their silly defects, and I would not want SUNDAY please give us some peace, and stop bringing it up.
    I think also someone smartypants would come up with a locker system for houses where a postie had a generic fob that would work for all and the customer had a pin to access.

    1st thing first LET get the stuff tracked so we know where it is.

    0800 number to call them on would be nice, and customer service staff who understand what they are doing.

  4. @Mark

    END scan ?, yes, WHAT a waste of time.

    DPD have a good tracking system…Real time, “see it on a map” tracking, with a 1 hour delivery slot, and named driver (when “out for delivery”) It can be a BIT glitchy, but it enabled us to meet the driver at the entrance of our building, bang on time, so WIN WIN all round.
    And until then, with (in this case FREE delivery from the Netherlands) it looked like this

    Delivery status
    Date Time DPD parcel centre Parcel status+
    04-12-2017 10:19 Radlett, St …
    04-12-2017 09:00 Radlett, St …
    Out for delivery.
    02-12-2017 02:03 Radlett, St …
    At parcel delivery centre.
    01-12-2017 15:00 Best (NL)
    In transit.
    30-11-2017 19:17 DPD data centre

    Simple, effective and everybody’s happy…Sender AND me (the recipient) alike.

    Time was, when RM was dominant in the delivery business, but now even the likes of YODEL for christ’s sake, and myHermes are getting their act together…at last

  5. Order a parcel___ get it delivered to where your going to be example work, home, parents but no you get it delivered to somewhere nobody is in

  6. As a postman I know where my customer wants there parcel left
    I have keys for there post boxes and some customers have combination locks fitted with the number on the parcel so the delivery driver can open there box to deliver the package

    What’s holding Royalmail back are the outdated ridged management structure

  7. The DPD tracking system works brilliantly if you are only delivering parcels, say 150 -200/day. If you throw in the massive variable of letter post, magazines, small packets etc, easily hitting 2000 items per day this time of year then it will not work.Royal Mail will never be a great parcel delivery company, while it is delivering letters. At the moment it is trying to combine the two, which will never work. It may survive if it becomes a tech driven parcel company, with a separate low cost letter deliver wing.
    None of that will matter while it is a heavily unionised company who pay a decent wage, holiday pay, sick pay and pensions, when it’s competition does none of this, and has a completely different regulatory framework.

  8. Your ideas are good , but you don’t seem to have grasped, royal mail is a private company now and are about cost cutting, cost cutting and cost cutting. So anything that cost’s money is a non starter. Isn’t privativation great!.


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