Royal Mail is trialling parcel postboxes that mean small businesses and marketplace sellers can send parcels through postboxes. The idea is to evaluate whether there is national demand for such a facility and whether it proves to be effective.
Parcel postboxes will accept post pre-paid parcels through securely designed parcel postboxes, in the same way that people currently post a letter. This is the first time parcel postboxes have been trialled in the UK and will last until November 5 2018. Parcel postboxes represent the first potential major change of use for the British postbox in its last 160 years of existence.
For the proof of concept trial, Royal Mail is repurposing some existing meter mail drop boxes. With a wider aperture and secure design for mailing larger items, the parcel postboxes make the posting of larger prepaid parcels both safe and convenient. It is perhaps surprising that such postboxes have never been seen before. And now that parcels and the revenues they generate, especially from marketplace merchants are so significant to the Royal Mail business, they seem like an overdue innovation.
The trial of parcel postboxes is one of the many ways we at Royal Mail are looking to make the lives of customers easier, giving them more options that suit how they want to do business. The trial is aimed at giving more flexibility to online sellers who might be running a business in their spare time and not keeping regular office hours.
– Royal Mail Parcels
For the trial, 17 new postboxes will be sited in Northampton and 13 in Leicester. At the end of the trial, Royal Mail will review consumer feedback and their usage. A decision will then be made whether or not to introduce some parcel postboxes in various locations across the UK. Let us know what you think of the idea, especially if you happen to encounter one of the new boxes.