Royal Mail has begun installation of a high-speed Parcel Sorting Machine in the North West Midlands Wolverhampton Mail Centre. The move comes as they accelerate their transformation to a parcels-led business that also delivers letters in the UK. Yes, you read that correctly – After 500 years of being a letters-led business they are now Second Class compared to parcels which is where the future lies. Getting parcels through their network will be the number once focus in order to remain competitive.
The Parcel Sorting Machine is an intelligent system of conveyor belts and scanning technology that automatically sorts parcels for despatch to mail centres across the country. The system will be fitted by the manufacturer Solystic and, following similar installations across the UK, represents a significant investment in the Royal Mail’s operational excellence.
The deployment comes as Royal Mail upgrades their national network by rolling out parcel sorting machinery to mail centres across the UK. The technology is being deployed to manage the growing volumes of parcels that enter the Royal Mail network on a daily basis. The new installation will be capable of processing around 7,000 items per hour.
Over the last five years the Company has successfully deployed 20 Parcel Sorting Machine systems in 16 mail centres around the UK. The remaining machines in this phase of their automation roll-out will be built from January 2022 onwards.
As the Universal Service Provider, the Company provides the delivery backbone for ecommerce in the UK. Parcels generated by UK retailers continue to be a key growth area for the Company. Within all size categories, next day parcels continue to grow in popularity with customers. Royal Mail has seen parcel volumes grow strongly driven by online shopping which has been further accelerated by the coronavirus pandemic and its associated restrictions.
Parcel sorting technology is now operational in 16 mail centres in Bristol, Swindon, Home Counties North (Hemel Hempstead), Chelmsford, Greenford, Warrington, South Midlands (Northampton), Jubilee (Heathrow), Gatwick, Birmingham, Leeds, Sheffield, Manchester, Glasgow, Peterborough and Preston.
This isn’t the end however, Royal Mail are still due to install further Parcel Sorting Machines across the UK over the next year. The continued investment in Parcels Automation Machinery will enable thm to compete more effectively for business and meet the demands of customers, as well as they say helping to secure quality jobs for the future of Royal Mail.
“The roll out of this new technology is transforming the way Royal Mail processes parcels which are growing in popularity. Our business is accelerating, and this further investment will allow us to seize the market opportunity and continue to deliver great service for our customers. We are changing and it’s working.”
– Mark Lawrenson, Service Delivery Director, Royal Mail