New Royal Mail Croydon automated parcel sorting machine

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A new fully automated parcel sorting machine which can process 157,000 parcels per day has been installed at Royal Mail Croydon.

The parcel sorting machine – officially opened by Elliot Colburn, MP for Carshalton and Wallington – is an intelligent system of conveyor belts and scanning technology that automatically sorts parcels for despatch within Royal Mail’s network.

Based in the Royal Mail Croydon Mail Centre, the parcel sorting machine can process up to 7,500 parcels per hour to local delivery offices across south London and the rest of the country.

Built by automated technology company Solystic, the parcel sorting machine can handle a variety of parcel shapes and sizes weighing up to 20kg.

The installation is part of Royal Mail’s multi-million pound investment programme to replace significant manual sorting processes that can be both time consuming and physically demanding and help the company meet the surge in demand for parcels and online shopping.

Royal Mail is rapidly scaling up its automation levels. In March 2022, it reached the milestone of 50% parcels automated – up from 33% last year. The company is aiming to reach its overall target of 90% parcel automation by 2023-24. Using parcel automation can mean that parcels are sorted up to four times more quickly than manually sorting them.

We are transforming the way Royal Mail processes parcels given the rapid growth in online shopping in recent years. Our investment in state-of the-art parcel sorting machines will help us better meet the growing demands of our customers in Croydon and the rest of the UK and is a vital part of the ongoing reinvention of Royal Mail.

– Sarah Coulson, Parcels Automation Programme Director, Royal Mail

It was incredibly exciting to come and see this new machine in action first-hand. I’ve heard from staff just how much it will help customers and help Royal Mail tackle the challenges of parcel demand in an ever growing sector.

– Elliot Colburn, MP for Carshalton and Wallington

A total of 39 Royal Mail parcel sorting machines are set be in operation by October 2022 – nearly a 100% increase in a year. This includes installations at new hubs being built in Warrington and Daventry, which when operational, will be able to process more than 1.5million parcels per day.

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