Christmas mail piling up due to strikes

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With the ongoing Royal Mail strikes, Christmas mail is being delayed so much that last Post Dates have been brought forward a week but it’s not even certain that everything posted will still be delivered pre-Christmas.

As you might expect, the CWU are keen to highlight the impact that strikes are having with a few choice videos of mail centres full to the brim with yorks of parcels not going anywhere. Having spoken to a few small businesses today, their experiences are that they are done with Royal Mail – probably forever.

One business shared tracking for a premium service Tracked 24 parcel which they despatched at their local Royal Mail depot at midday last Friday. This should have been delivered by Monday at the latest, but that evening it hadn’t even been scanned by the network. It took until this Tuesday morning at 10.42 for it to be scanned in at the nearest Mail Centre so at best it’s not going to be delivered before Wednesday… and it’s worth noting that Friday, Monday and Tuesday were NOT strike days.

Another local small business has got so disillusioned with Royal Mail that they’ve taken the decision to move to Evri. They’ve always stuck with Royal Mail having heard media hyped horror stories about some couriers in the past, but they’ve been delighted with Evri’s service, listing the benefits as:

  • Quicker than Royal Mail to produce labels
  • Quicker to drop off at an Evri parcel shop
  • Cheaper than Royal Mail for a next day service
  • Reliable tracking on all parcels
  • All parcels delivered on time bar one which was delayed due to extreme weather conditions

Needless to say, this is one small business that will never return to Royal Mail now they’ve discovered the delights of a lower cost better service alternative. Even more devastating, they are sharing their experience with every small business in their network and encouraging them to switch away from Royal Mail on a permanent basis as well.

And it’s not just small businesses making the switch, large retailers have activated contingency plans and the latest big brand retailer to switch from Royal Mail to ensure Christmas mail is delivered is Curry’s who stated that their first responsibility was to the UK households who want to get hold of their technology, particularly at this time of year. Having previously used Royal Mail to deliver smaller parcels they are now also using an alternative carrier.

There are of course items for which Royal Mail is the only economically viable carrier – namely items shipped via their letters and large letters services. These are likely to be delayed along with the Christmas mail. For everything else, there are alternatives and although it’s putting carriers at maximum capacity they seem to be holding up well with minimal delays. If you’ve not switched, it’s time to do so, especially with rhetoric from the CWU indicating they’re not only willing to carry on industrial action though to Christmas, if they deem it necessary they’ll carry on striking to next Christmas.


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