With Christmas now behind us, will you return to Royal Mail in 2023, or have you found a new carrier for your parcels and will shun the unreliability of the striking postal service?
It will be interesting to see what the CWU’s next move is now that the pressure on the Royal Mail of delivering Christmas is past. Traditionally, Royal Mail strikes have petered out in the New Year with a deal being reached as the leverage is all but gone. Consumers who were desperate for their Christmas cards and presents to be delivered tend to care a lot less if they don’t receive their credit card bills on time demanding payment for the festive expenses.
The Royal Mail have stonewalled the Union at ever turn, declining a last minute truce offered by the CWU which would have seen strikes on the 23rd and Christmas Eve called off. They’ve show absolutely zero inclination to negotiate a settlement that’s not on their own terms so far. In some ways this really does suit the Royal Mail as they’ve been able to invoke a clause in a previous agreement which enables them to push on with modernisation without Union agreement.
However at some point, a return to Royal Mail normal operations has to take place and it’s hard to see how this will be achieved without reaching agreement with the CWU.
In the mean time, small businesses have been devastated with parcels not delivered in anything like an acceptable time frame, and with Royal Mail focusing on Special Delivery and Tracked deliveries, this has meant letters and large letters have festered undelivered in depots. I spoke to so many independent businesses that were forced to give in and shut up shop weeks before Christmas who have lost their vital seasonal sales boost that keeps them afloat for the rest of the year.
The only good news is that the carriers who have been working flat out before Christmas will now see some relief and be more able to cope with the volumes that have come their way. Their services are likely to return to more normal levels so if you are sticking with them rather than considering a return to Royal Mail the only question to ask is if the carriage costs are at a level your customers are willing to pay.
There’s no doubt that Royal Mail are cheapest for letters and large letters, but for anything slightly heavier that’s a parcel size, you don’t ever have to contemplate a return to Royal Mail as there are options available that will delivery next day for a comparable, and in some cases cheaper, price.