Parcelforce network to merge with Royal Mail

Category: Operations
Parcelforce network

Historically Royal Mail has operated two networks (the Parcelforce network and Royal Mail’s network) and two sets of systems. This means services often cover the ground up to four times a day, adding cost and inefficiency into the business and increasing their carbon footprint.

Royal Mail and the CWU have agreed in principle to the creation of a Single Parcel Network as a strategic ambition. The intent is to utilise the new parcel hubs, the Direct Parcel Routes and Parcelforce depots as a single, synergised parcels network covering the entirety of the UK. This network will be better for customers by enabling Royal Mail to be more competitive, achieve higher quality and offer better services.

Combining the Parcelforce network with Royal Mail to create a single parcel network is a long-term project and that there will need to be interim change in Parcelforce beginning immediately to stabilise the business and return it to profitability. A review, due to report back by June this year, will look at:

  • Maximising operational synergies between all parts of Royal Mail and Parcelforce (including moving to a single network on Sundays as quickly as practicable); Including consideration of the optimum number and location of the overall integrated depot model including the 54 Parcelforce sites, with a view to improving drop density on all product streams and reducing stem and interdrop mileage.
  • Re-integrating Parcelforce into Royal Mail over a period of time, with a plan to harmonise terms & conditions of existing contracted employees.
  • Developing a single suite of Parcel product offerings to minimise internal competition i.e. RM and PFW not offering identical products
  • Enabling Royal Mail to operate a 24/7 network, with parcel deliveries being undertaken across the whole day including the AM period.
  • The design and pilot of a new hybrid reward mechanism based on a price per item approach for performance beyond standard, based on the learnings of the trial scheme agreed in Parcelforce in 2021. Discussions would review the potential for a joint trial for alternative reward beyond core attendance and to develop a plan to balance workload, set targetry and reward levels and meet employee aspirations for earnings. The purpose being to incentivise performance while maintaining earnings levels. Within this, to improve quality and competitive unit cost, consideration will be given to the replacement of SA/overtime by pay per parcel delivered in both Dedicated Parcel Routes and current Parcelforce duties.
  • Consideration of the allocation of vehicle types and capabilities across the full SLPN network. I.E. Spread of Parcelforce type (H&L) duties across a larger number of sites.
  • Review of Network capabilities and synergies, with a view to combining or aligning containerised and loose load networks
  • In conjunction with achieving the right balance of cost, coverage, and service, and jointly developing alternative reward models both Royal Mail and the CWU acknowledge that depending on the outcome of the review the Single Parcel Network will be based on the preference of a fully employed model.

9 Responses

  1. Pay per parcel delivered? Does that mean that you don’t get paid if the recipient isn’t in?!! Gig couriers are on this system and parcels are left in unsafe conditions, as the drivers lose wages if they bring them back!!

    1. Consolidating parcels under one company allows RM to walk away from the universal service obligation to deliver letters to every address 6 times a week, because this part of the business is not profitable. RM wound up within 3 years is my prediction.

  2. I could never understand why the conservatives separated it from Royal Mail been a postman over40 years I see me delivering small parcel and the postie on foot and parcel force in the same street so costly also Royal Mail need to posies back on bicycle same a fortune on running cost and just 2 Letter delivery per week

    1. 2 letter delivery per week. that’d NOT be good. I mean it’s not a good deal better than that right now, thanks to RM’s efforts to offload the legal obligation to provide (much like the banks closing many branches, and then saying fewer people are using their branches). Let it evolve, of course, but not just for the benefit of shareholders and executive bonuses.

  3. I started my working life as a telegram boy in the gpo.
    This is just a diabolical waste of money, iy should have never been separated in the 1st place.
    Stop messing with workers life’s and get your act together yet again another example of dim witted management

  4. Split of Royal Mail and parcel force was because parcel force lost money at the time of the split. It was in order to get the pricing right. Working Sundays should be by law voluntary for all industries that are not essential e. g. Hospitals and train services and some shops. It is a step towards pay by no of parcels delivered rather than a salary! A step too far. Royal mail is bit only a British act of parliament it is an international agreement with the international postal union in Zurich!

    1. …and now it’s the letters that RM say loses them money and they are doing everything they can to offload that legal obligation in favour of parcels. What goes around comes around, eh!

  5. Worked for RM for over 40 years , firstly they decided to go” Rail to Road” taking nearly all of the parcels and packets and letters off the railways and using HGV vehicles to transport around the Country adding more congestion and Environmental worsening conditions throughout the country, why, why, why such a bad move! And now they want to put RM and Parcelforce back together again, It only shows how badly the RM / GPO / Parcelforce has been run over the past 40+ years. If it works don’t try to fix it.


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