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.