Royal Mail: It’s been a testing year for many, and we can’t wait to help spread some Christmas cheer

Royal Mail: It’s been a testing year for many, and we can’t wait to help spread some Christmas cheer

Royal Mail has acquired two new temporary parcel sort centres to help deliver Christmas as more and more festive shoppers are expected to move online this year.

The move will help the company manage the traditional increase in deliveries over Christmas as well as cater for the UK’s e-commerce boom that is being accelerated by the coronavirus pandemic and associated lockdown restrictions.

The new sites, in Milton Keynes and Northampton will form part of a nationwide network of centres dedicated to sorting parcels to help meet a Christmas period that is likely to be even busier than usual. Christmas is typically the busiest time of the year for parcel deliveries, but this Christmas is expected to outstrip prior years’ festive peaks. 

This is due to a surge in demand for parcel delivery services as more businesses and consumers switch to online shopping amidst the coronavirus crisis.  In the first five months of the year, Royal Mail reported a 34% year-on-year increase in parcel volumes (177 million more parcels). 

Royal Mail has used temporary parcel sort centres for around 10 years to process a significant proportion of seasonal parcels and help manage volumes. This year the company has decided to expand its existing portfolio of seasonal sites in order to help manage the accelerated growth in parcel volumes.

The use of temporary parcel sort centres is now an integral part of Royal Mail’s substantial investment in providing additional resources at Christmas to manage the festive mail bag and ensure that customers up and down the country can send and receive the gifts and cards that help make Christmas so special.

Around 4,600 seasonal workers will be based in the eight temporary parcel sort centres. They will help sort many of the festive parcels Royal Mail handles, before they are delivered to the door by Royal Mail’s postmen and women. Royal Mail will recruit a total of 33,000 temporary seasonal workers across its UK operations this Christmas.

Ricky McAulay, Field Operations Director at Royal Mail, said: “With the possibility of COVID-related restrictions being in place this Christmas, Royal Mail’s role in delivering presents and cards will become even more important. Given the rise in online shopping, we have put even more effort into ensuring that we have the right resources in place this Christmas. It’s been a testing year for many, and we can’t wait to help spread some Christmas cheer. We also hope that our seasonal recruitment drive will bring some welcome employment opportunities to regions across the UK ahead of the festive season.”

The other Royal Mail parcel sort centres are in in Atherstone, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Greenford in West London, Sheffield and Warrington. The centres will open on a phased basis from next month whilst recruitment for the seasonal roles based in these centres and elsewhere in Royal Mail Group’s frontline operations is now open.

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