Royal Mail boosts transport capacity in run-up to Christmas

Royal Mail has laid on 5,000 more vehicles than usual for this year’s festive season, as anticipation continues to brew that this year will see record parcel volumes. Based on retail sector expectations of rising e-commerce activity, the parcel industry is gearing up for an even bigger surge in demand than normal during December.

Royal Mail revealed at the weekend it has laid on extra planes, trains and trucks to handle the expected 2bn items that will be posted during the run-up to Christmas.

It is set to use 38,000 trucks and vans, a 15% increase on last year’s total during the same period. An additional nine flights will be run each day, taking the total to 64 daily flights between England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. On a normal day, Royal Mail uses 55 flights per day.

Mail volumes are expected to reach up to 130m pieces a day during the peak, more than double the normal daily average of 62m items.

Royal Mail has already revealed its plans to hire 18,000 temporary workers and pump GBP 15m into a reorganisation of its parcel network to cope with the surge.

Mark Higson, managing director of operations and modernisation said of the additional transport capacity: “These additional services will help us transport and deliver the Christmas mailbag to every community across the UK, including homes in the remotest locations.”

“As we do every year, we encourage people to post early and order presents early to help us spread the workload of handling around 2bn items in the run-up to Christmas,” Higson added.

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