Royal Mail plans to launch new initiatives to support ecommerce, including a second daily delivery slot for next-day delivery, as it invests £1.8 billion over five years. The company did not disclose full details of the initiatives but eDelivery looks at the highlights below.
Second daily delivery slot
The firm said it would launch a second delivery slot by 2023 complementing the earlier slot.
This will consist of parcels ordered the previous evening for next-day delivery as well as larger items.
“The move comes at a pivotal time for UK online retail,” the company said in a statement.
“Royal Mail’s analysis indicates that Next Day parcels are expected to significantly outpace growth in other delivery time categories. This initiative will help facilitate that growth.”
Royal Mail said that processing these items separately would reduce parcel handling costs.
Automated parcel hubs
To support the new delivery slot, Royal Mail will introduce three new fully automated parcel hubs. The company said it was consulting with union CWU and would work collaboratively on the strategy, design and deployment of the hubs.
Royal Mail said it would collect items from customers at their home. This will include both consumers making returns and marketplace sellers sending orders to customers.
The postal giant cited projections saying online returns would increase over 27% over the next five years.
Royal Mail also plans to offer in-flight redirection options for consumers that are not going to be at home when their parcel is scheduled to arrive.
Royal Mail also announced earlier this week that it would roll out its new parcel lockers across the whole of the UK. Trialled during the second half of 2018, these allow customers to send parcels through a postbox in the same way they would a letter. These will be rolled out from August 2019.