The UK express parcels market is currently worth £5.8bn, totalling 1.1 billion items a year, Royal Mail believes, and it predicts it will represent 12.4% of the UK’s GDP by 2016.
Last year, parcels accounted for £4.2bn of Royal Mail revenue – very nearly half of the company’s turnover – growing by 10% year-on-year, with domestic parcels bringing in £2.6bn.
And while letter volumes continued their long-term decline – last year by 6% – domestic parcel volumes grew 6%.
Parcelforce Worldwide will now be opening a new parcel processing centre in Chorley, Lancashire, in autumn 2013, as well as two depots in Cornwall and Hampshire. Plans will also see nine existing depots either expanded or moved over the next four years.
Chief executive Moya Greene said: “The investment will enable Royal Mail Group’s express parcels business to meet the rapid growth in demand in the business-to-business, business-to-consumer and consumer-to-consumer markets.”
The investment in the Parcelforce Worldwide network will come with a “significant” investment in associated IT systems with legacy infrastructure to be replaced.
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