Royal Mail is responding to a boom in online parcels by launching a trial of Sunday deliveries this summer in a move which will also see some delivery offices opening seven days a week.
With letters declining at about 8% a year, online parcel deliveries are proving to be a lifeline for the newly-privatised company. Parcels make up almost half of Royal Mail’s £9.15bn revenues. A PwC report, commissioned on the eve of the sell-off, predicted parcel volumes will rise from 1.7bn items to 2.3bn by 2023.
The trial will run in towns around the M25 motorway, and will also include London addresses. Customers who choose the Sunday service will receive a text message between 30 and 90 minutes before delivery. Royal Mail said around 100 delivery offices will also open across the UK in areas with the highest parcel volumes on Sunday, responding to growing demand from online shoppers. Delivery offices are currently open six days a week. Parcelforce Worldwide will also launch a Sunday service.
Chief executive Moya Greene said: “Through these new Sunday services we are exploring ways to improve our flexibility and provide more options for people to receive items they have ordered online.”
The Communication Workers Union, which represents the majority of Royal Mail staff, has welcomed the move.
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