Posties to pick up parcels from the door for 72p

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Royal Mail has launched a parcel pick-up service across the UK in a shake-up of the daily postal round.

The new service – Parcel Collect – means postmen and postwomen will now be able to collect parcels as well as deliver them. It is one of the biggest changes to the daily delivery since the launch of the postbox in 1852.

Under the ground-breaking initiative, postmen and postwomen will collect a parcel from the customer’s door or nominated safe place for 72p per parcel, in addition to postage costs. Parcel Collect is also available for pre-paid return items at a cost of 60p per item.

Nick Landon, Chief Commercial Officer at Royal Mail, said: “Royal Mail Parcel Collect is a fantastic step forward for all of our customers. It makes it easier to use our services than ever before. Whether you’re up against time and working from home, making a return, selling online or sending a gift to make someone’s day, Royal Mail Parcel Collect is here to help. The launch of Parcel Collect is part of our commitment to continuously make our services better and more convenient.”

Royal Mail has been forced to rely increasingly on parcels, as letters drop in importance with the advent of email. Since 2004 the number of letters it delivers has halved, even before the pandemic.

This year has been particularly harsh. In the three months to the end of June the company delivered 788 million fewer letters than the same period the year before, down 33%.

The reduction was sped up by Covid-19, but even before the pandemic hit, Royal Mail was expecting a drop of up to 8% in letter volumes during the 12 months to the end of March.

Meanwhile, parcel volumes have increased greatly.

The move means that online sellers and online shoppers will no longer need to leave home if they want to mail or return a pre-paid item by post.

Royal Mail can collect up to five parcels per address and can be booked up to five days in advance and up to midnight the day before.

In order to use the service, customers still have to ensure they have already paid the correct postage to send their item.

If an item does not have pre-paid postage such as a return, customers are able to pay for their postage online.

They will then be able to work out the correct cost of postage for their item and print out a pre-paid label which is fixed to the package. When the item gets collected, the customer will receive an email notification that acts as proof of postage.

The nationwide launch follows an initial roll-out of Parcel Collect in certain postcode areas of West England.


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