About a million parcels are believed to be still in depots of defunct courier firm City Link, which went into administration over Christmas.
The 45-year-old company stopped taking any new deliveries after administrators Ernst & Young failed to find a new buyer and more than 2,700 people are set to lose their jobs. Roger Sumner-Rivers, founder of London-based firm ParcelHero, which acts as a broker between businesses and couriers, said he had been told that "no further deliveries will be made" but "depots will open again on Monday for customers to collect the estimated one million parcels stuck in its network".
In a statement, Ernst & Young advised people to use City Link's tracking system to find where to collect undelivered goods.
Union officials have been holding talks with administrators to try to save the employees' jobs. RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: "RMT's objective now is to do everything we can to rescue jobs in the wake of the shock collapse into administration of City Link on Christmas Day. Despite the festive season there can be no delays in getting on with the rescue programme and we expect the Government through Vince Cable to take an active role right now. The thousands of workers caught in the middle of this crisis deserve full support from every quarter."
The union has demanded "urgent talks" with Business Secretary Mr Cable and said it is disappointed the minister will not meet them until the new year.
Retailers who used City Link, such as John Lewis and Amazon, have had to take emergency measures to ensure the delivery of parcels. Mr Sumner-Rivers said the firm's closure could have a major impact on the UK parcel market. He said there were now "serious concerns as to how the carriers left in the market are going to be able to absorb the estimated 76 million additional parcels City Link delivered each year".
"The companies will all require immediate service, which will put a huge burden on every carrier's infrastructure, from the sales department right through the network to the delivery couriers at the other end," Mr Sumner-Rivers added.Reuse content