Royal Mail has announced it will trial Sunday parcel deliveries following a surge in online shopping orders during the pandemic.
The postal service said the decision had been reached in response to the uptick in people ordering from major retailers online during lockdown, announcing that it has “processed unprecedented parcel volumes” in the last year.
Due to this, Royal Mail has been hit by postal delays, with its website stating: “Some areas of the country may experience a reduction in service levels due to higher volumes of mail, the ongoing impact of Covid-related staff absences and necessary social distancing measures at local mail centres and delivery offices.”
The Sunday trial will only be rolled out for some retailers, the names of which Royal Mail has not yet revealed.
The change means that Royal Mail will offer deliveries seven days a week, putting it on par with rival services such as DPD and Hermes, which already do Sunday deliveries.
In order for Sunday deliveries to be possible, Royal Mail is building a second parcel hub in Daventry – it already has one in Warrington.
A Royal Mail spokesperson said: “Our first priority throughout this pandemic has been the safety of our people and our customers.
“We have worked hard to deliver the most comprehensive service we can, including retaining around 10,000 temporary workers to help us deal with the increased demand.”
Regarding the new Daventry hub, the firm said in a statement: “Once complete, the new hub will be the size of more than 10 football pitches and have the capacity to process over one million parcels per day, making it the largest Royal Mail parcel hub in the UK.”
Nick Landon, chief commercial officer at Royal Mail, added: “The last year has reset so many customer expectations and the desire for even more convenient and even more frequent parcel deliveries has certainly been one of them.”
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