Retained Parcel Sort Centres
The department has received a number of enquiries seeking clarity around the plan by the business to continue operating a number of the Seasonal Parcel Sort Centres outside of the peak period. Discussions have therefore taken place with the business to clarify the plan and ensure that the RM core network is fully utilised at all times prior to the movement of any workload, in line with the commitments in current agreements including the proposed Pathway to Change agreement currently out to ballot.
Branches will be aware during Peak 2020 that Royal Mail opened 10 Seasonal Parcel Sort Centres to accommodate the unprecedented parcel volumes and demand in the core network. This was in response to the ongoing Covid crisis, its effect on the density of online shopping and the reduction in capacity in the core Mail Centre/RDC network, due to social distancing and Covid-19 mitigation arrangements.
Due to the implementation of the heightened Covid-19 lockdown arrangements across the UK following the Christmas/New Year period, Royal Mail’s commercial forecast predicted continued high volumes. In addition to reduce the level of risk to Royal Mail employees, social distancing arrangements are likely to remain in force for some time to come.
Given this the business have taken the decision to retain a reduced number of Parcel Sort Centres over the coming weeks. The requirement for the additional capacity will be reviewed on an ongoing basis and will be stood down as and when the volume can be safely accommodated within the core network.
Royal Mail’s current plan is to continue to operate the Parcel Sort Centres at Milton Keynes, Atherstone and Northampton to support the operation. Operations at Sheffield will cease and the operation at Tetris will be managed out over the coming days.
Clearly the extended use of the PSC’s incurs additional costs. Discussions with Royal Mail have confirmed the intention is to only use the PSC’s where traffic volume exceed the capacity within
the core network. The three sites will therefore not have designated workload and will only handle surplus workload which cannot be safely processed within the Mail Centre/RDC estate.
Any anticipated requirement to divert workload to the Parcel Sort Centres should be a standard agenda item at Weekly Resourcing Meetings at all plants, with the joint aspiration being to maximise the utilisation of the core network.
Any enquiries in relation to this LTB should be addressed to Davie Robertson, Assistant Secretary, email: firstname.lastname@example.org quoting reference: 014.14