Royals al Mail & CWU National Joint Statement Increasing the Parcel (consumer) Collect Threshold
As Branches and Representatives are aware, the parcels market grows continually resulting in further supply and demand with RM customers. Due to the easing of lockdown, Covid-19 has completely changed the shape of ordering on-line with consumers also potentially, continuing to work from home. This may result in fewer visits to the Post Office or a Customer Service Point to either post or return parcels as they look for more convenient options. Equally, there is a demand from online retailers and marketplace sellers to expect a doorstep collection service for returns and outbound parcels. This growth in the market is being targeted by Royal Mail’s competitors.
Currently collections are limited to 5 items per address and 5 collection points per delivery. To grow the volumes Royal Mail is seeking to advertise to customers a removal of the threshold. There will be intrinsic technology constraints to limit the maximum that can be booked for each delivery built into the system and in exceptional circumstances the availability of Parcel Collect can be switched off temporarily at Delivery Office level, or on a National basis. Where a customer requests a collection of more than 24 items they will be signposted to book an ad hoc collection as a lower cost option.
We have been in discussions with Royal Mail in relation to the attached Joint Statement, which has been endorsed by the Postal Executive, which ensures safeguards are in place that deal with the challenges of raising the current cap, from the current limit of 25 items to 50 items per delivery point. This is due to take place from the 23rd August onwards.
In line with the existing guidelines and to reaffirm that it is the responsibility of Delivery Office Managers to check parcel collect orders, ensure that this workload is suitable for each delivery, make alternative arrangements where necessary to redistribute the workload via locally agreed arrangements and to the existing Standard Operating Procedure.
It is reaffirmed that Health & Safety and SSOW are of paramount importance to both Royal Mail and the CWU and the necessary SSOW will be updated and will be put in place. All issues arising in this respect will be proper to the relevant RM safety experts and the CWU National Health & Safety Department.
Following the deployment of this change targeted for 23rdAugust 2021 both parties will continue to monitor and review the volumes with the data being shared Nationally on a weekly basis in order to resolve any operational issues and the impact which may emanate from this change. There will also be a National Joint Review after 3 months from the launch date in order to assess the volume growth and assess the additional workload. During this 3-month period, the time associated with this change along with frequency of the task, will be subject to an IE study with any impact incorporated into the productivity measure and in the agreed planning and resourcing tools.
Although the cap will be increased to 50 items per delivery point, this will not be an advertised feature from Royal Mail, as they are currently running an advertising campaign in attempt to increase take up of the product.
Currently, customer volumes of parcels collected per walk range from 0 to 26 and the average is 2 per week. Over a 9-week period, 4 or more parcels were collected at one time at 5% of Units and 0.27% of walks. The change to the current limit is not expected to dramatically increase these levels but obviously overall, the aim is to grow the product and revenue from this service as traditional mail volumes fall.
Accordingly, we will continue to review the workload impacts of this change and continue to ensure that we pick up and resolve any difficulties within the operation that may arise resulting from the cap increase.
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CWU Assistant Secretary