ENTERTAINMENT

The postman picks up your parcels during the regular delivery rounds as part of a new postal scheme for 72 pence


Postmen will pick up your parcels during the regular delivery rounds as part of a new postal scheme for 72 pence

  • The Royal Mail package collection service will see postmen Pick up parcels from home
  • Households pay 72 pence per item in addition to the shipping costs for the service
  • Sellers and buyers can post or return items without leaving home

Postmen will shortly be picking up parcels from our doorstep while delivering letters.

Households pay 72p per item in addition to shipping costs when using Royal Mail's new package collection service.

This means online sellers and buyers can post or return items without leaving their homes.

Royal Mail describes the service as "one of the biggest changes to daily delivery since the mailbox began in 1852".

With Royal Mail's package collection service, postmen collect packages from households at the same time as letters are delivered, and sellers can return items without leaving their homes. (Picture from a picture agency)

The company is trying to get a bigger share of the booming parcel market.

However, critics warn that the move could jeopardize the future of the local post office.

Customers can pay online or through the Royal Mail mobile app. You'll need to print out a prepaid label and stick it on the packaging before leaving it on your doorstep or in a safe place.

Packages with a prepaid return label can be picked up for 60p per item.

The parcels can weigh up to 20 kg and be a little more than twice the size of most aircraft hand luggage.

Customers can have their parcels picked up every day except Sundays. Bookings can be made until midnight the night before so the postmen know where to stop before their delivery round.

Royal Mail had tested its system in the west of England but announced today that it will be expanded across the country.

Online shopping is booming, with sales up 47 percent in August from before the lockdown, according to the Bureau of National Statistics.

Royal Mail has been forced to increasingly rely on parcels as letters become less important with the dominance of email. The number of letters delivered has halved since 2004. This year has been particularly tough as the pandemic increased the fall rate.

In the three months to the end of June, the company delivered 788 million fewer letters than in the same period in 2019, a decrease of 33 percent.

The parcel volume has now increased. The company has already tried to maximize its presence in the booming parcel market by launching parcel post boxes last year.

However, consumer experts fear the new service will hurt prospects for the post office, which is a standalone government-owned company.

The 11,500 branch network is already under immense financial pressure. More and more customers are going online to buy stamps, send packages and pay their bills.

The service means online sellers and buyers can post or return items without leaving their homes. (Picture in stock)

The service means online sellers and buyers can post or return items without leaving their homes. (Picture in stock)

James Daley of the Fairer Finance campaign group said, "If this idea catches on, in some areas it will likely be the end of the local post office."

According to Royal Mail, the initiative is intended to complement Post's service and offer customers more flexibility.

Nick Landon, its chief commercial officer, said, "Whether you have the time and work from home, return home, sell online or send a gift, Parcel Collect is here to help."

However, Peter Hall of the National Federation of Sub-Postmasters said, “Sub-postmasters act as sales representatives for Royal Mail services, providing customers with expert advice and guidance, as well as a trustworthy and secure environment for mailing letters and packages.

“This move to bypass post offices is a concern for sub postmasters. Royal Mail has said that this service is "intended to complement the postal services" – we just can't see how that is the case.

A postal spokesman said: "We are working with Royal Mail to reach a new agreement that will continue our longstanding relationship and continue to provide customers with convenience in sending letters and packages."

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