Mail and express operators have started working on contingency plans following the decision by the Communications Workers Union to call a strike at Royal Mail on 4th November.
Petar Cvetkovic, CEO at DX said: “A Royal Mail strike will mean that many UK businesses will be under added pressure and need to put measures in place to guarantee business continuity in the run up to Christmas. As such, we have been talking to our DX Customers about their contingency plans in case the Royal Mail strike does indeed go ahead as planned.
“With a strike likely to impact the busy Christmas trading season, businesses will need to forecast as accurately as possible – and communicate to their logistics providers – the volumes that will need to be sent.
“Businesses will also need to consider how capacity issues brought on by strike action will affect the logistics market, and should be engaging with their suppliers and partners early on to reserve the capacity that they’ll need for their Customers’ deliveries.”
James Greenbury, chief executive officer at Parcel2Go.com, the courier comparison site, said: “When the strike begins, we expect both businesses and consumers to experience severe disruption continuing into the long-term. Parcel2Go.com usually sees a significant surge in customers when Royal Mail workers strike and, with some predicting rolling strikes continuing to disrupt normal service up until Christmas; this occasion will likely be no different.”
“The good news is that there is now a much greater availability of alternative services than five years ago including services such as Click and Collect and Collect+. Don’t be surprised if services such as these chip further away at Royal Mail’s market share in the coming months by offering consumers more convenience at a lower cost.”
Royal Mail has vowed to do all it can to minimise disruption resulting from the strike. In a statement it pointed out that only minority of CWU members voted for the strike with 51 per cent voting against or abstaining.
The company says it has offered the CWU a three year legally-binding and enforceable contract with an 8.6 per cent increase in in pay, allowance and overtime payments over three years. An additional £300 lump sum in year one (pro-rata for part timers) is also on offer as part of the proposed agreement. The proposed criteria would include payment to individuals in December 2013, as long as they have worked normally during any strike action.