Royal Mail has set out plans to open ten temporary parcel sorting centres to cater for the expected Christmas rush. It also plans to invest £130m in hand held technology over the next five years to improve its delivery service.
This will mark the fourth year of operation for the seasonal centres, which will be staffed by a workforce of 4,000, representing almost a fifth of the firm’s overall 19,000 strong Christmas workforce.
The parcel sort centres are in West Lothian, Leeds, Greater Manchester, South Wales, Swindon, Greenford, Peterborough, Wolverhampton and Milton Keynes.
In addition to this, there will also be an international parcel sort centre based at Heathrow, the centres will be opened on a phased-in basis from 3 November.
The £130m investment forms part of Royal Mail’s IT transformation programe, and will see the rollout of 76,000 next generation hand-held devices to postmen and women in 2015, with the rollout set to be completed by 2017.
The firm has entered into a contract with BT, which will be responsible for selecting which hand-held device to deploy, as well as providing day-to-day management and an operating platform for the five year period.
Nick Landon, managing director of Royal Mail Parcels, said: “We are delighted to announce our investment of around £130 million in IT which will better enable us to develop new services for parcels customers. This is part of our on-going programme to continue to respond to the needs of our customers and maintain our leading position in the UK parcels market.”
This summer, Royal Mail also made its Local Collect click and collect service with Post Offices available to its 20,000 SME contract customers.