Royal Mail is shaking up its offering by introducing a brand new service which will see postal workers collect parcels right from your doorstep for the very first time.
The new service – which launches across the UK today – is known as Parcel Collect.
Put quite simply, it means people will be able to send parcels without the need to leave the house, as customers who make use of the service will be asked to pay a fee of 72p on top of standard postage costs for every parcel they send, with pre-paid return items only costing 60p each.
Royal Mail said the collection service was one of the biggest changes to the daily round of postal workers since the postbox was launched in 1852 and he first parcel post was introduced in 1883.
It comes as the national postal service’s response after it has struggled with the shift away from letters to parcels as firms rely more on email for routine communications and consumers become more comfortable with online shopping and returning items.
So, how does the service work then?
Well, postal workers can now collect up to five items per customer per day, every day of the week (apart from Sundays) and packages must be no bigger than 61cm x 46cm x 46cm in volume, and 20kg in weight.
Upon declaring the size and weight of the package, customers will then be able to work out the correct cost of postage for their item and print out a pre-paid label.
Items will be collected from the door, or from a safe place on the property chosen by the customer.
Customers will be able to make bookings only via Royal Mail’s “click and drop” online service up to five days in advance until midnight on the day before collection, and then the service will provide collection slots of between two and four hours.
You can head to the Royal Mail website here, or use the Royal Mail app and opt for ‘Parcel Collect’ to use the service.
The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has accelerated the shift to online shopping – with restrictions closing non-essential high street shops for months during 2020 – and Royal Mail reported a £139m increase in total revenue in the five months to 30th August, as circumstances caused a surge in parcel deliveries.
Parcel volumes during that period rose by a third year-on-year, with an increase of 177 million parcels.