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Royal Mail boss hints that Saturday post could be scrapped because it is no longer 'economic' to deliver letters six days a week

Posted: 27 Oct 2020, 14:41
by POSTMAN
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Royal Mail boss says delivering letters six days a week is no longer ‘economic’
Chairman Keith Williams says changes are needed to reflect customer habits
During the first five months of this year the number of parcels sent has surged


The boss of Royal Mail has hinted the Saturday post could be scrapped, claiming that delivering letters six days a week is no longer ‘economic’.

Under its current universal service obligation, the firm must deliver letters for a fixed price to every address in the country from Monday to Saturday.

But Royal Mail chairman Keith Williams said changes are needed to reflect the new habits of customers, who are sending fewer letters than before but more parcels.


Under its current universal service obligation, the firm must deliver letters for a fixed price to every address in the country from Monday to Saturday

It comes after Royal Mail’s profits fell by 95 per cent in the past five years, with the firm expected to make a loss this year.

Since its privatisation seven years ago, the number of letters it delivers annually has fallen more than 27 per cent.

But during the first five months of this year, the number of parcels sent has surged by 34 per cent.

Yesterday Mr Williams told the Financial Times: ‘We should be pivoting towards parcels, as well as keeping the basic tenets of the universal service obligation... but recognise that people want parcels equally.

'We need to deliver what customers want - as long as it's economic.

'In its current form, the USO is not economic, because if you look at the [UK] business, profitability has been in decline year after year.'


Since its privatisation seven years ago, the number of letters it delivers annually has fallen more than 27 per cent

Royal Mail has already launched six-day deliveries for parcels. And last week, the firm began collecting packages from the doorstep for the first time in its history.

Mr Williams said the booming demand for parcels meant the service was likely to switch to seven-days-a-week in the future.

But his attempts to speed up the modernisation of the company could face opposition from the powerful Communication Workers Union (CWU), which represents roughly two thirds of Royal Mail's 150,000-strong workforce and has threatened strikes.

Former Royal Mail boss Rico Back was sacked in May after repeated stand-offs with union chiefs and a failure to lift performance.

His departure led Mr Williams to take over temporarily as executive chairman and two months later the former British Airways boss struck a peace deal with the CWU, agreeing to resolve differences over pay and changes to working arrangements.

The CWU fears that a shake-up of Royal Mail will lead to job losses and worsening pay and conditions for its members.

But Mr Williams called on union chiefs to 'recognise the market is changing'.

He added: 'It's incumbent on us and the union to be able to change more quickly.

'You can't keep kicking the can down the road.

'A change in roles is inevitable but that doesn't mean to say there will be job losses.


Royal Mail has already launched six-day deliveries for parcels. And last week, the firm began collecting packages from the doorstep for the first time in its history

'Overall, I think if we do this pivot successfully over time, it will increase the number of roles at Royal Mail.'

A review of Royal Mail's responsibilities under the USO is currently being carried out by communications watchdog Ofcom.

The regulator is expected to reveal its findings in the coming weeks.

Royal Mail, which traces its history back to the court of King Henry VIII in 1516, has warned that the current requirements are 'coming under significant strain' because of the drop in letter revenues to fund it.

It says that in the past decade, the average number of items delivered per address has halved from two to one.

Royal Mail boss hints that Saturday post could be scrapped because it is no longer 'economic' to deliver letters six days a week

Posted: 27 Oct 2020, 15:40
by Rommagic
How much money would they save?.

Royal Mail boss hints that Saturday post could be scrapped because it is no longer 'economic' to deliver letters six days a week

Posted: 27 Oct 2020, 15:57
by 2yearpostie
Rommagic wrote:How much money would they save?.
not a lot because we will still be in saturday (and sunday) to deliver parcels.

Royal Mail boss hints that Saturday post could be scrapped because it is no longer 'economic' to deliver letters six days a week

Posted: 27 Oct 2020, 16:03
by Rommagic
2yearpostie wrote:
Rommagic wrote:How much money would they save?.
not a lot because we will still be in saturday (and sunday) to deliver parcels.

What would you say?.£m?

Royal Mail boss hints that Saturday post could be scrapped because it is no longer 'economic' to deliver letters six days a week

Posted: 27 Oct 2020, 17:52
by twoloops
If they dangled the carrot Monday to Friday & Saturdays voluntary :nana

Royal Mail boss hints that Saturday post could be scrapped because it is no longer 'economic' to deliver letters six days a week

Posted: 27 Oct 2020, 19:44
by wallan
If Sat Delivery of Letters Go so will 1st Class Mail
Why , Only 1st Class items posted Mon - Thurs will be due to be delivered next day
Ist / 2nd Class Posted Fri & Sat will achieve Mon Delivery

Royal Mail boss hints that Saturday post could be scrapped because it is no longer 'economic' to deliver letters six days a week

Posted: 27 Oct 2020, 20:06
by Sir Henry
twoloops wrote:If they dangled the carrot Monday to Friday & Saturdays voluntary :nana

"Everyone on delivery to be on the same standard duty 1 Rotating day off per week"

Royal Mail boss hints that Saturday post could be scrapped because it is no longer 'economic' to deliver letters six days a week

Posted: 27 Oct 2020, 20:48
by Janet Brum
Royal Mail has already launched six-day deliveries for parcels
Since when? We always delivered parcels 6 days a week?

Royal Mail boss hints that Saturday post could be scrapped because it is no longer 'economic' to deliver letters six days a week

Posted: 27 Oct 2020, 23:32
by k979aaa
Went into a team/video session of Transforming the business a few weeks ago they were very keen on 7 day deliveries and most of this will come at the expense of not having your own duty but a rotation of working so you could be working Sunday and Saturday one week and again in three weeks, And walks would only go out with enough mail to deliver Sounds a bit like what happened a few months ago!

Royal Mail boss hints that Saturday post could be scrapped because it is no longer 'economic' to deliver letters six days a week

Posted: 28 Oct 2020, 03:53
by NWpostie
The clear strategy is to prioritise parcels over letters, social letter practically non existent, mostly replaced by corporate circulars like saga, national trust, English heritage, bills, insurance documents, etc, which are usually distributed monthly or quarterly which is likely to be delivered over a few days rather than in one go.

Parcels is where the future is really, it would need to be managed effectively.

Royal Mail boss hints that Saturday post could be scrapped because it is no longer 'economic' to deliver letters six days a week

Posted: 28 Oct 2020, 08:37
by ted_e_bear
"it would need to be managed effectively."

Hmmm...

Royal Mail boss hints that Saturday post could be scrapped because it is no longer 'economic' to deliver letters six days a week

Posted: 28 Oct 2020, 10:00
by SpacePhoenix
NWpostie wrote:The clear strategy is to prioritise parcels over letters, social letter practically non existent, mostly replaced by corporate circulars like saga, national trust, English heritage, bills, insurance documents, etc, which are usually distributed monthly or quarterly which is likely to be delivered over a few days rather than in one go.

Parcels is where the future is really, it would need to be managed effectively.
It'll probably see all IMPs, CFCs, iLSMs, CSS and T2K machines phased out over time. Either that or a few offices will do all the mech mail for a much wider area but spread out over 2 or 3 days

Royal Mail boss hints that Saturday post could be scrapped because it is no longer 'economic' to deliver letters six days a week

Posted: 28 Oct 2020, 15:39
by rogersh
POSTMAN wrote:https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/articl ... apped.html

Royal Mail boss says delivering letters six days a week is no longer ‘economic’ Chairman Keith Williams says changes are needed to reflect customer habits During the first five months of this year the number of parcels sent has surged ......

A review of Royal Mail's responsibilities under the USO is currently being carried out by communications watchdog Ofcom.

The regulator is expected to reveal its findings in the coming weeks.
This was the stance of Royal Mail in December 2019;

The decision to downgrade the USO, or otherwise, will be made by Ofcom in 2020. Royal mail have said the regulator has begun the review of the Universal service. "We will actively participate in it. We will continue to deliver the USO - and will be proud to do so - whatever the outcome." Royal Mail also states ..."it's important we deliver a Universal Service that's right for customers in the 21st Century" & We will deliver the Universal Service for our country."

So does it still stand that whatever the outcome of the findings of Ofcom their decision will be endorsed by Royal Mail.

Royal Mail boss hints that Saturday post could be scrapped because it is no longer 'economic' to deliver letters six days a week

Posted: 28 Oct 2020, 15:55
by Rommagic
rogersh wrote:
POSTMAN wrote:https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/articl ... apped.html

Royal Mail boss says delivering letters six days a week is no longer ‘economic’ Chairman Keith Williams says changes are needed to reflect customer habits During the first five months of this year the number of parcels sent has surged ......

A review of Royal Mail's responsibilities under the USO is currently being carried out by communications watchdog Ofcom.

The regulator is expected to reveal its findings in the coming weeks.
This was the stance of Royal Mail in December 2019;

The decision to downgrade the USO, or otherwise, will be made by Ofcom in 2020. Royal mail have said the regulator has begun the review of the Universal service. "We will actively participate in it. We will continue to deliver the USO - and will be proud to do so - whatever the outcome." Royal Mail also states ..."it's important we deliver a Universal Service that's right for customers in the 21st Century" & We will deliver the Universal Service for our country."

So does it still stand that whatever the outcome of the findings of Ofcom their decision will be endorsed by Royal Mail.

We hear before the new year?.

Royal Mail boss hints that Saturday post could be scrapped because it is no longer 'economic' to deliver letters six days a week

Posted: 28 Oct 2020, 16:57
by Woody Guthrie
2yearpostie wrote:
Rommagic wrote:How much money would they save?.
not a lot because we will still be in saturday (and sunday) to deliver parcels.

The only parcels likely to go anywhere on a Saturday would be be first class over a shoebox size and Tracked. This is about saving money so they're not going to have you carrying Chinese and Ebay tat.
The only parcels going anywhere on a Sunday would be premium.

It may be they go for a bespoke weekend operation with it's own staff taken from volunteers and new recruits.
However it pans out very few of us will be in Saturday or Sunday unless we volunteer.