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Busier than ever

08 Apr 2020, 00:06

Hi,

I've only been with RM for 3 years but at my mail centre I've never seen it so busy (busier than Christmas)
Understandably there are lots of absences but the number of parcels for me anyway has never seemed bigger

The amount of heavy and large (of all postage types) has sharply increased combined with big increases in 2nd class PPI
Outward small tracked is down but that is due to large contracts being lost

1st seems to be holding up with a small increase

I ended my shift tonight with in excess of 250 Yorks of 2nd bags not tipped, and I estimate 280 Yorks of heavy and large for tomorrow
We are diverting 2nd class but still can't clear the mail

Failures across morning, Sats and nights are now expected

Experienced staff are saying they have not seen it busier and today/yesterday were two of the busiest shifts I've ever worked
We literally could not unload vehicles due to the amount of mail in the building
We filled a double-deck lorry as storage as no space left

Just wondered if anybody else is seeing the same?

Busier than ever

08 Apr 2020, 03:50

Yes, it’s certainly busier than normal at our MC too - mainly on packets and tracked packets. Angard staff are in every night. I’m told that metered letters and flats are quieter than usual. The combination of staff sickness and changes in working practice due to social distancing is probably a factor as to why they are struggling to sort all the packets. So far we haven’t failed on night shift but it’s touch and go.

What is happening with the second class sort? Is it being done at another MC?

Busier than ever

08 Apr 2020, 13:21

It would make sense for any MC who do not have a PSM to send their T48 parcels to an office who does. Sorting at 9K an hour and doing all the scanning as well that would make perfect sense.

Busier than ever

08 Apr 2020, 13:46

Steve_claret wrote:It would make sense for any MC who do not have a PSM to send their T48 parcels to an office who does. Sorting at 9K an hour and doing all the scanning as well that would make perfect sense.

Would the MCs with PSMs actually have the capacity? With the increase in parcels and Tracked, they might need all their PSM capacity to process their own parcels and Tracked. Plus iirc there's only around half a dozen PSMs at most

Busier than ever

08 Apr 2020, 15:31

Bag opening is one of the most time consuming jobs - I know it’s not feasible to transport Yorks by air or the smaller vans, but it would certainly be beneficial to find a way of reducing the amount of letters/packets sent around the network in tied mail bags.

Busier than ever

08 Apr 2020, 16:22

Lockardian wrote:Bag opening is one of the most time consuming jobs - I know it’s not feasible to transport Yorks by air or the smaller vans, but it would certainly be beneficial to find a way of reducing the amount of letters/packets sent around the network in tied mail bags.

For 2C they could send it via the rail hubs but for 1C there's no viable alternative. For the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands they're probably always going to be in bags

Busier than ever

09 Apr 2020, 09:08

SpacePhoenix wrote:
Steve_claret wrote:It would make sense for any MC who do not have a PSM to send their T48 parcels to an office who does. Sorting at 9K an hour and doing all the scanning as well that would make perfect sense.

Would the MCs with PSMs actually have the capacity? With the increase in parcels and Tracked, they might need all their PSM capacity to process their own parcels and Tracked. Plus iirc there's only around half a dozen PSMs at most


There are 18 PSM's currently in operation in MC's. As with any piece of automation kit whether it sorts letters, large letters or parcels they all work more efficiently when well presented standard sized items are put through hence why Tracked items are ideal for PSM's.

Busier than ever

09 Apr 2020, 17:50

My MC on Tuesday night into Wednesday processed 72K tracked items in an eight hour shift. 10K on the PSM the rest done manually. Busiest night last Xmas was 61K. That's with a staff shortage of 20%. People really need to stop buying stuff they don't really need.

Busier than ever

09 Apr 2020, 18:10

postman1979 wrote:My MC on Tuesday night into Wednesday processed 72K tracked items in an eight hour shift. 10K on the PSM the rest done manually. Busiest night last Xmas was 61K. That's with a staff shortage of 20%. People really need to stop buying stuff they don't really need.

What would be the average number of Tracked items that would be processed outside of either the pandemic, xmas pressure or a Bank Holiday week?

Busier than ever

10 Apr 2020, 12:36

Steve_claret wrote:
SpacePhoenix wrote:
Steve_claret wrote:It would make sense for any MC who do not have a PSM to send their T48 parcels to an office who does. Sorting at 9K an hour and doing all the scanning as well that would make perfect sense.

Would the MCs with PSMs actually have the capacity? With the increase in parcels and Tracked, they might need all their PSM capacity to process their own parcels and Tracked. Plus iirc there's only around half a dozen PSMs at most


There are 18 PSM's currently in operation in MC's. As with any piece of automation kit whether it sorts letters, large letters or parcels they all work more efficiently when well presented standard sized items are put through hence why Tracked items are ideal for PSM's.


PSMs also have trouble with sketchy handwriting and package fronts that are crowded with stuff (return addresses, company logos, etc.) One reason why they might be the absolute godsend management thinks they are - though they are super quick and really do cut down costs.

My mail centre was absolutely swamped yesterday. With all the staff out, the pipeline is totally blocked. But the bank holiday should help a little with that.

Busier than ever

10 Apr 2020, 13:20

Where the packets have a 2D barcode, do the PSMs get the address from that instead of trying to read the printed/handwritten address?

Busier than ever

10 Apr 2020, 14:18

britwrit wrote:
Steve_claret wrote:
SpacePhoenix wrote:
Steve_claret wrote:It would make sense for any MC who do not have a PSM to send their T48 parcels to an office who does. Sorting at 9K an hour and doing all the scanning as well that would make perfect sense.

Would the MCs with PSMs actually have the capacity? With the increase in parcels and Tracked, they might need all their PSM capacity to process their own parcels and Tracked. Plus iirc there's only around half a dozen PSMs at most


There are 18 PSM's currently in operation in MC's. As with any piece of automation kit whether it sorts letters, large letters or parcels they all work more efficiently when well presented standard sized items are put through hence why Tracked items are ideal for PSM's.


PSMs also have trouble with sketchy handwriting and package fronts that are crowded with stuff (return addresses, company logos, etc.) One reason why they might be the absolute godsend management thinks they are - though they are super quick and really do cut down costs.

My mail centre was absolutely swamped yesterday. With all the staff out, the pipeline is totally blocked. But the bank holiday should help a little with that.


I’ve noticed quite a few mis-sorts coming through where the PSM has read the return address instead of the delivery address. I think people tend to include the return address on parcels more than they do on letters.

Busier than ever

10 Apr 2020, 14:34

Lockardian wrote:
britwrit wrote:
Steve_claret wrote:
SpacePhoenix wrote:
Steve_claret wrote:It would make sense for any MC who do not have a PSM to send their T48 parcels to an office who does. Sorting at 9K an hour and doing all the scanning as well that would make perfect sense.

Would the MCs with PSMs actually have the capacity? With the increase in parcels and Tracked, they might need all their PSM capacity to process their own parcels and Tracked. Plus iirc there's only around half a dozen PSMs at most


There are 18 PSM's currently in operation in MC's. As with any piece of automation kit whether it sorts letters, large letters or parcels they all work more efficiently when well presented standard sized items are put through hence why Tracked items are ideal for PSM's.


PSMs also have trouble with sketchy handwriting and package fronts that are crowded with stuff (return addresses, company logos, etc.) One reason why they might be the absolute godsend management thinks they are - though they are super quick and really do cut down costs.

My mail centre was absolutely swamped yesterday. With all the staff out, the pipeline is totally blocked. But the bank holiday should help a little with that.


I’ve noticed quite a few mis-sorts coming through where the PSM has read the return address instead of the delivery address. I think people tend to include the return address on parcels more than they do on letters.

Are they UK-UK ones or ones going either from the UK abroad or from abroad to the UK?

Busier than ever

10 Apr 2020, 15:15

UK-UK are the ones I’ve noticed - mainly when a sticker is on the packet with the return address in small print underneath the destination address. The tiny little Chinese packets are sorted manually AFAIK as the envelopes have everything bar the kitchen sink on them.

I’ve seen them presented on the MDEC screens and it’s even virtually impossible for the keyers to highlight the correct part of the envelope for the PSM to read.

Busier than ever

10 Apr 2020, 15:35

SpacePhoenix wrote:
postman1979 wrote:My MC on Tuesday night into Wednesday processed 72K tracked items in an eight hour shift. 10K on the PSM the rest done manually. Busiest night last Xmas was 61K. That's with a staff shortage of 20%. People really need to stop buying stuff they don't really need.

What would be the average number of Tracked items that would be processed outside of either the pandemic, xmas pressure or a Bank Holiday week?

We process in a normal shift between 36K and 45K on a night shift. The oversized Tracked has increased by about 50% over the last three weeks. Though the Tracked we get from Amazon has stayed more or less the same.

Busier than ever

10 Apr 2020, 15:41

Lockardian wrote:UK-UK are the ones I’ve noticed - mainly when a sticker is on the packet with the return address in small print underneath the destination address. The tiny little Chinese packets are sorted manually AFAIK as the envelopes have everything bar the kitchen sink on them.

I’ve seen them presented on the MDEC screens and it’s even virtually impossible for the keyers to highlight the correct part of the envelope for the PSM to read.


We ocassionally get some Tracked through where the return address is in a larger font than the actual address

postman1979 wrote:
SpacePhoenix wrote:
postman1979 wrote:My MC on Tuesday night into Wednesday processed 72K tracked items in an eight hour shift. 10K on the PSM the rest done manually. Busiest night last Xmas was 61K. That's with a staff shortage of 20%. People really need to stop buying stuff they don't really need.

What would be the average number of Tracked items that would be processed outside of either the pandemic, xmas pressure or a Bank Holiday week?

We process in a normal shift between 36K and 45K on a night shift. The oversized Tracked has increased by about 50% over the last three weeks. Though the Tracked we get from Amazon has stayed more or less the same.


We don't get much Amazon through normally, generally just places that are out in the sticks

Busier than ever

10 Apr 2020, 22:31

From a delivery postie

I was thinking the other day if we are so busy then it must be so much worse up the chain.. Found this thread and knew it.

Ive noticed a massive increase in the amount of amazon parcels. We have had about a 10x increase in the amount of amazon special deliveries. Im pretty sure our Sorting Office broke the record for registered items 2 weeks ago so many that we had to fail them until the next day. (Which is unheard off as we always go above and beyond to clear our special deliveries). Its a good job Royal Mail has suspended the time guarantee! People in my office are saying this is because Amazon have switched from Hermes to Royal Mail? But I just ordered something on AMazon and its coming with Hermes :cry :cry But then again it weighs 2.1kg so maybe Royal Mail have only taken items 2kg or less ? Does anyone know ?

In addition collection mail has gone up massively too, seems many people writing to eachother out of boredom or out of passion in the current sitation. Probably this time last year I was delivering a hand written letter once ever 25 calls but in the last 2 weeks i have consistently been delivering hand written cards to 1 in 5 houses. Which is very nice to see.

Busier than ever

11 Apr 2020, 15:38

Medway is full to the brim not much space work is being stored in trailers up the Voc loads of angard casuals on every shift social distancing is ok to a degree gloves are plenty and the odd hand sanitiser is on show lots of opgs on docket.

Busier than ever

11 Apr 2020, 21:35

Lockardian wrote:Yes, it’s certainly busier than normal at our MC too - mainly on packets and tracked packets. Angard staff are in every night. I’m told that metered letters and flats are quieter than usual. The combination of staff sickness and changes in working practice due to social distancing is probably a factor as to why they are struggling to sort all the packets. So far we haven’t failed on night shift but it’s touch and go.

What is happening with the second class sort? Is it being done at another MC?


We are diverting 2c to another Mail Centre - we don't have a psm but they do
We are now diverting Heavy and Large as well
But we are still failing on 1c (by a little), 2c and inward by a lot

About the only shift, we get clear regularly is the weekend Amazon shift
Nights, mornings, lates and sats are all struggling

Nights and mornings are worst hit especially as they have the highest absence rate - nights is 4x higher than mine and ours is way outside the normal range

Busier than ever

11 Apr 2020, 21:40

Steve_claret wrote:It would make sense for any MC who do not have a PSM to send their T48 parcels to an office who does. Sorting at 9K an hour and doing all the scanning as well that would make perfect sense.


Do parcel sorting machines do both inward and outward?

I think if this workload continues my MC needs to reaccess how they organise shift patterns and operate a 24-hour operation processing 2c and inward standard/tracked parcels.

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