What are my alternatives for Ecommerce delivery when Royal Mail go on strike
The schedule for Royal mail strikes continues... With issues like these on top of rising energy and material costs, where can Ecommerce Retailers turn for support in their logistics framework, to mitigate the impact of the strikes?
Thursday 20th October
Tuesday 25th October
Monday 28th November – To be confirmed
Potential strike action impacting parts of our operation on different days between 2 November – 2 December
Network & National Distribution
2, 8, 14, 23, 30 November
Parcel and letter processing and distribution
3, 9, 15, 24 November & 1 December
Parcel and letter deliveries
4, 10, 16, 25 November and 2 December
We will provide further detailed information about our contingency plans, services affected and our advice to customers in the event we receive formal notification for any or all of these potential strike dates.
Strike action is disruptive and creates backlogs of mail that can take months to clear, and if you have been using Royal Mail for your parcel delivery you may well be wondering what’s going to happen next?
Some of the more commercial couriers are not affected by the CWU (Communication workers Union) and are offering alternative options, but as always household door to door delivery which is often referred to as the final mile is still dominated by Royal Mail.
Parcelforce are part of Royal Mail so they will likely be affected to some degree as services cross over.
Evri, the new name of Hermes has been updated and offers some good in store posting at local convenience stores, to find out if you have one near you can visit https://www.evri.com/find-a-parcelshop#/
UPS have a similar set up, where you can buy postage online and drop off at a convenient collection point https://www.ups.com/dropoff/ They have always been a reliable delivery company. You can get an account and get a daily collection when you are doing an average of 5 despatches per day.
UK Mail, is part of DHL, a reputable global parcel carrier https://www.ukmail.com/mailservices
Citipost claim to do things differently and put customers at the heart of what they do, but on close inspection their delivery partner is Royal Mail, so we suggest avoiding.
Whistl began as part of TNT when Mail services were de-regulated with the aim of competing with Royal Mail, they now aim to facilitate the ecommerce supply chain, with warehousing fulfilment and logistics, more than just a carrier https://www.whistl.co.uk/
Above all, you can manage your customers’ expectations by explaining exactly how your despatches are delivered. Encourage early ordering to avoid disappointment, especially as some of the backlog may well cause delays at Christmas time. You could also offer an express guaranteed option to help customers get faster delivery with an upgraded service.
There is no doubt about it that Royal mail has a part to play but if the Unions are going to cause trouble it may be time to move onto another provider and avoid, if possible, the ongoing affects.
Disclaimer: At Kudos we continue to use Royal Mail for our Small order deliveries, but we now offer to send any order (however small it is) with TNT which is our current service provider on UK despatches.