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Royal Mail has launched a parcel pick-up service across the UK in a shake-up of the daily round.

The new service - Parcel Collect – means postmen and postwomen will now be able to collect parcels as well as deliver them on their daily round. It is one of the biggest changes to the daily delivery since the launch of the postbox in 1852.

As well as offering even higher levels of convenience, the move means that online sellers and online shoppers will no longer need to leave the comfort of their home if they want to mail or return a pre-paid item by post.

Under the ground-breaking initiative, postmen and postwomen will collect a parcel from the customer’s door or nominated safe place for 72p per parcel, in addition to postage costs. Parcel Collect is also available for pre-paid return items at a cost of 60p per item.

Royal Mail can collect up to five parcels per address. Parcel Collect is available six days a week* and can be booked up to five days in advance and up to midnight the day before. 

In order to use the service, customers simply need to ensure they have already paid the correct postage to send their item. If an item does not have pre-paid postage such as a return, customers are able to pay for their postage online by visiting www.royalmail.com/bookcollection or via the Royal Mail app and opt for ‘Parcel Collect’. They will then be able to work out the correct cost of postage for their item and print out a pre-paid label which is fixed to the package. When the item gets collected, the customer will receive an email notification that acts as proof of postage**.

The nationwide launch follows an initial roll-out of Parcel Collect in certain postcode areas of West England.

In a recent consumer survey***, just under half (44 per cent) of respondents stated they are likely to use a home collection service offered by their delivery provider.

Claire Roebuck-Sacks, Parcel Collect customer from Bristol, said: “I used Royal Mail’s Parcel Collect during the initial roll-out of the service in Bristol. The service was really easy to use, and it was a convenient way to send a gift to my aunt, particularly as I have a new baby so time is precious! I will be using Parcel Collect again in the future to send parcels in the post.”

Nick Landon, Chief Commercial Officer at Royal Mail, said: “Royal Mail Parcel Collect is a fantastic step forward for all of our customers. It makes it easier to use our services than ever before. Whether you’re up against time and working from home, making a return, selling online or sending a gift to make someone’s day, Royal Mail Parcel Collect is here to help. The launch of Parcel Collect is part of our commitment to continuously make our services better and more convenient.”

*Collections available Monday to Saturday

**For return items it depends on who has paid for the return - if the retailer has opted into and pays for Parcel Collect they will receive a notification confirming collection.  If the returning customer paid for the Parcel Collect element, they will receive an email notification confirming collection.

***Royal Mail Consumer Research Tracker

The maximum size and dimensions for Parcel Collect:

Maximum size: 61cm x 46cm x 46cm
Maximum weight: 20kg

Key steps in the evolution of parcel delivery:

1852: Launch of the postbox

1861: First modern mail order company

1883: Launch of parcel post

1911: The world’s first scheduled service for transporting mail by air

1919: The first public overseas airmail service began

1957: The first automatic sorting and cancelling of mail took place

1959: The first postcodes were introduced on a trial basis in Norwich

1997: Integrated Mail Processors were introduced to improve the complete processing system. This meant one machine could process the mail from arrival in the mail centre to the dispatch by road, rail or air

2018: Trial of parcel postboxes

2019: Launch of parcel postboxes

2020: Launch of Parcel Collect

About Royal Mail plc

Royal Mail plc is the parent company of Royal Mail Group Limited, the leading provider of postal and delivery services in the UK and the UK’s designated universal postal service provider. UK Parcels, International and Letters (“UKPIL”) comprises the company’s UK and international parcels and letters delivery businesses operating under the “Royal Mail” and “Parcelforce Worldwide” brands. Through the Royal Mail Core Network, the company delivers a one-price-goes-anywhere service on a range of parcels and letters products. Royal Mail has the capability to deliver to around 30 million addresses in the UK, six days a week (excluding UK public holidays). Parcelforce Worldwide operates a separate UK network which collects and delivers express parcels. Royal Mail also owns General Logistics Systems (GLS) which operates one of the largest ground-based, deferred parcel delivery networks in Europe.

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