Royal Mail begins parcel pick-up service

Royal Mail has launched a parcel pick-up service across the UK, one of the biggest changes to the daily delivery since the launch of the postbox in 1852.

The new service - Parcel Collect - means postmen and postwomen will now be able to collect parcels as well as deliver them on their round.

The move means that online sellers and online shoppers will no longer need to leave their home if they want to mail or return a pre-paid item by post.

Parcels will be collected 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 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 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.

Nick Landon, chief commercial officer at Royal Mail, said: “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 is part of our commitment to continuously make our services better and more convenient.”

Commenting on the news, Brightpearl chief revenue officer Nick Shaw said that that move is an obvious response to the COVID-caused rise in online shopping and subsequent returns.

"In light of these trends, Royal Mail's new service is a game changer for e-commerce akin to Amazon's introduction of same-next day delivery," he stated.

"It's an incredibly timely move that offers a higher level of convenience, especially around returns, that hasn't been available before but is sorely needed for stay-at-home customers that don't wish to venture out to the high street to send letters or return parcels."

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