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Evening Delivery Slots Reintroduced by Royal Mail

27 May 2019 - 08:44 by David Aiken

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Shortly after announcing the introduction of larger post boxes to cope with the rise of safe shopping online, Royal Mail has unveiled yet another change to its service which it hopes will appeal to customers who are big fans of e-commerce.

The firm has taken the decision to start offering a second run of deliveries later in the day to help it deal with the growing volumes of packages that it is receiving as a result of more orders being placed online.

This is not the first time that an evening delivery has been available; indeed, throughout much of the history of the postal service in the UK this was present. However, 16 years ago Royal Mail decided to axe it because there was less demand for letters.

Communications may have switched to digital formats, but the unforeseen consequence of improved access to e-commerce is this increased pressure on the UK’s delivery infrastructure.

Royal Mail also said that one of the motivations behind its decision to restart its second daily delivery round is that many consumers place orders later in the day.

Next-day delivery is often provided by online stores, even if transactions are completed in the afternoon. This necessitates the change in policy for Royal Mail, as it needs to be competitive with the many other delivery companies that have emerged in the wake of the e-commerce boom.

Ultimately, the era in which postal workers would carry out a second delivery on foot is not returning, since the revived evening dispatch slot will be fulfilled by vans that are large enough to accommodate the kinds of packages usually shipped to consumers in the 21st century. However, it is still an intriguing piece of evidence that suggests the death of traditional delivery infrastructures is a long way from being realised.