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Royal Mail invests to aid online shopping deliveries this Christmas

07 November 2011 - 12:13 by Graham Miller

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The Royal Mail is said to be spending around £15 million more on enhancing its delivery networks ahead of the Christmas e-commerce rush in 2011 than it has in previous years.

An extra nine sorting sites will be opened up around the UK in order to deal with the increased number of orders and also to mitigate the impact of any poor weather conditions after lessons were learned during last year's snowy whiteout which left much of the country inaccessible.

Spokesperson Mark Higson explained that on the busiest days of the festive period the mail service is dealing with upwards of 130 million individual items, which is double the normal load in off-peak periods.

Despite the extra investment, Mr Higson has said that people should use safe shopping online to pick up their products with plenty of time to spare so that Christmas satisfaction is at less threat from the elements.

The extra cash will see the so-called packet hubs opening up in locations such as Glasgow, Edinburgh, Watford, Swansea and Bristol.

Consumer advice expert Nigel Woods said that Christmas 2010 was full of problems for those awaiting delivery of goods bought via safe shopping online as a result of unforeseen weather conditions. He said that such frustrations would hopefully be eased in 2011 as a result of the extra investment.

Mr Woods agreed with Mr Higson, saying that the best way for consumers to save themselves the hassle of delayed deliveries was to buy gifts as early as possible. Using this method of shopping in advance, will mean that consumers can also get their Christmas budgets in order well ahead of the date and not be stuck with any nasty surprises when the big day looms, according to Mr Woods.