YOUR WEEK IN REVIEW FROM PARCEL2SHIP
Every Friday, we will be bringing you news about different stories that have occurred through the week, most of which will be relevant to the parcel industry and the services we offer on Parcel2Ship. We will also be sure to mention any news from us directly, whether it’s about our website, our staff, or our achievements. We will be calling this ‘Parcel2Ship’s Week In Review’. Please let us know what you think, and if you want something mentioned in next week’s blog, get in touch and let us know!
COURIER AND DELIVERY NEWS
royal mail profit
Royal Mail announced this week that profits were up, but not because of growth. Instead, they have managed to offset the fall in letter distrubution revenue by cutting costs across the board. So many costs in fact, that their profits are around £740 million, up 6% from last year. Revenue from their distribution of parcels has also helped, after increasing by approximately 3%, with the 2nd half of the year (spanning over the Christmas period) being their most successful.
However, the company is not resting on their laurels. They are constantly aware of the ever changing market and fierce competition from other companies both already in the market, and those wanting to enter it, such as Amazon. They expect that as a result of Amazon delivering parcels to customers through their own network, will reduce the growth rate of Royal Mail by around 2%. But there are benefits to the market changing so quickly, because some competitors are failing to keep up, including City-Link who went into administration at the end of last year, and Whistl who suspended business last week. Competition is still tough though, so adapting to the market and needs of its customers will be key to Royal Mails continued success.
royal mail late acceptance times
Royal Mail have also been in the news this week after it was announced that they were extending their acceptance times of parcels travelling on their 48 hour UK services. Between Monday-Friday (excluding bank holidays) you can now drop off your parcel up to midnight, making it easier for customers and businesses to get parcels to their recipients. 39 mail centers and 8 distribution centers will be participating around the country, although Aberdeen and Inverness are the exceptions, continuing to only accept parcels up to 9am
Nick Landon, Managing Director of Royal Mail Parcels, said “We work hard to listen and respond to the needs of our customers. We understood that later acceptance could make the difference between satisfied customers and delighted customers and we are very pleased to be helping companies to deliver exceptional service to their shoppers.This latest product enhancement is one more way that Royal Mail is building a better delivery service for British businesses and consumers alike.”
Many companies in the parcel industry have been looking into ways to make their customers happy, and one area that they are putting a lot of research into, is the idea of parcel lockers. This week, Singapore Post have launched the personalised version of their existing locker, called the POPStation. The prototype will be operated by smart phones and bluetooth, taking away the need to be operated by staff members, thus making it a 24hr service. The device is deigned for the home, and would be particularly suitable for small businesses too.
Singapore Parcel’s Senior Vice President Lim Ann Nee says POPStation will ‘transform how [they] serve [their] customers and strengthen [their] parcel delivery service in Singapore’.
The lockers have been developed by an Australian firm called TZ Limited, and they are also known as OurPAD units. The company believes the introduction of this new technology will ‘set another benchmark in expanding the boundaries of last mile parcel delivery’. They have recently received an order for 25 more POPStations from SingPost, taking the total supplied to 125. Since SingPost launched the POPStations in April 2013, they have launched 100 units.
A bicycle postal delivery company in the UK called Velopost is also trailing a similar idea, although it is not as progressed as SingPost’s. Based in Bristol, Bath and Edinburgh, the company hopes to install about 30 mail boxes in the Bristol area to begin with. The first has been installed on the Waterfront, and customers can buy postage from the Tourism Office. Once a parcel has been posted in the box, it will be delivered through Velopost’s Bristol network.
eurovision 2015 semi final
The Eurovision Song Contest Final is tomorrow, and we were able to get a glimpse of this years contestants in the Semi Finals held on Tuesday and Thursday this week. The strong favourite to walk away with the win is Serbia. Along with the UK, Spain, France, Germany and Italy who automatically qualify for entry because they put the most money into the contest, Austria are also guaranteed a slot in the final because of last years winner, Conchita Wurst, who wowed viewers with her song Rise Like A Phoenix. Joining these 6 countries are Albania, Armenia, Russia, Romania, Hungary, Greece, Estonia, Georgia, Serbia, Belgium, Lithuania, Poland, Slovenia, Sweden, Norway, Montenegro, Cyprus, Azerbaijan, Latvia, and Israel, with many other countries missing out on a slot, including Finland, Moldova, The Netherlands, FYR Macedonia, Belarus and Denmark. Interestingly, another country automatically through to Saturdays final is Australia. Although they are obviously not part of Europe, they are huge fans of the contest and this year were invited to be special guest participants.
The UK’s entry this year is Electrio Velvet, made up of Alex Larke and Bianca Nicholas, and they will be singing Still In Love With You. As we all know, the UK hasn’t done very well in recent years, but the duo will be hoping to impress this month in Vienna with their very catchy and up beat entry. Perhaps we may see a few 12′s this year!
Hosting this year along with Conchitta are three of Austria’s best known presenters, but the UK commentary heard over the top of the show will once again be provided by Graham Norton, with Scott Mills having commentated the Semi Finals with Mel Giedroyc. The contest is being held in Austria’s capital city Vienna, and the BBC will kick off the show at 8pm on the 23rd May.
We would be amiss not to make the link between the Eurovision Song Contest and the countries we sent to in Europe. so if you are looking to send anything to the countries we have listed above, click the countries and you will be taken to that specific country’s page on our website, where you can find out more and get a quote. Or you can head right to our homepage to begin the ordering process. We will be keeping an eye on the results from this years Final on Saturday, because we may offer a special discount for the winning country to all our customers, in celebration of their victory. Although if it is the UK by some miracle, that may not be happening!
Chelsea flower show
The Chelsea Flower Show opened this week, and all eyes were on the Queen while she toured the gardens. One that she may have favoured above the others could have been her grandson’s, Prince Harry. The Prince, who recently returned from a royal tour of New Zealand, showed the Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh and The Prince of Wales, his garden, which was designed to look like parts of Africa, and for the benefit of his African charity Sentebale. Other Royals who have visited the show so far include the Duchess of Cornwall and Zara Philips, with the latter posing for pictures atop a lawnmower.
prince charles northern ireland visit
In other Royal news, Prince Charles and The Duchess of Cornwall visited Ireland this week for a very emotional visit. The significance of this visit was not lost on anyone greating the Prince and his wife on arrival, non more so that Gerry Adams, the leader of Sinn Fein. Adams had previously justified the murder of Lord Mountbatten, Prince Charles Great Uncle, during an IRA bombing, so their handshake was truly historic and an olive branch for a peaceful future between Ireland and the UK. It was also historic for Adams as this was the first time he had met a member of the Royal Family. The handshake lasted 13 seconds, with a few words exchanged between the two men, and a cup of tea held in Charles’ spare hand.
During their tour, the Royal couple visited the place where the Princes Great Uncle was murdered by the IRA, in a bomb then went off on a fishing boat Mullaghmore in 1979. They were met by locals who experienced the bombing, which also killed Lord Mountbatten’s 14 year old Grandson Timothy Knatchbull. His twin brother was among the people greeting Prince Charles.
They also visited St Columba’s Church in nearby Drumcliffe, and the burial site of poet WB Yeats in the churches grounds after a service of peace and reconciliation. Their last stop was the Sligo Institute of Technology, and spent the evening at Sligo races, staying their over night before they returned to England the following morning
Scrabble word additions
Scrabble announced this week that they were adding 6,500 new words to the already accepted 250,000 words on the list for players to spell on the board, and some of the additions have been met with a bit of confusion, particularly yeesh, shizzle and bezzy.
The additions are said to reflect changes in language that the younger population have adapted in recent years, and include ‘text speak’ and abbreviations. Hashtag and Tweep have also been included, because of the hugely popular social media platform Twitter, as well as Facetime for those familiar with the iPhone video chat function. Ridic (short for ridiculous) is also included in the list, which is perhaps the word you may want to use to describe this news story.
david letterman’s last show
The American Late Show host on CBS, David Letterman, retired this week after 22 years on the air with his talk show. As expected, hundreds of celebrities took to Twitter and other social media platforms to relive their experiences on the show, using the hashtag #ThanksDave to say thank you to the broadcasting legend. During his last week, his guests included Oprah, George Clooney and Bill Clinton, making sure everyone tuned in for the final goodbye. And not one to miss out on an oppertunity for laughs, the host of the Late Late show which follows Letterman on CBS, our very own James Corden, took to the streets with Sting to sing him a little goodbye tune.
cannes film festival
Everyone who’s anyone have been walking the extensive red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival this week, although perhaps not in flats. According to reports, any lady who is not wearing heals, will be turned away as their strict dress code prohibits flat shoes being worn. The British faces seen showing off their amazing dresses included Cheryl Cole, Lara Stone, Rachel Weisz and Emily Blunt, and the men didn’t look too shabby either. There was also a generous helping of models thrown in for good measure, with Kendall Jenner and co partying until the early hours, and showing off some breathtaking designer gowns during the day
Because we have a few big projects in the works at the moment (including the creation of your own personalised address book when you log in), we haven’t launched anything new this week. But we have been busy talking to our customs and getting feedback from them to see what other improvements we can be making in the meantime. We love hearing from you, so if you have any ideas then please let us know in the comments below
The weather down here in South Devon has been amazing over the last 3 days, and we are hoping for the sunshine to continue this bank holiday weekend! What have you got planned for the next 3 days?
Don’t forget of course, that because Monday is a bank holiday, we won’t be in the office again until Tuesday, so if you give us a call you’ll have to leave a voicemail. All queries will be responded to by 9am on Tuesday morning.
From the team at Parcel2Ship