New Depots For City-Link and ParcelForce

City Link has opened a 64,000 sq ft depot in Southampton, which is 30 per cent larger than its previous site in Kites Croft, to enable the company to expand its operations in the region.

Up to 200 new jobs are being created with the opening of Royal Mail’s new worldwide parcel depot just opened in east London. The massive 100,000sq ft Parcelforce site at Beckton, just off the A13, is part of Royal Mail’s UK-wide expansion programme and is expected to create 200 jobs over the next three years. It is part of Royal Mail’s strategy to expand its parcels businesses in Britain and abroad in the face of tough global competition from commercial rivals such as FedEx and DHL.

Privatisation Of Royal Mail

The impending privatisation of Royal Mail, the world’s oldest postal service, is set to sharpen competition in the UK’s rapidly changing, £14bn-a-year post and parcels business. Ministers plan a stock market flotation, probably this autumn, of a majority of Royal Mail that could value it at up to £3bn. In preparation, the company is already reshaping itself as a business focused on parcels, which make up nearly half its turnover.

This is good news for our customers who chose the services of ParcelForce, as it is being recognised that you are crucial to Royal Mails success in the future.

As with such a huge move in the courier world, Parcel2Ship will keep our customers as up to date as possible through our blog and our website at If you have any questions about the privatisation of Royal Mail and how it could affect you, please call a member of our customer services team on 0845 5190185

Royal Mail profits up due to parcels

Royal mail has seen their half year profits rise thanks to its parcel business as more and more people shop online. The operating profits for the half year up to September rose £12m to £144m which also saw an operating profit of £99m compared with a loss of £41m in its core letters business.

While the Royal Mail has seen a massive decline in the traditional letters this has now been made up for by the increase in parcels which was up by 13% and now account for 47% of all revenue.

These profits and it growth in the parcel delivery business as
seen as key to any future sale of the business.

Parcels to Ireland

Sending parcels to Ireland with is quick, easy and very cheap. We deliver to all the counties of Southern Ireland using DHL European road services and Parcelforce Euro Priority Business road service. We are also able to offer the DHL air express service for those more urgent deliveries. Our service for up to 2kg is only £9.99 plus vat which compares favourably with the Royal mail small packet service at £11.96 for 2kg. Our service also has the benefits of being a collection service and is fully tractable, is covered up to £50 compensation for loss or damage. Please seeterms and conditions and our list of excluded items. Our delivery time of only 2 to 3 working days is all so great.

How to track parcel delivery progress

Previously, after you have sent a parcel that was the last you knew of where it was until it reached its final destination or if you were very unlucky, it didn’t. Now whether you book a parcel delivery online through a Courier such as Parcelforce or DHL or use an online re-seller, you are now able to track your parcel from the day it was picked up to when it has reached its destination. Most couriers provide tracking facilities for parcels sent through them and online re-sellers will help by giving you a link through to the courier you have sent your parcel through.

Most tracking systems work in the same way so it is pretty much a case of ‘know one, know all’ but tracking at is user-friendly and can be used with the minimum fuss.

Before you send a parcel you wish to track, first check that the service you are sending it through is in fact trackable. If you look on the Parcelforce tracking for instance, they would allow you to check on the status on the following types of deliveries:

  • Royal Mail: Special Delivery, Airsure, International Signed For, and Recorded
  • Parcelforce Worldwide: Express 9, Express 10, Express AM, Express 24, global express, europriority business, europriority home, and global priority

Of course you cannot use Parcelforce or any other courier’s tracking facility unless you have a tracking number or tracking ID for the parcel or consignment.

In the case of Parcel force worldwide, it usually assigns a unique tracking ID when the delivery is booked and the labels are produced. If you are using a re-seller then you will be given the tracking reference when you receive the labels.

Of course as with any system, you need to use it correctly and there are certain reasons where the tracking may fail to work. The most common ones being:

  • If you have miskeyed the tracking number. Re-check the number you have entered to ensure that it is typed in properly without any mistake.
  • In cases of incoming parcels sent from overseas there can be problems in confirming status depending upon the delivery services used. Not all overseas parcel delivery services use computerized tracking systems, and unless the parcel enters a zone where computer tracking is available, tracking cannot always be confirmed.
  • The parcel hasn’t been dispatched yet. It won’t be possible to track the parcel unless it has been picked up and has started its journey.
  • Couriers will only keep tracking records for a limited time. For example a delivery sent through Parcelforce cannot be tracked if sent earlier than 4 and a half months as these are removed from the database

All in all online tracking of a parcel is pretty simple to do and any failure is usually down to other causes rather than any defect in the tracking system itself.

UK government makes amendments to Postal Services Bill

The UK government has published a number of amendments to the Postal Services Bill, including new powers for the regulator, Ofcom.

The changes – which intends to “strengthen” the Bill – incorporates “feedback from MPs, Lords, Royal Mail, other postal operators and the Communication Workers Union, as well as other interested parties,” the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS) said.

As well as allowing private investment into Royal Mail, the Bill outlines that Post Office Ltd could move to a mutual ownership model, Ofcom will become the regulator to the UK postal industry, and the government will take on Royal Mail Group’s pension deficit.

It has already been approved by the House of Commons and is currently being considered by the House of Lords.

According to BIS, amendments include:

  • New powers for the regulator, Ofcom, to allow them to better monitor any potential threats to the universal service arising from end-to-end competition.
  • A new requirement on Ofcom to have regard to the need for the universal service provider to earn a reasonable commercial rate of return on the provision of that service.
  • Ensuring that Royal Mail can remain the sole provider of the universal service for at least the next ten years.

The amendments will be debated by Peers at the Report stage of the Bill, it was confirmed.

A government statement said: “These changes will give further clarity to the regulatory regime and enable the regulator to strike the right balance between competition and safeguarding the universal service – ensuring that Royal Mail can continue to deliver to the UK’s 28m addresses, six days a week.”

Other changes will ensure that:

  • Government reports more information to Parliament, including details of the ongoing commercial relationship between Royal Mail and the Post Office.
  • Parliament has the opportunity to scrutinise and vote on proposals for the mutualisation of Post Office Ltd in the future.

Responding to the news, minister for postal affairs, Edward Davey, said: “Royal Mail is facing some huge challenges – falling mail volumes, a vast pension deficit, less efficiency than its competitors and an urgent need for more capital.

“The number one reason we are taking action is to ensure that the universal postal service is protected in the face of these challenges and that Royal Mail can keep delivering and collecting letters 6 days a week at an affordable, one-price-goes-anywhere tariff.

“Politicians, Royal Mail, other postal operators and the Communication Workers Union are also determined to safeguard the universal postal service. We have listened to their suggestions and made a series of changes that will further strengthen the legislation.

“These important amendments will give extra regulatory certainty to Royal Mail and increase transparency by putting even more reporting requirements on the Government.”

The Communication Workers Union (CWU) welcomed the amendments. The union has been campaigning to protect the universal service obligation (USO) and the future of post offices and “the amendments to the Bill go some way to reflecting those aims”, it said.

Billy Hayes, CWU general secretary, said: “We warmly welcome these amendments from the minister to the Postal Services Bill. We have been campaigning hard to safeguard the UK’s universal postal service and to secure both mails services and the post office network.

“We are pleased that the Government has taken on board some of our concerns and we will continue to campaign and have dialogue with government to strengthen the Bill in other areas including more necessary work on regulations.

“The amendments on the universal service and the commercial relationship between Royal Mail and the Post Office have been key campaign aims for the union and we are delighted the Government has listened. We are looking for a clearer commitment to an inter-business agreement between Royal Mail and the Post Office, but this is a good step towards that aim.”