UK’s Royal Mail launches parcel pick-up service to tap online shopping boom

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Royal Mail on Wednesday launched a new parcel pick-up service across Britain, enabling its postal workers to collect and deliver items on their daily rounds as it tries to capitalize on the pandemic-driven boost to online shopping.

Under Chairman Keith Williams, the former postal monopoly has been pushing through changes to transform itself into a parcel-led business to shore up its long-term profitability.

The new service, called “parcel collect”, means that online sellers and shoppers will no longer need to leave their homes if they want to mail or return a pre-paid item by post, said Royal Mail, which is listed as one of Amazon UK’s carriers.

For 72 pence a parcel, plus postage costs, postal workers will collect up to five parcels per address from the customer’s home or a nominated place, the company said. Parcel collect is also available for pre-paid return items at 60 pence per item.

Earlier this year, the company reported a 38% surge in April-June parcel shipments as lockdowns drove a surge in online shopping.

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