Following a successful trial in 2018, Royal Mail is now set to introduce the UK’s first ever parcel postboxes in locations across the UK.
A total of 1,400 parcel postboxes will be rolled out over a six month period from August this year, marking the first big change in use for the UK postbox in the last 160 years.
What are parcel postboxes?
These parcel postboxes will allow small businesses and marketplace sellers to post pre-paid parcels in the same way that they post letters, provided parcels are pre-paid through Click & Drop.
They will also enable customers to post some barcoded returns parcels back at any time, seven days a week, but any returns made via parcel postboxes must include a Royal Mail barcode.
How will this work?
Royal Mail will convert existing meter boxes, which have a wider aperture and secure design.
This will make the posting of larger prepaid items not only safe, but convenient.
Where will these parcel postboxes be located?
The parcel postboxes are being introduced in locations across the UK from August this year, including Birmingham, Leeds, Aberdeen and Cardiff.
Mark Street, Head of Campaigns at Royal Mail, said: “The wide scale introduction of parcel postboxes is one of the many ways we at Royal Mail are looking to make the lives of our customers easier.
“The parcel postboxes trial last year was a success, and we hope that the wider roll-out gives added flexibility to online sellers who might be running a business in their spare time and not keeping regular office hours.”
Post Office closures
It was recently announced that the Post Office network is on the brink of collapse, with more than 2,500 branches facing closure in the next 12 months.
More than a fifth of sub-postmasters, who run the Post Office franchises across the UK, have said that they plan to resign or downsize, due to increasing financial pressures.
As the government prepares to end its subsidy of the Post Office network in 2021, a report from industry body National Federation of SubPostmasters (NFSP) said that the resulting loss of services, particularly in rural areas, would have ”catastrophic” implications for local communities.