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Royal Mail adds tracking to Universal Service parcels under future proposals

Image © International Distributions Services plc

Royal Mail has today submitted its response to Ofcom’s call for input into the Universal Service, with parcels delivered up to seven days a week and tracking added to all parcels to reflect customer demand.

In their call for input Ofcom concluded that reform of the Universal Service is necessary, given letter volumes have declined from a peak of 20 billion a year in 2004/5 to seven billion in 2022/3. It is predicted that volumes will likely drop to around four billion in the next five years.

Under proposals there will be no change to First Class letters, which will still be delivered six days a week (Monday to Saturday). But all non-First Class letter deliveries – including Second Class and standard bulk business mail – would be delivered every other weekday.

Royal Mail also called on Ofcom to modernise the Universal Service for the digital age by introducing new, additional reliability targets for First Class and Second Class services, alongside revised, realistic speed targets, to give customers further confidence.

Martin Seidenberg, group CEO of International Distributions Services plc, said: “The fact that letter volumes have dropped from 20 billion to seven billion a year means that the Universal Service is now unsustainable.

“If we want to save the Universal Service, we have to change the Universal Service. Reform gives us a fighting chance and will help us on the path to sustainability.

“Our proposal is based on listening to thousands of people across the United Kingdom to ensure it meets their needs. We have worked hard to come up with a proposal that is good for our customers, good for our people and would allow Royal Mail to invest in products and services that the UK wants.

“We have serious concerns that the urgency of the situation is not properly recognised by Ofcom. With no need for legislation there is no need to wait.”

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