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Royal Mail installs latest sorting machine in Birmingham to meet ongoing parcel demand


Royal Mail has installed its latest high-speed parcel sorting machine in Birmingham, capable of processing 157,000 parcels per day, to help meet the shift in consumer demand for parcels and next-day delivery.

With parcel deliveries now representing almost £6 in £10 of Royal Mail’s revenue, the new automated sorting machine at Birmingham Mail Centre will support the company’s ongoing transformation into even more of a parcels-led business.

An intelligent system of conveyor belts and scanning technology enables the machine to sort a variety of parcel shapes and sizes weighing up to 3kg for onward despatch to local delivery offices across Birmingham and beyond.

Royal Mail currently sorts more than 22 million parcels on average each week by automated means, with a total of 36 parcel sorting machines operating across the UK network.

With domestic parcel volumes up more than 30% compared to pre-pandemic levels, these machines strengthen Royal Mail’s drive to increase automation and operational efficiency across its business.

Ricky McAulay, operations development director, Royal Mail, said: “Customers want more parcels, delivered the next day – including Sundays. We are investing in the latest technology to ensure we can meet this demand as we modernise our business. Our new parcel sorting machine in Birmingham will help drive growth as we transform into an even more parcels-focused business.”

Royal Mail is aiming to reach 70% parcel automation by 2022-23 and the industry standard of 90% parcel automation by 2023-24.

In June, Royal Mail opened its new North West Super Hub in Warrington which can process more than 800,000 parcels a day. Its Midlands Super Hub, based in Northampton, is on track to open in Summer 2023 and when operational will be able to process more than one million items per day.

The delivery giant is currently facing lengthy strike action during the busy peak season, including on Cyber Monday, and has warned that 6,000 jobs could go by the end of next August if industry action continues.

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