By James Greenbury, Chief Executive Officer at Parcel2Go.com
With Royal Mail workers set to strike extensively against the move towards privatisation, disruption and inconvenience to our sending habits is an almost certainty.
Indeed, if Royal Mail strikes, over four million parcels per day will need to find a new way to be delivered. To help you avoid the worst of it, here are our top tips on how to beat the strikes to make sure your letters, parcels and packages get where they need to be, when they need to be.
1. Plan ahead — The strike might not be scheduled to start until the 23rd October, but once it does, getting your letters and parcels through the normal routes will become harder than you might think. Start by making a list of all the items you send on a regular basis and see if you can’t send them before the chaos hits. This could include everything from birthday cards to invoices. For individuals this might be relatively straight forward, but if you’re a business perhaps less so. The key is, don’t wait until it’s too late!
2. Seriously, plan really far ahead — We might already be accustomed to dealing with Royal Mail strikes but the imminent disruption may be so extensive as to register on the Richter scale. With some predicting that the proposed strike might have an impact as far away as Christmas, it might be time (perish the thought) to start thinking about what’ll be under your loved ones’ trees come December 25th.
3. Think about ghost post — Unfortunately, the regular postal service is sure to be one of the hardest hit areas. That said if you’re anything like me, you may not receive anything truly of note in the post except for bills and junk mail. In fact, the strike might present a good opportunity for you to re-evaluate the items you do receive and consider whether you might be able to switch to them electronically from now on. Not only would this be faster and more convenient, it’s also better for the environment.
4. Don’t disappoint Great Aunt Mildred on her birthday — There are some things that just absolutely need to be sent in the post. Your more tech savvy loved ones might be delighted to receive an eCard for their birthday or anniversary, but what about those relatives who remain blissfully ignorant of/stubbornly resistant to the advent of the internet? In these cases you could think ahead and send a card in advance or you could even hand deliver it for that personal touch. If neither of these is possible, fear not: private companies, such as Parcel2Go.com, allow you to send a card or letter for as little as £2.95.
5. Don’t let your business get left behind — All very well and good for the individual, but what about if you’re a business who relies on the Royal Mail to get your products to market and invoices to customers on time? The simple answer is: now could be the time to start thinking of long-term alternatives. Royal Mail might be the go-to choice, but much of the time it’s not necessarily the cheapest, the quickest or the most user-friendly option. Shop around and see whether there might be another provider who’s better able to meet your needs; you might be surprised what you find out.
6. There is another way — These days we’re all used to buying things online with a twitch of the finger, but the convenience of this is often offset by the inconvenience of waiting 24 hours, trudging down to a postal depot and waiting in a queue before receiving your item. These days, there are services that make collecting and sending parcels much more convenient. Accessed through Parcel2Go.com, companies such as Yodel and City link offer door-to-door service whilst drop shops such as Click and Collect offer the ability to send and receive parcels to a corner shop near you. As well as being more convenient, these are often one of the cheapest ways of sending and receiving parcels. Think of the strike as an excellent opportunity to discover how the post and parcel industry has moved on in recent years.
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