Royal Mail to offer timed parcel delivery for an extra charge

Never miss a parcel! (but it’ll cost you): Royal Mail launches service for people to book a specific time slot for letters and packages to compete with rivals Amazon, DPD and Hermes

  • The Royal Mail is planning a new tiered service offering timed deliveries 
  • The cheapest option will allow the Royal Mail to determine the delivery time
  • A middle tier will see the package delivered on a date and left in a special place
  • The top tier will see the package or letter delivered at a specific time and date 

The days of arriving home to find a dreaded red ‘Something for you’ card on your doormat could soon be over.

Royal Mail is launching a service that allows customers to book a specific time slot for parcel and letter deliveries, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.

The slots will be part of a new three-tier postage menu due next year, which is designed to slash the number of missed deliveries and help the 500-year-old firm compete with rivals such as Amazon, DPD and Hermes.

Royal Mail is launching a service that allows customers to book a specific time slot for parcel and letter deliveries, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.

The Mail on Sunday revealed last month that Royal Mail’s own research had found Amazon is more trusted to deliver parcels safely to homes

The most basic – and cheapest – option in the new menu will allow Royal Mail to choose when to deliver your parcel or letter.

With the middle tier, customers will pay more to choose a delivery date and safe place to leave their mail if no one is home.

Those who pay for top-tier delivery will be able to select both a specific date and time slot to make sure someone is at home when the postman arrives.

Royal Mail is yet to decide how much to charge for the three delivery options or precisely when next year they will be made available.

In a video message to Royal Mail’s 140,000 staff, chief commercial officer Nick Landon said: ‘We’re looking at what customers actually need and how we can reflect that in our products.’

Separately, Royal Mail is investigating whether it can offer an estimated time window for its parcel collection services.

Parcel Collect currently allows customers to pay for postage online, print the address labels and send up to five items, which are collected from their home by Royal Mail. The company is also looking into whether it can offer this service without the need for customers to print the labels.

The Mail on Sunday revealed last month that Royal Mail’s own research had found Amazon is more trusted to deliver parcels safely to homes.

Natalie Berg, a retail analyst, said: ‘Shopper expectations around delivery have changed drastically over the last decade and a lot of that is driven by Amazon.’

Royal Mail made more money from delivering parcels than letters last year – for the first time in its history.

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