Royal Mail opens new automated Super Hub

Royal Mail has announced it is trialling a service where posties bring pre-printed postage labels to customers using the Parcel Collect service.

Royal Mail has unveiled its new Northwest ‘Super Hub’ in Warrington which can process more than 800,000 parcels a day. According to Royal Mail, the hub is set to transform the company into a parcels business.

The hub measures 32,000 sq m – equivalent to 4.5 football pitches – and can sort up to 40,000 items an hour. The new facility will operate seven days a week. Royal Mail stated that the hub also houses the latest scanning, sorting, and tracking technology.

With domestic parcel volumes up more than 30% compared to pre-pandemic levels, the hub hopes to support customers’ growing demands for next-day delivery and delivery of larger items.

The hub represents a significant investment in the Northwest by Royal Mail. Located near major urban centres including Manchester and Liverpool, and the warehousing and fulfilment sites of online retailers, it will employ around 600 people at full capacity.

As part of Royal Mail’s Steps to Zero environmental plan to reach net-zero by 2040, the Warrington hub is also home to a fleet of 20 bio-compressed natural gas (bio-CNG) HGVs, as part of a fleet of 80 vehicles across the business that will be fully operational by Spring 2023, which help reduce direct emissions by around 85% compared to their diesel equivalent.

CEO of Royal Mail Simon Thompson said:“Royal Mail is now a parcels business that also delivers letters. Our new parcels Super Hub will allow us to give consumers exactly what they want – being able to order products very late in the day to have them delivered the very next day, seven days a week. This is a giant step forward in our journey to 90% parcel automation by the end of next year. We can compete and win in the parcels market which will give our team the job security they deserve both today and tomorrow.”

Royal Mail is pursuing a strategy of automation across the business. This year, it has installed 10 parcel sorting machines in mail centres across the country, including in Nottingham, Chester and Cardiff. Its Midlands hub, based in Daventry, is on track to open in Summer 2023.

In March 2022, Royal Mail stated it had reached the milestone of 50% parcels automated – up from 33% last year. The company is aiming to reach its overall target of 90% parcel automation by 2023-24.

Source: Royal Mail