Royal Mail unveils automated sorting machine in Northern Ireland

Royal Mail today has unveiled its first automated parcel sorting machine in Northern Ireland. According to Royal Mail, the machine is capable of processing 157,000 parcels per day to help meet the surge in demand for parcels and next day delivery.

The parcel sorting machine is an intelligent system of conveyor belts and scanning technology that automatically sorts parcels for despatch.

Based in Royal Mail’s Northern Ireland Mail Centre in Newtownabbey, the new machine can reportedly sort up to 7,500 parcels per hour for onward despatch to local delivery offices across Royal Mail’s network and can process a variety of parcel shapes and sizes weighing up to 20kg.

With domestic parcel volumes up more than 30% compared to pre-pandemic levels, this installation directly supports Royal Mail’s transformation into a parcels-led business to meet the changing demands of its customers.

CEO of Royal Mail Simon Thompson said: “We are now a parcels business that delivers letters. As part of our transformation, we are accelerating parcel automation by investing in the latest technology to deliver an even better service for our customers, wherever they live in the UK. Our new Northern Ireland parcel sorting machine will help drive growth, providing our team the long-term job security they deserve.”

Royal Mail is pursuing an ambitious programme of automation. The company stated that in March 2022, it reached the milestone of 50% parcels automated – up from 33% last year. The business is aiming to reach 70% parcel automation by 2022-23 and its overall target of 90% parcel automation by 2023-24.

Source: Royal Mail