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"UK Postal Strike?" Topic

35 Posts

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1,275 hits since 26 Oct 2009
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Personal logo DColtman Supporting Member of TMP27 Oct 2009 8:25 a.m. PST

I just ordered a few bits from Gripping Beast and VVV but wasn't aware that there are ongoing labour problems with the Royal Mail. How bad is it over there, hazard a guess how much delay this means for international postage (in this case to Canada)?



plutarch 64 Supporting Member of TMP27 Oct 2009 8:33 a.m. PST

Four weeks, at a guess.

jonspaintingservice Inactive Member27 Oct 2009 8:41 a.m. PST

I think a lot depends on where in the uk you live. Some sorting offices seem to be operating without any problems.

I've had mail every day this week.

Personal logo Martin Rapier Supporting Member of TMP27 Oct 2009 8:58 a.m. PST

Very erratic with us. As Jon says, it just pot luck really.

fairoaks024 Inactive Member27 Oct 2009 8:59 a.m. PST

London seems particularly badly affected,



Angel Barracks Inactive Member27 Oct 2009 9:05 a.m. PST

No more than a week is my guess.

plutarch 64 Supporting Member of TMP27 Oct 2009 9:12 a.m. PST

Not to disagree with Michael, but we priority posted a few work-related DVDs four weeks ago from Oz, and they still haven't arrived.

We then followed it up two weeks later, and still nothing.

It's a pity, as the Royal Mail should be (and normally is) one of the most certain means of delivery.

Personal logo Stronty Girl Supporting Member of TMP Fezian27 Oct 2009 9:20 a.m. PST

Stuff from Amazon seems to be arriving as promptly as ever. The only thing I'm missing is the one they haven't posted yet!

Robert Burke27 Oct 2009 9:21 a.m. PST

I ordered a pack of figures from Mick Yarrow on Oct 8th. Normally, I would have had them in less than a week but so far I'm still waiting for them.

Black Hat Miniatures27 Oct 2009 9:22 a.m. PST

Amazon no longer use the Royal Mail except for the last mile delivery.


Connard Sage27 Oct 2009 9:31 a.m. PST

Amazon no longer use the Royal Mail except for the last mile delivery.

Since when? As it stands, that statement makes no sense. If you're paying a courier service to deliver a package to a Royal Mail office, why would you then pay the Royal Mail to 'deliver it the last mile'? Why not just have the courier deliver the darn thing to the doorstep?

GiloUK27 Oct 2009 9:52 a.m. PST

To be honest, Royal Mail is so hit and miss these days anyway that one wonders what impact the national strike is actually going to have – even before the recent national strike there was a reported backlog of some 30 million items due to various one-day walkouts.

But I gather that ParcelForce is not affected by the national strike, so larger parcels should be arriving as per usual.

Black Cat Bases Inactive Member27 Oct 2009 10:02 a.m. PST

We also have 1 overseas parcel caught in this at the moment, but apart from that one we haven't really noticed any change…

My advise would be if you are worried pay the extra £5.00 GBP for international recorded delivery! How much this improves the Royal Mails service is incredible! (In many years we have never lost 1 parcel sent by this, method!)


fairoaks024 Inactive Member27 Oct 2009 10:34 a.m. PST

i second black cat,

surprisingly, once i started using 'international signed-for' none of my international parcels have failed to arrive ( including to Italy!)



Roger the Cabin Boy Inactive Member27 Oct 2009 10:50 a.m. PST

If you're paying a courier service to deliver a package to a Royal Mail office, why would you then pay the Royal Mail to 'deliver it the last mile'?

Because I suspect that unlike a courier the Royal Mail doesn't levy a stonking great redelivery charge on the sending company if the customer is out.

UK Mail for instance charges 5 quid for redelivery if a customer is out.

Angel Barracks Inactive Member27 Oct 2009 11:38 a.m. PST

Seems random then, I have been sending things to Italy a lot of late and they have all gotten there within a week on just normal first class.

ANSWER: Pot Luck.

Personal logo Doms Decals Sponsoring Member of TMP27 Oct 2009 12:10 p.m. PST

Regarding Amazon, they've switched to HDNL for all items over 500g weight this includes the final mile, so only items under 500g go Royal Mail now, and even them only sometimes. link

As for why firms use the Royal Mail for the "final mile" it comes down to logistics and licensing for letters and small parcels (anything under 350g) you need additional licenses to deliver to the door, and most firms don't want it anyway instead they bulk sort the mail and truck it to the appropriate mailing centre, where it's passed on to the Royal Mail to complete the delivery.

This is arguably one of many reasons why the post is so shafted, as firms can compete for the more profitable bits of dealing with business mail in particular, knowing that the Royal Mail are obliged to do the decidedly labour-intensive final delivery, at a fixed rate. (TNT are actually currently lobbying to try and get government to change the rules so that they can take on the "final mile" as it were, but the other business post firms don't seem interested.)

Knockman27 Oct 2009 12:27 p.m. PST


'Last Mile' delivery is the cherry on the cake for any alternate postal service provider. TNT (for one example) are itching to get the RM's near-monopoly broken on that, so they can compete delivering the small mail (i.e., envelops and stuff). At the moment, the other companies can only do 'Last Mile' deliveries on parcels, if I recall correctly.

RobH Inactive Member27 Oct 2009 12:35 p.m. PST

But couriers doing "last mile" will only do the city centres and other high density DP zones (Delivery Point). Taking the little profitable work RM still has and leaving them with the Highlands/Islands and other extreme rural (read huge loss making) deliveries.

Mail delivery is a public service, equally accessible to all users and should stay that way.

Angel Barracks Inactive Member27 Oct 2009 1:02 p.m. PST

agreed robH and congrats too.

Feet up now27 Oct 2009 3:00 p.m. PST

Agree on the puplic service for everyone.if other firms are allowed to get the last mile 'cherry',then give it 5 years and no firm will deliver to the out of reach places.

Reader Name 001 Inactive Member27 Oct 2009 5:51 p.m. PST

If you're paying a courier service to deliver a package to a Royal Mail office, why would you then pay the Royal Mail to 'deliver it the last mile'? Why not just have the courier deliver the darn thing to the doorstep?

Because only Royal Mail have postment everywhere.. RM still deliver 99% of all mail in the UK, almost all of the "Independents" put their own stuff over to Royal Mail to actually deliver it to the doorstep.

If you take your post to the local office then you wont notice mcuh difference, but some where RM are supposed to collect direct from them have had major issues with backlogs…

London still has 5 million undelivered letters apparently… so it varies a lot from where it was sent to where it was sent to.

Top Gun Ace Inactive Member27 Oct 2009 9:24 p.m. PST

Seems to be an annual event.

Maybe they should just declare a one or two month postal holiday….. ;-)

enfant perdus27 Oct 2009 9:46 p.m. PST

How embarrassing. I didn't realize the strike was actually on (being in the USA). I get a lot of PPCs and badges from the UK and the last two weeks they've been making it in record time, usually 3-4 days.

Personal logo Martin Rapier Supporting Member of TMP28 Oct 2009 1:19 a.m. PST

"But I gather that ParcelForce is not affected by the national strike"

Just the usual random service from Parcel Farce then.

General Montcalm Inactive Member28 Oct 2009 10:24 p.m. PST

Since the strikes started our local service has actually improved. Managers must be out doing the rounds. A brief point in their lives where they are actually earning their pay, and performing a useful function. Must have come as a shock to them.

StaffordGames Inactive Member29 Oct 2009 2:36 a.m. PST

My brother in law is a fund manager for the Post Office Pension Fund and they have even had him out delivering!

He has really enjoyed it!

christot29 Oct 2009 3:30 a.m. PST

Totally pot luck…I live in greater London,(Richmond) and yet recieved post this morning despite the strike, I've had good deliveries every day this week. Books ordered via Amazon arrived in 2 days, and some paints arrived yesterday some 18 hours after I'd ordered them!
I am waiting for a big old order which I think will be sent by Parcel Force…so indeed, that will turn up…when it turns up.

Cornelius Supporting Member of TMP30 Oct 2009 2:04 p.m. PST

The strikes so far have been short and fairly localised. Next week supposedly we get a nationwide one or two. My post's been good last few days, when the strike has been official. Before then it was unofficial and quite tedious.

Stuart at Great Escape Games Sponsoring Member of TMP Inactive Member30 Oct 2009 9:06 p.m. PST

It's not that bad and national industrial action is limited to the three days just gone and, possibly, 3 days in the middle of November. Support the posties!

Jemima Fawr Inactive Member31 Oct 2009 2:27 a.m. PST

'Support the posties' my arse. Yet another example of public-sector greed.

Gwydion31 Oct 2009 5:38 a.m. PST

Or c**p management trying to be macho rather than negotiating change. grin
Public sector greed?
This isn't about pay – its about whether changes are imposed or agreed.
Mangement want to play God and are upset because not everyone has jumped when they snapped their fingers.
Yeah, definitely support the posties!

Phillip Forge31 Oct 2009 6:44 a.m. PST

Post to UK, France, Netherlands, Germany and Spain seems to be fine at the moment.

The last three packages to Italy, however …..

Stuart at Great Escape Games Sponsoring Member of TMP Inactive Member31 Oct 2009 1:02 p.m. PST

Well said, Gwydion!

Phil, I have had the same problem with Italy but also with France.

Phil Gray Inactive Member31 Oct 2009 1:49 p.m. PST

As others have said, parcel force isn't affected.

That may be a good or a bad thing depending on your experience of their service.

As to Letters…

None of the posties I know actually wants to be stood on a picket line.

I know that I and many of my colleagues would rather not be crossing them to get the job done, but that's what we're doing because we're doing what we think is right by our customers.

Which means that anything sent by priority post (special delivery, tracked, not recorded) will be moved and delivered – I know because I've been moving and delivering it.

FWIW Gwydion I don't think it's about pay/ "public sector greed" (I'd save that charge for MPs). I also don't think it's about management wanting to play god.

Whether Royal Mail is public, private or some weird hybrid makes no difference to the situation. People aren't using us like they used to and we have to adapt to that: if we're private then it's adapt or die, if we're public then we have to give you, the UK taxpayer, the best return we can on your continued investment.

I do think it's a shame that, while the union exec can see that (it's why they signed up to the last agreement) they can't carry all of their members with them, so London has had it's issues, and now the rest of the country has them too.

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