As Royal Mail is the UK’s largest parcel delivery company, it’s little wonder that strike action planned by the CWU union will have a disruptive impact on online retail. What’s of obvious concern is that the Royal Mail strikes, 19 days of walkouts, single strikes and rolling action, will coincide with this year’s peak trading period.
Royal Mail delivers to 29 million UK households and accounts for more parcels that all other carriers combined. The main issue for retailers to address is the uncertainty that the strikes will bring for customers, who will still expect their purchases to arrive within agreed timeframes.
When customer orders are delayed, the negative implications for retailers are serious – from reputational damage, to a huge increase in customer support issues, and even the potential for refunds and compensation for delayed and lost items.
So here’s what you need to know about the Royal Mail strikes, and how you can reduce the impact on your customers.
So, what’s happening?
The planned strikes affect staff who collect, sort, distribute and deliver parcels across the UK. The strikes will cover peak mail periods in October and November, including the traditional discount shopping days of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. 21 dates are affected by Royal Mail strikes in September, October, November and December.
Affected dates and services
In addition to the Royal Mail strikes that took place on 30th September and 1st October, upcoming strikes take place on the following dates and affect the following services:
13, 20, 25 October; 28 November
Who: Delivery and collection staff, as well as those who sort parcels and letters.
3, 9, 15, 24 November; 1 December
Who: Processing, distribution, international, collections and admin workers go on strike.
4, 10, 16, 25 November; 2 December
Who: Delivery workers, so collections from post boxes and Post Offices should take place.
2, 8, 14, 23, 30 November
Who: “Network” staff walk out but delivery and collection staff should be working.
Peak preparation and combating carrier disruption
The upcoming Royal Mail strikes are a huge cause for concern for many businesses. Many retailers are in the run-up to the busiest time of year. The impact of the strikes underlines the importance of putting contingency plans in place.
When a delivery service is unavailable, the ability to quickly add additional carriers, and give your customers alternative delivery options, guarantees the level of service they expect.
By adding alternative carriers and creating shipping rules that can choose the optimal service, you’re in control and can adapt quickly to change. Having control over how your goods are delivered, and building resilience in your logistics infrastructure, is the best way to reduce the risks.
Unrivalled scale and choice
With over 700 carrier services, both global and domestic, using the Scurri platform you can select the best carriers for your delivery needs and connect to them through a single integration.
As the reality of large scale Royal Mail disruption looms, adding additional carriers without the unnecessary cost, and additional complexity, is one of the biggest benefits of choosing Scurri. Our platform also takes care of ongoing carrier maintenance and changes, allowing you to focus on your business and customers.