New Menzies parcels service to bypass Highlands and Islands surcharges

In an attempt to tackle the so-called postcode penalty of living in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland, Menzies Distribution, which carries out deliveries in the region on behalf of all carriers other than Royal Mail, has launched a new delivery service for residents in the region.

Under the new arrangement, consumers ordering online give the address of a Menzies depot in Glasgow as their delivery address. This means they are not charged additional delivery fees, which can be substantial. Menzies then organises the delivery from their Glasgow depot to destination. For this service, consumers pay Menzies a fixed fee of £4.99

Currently, residents of the region pay significantly more than this in surcharges – up to 30% more for deliveries than people elsewhere in the UK on every delivery not covered by the Royal Mail’s unversal service – yet often receive a very slow service, which has held back the growth of online retail in the region.

“Customers in the Highlands were charged an extra £15 per delivery on average, with some customers waiting as long as 35 days for delivery compared to the rest of the UK,” said Fraser MacLean, Menzies Distribution general manager of parcel logistics.

“Our Highland Parcel service is straightforward and accessible to all. All you need to do is take a couple of minutes to create your Highland Parcel account, order your parcel using our central belt address for delivery and we’ll get this to your local depot for £4.99, regardless of your postcode.”

Citizens Advice Scotland published the Postcode Penalty Report last year (based on work carried out by Apex Insight), which concluded that unfair delivery fees, from furniture to clothes and tools to toys, impact those living in the north and north-east who pay at least 30 per cent more for delivery than consumers elsewhere.