Royal Mail to buy 4 new parcel sorting machines

Royal Mail is to install four new fully-automated sorting machines for its sorting centres in Tyneside, Medway, Nottingham and Southampton.

The new automated sortation machines are to replace manual sorting, and will each have the capacity to handle up to 10,000 parcels per hour. These are to be in addition to the 20 that the postal operator has in place around the UK already.

The postal operator is making the investment thanks to research suggesting that 8 in 10 UK customers are likely to increase their level of online shopping in the months and years to come.

They will compose of an intelligent system of conveyor belts and scanning technology that automatically sorts parcels for dispatch to depots around the country and are capable of handling parcels of up to 3kg.

Simon Barker, National Network & Integration Director at Royal Mail, said: “With the growth in online shopping, customers are showing an even greater appetite for parcels. This year alone has seen parcel volumes rise by 34% in the first five months of the year. Automating parcel sortation will enable us to meet this growing demand and transform our company into a parcels led delivery company that also delivers letters.

“We have already made significant strides towards this goal, having invested in the design and installation of 20 parcel sorting machines in 16 sites across the country. This automation technology is already fully operational and has increased the number of parcels sorted automatically on our network by a third. Our plan is to build on this and continue to increase the number of parcels automatically sorted in our network as parcel volumes continue to rise.”