Royal Mail to use new parcel sorting machine

The Home Counties North facility of the Royal Mail network is to be the next mail centre to receive a Parcel Sorting Machine (PSM) after a successful trial of the system in Swindon.

The PSM sorts parcels with 2D barcodes. The machine also uses optical character recognition software to read addresses from non-barcoded parcels and can handle parcels ranging in size from a CD to an airline hand luggage bag. Weight ranges from 50 grams to 3kg.

Royal Mail posted an announcement on its website on Tuesday that said that the Swindon PSM handled more than half a million parcels over the Christmas peak period and the response from staff to the new system has been “overwhelmingly positive”.

Swindon plant manager Mel Peirson said: ‘Being the first site has been very exciting. We’ve had fantastic support from the project team and our colleagues have been very determined in getting to grips with the training.”

Commenting on the PSM roll-out Simon Barker, Royal Mail’s director of process collection and engineering, said of the PSM, “This machine fulfils our promise to automate our parcels operation to help improve our competitive offering. We have worked closely with CWU and Unite CMA throughout this programme and we are still learning so that we can make this a great opportunity for colleagues.

“There are also exciting opportunities to get reliable and valuable information on the parcels we process, and to develop ways of using this to improve our customer service, so we stay number one in parcels.”
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