The Impact of the Royal Mail Privatisation on Couriers

The Royal Mail is a public body no more.

Over the next few years the slumbering beast that was the nation’s public delivery service will wake up and flex its muscles. With a network the envy of all the country’s delivery companies, a new-look privatised Royal Mail will surely cause a few shivers amongst the UK’s couriers.

The privatisation of the service has instantly created an established and powerful competitor in the already-cramped market. The big international outfits like DHL, FedEx and Hermes look like they will take the brunt of the impact as they currently inhabit exactly the part of the market Royal Mail will target. With a huge competitor about to burst onto the scene many are already asking if the big couriers can survive – let alone maintain their top spots.

Phil Chesworth of Pallet Truck Shop believes that the fight for market share will all come down to efficiency: “The privatisation of one of the country’s institutions will have a huge effect on many courier businesses across the country. The more even playing field will mean that their distribution centres and sorting facilities will need to be of the highest calibre to compete with one another without the domination of Royal Mail.”

With organisations that span cities, counties, countries and continents, the behind-the-scenes efficiency is always business keystone. People don’t want to wait while their package is shunted from depot to sorting centre to distribution centre to depot. They want it delivered to them. Independent couriers, like us, are used to that directness. It’s just what we do. But when you are a company dealing with millions of packages each day, things tend to slow down considerably.

As Phil Chesworth says, with so much more competition any delays will be all the more visible. Ultimately, it’ll come down to who has the best sorting systems, who has the best distribution centres, and, therefore, who delivers fastest.

There’s probably another year or two before the fight for the top spot of the courier industry really heats up. That’s a year or two of frantic preparation to plan, develop and posture and get ready for the biggest shake up the industry has ever had.

One thing’s for sure: we’ll be ready. But will the big guys?

If the privatisation of the Royal Mail has you thinking about switching from a multinational to an independent courier, have a look at our reasons why you should go with us.