As Royal Mail workers continue their strike action, the backlog of holiday season mail and packages appear to be growing.
A week ago, the Communication Workers Union (CWU), which represents about 115,000 Royal Mail workers, published images and videos on their social channels showing huge amounts of mail and packages piling up in Royal Mail centers.
And in an apparent unstated acknowledgment of the problem, Royal Mail was forced to move forward their last posting dates for Christmas mail and packages to arrive by 25 December.
But it seems the situation must have become even worse as a BBC photographer shot overhead pictures at a Royal Mail facility showing mail and packages being stored outside of a facility in Bristol.
Following this revelation, the CWU tweeted a copy of a notice Royal Mail sent to their managers (who are not part of the strike), asking them to bring in friends and family to clear the backlog and “delight our customers and save their Christmas.”
With two more days of walkouts planned on the final two days before Christmas, there is little chance of any relief for online merchants and retailers to see an end to the chaos.
And shifting orders to other couriers isn’t a simple solution either, as many are at their network capacity limits, and delivery fees can be substantially more expensive than Royal Mail.
For many online merchants and marketplace sellers in the UK, this is a challenging situation to manage day-to-day, even if they support the striking workers.
Royal Mail – The Future?
What happens after Christmas is the next big question. Will customers want to return gifts that arrived late? Will business owners ever trust Royal Mail again for deliveries during their most important weeks of the year?
This labor dispute has turned the holiday season into one of the biggest nightmares for UK online businesses, and it’s hard to phantom how Royal Mail can overcome the negativity of this situation in the short term.
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