Royal Mail unveiled its first automated parcel sorting machine in Northern Ireland, capable of processing 157,000 parcels per day to help meet the surge in demand for parcels and next-day delivery.
The parcel sorting machine – officially opened by Brandon Lewis MP, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland – is an intelligent system of conveyor belts and scanning technology that automatically sorts parcels for despatch.
Based in Royal Mail’s Northern Ireland Mail Center in Newtownabbey, the new machine can sort up to 7,500 parcels per hour for onward despatch to local delivery offices across Royal Mail’s network and can process a variety of parcel shapes and sizes weighing up to 20kg.
With domestic parcel volumes up more than 30% compared to pre-pandemic levels, this installation directly supports Royal Mail’s transformation into a parcels-led business to meet the changing demands of its customers.
“We are now a parcels business that delivers letters.“Simon Thompson, CEO, Royal Mail
“As part of our transformation, we are accelerating parcel automation by investing in the latest technology to deliver an even better service for our customers, wherever they live in the UK. Our new Northern Ireland parcel sorting machine will help drive growth, providing our team the long-term job security they deserve,” added Thompson.
“It’s been fantastic to witness first-hand Royal Mail’s commitment to innovating and investing in Northern Ireland, and I commend them, and all staff, on their state-of-the art parcel sorting machine in Newtownabbey,” said Brandon Lewis MP, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.
“This significant investment will ensure parcels are delivered quicker than ever before to homes and businesses across Northern Ireland, and further afield; offering better connections and service, and contributing to greater economic prosperity,” added MP Lewis.
Royal Mail Pursuing Ambitious Program of Automation
In March 2022, it reached the milestone of 50% parcels automated – up from 33% last year. The business is aiming to reach 70% parcel automation by 2022-23 and its overall target of 90% parcel automation by 2023-24.
Last month (June), Royal Mail opened its huge new North West Super Hub in Warrington which can process more than 800,000 parcels a day.
Its Midlands Super Hub, based in Daventry, is on track to open in Summer 2023 and when operational, will be able to process more than one million items per day.
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