Royal Mail miss QoS target in Q4 due to Black Friday & Weather

Royal Mail missed it’s Quality Of Service target for 1st Class Mail by just 0.5% (92.5% against a target of 93%) in the fourth quarter of last year. They exceeded their 2nd Class Mail target by 0.3% (98.8 against a target of 98.5%).

Royal Mail point to two factors, without which they would have exceeded their 1st Class target. Christmas has always been exempt from Quality of Service regulation because of the exceptionally high mail volumes but with the increasing volumes around Black Friday the peak has shifted to slightly earlier in the year.

Depending on the dates, Cyber Week may fall in or out of the Christmas exemption period, in 2015-16, all of Cyber Week fell outside the exemption period. There was also significant disruption in parts of the country due to poor weather and road closures impacted delivery performance during the period.

Royal Mail intend to ask to include Cyber Week in the exemption period regardless of when it falls, although it will be Ofcom who make the decision.

Sue Whalley, Chief Operations Officer, Royal Mail said: “Our postmen and women work extremely hard to deliver demanding targets. Royal Mail has one of the highest Quality of Service specifications of any major European country. We are disappointed that we narrowly missed our First Class target for 2015-16. We are undergoing a major transformation of our business and the market in which we operate is changing rapidly, with more parcels and fewer letters in our network. As we continue to work to increase efficiency, we also remain committed to improving and maintaining our high standards of service to all our customers across the UK.”

We’ve said before on Tamebay that we’d love to see performance figures differentiating between 1st and 2nd class letters vs 1st and 2nd Class parcels and hear about the metrics for Tracked 24 and Tracked 48 products to know if these products are more reliable than 1st and 2nd class parcels. It will also be very interesting from the summer when Royal Mail make 2D barcode delivery confirmations available for all parcels – sellers will then be able to definitively see when their parcels were received by their customers.