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Royal Mail new Chief Commercial Officer announces Inflight delivery options

By Chris Dawson July 1, 2020 - 10:26 am

Royal Mail appear to have a new Chief Commercial Officer and one of his first actions has been to announce new Inflight delivery options for Royal Mail Tracked 24 and 48 hour services.

Not before time either, during the Coronavirus lock down more consumers than ever before have been at home to receive their parcels, but as the country gets back to work people will naturally be leaving their houses more frequently again and missed deliveries will once again start to lower first-time delivery success rates. The new Royal Mail Inflight delivery options aren’t however a response to the pandemic – they’ve been working on them for some time and today’s announcement follows a successful pilot of the service in the South East of England.

How Royal Mail Inflight delivery options will work

When retailers and other customers send items via Royal Mail Tracked, prior to delivery the recipient will receive a notification including an estimated delivery window and the Inflight delivery options. Royal Mail haven’t specified how you’ll receive notifications and ultimately it will depend on the information passed to them by the retailer – but you can expect a combination of mobile text message, emails and notification via the Royal Mail app to be in the mix.

If the receiving customer knows that they may not be at home at that time, the new Inflight delivery options will enable them to request their item is delivered to a safe place or a preferred neighbour instead. The initiative is designed to offer greater convenience for recipients while increasing the number of first-time deliveries.

Following delivery, Royal Mail will also notify the customer when and where the parcel has been left in line with their selected Inflight delivery option. If left in a safe place, Royal Mail will provide a photograph of the parcel in the requested location.

Later this year, Royal Mail will be adding further Inflight delivery options and expanding the range of parcel services it will be available on. Options in the pipeline include arranging for the parcel to be delivered for collection at the customer’s convenience at a Royal Mail Customer Service Point, a local Post Office branch or arranging for the parcels to be delivered on a different day.

Nick Landon, Chief Commercial Officer, Royal Mail

“At Royal Mail we are proud to help our UK customers stay connected during these challenging times. Inflight delivery options have been the number one ask from our sending customers in e-commerce. Giving customers the option to specify where their parcels are delivered – in the event they are not at home to receive them – is just one of the ways we are helping to bring greater convenience to the lives of our customers.”
– Nick Landon, Chief Commercial Officer, Royal Mail

Nick Landon has only this month become Chief Commercial Officer at Royal Mail and now overseas all commercial and service areas for UKPIL and Parcelforce (UKPIL stands for UK Parcels, International and Letters).

Now in his 10th year at Royal Mail, Nick Landon has had various roles including Managing Director Royal Mail Parcels and most recently Chief Customer Officer. It’s safe to say that Nick will be surviving the cull of 2,000 senior leaders and senior managers which will see many of his long serving loyal colleagues leave the business.

It’s now Nick Landon’s job to drive profitable growth as Royal Mail tries to sort out an ecommerce distribution that works whilst still handling letters, so it makes sense for him to be the spokesperson on this announcement. If you have a problem with your Royal Mail account or fall foul of the Revenue Protection bods, ultimately the people you will deal with report to him. You can probably also ultimately thank him for any price changes.

  • Mark Pearson
    1 month ago

    If Mr lahden can rescue Royal mail because of the virus then it will be a big demand on royal mail but this virus will go one day you don’t really want to lose you senior colleagues that have held the fort in these times GOOD LUCK MR LANDEN

  • 1 month ago

    How’s inflight going to work when your doing a letter & packet delivery on foot to every address between parcels. You could be right opposite an address and not get there until 30 minutes later. As your van is parked most of the time and not being driven from point to point . Wouldn’t this be confusing for the customer.

    • Roy
      1 month ago

      No as we can deliver letters skip the house that has a parcel or oversized item then deliver it with the mail at the same time obviously if not in we will leave a something for you (739) card if they are not in or can’t access their safe place

  • At last, hopefully, it will provide accurate information on deliveries for both sender and recipient. It will be more important than ever now to have all the required details for the parcel, but not always easy when marketplaces like Amazon withhold information

    Perhaps it will reduce the number of customers saying they have not received their item, these changes are long overdue, let’s hope they work.

    • Roy
      1 month ago

      We have been taking photos of the item that’s been left in a safe place for a while obviously other packets etc maybe returned to the office or handed to a neighbour, I find it best that if you know your postie you can instruct him/her as to where you would like your items put if you’re not in and they will still leave a 739 something for you card advising of its whereabouts.

  • Andy S
    1 month ago

    That’s all very well but the PDA’s (in our office at least) are just not reliable for all this extra scanning of items. Mine normally crashes several times EVERY day since the last update (usually after submitting tracked or special delivery info) & the camera doesn’t always work either.
    Sometimes, even trying to actually log in is a task in itself!

    • Roy
      1 month ago

      100% agree with you but apparently the items you’ve scanned if submitted will disappear into a cloud on the server and I must say the PDAs are totally useless in heavy rain.

  • NorthCrystal
    1 month ago

    Good “catch up” on technical side, RM.

    They also added recently a GPS location on the RM tracking page, for both Tracked and standard (including large letters).

    Hopefully it will cut off all the chancers claiming “never arrived” and demanding “money back” but not a replacement.

  • Geoff
    1 month ago

    As a postman of 37 yrs these changes are fantastic for the customer , but my delivery has been packed so tight till the last letter , as this was priority untill now , management dont acknowledge parcels take longer to get rid of , managers arent willing to alter deliveries ,if im not wanting to work over time then the last part of my delivery doesnt get done ,as i care for my customers i work through my break to get it done , this is not right frankly your posties have had enough bullying by management

    • Roy
      1 month ago

      Totally agree we can’t claim overtime because it now gets scrubbed were having to work through meal reliefs and if we cut off well these new managers don’t have a clue about delivery or delivery management

  • Winnie2299
    1 month ago

    I have had use of the new system and although I was not at home to receive the parcel a new delivery date has been made and instructions to leave in a safe place. This is a good move forward for RM and hopefully end the constant card through the door with ‘ undelivered ‘ Only gripe I have was the parcel delivery date was the day after it was supposed to be delivered and was unaware it was on its way. A text or email would have been welcome to give instructions to the postie.

  • ML35
    1 month ago

    As a postman of 18 years I’d love to know where the extra time is coming from for us to do all this?

    • 1 month ago

      Hopefully, much of the redirection will be done before the round is even sorted. For inflight on the day of delivery, the most likely action is a safe place or nominated neighbour.

      If you wanted to view this announcement harshly, you could say it’s pointless window dressing because Postie’s like you already deliver this service unofficially as a matter of course

      Certainly my local Postie already knows which neighbours I’d prefer my parcels left with and am happy to take in parcels for them, which neighbours I definitely don’t want to deal with, and if it’s a safe place choice they already know where to leave parcels.

  • Roy
    1 month ago

    Absolutely Mr Dawson, thatsvif you have a regular postie that knows their customers whereas a relief may not.

  • 1 month ago

    Been on Royal Mail 24 years and understand how important it is to move forward how technology alone is changing which is all good . But tell me why the equipment we are given to do the job are 10 years behind every one else . My scanner crashes 3 to 4 times a day they don’t work well when the weather is bad . My van to do the job is 10 years old it breaks down on a regular basis but gets repaired and returned only to break down another day . Me myself at 53 years old not getting younger but delivery gets bigger as New Buildings are being built and added to deliveries only to be told it’s on your round deal with it . So having this new technology is brilliant and exciting but can we have the updated technology to deal with it..

  • Postas Plod
    4 weeks ago

    I have experienced the inflight redirection instruction twice and both times the customer has used the comments box to ask for the parcel to be left in insecure places. Anyone about to say ‘what do you care where it’s left if the customer ‘s instructions request it?” Well the short answer is, we still get blamed and put through the ringer if something goes missing regardless of its requested or not. The onus is on the postie to judge if a safeplace is secure and to act accordingly. Customers seem to be of the opinion that they can not lose out as they’ll just get a replacement from the sender if their item disappears from the frankly ludicrous interpretations of what a secure safeplace is.

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