Saturday, 24 October 2009

The Postal Strikes - UK and Europe

What's happening at Royal Mail? If you haven't heard already, here in the UK we are experiencing 'dispruptions' in our postal service due to Royal Mail workers taking strike action by staging a series of walkouts.

There was a national strike last week and one is planned for next week and these are set to continue in the run up to Christmas (unless and agreement is reached between Royal Mail and the union). So far, the strikes have caused a severe backlog of millions of parcels and letters so obviously delays (or worse, losses/damages) are inevitable.

Contingencies for UK customers. I have put some contingencies in place to ensure customers still receive their orders quickly and reliably by switching all shipping to courier only (which would remain unaffected by the issues at Royal Mail) and I am able to offer UK mainland courier shipping at a rate much lower than previously.

My European friends. That is all great news if you live in the UK. However, it saddens me deeply that my friends across the channel are presently unable to enjoy the Royal Mail shipping rates for small orders. Nothing stings quite like having charge an overseas courier fee for a small order (which may not even be to the value of the shipping itself). Courier shipping to Europe still works out good value for larger orders though.

What now for orders to Europe? Well, this has all lead to my sitting down and think what else I can do. I am able to offer:
  • Reduced courier shipping rates to France, Germany, Netherlands, Luxembourg and Belgium for £12.70 for up to 25kg
Royal Mail Strike Dodging for Europe. I am going to make attempts to try and 'dodge' the strikes for European orders under 1.8kg. However, this will be by Airsure (which is a priority service offered by Royal Mail) where it is available. If it is not available in the destination country, then it will be sent International Signed-For. It is worth noting though that orders sent through any Royal Mail system could be subject to delays that would be beyond my control :o(

Hopefully someday soon we can all get back to normal and a happy resolution is reached between Royal Mail and its workers.