Royal Mail to offer Sunday deliveries. Innovation or catch up?

Royal Mail today announced it is to trial a Sunday parcel delivery service, within the M25 motorway. The group also announced plans to trial Sunday afternoon opening times at around 100 of its delivery offices, in a move drawn by customer demand for extended weekend deliveries.

With leading carriers such as DPD already offering a Sunday delivery service across 98% of the UK, is this move by Royal Mail designed to meet further demand from online customers, or simply to keep up with the likes of DPD?

DPD in recent years have been seen as perhaps the most innovative carrier in the UK, not only by offering Sunday next day deliveries, but primarily through their use of technology to interact with the customer, offering SMS text messages on the order status, 1 hour delivery windows, and even offering a 15 minute delivery tracking service.

The move by Royal Mail is surely one it needs to make to keep up with its competition. From what we have seen as an order fulfilment provider, we estimate there will be a strong take up of customers requesting the Sunday delivery service with DPD, despite the premium delivery cost.

On that basis, it’s fairly likely that other national carriers will also begin to offer Sunday deliveries, as they also react to the competition.

The trial by Royal Mail is set to take place later this summer, and we for one would welcome the service being rolled out across the UK, especially in the lead up to Christmas.

Would you use the Sunday delivery service, either as a customer or a retailer?