Can the current national postal service keep up with the demands of the consumer when compared the offerings of private couriers?
In this age of new technology bringing the world to our finger tips, we expect to have a significant amount of choice regarding the services we use. The internet offers instant access to the products we want, meaning that the delivery service needs to be swift as online consumers grow increasingly reluctant to wait. So where does this leave the postal service?
Royal Mail is expected to deliver 6 days a week to nearly 29 million addresses, a challenge that it seemingly fails to rise to. The price of stamps set to rise again and with a history of delays and errors plaguing Royal Mail's image, many people turn to the reliable, speedy service of private mail couriers.
Robert Hammond, director of postal policy at Consumer Focus said:
"The communications market is changing dramatically and quickly, and post cannot be left behind... Consumers tell us that post will still have a role in their lives in five years' time and the postal service must reflect their changing needs."
"Policymakers will need to think long and hard about how to ensure that technological advance and changing markets deliver good value and service to consumers, particularly the most vulnerable."
No longer do consumers have to stay exclusively with one postal product. Where once Royal Mail may have been the automatic choice, now there's a multitude of private companies offering a UK and international postal delivery service. In the internet age, consumers can now discover the option that suits them best via a host of price comparison websites. From car insurance and credit cards to restaurants and electrical goods, there are always suitable comparison websites to guide the online shopper. Postal delivery services are no different.
To find the best courier for their postal needs, UK consumers can now take advantage of Rapid Parcel, a comparison site for package delivery. Already the first choice parcel delivery service for commercial and eBay clients, Rapid Choice offers an easy way to compare the price and services from a range of couriers including UPS, CityLink, DHL and FedEx. Click here for the Rapid Parcel site.
Rapid Parcel uses the latest technology to improve the service for the consumer, allowing for online orders through your mobile phone and tracking via text message or email. This website can offer the consumer up to 60% savings compared to direct-on-carrier prices. This is made possible by the amount of customers driven to the private couriers by Rapid Parcel as a comparison site.
Saveitbuddy.com carried out a recent YouGov survey which found around 10.1 million British adults use price comparison sites (figures based on the previous year) generating over £650 million in annual commission.
Royal Mail will have to swiftly carry out major elements of its much needed overhaul in order to match the convenience and reliability offered by private couriers.