Royal Mail designing new e-commerce hub 

Today, the United Kingdom’s Royal Mail announced that it has started designing the technical fit for the new parcel hub it will build in Warrington, located between Liverpool and Manchester in northwest England. The facility will be one of three the national postal service said it will build in the U.K. over the next five years in support of growing e-commerce in the region. 

The fully automated Warrington parcel hub will be 32,000 square meters and able to process more than 600,000 parcels per day. Royal Mail has committed to a 15-year lease at the site where it has proposed to relocate its North West Distribution Center and some associated operations as part of its plans. The proposal is currently subject to ongoing consultation with Royal Mail’s employees and unions. Meanwhile, the Warrington mail processing center will continue to operate from its existing site. The new hub is expected to be fully operational by 2023. 

Construction contracts have been awarded to seven companies based in Warrington and three within 25 miles of the site. The hub is also expected to accommodate 370 employees on site. 

According to Royal Mail, the hub will serve as an extension to its delivery network and the company’s plans to introduce a second delivery for next day parcels and larger items. Because the hub provides close proximity to nearby large cities, warehousing and fulfillment centers, and transport links, it will facilitate growing e-commerce demand in the U.K. by supporting a sustainable universal postal service and increasing demand for next day delivery, the company said. 

The announcement continues a series of significant actions Royal Mail has taken over the past several months. Just yesterday, Royal Mail announced the launch of its “Tracked and Signed” service to China in collaboration with China Post, following the announcement of its five-year strategic plan last month. 

Beyond the clear moves the postal service is making to modernize and strengthen its operations in support of burgeoning e-commerce, the active strategy could be a preemptive guard against potential fallout that may ensue with Brexit. While the specific role these expansions will play in a post-Brexit strategy is not yet clear, the postal service is certainly doing its homework despite summer break.  

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Chelsea Toczauer

Chelsea Toczauer is the Associate Editor of the company’s daily news and monthly magazine Air Cargo World. She holds two BAs in International Relations and Asian Languages and Cultures from the University of Southern California, as well as a double accredited US-Chinese MA in International Studies from the Johns Hopkins University-Nanjing University joint degree program. Chelsea speaks Mandarin and Russian.