VIDEO: Royal mail getting your gifts safely delivered

This Is Wiltshire: Cathy Turbinsky in the Groundwell sorting office Cathy Turbinsky in the Groundwell sorting office

THIS year has been one of the best yet for Royal Mail, with millions of cards and parcels being sorted in its warehouses in Groundwell and Dorcan.

About 650 extra staff – 300 more than last year – have been employed by Royal Mail to help cope with the increase in post flooding through the warehouse and the company also opened a temporary parcel sorting centre in the Groundwell Trading Estate.

Ninita Thomson, the plant manager at the Royal Mail Swindon Mail Centre in Dorcan, said: “We need the extra staff so we can maintain the level of service we provide to our customers at other times of the year.

“The busiest time is on the late shift and then overnight it gets transported to where it needs to go. It is a huge logistical operation.”

Although the number of Christmas cards being sent has dwindled over the past few years, the numbers of parcels being sent has boomed, thanks to more people turning to online shopping.

Ninita said: “It’s been about 30 or 40 per cent busier than it would normally be because of the numbers of Christmas cards being sent and the number of parcels.

“We have seen a slight decrease in the number of Christmas cards from last year but they are still sending them.

“And what has increased is the number of people who are sending their Christmas parcels through Royal Mail after ordering them online.”

On a late shift Royal Mail may have up to 800 containers of post pass through its sorting depots, with each container carrying up to 6,000 Christmas cards or 200 parcels.

After the Christmas cards arrive at the Mail Centre they are then sorted into first and second class post, before going through another machine which reads the addresses on the cards and sorts them into geographical destinations.

In another part of the centre, local mail is also sorted into postcodes, and then streets, ready for postmen to deliver.

Mark Higson, Royal Mail’s managing director of operations and modernisation, said: “Christmas is the busiest time of year for Royal Mail and our customers.

“The use of additional parcel sorting centres has proved extremely successful the past two years.

“They are now an integral part of Royal Mail’s substantial financial commitment in additional resources at Christmas to handle the festive mail bag as effectively as possible.”

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