Parcelforce to expand cross-border returns service

Parcelforce Worldwide, Royal Mail’s express parcels business, has announced plans to extend its Global Priority Return service to a further 10 countries in Europe. The fully-tracked service is for UK online retailers that are selling to customers abroad and offers an effective way for consumers to send back any unwanted purchases.


Parcelforce already provides the service in seven European countries — Germany, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Slovenia – and will now add the Republic of Ireland, Spain, Finland, Malta, Austria, Lithuania, Italy, Greece and Poland.


The service uses national postal services in each country, with consumers able to use nearly 70,000 post offices or drop-off points across Europe to return items. Royal Mail said the expansion of the service was part of a broader expansion programme, which has already included the opening of a new parcel processing centre in Chorley, Lancashire, with 10 new depots.


Gary Simpson, managing director of Parcelforce Worldwide, said: “Parcelforce Worldwide provides that important link between online retailers and shoppers both in the UK and across the globe. Global Priority Return provides international shoppers with an improved returns experience increasing confidence to buy from UK retailers.”


Parcelforce handles about 71 million items a year, representing about seven per cent of Royal Mail’s UK parcel volumes. The company commenced a £75 million, four-year investment programme in 2012 in order tp expand its position in the UK express parcels market through added capacity and automation.

 Parcel companies are investing heavily in infrastructure, service offering and technology to take advantage of growth opportunities within the delivery marketplace. This is enabling them to improve the service they provide to customers and increase competitiveness.

Skillweb is a privately owned, UK-based business that provides technology solutions designed to help organisations manage their mobile workforces and track the movement of their goods. The company has operated since 1999 managing deployments across the UK and Europe and is responsible for up to 100 million transactions each month and growing.

Skillweb provides an effective means of tracking and tracing incoming and outgoing deliveries, as well as communicating useful delivery details to the recipient, via its SmartTask POD solution, helping carriers of all sizes to enhance their service offering.


Downloaded onto a worker’s smartphone, ruggedised or semi-ruggedised device – including the Motorola TC55 touch computer – this mobile software application can run as a standalone solution, alongside Skillweb’s Houndit technology or a carrier’s current system.


When recipients choose their delivery option during a purchase, the information sent to a carrier relating to the order can be used by the software to generate a communication via email or SMS stating an approximate delivery slot. This is based on how long it takes to get from a warehouse to the customer.



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