Royal Mail has installed a new fully-automated parcel sorting machine in its Tyneside site, which is able to process 180,000 parcels per day.
The machine, which was officially opened by Gateshead MP Ian Mearns, is a system of conveyor belts and scanning technology that automatically sorts parcels for despatch within Royal Mail’s network.
The system uses its 200 sorting trays to process up to 10,000 parcels per hour to local mail centres across the country.
Designed and built by automated technology company Bowe Group, the machine is roughly the length of six double-decker buses and can handle a variety of parcel shapes and sizes weighing up to 31kg.
The move is part of Royal Mail’s wider multi-million pound investment programme, replacing time-consuming and physically demanding manual sort processes with parcel automation that can be processed up to four times quicker.
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The postal service hopes the system will help facilitate the increased demand for online shopping and help over the busy festive period.
“We are transforming the way Royal Mail processes parcels which are rapidly growing in popularity thanks to the boom in e-commerce and new online shopping trends accelerated by the pandemic,” Royal Mail chief operating officer Achim Dunnwald said.
“Our investment in state-of the-art parcel sorting machines and automated technology enables us to compete more effectively for business and meet the demands of our customers, while helping to secure quality jobs for the future of Royal Mail.”
MP for Gateshead Ian Mearns added: “I’m very honoured to have been asked to unveil this new state-of-the-art machinery for Royal Mail at the major Tyneside depot in my Gateshead constituency.
“It will undoubtedly enhance Royal Mail’s capacity to respond to the demands of business customers and domestic customers alike and help facilitate the ever growing demands for a universal parcel service that only Royal Mail can provide.”