UK Mail fleet

With constant year-on-year declines in letter volumes being reported by mail carriers, it is unsurprising that operators are continually looking for ways to take advantage of the e-commerce boom to offset the slow decline of letter volumes. However, postal operators seemed confident that there is a future for letter delivery at the Mail & Express Delivery Show in London earlier this week.

Jonathan Harman, managing director at Royal Mail’s MarketReach division, which deals with B2C letter deliveries, was adamant that mail can be saved. He told delegates that thinking and acting as a market leader in mail delivery was essential in ensuring that the sector has a future, adding that this can only be achieved if operators “continually evolve” and clients use mail to create deeper relationships with their customers.

Despite this optimistic view, letter volumes for Royal Mail are continuing to fall each year, unlike rival carrier UK Mail, which posted results that defied the trend earlier this year. Its results for the year ended 31 March 2013 showed that in its mail division there was a 2% increase in volumes.

Will Harman’s theory of a continually evolving carrier work for Royal Mail? The Hub will have to wait until the operator publishes its next set of annual results in 2014 to find out.