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With the advancement in logistics and distribution around the globe, Royal Mail has been a landmark that has transformed the British postal system. It serves as one of the most reliable courier services facilitating several local businesses, international clientele, and e-commerce stores. Royal Mail even offers a detailed tracking system for both senders and recipients to stay aware of the real-time location of the package.
Royal Mail is a UK-based courier service dealing with customers and businesses nationwide and internationally. Its history dates back to 1516, connecting it to the Master of the Posts founded by Henry VIII. It is now officially the universal postal service provider designated as the universal postal service provider by the UK government, under the Postal Services Act 2011.
Headquartered in London, and employing over 100,000 individuals, Royal Mail operates a vast network of 37 mail centres and 1,356 delivery offices, delivering 80 million parcels daily. Royal Mail is known for its round-the-clock service and affordability. It sends parcels and letters six days a week at a fixed rate for any location. With a widespread delivery system around Europe, Royal Mail has introduced a subsidiary, General Logistics Systems (GLS), for effective cross-border parcel management.
Royal Mail experienced a heavy boost in the London Stock Market back in October 2013 and made its way to the Financial Times Stock Exchange 100 Index. More than 700k public members bought the shares and gained 10% stakes, influencing a major group of investors to associate with Royal Mail Group. Due to its employee-friendly policies, Royal Mail also landed in Forbes World’s Top Female-Friendly Companies in 2022.
Royal Mail has encountered several complications over the years, from the rise of email and digital methods to data breaches and hacking. However, it has successfully transformed its services and adapted to the change by integrating the latest technology for seamless operations.
Royal Mail offers systematic delivery services for every sender’s convenience. You can have your parcel delivered domestically and internationally.
For sending your shipments within the UK, Royal Mail offers the following services.
Keep track of your shipment from posting to delivery with Royal Mail Tracked service. It can take up to 30 kg of weight within 1 to 2 days.
The shipment is delivered on the signature, and a photo is taken of the parcel when delivered.
If you want to send your valuables by the next working day to their destination, then Special Delivery guarantees delivery by 9 a.m. or 1 p.m., depending on the weight.
For a maximum of 2 kg weight, the delivery can be reached by 9 am, whereas for a maximum of 20 kg package, the delivery can be made by 1 pm.
Royal Mail’s same-day delivery is the best for urgent parcels or confidential letters. It can take up to 1350 kg parcels in a day with real-time satellite tracking. It includes compensation in case of lost or damaged items and is available on demand every day of the year.
If you run a new store or have a strict budget, then Royal Mail 1st and 2nd class service is for you. Get the best value for your money and send deliveries within 2 days, including 20 kg in 1st class and 1 kg parcels in 2nd class.
This service enables senders to schedule their deliveries even on Saturdays.
Royal Mail uses its subsidiary for specific destinations in Europe.
To track your International Tracked & Signed shipment sent to countries including Austria, Czech Republic, Portugal, Greece, Bulgaria, Germany, Hungary, Slovakia, Poland, Slovenia, and Romania, you can use the GLS tracker.
If your parcel is sent to a destination other than these, then once it leaves the UK, it is the responsibility of the destination country’s postal authorities. Those authorised postal services keep Royal Mail updated with your parcel details and the progress in delivery.
The following are the Royal Mail services for international shipments:
If you want to send your parcel with complete security and guarantee it reaches the receiver abroad, then this Royal Mail service is the way to go. It offers to deliver a maximum of 2 kg packages within 3 to 5 days.
This service includes proper tracking from the distribution centre to the shipment address. Moreover, the “delivered” status will only appear after the signature.
For businesses sending parcels to remote countries, this service offers the best worldwide coverage of up to 231 destinations. It can deliver a maximum of 2 kg within 3 to 5 days. It can provide up to 5 kg of printed paper for some countries.
For common parcels, this Royal Mail service yields a great value. It aims to deliver within 10 to 15 days after parcel submission.
Tracking parcels sent through Royal Mail is quite simple. Here are two recommended methods.
You can use the official method for tracking your shipment by following the steps below.
Consider the perspective of an e-commerce business. The investment in acquiring and retaining customers is significant, therefore, it's in the best interest of these businesses to ensure their customers remain within their digital environment. As such, it is highly undesirable for them to direct customers to other websites. In essence, customer retention is not merely a preference but an integral aspect of business strategy.
In such a case, you can use an alternate way of tracking your parcel via TrackingMore. It enables your customers to track orders through your website.
TrackingMore is an all-in-one e-commerce order tracking solution that can track the parcel statuses of 1205 couriers and has served world-famous brands like Shein, and DJI. It offers automated order tracking and customer-centric features for businesses big and small, regardless of sector. So, if you need bulk shipment tracking and shipment visibility dashboards for centralized management, then TrackingMore is the way forward.
For tracking your Royal Mail packages through TrackingMore, follow the steps below.
If you want to find out the current whereabouts of your parcel, then you’ll need a Royal Mail-authorised tracking number to locate it.
A Royal Mail tracking number is needed to track your parcel after placing an order.
It is sent to the recipient after an online purchase with the confirmation email or when you’ve been sent a shipment through Royal Mail. The tracking number is printed on the shipping label or the receipt.
The Royal Mail tracking number contains 9 to 27 characters, depending on the type of service chosen by the merchant or sender.
For shipments sent from the UK, the tracking ID usually starts with 2 capital letters and then a 9-digital number with the letters GB.
Following are some examples of Royal Mail tracking numbers.
- WC 068 047 876 GB
- LG 123 456 789 GB
- 050 111 C31 F4
You can find the tracking number on the parcel shipping label or the receipt given by the Post Office as a barcode.
Following are a few reasons why your tracking number was unrecognised by the Royal Mail tracking.
- The sender has created a tracking number but didn’t submit the parcel to the Royal Mail Centre
- System error or delay in updates
- Mistake in entering the tracking number
- Wrong tracking number
The tracking number is usually presented on the confirmation email or the order invoice. In case you’ve deleted the email, you can ask the sender or the e-commerce store to resend the reference number.
When you track a package through a Royal Mail tracking number, it shows the information regarding shipment in the form of events or status.
Some of the common tracking statuses include:
Sender preparing item
The parcel has a tracking number but hasn’t been submitted to the Royal Mail collection centre
Sender dispatching item
It shows the time stamp when Royal Mail collected the parcel from the sender
Accepted at the post office
It showed the time stamp when the sender submitted the parcel to their nearest Royal Mail office
The parcel is currently at the Royal Mail collection centre
Prepared for export
The parcel has been labelled and is ready to be loaded for export
Item leaving the UK
The item has been loaded on the plane or ship leaving the country
Item has left overseas international processing centre
The parcel is scanned and ready to get loaded on the plane or ship
In transit to the destination
The shipment is currently on its way to the destination country by air or sea route
Item arrived at the destination country
Your parcel is at the airport in the destination country
Item is with customs
Your parcel is held by the customs at the destination country and will be held until the issue is resolved
It shows the time stamp till when you’ll receive the parcel on that day
Your parcel is loaded into the delivery truck reaching your address
Delivered & Signed
The parcel is successfully received and signed by the consignee
Royal Mail tracking API allows eCommerce stores to efficiently track their parcels sent through either airways or sea routes. It keeps you updated about your shipment with every possible information from real-time location to estimated delivery date.
TrackingMore offers a parcel tracking API that can be integrated with 1205 couriers worldwide,
It helps you track multiple packages using the tracking number, AWB number, or reference number, whether internationally or locally.
TrackingMore offers a consolidated dashboard displaying every detail from origin to destination for tracking bulk Royal Mail international shipments. It provides real-time details of your Royal Mail package and supports multiple languages like English, French, Spanish, German and more.
Your seller may have created the tracking number for your item immediately after your order was placed, but the item might not have been dispatched to the Royal Mail collection centre yet.
It is recommended to check the tracking details again within 48 hours. The status will be updated once Royal Mail has received the item at their collection centre.
If the issue persists after one day, you should contact the sender to verify that the correct tracking number was provided and to confirm whether the package has been dispatched.
Different types of services have different systems of updates or scanning. For some services, the parcel is only scanned twice, when received and when delivered. Thus, the status may not change even after a few days. Other reasons may include:
- Systems need an update
- Incorrect number entered
- The number entered is not for your parcel
Royal Mail has a vast transportation network and a systematic way of distributing every parcel. Your parcel will not be sent to you straight from the transportation facility; it’ll first reach the nearest distribution centre and then the local mail centre.
However, they make sure to take the most hassle-free route to your address.
Royal Mail uses GLS to deliver international shipments, so your parcel may get scanned in other countries before reaching the destination.
Despite the generally routine and seamless operations at Royal Mail, there is always the potential for technical issues or human errors.
If you're receiving inaccurate tracking information, it may be due to a delay in scanning or a lag in the system updates.
You can check if the item is sent through the service that needs a signature on delivery. If yes, check the receiver’s name to know who might have accepted it. You should also recheck your shipping address and check the postal room to see if it is your work address.
Royal Mail's tracking status indicates that your item has been delivered, but you still can't find it, this could be due to a scanner error. In such a case, we recommend waiting for one day before taking action, as the item may still turn up.
If the item hasn't arrived after a day, please contact the sender. The sender can then get in touch with Royal Mail if the delivery destination is within the UK.
If the item was supposed to be delivered internationally, the sender should contact the postal office of the destination country.
Royal Mail sends deliveries six days a week from Monday till Saturday. They even make scheduled shipments on Sunday evenings. The delivery is suspended on all public holidays and bank holidays.
The scheduled deliveries are completed in urban areas by 3 p.m. and the rural regions by 4 p.m., depending on remote and transport restrictions. Mail volume and the route can decide when the shipment will be sent to any specific address.
Royal Mail has a proper procedure and system for delivering packages to every part of the UK. However, there can be a few reasons why there may be a delay, including:
- Public holidays
- Road closures
- Didn’t accept the parcel
- The address was not safe to deliver
- International restrictions
- Held at Customs
The fastest way is to contact the sender and ask them to file a claim online through Royal Mail. They can even submit multiple claims for up to 10 parcels.
There are several ways to contact Royal Mail customer service. Following is the contact information.
With TrackingMore, you can check your parcel’s real-time location, current transit point, estimated delivery date, and tracking status. Once you know the reason behind delays in delivery or tracking status updates, you can take informed measures for your shipment. If you want to find explanations of a specific tracking event, you can refer to "Tracking Status descriptions & suggestions".
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