Want To Know When The Next Postal Strike Is? Ask The Experts At Parcel2Go!

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Whether it’s happening at schools in a certain locality or concerning taxi drivers in a particular region, regardless of location, it affects us all – with postal strikes being no exception. Despite society being reliant on digital forms of communications, when it comes to parcel delivery, there’s no better medium than courier services: with many retailers entrusting postal workers to ensure consignments are delivered in a timely and safely manner to their customers.

Yet what happens when postal employees go on strike? For businesses dependent on their goods being distributed across the globe, not only can a postal strike impact on a company’s sales – it also affects their reputation. Resulting in severe backlogs which in turn, creates huge delays for any items using priority shipping, can leave customers doubting the reliability of the retailer. However, despite this being an issue with the postal sector, the majority of the customers will be quick to point the blame at the retailer as more often than not, are not given the contact details of the delivery representative – and will therefore immediately contact the retailer as the first port of call.

The Good, The Bad, And The Backlog

While it’s been a considerable time since a postal strike has taken place (with postal workers going on strike back in 2009), the repercussions can have a long-lasting effect – damaging the reputations of many independent retailers. One such instance saw a backlog of around 30 to 60 million letters in the UK, while in the second wave, saw a backlog of more than 50 million.

As a result, businesses suffered huge losses, orders were unfulfilled, staff went unpaid – and many employees let go. However, many online retailers have learnt from this experience – with several companies informing customers that in the event of a strike, their deliveries will be directed to other carriers.

Despite postal strikes being negative instances, courier companies have identified these situations as opportunities – with postal economist, David Stubbs, agreeing that plenty has changed in the delivery sector since 2009. For example, rival businesses have proved valuable and reliable resources compared to leading household names.

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Keeping Up-To-Date With Postal Strikes

So how can businesses and customers alike keep in the loop regarding any upcoming postal strikes? Thankfully you have the team at Parcel2Go – letting you know if there is a postal strike affecting any areas of the UK. With our website updated on a daily basis with relevant news and information, we’ll inform you whether the postal strike affects your delivery or collection, as well as when the strike is expected to be over.

While it’s not always possible to predict when and where a postal strike is due to take place, we’ll do our best to at least help you plan your consignments with ease – and inform any third parties whether or not their deliveries will be affected.

Planned Postal Strikes

There are currently no planned postal strikes.

We hope our online resource helps with your future deliveries – and for a reliable courier company you can count on, speak to Parcel2Go today.

 

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An A-Z Guide Of Worldwide Postal Codes

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Sending parcels is a doddle – right? You’ve got your packaging sorted, now all you need is your postal address: except you’re sending your mail overseas, and this international postal code you’re expected to use is laid out in a completely different postal system to what you’re used to. For example – what the heck is a zip code?!

Thankfully Parcel2Go is here to the rescue: compiling the globe’s most posted destinations in one easy-to-read guide. Get ready for a round-the-world trip in understanding postal codes, and become an expert in international shipping – and remember to ALWAYS write the name of the country at the bottom of each address!

  • Australia.

Comprising of six lines, the layout should look like this:

Top line – name,

Second line – house/building number, street name

Third line – town name

Fourth line – city

Fifth line – territory abbreviation (ie Queensland would read as QLD)

Last line – four digit postcode

  • Brazil.

Again comprising of six lines, the layout should look like this:

Top line – name,

Second line – street name, sector, quadra, block and/or floor,

Third line – town/district

Fourth line - city

Fifth line – city/state abbreviation (ie São Paulo would read as SP)

Last line – eight digit postcode

  • Canada.

Consisting of five lines, the layout should look like this:

Top line – name,

Second line – house/building number and street name

Third line – municipality (town/city)

Fourth line – province/territory abbreviation (ie Ontario would read as ON)

Fifth line – postcode (consisting of three digits and three letters)

  • China.

Usually written with seven lines, the layout should look like this:

First line – name,

Second line – building name/house number,

Third line – street name,

Fourth line – locality,

Fifth line – city/district,

Sixth line – province/territory,

Last line – six digit postcode

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  • Europe.

Comprising of three lines, the format be as follows:

Top line – name,

Middle line – street name, house number,

Last line – state/territory abbreviation

When posting to France, the addressee’s surname should be written in capital letters

When posting to Germany, ensure the postcode features five digits

When posting to Republic of Ireland, remember that only Dublin has postcodes

When posting to Spain, the province should be featured in brackets after the town

  • India.

Usually written with six lines, the layout should look like this:

Top line – name,

Second line – building name/house number,

Third line – street name,

Fourth line – locality,

Fifth line – city

Last line – six digit postcode

  • Israel.

Usually written with six lines, the layout should look like this:

First line – name,

Second line – building name/house number,

Third line - street name,

Fourth line – locality and/or city

Last line – five digit postcode

Any post to localities within the Palestinian Authority should display the full address, with the words ‘via Israel’ added at the bottom of the address

  • Japan.

The address is typically written with seven lines:

Top line – name,

Second line – building name/house number,

Third line - street name,

Fourth line - locality

Fifth line – city,

Sixth line – province/territory

Last line – seven digit postcode

  • New Zealand.

Usually written with six lines, the layout should look like this:

Top line – recipient name,

Second line – building name/house number and street name,

Third line – suburb,

Fourth line – town,

Fifth line – city,

Last line – four digit postcode

  • Nigeria.

Usually written with six lines, the layout should look like this:

Top line – name,

Second line – building name/house number,

Third line – street name,

Fourth line – zone/locality,

Fifth line – state,

Sixth line – NIGERIA (must be written in capital letters – and it’s important to note that there are no post/zip codes in Nigeria)

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  • Pakistan.

Usually written with six lines, the layout should look like this:

Top line – name,

Second line – building name/house number

Third line – block/plot/street name

Fourth line – sector/locality

Fifth line – city

Last line – five digit postcode

  • Russia.

The layout of Russian addresses is more detailed, written with six lines:

Top line – recipient name,

Second line – building name/number, street name,

Third line – city/town/village,

Fourth line – district,

Fifth line – territory/region/republic,

Last line – six digit postcode

  • United States of America.

Addressing correspondence to the States comprises seven lines:

Top line – recipient name,

Second line – house number/building name,

Third line – street name,

Fourth line – apartment/suite number

Fifth line - city

Sixth line – state

Last line – five digit post/zip code

Though it can be confusing deciphering different postal codes, with a bit of practice, you’ll be a proficient penpal in no time!

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Unofficial Observance Dates: Sending Mail That Celebrates Unique Holidays

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We all have a pretty good knowledge of national holidays (storing this useful information mainly so we can look forward to longer weekends) – but what about key dates that don’t receive the same official recognition? From Pi Day to Star Wars Day, there are plenty of dates in the calendar that celebrate cult status – and while these days may go unnoticed as official events, there are many groups the world over dedicated to commemorating unofficial observances.

So if there’s a certain event worth posting about, package up a parcel for the following dates:

January

National Hug Day (21st). Thought up by Rev. Kevin Zaborney, this day looks to encourage everyone to hug their nearest and dearest more often – as well as random strangers. Just make sure you always ask for their permission first – or you could always post a ‘free hug’ coupon!

 

February

Random Acts of Kindness Day (17th). We’re all a caring lot, but why not show it through the medium of a parcel? Get kind – get creative!

 

March

Pi Day (4th). A yearly US celebration observing the mathematical constant, π, 3.14 (following the month date format practised in the States). Would you like some pie to go with your π?

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April

Record Store Day (17th/18th/19th). With the rise of digital downloads, go back to basics by posting a much-loved record to someone who would appreciate your taste in music.

 

May

Star Wars Day (4th). May the fourth be with you – parcel send you shall! If Yoda sent packages, that is.

 

June

Bloomsday (16th). A celebration of the work of Irish writer, James Joyce, the first mention of Bloomsday was found in a letter by Joyce to Miss Weaver in 27 June 1924. Why not keep up the tradition by posting a letter of your own?

 

July

Pandemonium Day (14th). Who says your post has to make sense? Why not surprise a loved one by sending a collection of random items? It’s Pandemonium Day – you’re allowed to go crazy!

 

August

Friendship Day (3rd). It’s easy to keep in touch with friends digitally, but nothing shows sentiment more than taking the time to write them a letter. Reach for that pen and paper now!

 

September

International Talk Like A Pirate Day (19th). Shiver me timbers, it’s International Talk Like A Pirate Day! Get your friends from far and wide to join in the debauchery, and spread the message with this themed day.

 

October

World Post Day (9th). Founded in Bern, Switzerland, courier companies all over the world use this day to promote their services – so why not help them out by posting to your global companions?

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November

World Hello Day (21st). An annual global event, this day is used as an opportunity to promote world peace – which starts off with a simple greeting, inspiring political leaders to use communication as opposed to force in order to resolve conflicts.

 

December

Thank You Note Day (26th). Recognised as the ideal time to thank others the day after exchanging gifts, show your gratitude personally – by sending a thank you note. Then wait for your thank you notes to flood in!

 

Have we missed any important unofficial observances? Please let us know your recommendations so we can add to our postal calendar!

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One In 10 eBay Consumer Complaints Are Scam-Related, Says Citizens Advice

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One in six complaints regarding services or products listed on Gumtree – as well as one in 10 concerning eBay sales – are either a scam or a possible scam, revealed research from Citizens Advice.

“These sites are an important service for buyers and sellers, but con artists are profiting from them too,” explained Citizens Advice chief executive Gillian Guy. “Scammers are swindling people out of hundreds or thousands of pounds by posting false products and services online.”

According to data collated by the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau, auction scams and online retail were the most common activities of fraud reported in 2013 – costing UK shoppers a staggering £63.6 million.

Examining 649 problem instances on Gumtree and 3,711 cases on eBay, one particular scam that was frequently reported involved motorists purchasing second-hand vehicles – only to find a logbook loan attached; resulting in the lender taking the car as a result of the previous owner failing to keep up with repayments.

Another popular complaint saw people purchasing items they never receive – but it appears that businesses are also falling victims to scams, after being contacted by companies promising them cheap advertising only for it to be a con.

Ms Guy added: “It’s time for online marketplaces to up their game and do more to protect their customers from dodgy dealings by strongly policing their websites, carrying out spot checks and immediately removing any risky ads.”

Citizens Advice has called for a change in legislation to prevent logbook lenders from taking away vehicles if they are not the original borrower.

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eBay And Argos Extend Joint Click And Collect Venture

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Argos has extended its click and collect partnership with eBay to all business sellers – enabling customers to collect products from “a much wider range of eBay merchants” direct from Argos shops.

eBay announced: “Following a successful operational trial, agreement has been reached for the extension of the collection service in order to build and test the proposition on a commercial basis. This extension will enable shoppers to pick up millions of products sold by eligible business sellers from over 650 Argos stores throughout Great Britain”.

When the joint venture first went live in September, customers were able to collect products from 50 eBay merchants across 150 Argos stores. Speaking about the new service, Home Retail group chief executive John Walden (who was Argos managing director during the time of the launch), spoke of the potential partnership opportunities that could arise as a result of this venture.

Walden said: “We think the unique capability that Argos has is distribution and store collection may become more and more relevant. There might be a model where Argos could provide these unique capabilities to others, traditional and online in the marketplace and that’s the purpose of the trial.

“Rather than stores being a disadvantage, we believe our small, efficient stores are a strategic advantage.”

eBay will be releasing further details to eligible sellers in the next couple of months, but hope that by the end of the year an estimated 65,000 eBay sellers will offer products for collection at Argos – increasing to 80,000 in 2015.

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One In Three UK Online Businesses Fail To Offer Customers Next Day Delivery

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One in three (36 per cent) of the nation’s online retailers do not offer their customers the option of next day delivery despite 46 per cent of UK consumers ranking this as their preferred choice, according to recent findings.

A study – conducted by Ampersand Commerce – into the various delivery solutions offered by the UK’s top 100 online retailers in May 2014 recommended that companies should focus their efforts into prioritising next day delivery as opposed to click and collect. The 46 per cent surveyed in YouGov research said that if they had been offered the choice of click and collect, same day delivery and next day delivery, they would choose the next day delivery service over the other options – with 21 per cent preferring same day, while 18 per cent were happiest with click and collect.

The findings also noted that 44 per cent of UK consumers would not want to pay any extra costs for next day delivery, while 42 per cent said the most they would pay would be £5. Meanwhile, the results showed that 22 per cent of online retailers fail to offer free returns, 60 per cent provide click and collect, 64 per cent offer next day delivery, 11 per cent offer same day delivery while 91 per cent of adults had had packages shipped direct to their home.

Darryl Adie, managing director at Ampersand Commerce, said: “How online retailers optimise their delivery service will become a key differentiator in the next 12 months. Market leaders are already changing the definition of what next day means by offering later and later cut off times. The consumer demand and expectation for same day delivery is coming and online retailers who streamline their next day delivery now will be best placed to compete in that space.”

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Online Shopping and Bargain Business To Overtake Supermarkets By April 2019

Rivals 'reduce Tesco market share'

Sales from discount retailers, convenience shops and online businesses will surpass hypermarkets and supermarkets by April 2019, according to data compiled by global food and consumer goods group, IGD.

The ‘big four’ supermarkets – comprised by Asda, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s and Tesco – will experience a drop in sales by four per cent; from this year’s £73.7bn to £70.8bn over the next five years compared to sales from bargain businesses (such as Lidl and Aldi) who are expected to make double over the same period. IGD has predicted that by 2019, discount shops will enjoy a 10.5 per cent share of the food market.

In addition, online sales will increase by 119 per cent while convenience shop sales will rise by a third.

This is reflected in research collated by customer science organisation, dunnhumby, after the body found that the number of shopping trips people made rose 18 per cent over the past five years as consumers discard the idea of doing one big ‘weekly shop’ and instead choose to make frequent, small basket purchases.

“People are now more willing to shop around at different types of grocery formats, such as convenience stores, discounters or buying online. They have more options available to them than ever before,” explained Joanne Denney-Finch, chief executive of IGD.

“Shoppers now expect grocery retailing to organise itself around their lives rather than building their routines around store opening hours. They expect to buy whatever they want, anytime, anyplace, in the most convenient way to them.”

Denney-Finch said that a “rethink” was needed on how supermarket space is utilised – as well as investing more heavily into the shopping experience, namely through the use of technology.

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eBay Issues Lifetime Ban For Artist Who Sold Fake Paintings

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An eBay user who sold artwork on the online auction marketplace, allegedly claiming them as authentic masterpieces by artists such as Mary Fedden and LS Lowry, has been given a lifetime ban by the site.

Geoffrey Spilman, from Rugby, Warwickshire, had been selling hundreds of fake paintings via eBay over the past two years – despite being arrested by police 18 months ago as well as being given a caution for forging artwork by Ashley Jackson; after the artist complained to his local fraud team.

During the course of his crime spree, Mr Spilman had auctioned off approximately 280 fake paintings – selling nearly all of them.

One piece of artwork, claimed to have been painted by British artist Mary Fedden, was sold by an eBay seller with the handle ‘walledgarden2013’.

Titled ‘Moonlight Still Life-Dated 1989’, walledgarden2013 detailed the listings as: “This is one of a number of artworks belonging to my late father which I am parting with. I have no receipt or other history and in keeping with the rules of the site I’m selling after the artist.”

This eBay advert was sent by The Sunday Telegraph to the Portland Gallery – the group responsible for looking after the Mary Fedden estate.

However, Mr Spilman told a photographer (working on behalf of The Sunday Telegraph) that he had not undertaken any illegal activity – saying that his artwork was not sold as the artist, but as the manner of the artist.

An eBay representative explained: “We have reviewed three accounts and determined that the seller has not lived up to the high standards we expect.”

eBay’s guidelines state that sellers should ensure their items are genuine before listing them on the site. Should a seller fail to verify the authenticity of an item, eBay cannot approve its listing.

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Mobile Payment Technology Failing To Catch On With UK Businesses

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Small businesses across the UK are failing to adopt mobile point-of-sale (POS) tools even though there is an increasing awareness about the technology, noted a study.

A questionnaire assessing the technology of over a thousand micro-businesses (companies whose workforce ranges from one to nine workers) found that only two per cent used MPOS technology – where instead of using the standard fixed point-of-sale terminal, businesses can accept card payments via smartphones.

Yet while many businesses are aware of this service, a variety of issues contributing to its slow uptake were highlighted, including the duration of both traditional POS and existing MPOS systems to process payments – with one in ten stating that they had missed sales due to not having the specialist payment functionality.

The results, from payment solution firm Kalixa, were released 18 months after iZettle launched the first ever UK MPOS. Kalixa’s pay as you go service – with doesn’t involve a monthly contract or annual fees – charges 1.99 per cent card fees for each transaction: enabling businesses to access and undertake purchases across their settled funds through the use of a prepaid MasterCard.

“Micro-businesses are missing sales and face delayed settlement, with many citing current payment technology as the culprit and mobile as part of the solution. Yet market adoption simply isn’t there,” explained Colin Swain, head of product, innovation and insight at Kalixa Group.

“We listened to what small businesses needed and have launched a unique service proposition that addresses these needs,” he added. “We’re focused on helping to solve the cash flow challenge and provide merchants with an integrated service that takes care of all their payment needs – whether it’s making or accepting payments via mobile, online or on the high street.”

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Amazon To Install Lockers For Online Shoppers In London’s Tube Stations

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After the recent news that Amazon would be working in conjunction with Network Rail as part of the Doddle ‘click-and-collect’ service, the online retailer has announced that it will be trialling a locker scheme in London Underground car parks.

Delivering packages to a network of lockers, it is hoped that this move will simplify logistics – allowing people to collect their items either on their way to or from work.

The plan is for the lockers to be built into car parks at Newbury Park and Finchley Central; adding to the existing 300 UK locations – such as supermarkets and universities – where Amazon currently offers this service.

Following the delivery of your parcel to your allocated Amazon Locker, you’ll receive an  email notification detailing your unique code. Upon arrival to collect your package, input the code or alternatively, scan the barcode via the barcode scanner. Any parcel delivered to Amazon locker sites must be collected within three business days.

Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “London Underground’s click and collect revolution is going from strength to strength, attracting some of the most recognisable names in retail.

“Amazon is a fantastic addition to a cast of top brands who are reaching out to their customers in new ways and enabling TfL to generate vital revenue for improvements to our transport network.”

Commercial development director at Transport for London, Graeme Craig, said: “Our click and collect partnerships have been extremely successful and we look forward to bringing more of the services our customers want to our network.”

He stated that the joint venture with Amazon was only a small part of a much bigger project – with the aim being to generate £3.5bn over the new few years through the use of click and collect solutions, pop-up shops as well as new retailing concepts.

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