All you need to know about the upcoming Royal Mail strikes

UPDATED: 3rd January 2023

No further strikes planned for 2023, we will be in touch if we receive any further warning of strike action.

23rd November 2022

UPDATE: 📦🚨 National strikes to go ahead over Black Friday shopping weekend & additional strike days announced

Royal Mail has announced that the planned strikes over the Black Friday period will go ahead on Thursday 24th November, Friday 25th November, Wednesday 30th November and Thursday, 1st December 2022.

Please be aware that this may cause a delivery delay to orders due to ship over the next week. Any Royal Mail orders shipping on those days will be completed as normal and collected by Royal Mail on their next working day.

Any orders already in transit may also be delayed due to the reduced deliveries on strike days. Please share order tracking information with your customers for the latest updates.

Additional strikes in the lead-up to Christmas

On six days leading up to Christmas, Royal Mail workers have planned to go on strike–­including Christmas Eve, one of their busiest days. 

The dates are set to be the 9th, 11th, 14th, 15th, 23rd and 24th of December.

Please communicate last order dates with your customers to ensure they place orders in time to arrive before Christmas. 

1st November 2022

UPDATE: 📦🚨 Strikes cancelled over the next two weeks

Royal Mail has announced that the planned strikes over the next two weeks have been cancelled (2, 3, 4, 8, 9 and 10 November).

This follows Royal Mail writing to the Communication Workers Union highlighting numerous material concerns with the formal notification of planned rolling strike action.

Royal Mail services will resume as normal for the next two weeks, with the next planned strike due to affect service on the 14th of November. See below for more details of upcoming planned strike actions.

6th October 2022

UPDATE: 📦🚨 Planned strikes expected to cause delays during peak

As you may have seen, the CWU recently announced that there will be further industrial action affecting Royal Mail services over the next couple of months.

Four days of strikes involving all CWU workers at Royal Mail have been organised on the following dates:

  • Thursday 13th October
  • Thursday 20th October
  • Tuesday 25th October
  • Monday 28th November

On the above days of action, Royal Mail will continue to deliver as many Tracked 24 parcels as possible but will not be delivering any other type of parcels.

We recommend that you use the Royal Mail 24 Tracked shipping method to keep any delays to a minimum. Find out how to upgrade your orders here.

Further strikes affecting peak season

In addition to the above dates, smaller teams within Royal Mail have announced that they are planning to take action on various dates in November and December which will have a knock-on effect on all deliveries.

If this plan goes ahead, it could affect your orders during Black Friday on 25th November, Cyber Monday on 28th November and the Christmas build-up period.

We recommend that you inform your customers about the anticipated delays to ensure that they place their orders as soon as possible.

While Royal Mail has additional resources planned to prevent delays as much as possible, they can't replace the daily efforts of their frontline workforce and have said to expect significant disruption.

The proposed strike action will affect parts of Royal Mail's operation on the following days:

  • Collections: 3rd, 9th, 15th, 24th November and 1st December
  • Deliveries: 4th, 10th, 16th, 25th November and 2nd December
  • Processing & Distribution Network: 2nd, 8th, 14th, 23rd and 30th November

Royal Mail has assured us that they are still in talks with CWU to try and avert the industrial action and will continue to keep us updated on the situation.

Stay updated on the latest news: Royal Mail Strike Updates.

Alternative shipping methods

We recommend that you use the Royal Mail 24 Tracked shipping method and do not divert orders to DPD.

The DPD courier service is expected to continue as normal, but there is a risk that this service may become overwhelmed due to additional volume from vendors re-directing their Royal Mail parcels.

DPD also have a limit to the number of parcels they can collect from us during peak periods, and if our volume suddenly spikes there is a chance that not all mail will be collected.

There are currently no other postal services that we feel are reliable enough to offer for your UK orders, but we will continue to evaluate the situation to ensure we're providing the most efficient delivery methods possible.

We’re sorry for any disruption that the strike action has caused you already. Please get in touch if you have any questions.

13th September 2022

UPDATE: Further Royal Mail strikes announced.

There are two more days of industrial action set to take place at the end of the month, on the 30th of September 2022 and the 1st of October 2022

Please be aware that this may cause a delay to UK orders shipped before or directly after the days of strike action. We will not have any Royal Mail collections during the strike, and orders completed on those days will be shipped on the 2nd of October 2022. 

18th August 2022

Later this month, the first Royal Mail strike in 13 years will bring disruptions to the postal service as over 115,000 Royal Mail workers protest the loss of jobs and cuts to pay.

Parcels sent via Royal Mail during the strike will be delayed, with un-tracked 48 services suffering the longest delays. Royal Mail has confirmed that Tracked 24 parcels will be prioritised, although delays are still highly likely.

When is the strike?

There are four days of industrial action set to take place over the next three weeks.

The first action will occur around the August bank holiday weekend on Friday 26th August and Wednesday 31st, then again on Thursday, 8th September and Friday 9th.

Orders posted the day before, on the day of, and immediately after days of strike action will be affected.

Royal Mail has confirmed plans to restore routine postal services after the industrial action.

How long will parcels take to arrive?

We expect there to be a delay of up to 4 working days to orders affected by the strike action.

Due to the expected delay we must extend our lost parcel policy throughout September to allow 14 working days for delivery. You will be entitled to a refund or replacement if your UK parcel doesn't arrive within 14 working days of dispatch.

Keep your customers informed to prevent repeat contact about how long to await their parcel.

Royal Mail will prioritise Tracked 24 parcels, so now's a better time than ever to switch to this delivery method. Parcels sent on the Regular 24 and 48 services are at greater risk of being delayed or lost, as sorting offices may be left unmanned during the strike and fewer deliveries will be made during and immediately after the strike.

How to prepare your store

If you run an online store in the UK, you should tell your customers about the Royal Mail strike and its potential to delay their order deliveries. You can do this by adding information about the strike to your store's homepage banner or by sending an email to your customers notifying them of the situation.

  • Strike Action: Orders may take up to 14 days to arrive after dispatch.
  • Use Royal Mail's online tracking service to stay updated on the delivery status of your parcels: https://­www.­royalmail.­com/

Upgrade delivery methods

We recommend using our Tracked 24 shipping method to minimise disruption to your UK orders.

To upgrade the shipping method for your upcoming orders, follow the steps below for your chosen integration:

Shopify, Squarespace, Wix & WooCommerce merchants: Add the keyword "Tracked 24" to the shipping rate name in your shipping profile and change the cost to £4.00 for orders to be shipped on Tracked 24 automatically. 

Big Cartel merchants: Amend your delivery settings to "Recorded 24 hours" to use the Tracked 24 service for your orders. 

Etsy merchants: Orders over 101g (more than 1 x t-shirt) will automatically be placed on the Tracked 24 service. 

If you need help changing your shipping methods, feel free to contact us via live chat or email.

Stay in touch!

We'll be sure to keep you updated on any developments. Royal Mail has also published some helpful guidance on their website, which you can read here: https://­www.­royalmail.­com/­latest-news

In the meantime, please don't hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions.

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