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Royal Mail has been fined £5.6m ($6.9m) by Ofcom for missing their First and Second Class delivery targets for 2022/23.

Royal Mail is required by Ofcom's regulations to deliver 93% of its First Class mail in a single working day, and 98.5% of their Second Class mail in a three working days. They also have to complete 99.9% of delivery routes on every day delivery is required (excluding the Christmas period).

But according to Ofcom's report, Royal Mail only completed 89.35% of delivery routes on these days, while delivering just 73.7% of First Class and 90.7% of Second Class mail on time.

Ofcom's assessment took into account factors including industrial action, extreme weather and airport closures, after which these figures were adjusted to 82% for First Class and 95.5% for Second Class - still falling short of requirements.

The final penalty included a 30% reduction in recognition of Royal Mail's admissions of liability.

Ian Strawhorne, Ofcom's Director of Enforcement, stated: “The company’s let consumers down, and today’s fine should act as a wake-up call – it must take its responsibilities more seriously.”

Royal Mail responded: “We are very disappointed with our Quality of Service performance in 2022-23 and acknowledge Ofcom’s decision today.” They described the last year as "uniquely challenging".

When Ofcom investigated Royal Mail's failure to meet its delivery targets last year, it did not impose a fine but warned that the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic could no longer be used as an excuse. Royal Mail was fined £1.5 million for not meeting targets in 2018/2019.

Sources: Ofcom, Parcel and Postal Technology International

Header image: Laura Cooney

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