Update on Sleeved Yorks

We have been discussing with some customers the introduction of new sleeved Yorks in to the Royal Mail network. One of the key pieces of feedback we have received was that a Safe System of Working (SSoW or SWI) would be required before you could start assessing and handling these in your respective networks and we are pleased to be able to share this now - see attached Safe Working Instruction (SWI).

We have been trialing these Yorks in a closed loop at our North West Hub since the beginning of April and, thanks to the success of this trial and the SWI being signed off, have decided to introduce a redesigned York container in to the RM network from May 30th 2023 to help improve our environmental impact and operational efficiency.

We don’t anticipate that you should get any of these in your 141 swaps yet, but wanted to make sure you had the SWI in case any of your colleagues need to handle these sleeved Yorks.

Over the next 9 months 90% of existing York containers will be retrofitted with solid plastic sleeves. These will replace the current heavy duty material sleeves known as ALPS (auto level packet sleeves).  This change in design will enable Yorks to carry all types of existing mail and parcels that we currently process, and will mean there is no longer a requirement for ALPS in our network. Based on initial feedback, the key benefits we believe this will deliver for our customers are:

  • Increase of 10% more parcel capacity in the redesigned York in comparison to ALPS, meaning more useable space, which translates to less vehicles needed and fuel economy.
  • Greater uniformity of container stock, meaning no need to maintain a separate stock of ALPS.
  • Increased operational and logistical efficiency, as there will be no need to separately collect or carry empty ALPS back into your own networks or apply resource to manage 141 swaps.
  • Sleeved Yorks have up to 30% recycled plastic content, and are recyclable at end of life, therefore helping overall supply chain environmental credentials.
  • No change to the capacity when presenting mail in trays

There may be some beneficial commercial implications to this change too. We will be updating you about these as soon as we have more information.

We trust you will welcome this innovation and development and support us in the migration to the modern-day sleeve.

We understand you may want to discuss how it can benefit your network, so please do not hesitate to contact your Account Director if you have any questions.