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LTB 211/24 Terms of Reference Between Parcelforce Worldwide and The Communication Workers Union to Prove the Concept of Delivery Only Routes in Parcelforce Depots

No: 211/24

For the Immediate Attention of All:

Postal Branches

Parcelforce Regional Organisers


Dear Colleagues,


Branches will recall the Business Recovery, Transformation, and Growth (BRT&G) agreement contained commitments to joint activity to restore quality and performance in Parcelforce.

Since the advent of Project Apollo, PFW Drivers in the main perform combined Delivery & Collection routes. This approach has served the business and our members well, against the current backdrop of extremely challenging market conditions and the significant rise in collection requirements, in the period since this model was adopted.

The BRT&G predicted potential benefits in assessing the viability of introducing, where appropriate, Delivery Only Routes. In the view of the CWU, this initiative also has the benefit in combating the business narrative that Owner Drivers are more efficient, when in many cases ODs do not perform the same level of collection activity.

In this regard, the current model by default has an impact on Stops Per Route (SPR) and cost per item, on C&D routes, which declines in the afternoon when Drivers break off from deliveries to perform collections. Given this, following discussions utilising the National Working Group (NWG), we have agreed a Proof of Concept (POC) Trial to run Delivery Only Routes from 6 depots.

Routes identified within the 6 depots will range from 7.6 hours in duty length to a maximum of 11 hours, taking into consideration current attendance times and earnings packages when designing the alternative structure, while also ensuring, in heavily dense delivery areas, vehicle capacity availability before finalising on individual route design.

The 6 sites included are listed below:

  • Newport

  • Newcastle

  • Cambridge

  • London South West

  • London South East

  • Deeside

Branches will also note that in addition to assessing the operational and efficiency benefits in separating the Delivery and Collection operations where practical to do so, the POC trial is also going to review whether the revised model provides opportunities to shape the redesign of the BRT&G alternative Reward Scheme, which is currently paused other than in two locations, prior to its anticipated full relaunch in the Autumn.

The perceived benefits and enablers to the success of this POC activity are:

  • Optimising under the roof time and enabling earlier departure on route;

  • Stop Cost improvement;

  • Decreasing lost time on the road;

  • Improved customer ETAs;

  • Improved collection quality through dedicated collection / bulk route.

The National Joint Working Group will monitor and guide activity:

  • Set the direction for the POC activity and provide performance indicators, which can be reviewed by the JWG.

  • Evaluate learning opportunities arising from the POC trial.

  • Establish the benefits from the introduction of the POC trial in terms of reduced UTR and increased SPR along with driver feedback.

  • Both Parties agree that the involvement of our respective Industrial Engineers will be key to understanding the concept and progressing the activity. Therefore, all information gathered will be shared to ensure there is a common understanding on the data to be reviewed.

  • Review progress against the agreed timelines set by the Resourcing JWG and support the achievement of the plan.

  • To identify any issues requiring advice, communication or formal consultation and refer these to the respective headquarters for consideration and action. Ideally to propose and recommend a solution which meets customer, business and employee needs. 

The POC trial is expected to run for 3 months at the 6 identified depots. Allowing for start-up and review of the POC activity with available resources, consideration of adding 2 further depots per region after 6 weeks will be given, should the agreed performance metrics demonstrate the benefits of doing so.

At the conclusion of the POC trial, the JWG will produce a report with recommendations for the signatories of this Terms of Reference.

The department would request that Branches bring the contents of this LTB to the attention of our members in the Trial sites and across the wider Parcelforce membership.

Any enquiries in relation to this LTB should be addressed to Davie Robertson, Assistant Secretary, email: quoting reference: 054.13.

Yours sincerely,


Davie Robertson

Assistant Secretary


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