(Bloomberg) --

Royal Mail Plc has said it will collect doorstep parcels for free this year in an attempt to boost its UK postal business.

The company, which recently warned that it would make a loss if workers go ahead with a strike, said its ‘Parcel Collect’ service will allow customers to send or return a parcel at no cost in 2022.

The service involves a postman or woman collecting packages directly from customers’ doorsteps or another arranged safe location, according to a statement Tuesday. The service will be a part of posties’ daily rounds, which means customers don’t have to get in their cars or use public transport to send a parcel, the company said.

Last week, Royal Mail said it could be “materially loss making” in the 2023 fiscal year if the Communication Workers Union staged strikes over four days in August and September. Royal Mail had said it was ready to negotiate, arguing that the union had failed to engage meaningfully over required changes to the business. 

Bosses have threatened to split the company if unions continue to resist reforms to the UK arm.

The company has said that the pandemic boom in parcel volumes, bolstered by the delivery of Covid-19 test kits and other parcels, is over. Royal Mail’s UK business is currently losing £1 million a day and the efficiency improvements which are needed for long term success have stalled, Chairman Keith Williams said in a statement in July.

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