Research, commissioned Parcel2Go, found average postal office queue takes five and a half minutes. Some businesses, however, have highlighted that queuing times are generally much longer than this 5.5 minute average, and revealed that the last time they visited the Post Office they had to wait 20 minutes or more, and a leg-numbing 60 minutes was the longest duration that one poor respondent had to queue.
Using this ‘20-minute’ statistic, the potential time wasted equates to more than two average working weeks:
20-minute queue X 260 working days in a typical year = 5,200 minutes / 60 = 86.67 hours
Looking at five different sectors (legal, accounting, SME, HR, real estate), Parcel2Go have provided the potential financial impact of this wasted time, which could be detrimental to small businesses:
Hourly rate: £280/h
Cost queuing 24 hours per year (average 5-minute queue): £6,720
Cost queuing 87 hours per year (20-minute queue): £24,360
Hourly rate: £33/h
Cost queuing 24 hours per year (average 5-minute queue): £792
Cost queuing 87 hours per year (20-minute queue): £2,871
Hourly rate: £12.5/h
Cost queuing 24 hours per year (average 5-minute queue): £300
Cost queuing 87 hours per year (20-minute queue): £1,087
Hourly rate: £13/h
Cost queuing 24 hours per year (average 5-minute queue): £312
Cost queuing 87 hours per year (20-minute queue): £1,131
Real Estate Agents
Hourly rate: £16/h
Cost queuing 24 hours per year (average 5-minute queue): £384
Cost queuing 87 hours per year (20-minute queue): £1,392
^ These figures are purely based on queuing time, and does not include any additional travel time or subsequent costs.
When considering all of the above aspects (wasted time, reduced productivity, and the overall financial cost of this, etc.) of this process, it highlights that all businesses (especially SMEs) need to critique and re-evaluate their mailing processes, as the negative impacts could far outweigh the positives.
Protecting your business
According to a recent government report, which looked into various aspects of a Post Office branch and how important these are, 66% percent of SME users said that how long they have to wait to be served is the third most important factor (behind ‘quality of service’ and ‘distance from where you usually set off’).
In the report, how long you must ‘wait to be served’ was also an important factor for non-business customers. 40 to 64-year-old non-business customers were the most likely to say that this is important (65%), compared to 18-39 year-olds (61%) and those aged 65+ (60%), showing that it is an issue for both businesses and non-business Post Office users.
If businesses can change how they deliver their mail, they could reinvest that time to grow their business or enrich their personal lives by spending that time doing the things that matter most to them.
Adam Harris, Managing Director at Parcel2Go commented:
“For too many UK businesses, the daily postal office queue has become a problem for productivity, even in a world where technology is making us more efficient. The time wasted could be put to better use if businesses booked their deliveries online.”
He noted that “by booking a courier such as DPD, UPS and Hermes though Parcel2go, businesses have the option to not only save money, in some cases as much as 82%, but they can usually drop off their parcels at a closer location, free of queues. Businesses can also opt for a courier to come and collect their parcels instead.
“Not only that, but we’ve recently introduced a new Letters and Small Parcels service, by Whistl. It allows our customers to send letters and small parcels while saving up to 35% on the cost they would pay over the counter at the postal office. Again, customers can have parcels collected, or drop their items off at a local drop-off point, and still have their letters and parcels delivered by their postman but staying clear of any queues.”