Ofcom investigates Royal Mail’s delivery performance

Published: 24 May 2024

Ofcom has today opened an investigation into Royal Mail’s failure to meet its delivery targets for 2023/24, following the company’s publication of its results this afternoon.

Under our rules, Royal Mail is required to meet specific performance targets across the whole financial year, excluding the Christmas period. Among other targets, Royal Mail must:

  • deliver 93% of first class mail within one working day of collection; and
  • deliver 98.5% of second class mail within three working days of collection.

Royal Mail has today acknowledged that it did not meet the above performance targets in 2023/24, as it:

  • delivered 74.5% of first class mail within one working day; and
  • delivered 92.4% of second class mail within three working days.

In deciding whether the company is in breach of its obligations, we will consider if there were any exceptional events – beyond the company’s control – that may have explained why it missed its targets.

If it does not provide a satisfactory explanation and we determine that Royal Mail has failed to comply with its obligations, we will consider whether to impose a financial penalty.

Last year, Ofcom fined the company £5.6m for failing to meet its first and second class delivery targets in 2022/23.

Notes to editors:

Royal Mail’s quality of service track record in recent years:

  • 2022/23: We fined Royal Mail £5.6m.
  • 2020/21 and 2021/22: The Covid-19 pandemic had a significant, pervasive and unprecedented impact on Royal Mail’s operations.
  • 2019/20 (PDF, 1.3 MB): Royal Mail was on track to meet its targets for before the Covid-19 outbreak, which had an impact on its operations for the last few weeks of the financial year. Accordingly, we were satisfied that the company had met its regulatory obligations.
  • 2018/19: We fined Royal Mail £1.5m.
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