Despite atrocious weather conditions and challenging mail volumes the post still got through in time for Christmas
Isle of Man Post Office’s Mails division experienced a sustained three week period of high daily mail volumes over the festive season. This is a challenge in itself, but two thirds of all items for delivery come via the UK and the appalling weather caused havoc with mail despatches to the island and this just added to the task. Still the business managed to pull out all the stops and got all of its parcels and cards delivered in time for Christmas.
The persistent gales in the Irish Sea stopped a number of Steam Packet sailings and with just days to go to Christmas mail began building up at Heysham and Birkenhead. Air mail was coming through as normal, but the mail containers by sea, carrying the bulk of packets and parcels, were building up and by Saturday 21st of December, the weekend before Christmas, there was a backlog of seven containers.
Malcolm Macpherson, Managing Director of Mails, Isle of Man Post Office said: “Everyone in the business worked really hard over this period and a plan was put in place to get the outstanding mail from the UK. We organised an extra Air mail flight for Sunday the 22nd December and made arrangements with Royal Mail and the Steam Packet Company to get the outstanding containers to the island from Heysham and Birkenhead. In addition to this we brought in extra staff to shift the backlog on the Sunday. With arrivals on Saturday night, Sunday morning, Sunday night and finally Monday morning the backlog in Heysham had been moved with all the outstanding mail to the island on time. Over that weekend a phenomenal 25 thousand packets and parcels were sorted, some being delivered on Sunday and the remainder delivered on the Monday.”
During December the Mails division handled volumes of 4.3 million a little down on 2012. Fewer Christmas cards were sent but the volume of parcels and packets has continued to increase and during December, over 300K packets and parcels were delivered on the island.