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Parcel Motel: quicker cheaper shipping for Irish customers

We use the Royal Mail AirSure service to deliver goods to the Republic of Ireland. Royal Mail aims to deliver AirSure items throughout Western Europe in just two working days after posting. Sometimes they manage to do this, but quite frequently Royal Mail deliveries to Ireland seem to be inexplicably delayed, sometimes for up to a couple of weeks. Very frustrating for customers at the receiving end.

I used to live in Co. Clare, so I’ve experienced this frustration at both ends. The AirSure tracking rarely sheds any light on these mysterious delays, typically stating that the item has progressed overseas, when it’s actually stuck somewhere in the Royal Mail system and has not been passed to An Post yet. Afterwards Royal Mail can offer no specific explanation for the delay and no compensation is available for delays on AirSure items.

How it works

Parcel Motel LogoParcel Motel now offers Irish consumers a cheaper and more reliable alternative for online deliveries. The Parcel Motel shipping process would work as follows:

  1. register with and be assigned a PMID (Parcel Motel Identification number)
  2. make an online purchase with UK site
  3. use Parcel Motel’s Co. Antrim address as shipping address, quoting your PMID, for example:
    John O’Connor, PMID 8734
    1A McKinney Road
    Co. Antrim
    BT36 4PE
  4. item will be posted by Royal Mail first class signed for
  5. Parcel Motel’s Co. Antrim depot will receive and sign for delivery, usually on the next working day and quickly ship the item to one of many pickup locations throughout Ireland; (you will have selected your most convenient one)
  6. you receive an SMS notification when your goods have arrived at your local parcel lockers
  7. you collect the item within 48 hours and are charged a flat rate (at time of writing) of €3.50 (with the first two deliveries FREE)
Parcel Motel lockers

You collect your parcel from an automated locker system like this, often at a 24-hour garage or supermarket. Picture courtesy of John Finn @carrigman.

How is it cheaper?

This is best illustrated with an example. If a customer buys a BearExtender or Dovado TINY, the shipping cost at the current exchange rate is €5.29 to a UK address or €12.34 to a Republic of Ireland address. Adding the €3.50 Parcel Motel charge to the UK price makes a saving of €3.55 and in most cases you will get hold of your item more quickly.

Note: this article arose from feedback from our customers who have used both Royal Mail and Parcel Motel. MOVINGWIFI LTD has no commercial relationship with Parcel Motel.

Posted in FAQ.

4 Responses

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  1. JP says

    Maybe you’d consider offering ParcelMotel as an option on your site, so? Take out the middleman that is Royal Mail.

  2. movingWiFi says

    @JP, I’m not sure how that would work without Royal Mail getting the parcel to Co. Antrim. I certainly should flag it up as an option for Irish customers, but the onus is on them to register with Parcel Motel.

  3. Ray Mills says

    The industry’s growth in Ireland has been driven both by established Irish shipping companies and also by foreign inward investment by overseas firms.

  4. john kinsella says

    I wish to use this service for purchase of books and other small items.
    I prefer if I can have a delivery depot in Carlow. If not Clonmel would my second choice