E-commerce is fuelling growth in cross border parcels. Our Royal Mail international operations, based in the UK, work closely with postal administrations across the world to despatch outgoing mail from the UK and deliver items from overseas to customers at home.

We process over 600,000 letters and parcels for export. These leave and enter the UK every day through Heathrow and Gatwick airports, as well as via our European road network.

We use the scheduled flights of around 55 airlines each day to connect our traffic across the world. We have a workforce of over 2000 people working on site all year round, plus an additional 600 people at Christmas.

Our main International Hub is the Heathrow Worldwide Distribution Centre (HWDC). It’s highly automated and we’re investing in upgrading that automation over the next three years.


Heathrow Worldwide Distribution Centre (HWDC)

Key facts:

  • 45,000 square metres – around the size of 6 football pitches
  • The automation capability to handle up to 150,000 items per hour or 3 million per day, and we’re more than doubling our parcel automation capacity later this year
  • 7 miles of conveyor systems installed to transport trays across the unit
  • The highest performing Mail Centre within Royal Mail Group and one of the top performers in the world
  • Gold Accreditation in the World Class Manufacturing awards