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Royal Mail will start collecting parcels and mail from people’s homes from Wednesday as it tries to grab a bigger share of the parcel market. The firm is trying to capitalise on a rise in online shopping which has been accelerated by the coronavirus crisis.

Royal Mail has seen parcel deliveries increase in recent years but is still on track to make a loss in 2020. The move to collecting could be beneficial if the company can work out logistical issues, an analyst said.

Royal Mail, which already delivers parcels, is joining an already crowded parcel-collection market where it faces rivals such as DPD, Hermes and DHL.

Its Parcel Collect service, which has been trialled in parts of the west of England, will be available every day except Sunday, and there will be 72p charge per parcel, plus postage costs. Pre-paid return packages can be collected for 60p per item.

The firm said it was “one of the biggest changes to the daily delivery since the launch of the post box in 1852”.

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