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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 12, Issue 2 (May 1, 1937)

Collection and Delivery of Parcels

Collection and Delivery of Parcels.

Parcels traffic proves a most remunerative business on the Home railways. Last year, nearly 89,000,000 small parcels were carried by passenger train service over the four group lines. Special parcels offices are maintained at all railway stations, while in practically every centre of importance there are one or more suitably situated town offices where parcel business is handled. A feature of the parcels service is the elaborate collection and delivery organisation established by the railways. Not only in the big centres, but also in the rural areas, there are daily collection and delivery services for parcels, maintained by motor vehicles of all kinds, varying from light motor-cars to heavy lorries. Collection and delivery is included in the conveyance rates, and within reasonable distance of railhead collection and delivery is virtually a gratuitous service. In the Birmingham area, for example, the free collection and delivery zone actually covers an area of about 45 square miles. There are one or two express companies, as our American friends call them, interested to a certain extent in the handling of parcels traffic. Broadly speaking, however, the express company, and its continental equivalent the “spediteur,” are non-existent in Britain, so efficient has the railway parcels service itself become.