The centre is the size of four-and-ahalf football pitches, will boost automation and create 600 jobs. Built on what was wartime airbase RAF Burtonwood, it is the first of its kind in the UK. The site at Omega Business Park, Warrington, Cheshire, was opened by Royal Mail boss Simon Thompson.
He said: “Royal Mail is now a parcels business that also delivers letters.
“Our new parcels super hub will allow us to give consumers exactly what they want – being able to order products very late in the day to have them delivered the very next day, seven days a week.
“This is a giant step forward in our journey to 90 percent parcel automation by the end of next year.
“We can compete and win in the parcels market, which will give our team the job security they deserve.We are investing in the team’s future and in Warrington, which is a great logistics hub in the region.
“We have a long history in the area, we have a strong workforce, and it is a great area for the e-commerce network and retail.”
The super hub, which measures 344sq ft, can process more than 800,000 parcels every day and goes into action after domestic parcel volumes soared more than 30 percent during the pandemic.
The centre can sort up to 40,000 items an hour, or one parcel every 0.09 seconds. It will operate round the clock and houses the latest scanning, sorting and tracking tech.
Conveyor tracks moving at 4.6mph each travel 98 miles a night. There are 102 staircases and around 1,500 steps.
Warrington South MP Andy Carter added: “It is a fantastic facility that will bring jobs and opportunities to the town, and it cements Warrington’s place as a crucial area for logistics in the North of England.
“Given the disruption of the pandemic and the increased demand for online ordering, it’s great to see Royal Mail investing in facilities fit to meet these challenges, as well as creating hundreds of jobs for local people.”
Last year, the surge in parcels more than offset the decline in sending letters.
Royal Mail can trace its history back to 1516 when Henry VIII established a Master of the Posts.
But it was first made available for public use by Charles I in July 1635, with postage being paid by the recipient.