BRITISH Forces Post Office (BFPO) delivers UK Armed Forces mail to more than 650 locations across the globe providing vital mail services to support the morale of personnel and families overseas.
Last year it rolled out a major update to the system that underpins the Post Office counter services at Forces Post Offices (FPOs), with updates to more than 40 terminals across 22 locations including Canada, the Falkland Islands, Kathmandu and Germany. This has future-proofed FPO counters serving the community overseas by ensuring that they have the technology to continue to deliver key services.
There were also several significant technological advances to meet the increased demand for mail services. Seven new BFPO numbers were opened and two major exercises, large enough to warrant their own specific postal arrangements, were supported bringing the grand total of exercise and operations globally to 64.
The organisation also renewed its Civil Aviation Authority accreditation, allowing BFPO mail to travel by air without going through airport security screening, resulting in a more efficient service.
During their busiest time of year – the last three months of the year – members of the Defence Postal Service delivered more than 1,032,888kg of mail, much of which was going to personnel away from their nearest and dearest over the festive period. People showed their appreciation, with comments, including: “Christmas parcel from your family courtesy of HQ BFPO? Priceless!” and “Thank you for delivering my parcels to my son…when he texted me to say, ‘thank you so much’, well it made my Christmas.”
The upward trend in shopping online, combined with the need for the movement of sensitive material, is expected to continue this year, meaning an increased demand for arguably the most important postal and courier provider in the UK.
- Items rejected as oversized last year include a full-size fridge freezer and washing machine – definitely over the 30kg limit!
- The most common prohibited item found in parcels in 2018 was Lynx Body Spray (no aerosols please.)
- In 2018, BFPO distributed 9,000 of the charitable Operation Christmas Box gifts to personnel away from home over the festive period.
- The heaviest item delivered by the Defence Courier Service in 2018 was 1,978 kg – or the equivalent of 66 Labradors.
- BFPO vehicles covered over 696,000 miles in 2018 – that’s equal to 28 laps of planet Earth!
To stay up to date with BFPO’s news and services, visit gov.uk/bfpo or follow @HQBFPO