What is a T.P.O
A T.P.O is basically a mobile sorting office that sorts mail through the night to a very tight schedule i.e. station deadlines. Sometimes mail will be received at one station and have to be sorted by the next one, this is what makes the schedule tight.
The T.P.O dispatches mail directly to post towns where mechanized sorting offices may only dispatch to a distribution office. This is the T.P.O,s main function, To assure that all mail posted late will be delivered the next day in small villages as well as large towns and cities.
As an example, if you were to post a letter in London at 17:00 addressed to Barnstaple in Devon, It would be taken to the sorting office then sorted and dispatched to the distribution office for Devon (Exeter), they would then have to sort the letter again and send it on to Barnstaple. If the letter traveled this way the chances of it making first delivery the next day would be slim.
Using the T.P.O,s helps to speed up the process by having the mail sorted on route. This allows sorting offices to leave dispatching until later and utilizes time which is usually dead (Whilst mail is on the move).
Royal Mail has over the last 10 years or so gone into Automation in a big way, with the use of coding and sorting machines, but the T.P.O still has a very important role to play within Royal Mail as it is still the best way of getting late posted mails to far off UK destinations the next day. The T.P.O might be an old idea that has been around for a long time but it still helps Royal Mail to achieve their high performance targets.
We Will se how good the new system is in time