A staggering 460,000 packages an HOUR were being sorted at Royal Mail’s Worldwide Distribution Centre this morning – on the busiest day of the YEAR.
Millions of letters, cards and presents flooded through the mammoth 430,000 square foot building near Heathrow Airport – the size of SIX football pitches.
The huge 16ft-high snaking conveyor belt took mail an astonishing 10 MILES around the huge building before it was put into vans ready for delivery.
Astonishing pictures taken throughout the night and early this morning show Britain’s most efficient postal system running at full tilt.
Banks of super scanners which use 4.2 million lines of code – more than that of a NASA Space Shuttle or Stealth Bomber – correctly sort the mail and send it to the correct dispatch area where fleets of trucks get filled with post around the country.
The building, which cost an eye-watering £367 million, opened in 2003 and operates 24-hours-a-day 365 days a year.
By 2009 it sorted every piece of mail which passed into an out of Britain and is the largest of it’s kind in Europe.
By next year it will have fully replaced the eight foreign mail sorting offices that previously served Britain.
It’s 1,500 workers have had aviation security training and can access the sorting floor only by passing a James Bond-style finger print scanner.
Bob Lawrence, Head of International Communication, said: “It is an incredible buzz you get when it’s running at full tilt.
“At this time of year obviously the gears go up and you see exactly what the building and the workers are capable of, at 1am in the morning the whole place is rocking with mail from all corners of the globe being sorted and every present and card sent from people in Britain being sorted for delivery the next day.”