Delivery choice - Parcel lockers

Original article published in July 2016. Updated in May 2017.

In this article, we present an updated overview of the parcel locker market development by key players, both postal operators and other entrants. The full analysis of the current parcel locker market is available for IPC members only here.

Carriers >> Australia Post | Le Groupe La Poste | Correos | Deutsche Post DHL | HongKong Post | UPS | USPS

Non-carrier players >> Amazon | InPost | KEBA

IPC and the cross-border e-Commerce delivery choice

Parcel lockers, autonomous containers that can be used to either receive or send a parcel, are among the several popular alternative solutions customers can select to manage their online shopping deliveries or dispatches. For logistics companies, investment in parcel lockers can reduce costs in the logistics chain, increased delivery efficiency and generate new market opportunities.

The 2016 IPC cross-border e-commerce shopper survey looked into the delivery preferences and experiences of over 24,000 frequent cross-border online shoppers across 26 countries. Seventy-six percent of consumers preferred delivery ‘at home’, just as in 2015. Results are similar to the 2015 Shopper Survey, with a significant proportion of consumers preferring delivery to the post office, their workplace, a safe place at home, parcel lockers and retail outlets. There were some large differences by country, notably:

  • ‘Home’ top choice in almost all countries, especially Japan. It is less prevalent in the Nordic countries.
  • Delivery to ‘post office’ preferred in Norway (50%), Iceland (41%), Sweden and Finland (both 35%).
  • ‘Workplace’ most popular in Portugal (14%).
  • ‘Specified safe place at home’ preferred in China (17%), New Zealand (12%) and Denmark (11%).
  • ‘Parcel locker’ most mentioned in Finland (14%) and Denmark (13%).
  • ‘Retail outlet’ preferred in France (11%) and Belgium (9%).

deliv 

Overall, the preference for parcel locker delivery grew 1% compared to the 2015 results and was preferred on the same level as delivery to retail outlet in 2016. When looking at the categories of products bought cross-border, the most popular items - such as Clothing, footwear and apparel (33%), Consumer electronics (21%) and Books, music and media (14%) - fit in a parcel locker, however the infrastructure and integration of logistics systems need to be improved to allow for a seamless cross-border delivery to a parcel locker.

overview

Source: Postal operators data, data.worldbank.org

Carriers

Australia Post

Australia Post launched their parcel locker system in 2014 together with MyPost Deliveries, a service that gives customers choice over exactly where their parcels get delivered. By registering for MyPost account, customers can choose their closest or most convenient delivery point, whether to their home, a post office close to work or a Parcel Locker, with the flexibility to change it every time they shop. Currently there are around 200 parcel locker stations provided in partnership with InPost – the details of the partnership deal are not public.

Source: cep-research.com

Le Group La Poste

The roll-out of the French Pickup Station lockers began in 2014, and at the end of 2015, 200 Pickup Stations were operational in France in busy areas of the five largest cities in France (Paris and the Paris region, Lyon, Marseille, Bordeaux, etc.). New locations (tramway stations, post offices, universities, hospitals, large retail stores) are currently being tested. The self-service parcel terminals, supplied by Austrian firm KEBA, can handle 40-100 parcels/day.

The number of Pickup Stations is scheduled for major expansion in 2016 with an increase to around 1,000 locations across France in cooperation with technology partner Packcity, a joint venture with Neopost. Around 6,500 e-retailers in France now offer parcel delivery through Chronopost or Colissimo to a Pickup Station.

FR

cep-research.com,

Correos

Correos launched the ‘CityPaq’ parcel terminals in late 2014, with plans to install up to 60 terminals, supplied by Austria’s KEBA, during 2015. However, it seems only 55 installations were completed by July 2016, according to a search on the Correos ‘CityPaq’ website.

In a pilot project with the Spanish rail operator Renfe, CityPaq self-service parcel lockers have been installed in nine local stations in Barcelona and Madrid. The machines, which are accessible during train station opening hours, have up to 80 compartments of different sizes.

ES

cep-research.com

Deutsche Post DHL

Since the launch in 2001, Deutsche Post DHL have installed around 2,750 parcel lockers (packstations) provided by Austrian manufacturer, KEBA nation-wide. Currently, about 90% of people in Germany are within 10 minutes of a packstation.

The lockers are generally located in high footfall areas, however the company has installed units in larger companies for their employees to have flexible access to online orders – such solutions are used in Zalando and T-Mobile offices for example. In April 2015, Deutsche Post DHL announced it was partnering with Germany’s housing company, Deutsche Annington, to install parcel boxes in its apartment blocks. The boxes are free of charge, can be accessed via an RFID chip or hand scanner.

DE

Source: dhl.de

HongKong Post

In May 2016, HongKong Post introduced its parcel locker systems in six locations across the territory, with three of them open 24/7.  The lockers are applicable for the following mail types: Local Ordinary Mail (Packets only), International Ordinary Mail (Packets only), Local Parcel, International Parcel, Smart Post Mail Delivery Service (Packets only), EMS.

Upon receipt of an SMS notification, the delivery is available for collection for four days. If not collected within this time period, it will be transferred to the nearby post office for counter collection.

Source: hongkongpost.hk

UPS

According to the 2015 UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper US study, more than half of avid online shoppers, who make two or more online purchases in a typical three-month time period, are interested in an alternate delivery location with extended hours. Preference for alternate delivery locations grew nine points (to 35%) in the last two years according to the UPS study.

To respond to this trend, UPS announced in June 2016 that it would expand its smart locker programme from nine locations in Chicago to 300 locations nationwide. The UPS Access Point lockers are alternate delivery locations that are usually outside and accessible 24 hours a day at convenience stores and other locations. Online retailers can integrate the locker delivery addresses into their web checkout process to give ‘e-commerce stranded’ consumers, who live in a residence where front-door delivery is not possible, a nearby delivery location.

UPS is working with 7-Eleven and independently owned and operated retailers to offer the locker programme in select areas across the US. The rollout began in June 2016 and initially will be available in Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington State. Subsequent states are planned to include California, Florida, Georgia, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey and Texas.

ups

Source: pressroom.ups.com, amazon.com, fedex.com

USPS

Gopost is the parcel locker system by the USPS introduced in a trial phase in 2012. The service is currently in the “test” phase according to the Gopost factsheet from the USPS. Gopost units are being installed near certain Post Office locations, grocery stores, pharmacies, transportation hubs, shopping centres and other convenient locations. The units are located outdoors and are accessible 24/7.

Each Gopost unit contains dozens of individual lockers that can be used to receive or ship packages. Once a customer registers at gopost.com, they will receive an account number/access card and PIN so they can access the unit. Packages are placed in available lockers that may accommodate the size of your package. Gopost locker units can be used both for receiving and shipping packages.

A domestic package will be returned to the sender after 15 days. International packages will be removed from the unit after 15 days and taken to a nearby Post Office. After 15 days at the Post Office, the package will be returned to sender. International shipments requiring customs fees are currently not accepted.

USPS package mail classes allowed in the Gopost service include: any Priority Mail® or Priority Mail Express mail piece; other package types that are at least ¾" (1.9cm) thick. The Gopost units also accept shipping packages with return labels. There are three locker sizes at each gopost unit to accommodate various sizes of packages with the largest locker being 12" (30.48cm) x 15" (38.1cm) x 18½" (46.99cm).

USPS

Source: gopost.usps.com

Non-carrier players

Amazon

UK

There are over 600 Amazon Lockers in the UK with locations ranging from Shopping Centers, Business Parks, Petrol Stations and Convenience Stores to Transport Hubs, Universities and Corporate HQ's. Amazon Locker offers daily deliveries, seven days a week, which can be tailored to the opening hours of the location if required.

Amazon are also actively looking at introducing their parcel locker solutions to France and Germany.

cep-research.com, amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk

InPost

InPost is an independent postal services provider in Poland which offers secure electronic parcel services via its Paczkomaty facilities. Each parcel station has 76 locker boxes in three sizes, accessible 24 hours, 7 days a week. Users must register in order to access the parcel locker service. Consumers can select a Paczkomaty delivery from selected e-retailers with parcels ready for collection within 48 hours. SMS notification is provided including a delivery code, which together with the user’s mobile number is required for collection.

Additional services include insurance and pay on delivery service. Registered users can also send parcels to registered receivers from a locker facility. Proof of posting and scanning barcode facilities are available to track and trace parcels. InPost now has its parcel terminals in ten different countries – Australia, Chile, Saudi Arabia, Cyprus, Estonia, Ireland, Lithuania, Poland, Latvia, Russia and Spain. The company has investment from Pinebridge Investments to help fund its EUR 300m plans to install 16,000 parcel terminals in Europe by 2016.

INPOST

UK

InPost’s UK network of parcel lockers is now over 1,000 lockers. All of InPost's lockers are located at a variety of safe and secure locations including Morrisons supermarkets, Esso petrol stations and transport for London sites as well as outside retailers such as Toys R Us. The UK network is open to all operators and is currently offered as delivery option by UK Mail, DX, DHL Express and APC Overnight.

Source: inpost.co.uk, postandparcel.info

France

InPost France makes provision for the deployment of 900 'Abricolis' lockers at Leclerc's outlets, including 400 by the end of 2016. Leclerc has several e-Commerce sites including those for over-the-counter drugs, wine, sports gear, electronic appliances and spectacles.

InPost’s plans to have around 2,000 lockers in service nation-wide by 2018. InPost will also complement the well-developed and proven network of Points Relais® created by Mondial Relay, with a strong territorial network by providing a thousand of automated lockers by the end of 2016. They will rival networks used by Amazon, DPD, DHL and other parcel carriers.

Sources: cep-research.com, inpost.co.uk

InPost’s lockers have also been installed by postal operators in Saudi Arabia, Australia, Chile, Italy, Ireland, Iceland, Lithuania, Latvia, Ukraine, Estonia, Russia, Cyprus, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, and also Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala and Malaysia.

KEBA

Founded in 1968 and based in Linz, Austria, KEBA is one of the global market leaders in automated solutions for parcel pick-up and drop-off with more than 5,000 lockers sold. KEBA is also the largest supplier of electronic secure lockers to the postal industry, largely due to the deployment of around 3,000 parcel lockers for Deutsche Post DHL initiated back in 2001. Its KePol designs include compartment system and rotation systems, incorporating service solutions tailored to individual postal companies. KEBA also provides support services such as IT-operations, a hotline, rollout management, customer service and replacement parts logistics. KePol by KEBA provides its packstations to countries like Lithuania, Luxembourg, Germany, UAE, Russia, Denmark, Austria and Turkey.

keba2

France

KEBA has an agreement to install 1,500 KePol machines across France, using the PackCity brand. 1,000 of the machines will be reserved for exclusive use of La Poste owned DPD Group.

Source: postandparcel.info

Bulgaria

Bulgarian logistics company Econt Express has ordered over 40 self-service parcel terminals from KEBA which are currently being installed, with Econt Express planning to expand to 200 KEBA KePol parcel stations in the future.

cep-research.com

 The full analysis of the current parcel locker market is available for IPC members only here.


IPC and the cross-border e-Commerce delivery choice

Under the Interconnect Programme, IPC leads the Delivery Choice Project which covers the topic of Delivery locations/services for international traffic offered by all countries within the Interconnect programme.

The goal of this project is to enable e-retailers/e-sellers to offer their customers a full range of locations where to receive/collect their items so e-shoppers can determine where and when to collect their purchases, as opposed to the default postal delivery.

The array of delivery options offered by each e-seller depends on each post’s domestic offer and capabilities, as one of the principles is to align the inbound post’s domestic offer with their international offer.

Parcel lockers as a delivery option are part of a bigger picture under the umbrella of the Delivery Choice Project within Interconnect as many other options/services are offered by different posts (e.g. Post office delivery, Shop delivery, hold the item, re-direct the item etc.).

So far, parcel lockers have been identified within the Delivery Choice working group as delivery option offered by a minority of countries when compared to post offices or postal Shops/Outlets. However, it is acknowledged that they might grow in popularity as e-shoppers gain more confidence on this new way to receive their items and more posts start offering parcel lockers in their portfolio to gain competitive advantage.

In order to support posts, e-sellers and e-shoppers on the selection of delivery options at destination, IPC has developed a tool (translation engine) that allows users to access delivery points at destination.

For questions or comments about the Delivery Choice Project, please contact Carlos Setien at carlos.setien@ipc.be