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Expansion of out-of-home delivery networks needed, report says

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Without investment in out-of-home (OOH) delivery networks, the UK and EU will increasingly suffer from serious delivery infrastructure gaps, leading to last mile capacity issues and increasing costs, a new report has stressed.

Delivery consultants Last Mile Experts partnered with DPD Group and on its latest Out of home delivery in Europe 2022 report, which looked to understand what is behind the OOH delivery trend and to assess what future impact this will have on the various stakeholders.

Covering pick-up and drop-off points (PUDO) and automatic parcel machines (APM), the report analysed 28 countries, across the EU countries and also the UK, covering 288 networks. It found that OOH is increasingly important in many EU markets – the Nordics, France, Germany, Romania, Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland have a 50% OOH delivery share of the market.

Poland’s locker network is around 70% bigger than the second European player Germany. While, in Spain there are over 37,000 OOH lockers, but the majority of these are small residential parcel lockers.

The report found the OOH trend is not surprising, in part due to its above 99% first time delivery efficiency. This could be critical given last mile delivery is responsible for 40% – 50% of total distribution cost for carriers.

It also described OOH delivery as “more consumer centric and flexible”, with the opportunity to provide cheap and easy returns, as well as some outside APMs offering a 24/7 service. AMPs also enable a contactless pick-up.

Furthermore, the report predicted that by 2025 the B2C parcel volume numbers would hit 20 billion. It concluded that without a greater expansion of the OOH network, the last mile could become a challenge in locations where partner shops are not available. It saw the opportunity for larger APM networks in 20 out of 28 countries.

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