The UK has traditionally been slower to adopt parcel lockers than other parts of Europe, but that doesn’t prevent them having a potential role to play in the final mile.
The parcel and carrier management company Global Freight Solutions (GFS) has added InPost lockers to its GFS Checkout platform, presenting lockers as a potential destination for its clients.
InPost is one of Europe’s largest private postal and logistics operators with a network that stretches across more than 20 countries and in excess of 4,000 locations. It has around 1,000 automated lockers across the UK in sites such as Morrissons’ supermarkets, ESSO petrol stations and Transport for London sites; it claims UK shoppers are never more than 2km from an InPost locker.
Other alternative delivery/collection points already covered by GFS include Hermes ParcelShops, CollectPlus, Doddle, DPD PickUp and Nightline’s Parcel Motel network as the alternative delivery and return facilities available via GFS Checkout.
Daniel Ennor, commercial director for GFS, has claimed the development means his firm is able to offer retailers an “unrivalled” breadth of delivery options around the clock.
“In the 18 months since GFS Checkout was first made available to retailers, we have seen the huge positive impact which greater delivery choice has had on completed orders and consumer satisfaction.
“Being able to add the undoubted technological expertise of InPost to our existing menu of delivery options means e-commerce companies can reach customers via a host of traditional and alternative methods at any time throughout the week.”
Although clearly a costly burden, the rate of failed first-time delivery is on the decline, standing at less than 7% of deliveries according to IMRG, who said in a statement “the on-time / attempted delivery weighted average for the past 12 months (including peak, which was much more efficient this year) is 93.4%.”
The eDelivery view:
In the Operations & Logistics dimension of this year’s InternetRetailing UK Top500 (IRUK Top500), Martin Shaw, head of research at InternetRetailing, looked at the homogenisation of delivery and collection methods among UK retailers. As a core of standard, expected services develops – chiefly around same-day, nominated time, and super-fast delivery, there may be space for differentiation. Being able to offer convenient collection from alternatives to the current alternatives is going to be appealing to anyone who is precluded from collections during regular business hours, for example.
We’re expecting to see a number of household names invest in lockers and boxes over the next 12 months and while the use of lockers is unlikely to really take off among UK shoppers, the focus on convenience means they will creep into the public consciousness, especially if backed by names shoppers are familiar with.